Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Did You Hear That?

A few weeks ago we went with the kids to get our tree as we do every year. This was Spud's second year getting a tree, but he was way more excited about it this year. Although it was hard to tell with everything he had on.


The Big B and Bella picked their tree and Pup and I picked ours. The guy from the tree spot made fresh cuts on our stumps so the trees would drink water and then he tied them onto The Captain.

The Little Family decided not to go out to eat with us so Pup and dropped them and their tree off at their house and we traveled on our way to a local place that makes the best chicken wild rice soup with a broth base. Lovely on a chilly evening.

As we're heading onto a ramp we hear a "shush" sound. We look at each other.

"What was that?" I say. "Did you hear something?"

Pup looks out of the rear view mirror. There is our tree laying in the middle on the ramp.


We back up The Captain to the dismay of the two cars that are trying to swing along the ramp.

We good-naturedly cuss them out. You know, no one ever drives as good as you do on the road yes? That's how we cuss, I mean, drive, around these parts. Lots of cussing. Lots of finger-waving. Lots of judging. I mean, who would beep at us just because we're backing up on an onramp? I ask the question!

The poor little tree. What if we hadn't heard that "shush?" We would have gone for soup, come back out, and surely thought someone had stolen our tree in a most non-Christmas way.

Oh the laughter. Oh the tears from the laughter.
How you undecorating?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmastime Quote

  Christmas Gift Suggestions
  • To your enemy, forgiveness. 
  • To an opponent, tolerance. 
  • To a friend, your heart. 
  • To a customer, service. 
  • To all, charity. 
  • To every child, a good example. 
  • To yourself, respect.
~Oren Arnold, Author

Monday, December 1, 2014

Once Bad Always Bad?

Seeing the world in black and white. Do you think you do that? Once someone is deemed bad they can never again be seen as good? Or are you gray? Seeing things from both sides?

Gray is my favorite color of late around my house and around my person. What does this say about me?

Grey or gray (see spelling differences) is an intermediate color between black and white. It is a neutral or achromatic color, meaning literally that it is a color "without color." It is the color of a cloud-covered sky, of ash and of lead.

A cloud-covered sky.

Pup and I are watching The Affair. At first blush; from just reading the title; you, and I frankly, may think, "Nope, I don't want this. I don't want to be witness to something uncomfortable. Something so bad."

And then you watch. It's complex. Layered. Showing over and over how things are never, ever black and white. No one correct way. No one wrong way. Not that once an asshole always an asshole. That once you think this you can never think that.

The sad situation in Ferguson, the personal violence erupting in sports, immigrants in your town, young, troubled boys looking for an anchor - looking for their place, bad parents. My list could go for miles.

Or when you think about opinions you have formed about events, people, areas of the country, family. Once you think one way can you be swayed into thinking another way?

I remember a story my dad told when I was little about a girl he was dating before meeting my momma. The girl was pretty and he liked her very much. One night out on a date, they were tickling and wrestling as young people in the beginnings of a relationship do. The girl farted. My dad broke up with her. Just like that. His opinion of her changed. From infatuation to distaste. Plonk.

I was a little girl that was always in her head and that story changed how I thought about people. I began realizing that there are reasons for experiences, reasons for change in your life that you will never know about. Why you didn't get that job, why that boy broke up with you, why a friend stopped calling you back, why you don't feel close, why someone loves you.

I've changed my mind about people and situations a million times over. Sometimes it pisses me off and sometimes it makes me happy. And sometimes it makes me wonder if I do not have a backbone. If I am easily swayed. Or if I am ornery in my singular and lonely thoughts.

I mean, once at a family meeting here at Chez Emerson, I stood up from my chair and shouted at a sister-in-law, "You're WRONG. This is what is right."


We laughed about it in the moment, but that has harassed my thoughts from time to time. Filling me with laughter and tears.

Once again, I am working through something here on paper (sic). Something I didn't even know I needed to work through! Oh the magic that early morning can provide!

I wish this would start a dialogue. I long for a dialogue! Do any of you feel similarly? Do you covet a black and white approach or do you want your mind blown open for possibilities? Possibilities seem wonderful, but they are limiting in their limitlessness.

Oh damn!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Start and Stop and Stop and Start

We've had a few birthdays in the past couple of weeks. Our darling Spud is one year old. How on earth? It's really going to tumble on by now isn't it?
As I say over and over, yes, he really is that beautiful.

It was Pup's birthday a couple of days ago. My sweet, sweet Pup. He's been self-reflecting and pensive since shortly after our trip in late September. A couple of unforeseen obstacles and events have shifted his thoughts here and there. The grappling with changes is provoking. It's always good! Love love love.

It was our great-niece's second birthday yesterday and we went to a lovely party at her momma and daddy's house. I was kinda in tears watching that little nugget open all of her presents and watching her oooooh and aaaaaah at each and every present. What a generous little spirit this tiny precious has. I was watching her study each card as she opened her presents. And when she was done opening, she placed all of her cards in a brown box and took a few back out to look at again. Her momma mentioned freezing time and I agree. Moments like that one need to be frozen. I know I'll always remember watching her and how you can already see the woman she will be. Sweet, smart, lovely, attentive, and amazing. Smooches to that little baby!
I only got a few incredibly crappy phone shots of her opening. My hand was not steady, I'm valiantly fighting a fall cold and was empty-headed and fuzzy-minded all of the day. Her essence is shining through even though my skills are not.

Time frozen! Can we do that just for a little bit you guys? I feel like I'm in a vortex and I'm spinning spinning. Stuck and exuberant, but forgetful and vague. Or it's the medication I'm taking.

For us, with Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, I'm attempting once again to simplify and relax with the festivities. We are sponsoring a few teenagers in lieu of gifts for Pup and myself and that always makes me feel good.

