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Life is too short for white walls and self-hatred

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The life expectancy for an American female born in 1970 is 74.7 years. My weird health history makes me think that I could be looking at a lower figure. I definitely need to live long enough to see if my husband finally figures out how to put the frying pans away properly. (He puts the largest one on top, which results in me shrieking, "They're meant to NEST, for fuck's sake!") I also need to make sure my baby girl pursues her dreams relentlessly - she might need me on hand to swat away any doubters.  Thinking about my own mortality lately has led to a couple of minor revelations. The first involves our home. The three of us (plus two dogs, one cat, and one gecko) live in a fairly standard three-bedroom ranch-style house. We could have moved to something bigger years ago, but we opted not to do so. We moved several times in our younger years (including a cross-country move) and we were pretty much over the joys of moving by the time we bought our home. We've raise

Back to regularly scheduled programming (sort of)

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I'll bet you thought I forgot I had a blog. When my daughter was younger, there were so many milestones to document and celebrate. I churned out blog posts pretty regularly back then. How many did I write on potty training alone? These days, there is much to celebrate but eh, she already knows how to walk, is potty trained, and can ride a two-wheeler. Recently, I hung a framed letter board in A's hangout room in the basement. It currently bears a quote from Hairspray ("I'll eat some breakfast, then change the world"), but I've definitely been tempted to change it to something like, "She used to poop in the tub."  My daughter is now a junior in high school. Losing over a year of in-person schooling to COVID leaves me feeling perplexed about how we got here. She was a freshman and now she's graduating a mere 20 months from now? Her school is currently in session five days a week, in person, and masks are required. I've heard of parents pulling

No booze, but just enough hair to get by

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Today is my 100th alcohol-free day in a row. January 3rd was the last time I raised a wine glass to my lips. The next day, I started a 100-day challenge with one of my sisters. Her challenge also included daily activity - my commitment to that part was much more sporadic. We can't all be athletic, you know! Geez!  There have been a few drinkers in our family tree over the centuries, so we are well aware of how easy it is to slide across the line from "I enjoy a glass of wine after work" to "I need wine and lots of it. Now." I've never considered myself to be a problem drinker, but sometimes I think I enjoy it more than I probably should. Typically, I just have a glass of Cabernet and go to bed. If I have an extra glass of wine, I'll have to get up and pee in the middle of the night. There are practical reasons not to over-indulge, you see. #oldladyproblems When my sister told me about the challenge, I thought it would be an interesting experiment. I invi

Something out of nothing: the cozy hangout room

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Like most families, we've spent a LOT of time together over the last year. Our house is not huge (it's a three-bedroom ranch), which is fine for our smallish clan. However, there aren't a lot of options for space when one of us wants to watch a show that no one else likes or when my husband wants to play some dumb game on his PS4. I have an office, but I work from home and spend 50ish hours a week in there already. In other words, not where I want to hang out on a Friday night. The three of us end up competing for the living room. When my daughter and her boyfriend were still together, they'd often watch a movie in the living room and the mister and I would have nowhere to go. We'd usually just watch TV in our bedroom. One time, I stayed in the living room and watched a movie with them, which wouldn't be noteworthy except that there was a prolonged sex scene and A's boyfriend looked like he was hoping the couch would swallow him whole. "Not in front of

I did a thing - let the shaming begin

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Let me start by saying that I'm well aware that we are in the throes of a global pandemic. I wear a mask everywhere I go. I carry hand sanitizer even though I've always preferred good old-fashioned hand-washing. I also carry disinfecting wipes. I work from home and do delivery/carry-out more often than my budget can accommodate, if I'm being honest. For my groceries, I either schedule no-contact pick-ups or I shop at 6:00 a.m. when only weirdo morning people like me are in the grocery store.  I've traveled a few times since the pandemic began, not because I'm throwing caution to the wind, but because I think we have to find a way to do some normal stuff, but more carefully than before. After carefully weighing the risks, I decided to fly to Texas with my daughter recently. We had an invitation to attend my cousin's wedding. Technically, it was my cousin's daughter. I always thought my cousin's child is defined as my second cousin, but I did a little digg

Digesting Some Thoughts on the Election

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I got the news as I was out shopping for birthday gifts for my niece. I had just pulled into a Mobil station to get gas and a Wild Cherry Pepsi. My phone dinged with a new email. It was from Rolling Stone magazine. "Joe Biden is the President-Elect" read the headline. Immediately, I felt like a weight (a racist/homophobic/transphobic/ableist/xenophobic/misogynistic/climate change-denying weight) had been lifted from my shoulders. I finished filling my tank and headed inside to grab my Pepsi. I don't drink coffee but I was in need of some caffeine. There was no one inside except the clerk. Suddenly, I became Mrs. Extrovert. "How are you?!" I asked. Then, when I was checking out: "I love your nail polish!"  Back in my car, a scene from Toy Story 2 popped into my head. Remember the flight attendant Barbie in the post-credits scene? I posted a meme of Barbie saying "Buh Bye Now" on Facebook with no caption. On my way to my next stop, I called my

My visit to the Twilight Zone - er, Oklahoma

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Now that I've laid bare my angst over remote learning, let's chat about my wacky trip to Oklahoma. Is it a weird time to travel? Yes. Did I go anyway? Also yes. My youngest sister and her family already had COVID so visiting them didn't feel super risky (to either party). I was also visiting my mom and stad, which was certainly scarier. They confirmed that they definitely wanted me to come, with my mom saying, "Well, you gotta drop dead sometime." I think we've all developed this sort of gallows humor now.  I boarded a flight at the crack of dawn on October 21st, "enjoyed" an extended layover in Denver, and then arrived in Oklahoma City by mid-afternoon. My flights were fine (it's nice that Southwest is keeping middle seats open at the moment), though I definitely developed a new appreciation for people who have to wear a mask all day at jobs and such. When I landed in OK, it was roughly forty degrees warmer than the weather I'd left that mor