days worth celebrating

Pretty much every one knows by now that this week was a landmark week with National Siblings Day and National Pets Day. We know this, of course thanks to social media and all of the I-really-don’t-like-these-national-whatever-days-but-here-is-a-picture-of-my-punk-brother-and-brat-sister-and-me-and-my-cat-and-my-dog-and-my-hedgehog. Thanks social media friends, even if you really don’t care abouhonoring those life-long cradle to grave relationships that are the ones you share with brothers and sisters or celebrate the joy pets bring to our lives and to create public awareness about the plight of many different kinds of animals awaiting a forever home in shelters and rescues all around the globe. Yeah, we see your feigned indifference and we are not buying it. Not at all.

You care about those people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way.

Your cat, on the other hand, probably doesn’t care. She probably doesn’t even care about National Grilled Cheese Day, which is today.. She would care if I were to make this grilled cheese sandwich. WE ALL WOULD CARE! Alas, my darling husband is on a strict diet right now and I am joining him in solidarity and because I could stand to lose a few myself. 

Meanwhile, this picture posted on social media in celebration of days worth celebrating is truly the best and the one, for me, most worth celebrating.

Although I fear I might never be able to forgive their parents for allowing them to grow up so fast.

Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.

~ Margaret Mead

October five faves

October is the fallen leaf, but it is also the wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills, once more in sight., and the enduring constellations above them once again.

~ Henry Rollins

And October, you kind of seemed to take a very long time. All is forgiven though because all in all, October you were mostly good.

Check meowt! It means “check me out”, Mima!

That moment when you can see, feel, smell and taste that your darling husband loves you and wants you to be happy.

After work nights like last night, I am reminded how lucky I am to be a part of the best NICU team because I get to work with some pretty talented, kick-ass NICU rock stars. But this (and so many other candid shots) reminds me of the joie de vivre  they all possess and share so freely with the ones they love, the ones they care for and the ones they work with. Blessed, y’all! We are blessed!

She bought herself flowers for no darned good reason – except they were beautiful and she deserved more beauty in her life.” As we all do, y’all.

November, bring all of that more beauty!

 

sip and spell

Sip and spell? What in the world is a sip and spell? It sounds a lot like sit and spin…remember what a great dizzy inducing vertigo toy that was? Good times! Fun times! When America was once great, right?

Well sip and spell here in the Central Valley is the Great Valley Bookfest’s Sip and Spell Adult Spelling Bee where participants and spectators enjoy delicious wine and appetizers while participants spell words like synecdoche and pococurante because they can…or once did when they were elementary school and middle school spelling bee nerds back in the day.

Sipping wine and spelling. What could possibly be wrong with this?

Well, nothing really since it is all in good fun that will benefit the Sierra High 2017 Sober Grad.

I know!

Working with the Sierra High Class of 2014 Sober Grad, I can attest to the fact that the best fundraising events were the ones where adult beverages were consumed by adults. Go figure!

Still it is a fun event which supports a worthwhile local event for some kids I just happen to know and can say I watched grow up while living here in this community. So join me and my team, Thursday, October 6, 5:30 to 8 pm – or until the last team (our team) is standing! Tickets are $20/person and need to be purchased in advance here.

Until then, I’ll be here…studying.

upheaval benefits

Anyone who has followed life under The Big Top of late knows much has happened in a very short time:

  • my darling husband turned 53 and got really, REALLY, REALLY lucky in a car versus motorcycle accident so that he could enjoy celebrating turning 53.
  • Fallon now enjoys making direct eye contact with Mima’s camera and is literally counting down the days before she begins pre-Kindergarten…it’s coming y’all in DAYS!!!
  • Daniel is back to school in 8th grade and we are all pretty certain that I will be that mom as this is the last time ever for me to have an 8th grader who will be graduating 8th grade nine months from now. I’m already teary y’all.
  • And in one weekend, Abby and Jodie both moved out. Jodie moved back for another year at Arizona State which means that she won’t be home for dinner tomorrow or the next day or even the days after that. Abby ran away from the circus to her own apartment shared with her best of friends. She is not far but she is definitely off doing adult things like grocery shopping and hanging pictures and dealing with apartment maintenance trouble shooting a leaky dishwasher.

