Thursday, October 10, 2013

Slept like a baby

I am a good sleeper. I think I always have been. I lay down, I fall asleep, I stay asleep, and I think sometimes I would just keep sleeping forever if some outside force did not wake me up. That being said, I made a fascinating discovery last night. My baby girl has gone off to college which is super fun, super exciting, and super weird because she's 6 hours away and her absence has totally changed the family dynamic. (ie, those of us at home are all getting fatter which is a problem we need to resolve ASAP but I digress) Anyhoo, she came home last night to spend the weekend of her Fall Break sleeping in her own bed. I did not realize, until I woke up this morning, that I have not actually been sleeping as well since she left. There is a low level hum of disquietude(?)in my psyche as a result of her absence that I just did not acknowledge until the moment at which I realized, last night, that both my kids were home, in their beds, in my house and we were all together again. I achieved a level of harmonious relaxation that has been missing since she left. It was startling. I have to wonder if parents ever get "used" to that. They must. I hope so.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend Recap

Had a super fun weekend.  Got to hang out with some long time friends (note I did not call them OLD FRIENDS).

Went riding (which I have not done in at least 20 years and my arse is paying for it today, but it was totally worth it):

We are piglet sitting our second runt, and we have seriously bonded with this little guy "Bean the Wonder Pig" which is a bummer because he has to go home on Wednesday.  For some reason I cannot upload his photo here, which is irritating, because he is super cute.  Later.

Went to see a movie (yes, like, in a theatre, which I haven't done in aeons), Girl Most Likely.

I LOVED this movie.  I would actually go see it again.  I like Kristen Wiig.  I never saw her on SNL, so my first introduction to her was in Bridesmaids.  This has a similar feel, though the humor is less ...I don't know....low brow.... and there's a more developed family story that is very poignant.  I give it two thumbs up.

Seriously, it was kind of a perfect weekend since it contained almost all of the crucial "good weekend elements"  -- a run, nice drive, friends, nap, movie, dinner, margaritas, sleeping in, outdoor activities, catching up, much laughter, and then home to a meal I did not have to prepare myself! The only possible element missing was saltwater, but still, I give it a 10!  YAY!

I leave Sunday for vacation.  I have not had a real vacation (ie, one that was not just a long weekend tacked on to the end of work travel) since last Fall (Paris!) so I am very much looking forward to the break.

I need more vacations.  Must give this some thought.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I'm not dead

Really, I'm not.  I'm just consumed with work and life stuff, and everytime I start to write a blog post they all start the same way....



WTH is WRONG with people?

And then I stop, because that is just so completely uninspired that I cannot bring myself to continue.

My son (16 1/2 now) rode to work with me this morning.  "I don't feel well" he said to me.  "Really, what's wrong?" I asked, hoping I wasn't going to have to turn around and immediately take him back home.  "Oh, I don't know.  Just a general sort of malaise." 

Only my kid doesn't feel well and labels it "malaise."

I will try to overcome my own malaise ASAP, I promise.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cool Day on the Job

I should have been a nurse or something.  I would say surgeon, but I don't honestly believe I should have been a surgeon.

In any event, I got to hang out in the OR today and got to watch a number of procedures that were in progress.

The coolest of which was probably a uterine fibroid surgery being done with our DaVinci Robot.

The operator is across the room from the patient.  CRAZZYY.

Super exciting though.  I was definitely a little awestruck.

Also saw an aortic ablation, a full knee replacement, and a spinal surgery.

Impressive, all the way around!

This is moi, in my PPE!  (Personal Protective THE BUNNY SUIT!)


Friday, April 26, 2013

Oh hello there!

I AM alive, just a little busier than usual.

I AM also on a bit of a hiatus this weekend, which means I have time to check in (with myself, with a few friends, with my blog...)

Just finished a brisk walk on the beach somewhere along the seashore in Maryland.  Sunny, chilly and altogether lovely.  Having a cocktail, planning an evening of "out and about" with some friends.  Should be fun. 

