- I used to babysit regularly for a family that lived in a haunted house. The TV used to flick on and off, it always felt like you were being watched, and I had a kid run behind me laughing while I was doing dishes once… turned around- nothing. Went to check on the kids I was babysitting… all three in bed and sound asleep. And I mean SOUND asleep- they weren’t pulling one over on the babysitter.
- Lesson: atheism doesn’t negate a belief in ghosts.
- One time in high school I started my period and knew, I mean KNEW, that I didn’t have any supplies… but I frantically rummaged through my backpack anyway. AND OH MY GOD I FOUND A TAMPON I WAS SAVED! I then immediately dropped it in the toilet.
- Lesson: Sometimes having something and losing it is exactly like never having it at all.
- I was running into the grocery store one time in the rain and didn’t realize how deep a puddle was and SWOOOSH, kicked up a huge plume of water (one leg on the backswing) and sunk halfway up my calf in the puddle. A guy running the other direction DIED laughing to see it. (I mean died- stopped, doubled over, grabbing his stomach, the whole bit.) He called out an apology as I ran past him, but I yelled back that if it had to happen I was glad that someone saw it at least.
- Lesson: With the right mindset the phrase “As long as somebody laughed” will get you through a hell of a lot in this world.
- Lice. (Shudder)
- Lesson: Even if you think you’re so busy you don’t have any time to breath- somehow you’ll find 2 hours a night for weeks on end if you’re motivated.
- Steamed King Crab Legs (see here) is the hands down easiest dinner anyone could ever cook. Lentil Soup is the least expensive meal that will feed you for the week for just a few bucks.
- Lesson: you can have fast… or you can have cheap… but you ain’t getting both.
- So this one time… I got pregnant? When I had my tubes tied? (see here) And we proceeded to freak the fuck out for months and months and months and now we all love that child like it’s going out of style.
- Lesson: Aethism doesn’t negate an in depth understanding of the phrase “Man proposes, God disposes.”
- I got up to speak as a sophomore in high school to defend Block Scheduling because I believed in it SO much- I KNEW it was preparing me for the college experience and letting me learn much more in depth. (Longer classes, only 4 a day instead of 7 for the first half of the year with another set of 4 classes for the 2nd half of the year.) I loved that schedule… until the way my math classes synced up and I’d had an entire year between Algebra I and Algebra II.
- Lesson: Just because you believe something doesn’t make it true.
Sick up to my eyeballs just about sums it up lately… and hey, my sinuses are infected so it literally is true!
So I’m now mostly recovered from a tonsil infection that spread to the rest of my throat and larynx and wiped out my voice for 3 days and then morphed into a sinus infection. But I’m almost better now. Almost.
And maybe I wore myself down? I don’t know- I have a lot on my plate and while grief, and worry, and stress are all carb free I’ve probably been overdoing them. But see- I have my wonderful little life with my wonderful little family- the stress and worry can kinda sneak up on me sometimes, you know?
So maybe I ran myself down a little- happens to the best of us. Even before the voice took off on a long weekend without me I had started trying to get a bit more balance going on. Ordered a slew of books and now actually read- the novelty! (Wait- was that a goddamn pun?! Stupid brain pulling shit sometimes I swear…) I also started meditating, and I’m going to sleep about 30 minutes to an hour earlier a night. Plus cutting down on some alcohol and back to trying to cut down on the carbs. And I’m walking and lifting weights a couple of half assed times a week!
Let’s talk meditating though… super easy? Is that how that’s supposed to go down? Because I can clear my mind and keep it clear for a LONG time… turns out that’s how the majority of my days go already? Is that something I should be worried about? Because it doesn’t feel brag inducing, to have a mind that is as un-rippled as a pond without a rock heaved at it… that seems… hmm. I’ll take it though, don’t think I’m complaining. It’s just unexpected?
All that mental calm and yet I’m still making coworkers cry on the regular though… so still an asshole. I always feel terrible about it- I don’t want to crush people, but I feel like a rhino trying to fold origami when trying to discuss issues and solve problems. Whelp. Try to flip that self recrimination on it’s empty head and see it as an opportunity for something else to learn in this life! (got a quasi self help book in the stack) Ah for the Churchillian gift of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip (also a Churchill book)… So it’s the delivery not the character trait I’m working on, just to be clear. I stopped hating my fundamental nature and beating myself up for it a long time ago. But I am trying to blunt the edges a bit, I promise.
Anyway, to sum up:
- I’m still sick- I’m working on it.
- And I’m still a jerk sometimes- I’m working on my delivery.
