Friday, May 29, 2015

Caregiver

This week has been largely consumed by my mother's knee replacement surgery.

I stayed with her on Wednesday and I have today off, too. Everything is fine yet mildly exhausting. It is no stretch of the truth when I tell you that Wednesday was completely consumed by care giving.

Well, caring for my mother and also keeping updated on the FIFA corruption arrests. That's been a nice distraction. Any big soccer fan like me has suspected corruption in soccer's international governing body for years and years, so the arrests are a much bigger surprise than the actual charges.

Anyway. Mom is in good spirits and I am proud to report that I am not on the list of family members she wants to murder. So far only my grandmother and my father have earned that distinction, but my aunt who showed up to check in on her at 10:00 last night is a true contender for being added to her list.

Her first physical therapy appointment is today, which also marks her first jaunt out of the house since surgery. It will be good to get rehabilitation started and I'm not sure she will mind the change of scenery either.

My dad is the weekend's designated caregiver, which means that my mother has already started trying to talk him into going golfing for a few hours so that she can get a break. He's a weird combination of overly protective yet wholly unhelpful. It's truly bizarre.

So it should be a quiet weekend of fetching ice packs and painkillers. I'm hoping to squeeze in a little time for reading, running and seeing Lucy and the kids. Also laundry. Laundry is a priority.

What's on the docket for your weekend, friends? Anyone want to do my laundry?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bits and Pieces

--My mom had her knee replacement surgery this morning. Apparently it went well; she is in good spirits. I am taking tomorrow and Friday off of work to be her nursemaid. She's hoping to be released tonight but, if not, I am spending the night at the hospital with her.


--I picked up Lucy, Chet and the boys from the airport just after midnight last night. Baby A was mighty pleased to see me sitting next to him when he woke up just as Lucy was buckling him into his car seat. He had a hundred stories about vacation to tell me. That kid.

Lucy's dog, Wolf, and Brady enjoyed their bonding weekend.

--Speaking of Lucy: if it wasn't a gross invasion of her privacy, I would totally be posting before and after pictures of her front yard. I am basically a professional landscaper.

--A switch was flipped this weekend (perhaps it was all of the gardening) and a return to eHarmonizing seems significantly less intimidating, torturous and otherwise unappealing than it did in recent weeks so: progress.

--I started reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline this weekend. I have an employee who has been raving about it for basically the entire duration of my two years at this job so I just need to see if it lives up to the hype. So far, I'm not so sure.

--On Saturday afternoon, Meg and I played 18 holes of footgolf. Footgolf is golf played right on the golf course, with golf rules (and attire) with soccer balls and your foot instead of a golf balls and clubs.

It was the first time Meg and I had played and we quickly found out that it is ridiculously fun.

If you don't zoom in you won't be able to see that I'm flipping my sister my middle finger. (Classy.)

Minus when you kick your ball in a pond (due to, um, a communication error) and you have to wait 20 minutes for it to bob over to the other side.

--It's looking more likely that I'll become a professional landscaper than a professional footgolfer. Who knew?

--I hope that all of you had wonderful long (or not long, as the case may be) weekends, too. What did you do? Did you also find a new professional calling? 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Master Gardener

I am dogsitting at Lucy and Chet's house for the long weekend.

I don't have anything that I must do. I'm not even Netflix binging. I am not in the middle of a book.

So I am gardening.

Lucy and Chet moved into this house in the fall. It's a beautiful house with landscaping that was clearly once beautiful and, after more than a few years of neglect, is now overwhelmingly overgrown.

Lucy and Chet haven't done a thing with their gardens (not judging: their priorities are elsewhere and I understand) but I have nothing but time on my hands this weekend. And plenty of weeds to keep me busy.

It might be the perfect therapeutic activity for this long weekend. I can be outside with the dogs and keep my hands busy while I am lost in my thoughts. I've been really stuck in my own head lately, but at least gardening gives me something to do while I'm stuck there.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

But, first

So, wouldn't you know? 24 hours after publishing this post about my current (lack of) dating meltdown, my cousin Emma calls. She wants to set me up with her girlfriend's roommate.

I got off that call right quick.

Whatever. I am not my best self right now. I will own that.

The next couple of weeks will be busy. It will buy me a little bit of time and distraction and, after that, I will start really thinking about how this is all going to go because I need to do something different.

Like possibly going to therapy and then starting dating.

