A Love Affair

I am not really sure where I picked up my love for food. It’s not like I was born into a family of chefs. I was brought up on bologna sandwiches, Steak-umms, and tuna casserole with toast. I have an aunt who takes great pride in what I have dubbed her “Buster Brown” pot roast. And my grandmother would always put too much thyme into everything.

Full disclosure: I was in my late twenties before I realized she put too much “thyme” into her food, and not too much “time” into her food. For years I thought if you didn’t get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible your meal would be a disaster and everyone would sit around the table admonishing you for using too much effort.

I may not know where I picked up my love for food (making it is a whole different story), but I can tell you when it started.

I was in high school when I developed an irrational obsession with cafeteria pizza. “Cardboard” is what most of my peers referred to it as. Turns out I liked cardboard and their loss was my gain.

I’d bet the ranch and say there is pizza on this tray.

Luckily for me, I had a metabolism that lived on the Autobahn. These days my metabolism prefers to take the slow lane on Rural Route 9. Although I can no longer eat what I want without repercussions, I still do so with abandon.

I’m always hungry. I wake up hungry. I usually go to bed hungry. Food is almost always on my mind. Right now, I am thinking about when I can eat again. And I just had dinner. In my mind, I am scouring my refrigerator because I’m too lazy to get up. And from the looks of it, a call to Uber Eats may be in order.

You know how you feel after a Thanksgiving meal and you declare you are so full you are never eating again and then don’t for at least another day? Not only does that not happen to me, I don’t understand it.

The only time I’m not hungry is when I have a stomach bug. And even then I’m thinking, “what cracker would go well with my ginger ale?”

The newest thing I do is cry over a really good meal. Most recently was just last month over a bowl of lobster bolognese. Let me repeat that: I cried over a bowl of pasta. I don’t even cry at Hallmark commercials.

Exactly like this. Except I’m not faking it.

I also have taken to moaning out loud when I eat food I highly enjoy. I just can’t help myself. It kind of pops out of my mouth like a burp ramped up on rocket fuel. It’s quite embarrassing.

So, there you have it. I like food and I cannot lie. From toast to caviar. There isn’t much I won’t turn away.

Except black licorice. Black licorice tastes like the deep recesses of Hell and Hell is where it should stay. Oh wait, black licorice isn’t really considered food, is it?

Never mind.

The Long Ago Day of the Heel

I can’t pinpoint the date. Probably because it is not exactly what I would call traumatic. And besides, I feel like it was a slow death. Kind of like when your aging gums start to recede until you have no gums left at all. It’s gradual until the time has come for an alternative.

I have a closet full of them (heels not gums). They are all covered in a fine mist of dust and something that looks suspiciously like tumbleweeds stuck at the section where heel meets impossibly steep shank.

They were once very much loved. You can tell by the missing heel tips, and the rubbed-off leather on the technically speaking “counter” (the back of the shoe to you laymen) from using them as driving shoes.

The treatment they receive these days is less than par. Let’s just say if my shoes were human I would be spending the rest of my days making license plates and eating cold porridge for breakfast.

It will be one full year since this pandemic started and I was ousted from the office to work from the privacy of my own home. Yes, I am very lucky. No, I am not bragging. I’m just stating a fact.

Although I absolutely can blame the pandemic on many things, I cannot blame it on my inability to walk in shoes that have a heel height greater than a quarter of an inch.

Before this pandemic I wore flats to work most of the time. Once in a while if I was feeling crazy and wanted to completely let my hair down and get all “Girls Gone Wild” on myself, I would choose one of the two pairs of kitten heels I own.

For those of you who may not know what a kitten heel is, let me put it to you this way: there were plastic princess shoes with a higher heel in my child’s chest of dress-up clothes.

And I can’t wear them. These kitten heels. I try in vain, but by midday my puppies are barking at me like a couple of junkyard dogs.

The last time I recall wearing real high heels was at a nephew’s wedding nearly nine years ago. They are gorgeous, sparkly, open-toed, five-inch heeled stilettos. I have the photos to prove I kept them on longer than the church service.

These days if I even attempt to stand up in a pair of stilettos, I resemble a newborn baby elephant. Except the elephant is much more graceful. No matter how hard I try, I can barely get across the room without running the risk of spraining an ankle.

In my youth I could have run a marathon in high heels. I wore them as if I was born with them on my feet. The confidence I exuded from wearing a pair of four or five inch heels was incredible. And damn. They made my legs look great.

