lunch today: scrambled egg carbanara and samoas

accidentally microwaved my leftover pasta too long, which turned the sauce into scrambled eggs.  damn.  so I’m eating the top, and finishing off this blasted sleeve of Samoas that I couldn’t resist buying the other day.  left them at work; otherwise they would have been gone the day I bought them.

I utilized my lunch break to run to the post office, where I mailed THREEEE orders off!!  two should have been mailed before today but because of all the ice, I didn’t actually get out of the house until yesterday.  I should have mailed them yesterday…but, uh, that didn’t happen, so, you know.  oh well.  have I mentioned just how gratifying it is to be making money on these things??!  I mean, it’s great!!  I actually bought a case of bubble mailers and some tape today, because I keep needing them!!  whoo hoo.

so Saturday is going to be the 2 year anniversary of Matt’s death, which feels weird to say.  I had a dream about him last night, which hasn’t happened in a looong time – I can’t remember when I dreamt about him last.  these last 4 years have been so odd, and disjointed.  this last year has been full of recovery and living.  year before that I was covered in grief.  year before that I was equal parts hopeful and frightened.  year before that I was apprehensive and starting to be frightened.  it’s been very strange, and ten years ago I would have never been able to guess what was in store for me.

well, lost my train of thought thanks to blogging at work.  oops.  but I brought it up because I’m trying to decide what I want to do on Saturday.  maybe I’ll buy a bottle of mead in honor of Matt.  we’re supposed to get more snow on Friday so I don’t know about hiking — but if it’s warm enough and not raining/snowing, I might.  I wonder how he would have wanted me to spend these February 21’s.  I know that he would be happy with my life as it is right now, and proud of me.  so it’s kind of a moot point, I guess.  maybe I should see what Ryan’s doing.


O what a beautiful morning!

Am feeling pretty positive this Wednesday morning.  Last night, I tried my hand at wet-molding leather; currently the experiment is nailed to an old cutting board and drying.  It looks like it might turn out well, but we’ll see.  I need some longer nails for this; all I could round up in the garage were little picture-hanging brads.  Which are about as long as the width of my fingers, and that makes them rather difficult to hammer.  At any rate, I did get a shape to form and stay, and if it turns out I’m sure I’ll post a picture.

After that, I just started a new purse.

unfinished purse

The red lining inside is JUST too small, so I brought more material to work with me.  I’m going to make sure to get all my actual work done before I start cutting a new lining, since I think one of the reasons I’ve felt kind of off lately is because I am not really trying my hardest at work.  And I feel like I’m doing my work ethic a disservice.  So as soon as I finish everything I can, and ask my boss(es) if I can help them with anything, I’ll work on this some more.  Brought leather, too, so I can do a flap and a strap.  I think this purse is going to look super cute once it’s finished.

I’ve been seriously thinking about taking a really long weekend and dedicating it to reading.  Does anyone know of a quiet, preferably secluded place that I/we could stay?  Like, do any of you have a cabin in the woods that I could rent for cheap?  Or an empty condo in a city that’s not Nashville?  I really can’t afford to get a hotel or B&B or anything.  Sadly.  I’m almost leaning towards going to Knoxville and maybe camping in the Smokies one night, or something.  It’s a tad cold for that right now, I know…..  Still in the brainstorming stage, but I think that getting away for several days and focusing on reading would be so good for my soul.

I’m having lots of benevolent and hopeful feelings today, and am feeling unphased by depressing news on FB.  Which is odd, but awesome.  May it last all day and into the future!  If I had a mimosa, I’d toast myself.

good things

It’s Friday!!!

I’m getting ready to mail off my first ever Etsy sale.  May it be the first of many!

I really am liking the new bag I’m making.  Will probably be able to get it listed by this afternoon.

Got a new back door yesterday, complete with a deadbolt so that only someone with superhuman power should be able to kick it in now.  Ha!

My boyfriend loves me, which makes me feel like my soul is being embraced even when I’m here at work.  (I guess that’s true, in a sense.)

Plans for the weekend include a trip to the Frist, sleeping in, a house concert, a birthday party for Mozart, and possibly a movie.  Also I have an AT&T installation scheduled for tomorrow morning which will result in my bill decreasing by about half.

So, regardless of the inclement weather outside, I’m feeling warm and pleasant inside.  It’s nice.


these passages are bringing me peace this morning.

