me

surprise book sharing

I found this on my front porch Wednesday afternoon.

It’s in a zip bag not to protect us from germs, but to protect the book from rain.
It poured all day Wednesday.

This note was enclosed.

I bought this book as a gift for Meredith on her ninth birthday. She was finishing up a thirteen book series before she started this on. We agreed it sounded interesting and she promised I could borrow it when she finished.

I’m taking a break from photos today. I made it from (approximately) 1915 through 1999 and feel like I deserve a rest.
My plan is to read this book and engage in conversation with her as soon as I’m finished. (I’m hoping about three or four hours, but we’ll see.)
If life was normal, I’d read it and walk up the street to their house, or she’d walk down the street to my house and we would snuggle up on the sofa with the book and talk talk talk.
But life isn’t normal, so I’ll text her mom and see if she can face time or we can talk. It won’t be the same, but it’s still lovely to share a book with a friend.

This is exactly what I needed today.
Wish me happy reading.

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the great and arduous process

Tuesday I brought the first five boxes up from the basement to the Nest to begin what I’ve decided to call ‘the great and arduous process’. Otherwise known as going through the last three decades of photographs. By bringing them upstairs, I’m able to use all three of my work desks to sort instead of sitting in the floor downstairs.
Score 1 for me!

These photos are sacred.
They’re my life.
The lives of my children.
The lives of my parents, and grandparents.
It feels important for me to celebrate these lives. So, I pulled out a champagne coupe and popped a bottle of bubbly.

This was meant to be a Thing 2 and Momma task, but Thing 2 isn’t coming because the world is currently safer if we stay in the place we are.
I’m doing a preliminary purge and sort. I’m working to be mindful about what I keep and why. Then she and I will do it again when we’re able to be together.
She loves photos, and the history behind them. She will be the one who carries that on when I leave this world, and I’m content with that.
About an hour and a half in, I called her to ask a somewhat unrelated question and we stayed on the phone for four hours, thirty-four minutes and eighteen seconds.
We laughed, we cried, we talked and told stories.
So, in a way, we did start this project together, if only for a little while.

My friend Holly asked me what was my end goal.
I didn’t actually have an answer for her.
But after thinking on it a moment, I replied: I think really just keeping what we want and letting go of the rest. Thing 2 will help make that decision. She’s going to pick up the mantle of being the keeper of photos at some point. Thing 1 already said doesn’t care about them, so it will really come down to what Thing 2 wants to do. I’m trying to be mindful about what’s going to be important to and for her. I want to avoid her having the ‘deal with’ them when I’m gone. If she’s involved now, we can decide together what’s important in the long run and what’s immediately important.

I look forward to the joy of sharing more stories while we hold photos in our hands.
That’s powerful stuff.

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might as well do something productive

In David’s comment on my opportunity post, he suggested I make a list. I loved it!
I mean, duh!
I’m the freaking List Lady, and it never occurred to me to make a list?!?

So here’s what’s funny, I didn’t actually make a list…
Yet!

What I did do was pull nearly everything out of my closet.

Y’all see my Nats World Series hoodie right there? Makes me so dang happy!

Anyway…
I put back only what I truly believe I’ll wear this spring and summer.

I’ll definitely wear all of this.
(Well, not the boots, sweaters, and hoodies, but they have to be somewhere, right?)


There are some dresses starting with the black khaki and white stripes and ending the solid blue one next to the navy floral one that are questionable. I’m going to give them a chance to prove themselves between now and my birthday and if they don’t, they’re out.
That’s valuable real estate.


I even purged shoes.
What you can’t see in this photo is that there are six pairs of Chucks on the bottom shelf. There were ten.
You can also see when I find a shoe I dig, I get it in different colors. Those Sam Edelman Felica ballet flats and Greta sandals are absolute faves! And I bought them all during a huge 4th of July BOGO sale!!


Here’s what’s going away…though I’m not sure any place is accepting donations right now.

I sent pics in the group chat with the girls.
Thing 1 said: Wow!
Thing 2 said: That looks amazing!
I said: Y’all!! It FEELS amazing!

I made that closet my bitch!
And(!!!) In between, and after two conference calls, YBW pressure washed the porch today in anticipation of me prepping out porch life.
I feel accomplished and content.
His shoes are soaked but he’s satisfied with his work.

Look at us using this opportunity presented to us!
I’m going to pour us some wine.
Y’all be good now, ya hear?

Categories: around the house, me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

worried but grateful

Our governor announced that Virginia schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year.
I am sad. And to be perfectly honest, sad isn’t a big enough word.

I’m sad for my school family.
I’m sad for my neighborhood kids.
I’m sad for the high school seniors who won’t experience the wonderful ritual of their senior year. No skip day. No prom. No graduation.

I’m worried for these kids.
For these educators. Y’all, if you don’t know, they are broken-hearted about not being in the classroom with their kids. I’m broken-hearted not to be in the classroom.
I miss being at school.
I miss being around kids and adults, teaching and learning together.
I’m worried because YBW had to go back to work today. Is he safe? Will he be exposed? Will he bring it home?

