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Hold on to your liver!

Honestly, I have a million things just from the last week… er… crap… week BEFORE last… that I am still going to tell you about. Pinky swear. I totally intended to get RIGHT back to you on all of that after I told you about the Toepocalypse. Because we had our familyversary! And it’s been TEN YEARS, which is a really long time, and kind of a big deal, and also we all got each other very thoughtful gifts, some of which I will tell you about another time, but I will tell you that what I got Otto was that I very super-sneakily planned a little vacation for us. And by “us” I mean “just me and Otto,” because despite it being our FAMILYversary, Otto and I haven’t had a just-us vacation in… well, ever, seems like. And here I am with two grown (or nearly grown) children at home who can both 1) take care of themselves, 2) drive (!!!) (not that Monkey has driven more than once since getting his license, you understand), and 3) take care of the dogs. I could plan a whole trip and then just spring it on my husband, and then we could just GO in just two short weeks—this week, that is, two weeks after the reveal—which was one of the few totally clear weeks on the calendar this summer.

Otto was, indeed, surprised and touched. I was so excited! I really LIKE that guy and spending a few days away with him was going to be the best.

I mean, it still is. When we go. Sometime. But not this week (SUPPOSED TO BE ON VACATION RIGHT NOW, NOT AT ALL BITTER), because this week turned out to be the wrong week for a vacation.

Last week—the week after the familyversary, but the week before the supposed-to-be-trip—was graduation week. Everything was counting down to Monkey’s graduation, and my parents were slated to come into town on Thursday, and on Wednesday night—of course, of course the day before their arrival—Chickadee was holed up in her room after passing on dinner, and Otto and I were watching TV before going to bed, and around 9:30 I texted my daughter (yeah, I’m lazy) and suggested she come eat something, and she texted back, “Can you come take my temperature?” (more…)

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When it rains, it’s all kinds of drama

Look at me, not waiting a whole month to write again. It’s almost like I’m going back to being a blogger, or something. WEIRD.

The impetus for this is simple: Life was boring, boring, boring… right up until it wasn’t. And when people start saying things to me like “Oh, Mir, that could only happen to YOU,” I figure that means it’s ridiculous enough to share, because why should I hog all the fun? I should not. Perhaps nothing dramatic is happening in your life, in which case: YAY YOU! But I have some drama to spare, and I’m a good sharer.

ALSO, after 3 weeks of back and forth with our insurance company, I am now the proud (?) owner of some ADHD meds. My doc has me starting off with a very small dose, and so at first I was all, “Huh, well, this is… sort of dumb,” but I have progressed one notch up the dosage ladder and suddenly I find myself doing all sorts of weird things. Like, I’ll sit down to do something and ACTUALLY GET IT DONE. Or I’ll start planning something out and have a TOTAL AND COMPLETE THOUGHT WHICH I DON’T FORGET HALFWAY THROUGH. It’s sort of magical. Is this how normal people’s brains work all the time? Why have we not yet cured cancer and also figured out how to make people stop caring about what other people do with their bodies? I am productive and invincible! (At least until tonight when the meds wear off!)

Alright, let’s get right on to the excitement. (more…)

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Another month, another series of mostly minutiae

Has it been another month? It has! I don’t understand how this keeps happening, and yet, here we are. Time has passed, some interesting things have happened and other not-so-interesting, and life marches on, etc.

I’ve made a number of desserts for Nerd Night this year and shared almost none of them with you because I’m a big jerk. Also because they’ve mostly been fine but unexciting. However! I am the sort of person who buys buttermilk for a recipe and then spends the next however-long trying to find recipes with which to use up said buttermilk, because most of the time when you Google “buttermilk recipes” you end up with things which call for a tablespoon or a quarter cup of buttermilk, and then the next thing you know, you’re looking for another recipe. Sometimes you just want a chocolate cake or a gooey pie or a cookie filled with caramel and chocolate, of course, but a couple of weeks ago I came across Teaspoon Bake Shop’s oatmeal cake recipe and made it for Nerd Night. Monkey was effusive in his praise—most likely because he is a fan of maple-glazed donuts and I suspect this tasted like that—but also, this uses a lot of buttermilk and quite a lot of oats, which means that yes, it’s cake, but it’s also relatively healthy. Cake without guilt! And it uses up buttermilk! If I could eat wheat, I suspect I would have a slice of this with a cup of coffee in the morning without apology. (My tips: First of all, I doubled the recipe for a full 9″x13″ cake pan, and second, all of those oats and buttermilk would be somewhat negated, then, by 4 sticks of butter, so I used 2 sticks of butter and a third cup of coconut oil, instead, to both cut the fat overall and use a “healthy” fat for part of it.) It’s a very simple/easy recipe and in no way “fancy,” but I recommend it.