Stephen is en route to LA and will be gone until the weekend.  I’m reading Hannah Coulter which made me cry last night – it describes love and grief with such raw beauty.  what would be my 4th anniversary is a week from tomorrow.  I feel discouraged and hopeful at the same time, which is a confusing mixture of emotions.  so …… I just thought I’d type up a few of these excerpts which I’m reading this morning, and which I should read every morning.

If you close your mind in judgments

and traffic with desires,

your heart will be troubled.

If you keep your mind from judging

and aren’t led by the senses,

your heart will find peace.

Seeing into darkness is clarity.

Knowing how to yield is strength.

Use your own light

and return to the source of light.

This is called practicing eternity.


Fill your bowl to the brim

and it will spill.

Keep sharpening your knife

and it will blunt.

Chase after money and security

and your heart will never unclench.

Care about people’s approval

and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.

The only path to serenity.


Colors blind the eye.

Sounds deafen the eart.

Flavors numb the taste.

Thoughts weaken the mind.

Desires wither the heart.

The Master observes the world

but trusts his inner vision.

He allows things to come and go.

His heart is open as the sky.


Knowing others is intelligence;

knowing yourself is true wisdom.

Mastering others is strength;

mastering yourself is true power.

If you realize that you have enough,

you are truly rich.

If you stay in the center

and embrace death with your whole heart,

you will endure forever.


The Tao is always at ease.

It overcomes without competing,

answers without speaking a word,

arrives without being summoned,

accomplishes without a plan.


If you realize that all things change,

there is nothing you will try to hold on to.


That last one is going to probably take my whole life to master, and I doubt that will even be enough time.  However – I feel so much more peaceful right now than I did when I started this entry, so the words are doing me good.

Happy Tuesday!

I’m feeling about 50x better than this time yesterday, which I attribute to going to bed around 9pm last night.  Stayed up and watched a couple episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm but was asleep before 10:00 anyway.  Woke up this morning feeling refreshed and rested and – naturally – disinclined to get out of bed which is about 100x more comfortable than it was before.  (Plus there’s no lingering smell of cat pee at all.)  Nevertheless, I did get up and now here I am repeating another day at the office.  

Yesterday evening was pleasant too — I mowed the back yard (Ryan said he’d mow the front….but… know…), then had pizza for dinner while playing Skyrim on the couch.  It’s so nice to just relax and not think about anything except why it’s taking three dragonbone arrows to kill those frost trolls, and why the dragon priest I just killed doesn’t have a mask.  Ahhhh.  

The plan for tonight is to mow the front lawn and go grocery shopping.  I think that I commented a week or so ago that I’d successfully avoided grocery shopping for about a month — so now I guess it’s been 6 weeks or so.  Need to clean out my refrigerator before I go.  Yuck.  

Oh I should also do another load of laundry.  I AM going to get caught up on this shit.  And it’s going to be awesome to not have any dirty laundry at all.  

Per Liesl, the bees from yesterday’s post was not a good example of the modern art desserts so I thought I’d post another cool one.  This is a cheese platter.  

mark bradford bradford cheese

Need to get ingredients to make at least one thing in this book while I’m at Aldi today, so I can stop putting up pictures from the book and start putting up ones that I’ve taken.  Mmhm.

I didn’t actually have that much to say.  Mostly I guess I wanted to encourage all of you to purchase memory foam mattress pads and additional quilted mattress pads to go on top, as this will add about 3″ of padding to your bed and be absolutely amazing.  If you don’t like soft beds, don’t do this.  But if you like your bed experience to be one of sinking into a soft, sheet-y embrace where you can immediately forget about everything you were worrying about before, then go the memory foam route.

Matt’s birthday, 2014

I felt like doing some musing this morning. 

Today, Matt would have been 30.  It’s odd to me how distant he feels (and is) — and yet, when I go through Facebook and look at his pictures (which, I’ll note, is not usually a great idea unless I’m feeling masochistic) I can easily remember the way he felt and sounded and smelled.  

I’m still young and am learning so many things about life.  One of those things is that as I get older, I look back on past chapters in my life almost like they are from a different lifetime.  I remember different events and people like they were characters in a movie I used to watch over and over again.  They become more impersonal as time passes – relics and souvenirs of a long-gone vacation, instead of active forces influencing who I am right now.