Here’s a funny final story for this post: my husband and I were watching Jeopardy (a nightly thing for us after the girls are down. Love!) and I turned to him and said: “I tell you one thing- if I was on this show I wouldn’t clap if a competitor got a Daily Double right.” To which he replied “Well of course you wouldn’t!” We laughed and laughed… because it’s true and he loves me anyway.
So- I’m just going to put this out there to the universe that maybe if it could stop with the making-people-I-love-drop-dead shit that’d be great. What am I comfortable with putting on the page? Or can even verbalize? I guess that loss and grieving is ubiquitous and is just the payment we give for loving others? Sure. Why not.
I had a Dutch teacher (she used to bike 15 miles to class with one of her pet rats in a carrier and then teach the class in sweaty bike shorts. The rat would sit on her desk. College is weird.) who didn’t really ever feel a need to stay on the Dutch topic at hand and would often digress into Buddhist thinking/teaching she was mulling around. One Tuesday morning (Ma’am, it’s too damn early for this crap.) she was talking about how we should see the loss of a baby as equally tragic as a 90 year old who was one day away from death. That all life is weighted equally. And yeah… that’s a big nope. Nope, nope, nope, ye ol’ rat loving professor. In Dutch? Rat liefhebbende proffessor. (How did I only make a B in this class? It’s 60% English and conjugated like Yoda… sheesh)
But life potential, happiness conglomerated, and the opportunity of having experienced much outta a long lifetime- it DOES come into play. And the death too- not too painful, and not too sudden… It’s a complex formula that never quite gets us to a “good death” but it makes the loss easier if you know your grandmother lived life to the fullest. If she was 89. And had the opportunity to laugh hysterically with all the other wives of their RV traveling/gambling group at a male stripper in Vegas doing a basketball player routine that one time back in the 80s. And then tell her granddaughter about it all those years later. And many other, inappropriate and hysterical stories. No shrinking violet- life is too short to waste it being meek- I think that’s the main lesson I learned from her.
She was a good one, that lady. I will miss her.
She was tiny but she was mighty.
And may my own toddler follow in her namesake’s footsteps with that same mirth flickering in her eyes all of her live long days.
Well there’s a hurricane a-brewin’, so little to do but put containers under the roof leaks, snuggle up in a comforter, and do some literary Rorschach testing thanks to a Random Word generator!
Failing: Any college class ever before 9am. Next.
Textbook: I only kept my Dutch language textbooks from college- I assume it’s like a rock picked up and kept from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. That’s right, the language that you say “Braun, mine hound es” to say “My dog is brown” was my Kilimanjaro. Classes were not held before 9am. I got a B.
Dip: French Onion
Skill: I don’t want to brag but 90% of the time I can pick the exact number of clothes hangers needed when I’m doing laundry. With great talent comes great responsibility.
Gun: My militaristic cousin took my husband and me to the gun range for my birthday a while back. Sniper accurate might be an exaggeration, but not a gross exaggeration, you dig? But no guns for me. I’ll stick to big dogs and the knowledge as to how to rip an ear off and shatter knees. I’m a violent pacifist, is what I’m saying.
Death: Jesus Christ Random Word Generator, don’t be a dick. Inevitable, you happy? Also, I’ve been pushed in a grave before. Thanks, weird ass childhood. Next!
Am I skipping some on the Random Word Generator? Sometimes. No one wants to hear me write about “involvement” or “minor.”( My involvement with the French Club was minor, but good enough to get me into UT. There. Shut up.)
Said: My youngest sat on the potty yesterday, looked deep into my eyes, and said “Pssssssssssssssssssssssss.” Pretending to pee.
Quantum: *Typing sounds* So turns out in physics, a quantum is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction. So- like my favorite way to exist in social settings? Why are we not using this word more?! Does that mean the James Bond movie is “The Least Amount of Solace?” Turns out maybe.
Incoming: Nothing profound, but I do love when they yell that on war movies. Probably way less fun in real life, though.
Random: Becoming self aware, are we website?
Sentient: Fuck. Let’s go ahead and close that Random Word website and never speak of that terrifying turn of events again.
So I decided to go through my Drafts folder (sure you’ve noticed but posts have been few and far between lately and I was checking how much content I had in there that might be useable) and found this… dated 4 months ago.
I plow through self doubt through sheer force of will – but it’s like running through spider webs- it won’t hold me back but it still is pretty uncomfortable and takes multiple swipes to get the vestiges off.
And the thing is… it still is holding true. I’ve been a bit off my feet for a little while now (4 months, I guess), wobbling/plowing along as best I can. I thought the analogy was good and I actually have zero recollection of writing it… so that’s interesting/worrisome for my mental acuity!
So yeah. Some cobwebs lately.