I am grateful that I am not sick. That none of my family is sick.
I am grateful I’m not worried about how to keep the lights on, or where our next meal is coming from.
I’m grateful for internet and streaming services and books and wine.
I am grateful that I have the ability to write about how this feels.

I’m reminded of something Hagrid tells Harry in the Philosopher’s Stone. “It was dark times, Harry, dark times.”
My heart hurts today.
But I’m quietly hopeful.

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write it down

On his first day working from home, YBW said to me, “I wonder if I should be documenting this time?” His voice got all ‘movie trailer guy’ and he said, “YBW working from home: day one.”
I giggled, then encouraged him to document.

I told him about reading this interview with University of Virginia professor Herbert ‘Tico’ Braun.
In an email encouraging his current and former students to document their lives “during this unprecedented time” he wrote:

The mantra of our course is, ‘Write it down.’ When you do, much of your life and who you are will be different than if you don’t.

He tells his students, “You do not write alone.”
He’s so right!
We don’t write alone. Especially here, in this blogging community.
LA is sharing her life in this time. So is Maggie. Ellieejay and Betul shared theirs at Pointless Overthinking, Claudette is sharing her’s too.

What I love about reading these posts is that in an anxious and fearful time, these ladies are being real. Speaking their truths. Being honest and unmerciful with their thoughts and feelings. And using humor to their advantage.

I thank you for documenting your lives in these ‘unprecedented’ times. It helps us realize we are not alone, however shut away from the world we are. We are a community of human beings. And no matter how far and wide we are spread, we are all in this together.
By sharing our lives via the written word we begin to feel more connected in the immediate, and as time goes on these words will be powerful documentation to look back upon.

I’m choosing to journal about what I think and how I feel about this time in our world. It looks different than my blogging, but I approach it with the same level of honest and unmerciful truth, and a metric-fuck-ton more sass and complete disregard for proper grammar.
Regardless of where I write, I’m choosing to acknowledge fear and anxiety, flex my humor muscles, and embrace a whole lotta love, grace, and gratitude.

We’re all in this together.
Thank you.
I am truly grateful that we do not write alone.

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fried chicken with an antihistamine chaser

Saturday afternoon, YBW decides he wants fried chicken for dinner. Partly because fried chicken is one of his favorite foods, partly because he wants to pay homage to Kenny Rogers.

Now, I’m a Southern girl, but I can’t make fried chicken to save my ass.
That means carry out, and I get behind the wheel of my car for the first time since…I honestly don’t remember when.

We go to one place, the drive up line is long so we keep moving.
We go to the next place, they’re monitoring the number of people entering the building. (no drive up) I don’t know what I want, and we both don’t want to go in.
One u-do-it (u turn) later and we’re passing the first place again, this time with more cars lined up around the building.
We finally land on a third place, get our chicken, and head home.

We’re catching up on Briarpatch episodes and nomming fried chicken.
All is well.
Until…
I start to get all dry and itchy in my throat.
I drink water, no relief.
I drink coca cola, no relief.
I take my plate to the dishwasher and begin to cough at the kitchen sink. So much so that YBW asks if I’m going to be sick.

Y’all, something in the breading or seasoned fries has triggered and allergic reaction in me.
And with what’s going on in the world this is not the time to head out for help. But I know how to handle it, it’s not the first time this has happened to me. Handful of zyrtec later I’m hoarse but breathing perfectly well.

(Benadryl works better but I’m allergic, so that’s a)

Only once I’m ready for bed, the coughing starts again.
FUUUUUUUCK!
So I get up go back downstairs and turn on Mad Men.

This morning I’m breathing and swallowing well, but my throat hurts. Not like a sore throat, more like like tight muscles.
So, RIP Kenny Rogers and his chicken. I’m grateful for zyrtec when it was inconvenient to seek medical attention, but I’ll pass on that cold chicken breast I was planning to eat today.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

an opportunity

So YBW’s company has divided his team into two groups and they’re alternating working from home and going into the office each week. This plan began Tuesday. Wednesday morning he’s at his computer in his jammies with the cutest bedhead hair ready to work.
His group won’t go back to work until Monday. Of course, he’s on call this week, so if anything blows up, he’ll be going into the office anyway.
This working from home thing is tricky because of the kind of work he does.
I don’t actually have an opinion about him working from home. (be sure to document my lack of opinion)

I’m up and dressed and going about the Robyn things.
I sort of feel like I should be adventurous when it comes to meal prep. But that also sounds like more effort than I’m willing to put forth. Not to mention more dishes for me to do.
I might actually tackle cleaning my closet. I mean, I recently did a bit of a purge, but I need to examine my shoe situation. They need to be put away properly, and I could take this opportunity to wash all the sweaters and get them put away for spring.

I’ve got a huge project of going through the last thirty years of photos that I was saving for when Thing 2 comes the first week of April. Of course, now, she may not actually come.
We had tickets to for a live Welcome to Night Vale show, but the US shows have all been postponed.
So I can either tackle that alone, or wait patiently for Thing 2 to come and assist. Seems a shame to waste the opportunity when I’m actively trapped in the house for the foreseeable future.