I remember swearing to always keep Matt’s influence in my present, and I know that even if I am not conscious of it now, he is still there and will always be there.  I suppose most life transitions are not as drastic as this one, and if pain is a catalyst for change then living through a spouse’s suicide is taking the fast train.  It’s impossible to be the same person as before, when your world is up-ended and shattered.  

But I like the person I’m turning into.  Maybe it would have happened eventually, but maybe not.  It took something huge for me to have an inkling of an understanding of death and mortality, and of how one person’s life can affect so many other people’s lives (without trying, without realizing, without even caring).  Knowing Matt and experiencing everything that I have with/because of him has made me want to live as good of a life as I can.  To honor him, yes, but also because I know that I’m lucky.  I am not depressed.  I am not blighted.  I am lovable, and I do my best to love myself.  I’m grateful.

The part of me that wishes I could hold onto Matt will probably never leave, and I don’t know that I want that part to leave for good anyway.  I know that I can’t hold onto him — he’s gone, he’s never coming back of course, and that’s OK.  Because it has to be, because it is.  And I’m OK, because I want to be.  Matt loved me and wanted me to be happy, even if he couldn’t figure out how to make himself happy.  And that’s the direction I want to go in my life.  

some wednesday morning thoughts…..

this morning is absolutely gorgeous and is making me pine for autumn, and road trips, camping trips, hiking trips.  I can’t wait for the colorful, crunchy leaves and the crisp air – even though they will make me hate going to work even more than I did this morning.  something about fall makes me feel alive and energized and hopeful.  this morning, even though there is only a hint of fall in the air, I’m feeling those things.  it’s awfully nice.

last night, I watched Dead Poets Society with Stephen.  hadn’t seen this movie in years.  it was more poignant than I remember it being, but that’s because I can relate to it on a deeper level now.  you know, people complain about getting older, but I am loving the fact that the older I get, the more I can appreciate and understand life (and embrace not understanding, too).  I found myself wanting to cry several times throughout the movie, but the scene that choked me up the most was when Neil’s parents find his body in the study.  brought back painful memories, and reminded me of pain that is still very much present.  

that said, I’m happy this morning.  it’s such a good feeling.  I’m being reminded of how it feels to be liked for who I am (or at least, for my most apparent qualities — ha), and that – coupled with these reminders of the fragility of life – is making me feel alive and hopeful.  not that I don’t typically feel alive and at least a bit hopeful…but, uh, you know.  I’m not going to delve into it too much.

also I’m still relieved from talking with my boss yesterday.  SOO relieved.  

anyway, ought to work now.  


Sometimes when I look back over the last 10 years of my life, I feel grateful: for the lessons I have learned, for the person I have grown to be, for the friends who have stuck with me along my journey and also for some who haven’t. Other times when I reminisce though, I feel regret and shame – for the feelings that I have hurt, for the bad decisions I have made, for all the money I spent with nothing to show for it now.

One of my oldest Nashville friends is getting married this weekend, and someone who used to be a mutual friend is going to be the best man. In all honesty, I think this guy was my first real romantic interest. We had a somewhat turbulent friendship which never developed into anything more serious than just that; though, that said, it was complicated and ended on an even more complicated note. I’m not proud of how our relationship ended, and I know he isn’t either. It’s all in the past now, yes, but seeing his name in the wedding party list has brought up some interesting emotions.

I find that I still feel a great deal of fondness towards him. I’m not resentful or hurt or angry. I regret that we let the inevitable human drama get between us and destroy our friendship. It’s a funny thing, but I still miss our whole group, from time to time. That was the first group of friends I ever had who I felt all actually liked me and enjoyed my company, and that was such a novel and exhilarating experience. But I was foolish and immature and didn’t know how to respect myself, let alone my friends. I’m glad that I have learned and grown through experiences like these, but I wish I didn’t always insist on learning life lessons the hard way.

And I wish I could go back and undo the feelings that I have hurt in my selfish and narrow-minded past.

Babies and Bridesmaid Dresses

Sarah is 7 today – which, granted, sounds like a long time. For whatever reason though, seven years feels pretty accurate to me. It’s been a looong time since that morning in 2007 when I woke up with cramps and had a baby 12 hours later.

blog - sarah 2007

I hope so many things for Sarah, and one of the biggest of those hopes is that she won’t ever feel rejected or unloved by me. I’m not sure how best to communicate those things to her, but she’s only seven so I think there’s time. I hope her parents put in a good word for me.