These days I look like a squatty sloth. My fuzzy slippers may be comfortable but they do nothing for me aesthetically. Although they do look real cute with my favorite pair of yoga pants. On days I want to get really freaky, I’ll wear a matching t-shirt.

So, that’s my story. My heel wearing days are over. Well, until my only child’s wedding day. I’ll just be sure there is a wheelchair nearby. Although, I suspect I’ll be utilizing that before the wedding march cues up.

The Accidental “Natural” Movement

It was a Saturday afternoon. Yesterday to be exact. I was sitting on my couch writing while listening to classical music. The classical music is good for me while I write so I don’t get distracted and break out into song. It’s kind of hard to put words to Mozart. Besides, I don’t think he’d appreciate it much. Dead or not.

I was just sitting there being productive and feeling good about myself when the dog started to lose it. It wasn’t his usual dispassionate bark at a passing squirrel. It was the “DANGER WILL ROBINSON!” type of bark that he does when someone is in our driveway.

After I peeled myself off the ceiling because I will never grow accustomed to the bark of a pissed-off German Shepherd, I looked toward the door and saw a man talking to Wolfgang (our dog, not Mozart) through the window.

It was a good friend who we haven’t been in close contact with in, dare I say, months. I was exceptionally excited. Aside from the hubs and strangers at the grocery store who may not be strangers because who the heck knows who anyone is these days, I haven’t seen people.

I am a social creature by nature and this pandemic is slowly killing my mojo. Any sign of life gives me a shot of adrenaline that could get me through another week.

What is important to note is that it was 2 o’clock in the afternoon. I was in the same leggings and sweatshirt I wore on my walk that morning. I hadn’t showered, let alone refreshed my armpits with deodorant. My head hadn’t seen the working side of a brush in three days, and I’m not even confident my teeth had either.

Thank God for the small miracle called a mask, of which our friend respectfully donned.

Typically, I would have ninja’ed myself behind the couch — a move I execute when there is a Jehovah’s Witness sighting — where I would have stayed until either DH answered the door or our friend just gave up and went away. But these days I don’t care.

I did chase our mailman halfway down the driveway in a robe and not much else last year to give him his Christmas card. But he’s the mailman. Like my doctor, if he’s seen one crazed middle-aged woman, he’s seen them all.

These days when I try to apply make-up I come away looking more like John Wayne Gacy in full costume instead of, well, me. I neglect to brush my teeth every now and then, and I’m not even sure I recall how to use a hairbrush anymore. Forget about shaving my legs. I may as well move to a hippie commune. I would probably fit in quite well.

It is what it is. This is me now. Although, I was never one to be defined by beauty — or lack thereof — I at least had the decency to do one or all of the above before I went out in public.

Let’s just say that was how I gave back to my community. No need to thank me.

Our friend didn’t flinch. I don’t know if it was out of courtesy, or he just has gotten so used to this new world, he didn’t notice. I think we’re all so conditioned to the continued foul “smell” of 2020, it doesn’t even register on the radar anymore. It’s like being nose blind, but for the eyes.

I know I’m not alone. It may take some time, but hopefully we can all put our hippie days behind us at some point and go about our business as usual, and not like a deranged serial killer who dresses like a clown.

Although hippies are on to something, don’t you think?

Welcome to Password Hell

You don’t need to tell me why the password is so important. I get it. Speaking from someone who had her Facebook hacked recently, I understand that more than I understand why my nose is on my face (to hold up my reading glasses, of course).

Brilliant.

By the way, if you haven’t had your Facebook account hacked you have not lived. The adrenaline rush from the moment you realize what has happened until that very last online account has been disabled, is so intense it should count as a ten mile run out of the Grand Canyon.

Alas, all it does is shave a few years off your life. That level of unfairness is equal to not being able to ride Magic Mountain at Disney World because you’re too short.

The other night we wanted to get into Apple TV. We’ve had Apple TV for a very long time and use it often. In this time of Quarantine Living there isn’t much else to do as I am sure you can attest to.

I couldn’t get in. Well, I did eventually but only after too many tries to count, a lot of cursing, and so much hair pulling I’m surprised I’m not as bald as a newborn baby’s ass.

How dare it tell me my password was incorrect.