I've long had a practice of utilizing a "bar name" for nights such as these.  It started in college, I believe, when my sister and I developed  this as a method for dealing with creepers.

I believe we even had full alternative personalities (histories, demographics) to accompany our stage names.  It was entertaining, so it stuck. 

It continues to be useful.  Last night was full of drunken, windburned golfers.  From what I can see, tonight will be full of bikers (as it is apparently "Bike Week(end?)" here.  The Hooters parking lot is chock full of Harleys.  (This is NOT a stop on our itinerary).

Sometimes its fun to just NOT be yourself.  The real me has too much to do waiting back at work for me, upcoming weeks of end of school and high school graduation busy-ness and anxiety.  The fake me, however, is busy working on a novel, and contemplating purchasing a pied a terre in Paris.  If only for a weekend, it's relaxing and cathartic to be someone else. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday's message

Amen my cute little friend, amen!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's a Southern Thing

I consider myself to be a Southern girl.  Even though I was born outside the Continental U.S., it was definitely south and then I moved to Virginia where I spent my formative years.

I know that I am a Southerner mainly because the sight of the Confederate flag in no way makes me scared or angry.

I associate the Confederate flag with a jaw dropping history, bad and good, much of which happened right here under my feet.

While I abhor racist principles (which certainly did not go away just because we changed flags), I understand the whys and the hows and certainly many of the whos and the wheres.  I find it fascinating.

There are things I LOVE about living in the South which include, but are not limited to the following, in no particular order:

Southern Hospitality
Southern Manners
The pace (though, to quote an oft turned phrase.....We are Southern, not stupid)
Design esthetic

My new gal pal turned me on to this publication (which I was disappointed not to already know about):

Holy cow.......I love this magazine. 

If you live in the South and haven't read must.  If you'recoming to visit the South.... you must.

I'm going to Savannah this May for work, where I've not been since I was a young teenager.  I am SUPER excited to do some exploring there.  Hell, I might even buy a guide book!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Catching Up


My daughter spent the long weekend at her soon to be college....and seems to have survived, none the worse for wear.  She was not nearly as happy to be back at home as I was to have her there.  This is God's way of forcing me to let go.  I get it.  I get it.

Both of my children now drink coffee.  I cannot tell you how much more pleasant the mornings are as a result of this.

I had a birthday.  It was uneventful.  I gave myself bangs which seem to be making me feel a little less old, though I'm not sure they make me look it.  My daughter just stared at me and rolled her eyes.  "What?  You just cut your own bangs?  Like, right now?  In the BATHROOM???"  Yep.  Pretty much. 

My son will be spending spring break on a cruise ship with the rest of his SCHOOL BAND.  In light of recent nautical mishaps, I'm feeling slightly nervous about this.  This is God's way of ........ I GEEEEEEET IT.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Crushes are wonderful, dangerous things.

I have a girl crush, at the moment, on this awesome woman my husband introduced me to.  She's fantastic.

I don't have a million girlfriends.  I have, oh.....7.  This woman makes 8. (No that does not include the fabulous women in my family who I also count as friends, but they HAVE to be my friends so that's somehow different).

In any event, unlike my husband who has over 1000 FB friends (I have under 100 and I'm constantly secretly unfriending people after applying my completely ridiculous "scrutinizing friend formula"....a topic for another blog), finding a new friend who I think has some staying power is, for me, statistically significant!

In any event, in the throes of being twitterpated with her phenomenal awesomeness, I took a giant step outside of my teeny comfort zone and went with her to an Adult Children Of Alcoholics meeting. 

She is, and yes, I am, too.  And that's a long story, which I've never had any attention of telling here.  So, without "going there" here, it's necessary to at least allude to it in order to process the experience.

While I've done a little delving into this category of human being (children of) sitting in a room full of them was definitely axis tilting.  I almost got a crick in my neck from nodding the whole time.  It was definitely one of the more visceral experiences I've had in a long time.  I laughed, I cried, I got angry, I got sad.  It was a little nuts, and at this point I never ever want to go back and do that again. 