I feel like I’ve been a member of the two most popular clubs in the world, but that I somehow have relinquished my membership – or had it revoked. Which leaves me feeling more separate than otherwise since I’ve been on the inside before, but I’m not anymore. This goes for being a mother and being a wife. And it’s really annoying.

That said, I did hang out with Katie and Elliott some this weekend which served as a reminder as to why I don’t have kids. Every time I think that I maybe kinda possibly do want little human dependents running around, I just have to remember back to what it’s actually like to have small children underfoot (and your responsibility). Though when I think about Sarah, obviously she would have been a charming exception to this rule. I assume.

sarah with a moustache

Anyway. I could keep going. But. The thing about the whole situation with Sarah is that (and I’ve said this before, so apologies) I know I made a good decision. I know that she has a better life than I could have given her, and that her parents have better lives because she is in them. And that makes me feel good.

In other news. Here’s that dress for Amanda’s wedding.

dress on me

I went and got a lacy cardigan thing instead of the grey shawl (below). Cropped my face out because I had just gone hiking (before going shopping) and my hair looks horrible.

dress w lace

I’m REALLY hoping this looks ok with the rest of the dresses. I feel like it’s a tad too dressy. The other bridesmaids were ordering dresses that seemed on the “nice” side to me (I mean, it IS a wedding) so I wanted a nice dress that I actually liked. Which is why I got this one. We’ll see, I guess. Going to have to get some wedges to wear with it as the wedding it outside (no heels) and the dress is mid-calf length. Even though I’m tall, without heels, this dress makes me look pretty short and squat.

Summer is quite officially here.

As we all know, summer is my least favorite season, and in fact it is one of my least favorite things in general. Instead of mowing my lawn last week when I had time, I waited until Friday; unfortunately for my lawn, it rained Friday afternoon. So no lawn-mowing that day, or the rest of the weekend for that matter. Sure I could have done it at SOME point over the weekend. But……meh. My neighbor’s yard is about as bad as mine, so I’m not too worried about it yet. (If he mows today though, it’ll make my grass look about 200% higher, though.)

But really who cares about how frequently (or not) I mow the lawn?

I had a productive weekend despite my ambivalence toward lawn care. On Friday, instead of taking care of the lawn, I cleaned and re-arranged the furniture in the library. This was BY FAR the best thing I did all weekend. Joel’s stuff had been scattered all over the floor until Friday, and because clutter like that make me feel bad I was just keeping the door closed. But that made me feel bad too because I love that room!! So, since I haven’t heard from Joel in, oh, like, a while, I decided to put all his stuff into the closet and make the room usable again! OH it looks so much better. I should have taken a picture or two. Oh well.

So having that room clean motivated me to clean the rest of the house (sans garage). Did general cleaning stuff on Saturday some (while also hanging out with a friend that afternoon, then seeing Elvis Costello at the Ryman that evening), but the thing that really makes the house look clean is that I mopped the floors yesterday. This may not seem like a big deal to people who mop their floors regularly (as I believe one is supposed to do). The linoleum in my kitchen is the most stupid color ever (white) and at some point I just gave up trying to keep it white. I could not believe how filthy my mop water was yesterday after mopping it, though; nor could I believe how white the linoleum was.

Anyway! After cleaning up a couple of friends came over to hang out. Which was nice.

I’m on the up-swing socially, which just means that I’m feeling less introverted than I was a few weeks ago. I guess this makes me feel better about myself. Though other things do that too — like cleaning my house and getting exercise. (Which hasn’t been happening as often as it was before the weather got all blastedly hot.)

Here are a couple of pictures to make this entry more interesting. I find that visuals help, even though these aren’t really related to anything I’ve blabbed about yet.

1) Ryan came over with the kids last week (?) and this is a picture of Jared blowing (?) a bubble. Pretty awesomely huge bubbles.

2) Went to Brewhouse with Philip last week and took a picture of my cheese fries. Oh SO much cheesy carby goodness.

3) Did I mention that I’m in Amanda’s wedding next month? So all the bridesmaids (minus Amanda’s little sister) went out last Wednesday and this is three of the five of us. Had a great time even though I ended up leaving shortly after taking this picture. Highlight of the evening: having our tab comped at Cabana’s by Amanda’s boss, and using that as an excuse to buy this fucking awesome copper mug (embossed with “Tito’s Vodka” or something like) which is not pictured.

photo (2)

photo (3)