It really set the mood for the rest of the evening. Actually, I’m still pissed about it and am in a bit of a standoff with Apple TV at the moment. Guns are drawn. I’ll let you know who wins (hint: it won’t be me).

I recently bought a new MacBook. With this MacBook, there is a feature that allows you to use your fingerprint to gain access into your accounts.

Except it seems it doesn’t always perform.

I tried to get into my WordPress account where I keep my blog. Except my fingerprint wouldn’t work. This was on the same day as the Apple TV debacle. You can imagine the bloodshed at my house. If motherboards and processors count as blood.

The fingerprint does not change. I may not have paid much attention in science class, but this I know.

I have been relying on the fact that my computer remembers my passwords for so long that I had completely forgotten what it was.

Here came the adrenaline rush again. At this point I should be primed to be a contestant on American Ninja Warrior. Instead I’m afraid I’ll be hitting a ripe old age sooner than I want to. At the rate it’s going, that will be next Tuesday.

The worst is when you take a few days off from work. When you return, the screen stares at you, begging for the password. The only problem is, you have turned your brain off for a few days and POOF! The part of your brain that holds your passwords has been disabled. Went on vacation to Tahiti. It’s just a shame it didn’t take you with it.

And even though your laptop says to “click here” for a password reset, it doesn’t work. You inevitably will need to call the Helpdesk and spend an hour trying to explain to the nice Helpdesk guy what it is you are trying to accomplish. More frustration will ensue. Your call will need to be escalated.

You sit without access to your work computer. You need to take another day off. Your brain falls deeper into the black hole of nothingness. Although from what I’ve gathered from HGTV, Tahiti is anything but nothingness.

Maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit, but you get my gist, right? Surely you can relate.

What kills me the most is when you FOR SURE have entered the correct password. You have it written down in your little notepad of passwords. This little notepad is your bible and it’s never wrong.

Yet, the account you are trying desperately to gain access to says otherwise.

Then you take a deep breath and attempt to reset your password. Again. The new password you use is the password you thought it was. Except you get an error that you can’t use an old password.

By now, the site you are trying to get into decides to lock you out.

This is when you incur some brain damage from all the head banging you begin to do.

Eh. You really didn’t need to get into your bank account anyway. There are more important things that need to get done besides being sure that check you wrote to Home Goods doesn’t bounce.

Like watching your favorite show through Apple TV.

Oh right. You can’t get in.

A Purse Through the Decades

Purse. Pocketbook. Handbag. Satchel. Trash bag. There are many names for it. I guess it’s all in what you prefer. And perhaps your mood.

Men don’t feel the need to carry around items they most likely will not use during their time away from home. Does that mean they are smarter than us?

No.

We’re just more prepared. Even though there’s a pretty fat chance I will not need that pair of earrings from the last wedding I attended in 2012.

I don’t even wear earrings so that one’s just as much a mystery to me as it is to you.

It’s not like we’re going camping. I don’t even like camping. So, why carry on with my day as if that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing? All it does is cause frustration and a bad neck.

Anyway, the contents of my purse have morphed over the years.

When I was a teenager in the 80’s this included a black eyeliner pencil, a BIC lighter to melt the black eyeliner pencil with, and the occasional maxi pad. Back then I was always caught off guard. Knowing when you would get your period came with the wisdom that age brings. And a certain number of ruined Jordache jeans.

There would be a roach clip, but don’t tell my parents. The buckle that fell off my beloved Chinese Slippers, a glass roller ball tube of Bonne Bell lipgloss — bubble gum flavored, of course. And a pack of Hubba Bubba.

I had the keys to my beat up Chevy Nova among the rubble, and a handwritten note that a friend passed to me during History class. Oh, and dimes in case I had to make a phone call from one of the many pay phones that hung in the lobby of my high school.

In my twenties, I graduated to tampons and finally learned to permanently leave them in my bag. My lip gloss was replaced by brown Revlon lipstick. A box of fruity Chiclet gum, quarters, a spare pair of L’eggs that came in a plastic egg would be in there. And keys to the Geo Storm that remarkably behaved like a lemon.

My thirties brought on Pampers, used breast pads, a rattle, and loose Cheerios. A flip phone, chapstick, my checkbook, and six month old receipts. Maxi pads as well as tampons (I don’t want to talk about it), and keys to both my house and my ever reliable and roomy Nissan Pathfinder.