One would imagine that I am here just wanting to settle back into a quiet, calm, easy, normal routine.

Are you kidding?

It’s quiet around here…it’s even quieter than I might have ever imagined when all these kids of mine were home and noisy and loud and everywhere and underfoot and standing on my last nerve. This is too calm, y’all.

And so I decide to challenge myself with a little change or two or more.

Why not?

Yes, I know that I am late to the Whole30 party…but I am not the only one. Truthfully, I might have never given it a second or third thought were it not for the inspiration of two people I am acquainted with, two very busy moms of four. I watched them both take on the Whole30, making all the changes in their kitchens, their routines, their diets…and they did not go bat-shit crazy trying to balance Whole30 into everything else that busy moms of four kids under 12 must do. On the outside, they both looked better reporting inches and pounds lost, better sleep, better skin, hair and nails…and for one, who has dealt with a number of health issues after a major medical crisis a few years ago, dramatic improvements in her overall health.

Hmmm…

Why not look into this. I am a woman of a certain age now…menopausal with all the fun and games that comes with that bull-shittery. Sleep well? I am a a nurse who works 12 hour night shifts…please. But positive health changes and inches and pounds lost aside, it’s too quiet around the Big Top and I need a challenge,,,soo…

Of course it takes time, planning, patience and support from people around you. It might seem hard but as Melissa Hartwig phrases it: Quitting heroin is hard. Fighting cancer is hard. Childbirth is hard. Drinking your coffee black is not hard. I’ve birthed more than my fair share of babies…which doesn’t come close to beating heroin or cancer but I get it. This is a challenge but it is a do-able challenge.

The initial pantry-stocking shopping list will likely hurt but you got to start somewhere. The dreaded first week might have been hard except I had a killer summer cold to distract me from feeling miserable without sugar and pasta and bread. Let’s just say they both made me miserable. But I did survive Bill’s birthday cake by letting his children serve it up.

Ultimately, it wasn’t as hard as I imagined it to be. The circus that remains under the Big Top has literally never eaten better. I didn’t miss Bill’s birthday cake or bowtie pasta with pesto sauce or even the big bowl of Jelly Bellies in the break room at work. I enjoyed feeling full between meals, improved sleep and energy levels. My skin literally has never, ever looked better.

The Whole30 is not really a diet but more of a dietary reset. Eliminating excess sugars, dairy, grains and over-processed foods resets your gut allowing it to heal and then work the way that it is designed work. Still people think of Whole30 as a diet and, of course, want to know what are the results? How much weight did you lose??

Well, 30 days later I am happy to report that along with all the other positives I have lost a little over 9 pounds and 8 inches and yes, that is pretty cool too. And now, 30 days later, where do I go from here? Whole60? 90? Whole30 forever? How about Whole30ish. I’m liking the overall changes in my health and physical condition and I imagine that I, like other mere mortals, will need more than 30 days to see far dramatic results…like the end to these ridiculous soaking hot flashes because menopause happened more than five years ago….so I will continue to maintain following Whole30 guidelines with the exception of treat like when a coworker brings in a Nothing Bundt Cake to share or wine or a Moscow Mule or an ice-cold glass of chocolate milk after a 5 mile run because, literally, there is nothing better than that!

the real struggle of the drop-off and the pickup

The drop-off:

Daniel? Daniel? Are you really asleep? 

Like a lullabye, eh? 

The struggle that is adolescence…

It’s real.

At the pickup, I ask him how was his day and he grumbles in the way that only a moody teenager can.

We had pizza for lunch and we were only allowed to have one slice of pepperoni pizza. Who eats just ONE SLICE of pepperoni pizza REALLY?!

I had to ask.

The struggle is real, y’all.

Have you made any plans for dinner, Mom?

Hmmm…how about pizza? I’ll even let you have more than one slice.

Come on, he’s a teenage boy! One slice of pizza is not never enough.

Definitely need more because the hormones, the growing teenage boy with the teenage boy hunger and all the moods absolutely, positively needs more than one slice of pizza.

Remember when we thought we would be tube feeding forever? Yeah, me neither.