But first:
  • I am going to get up painfully early to drive Lucy, Chet and the kids to the airport
  • I will take Brady to the vet 
  • I will interview four people and hire one   
  • I will dogsit for Lucy and Chet's pooch over the long weekend
  • I will march in a Memorial Day parade and not enjoy it 
  • I will pick up Lucy, Chet and the kids from the airport in the middle of the damn night
  • I will get Mom through the first few days following her knee replacement
  • I will make huge amounts of food to be consumed (by the entire family) post-op 
  • I will finish a dozen annoying little tasks that have to be completed before the start of summer soccer
  • I will get a better attitude

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Just Talking

I am sitting outside on my front porch with Brady. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite activities. Especially in the mornings. I sit outside in my pajamas, looking like a hot mess and drinking coffee; Brady sniffs around the yard and observes the comings and goings of the neighbors. It's just nice to be outside.

We're just back from having dinner with Lucy and Chet and the boys. It was a good meal (the boys gave Brady way too many table scraps and he loved every bite) and a nice way to ease out of the weekend.

Practically the minute I arrived, Chet mentioned this guy that one of Lucy's friends wants to set me up with. 

Lucy had mentioned this guy and the blind date to me earlier in the weekend and it seemed like an okay idea. I wouldn't say that I was excited about it but I was not at all opposed. I just felt like: what could it hurt and how bad could it be. 

But tonight, when Chet brought it up and Lucy continued the conversation, I just wanted to bolt. I wanted to be anywhere but where I was, having a conversation about a date that, in that moment, I knew that I didn't even want to go on. 

I don't know what happened to the brave girl I was on Saturday morning when Lucy first brought it up, but she wasn't around tonight.

I don't know how I will ever be not single if I am too cowardly to go on a single blind date.

And I don't know how I will ever be not single if I'm too humiliated to even talk about my singleness.
That sounds dramatic, yes, but I am embarrassed of where my life is right now. I don't know how to put it more plainly than that. I am embarrassed. I feel like I'm failing such a basic part of adulthood, like it's such a fundamental part of being a human being that I'm screwing up so badly.

I just feel so pathetic that I can't even talk about it. I can't talk about the man who I'm not seeing or the dates that I am not going on or how lonely my life feels sometimes. It's all addressed with the same shy shrug. No eye contact. No words.

Which is basically how I handled tonight's conversation about this potential blind date.

A shrug.

That's all I can manage.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mommy Guilt

Today I made an appointment for Brady to see the veterinarian because I didn't know what else to do.

I am trying and trying and trying. Every single day we practice. I leave, I come back. He does mostly okay some days and he is miserable others but I can't get it through to him that he is loved and safe and he is just so anxious. All the time. And I have no idea how to control it.

He has a Xanax prescription that's to be taken when he's in a situation that makes him anxious but there isn't a situation that doesn't make him anxious. He just has a low level of anxiety that is simmering all the time.

It breaks my heart. It makes me so sad that he is so constantly afraid and it makes me so angry that I can't figure out how to control it. I feel like a complete failure, adopting a dog who has to stay at my mom and dad's house every time I go anywhere. They didn't sign up for this, I did.  

So I made the appointment for the vet to see if he has any suggestions. I don't want to medicate Brady daily, I really don't, but I am willing to try. We have to do something different than what we are currently doing because this isn't working. He's still scared. I'm still unhappy.

This is very hard.

But, just for the record: I still think he's the best dog.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thinking about...

  • ...how I left this crab of a post up all week. What a great first impression. Do you like selfish brats? Please, come back and read more! 
  • ...the series on manicures and nail salons that the New York Times ran this week. Did you read it? What did you think? I wasn't a big nail girl anyway, so it's probably easier for me to say that I honestly don't know if I will get my nails done ever again.  
  • ...Brady, who has seemed extra anxious all week. 
  • ...blogging about a select few of Lucy's other friendships (with girls who I am no longer friends with) but I'm afraid it will be as bitchy as the aforementioned crab post.  
  • ...how overdue for a really good vacuuming my house is.  
  • ...my next meal. (Always.)
  • ...a few overdue reports that I am impatiently waiting on. 
  • ...having an intentionally quiet weekend.
  • ...Colin, unfortunately. His house is up for sale and I drive by it every day on my way to work.
  • ...everything I have to do before summer soccer starts in a few weeks. 
  • ...way back when. I drove by Lucy and Chet's first house last night and I've been feeling nostalgic ever since.
  • ...Mom's knee replacement, which is a little over a week away and makes me nervous.
  • ...sneaking out of work a little bit early. It probably won't happen.
  • ...making time to listen to that Serial follow-up podcast. 
  • ...the horse I'm going to bet on in the Preakness Stakes, of course!  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Showering (again)

I have neglected to share the latest and greatest family news: my cousin Anna is pregnant.