What am I going to do about it? Well hell. I guess trying to write more, carb less, work out more, miss taking my vitamin D and thyroid meds less, and garden more… that should help. Because I haven’t been very proud of my response to the “reduce carbs, take care of health, lose weight” marching orders I got. And I have GOT to see my grandmother too… she’s been ill and it’s now being almost pathological the extent I’ve been avoiding seeing her. (Awful? No need to fucking tell ME.) Magical thinking where if I don’t see her sick she’ll live forever! I mean jesus christ. I’m 38 now, not goddamn 6.
But see, these moments… these moments where the self recriminations for stuff like that are so much louder than the rest is no bueno. My own head is not always the most gentle place for me to be. But then, it never has been- I’m just often better at dealing with it.
But ever onwards, through the fog and cobwebs… until the practice of moving forward has me steady on my feet once again. Because if there is ANYTHING my past has taught me… it’s that the cobwebs? Well they never swipe themselves off, do they?
So… I realize most bloggers give a heads up BEFORE they go on vacation instead of after… and yeah, looking back that would have been ideal. But just know I’m now BACK from vacation. Was good!
If you let your toddler play with an old (clean. unused. I’m no monster) dog dish outside she will forever after be picking the one up inside and pouring it out on the floor.
Toddlers loving pouring stuff on the floor.
I regret my decision.
That seems unfair, Random Word Generator. Like. On the nose unfair. Random Word= SHAPE. Insert round is a shape joke here.
Truth is, I’m not round is a shape. 149lbs for 5’7 is still 9 pounds within the ideal range of 121 to 158lbs. Squeaking by, but good enough for a Liberal Arts diploma, you dig? (I would know, wouldn’t I?) Nope. Tell it to my Ukrainian Endocronologist. Who also is a metabolism and diabetes specialist. Here I went in to get my thyroid medication level checked and slightly adjusted and an hour later I’m mid lecture about how I’m becoming insulin resistant and phrases such as “as we get older” and “no more flour tortillas” and “all the lettuce you could want” are getting bandied about WAYYYY to liberally for my taste. (My taste runs towards flour tortillas.) And I have to lose 10 pounds. Which I wanted to do, aesthetically, but to have to do it for medical reasons feels much different. Shittier different.
So here I am. While the shape was never really the issue, per se, it was, I believe, a firmness issue. See… I’ve become SUPER sedentary. I used to be a bit of a hardbody in my youth, what with full contact karate twice a week and distance biking 3 times a week… and even when I went to college I was able to maintain hard abs and thigh muscles of a size that made fitting pants tricky through no effort. But that muscle tone? So long gone, and I for one blame the children. I think that lack of muscle and the level-of-movement-of-a-knick-knack lifestyle is the issue really. So while it’s 10 lbs to lose it’s really a muscle to gain thing I think. Plus actually losing 10 lbs.
Plus the thing about no more bananas. Or sugar. Or watermelon. Or yogurt. Or beer. Or bread. Or mangos (which have an undertone of garbage- so no issue there).
Supposedly no flour tortillas or potatoes. Does my doctor know she’s talking to a Viva La Raza Irish chick? I’m a rule follower in general, but cutting down on those is going to have to be good enough. She’s Ukrainian. She’ll understand my Orange Revolution on those two. Hmmm… how many carbs in oranges? *typing sounds* And no more god damn oranges either unless I add THOSE to the dietary Orange Revolution… and frankly I think that’s almost required, really. So minimal flour tortillas, potatoes, and oranges- this I pledge.
Turns out my diet was about 86% carbs, so cutting them out actually gave me the “low carb flu” that felt, I assume, what withdrawal from heroin feels like. I’ve added some carbs back- but it’s a slippery slope of “I’ll just have one” or “I’ve been so good I deserve a reward” turning into full on former eating habits… sigh. I’ve lost, bouncing around, about 5 pounds so far. I worked out for the first time in hmmm- checks watch to see what decade it is– a long time. And I’m trying. Work to go. But there is all this life to be around for. And that’s the issue.
It rocked my world more than tweaking a fairly healthy existence should. Because it meant more than my shape. It meant health stuff. And me no like the health-stuff concerns. Having recently gone through a health-stuff loss and having family going through serious health-stuff currently it’s all just a little to close. But just because I have a toddler in diapers doesn’t mean I’m not getting older. How often have I said or thought “I’m too old for this shit?” ala Roger Murtaugh. Well turns out that’s literally becoming true. Tell me what you joke about, and I’ll tell you what you are.
Anyway. Also found out I have the genetic markers for heart issues making me 5+ times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke and excessive inflammation and other scary things. But jesus, we all die of something- is it weird that scares me way less than the insulin resistance thing? As long as my heart doesn’t go before the catastrophic porch swing accident at 93 while holding my 98 year old’s husband’s hand … well then I should be fine. 37 years down. 56 to go.