Although you would no longer find Pampers or maxi pads in my bag when I was in my forties, you may have found a random Poise pad thrown in there. Girlfriends and wine suddenly had that effect on me. My flip phone was replaced by an iPhone. Water bottles, bobbie pins, sock glue, and the like for all the irish dance competitions The Kid was fond of dancing in.

A tin of Altoids, and stale gum that inevitably fell out of its wrappers and stuck to anything it came in contact with. Ruining perfectly good leather wallets and…ahem, Chapstick.

These days you will find Lysol wipes, masks, and hand sanitizer thanks to a little thing called a Pandemic. A wallet that is stuffed with more crap than I care to discuss. Yes, that includes an expired gift card from Chuck E. Cheese and my AARP card.

Tums, Advil, and Preparation H have replaced all beauty items. A bottle of Poo-Pourri, a notebook, chocolate kisses, toothpaste, and a pen can also be found. I keep the pen for when I need to jot down an idea I have. Also, to leave behind a note in case someone kidnaps me.

I can sit and wonder what I’ll carry in my next decade, but I’m going to take a quick guess and say it will probably be hard candy and Bingo cards.

I’ll get back to you on that in about six years. Whoa. Did I just say that out loud?

Wax or Wane

I am not here to discuss the third grade teachings of the moon as the title of this post would have you believe. Instead I am here to discuss my quiet and sudden obsession with candles and what happens when you try to give them life when a wick has gone rogue.

I have a drawer full of candles of all sizes and scents in my office. There are some I don’t much enjoy, but won’t get rid of because I like my candle drawer filled to the brim. As much as it goes against the grain in this Marie Kondo world of unloading items that do not spark joy, this drawer just gives me a certain amount of personal satisfaction.

Along with these candles are books of matches. I’m not sure how I procured so many of them. Outside of the time I pretended to inhale a cigarette when I was fourteen years old, I never smoked. Lucky for me they are great for lighting things other than cigarettes.

Like candles.

The candles that have caused me some discontent

I have two candles I am especially fond of and are aptly named “Books” and “Bungalow.” If you light them together, you would swear you were reading a book in a bungalow.

Why I didn’t think to light the “Beach Grass” is beyond me. Just like that I could have been reading a book in my beachside bungalow. Ahh, so many missed opportunities.

The wicks on both these candles had gone into hiding. I tried everything short of calling in Search & Rescue, but nothing worked. They sat for months until I had the bright idea of hitting YouTube the other day. Don’t ask me what took so long. Like my prepubescent boobs, I’m always a little bit behind.

I found this guy Jeff and in about a minute and a half, discovered how I could easily dig out my wicks.

Bottom line is you point a heat gun at the problematic candle, melt the wax, pour the melted wax out, and voila! You have found your wick. Light and be merry.

Unfortunately for me, I do not possess a heat gun and neither does DH. The latter really surprises me since he owns more tools than the local Harbor Freights.

Fortunately for me, I do own a blow dryer. Two of them, in fact. So, I chose the one I thought would produce the most heat and got to work.

It started out well enough. It was a wee bit messy, but I was happy to see what the man said would happen — the wax was melting. I grabbed a couple squares of toilet paper to wipe the sides of the candle jar and continued on.

Except after another few seconds of torching my candle, toilet paper squares were not really cutting it. Because I’m a genius, I placed a nearby catalog under the candle to catch any wax that was spilling over.

And because I am also a rule follower, I poured out whatever wax was melted as I was told to do. Lo and behold my once hidden wick was standing out in the open like a soldier ready for battle.

I repeated the steps above for candle number two.

Later that evening as I was preparing for bed, I stepped into the bathroom to find it smelling like a candle factory. That would have been just fine seeing that the scent was a combination of my favorite candles, but then I felt some things under my bare feet.

Upon closer inspection I discovered they were dried up balls of wax. Melted to the floor tile. All of the floor tile.

And just like that, within a nano second of this discovery, the balls of wax seemed to multiply by the hundreds, perhaps even thousands.

Like fruit flies.

They were everywhere.

On the mirrors, walls, sink, countertop, toothbrushes. On the toilet, in the toilet, over the toilet. On the back of the door, the shower curtain, the window shade. And if I were a betting woman, I would guess on the ceiling as well, but I’m too short and afraid to look.

I set out to get it cleaned up, when I had a thought.

And that’s when I lit my “Clean” candle. Still waiting for results, but my mama didn’t raise no quitter.