I've stopped participating in the white elephant-type exchanges with the different celebrations we attend. I know that can make me seem curmudgeonly, but I just don't need anything cluttering up my life. I do a good job with that on my own! But seriously, the stuff generally gets either thrown or donated. God I sound just like Mrs. GrumpyMcGrumpy.



So my lovely friends-in-my-head, tell me how you're entering the upcoming celebrations? What keeps you centered and full of gratitude?

Keep the peace my hooches.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Self-indulgence today.

I want to bottle up days like yesterday and pull it out around Feb 3 or so. I do love the fall.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

ROCK at the KOA

I'm taking a class.

One of the surprising things talked about last week in class was the importance of a blog. In a different context, but the importance was stressed. Fresh content. Relevant content. Informative content. With lists. Lots of lists. People love lists. I love lists.

These days when I go on Facebook one of my favorite things to check out are links to lists.

  • 10 Ways to Shop for Shoes
  • 9 Mistakes You're Making at the Gym
  • 8 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Happiness
  • 7 Things to Throw Away Today
  • 6 Ideas You Didn't Know You Had
  • 5 Celebrities That Are Dumb as a Box of Rocks

None of us want to have to dig too deep into a topic at first blush, but a pithy list? Bring it!

I am a list-maker. Always have been. From what I'm reading, my list-making is keeping me on task and organized.


I fear what would happen if I stopped my lists!

But I list-on. I've even, following my smart and lovely daughters in their lead, began using a handheld day planner again. Then the lists can be accompanied by check-offs. Oh those satisfying check-offs! Love love love this my hooches.


Pup and I traveled around in our little Rigatoni RV for 10 days last month. I might tell a few stories eventually, but lets say that mostly what we learned is that we really do make each other laugh, that our dog is adorable, that we love living where we do, and mountains are beautiful to look at, but from a distance.


There were a few times where I thought I was on a different planet! Our countryside is as varied as clever wine names.

Oh nummy! Wine! I think a glass of Ménage à Trois is in order!

What the heck?

A shot . . . or two . . .
We stayed in lots of KOAs across the land and I have to say that after a long day of sightseeing and defying death, it's so nice to come home to wifi, cable, sewer and water, and our cozy, big, over-the-cab bed. We were the smallest rig every night in those KOAs. How do those people drive an entire house around the country?  Some of those RVs are amazingly huge. Pup and I did laugh every night pulling in with our little Rigatoni. We looked a bit 1980s because, well, Rigatoni IS 1980s.

But it has a bathroom, hot water heater, a furnace, an oven, and a tiny TV for movies. Perfect for two bone-tired travelers at the end of the day.

We would sit at the tiny table and plot out the day to follow. How many miles, where we would stop, and what we would see.

Most heavenly!


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Love Sitting in a Bar

I know that sounds bad. But I do. I love all the chatter, and energy, and good lookin' people, and laughter. I love the young and generally adorable servers. I love how they will bring me anything I want within reason.

I had the best day yesterday.

In the morning I scrubbed and vacuumed our camper, The Burn Unit (we lit on fire a couple of years ago), to get ready for a trip Pup and I are taking around the world. Well, maybe not exactly around the world, but around a few places.

It was, from what the weather-boys were saying, maybe the last warmish day for a while and the dew points were sky-high. I let my hair air dry all morning which always makes for an interesting hair day. Boooya! That camper looks nice though. It really suffered from last years trip down that long winding trail into the woods with the kids. Sadly, we can never bring it down there again. Can you see my sad face?

So . . . chores finished I headed out in The Captain (our Honda Pilot) to pick up my Shelley-Belly where we relaxed with mani/pedi's and then went for cocktails outside at one of my favorite places.

Sitting outside at a bar here in Minnesota can be a couple of things. It can be too windy, the sun can be glaring in your eyes, it can be so f-ing hot you sweat into your fish tacos, or the venue is on an exhaust-blowing avenue. Bitch much?

Yesterday was not like that. Perfect. Gentle breeze, overcast just the perfect amount, even with the dew points the temp a perfect setting. Good food, my beloved Makers Mark, and good conversation punctuated with loud (from my end) peals of laughter.

I didn't want to leave. Why can't I just spend my life sitting in an elegant bar, sipping my bourbon, laughing and talking?


I kid! But yesterday did remind me of an outing I took many years ago with the Wasband and another couple.

We had gone to a wonderful Minneapolis landmark, Nye's Polonaise Room, for the start of our day together. I had ordered a rum and diet, which was my drink at that time, had taken my first sip, and hollered out, "Hey! Did you put ANY diet coke in here?"

The barkeep immediately hollered back, "If that's what you want, get your ass to Applebee's!"

We all fell out laughing and laughing. I sipped my wonderful cocktail with my tail between my legs, fully chastised.

Drink on my hooches!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hot Men Friday

Justin Theroux

I really enjoy GQ magazine. I read it at my salon. I keep thinking that I need to get a subscription for Pup.

Guys this like this one are part of the reason for my love of the magazine.
Like this guy.

I dated one guy in my lifetime that had this vibe. This hipster, I-can-wear-anything-and-look-cool vibe. I swoon a little when I see a guy like this on the street.

But this guy, this guy . . . hair, fierce face, ripped, nice, sweet, smart (seemingly), and talented.

And he dates my biggest girl-crush of all time.
I love Jennifer Aniston. She's a perfect girl to me. Lovely, strong body, great hair, and walks along in her own comfort. Doesn't bend to swollen lips, exaggerated hair extensions, or only dressing the right way. She wears what she wants. I admire that.

But this guy . . .
Yeah, this guy . . .

He is the right amount of hairy and while he may be a little scrawny for my normal taste, his NYC thing works. Those guys have to be scrawny. The long thin legs in jeans, the lean arms that are like rocks, the abs you could do a rubbing on.