Cake aside, here’s what else has been going on: (more…)

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Ahoy, mateys!

I’m about THIS CLOSE to wearing an eye patch and calling it a day. I hardly ever wear makeup, right? Like, I’ll wear it when I dress up. Which is almost never. For some reason at the beginning of this week I was digging for something in my bathroom drawer and found some mascara I forgot I had (my first mistake) and was all, “Oh! I’ll put some of this on.” So I did.

And then I woke up with an eye infection the next morning. Because of course.

I threw away the mascara. I’ve been doing warm compresses and medicated eye wipes (did you know this was a thing? it’s a thing!) and trying not to touch my face and and also whining A LOT about how my eye hurts and burns and itches and did I mention? MY EYE? WHICH IS CLEARLY INFECTED?

After one too many jokes from friends about the eye patch I am surely destined for, I went to the doctor today. Now that I’m on antibiotics I guess today is probably my last day to make pirate jokes, alas.

While I was gone this week trying really hard not to touch my eye, I wrote a couple of posts over at Alpha Mom. One is about what matters to me now that I’m solidly middle-aged and the other is (in response to a reader question) all about how homeschooling can be all kinds of different things. So, um, you can go read those and I won’t make ye walk the plank. Arrrrrrrr.

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This is a week (a week a week a week)

It’s one of those unwritten rules—similar to how bringing an umbrella with you keeps it from raining—that if you have Something Big happening, a million other things will have to happen at the same time, because it is not enough to deal with that ONE thing. Of course.

So: Our production of The Vagina Monologues opens tonight, which means Chickadee and I have been spending long hours at rehearsal, AND Otto has about a dozen extra things going at work, AND Monkey is under the weather AND every committee I am on for school needs something from me right now AND a great job opportunity fell in my lap (but from a Luddite organization which apparently needs a paper resume rather than just looking at my LinkedIn), AND it’s been raining so SOMEONE has been pooping on the floor rather than getting their paws wet (geez, Otto, get it together), AND AND AND AND.

And: I am tired. It’s gonna be a looooong charge through the weekend. (Hopefully a good one, but still.)

Last night was our final dress rehearsal, our first JUST KEEP GOING, THIS IS IT run, and when we do the show at UGA, we perform in the chapel, which is a lovely old building. There are TEENY wings for the chapel stage, and a small bathroom on only one side. If your assignment is to wait in the other wing and you have to pee? TOO BAD. But… last night my darling daughter decided to make a just-before-curtain bathroom run, and we’d just had a few words and I was worried she was mad at me, so I tapped on the door to try to talk to her and she told me to go away. “We’re about to START,” I said, finally, worried she was so pissed off she was going to miss her cue. In fact, she didn’t come out for her first cue, but then I had to go over to the other wing and just trust that she’d emerge in time for the next one. Time passed, and about twenty minutes later I got a text from her, asking where I was. Turns out, the very old door to the very old bathroom is having some issues, and she’d actually been trapped inside (without her phone). She hadn’t wanted to make a lot of noise because we were running the show, so she resorted to quiet tapping until another cast member noticed and was able to free her. She’d spent what I’m sure felt like a very long time in there convinced she was going to miss the whole show and maybe have to live in that crummy bathroom. So. Um. Everything is going to be perfect tonight, I’m sure, because the ridiculous awful thing has already happened! Hooray!!

In the meantime, Monkey and I are still figuring out what he needs when he’s sick, and you can read about that over at Alpha Mom, if you’re so inclined.

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Nerd Night: Berries and Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake

I’m still trying to decide if baking decadent things I cannot eat is a healthy sublimation of my sweet tooth or just a giant, masochistic flaw in my reasoning process. Best not to think about it too much, I suspect.

The smoothie cleanse I mentioned last week? I’m going to tell you more about it, today, but after I tell you about dessert. So if you’re just here for dessert and don’t give a rat’s ass about my weird diet things, check out the cake and then be on your way. Here I was, having just come off 10 days on kale smoothies and eating… mostly veggies, still, and it seemed like a great idea to make a decadent chocolate cake. With a berry filling. And a cream cheese filling. And chocolate fondant. Why not?

choc-berry-wedge

It turns out that it’s kind of hard to get a good picture of a dark chocolate cake with a dark berry filling, but this is, in fact, a 4-layer cake with one layer of gooey cream-cheese-y filling and two layers of mixed berry compote. I’m told it was delicious. (more…)

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Now there is less of me to yell at

So I did this weird green smoothie cleanse and lost some weight. I never know if writing about that sort of thing is interesting or boring; I mean, it’s interesting to me, I guess? Maybe not to you? I might write about it next week. It was… an adventure. I’m glad I did it for a number of reasons, not the least among them that I appreciate being able to fit into my pants.