Also, thanks for the warning, Jeff. Not everyone is a Captain Obvious.


“Paper Towels Paper Towels Paper Towels” — A Short Story Involving Menopause Brain

That’s me repeating to myself what I need to get from the pantry. On the way to the pantry I stop to pick up a random leaf that has blown in from the back door that, in turn, requires me to turn around and throw in the kitchen trashcan.

Pinterest.com

While I’m at the kitchen trashcan, I notice it is full so I pull out the bag and reach under the sink to grab a new one. While under there I notice we are running low on sponges. I go to the junk drawer for a slip of paper and a pen to start a grocery list.

I can’t find a pen, so I head upstairs to my office. While in my office, I see that I left a bill on my desk that needs to be mailed. I grab the envelope to bring out to the mailbox. When I get back downstairs, I realize I have to go to the bathroom. I stop in the bathroom and notice I need to replenish the toilet paper.

I head back upstairs to the hall closet and realize I never made my bed. While in the bedroom, I see there is a glass on the side table that I need to bring to the kitchen. On my way to the kitchen, I stop in the upstairs bathroom because I need a hair tie.

All this running around has made me hot.

I go downstairs again and stand in the kitchen staring at nothing in particular. What was I doing? I don’t remember. I’ll retrace my steps. That will help.

On my step-retracing journey, I notice an empty water glass on the sink in the upstairs bathroom, the hall closet is wide open, my bed is half made, the garbage can in the kitchen is in need of a bag, there is no toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom, there is an unstamped envelope in my hand, and my hair is tied up.

How did that happen?

I’m sure it started with that walk to the pantry. But what was it that I needed? Paprika? Or was it sponges? Oh where was that grocery list I started? That’s right. I don’t have a pen.

But first I need to wash my hands.

Dammit. We’re out of paper towels.

“Paper towels paper towels paper towels,” I say to myself as I walk toward the pantry.

And that, my friends, is how I ended up sweeping out the garage.

The Drink

(NOTE: If you think you are an alcoholic, please seek help. This post is not meant to poke fun at anyone who has a serious drinking problem and needs help quitting.)

It’s no secret that I enjoy drinking. I don’t enjoy getting drunk and I most definitely do not enjoy a hangover, especially at my age. But I do enjoy a glass of wine. It is a part of my nightly routine. You know, like brushing my teeth and washing my face, except more fun.

My problem is it’s not just one glass of wine. It’s two or three. And if I’m going to be really honest, sometimes it’s four. I know my limit. I know when to stop to avoid the dreaded hangover.

Before the pandemic, I made a “no drinking on a work night” rule for myself. I stuck to it for a while. But true to form, I gave up and gave in. I am a social creature and love to hang out with friends and it was always the “let’s meet Tuesday night for pizza and wine,” or something like it that would undo me.

And then the pandemic hit. No more Tuesday night pizza and wine with friends. I may have not been physically with them but my brain didn’t get the memo. Also, the Happy Hour Zoom and Houseparty calls did not help.

It seemed to be the trend (it took me five seconds to find out that alcohol consumption went up by 78% in 2020). That was a trend I could get behind. It was the perfect excuse to drink every single night if I wanted to. After all, everyone else was doing it, so it must be ok.

image courtesy of @ marriage.meme

After about seven months I decided the drinking was out of control, so I reinstated my rule of “no drinking on a week night.” I was tired of being “off” the next morning. Exhausted and groggy and full of regret. After all, I was doing so many great things for myself like eating right and exercising. Alcohol didn’t seem to fit in with all that.

On October 5th I stopped drinking during a weeknight. Again. But this time it stuck.

Also, I did a little research. Apparently, one glass of wine a day is fine. It even has some heart healthy benefits. But more than that? Not so much.

Did you know eight alcoholic beverages a week for women is considered heavy drinking? Me either. During the early months of this pandemic, I was probably drinking close to twenty drinks per week.

Do you know what else drinking can cause? High blood pressure, liver disease, cancer, and memory problems, just to name a few. Bottom line is drinking did not fit in with how I pictured my current and future self and I desperately needed to make some changes.

Enter “The Empowerment Experience” Stage Left. It’s run by a pretty badass woman and made up of some pretty badass women. And for lack of a better way to describe it, it’s a “course” that basically helps you to get your shit together. I know I could have backed off the drinking on my own eventually if I pushed myself (maybe), but this group really helped me to commit, be accountable, and sit through discomfort.