My cousin Anna is the one who got married last September. She is due this September so she basically got pregnant at the speed of a Duggar. I think that I probably would elect to wait a little while but I totally understand that it's a personal choice and more power to her and her new husband. Not my business!

But the funny thing is that Anna says that this baby was a surprise but she's been successfully on birth control for years and years and it just stops working right after you get married? Plus she is a nurse and she married an obstetrician and, yeah, nobody really believes that this baby was a surprise (at least not to Anna?) but, really, what does it matter. It does not and I am very excited to cuddle that baby and buy her adorable baby things.

I do believe, however, that there should be some rule that hostesses should be immune from throwing any sort of celebratory shower for a person for at least 24 months after throwing her a previous shower.

Yet here we are. 13 months later. Throwing a baby shower.

Anna's new stepmother is playing a role in this shower (she was just a guest at last June's wedding shower) and booked out the restaurant but, other than her, it is the same cast of characters: my mom, my sister, me, my aunt and cousin who live in Chicago.

I was assigned fairly simple tasks (apparently I'm invitation girl and my grandmother's centerpiece assistant this time around) but I'm just: blah. We just did this. I don't wanna.

If I sound bitter and jealous, it's because I am.

I am a bitter, jealous and seriously burned out hostess.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Breakfast

I have been really struggling with breakfast for the last couple of months. It isn't that I'm not hungry, more that nothing really sounds all that good other that random things that won't really fill me up and are questionable as best when it comes to healthiness (think: buttered toast, tortilla chips, gummy bears, ginger snaps).

Kristin posted about smoothies last week and saved me from another week of eating random junk and/or not eating breakfast before.

Smoothies! Of course! One of my favorite summertime breakfasts that are completely unappetizing during the winter months. Plus, I had just come home from Louisville with an adorable new travel mug that needed to be used.

We make our smoothies a little bit differently but that's the great part about smoothies, you can just fly by the seat of your pants. I made a trip to the grocery store for vanilla Greek yogurt (I used to use this low-carb fake yogurt but I think it's fallen out of favor because it was nowhere to be found), vanilla protein powder (because I never have enough protein in my diet), coconut milk and frozen fruit.

I use about a cup of fruit, a half cup of yogurt, a scoop of protein powder and just a splash of coconut milk to thin it out a little bit. It's a smoothie that requires a spoon, which is fine, because I don't eat it until I get to work.

The best smoothies are made with just frozen mango. And it has to be frozen mango from Trader Joe's because the regular grocery store kind is slightly flavorless.

But all smoothies are pretty awesome. I'm pretty thrilled that I was reminded of this.

My workdays are so much easier if I've started them out by having a decent breakfast.

It's amazing how much you can get done when you're not scavenging for snacks every hour of the day.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Derby Weekend, part 3

After the Derby, Lucy and I stopped in to a restaurant nearby to wait out the truly awful traffic. We had originally made dinner reservations but decided to change course after we waited a good 40 minutes just to get out of the parking lot on Friday evening.

So we're at this random taco restaurant that clearly doubles as a gross college bar. You know the type. It just smells like bad decisions. But the food was really decent. 

I grabbed a table while Lucy ordered us food. She was still in line when a very drunk kid teetered by, stopped in front of me and slurred "YOU ARE CUTE. YOU ARE SO CUTE."

I laughed and thanked him. I shook his hand and introduced myself and he asked "can I come back and talk to you later?" Well, of course you can! (I knew it would be a mess and I knew Lucy would love every second of it. It was just like old times!)

Did I mention that he was wearing a USA-themed muscle shirt?

He was wearing a USA-themed muscle shirt.

And he did come back. With a beer for me, which I politely declined. 

In addition to being very drunk, he was the ripe old age of 25 and told me all about where he attended high school. High school. Apparently he went to a prestigious high school in Louisville but, yeah, it's still high school and I'm still 32.

I feel like you have two options when an obnoxiously drunk dude puts you in such a situation:
1. You get all bitchy and ask him to go.
2. You sort of play along with it and ask him stupid questions and laugh about it later.

Lucy and I went with number two. It might have been 12 years since we were last at a bar together but Lucy and I have always gone with number two. That shit doesn't change And it was just lighthearted joking around that lasted, oh, maybe 10 minutes. 

Then this guy at the table behind us pipes up and says "you need to stop. You're being really mean to him." 

Excuse me?

Lucy got on her therapist speak later and said that the interrupter was just transferring his feelings onto my friend the drunk but I do halfway feel bad and halfway feel like the interrupter was just a huge asshole. Like that dude has any idea what it's like to be getting hit on like that. Fuck him.