YBW asked me last night if I thought I might go stir crazy being trapped at home.
I honestly hadn’t thought about it.
But now, as I put forth (slack-ass) effort to plan my days, I’m beginning to wonder.
I have Netflix and Hulu. And Disney + is a thing, right? But I’m already over the television.
According to my local meteorologist, it’ll be 81 today. Maybe I’ll get on setting up some porch life?

I feel bad for complaining. Though TBPH, I’m not actually complaining, I’m just expressing my thoughts.
That’s the key. Minding the attitude. I’m not being a dick. I’m simply trying to suss it out…out loud…to all y’all…

My mood is actually quite good.
I have a big ass stack of TBR.
I have a ton of music to be organized.
I can go outside and get some vitamin D.

It’s just that I know there’s an opportunity in all this and I’m disinclined to waste it.
But an opportunity for what?
Stay tuned, y’all!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

all Lady Macbeth up in this bitch

Thing 1 and Baby K left and made it safely home Monday. I know they’re happy to be home and with Husband N and the animals, to sleep in their own beds.
And I gotta say, that baby is pretty much all consuming. I’m glad I had babies when I was young. I’m much slower now, and she’s non-stop! But those sweet smiles and waves and kisses are worth every moment of being tired!
I was more sad than I anticipated that night, but Tuesday I was less sad. Missing them, but also kind of pleased to be alone.

Thing G never ever leaves the house, but decided Tuesday to go out into the world. (You do you, kid.)
So I was completely alone in this house.
Did y’all hear my most satisfied “Ahhhh”?

I stripped and remade my bed and the guest bed. Did the dishes, and seven loads of laundry (all those extra sheets and towels, yo).
After that, I opened all the windows, the big garage door, even closets and the pantry and I went systematically through every room burning white sage.

I went all Lady Macbeth up in this bitch, “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”
This house needed a good smudging. I’m ushering out the chaos and inviting in peace.
And while tensions are high with what’s going on in the world, it seemed a smart choice to facilitate peace where we dwell.
It feels different in here and I like it.

I’m going to wipe down the kitchen and my bathroom and get after my reading.
I’m curious about this book club book, have any of y’all read it?

Hope your Thursday is everything you need it to be.

Categories: around the house, me | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

warning label

I think mine might say:

Kind of heart and full of love but her mouth is caustic.

Perhaps it might say:

She runs her life with a velvet hammer.

Maybe even:

She’ll ask you Why? more times than you can count, but only because she wants to better understand you and your motivation.

It could possibly say:

Maybe she’s not the best at being loved, but she’s pretty good at loving. (paraphrased from Chelsea Carroll)

Or even this:

Plays well with others, but only for a little while.

In all honesty, I suspect my warning label should be the following:

She’s a cat in the form of a girl. She will equally expect and reject your affection. She will require your immediate and undivided attention, but only when it’s least convenient for you. She will provide comfort and adoration, but bite without warning.

You may be asking, Why you gotta label everything? Believe me when I tell you I have absolutely no idea, but I know I function better that way.
This kind of label sounded fun to me.
What do y’all think?
What are some of your warning labels?

Categories: me | Tags: , , | 13 Comments

what I really really want

I saw this sign at Home Goods and I had the feeling it was in my face for a reason.
Are The Powers That Be trying to tell me something or am I just overthinking again?

It took me a long time to accept that I was unable to label my feelings regarding that rejection letter from Mason.
And tbph, that only happened in my therapist’s office. When I tried to describe how I felt about it, I was at a loss. I was able to define some feelings, but nothing really felt quite right.
She asked me if I needed to label it to move forward.
I honestly had to pause and consider that for a moment. My reactive response was ‘yes’. My mindful response was ‘no’.
Y’all, that ‘no’ was freeing!

It occurred to me I only chose Mason because it was convenient. It’s got a good program and it’s about 30-45 minutes from home.
I have no real affection for the University. I mean it’s my husband’s alma mater, but I didn’t know him then.
I applied there because it was convenient not because I was passionate about it.

That realization shed light on my seeming inability to label my feelings.
Perhaps I felt ambivalent about the rejection because I felt ambivalent about the school.
I wasn’t sad about not getting what I wanted from a place I didn’t care about getting it from.
(Please ignore the grammatical chaos of that sentence and try to glean the deeper meaning.)

I didn’t care about going into the program at Mason.
I cared about going into the program.
I did some research.
I found some online universities that offer the program.
I requested information.
I’ll be following up with calls in the coming days.

I’m still thinking about this clinical mental health program.
I’m still thinking about being a therapist/counselor.
I did not stop working on it.
I took the time I needed to discover how I felt about what I really wanted, and why.
Just because I took that time didn’t mean I wasn’t working.

I used that time to suss out what I really wanted.
What I really want is a clinical mental health degree.
Doesn’t matter where I earn it.

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