Every week we choose one challenge for ourselves. It doesn’t matter what it is. Making the “no weeknight drinking” rule held me accountable. We check in with each other every single day. Some of us have a little setback. That’s life. Sometimes we take two steps forward, and one back. My point is I truly believe this group is what made me want to finally make it stick.

But I still had the issue of the weekend. I was treating them like a free-for-all and for all the work I did during the week, I just reversed it by the time Friday night arrived. So, I did something I never in a million years thought I would or even could commit to.

And it’s call “Dry January.”

I never thought I could do this. I have learned how to sit through discomfort. Nine times out of ten, the feeling of wanting a glass of wine passes.

So far it has been eleven days. That included two weekends and even a very small, safe gathering with a few girlfriends, and I am happy to say I haven’t had anything but tea and water. Oh, and a little sparkling white grape juice.

Every morning I wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to face the day with no regrets.

I do not typically do affiliate stuff. It’s just not my thing. But this is something I really want to share because it works and I feel very passionate about it. Otherwise, I would not be here talking about it.

If you are in need of a change in your life — it could be anything from needing to exercise more to losing weight and anything your heart desires in between — and are ready and willing to put in the work, this program is for you. Unlike my “morning after” you will have no regrets. (Click on image below to get started — you’ll be glad you did)

The Empowerment Experience

229 Minutes

That’s how long I was sitting in line to get tested for Covid-19 this past Saturday. 229 minutes. For those of you who don’t feel like doing the calculation, or if you’re like me and are not good at third grade math or just don’t have the ability to run numbers in your head as quickly as Sir Isaac Newton, that computes to three hours and forty-nine minutes.

Nearly four hours to receive a covid test. It takes less time to run the Boston marathon. Or to take a round trip flight to Wisconsin from New York. But don’t take a trip because we are in a pandemic. You probably shouldn’t do any marathons either. This pandemic is a killjoy.

I could have saved myself four hours

Long story short, I wanted to be tested because Friday night I felt like I was coming down with a cold and woke up Saturday morning congested and headachy and exhausted. The kind of exhaustion that renders you incapable of doing anything outside of rolling over.

I also had a dream that a friend’s cat was talking to me.

I know many people who came down with the dreaded ‘rona and it started out the exact same way…cold-like symptoms and weird dreams.

Unfortunately, there was not one single appointment at a local walk-in clinic or pharmacy inside of 72 hours and my PCP doesn’t have weekend hours. My only option was one of those places you see on the news where the cars snake around for what seems like miles.

Every time I see this madness on the evening news I am astounded. It always reminds me of one of those apocalyptic movies where people are trying to get out of dodge en masse. I swore that would never be me. But there I was. Stuck in a line of cars, but without an apocalypse or zombie to be had.

What does one do for four hours while deliberately waiting for someone to shove a ten-inch Q-tip up your nostrils?

In my case, I spent an hour talking on the phone with my parents, did a little Facebook scrolling, texted some friends complaining about the injustice of it all, and enjoyed a little people watching.

In 229 minutes I saw a car overheat and get towed away, I saw a man walk up the long line of cars with a red gas can. Not sure if he was selling gas or if he just simply ran out. But darn. That’s not a bad side gig.

I myself only had a quarter of a tank of gas leftover from when I filled my car in September, so it could happen. There are stranger things. I mean, I was willingly waiting in line for 229 minutes to have my brain tickled. Saturdays sure aren’t what they used to be.

Where was I? Oh yeah, people watching.

I watched the teenager in the car in front of me get out of the vehicle, walk down the hill, and come back with food an hour later.

I saw a man get food delivered to his car. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that. I was so hungry by the end of this, I was close to exiting my vehicle and start grazing on the fir tree to my right.

I did panic a bit when I realized that if I had to go to the bathroom, I wouldn’t be able to. Turns out there was a bathroom at the three hour mark, but it also turns out there was a note on the door. Not sure what it said because I couldn’t see from my vantage point, but my guess is it wasn’t, “Welcome all who could potentially be infected with the Covid-19 virus, please come on in and sit a spell so you can continue to spread your germs all over the universe.”

After three hours, one of the nice volunteers came up to my car to scan my online registration, thanked me profusely for doing so, and stuck a Post-It note on my windshield with my test number. She told me I was almost there with “only” about another hour to go.