Anyway. 

The drunk dude had friends with him and they were leaving. They stopped by to see if he was staying or leaving with them. Lucy was good enough to point out that we were driving back home that very night (it was a white lie but we were staying an hour outside of Louisville) and that we were NOT taking him with us.

So my new drunk friend left but it was after I gave him my phone number (ha! I panicked but I also thought it would bring additional entertainment) and we headed out of Louisville shortly thereafter.

Drunk dude gets points for calling me a couple of hours later (just to make sure we had really left town), instead of just sending a drunk text or a picture of his junk. I will give drunk dude points for that. 

I told my mom the story on Sunday and I was getting all braggy. "He's 25! I've still got it!"

She raised her eyebrows. So skeptical. "He was drunk, honey." 

Touché. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Derby Weekend, part 2

 It's picture time!

Chilling at the racetrack on Friday afternoon.

 We made it! Friday morning, shortly after our frantic Target run.

Starting gates. 

Mint julep: I liked it more than I remembered. 

 Derby day!

Lucy getting up close and personal with the horses.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Derby Weekend, part 1

It was Thursday night at 9:00 pm. We were driving to Louisville.

Lucy and I stopped for a quick snack. She reached into the back seat to grab her purse and she screamed.

"MY DRESSES! OH MY GOD I FORGOT MY DRESSES!"

We were two hours from home. And Lucy didn't have her dresses.

I will admit to being partially to blame. When I got to Lucy's house, her stuff was waiting in the driveway. I packed up everything while I waited for her to come outside. (She was sneaking out of the house stealthily so to avoid upsetting her boys.) It's quite likely that if she had put her own suitcase in the car, she would have seen my dresses (which is what jogged her memory two hours late) and we would have avoided the situation all together.

But we did not. It was 9:00 pm on Thursday night and Lucy didn't have her dresses.

"It's okay. We got this. We'll just run to Target." I was (probably annoyingly) positive. It wouldn't be a big deal. Everybody makes mistakes. Plus Target is open until 10:00 pm and there are Target stores,  like, everywhere.

Except where we were, apparently. Which was in the middle of Ohio, somewhere between Findlay and Dayton.

So we just drove straight to the hotel and I just kept telling Lucy about what a big deal this dress situation wouldn't be.

We got up extra early the next morning and we were at Target by 8:05 am. Lucy had tried on at least a dozen dresses, and bought two, by 8:30 am.

Oh, Target, how I love you. I love you and I love that you open at 8:00 am.

Lucy wore one of the dresses right out of the store and we were off to our favorite Louisville bakery, which is next door to our favorite Louivsille coffee shop, right on schedule. We got to Churchill Downs at exactly the time we wanted to, apple fritters and rosemary iced lattes (so unbelievably delicious) in hand and looking, I must admit, rather snazzy.

You never would have guessed that Lucy didn't have an outfit as of 8:00 that morning.

Her dresses even matched her hat. It was the Kentucky Derby miracle.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

And They're Off!

Today is the day, boys and girls.

After a day of flexing our betting muscles at the Oaks -- the first day of racing of Derby weekend -- Lucy and I are in our hats and our dresses and headed back to Churchill Downs.

Today is a magical day. 

Anybody going to a Derby party? Who is your money on? Do you like mint juleps? Will you have derby pie?

(Confessions: I've had derby pie but never in Louisville, I'm still deciding on my horse and I actually don't love mint juleps, though I will drink one anyway. Tradition.) 

Look for me. I'll be the pale girl next to the other pale girl, winning a minimum of $250,000.

On a $6 bet.

That's possible, right?

Friday, May 01, 2015

All Grown Up

It would be inaccurate to my new identity as The Creepy Single Dog Lady if I did not acknowledge that my baby is all grown up!

And by all grown up I mean that he graduated from obedience school last weekend.

Oh, sure, it's true that the only requirement for passing the first level of obedience school is showing up. But, you guys? Brady has a mean sit. And, I might be biased, but his form on his down is textbook perfect.

I was required to take him to obedience school by the rescue that I adopted him from but I would have taken him anyway and I'm really glad that I did. He's still far from perfect but he is a lot more confident and I think that he has a better understanding of how things work between him and me.

I didn't go the pet store route for his training; I took him to an actual trainer. I paid way too much for the class but it comes with the option of retaking the entire class again, tuition-free, whenever he needs a refresher.

Which is actually when I need a refresher.

The owners are totally the ones getting trained. I was bossed around way more than Brady ever was.

And that is why I'm a little miffed that I didn't get a cap and gown, too.
 
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