He's the reason I wanted to start watching The Leftovers. Now I'm watching because the show is good. Are any of you watching?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Safe in my Lilith Fair Care

Remember Lilith Fair?
I heard Sarah McLachlan tried to revive it a few years back and it failed. The thought made me sad. I still love listening to Sarah even though one of her songs is overplayed on a pet rescue commercial. I've seen her in concert several times and I've always found her music lovely and poignant.

The festival took place only three years. 1997, 1998, and 1999. My Bella went with a group of girls and some mothers in 97 and Bella, Lorenzo, and I went with a couple of other mothers and their daughters along with a few of their friends in 98 and 99.

It was an enjoyable festival! All that good music in one place always makes me happy. And taking your daughters for an event as this was bonding and memorable.

I remember the festivals as mostly just that. Lots of mothers with their daughters, lots of young women, lots of lesbians, and a few dazed and confused men wandering around wondering why this wasn't working out as an opportunity for them. Those guys made me laugh always the hardest.

At that time in our lives, the girls and I lived with their daddy in a small town so I clearly remember them experiencing an alternative type of lifestyle they hadn't seen before. That was good as well. Believe me, I worried a bit during their young years that we were doing them a disservice living in such a rather sheltered place. I shouldn't have worried - they both moved on to be very enlightened young women in spite of that. Hooray for education.

Although maybe there was a bit too much enlightenment on one of the trips.

We had decided as a group to stay overnight close to the festival so we could get a jump in the morning staking out a good spot to enjoy the music.

We were checked into a chain hotel where we ate dinner, split up into three rooms with one mom in each room.

I remember the hotel having decks that opened out onto an atrium where there was an indoor pool and lounge chairs in this huge space. We had fed the girls, told them to put on their suits, and enjoy the pool as the other two moms and I (one was my very best friend Reechie and the other her sister) pulled out our adult beverages and relaxed in the lounge chairs to watch the girls swimming.

We were talking, drinking, and giggling for quite a while and as the three of us loved to do, talking up a storm. I can yak and somehow always find myself with women of this same love. Quel surprise!

I was gazing over at the swimming pool and glanced up at one of the many TV screens they had placed all around the atrium. Because for goodness sakes, obviously we cannot just entertain ourselves without TV yes? Don't get me started on that.

So . . . I glanced up at one of the screens that were showing the same thing on all of the screens and I thought to myself, "Is that a breast I just saw?"

Oh dear.

I keep watching.

Yes, that is a breast. And a naked butt of a well-built man. Oh - there's another butt. And some more breasts.

It finally dawns on me with a thud that somehow, the channel has been changed to one of those soft-porn stations and this is showing all over the atrium probably 30+ times over.

I jump up with my unsteady legs and hightail it down the long hall in my wedge sandals to quickly let the front desk know what is going on in the atrium.

I can hear my two fellow mommas laughing uproariously!

All I can think of is that a couple of other mommas trusted me with their precious daughters and I'm letting them watch porn!
Lorenzo and Bella bottom right

I wobble back to our chairs, sit down, take a long pull from my margarita, and say, "We shall never speak of this." Which, of course, was a huge lie. I've spoken of it a million times.

Grande surprise.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The First Haircut

Spud was born with an inordinate amount of hair. Rather thick for a brand new baby. Oh - I think they're called "newborns".


It didn't fall out like some newborn hair does. Some got rubbed off in the back when he was tiny tiny from all the back-positioning that happens with babies now.

But the first hair he was born with has stayed.

Bella and he participated in a series of University of Minnesota studies and for one of them she had to give them a lock of Spud's hair and (I think) nail clippings. So they could measure . . . measure . . . oh I forget what they were going to measure. Great fun though. Geekness runs deep in this family and this kind of stuff outweighs just about everything else. Yes!

When Bella mentioned that she and The Big B were going to take Spud for his first haircut I begged to be an annoying part with my camera. All in I think I took 81 shots. Hoooya!

Which I was. Annoying that is.
Now he looks like a little man. My adorable little potato.

Hang on all my hooches. Fall is approaching - can you feel it? I will be so sorry to let go of this perfect summer.

How you doin'?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"You Are a Bitch!" "No, That's Just My Face."

I have resting-bitch-face. I didn't know this was a thing. I knew something was wrong with my face (easy there . . .) a long time ago, but until I actually saw this phrase I didn't know what to call it!

It catches me off guard at times. I'm happily in, say, Target. Shopping, putting crap in my cart, wandering around in the office supply area (obsessed), or looking for 3 oz cups for the bathroom (where the hell are they anyway??) when I catch sight of my face in an unexpected mirror.

Aaah! There is my face. Frowning. Brow wrinkled. Mouth turned down. It always catches me off guard. I look closer into the mirror. There it is. The face. The face I'm presenting. What is going on? I'm happy in this moment. I'm wandering and thinking and shopping. Why the face?

I look again. I adjust my posture. I relax my face. I put on a pleasant expression. Now I look more like I feel. What is going on?

I think it's partly an introverted thing. Introverts get entirely lost in their own thoughts. Lost and unaware. The awareness that is lost expresses itself across the face. Resting Bitch Face. I think it's that simple.

Gah - I get headaches sometimes worrying about shit like this. Self-awareness woman!

I found this fantastic article about introverts on playfullytacky.com that I could have written. 

Originally found here.

Things You Should Know About Introverts

1) We need to recharge alone. This right here is the cusp of the entire introvert vs extrovert debate (if there is one, anyway) – Introverts need to be alone to recharge. We tend to get completely worn out by socializing. This is basically what it means to be an introvert.

2) We don’t hate being around people, but we probably hate crowds. I love being with people, but if you drop me into a large crowd I instantly feel like I’m alone and invisible. I try to avoid situations where I feel that way, so I may decline your open invitation to some random event. It doesn’t mean I don’t like to be around you, it just means I like to have more control over my surroundings.