I can, however, see the utility of actually D E A L I N G with some of that S T U F F that came up.

It presents a very interesting opportunity to practice all that "leaning in" I've mentioned previously.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The yin and yang of troll feet

"I am sick of running."

My husband just looks at me. 

"Really.  I never want to run again."

He smiles.  "You're not REALLY sick of running.  You are in a relationship with running.  You are a runner."

Hmmmpf.  I start throwing things around in my closet and ignore him.

He's right, of course.

But, at some point, don't we all sort get sick of just about everything?  I do.  Certainly.

Right now I'm sick of running.

I'm mostly sick of running because it just kind of sucks.  I am about to punk out on my second race in the same year and that sucks.  I just cannot get it together.  I fell last weekend and crunched my knee and now it hurts (more than usual) to run so I really don't feel like doing it and that just makes me mad and grumpy.

This kind of made me laugh though:
Troll Feet

SO TRUE, because my toes are so gnarly from being crunched into the end of my shoes that I'm afraid to walk around in flip flops any more for fear of scaring small children.

You're probably asking yourself WHY I continue to run then. 

It's a good question.  Obviously, because I love running.

It's complicated.


Just finished eating a heart shaped donut (filled with chocolate frosting) because the colleague who bought it for me insisted on taking it personally if I didn't.  I anticipate dropping into an insulin comma momentarily and spending the rest of the day in a complete funk.

Valentine's Day is stupid.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

They do!

A friend of my sister's (from high school....many many moons ago now) just married (at the tender age of 45 or so).

I love the wedding announcement that was in our paper:

I loved it at first, because the parents refer to "unloading their fourth princess" which is just hilarious.  There were four daughters, obviously, and they did have a bit of fairly tale existence, but that's just genius!! 

I loved it a little more now, reading it a few weeks later, realizing the the Boeing Dreamliner did, indeed, deliver them home safely from Japan to Seattle, as outlined therein, which, in retrospect, was a freaking miracle.

I'm sure, in their newlywedded bliss, they had no idea at the time how close they came to dying a fiery death.  Life is funny that way. 


Overheard at the gas station. Scene One

Scene opens with my husband pumping gas next to a mother with a teenage daughter and younger son.  Clearly the teenage daughter has been dishing out some attitude about which the mother has finally become exasperated.

Mom:  "Oh really?  Okay fine.  You want to do this?  Go ahead and roll up on me with your baby high school PMS then.  REALLY?"

Daughter:  (Cannot get a word in)

Mom:  "That's fine.  Because I got some real have-three-kids-working-two-job-PMS and I will take you out with your bullsh*t......"

Car doors close.

Son looks awkwardly (yet familiarly so) out the car window.

"baby high school PMS".......I love people.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Autopsy Number Two (again.....not for some of you)

This one, while more interesting than the last because the head had been thawed out longer therefore making the interior exploration much more realistic (apparently), this head was also (because of said thawing) much closer to it's living state than the previous.  Plus he still had a full head of hair, which the last one did not.  Apparently that's because the first one was older....and not, as I naively suspected, because they routinely shave the heads of the cadavers.  In this regard, it was a little more unsettling.  I think it might be easier if I knew the head were attached to the rest of its body.  Somehow.  It's a little weird that it's just sitting there, propped up all by itself.

Anyhoo....this guy had an amazingly deviated septum.  Kind of interesting. 

This individual was also black.  Or brown.  In any event, not white.  And, while it is clearly obvious, I found myself struck, anew, at how very much the same "color" we are on the inside!!!

TRUST ME....several times a day now, I take a deep breath in and contemplate where all of that air is going inside my sinus cavities.  All six of them or whatever.  And then I express gratitude for the fact that my body continues to function another day.


I need an app for that!

Tangent about phone APPS.