Wish me luck.
Other odd details not directly pertaining to the narrative here:
I measured at 5’5″ the first time I was at the endocrinologist. Was like WHAT THE FUCK I”M 5’7″ AND ITS INTEGRAL TO MY IDENTITY. Had myself measured at the chiropractor… 5’7 and 1/4″. Measured the next time at the endocronologist: 5′ 6″. NONE OF THESE SCALES ARE DIGITAL WHAT IS GOING ON?! I’m god damn 5’7″ and that’s final. I’ll be making them take my height again on Wednesday when I go back.
My doctor told me my thyroid medication levels were too high due to my height and weight, but my height is measuring wrong at your twilight zone of an office so what do we do now?
My blood work results were NINE pages long and went into genetic stuff and vitamin deficiencies. I now take COQ10 (whateverthefuckthatis), Fish oil supplements, Vitamin D, Vitamin A (whateverthefuckthatis), Sour Cherry Extract (whateverthefuckthatis) and I SWORE I’d be a “I get my vitamins from leafy greens” type of person and not a “I take handfuls of vitamins” type of person like somebody’s mother, but look at me now.
And my regular hypothyroidism has morphed into Hashimodo’s type hypothyroidism and I for one and glad someone with a cool name discovered that one. *Casts pitying glance at the folks with Asbergers*
Linking up with Fake Fabulous HERE
So much, amiright? Yes this has 2 sauces involved, I know, I KNOW- but it’s so good! And let’s face it, bbq chicken sandwiches can be a bit one note- the garlicky white sauce adds such a step up here- and that sauce is so easy and awesome on other things… most notably fries dipped right into it. And no, I am not one of those European weirdos who eats fries with mayo. (World War Ewwww raging with that one.)
And look- this should really be your very simple pantry staple meal. You’re not even cooking a chicken! It’s rotisserie! And while I know that’s a lot of different ingredients I’d really recommend having mustard, bbq sauce, rice wine vinegar (the very best vinegar, really. Screw that dye heavy, overpower-everything balsamic) soy sauce, garlic… you get where I’m going here right? Have staples and
you’ll be cooking. I can’t. I can’t let such a bad and unimaginative pun stand. Now I can’t think of anything else. Oh well. You quality staples buy. Good food makey makey.
As for the coleslaw… I buy prepackaged. I usually add rice wine vinegar (I SWEAR the rice wine vinegar cartel hasn’t threatened my family over here) since I find the packaged sauce too sweet usually. Serve it as a side and add some to the sandwiches. Is good.
Shredded BBQ Chicken
½ rotisserie chicken meat- shredded or cut into small pieces. Good way to maximize all of the … carcass is the only word here, but wasn’t one I necessarily wanted to use…
Sweet BBQ sauce
Rice wine vinegar
Combine in saucepan and heat through
1/3 to 1/2 Mayo
Lots of black pepper
Splash rice wine vinegar
Splash soy sauce
Small handful chopped parsley
1 clove garlic through garlic press
(combine and refrigerate for 1-2 hours)
Small dinner or Hawaiian rolls, cut in half and toasted
Toast rolls at 350 degrees in the oven for a few minutes. Slather one side of toasted rolls in white sauce, pile on bbq chicken, add sliced pickles and/or coleslaw and enjoy!
(Kids like it too. Don’t let them see you put the white sauce on, but don’t omit it- you’re developing their palates whether they know/like it or not)
It doesn’t feel like real loss. Not yet.
Please know, I’d have shed the tears (borrowed from that future when it finally hits home) at your funeral, if I could have.
Would that have honored more than their lack?
I meant no disrespect.
But even facing you then the loss didn’t hit home.
What did CS Lewis say? “You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body.” And the loss is not a loss, because the body was just a body, I guess.
Perhaps when my mind is not set on being strong for my children, as my husband and I hold them tight and lead them through their grief, the loss will finally feel like loss, fully.
And yet… I move underwater the first time I am back in a grocery store.
I wish for Victorian mourning clothes.
So cashiers can stop asking me how my weekend was or if I’m having a nice day.
So that the black full skirt and pleated bodice and high neck would tell them all they need to know.
So instead of the chitchat they could grab my forearm briefly and squeeze it. And say nothing.
The world is fast and bustling and makes me want to go back and not honk at all the people who were too slow to accelerate when the light turns green.
I bet they were grieving.
My loss is not a loss.
My loss is an idea, hurtling towards my reality.
The world lost a good man recently and his loss is all our loss.