3) We don’t mind silence. I can sit beside you in silence and not think we are having a bad time. This is especially true on road trips and can be a little confounding to true extroverts. For this reason, I especially like going to the movies where it is already considered rude to chat. Rule for dealing with introverts – don’t tell me I’m “too quiet.” I hate that. Sorry I’m making you uncomfortable, but you really don’t get to decide how much I have to talk.

4) Just because we are introverted doesn’t mean we are shy. Introvert and shy are actually two different things.

5) We can turn on an extroverted personality when necessary, but it is especially draining. I have no problem getting up in front of a group of people and giving a talk. I don’t even get nervous by a question and answer period. But, here is the thing, I will need major recharge time afterwards and I won’t be able to keep up this extroverted illusion all day. I can turn it on to dazzle a crowd, but if you take me out for lunch afterwards, I’ll probably just listen to you talk. I am an excellent listener.

6) We aren’t judging you. Did I get quiet? Do I have a mean look on my face? I’m not judging you; I’m just wrapped up in my thoughts with my bitchy-resting-face on. I might have even forgotten you were there. Sorry, just poke me. I didn’t do it on purpose.

7) We secretly love it when you cancel plans. I like being with you, but finding out I suddenly don’t need to be “on” and it wasn’t actually me that backed out? – priceless! Don’t worry if you have to cancel, I’m probably thrilled to be able to stay in my pajamas.

8) We can get very wrapped up in our own thoughts. My inner monologue is epic. When you have a strong monologue constantly running in the background, it is pretty easy to settle-in and listen for a while. I have to work through things in my head before I proceed, so I usually need a few minutes. When I’m ready to move forward though, I am 100 percent on top of it!

9) We can be pretty bad at connecting. You know when you have had a really bad day and you just want to call up a friend and chat? Yeah, I’m bad at that. I tend to wait for extroverts to reach out and include me, so when the time comes that I need support, I can be a bit lost.

10) We don’t like to hang around. That time after an event or meeting ends and stragglers hang around to talk – yeah, I know this is the perfect time to make more plans, connect with new people, and get involved with future projects, but I really really really hate this. I’m probably already checking my phone in my car before you have even picked up your purse. Small talk with strangers is my kryptonite.

11) We have strong opinions. Just because I have difficulty sharing them sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. Give me an extra minute to compose my thoughts and I will continue to push myself to speak up sooner. It is a give and take here.

Monday, August 4, 2014

When I Look at You

We went camping with the young uns last summer.

When I was dating my wasband we discovered, through a friend, a place deep in some acreage owned by a paper mill. You couldn't have stumbled on it if you were trying. We're talking deep, deep in the woods. On a little, charming river.

I was probably 20 or 21 the first time I went up there. We had a large group of friends and we all settled into yearly trips up to this magical place. Three to four times a year minimally.

Wasband and I started out in a small tent, then graduated to a camper that sits in a truck bed. Oh the luxury of a real bed! And a sink to do dishes in. And a stove. But I digress.

We would bring all of our toys up there because there are literally miles and miles of trails and seldom-used roads for dirt biking, dune buggies, and 4-wheelers. I was the only girl that had a dirt bike, but I was so horrible at it that I rarely went out with the boys. Instead, I would putt around the trails on my own and had such a blast I can't even tell you. I loved my version of dirt biking. Once in a rare while the boys would take pity on my and let me ride along. I'd struggle to keep up and I remember one of our friends, Jeff, would always make sure I was in sight.

Wasband also had a dune buggy he had made out of a Ford Lincoln chassis (I think it was a Ford Lincoln - it was from a huge car anyway) and we would pile on that and race around wreaking havoc and sprinkling fun-dust all over that place. For miles and miles.

We were very young and very much the partiers as some 20-somethings are. Lots of laughing, drinking, and just general shenanigans as you can imagine.

The group began aging. Wasband and I got married, then got pregnant. I remember hopping in and out of the truck camper with my 8-month belly. You just figure out a way to do the things you need to do somehow. I would sit in one of those tri-fold chairs with the foot part elevated a bit so I could rest my swollen ankles and somehow squeezed my large belly into that small over-the-cab bed.

The next year we had a nine-month old baby to bring with us. We have photos of Bella sitting in a playpen with a little visor on her head. Looking at us with her old-soul eyes. We would throw her into the overhead bed and board her in so she couldn't roll out of the bed in her sleep.
She would peek out of the small window and watch us at the campfire while we were talking, drinking, laughing. We would see her little face and say, "Sleepy-byes Bella! Go sleepy-byes!" Her little head would disappear, but I'd soon spot it again. She would eventually fall asleep listening to our silliness.

We kept camping. Lorenzo was born into the same deal. Eventually we bought a large, old, Winnebago and squeezed that thing down the winding, never-ending trail that led to our campsite.

We would take family trips there. I vividly remember once camping with all of our friends and then we stayed on for another week or so and camped just the four of us. Lorenzo was so little that she was still running around with a pacifier, lovingly called her "fire" by her adorable self, and a bonnet on her head.
I don't know why, but the chipmunks loved her pacifiers and if we left one out on the table when we went to bed they would scamper onto the table and STEAL them! Lorenzo would bellow in the morning, "Meemunks took my fire!! Momma! Meemunks took my fire!" I can see her little body running around the campsite shaking her finger. I still wonder why those damn chipmunks were so in love with Lorenzo's pacifiers!? So funny to think about. Tears are squirting out of my eyes just a little bit right now just having this memory.

Family camping. We never could quite afford Disney World or flying anywhere for that matter, but family camping was the highlight of every summer for us as a young family.

What could have been better?
Apologies - all photos were taken from prints that I shot with my camera. No scanner.  :(

Saturday, July 26, 2014

When in Doubt, Write It Out

One thing you can say about me is . . .

Oh wait . . .

I think the truth of it is either nothing would be said or lots would be said. Never one thing.