Anyway, during the first few days of the cleanse, especially, while I was dealing with caffeine withdrawal and general hopelessness (I’m the best advertisement for this cleanse EVER, clearly), I felt like I wasn’t thinking super clearly. I made a lot of dumb mistakes. More dumb mistakes than usual, that is. And then I sort of came out of that and felt clear! And ALIVE! And ENERGETIC! But I still caught myself sometimes not thinking entirely straight.

Then I wrote this piece for Alpha Mom about teens and disturbing texts, and my intrepid editor and I went back and forth on some issues of guilt by association and bullying-vs-just-generally-being-a-jerk, and I suspect some commenters are going to yell at me very soon. I still stand by what I said, I think, based on the information given to me, but it’s definitely a tricky issue.

And anyone who disagrees with me has to bring me a snack. I think that’s fair.

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We made you some things

Hey, remember how my kid came down with something flu-ish on Christmas? Because of course she did? And then a week went by and figured it was just her, so on New Year’s Eve Day when we were making vision boards and I wasn’t feeling so hot, I figured it was no big deal… right up until it became clear that yes indeed, I was going to be ringing in the new year with a fever and a lot of grumpiness. Oh well.

I don’t know what sort of virus it is (was), but I finished up my board in bed, yesterday, and today I am up but moving kind of slow. That’s fine. While I go drink a whole lotta water and work on putting Christmas away, I have three things for you.

Thing the first: A really hard question over at Alpha Mom, which you may find interesting if you have younger, dating teens.

Thing the second: My vision board for this year (click to embiggen).
mir-vboard-2016-small

Thing the third: Chickadee’s board for this year (click to embiggen). (Shared with permission and my favorite, favorite one of hers ever. 2016 may just be amazing, friends.)
chickie-vboard-2016-small

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Never a dull moment

I really thought that once Chickadee got her license, my life would become less complicated. Like: immediately, and exponentially less complicated. Because everyone knows that just when you feel like your kids have reached an age of relative self-sufficiency, you are then relegated to 24/7 chauffeur status for years while they are too old for you to micromanage their lives but too young to handle their own transportation.

To some extent it’s true that things are easier now, in the sense that I am no longer driving back and forth to school more often than not, because I can let the kids take my car and they do many of the same activities, and then I can just wait at home in my apron to serve them a hot meal they don’t want when they get back. (I almost never wear an apron, so that part is hyperbole.) And while Chickie doesn’t have her own car, we happen to have a spare (you know, the haul-the-camping-trailer truck which, now that the camper is gone, is mostly the haul-the-Costco-shopping-trip truck), so it’s not a hardship to let her take my car and leave me out of the daily GOTTA GO TO THIS THING AND THEN GO THERE BE HOME LATER BYEEEEEE thing.

On the other hand, sometimes the kids don’t have the same activity, and sometimes they still need me for something other than rides (the NERVE), and I’m supposed to be working on work stuff and I am also working on book stuff (shhhhhh; the first rule of HolyshitIamwritingabook Club is that we don’t talk about HolyshitIamwritingabook Club) and I am trying to get back to exercising regularly and it’s getting colder so I need to cook and bake stuff to make the house warmer (that’s totally a thing) and sometimes the dogs need me to play with them. Stuff is still going on, is my point. And mostly it’s manageable.

The thing is, it’s a delicate balance, and it doesn’t take much to upset it. CUE OMINOUS MUSIC. (more…)

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Reentry, Casa Mir style

I went away for the weekend and it was GLORIOUS. Listen, I know I tend to exaggerate for effect, but this is simply the truth: I have not had several days free of responsibilities (read: children) in, um, a really REALLY REALLY LONG TIME, and so with the help of a few amazing girlfriends, I spent 48 hours doing every ridiculous cliched “GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT” activity we could think of, far away from my delightful but needy family.

We: Ate sushi, drank wine, went to a spa and wore ridiculous robes, window shopped, made chocolate, gabbed endlessly, took pictures of our food, consumed a metric ton of chips and pico and bacon (not all at once), and donned matching pajamas. I cannot tell you how healing this was. I am terrible at putting myself first and so over the last few months I have just become more irritable and cranky in the name of “doing the right thing” (spoiler: not actually the right thing if you’re turning into a jerk!) until Otto sat me down one day and informed me that I needed to go on a trip. “I don’t care where you go,” he said. “Just take a couple of days and go have fun.” (He’s the best.)

It was amazing and then I came home and reality smacked me in the face, because that’s how it goes. I wasn’t even unpacked before it became clear that my son’s welcome home gift to me was… well, you can read about it on Alpha Mom, but you should probably bring some hand sanitizer and vitamin C.

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