1. So, in the car the other day I was checking the weather app and I got a message "recalculating your location" while it attempted to "find" me. I'd like an app that actually recalculates my location by sending me elsewhere. That would be MUCH MORE USEFUL, non?

2. Watching Mission Impossible 3 (i know, why?) and someone had an app on their phone that identified an approaching "ASSASIN"....beeping and flashing in red. I need one that will identify an approaching "ASSHOLE."   Anyone want to help me develop that?  We could make millions!!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Not a post for the squeamish. (You know who you are)

My job, among other adjectives, is fascinating and affords me opportunities to see and do things that I would certainly not otherwise see or do.

I have a friend, currently, who is a neurosurgeon.  I've been bugging him to let me watch him perform a brain surgery.

Yesterday I tagged along into the cadaver lab to watch him practice. 

Once I got over the initial....I guess it was shock...sort of.....of being in the room with a cadaverous head (yes, just the head), the watching him practice part was super duper cool.  Who knew there was so much intricacy to the human head!  We didn't even get up in to the brain, but he did dissect the pituitary gland, and noodled around in all of those sinus cavities and into the brain stem.  (I get to see a craniotomy next!!)  It is truly mind blowing how the body works, and why it works, and how many moving pieces and parts there are.  It's a little scary, if you think about it too much, because there's so much that can go WRONG along the way, but when it doesn't, when it's all working like it should, its pretty darned amazing!

I had to wonder about this head we were using.  How was it that this head ended up being in this lab?  How many other heads are floating around out there in labs like this one?  I realized how incredibly important it is to have a steady supply of heads (and hearts and bodies) for physicians to practice on.  Clearly, his technique, while impressive, had room for improvement.  There is very very little room for error when maneuvering inside the human head....poking around, if you will, with sharp instruments.  It's good to know what one is doing. 

I said a silent thank you to this individual (whether they had anything to actually do with making the choice to donate themselves to science or whether it was done "for" them) for the crucial part they turned out to play in helping the rest of us stay alive. 

Thanks to my cousin (with whom I discussed today's adventure), this book is now on my "to read" list.

Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. They've tested France's first guillotines, ridden the NASA Space Shuttle, been crucified in a Parisian laboratory to test the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, and helped solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800. For every new surgical procedure, from heart transplants to gender reassignment surgery, cadavers have been there alongside surgeons, making history in their quiet way.

In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries—from the anatomy labs and human-sourced pharmacies of medieval and nineteenth-century Europe to a human decay research facility in Tennessee, to a plastic surgery practice lab, to a Scandinavian funeral directors' conference on human composting. In her droll, inimitable voice, Roach tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I went out last night to see a band I love, Yonder Mountain String Band.  Prior to departure I spent 10 minutes standing, paralyzed in my closet trying to figure out what to wear.  Factors to consider included: 
  • single digit temperatures outside
  • hot humid inside the venue
  • tired
  • needed shoes good for dancing but also good for protecting toes
  • comfy
  • no trendy band tshirts
  • layers
  • nothing shlumpy
This easily explains the paralysis.  Eventually my daughter came and found me and in a gesture of kindness attempted to dress me.  This!  No, that's shlumpy.  This!!! No, that's dumb...etc.

We arrived upon something, eventually, which met all of the criteria.

She surveyed me for a moment afterwards.  "Good.....that's definitely your look."  "I have a look???"   "Sure, you have this executive barnyard kind of look." 

Who knew?  Is that like....I OWN the barn yard (hopefully)?  She wasn't interested in sticking around to discuss.

In any event.  The show was great.  Until I walked out of the theater at 12:30 and discovered that it was SNOWING to beat the band!

Here's what the drive home looked like:

It was quite pretty when I got home.  (I meant to take a pic, but turns out I was videotaping instead)


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wintry Mix?????

Dear Summer,

I miss you.  Please come back soon.  Very soon.


Frozen in Magnolia Meadow

Contemplating starting a new blog

I think I'm going to call it "The misadventures of a Pagan mom raising a Catholic daughter."  I checked.  That blog name isn't taken yet.  (Weird, right???)