I was thinking the other day about how I have a level of awareness around my annoying ways. Yet speak of my annoying ways always. If I'm annoying, and believe this to be true, then the annoyance should be owned and not qualified.

If you made it through that then I'm in love with you and you need to be my new best friend.

The date today is 26.07.14. I find this shocking.
Comic Relief 
I have no job.

Yes, I work for Pup and watch my Spud-Muffin, but I bring in no money on my own. Initially this didn't bother me much. In my two marriages there has been an ebb and flow with finances. Especially in my first marriage. I was a stay-at-home-momma and brought in nothing other than random part-time gigs that I would find to bolster up the monthly receivables. And eventually I had a corporate job where I made more than half of the monthlies. So for a great portion of my first marriage my Wasband made the lion's share of the dough-ray-me and for about six years I made a bit more.

But, either way, it never mattered. Wasband and I didn't butt heads too much in this part of our financial planning. Maybe in other ways, but not in this way.

Marriage #2 has been much different. I lost the corporate job a few months before we got married. I went back to school for a period (disaster) then eventually found a job in my field at what I affectionately called "The Tumbler." Again, disaster. Hilariously so, but wow, disaster. I recently found a tongue-in-cheek job description I had written for my replacement and laughed out loud I'm so damn funny. But it spoke to my level of unhappiness with that horrible job.

I ramble here . . .

Then I worked for a lovely consignment shop in a chi-chi neighborhood for a couple of years. Made NO money, but made friends that I will have forever and had a blast working in one of my favorite fields. Fashion and hunting. Because what is more gratifying than the fashion-hunt? Consignment/thrift isn't for everyone, but I love it so.

Then we bought The Firm and we decided I'd watch Spud and work for my darling husband, Pup.

All well and good.

Except I bring in no money.

It's a weird thing.

I don't think she meant any harm, but once during a conversation with a friend we were bantering about any "work" we might want or need on our person (ahem) and I mentioned a few things I wouldn't have any bad thoughts to having done. I said, "Yeah, I've heard that ________ wouldn't cost me so much and have good results." She said, "You mean it wouldn't cost Pup so much."

I was taken aback.

Pup and I are a family, but my contributions are entirely service-based, not financial. Aaaah!

And it struck me hard . . . I have no money to call my own. Probably for the first time, actually, yes, for the first time in my life.


I gotta say, writing all of this out is enlightening. This is the reason people, some people anyway, write. You can have all of these thoughts in your fucking head, but until they are written out you don't know what you really think.

Thanks my invisible community!

Ooops! How did that get in there?

Okay, that's better.

Smooches my hooches. I hug and love.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

If You Like It Then You Better Put a Ring on It

Ha! Haha is what I say!

There; I had to get that out. Like stretching, laughing is purifying yes?

Today is the 15th of July. That frightens me. Summer is scooching by with an alarming speed. I'm love love loving this summer. We've only had our central air on twice or so. Emoji for happiness! Lots of rain which has made a very lush lawn, but has caused lots of flooding all over. It's never perfect as we know. Mother Nature just can't be equitable. She's over here; she's over there. She is random in her gifts and random in her penalties. I do love her. She's a woman. Never be too predictable.

We recently went to Vegas for a family trip to celebrate my birthday and me and Pup's fifth anniversary. Pup, me, Lorenzo, Rand-Man (I hope this is my final alliteration of the boy's name), and Bella. Bella's husband, B, stayed home with Spud, but we missed him.

Five years? I've joked for a few years how we are newlyweds. I guess I'll have to put that joke to bed. Five years is a chunk of time! We had gotten married in Vegas so we always said we would return to the scene of the crime for our fifth.

Pup and I had taken an earlier flight on a Thursday and the kidlettes were arriving that evening. While we were hanging about watching the soccer match in the sports book when Pup's phone rang.

It was Rand-Man asking Pup a question. Would we mind, since it was our vacation to celebrate, would we mind if he asked Lorenzo to marry him while in Vegas? He had a ring in his pocket that was quite literally (I know that isn't correct) burning a hole in his pocket.

Would we mind???

My squeals were loud and maybe just a little bourbon infused. Pup and I giggled the rest of the day.

We were sworn to silence. We can keep a secret if we have to. Pup especially is very good at it. He does have five sisters after all. He is the sister-whisperer and can keep a secret like no other. Even from me at times.

It was hard to zip it with the kidlettes once they arrived! Our happiness was concealed by the fact that, yes, we were entirely happy to see all of them. But now came the hard part. We had to wait for Randy to decide when the right time was to spring it on Lorenzo.

The following day we were hanging out in the pool, having a laughing and talking and lounging and drinking time. Oh so fun. Towards the later afternoon Rand-Man asked Lorenzo to go up to the room for a bit. She wriggled her eyebrows in a teasing fashion and we all said, "oooooh??" So classy.

Later, Bella, Pup, and I were in our suite and the knock came on the door and they swooped in to tell us the news. Much crying and looking at the ring and more crying. Such happiness.

I won't give all of his proposal speech here, but one part that touched me (out of plenty of parts let me tell you) he said that she was already family to him and would she become family for real. He is a very family-oriented man. We do love him. And now he is part of our family

The gifts in my life just keep coming.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hot Men Friday or Any Day

Kit Harington - Jon Snow on Game of Thrones

Oh my.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I Can't Hula Hoop

I've tried and tried. I don't have the swing in my fling. I don't have the motion in my ocean. It bugs! I have a lovely pink (super-gendering! Apologies Bella!) one that shushes with every movement. If I could get it to move.

I've watched people. It seems endlessly easy! Move your trunk around. I do it and it slides down, down, down, to my knees and before you know it, I look like a prospector that has just found gold. Hopping up and down like my shaker has a boatload in it. Yeah, that's what I said.


I also cannot navigate my way out of my driveway. I can't move like Beyoncé. I tried once and actually thought I heard something cracking! Ha!

