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Showing posts from October, 2015

20 Years Ago

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20 years ago this week, I left my hometown, my extended family, my job, my friends, and everything I knew. I took a chance and moved 1,000 miles away from my home in Northern Virginia. It was just a few days before Halloween, in 1995. My boyfriend and I packed up everything in our apartment, including our two kitties, and hit the road. Why did we move? Well, my boyfriend (who later became my husband, of course) was a Midwestern boy. After he left the Marine Corps, he wanted to move back home. He asked me if I wanted to come, too. There were many good reasons why it all made sense: lower cost of living, decent job market, and affordable real estate. Also, I had finished college and now it was his turn to go. He had the GI Bill waiting for him. Plus, we knew that we planned to get married and buy a house. With even the skinniest townhouses selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars in Virginia, we could spend a lot less and get a lot more. And so, we packed up and moved.

The transiti…

Boys Don't Listen

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My husband is a good egg. He really is. He's a great dad. He works two jobs to provide for our family. Sure, he reads comic books and he has a metal container full of multi-sided dice (that I don't think I'm supposed to mention, so shhhhh), but I think he spends a lot more mental energy putting up with my quirks than I do with his.

He is not, however, a good listener. Tired of answering questions like "What are we doing this weekend?" I bought a magnetic monthly calendar and slapped it onto the refrigerator door. I make sure it's always up to date.  Of course, this doesn't stop him from asking questions like, "What time are you leaving for church?" (Answer: "The same time I've been leaving for church for nearly a decade now.")

It does get a wee bit frustrating at times. One day last week I needed to take my daughter to the orthodontist at 8:30 a.m. The night before, I told my dear husband that I had turned off the kid's alarm c…

Unattended Parents

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Our daughter went to an overnight camp with her choir group last weekend. The choir people are very organized. They sent out a very detailed checklist. She needed to bring a flashlight, two changes of clothing, her sheet music, and a bunch of other stuff.  I had to go to the grocery store on Friday evening so I left her to do the packing. I figured . . . she's 10 1/2, the checklist was very explicit, and she should be mature enough to handle this sort of thing on her own.

Needless to say, she didn't pack while I was a the grocery store. So, I made some rumblings about canceling the trip and then she stomped off to her room, ostensibly to pack.  The next morning, I went to the gym and to Weight Watchers, then dashed home to grab a shower before dropping her off for camp. She was so excited and couldn't wait to go. When we got to the church parking lot (the choir's offices are inside a local church), she checked in and then hopped on the bus. I put her duffel bag in the…

No More Brace Face

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The kid got her braces off today. She was a pretty good sport about it. They also fitted her for a retainer, which we will pick up next week.

When I look back at photos of her taken a couple years ago, I can really see a huge difference. The palate expander re-arranged her face (by correcting an underbite) and then the braces straightened the top teeth. So, for the moment, we are in good shape. She'll wear the retainer until she loses enough baby teeth that it no longer fits. Or, until she leaves it on her lunch tray at school and throws it away, I guess.

I do suspect that we have some more dental woes ahead of us. The kid has a baby tooth that will need to be pulled because it is attached directly to the bone. It hasn't "erupted" properly. (Is it just me or is it super gross to use the word "erupt" in conjunction with one's mouth?!) We'll address that wacky tooth at her next dental appointment this winter. Also, we don't know what will happen …

Mandatory Halloween Activities

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Last week, I packed up my summer clothes. We were getting close to the freezing mark at night and I found myself needing a jacket for the chilly journey to work in the mornings. So, I figured it was time. My closet is too small to host winter clothes and summer clothes simultaneously, so I swap them out seasonally. So, my flip-flops, tees, and capri pants were unceremoniously shoved into plastic totes, which were then stacked precariously in our basement.

What this means, of course, is that the temperature immediately skyrocketed to 76 degrees. Sunday was flat-out hot. It was in the 60s on Saturday. The kid had a friend over on Sunday and I all but begged the girls to play outside. "You won't see 76 again for at least eight months," I told them. They didn't look up from their iPads. Because Minecraft.

Anyway, we did some traditional October-y stuff over the weekend. On Saturday, we joined a group from our church at a farm (about an hour south of our house). It was a …

A fast is so slow

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On Friday, October 2nd, I completed the #fastagainstslaughter sponsored by the Farm Animal Rights Movement. I have to confess that I felt a bit anxious beforehand. The last time I missed three meals in a row was when I had my foot surgery last spring, and in that case it was because of the painkillers. The pills told me, "You don't need food, you only need uuuuuuuusss!" The pills also told me to sleep a lot.

My last meal was on Thursday. I went to the gym and then had tofu scramble for dinner. It's heavy on protein and usually keeps me full for a while. On Friday, I skipped breakfast and then headed to work as usual. At work I sometimes chew gum to keep me from eating other stuff. I couldn't decide if chewing gum would be cheating or not, so I opted to go gum-free for the day. I usually also eat a granola bar mid-morning when I'm at work. On Friday, I could hear them calling me from my desk drawer. "We have nuts and choooocolate," they said. "…

File this under "over-sharing"

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Knowing what to share (and what not to share) on my blog . . . it's a fine line sometimes. There are lots of intensely personal thoughts and events that I certainly do not share here. I'm sure I am guilty of sharing too much at times. I know my daughter wishes I'd keep more of her escapades to myself. In many ways, I consider my blog to be a chronicle of her early years. Even now, it's fun to go back to the early entries (written when she was two) and remind myself of just how fun it was to housebreak a toddler. I am capable of keeping some things to myself, though.

In this case, I couldn't decide. But, here goes.

A few days ago, a blood test confirmed what I have basically known (or at least strongly suspected) for a year. I'm in menopause. Not perimenopause or some other cousin to menopause. I'm in full-on menopause. Part of me was comfortable with the idea. Now I don't have to wonder. Part of me felt like it was just one more "fuck you" fr…