Home Sweet Home

I’m at a conference this week.

I thought that I would really enjoy the time away from home and from my routine. But I just want to be at home with my dog and my bed and the basket of laundry that I need to do.

It’s hard to be away in the summertime when home looks like this:


That’s my mom and dad’s backyard.

So, while this Westin Heavenly Bed is appropriately named, I’m really looking forward to getting home. 

Room for Improvement

I like to think of myself as a fairly decent person. One place I need to improve, however, is my tendency to be judgy.

I am not across-the-board judgy. When it comes to strangers or even acquaintances, I’m actually pretty decent at realizing that people come from different circumstances and make different choices and that my way truly isn’t always the best way. And we all screw up. And we all do stupid things. And we all wish we could take something back or do something over.

So, in some ways, I am not horribly judgmental. Where I fail is when it comes to those I am really close to and then I am occasionally infuriated by the decisions that they make or the things that they choose to do and that’s because I love those extra-close people but that’s not a good way of expressing it. That’s not compassionate or kind. It’s just mean. And I swear that I am not a mean person. (Maybe, after writing this, I should reassess.)

There has to be some happy middle between resignation and disgust. Where I could wish that someone made a better choice but didn’t think they were a complete idiot for making the one that they did.

It’s not a very nice way to wish the best for someone. I would like to be better.

Wanderer

Yesterday, as they were settled in to watch the Olympics, my parents got a call from the neighbors.

These are close friends as well as neighbors. They (along with another couple in the neighborhood) grew up with my parents. They graduated from high school together. My mom grew up in the same neighborhood as the husband; he and my dad were on the football team together. And then I went to school with all of their kids. It’s very quaint.

What I’m saying is this: they know my grandparents and they’ve known them for 50 years.

So the neighbors call my parents and say “we just saw your dad, alone, walking over by the church.”

It has been six months since my grandparents moved into senior apartments that are, conveniently, around the corner from the neighborhood where my parents (and their lifelong friends) live. With my grandpa’s dementia, and my grandma’s occasional lapse in caregiver judgement, this scenario is very feasible.

They get in the car immediately. They drive to the church. No grandpa. The drive back to the apartment. It’s all closed up. My mom breaks out her key and they bust into my grandma and grandpa’s apartment and: grandpa is sitting at the kitchen table.

Better to be safe than sorry.

Lucky to have neighbors who look out for you.

And fortunate, of course, that Grandpa hasn’t taken to wandering. (Yet.) (Knock on wood.)

Return Visit

image1 (1)I didn’t expect to like France so much.

I most certainly didn’t think that I would miss it at all.

But five weeks post-vacation and I find that I very much would like to return. As soon as possible, please and thank you.

It’s really too bad that I am in a profession where I have what is essentially a 0% chance of living abroad and also that I forgot to find myself a nice Frenchman to marry while I was there. (Truth be told: Frenchmen didn’t much seem to care for me. The Irish, though. I might have a chance with a gentleman from Ireland.)IMG_1469

My immigration chances: slim.

I might have to quit my job, move abroad and write* a book.

Sort of like Eat, Pray, Love but for pastries.

Mille-feuille, Croissant, Religieuse: coming to your local library in 2018.

 

*For the time being, let’s all agree to look past the obvious, which is that I can’t even blog lately, let alone write an entire book.

Greener

IMG_1566This summer, I have found myself remarkably in love with my garden.

I liked it enough last year, my first full summer at my condo, but this year the obsession is strong.

There was a time I found gardening so tedious. But now it’s relaxing. A joy rather than a chore. And, oh, so fun to see what comes up and plan what annuals I can use to fill in a bit of color. (I used a lot of pink petunias this year.)

Considering how easy it is to lose an hour in the garden, it’s probably good that I didn’t buy a proper house with a proper back yard, lest I spend all of my free time digging around in the dirt.

(I do so wish I had a yard for my Brady, though.)

So that is where I am, two months until I turn 34. Pretty obsessed with my garden. And, for the record, also my houseplants. Pleased that, unlike the past two years, I am not sacrificing my August to the eHarmonizing gods. Embracing my introversion more and more every day. A little bored. A little optimistic. Craving Bing cherries. In need of a pedicure that I won’t get. Thinking about the mums that I will plant come fall.

Wins

Wondering where I’ve been?

Achieving minor life victories!

Successfully navigating the health insurance/healthcare maze, reducing a bill to $0: win. If I learned anything from my knee injury two years ago, it was how to really read my explanation of benefits and really check the bills from my providers. In this case, I was getting screwed from my provider, who was apparently billing me just for fun and/or to test my skills. Lucky for me, they were so nasty on the phone the first time I tried to rectify the problem that I was determined not to pay them a penny more than they were due. I dug in and called around and, nope, I am not paying a penny. Because I was right in the first place. Win.

Actually starting a book at a time in this year 2016 when I’m not even on vacation:

Finding my favorite rosé from my trip to France at a wine store here: win.

Finding a really inexpensive rosé that I also love: win.

Liberally hiding people on the Facebook: possibly the biggest minor win I’ve had in recent months. (And so well-timed with election season!) Does seeing your updates and/or pictures of your face make me sad, annoyed, bored, irate or disgusted? Girl, bye.

Transitioning to a new phone case: win. Okay, so I’m really weird and hate switching my phone case and this was a pretty big switch because I went from leather to some sort of a composite and this new case is a big change.

Sucking it up and updating my budget which I’ve needed to do for approximately 19 months: win.

Remembering to water my flowers and therefore keeping them alive during last week’s very warm weather: win. This is a very minor victory because I am currently obsessed with my gardens. More about that later.

Successfully giving way fewer fucks about a whole host of (ultimately unimportant) things: wins on wins on wins.

Have you had any minor life victories lately? Please share so that I can steal your genius and employ it in my own in-need-of-all-the-help-it-can-get life.

Heart = Full

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My newest employee

I have been a very, very lucky auntie this summer.

Lucy has been a trooper. A big trooper. I can’t imagine taking care of one kid, let alone three. But she’s not only managing, she’s already back to taking the older boys on regular “field trips” — to the zoo, to the museum — and just taking it all in stride.

For the record: I simply cannot fathom being that laid back.

But I’m a beneficiary of it, that’s no doubt.

They’ve been coming to the ‘brary every week. The older boys do a program, we gossip in my office, I coo at the little one and then we all go to lunch. It is such a treat. It’s a shame that this routing won’t last forever.

I hate thinking about the end of summer, the end of Lucy’s maternity leave and of returning to doing work at work instead of spending those mornings with my favorite people.