I can't get my body into Ketosis. I can't stand oil pulling. I can't back out of a parking space without leaving about 20 feet between me and whatever the hell is behind me (spazz). I can't make a cake look pretty. I can't walk into a party alone. I can't put on makeup. I can't think. I can't grocery shop without a list.

I have a bunch of things I can do, but writing all of this today made me laugh!

I was in our basement looking for something a day or so ago and found my lonely hula hoop. Propped up against a pile of games. It looked so fun! I picked it up and shook it - listening to the little beads shushing shushing around. I want to hula!

I placed it around my waist. Made the rocking motions I imagine will work. It falls to the ground with a thunk and thud. Gah!

I think I'll go bike riding! I can do that!

What frustrating thing can't you do?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Last Night . . .

Pup and I were out on the deck enjoying a lovely evening and contemplating giving George a walk about in the neighborhood. He turned to me and said, "Hey - you know that twitch I get in my head the last few times we had sex? Let's go see if it happens again."

First I snorted because that man makes me laugh! Then I shot him a look and said, "That's it? That's the sweet-talking you use to get to me?"

He started laughing and holding his supposedly twitching forehead said, "You really should be writing about this stuff. I'm gold! Pure gold!"

The man thinks highly of himself! I told him I was very glad that someone does.  ;)

I won't finish the story, but I bet it goes where you wouldn't imagine it goes.

And it got me wondering why I am not writing? Don't I have plenty to say still? Oh I do! If you can take it, I can make it.

Around here in Chez Emerson-land it's been busy as everyone is busy. Doing this and that. Going here and there. I watch the Spud (darling grandson) a few days a week and I do have to admit that I am his favorite Gigi. Only because his other grandma goes by Grandma. Although I do whisper in his ear every time I see him, "Gigi is your favorite right Spud?" He favors me with his two-toofums and contemplates me with eyes I remember his momma contemplating me with back when she was 7.5 months. It's eerie and wonderful. It makes me stare at him on the daily if I have him.

He and I walk around the neighborhood. Spud in a stroller and me clutching the handles and looking at him while he reclines in his seat. His chubby thighs exposed and in the air. He swings his little legs and looks all around the neighborhood while we are moving. I make him wear a hat and while he moves his head the hat becomes askew. I stop frequently to fix it. Rather compulsively. I wonder if he'll remember any of these times we spend together. If he'll remember how he listens so seriously to Hop on Pop. I know he won't, but I feel blessed, yes BLESSED to be watching him right now.

I delight when his daddy drops him off and when he hears and sees me his sweet little face breaks out into the hugest grin. Sheesh I've become a maudlin and mushy person. At least with him. Maybe with others I've become a huger pain the ass. But we won't talk about that! Heh!

George loves that baby. Even though lots of Spud's toys squeak and some even look like one of George's toys, he never, ever touches one.

I'm certain it's way too early, but Spud's hair is taking on a ginger-look. His great-grandma (my momma) had red hair and it isn't out of the realm of possibility his could be red. We'll see. It changes on the daily. His eyes have settled into the beautiful gray blue of his daddy's eyes.

There are other things going on around here, but this is foremost on the mind today. Who knows what will be in that cavern tomorrow?
Thug Life

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Facebook Life

I've fallen out of love with Facebook. It took two years, but I'm breaking it off. Probably not in its entirety, but definitely out of my heart.

It can be fantastic. A fantastic way to stay in touch with people. In fact, a cousin I haven't spoken to in years found me through who knows where the other day to give me some important family news. It's great for that. It's great for relatives to see photos of new additions to families, it's a wonderful way to organize meetings, clubs, events, parties, yes to all of this!

There are too many unspoken rules, too many missteps you can unknowingly or deliberately make. Too many places for Gigi's, like myself, to overstep with their grandchildren; no matter how perfect and adorable they are. I mean seriously, I posted a video I made of Spud where he is doing nothing but staring at himself for a minute. Gripping cinema.

I hate how everything I do online wants me to signup through Facebook. FB already knows every website I've been looking at, why would I want it to know how much or where I've spent money?

I'm not smart enough to weave and dodge all the traps.

I was on the phone with my sister a few weeks ago and she mentioned that she had noticed that I don't "like" all/any of some posts from a family member. I replied with some smart-assy retort, but it's stuck in my mind since. Do people really notice who "likes" or doesn't like anything people say? Gah . . . I can't remember to put water in the coffee pot before I turn it on. I'm going to remember to "like" posts from people I don't even like that much in real life?

And the statuses. Oye vey to the statuses. Peeps are either cryptic, "Sigh . . . why do these things only happen to me?" Or they're morosely quotation-happy, "People can't wipe their feet on you if you don't lay down." Fuck! And haha just a little bit.

Then there are the endlessly happy and perfect people. Their husband loves them and is amazing with gifts/flowers/trips. Or their children only win awards, are good looking, and get good grades.

Now, mind you, I'm certain I've been guilty of all and more of these things.

I scroll like a mother-fucker through it all. Hoping to see a nugget of real in there somewhere. Why am I craving the real?

I have a girlfriend that moved far away recently. She's very stealth-like in her Facebooking. She has NOTHING on her page. She seriously only uses it to view photos of her grandkids and, perhaps, do a bit of lurking here and there. She makes no missteps. Even if you message her she won't reply.

I have another girlfriend that is very judicious. She will reply here and there. "Like" something here and there. But for the most part she's very elegant and quiet.

I am not elegant or quiet. In real life or with my thoughts. It would be lovely to be elegant. I'll have to ask someone what it's like.

It's not just Facebook here either. I post on a health-related site where there are "friends" you can garner so you can have support in your progress. I was posting in a Keto (nutritional ketosis - a new trial I'm attempting) thread and had sent a few friend requests to a few people that were doing Keto as well. One woman wrote back and demanded to know "why" I wanted to be her friend and would I be supportive and write on her status every day as a good supporter would? I replied, "Probably not. Please feel free to ignore my request."