When I got close enough to see the front of the line, I started timing how long it took for one vehicle to get through the actual testing area — anywhere from a minute and a half to two minutes. When I pulled up, I was done in well under a minute.

In other words, register online for these things if you can, people. It will save a lot of time for everyone.

The lady who administers the test and looks as if she is going to do a mold remediation on you instead of a simple nose swab, greeted me with what I could gather was a smile on her face even though she was working her butt off in the wind and cold all alone to test 400 people. I appreciate her.

But I wouldn’t blame her one bit if she lost her mind and ended up shoving that Q-tip all the way to the temporal lobe and killed us all. Wow. That took a turn. I’ve been watching too much Netflix. Maybe Disney Channel would be a better choice.

The Verdict: The specimen that was collected from the deep recesses of my face on the end of that ten inch Q-tip has determined I am Covid-19 negative. Should have done the cover test (see meme above).

Our Family Christmas Letter – Volume 9 but really 8

I am aware this Christmas letter should be Volume 9 but I don’t know what happened last year. Either there wasn’t much to report or I was just lazy. I vote for the latter.

Move away from the tequila, 2021. Meme courtesy of Malicious Women Co.

Happy “Thank God This Year Is Almost Over” to you all! 2020 was a complete cluster-fart. How could any of us have imagined that we would be in a global pandemic by mid-March? The one good thing about that is I didn’t have to follow through with my New Year’s resolutions. Not that I would have anyway, but I feel like I had a valid excuse this time. I can’t remember what exactly that excuse was, but I’ll get back to you.

The Kid graduated from college in May. She was supposed to graduate with the traditional pomp and circumstance of a proper graduation. But, like everyone else who had a graduation this year, the pomp was cancelled due to the circumstance. It was quite disappointing. There were enough tears shed to cause a second flood. And that was just from me.

Instead it was moved to our driveway and included strangers walking by and a thing called Facebook Live. A pitcher of white sangria and some balloons made it feel less driveway-ee. My graduation speech was way better than what Oprah would have said probably. Just ask my parents. They were so proud. Oh wait, this isn’t about me.

DH is doing fine and dandy. We are both lucky enough to be able to work from home which brings on a whole new meaning to “spending quality time together.” The good news is no one is dead. We do have our own separate office which helps. I just need to stop screaming to the other room for him to bring me my lunch. I should probably invest in a cow bell.

DH is one year closer to retirement. I guess I’m one year closer to retirement as well, but there is quite an age gap between us so he’ll get there much sooner than I will. I remember how fun it always was that I was the younger one. No one warned me about this new development.

It was just DH and me for Thanksgiving as it will be for Christmas. We are playing the Responsible Citizens of the World by keeping our circle closed. I made a turkey with all the fixings for Thanksgiving. I’ve never done that before and I have enough leftovers to feed the entire Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I would invite you over, but we are in a global pandemic. Also, the turkey is starting to smell funny. My New Year’s resolution for 2021 should include “stop making science projects in the fridge.”

Aside from my science projects, I have started a new hobby called Watercoloring. Like knitting, I thought I was going to rock it. You know, because according to me I am naturally gifted in all mediums of art stuff. But like knitting, my work looks like a five year old did it. I apologize to all five year olds out there for being offensive. You shouldn’t be reading my blog anyway. Hell, you shouldn’t even be reading yet. If you can, then may I suggest “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss? That was a good one.

I started out 2020 going to the gym everyday after work, but then Covid hit and the gym shut down. Oh, I think I just thought of my valid excuse from paragraph #1 and I’m sticking to it.

I spent the first three to four months in quarantine eating all the things and drinking all the drinks that my car now knows how to get to the liquor store and the local bakery all on its own. I am currently trying to work feverishly to catch up on my 2020 resolution of losing weight before the new year hits. I thought I was doing pretty good, but it turns out my underwear are just stretched out.

Oh, I did want to mention a positive from this past year: For ages I’ve been trying to figure out how to check my breath and just like that — BAM — put on a mask and I get my answer. There is a silver lining to everything.

That just about sums it up. For the record, 2021 will not be my year. I said 2020 would be and look where that got me. This is called “nipping it in the bud.” I just remembered being proactive was one of my 2020 resolutions. Actually, no it wasn’t. But it’s never too late to change. Just ask my stretched out underwear.