Because, let me tell you, there's a fair amount of fodder, and every time I THINK I've figured something out, and I'm feeling smug because I'm all down with the Catholics for a second, I get "the look."  You know the one.  It says "Erh Meh are completely ridiculous and you need to stop now before I move out of your house and never talk to you again."  Which would make me sad, because I'm already sad that this child is going to move off to college, and if she were to do so and never talk to me again that would be tragic.  So, short of converting myself (because I have this little issue with the trinity), I keep trying to get it.

I'm digressing (because it's 7:00 am. and I'm already at work and I need more coffee).

My daughter shared this blog with some of her friends on FB (thank you FB for helping me know what my children are thinking and doing):

It would not surprise me to learn that my daughter was secretly writing that blog.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Breakfast Club 20 years later

A review about one of my favorite movies by one of my favorite kids:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Holding pattern

I am in love.  Her name is Susan, and she works at my gym.  My gym has a "spa."  That's where she works, specifically.  She snorts when she uses the word "spa" which made me like her immediately.  She does body work.  (This is somehow different from "massage" which is why I booked the appointment with her in the first place, and in hindsight, it was my lucky day.)

She's older.  And bald.  And kind of out there.  And very, very wise. 

She's one of those people who can put their hands on your body and within minutes are saying things like "aaaaaah"  "hmmmmmm" and "yes, I see."  At one point she said "wow, that's quite a holding pattern you've got going on there."  This from rubbing a gnarly spot in my shoulder....not from dipping her fingers into my grey matter.  Uncanny.

I went to someone else a few years ago who also had this gift.  He freaked me out a little, because I didn't realize there were people in the world who were like that.  Fortunately, that experience paved the way for this one, so rather than flying off the table in a panic, I was able to relax.  (re: "leaning in to things" from a previous post)

In any event.  She told me a few things that I knew about myself, but I guess I needed to hear.

1.  I hold on to things I should let go.  They are manifesting in my body in a way that appears to be detrimental on a level that perhaps can only be percieved at the moment by her fingertips, but are likely to mushroom in to bigger fungus eventually.

2.  I need to learn how to breathe.  I am a breath holder from waaaaaaaaay back.  I grew up holding my breath (and not because I was trying to get my way) and I guess I never stopped.  Every job I've had has had some element where I have a "good" reason to hold my breath, both literally and figuratively. 

I have determined that these things should become areas of focused improvement this year. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Star sighting

Months and months ago, I took a trip to Paris.

On one afternoon we were ambling through the Luxembourg Gardens and happen to come upon a film crew following a woman, chasing a toddler.  There are film crews everywhere in Paris, so not that unusual, what was unusual was how this woman was dressed.  Chasing this toddler.

At the time, her voice was familiar, and yet I couldn't place her.

Now, that I'm finally seeing the pictures from that trip, I realize, it was Rachel Zoe.  How about those heels???

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Home sweet home

I was born here, in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas....somewhere right in the middle of the "town shot" there in the middle of the video.

Apparently one of these massive cruise ships in the beginning belongs to Brad Pitt.

As a baby I lived in this harbor, on a big sailboat...but that was in the pre-mega yacht days so it did not look quite like this.

I loved showing being able to take my kids here.  It was just fortuitous that the cruise we went on included this as a spot.  It's prettier than I remembered.  Nothing having been back for easily 20 years now.

Further from the vacation video files

This one is the other view from my beach chair...a 360 including my darling daughter in hat, glasses, and zinc oxide....making her dermatologist proud.  That's my girl!!!

Tra la la post mortem

I don't even know where to start, really, debriefing about my magnificient cruise "experience," so I'll start here.....with a video.

This is from my beach chair, watching my daughter snorkel in the foreground.  My husband and son are on a boat, far far in the distance.

This was not a bad way to spend my vacation.  Shortly I hope to be able to articulate, verbally, some more succicently formed impressions.