She friended me anyway.

I'm not sure why I'm spilling all of this out from my earnestly tapping fingers. The more I write, the more I can see this just may be my issue. Everyone else seems perfectly happy Facebooking away. Lurking or prolific. Quotation-happy or equivocal. Bounteous or meager. Somehow I get knots in my knickers and feel above the fray.

It must be my Facebooking way.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Do I Need a Cleanse?

March 5

It's only March 5th.

Around here much winter is still left.

I'm so tired of my knee boots I want to toss them. They'll be ready to be tossed since they look like crap with all the salt and wet they pick up daily. Blech . . .

My coats look like crap. No matter what natty scarf I put with them they look like crap. I'm not feeling particularly natty.  :)

My chub layer of winter protection is particularly chubby this season. My jeans are snug. My hair dank and listless. My eyes watery and vacant.

Don't I sound pretty? Heh!

It's bleak and dreary, snowy and frosty, cold and blustery. My poor dog George (AmStaff) is a constant pain in the ass. He can't really go outdoors for long as he has very short fur. After five minutes or so his little paws are being lifted and he's shivering like crazy. He thinks he'd love to be out there, but after a couple of turns around the block he's ready to go home. And this is only if I haven't killed myself with the slippin' and sliddin' that I'm doing in my freaking BOOTS!

The kitties are making me insane. See the lamp in the photo in my header? Gone. The baby-kitty broke it. This is the second lamp he has broken. I cried and screamed like my heart was broken as well. It's not. But that lamp was incroyablement frays and I nearly cannot look at my header any longer. :(

Whew . . .

I even went shopping over the weekend with a friend and it bored me to tears. SHOPPING people! I love shopping!

I am laughing a little bit right now. Always when I write my complaints out I feel better. Y'all might be depressed now, but I feel better! It's not fair is it?

Looking Forward
  1. A pedicure. One of those always make me feel like Havaianas are not far from my everyday life. I'll scope out my new pair for the season. Should I get the color of the sun?
  2. A new handbag. Something lovely and statement-making. I won't even mention what I'm eyeballing because I'll get pounded with handbag-hate. (Givenchy)  Oooops! I said it.
  3. Decorating the former Den. I'm thinking and thinking. It's now dual-duty with the Spud (grand baby) so it needs to be a little bit baby and a little bit guest. I'll figure out something. Maybe. And I have to stop calling it the den. The desk is long gone.
  4. I have started a new protocol with a new doctor for some of my issues - insomnia being one. And all the bad things that go along with insomnia. I'm entering week three. I see some progress and will report what happens by week six when I see him again. Let's just say I am feeling hopeful and happy.
  5. I'm looking forward with a happiness that is unbridled to taking Spud for walks when spring arrives. He and I will have the best summer. This city is full of beautiful lakes and I want to stroll about with the most beautiful boy and have everyone fawn all over him. His smile will light up all worlds! Is that overstated just a bit? Hell no!  :)
  6. Pup and I are considering Jamaica for our April trip. Negril's beach looks like the place for a lovely, relaxing time. My new doc said to get my arse in the SUN! I have no desire to disobey for once.
Aaaaaaah! I'm purged! It's good. 

How are you guys coping this long winter season? New haircuts? New purchases? New resolves? Scratch those itches bitches!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Practical Application 2

Number One
  • Coconut oil (read this article if interested in a sampling of benefits) is being used more and more
I've been using coconut oil for six years now, but just recently started applying it after my showers. This morning, since I'm watching the Spud today and he loves me even without makeup, I have put it on my face.

If that doesn't interest you (I am a little slick right now - I'm certain Pup will not kiss me goodbye when he leaves for The Firm - well not my lips anyway) try using it the next time you cook something in a pan. You know - cooking? I'm actually saying this to myself as very little cooking gets done around here - especially during the tax season. 

One of my favorite things to do in a quick pinch is sauté shredded cabbage in coconut oil and pour any saucy thing you were conjuring up on top of the cabbage. Totally delicious substitute for pasta - the devil. Pasta, that is.

Number Two
  • Lemon water. I've read several studies lauding the wonders of drinking a glass or mug of warmish lemon water first thing in the morning. Said to help rid the poor, abused liver of toxins and venom. Any help I can give my liver is aces in my book.
It really is refreshing in the morning. I've been cutting up lemons and leaving in the fridge here at home and the fridge at The Firm so I can squeeze them randomly. Hmm . . . doesn't that sound lovely? Being squeezed randomly?

Number Three
  • Checking out the Keto way of eating. Click on this article and this article if interested. 
The gist of Keto is to eat dark green leafy vegetables, fatty red meats, chicken with the skin left on, fish, offal (organ meat), eggs, seeds and nuts, full-fat dairy, or anything else you can find rich in nutrition, fat, protein, and fiber.

Recommended fats are olive oil, grass fed butter, and coconut oil.

If you're shuddering and worried about the amount of fat, let me gently remind all of us that this obesity epidemic started when we removed fat from our diets. We replaced the fat with sugar sugar sugar.

All that sugar with no fat to offset its effects played havoc with our insulin responses and has led to all of these thickening bellys, aging skin, and frankly, diabetes.

Do any of you remember what it was like back when the fat-scare first started? I had a family member that strictly took out all fat from her family's diet because she was so frightened of heart disease. My Wasband could hardly look at this person without wincing because her skin started looking strange. It was kinda stretched across her face like dried paper. It didn't look good. And she was a young woman at the time!

I remember quietly keeping fat in my kids diets (whole milk for one), but I totally used margarine. I really regret knuckling under and believing that butter was BAD.

I also remember having a drawn-out argument with my kid's pediatrician about keeping them on whole milk. He said I was setting them up to be fat adults. I just kept repeating that developing brains need fat. I don't even remember how I knew that! I was a total pain in his ass. He did not like me.

I refused to stop giving them eggs as well. He nearly blew a gasket on that one. Oh well. Lots of people don't like me! Heh!

Long story short - now we know that we need this good fat to keep all of our stuff working and more and more docs are believing that sugar feeds cancers! That one blows my mind.

It's not an easy way to eat. I'm struggling with the percentages. It's hard to get the fat in and the carbs down. But I feel fantastic when I do.

Number Four
  • The detox bath.
I am trying to squeeze these into my weekly routine. Tub full of beautiful, warm water, 2 cups of epsom salts, 1 cup of baking soda. Soak and relax. Helps with your sleep quality as well.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Would you look good?

. . . in a potato sack?
I said pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.
~Marilyn Monroe

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You

Pup and I live in a mostly sweet little neighborhood of 1960s housing in a part of Minneapolis that is neither totally the hood, nor very swanky. Just a middle-class neighborhood full of diversity and hope. Growing younger all the time which is fantastic!

Our neighbors are great. I wouldn't call our street the kind of street that is in each other's faces all the time, but we're a fairly friendly bunch.

Then the Hillbillys moved in. A motley crew. I wouldn't have thought much about them except the youngish man that owns the house made certain to come over and introduce himself. A talker - letting me know how "people come and go" a lot because he's so generous to all his friends. And how he's on disability for some physical thing so he's home most of the time. A little alarm went off at the time for me, but I did squash it down a bit.

My schedule is rather fluid and since our office window faces the street the Hillbilly's house is in full view when I'm working or goofin'. I noticed a lot of traffic coming and going. You know - car pulls up, a guy (usually) hops out, goes into the house, is out in about five minutes. Yep.

We even witnessed the police do an early morning raid complete with battering rams. But, as I've said, it was back to business in a day or so. Blech!

Last week Pup got stuck just off the street while plowing (I kvetched charmingly about it in a post) and two of the Hillbilly's came on the front stoop to watch and smoke.

So yesterday I'm innocently watching K-Spud in the afternoon. He's taking a little snooze on the couch in his little co-sleeper bed, I'm watching Ellen or lurking on Facebook - something totally useful I'm certain!

I text Pup a photo, but through the magic of Awesome Google Photos (or some such feature) it took my snaps and made this for me . . .
I think I laughed for a half hour. Had to hold the Spud so he could drift off back to sleep. In spite of Gigi still shaking with laughter. He'll get used to it. Poppy and I are so classy!

Is schadenfreude going to send me straight to hell? Will I see any of you smoochie-hoochies there? Please come visit me.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Feeling Grace

I don't have an interesting life.
It's fascinating to me, but on the whole - pretty tame stuff.
. . . and February . . . can we talk about February? I need to find a way to love February. It could be Valentine's Day, but frankly, that little day kinda makes me yawn. Although I do love fresh flowers in the house. Lovely.
I seem to lose my joy in February. I'm going to think about that for more than a minute. This could change!

Feeling Grace:
  1. The Firm is going better than Pup could have imagined I think. New clients have been pouring in. One directly from my efforts. Wha?? Marketing! No wonder every marketing department I've ever worked for was the first to be cut in hard times. The payoff never looks tangible. It is, but it's  hidden. Deeply hidden. 
  2. Even when I'm bored with every damn thing in my house, if I clean it - it looks fantastic!
  3. We had a little celebration here and all of that wine did NOT get drank. It's all mine still baby.
  4. However, I made a huge dent in that carafe of Maker's Mark.
  5. Coffee - I feel an infinity with coffee. Especially in February.
  6. When the temperature is way below zero, it is always beautiful outside. Bright, snowy, bluest sky, quite lovely.
  7. Even though I have not driven the Pilot yet, I do love seeing it in the garage knowing I will be driving it when Pup goes back to his little summer car. In the summer. Ha! Not that he wouldn't let me drive it now, but he hates my Ruby (Jeep Wrangler) and I love it so why would I make him suffer needlessly? He suffers enough let me tell you.
  8. That's a lie - he's a pretty happy guy. Who wouldn't want to be married to me? (picture toe circling on the floor - perfect expression on my face - heh!).
  9. I've been smoothing on coconut oil after my shower every morning. It smells divine and I'm as smooth as K-Spud, super baby. For real!
  10. I've been getting manicures for a few months now and I have to say I feel happy when I look at my fingers. My nails are pretty. If that's shallow I'll have to live with it, because it's FEBRUARY!    :)
I know many parts of our country is having a WINTER! Many places are having snow when they usually get none, cold where they are not used it, and slippin' and sliddin' is NOT fun. Hang tight everyone. Seriously, stay home if you're not used to bad roads. Stay home and keep it warm if you can. Spring will get here. Sorry comfort I know, but we need to make February our favorite month yes?

Smooches to my sexy-ass hooches.

sorry, hard to not include this guy - love love love

Friday, February 7, 2014

Do a Little Dance

Make a little love.

I keep calling the grand-spud KD the Sunshine Boy. Then this song spring into my mind. Remember them? KC and the Sunshine Band?
Get down tonight.

I think I saw them in concert back back.

Little KD the Sunshine Boy
He looks a little bemused here yes? He had just woken up from a nice long sleepy-byes and I took this shot to send to his momma and I captioned it, "Momma, my pants are too small."

Sometimes he looks at me with his little eyes that look so much like his momma's little eyes when she was a baby. He looks at me and I can see he's thinking. I read a story to him yesterday and I swear he was listening intently.


My least favorite month. Which really means a change should come. Make the change!

Our loft bedroom has a wall of windows on the southern end. It gets warm and toasty up there and most days the three furry pets hang up there soaking in the sun. It makes you happy even if you fight it! Powerful thing the sun.

Baby, let's get together 
Honey hush, me and you 
And do the things 
Ah, do the things 
That we like to do 
Oh . . .

Do a little dance!