Sunday, April 03, 2016

The end of the line

Hi everyone,

I am closing this blog down. It has been a good run and it is time to stop. The truth? I am tired and I am lazy and there has been a ton of drama in our lives in the past year that I had not been able to write about here (SH's drunk father fell on his drunk mother, broke her knees, put her in the hospital, from which she emerged in a box, then SH's father died six weeks later from an infection after surgery, then SH's half brother decided he would replace the jerk void left by the death of SH's father, etc, etc, etc.).

Why couldn't I write about it here?

Because SH's parents used to have the address to this blog, which is where they read my wedding project plan that gave them their excuse to tell SH that he should not marry me and that they were going to boycott the wedding. I couldn't write anything here that they might see because although I could not care less what they thought about me, they used to make SH's life miserable.

But they are dead. SH has spent the past year dealing with all their crap. Here's some advice:

1. Throw out all the old useless junk in your house unless you hate your children and want them to have to deal with it. By "crap," I mean your check registers from the 70s, your eight year old bills, and your winter clothes (if you live in Florida).

2. If you have any porn, sex toys, or photos of you and your partner using such toys, please arrange for a friend to get rid of it before your child has to clean out your house.

3. If you are going to disinherit your son, then don't make him the executor of your will and the trustee for the trusts you want established and managed until your grandchildren are 30. (The youngest is 17.) It really is adding insult to injury to disinherit your kid - after you have threatened to do so many times if he does not get that wife of his "in line" - and then still expect him to do all the work.

4. If you are the older half sibling and your mentally-disabled son will inherit $150,000 from his grandparents, do not try to drain the trust for your own purposes, i.e,. remodeling your house, funding your IRA, and taking a family vacation to Europe. It will just confirm everyone's opinion of you as a complete jerk.

5. If you are the husband, please don't bring your parents' ashes into your home.

6. Marry a rich orphan. Seriously. I love SH and I have no idea how he is the wonderful man he is given his mean, drunk parents. But bad in-laws can make you miserable. 

I am tired. SH is tired. I have a great new job that I really like with a fabulous boss, but it requires actual thought and concentration and by the time I get home, I am done. I just don't feel like doing a lot of writing.

You guys have been great. I have enjoyed you so much. Thank you for reading.


Class Factotum

 I leave you with a photo of Shirley walking away from her binky after she has carried it upstairs, yowling desperately.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wisconsin 101: We don't live here for the Mexican food

Through a long series of events I would rather not go into here, SH and I own a timeshare now. I do not want to own a timeshare. I think owning a timeshare is stupid and I want him to unload it as soon as possible.

However, we have it for now. And there are points or whatever that are going to expire. And SH has some first-class upgrades that are going to expire. So we are going to Hawaii for vacation.

My friend Brooke just moved to Hawaii from Austin. We will get to see here when we are there - that is actually more of the appeal for me of Hawaii than Hawaii itself. (I would rather go to the Caribbean - it's closer.)

  • Me

    THat sounds fabulous! What can we bring you from the mainland?
  • 1/6, 5:33pm

    hmmm, let me think on it! I would say Mexican food but that's hard to travel- the 'mexican' food here sucks!
  • 1/6, 5:34pm

    Not to mention Milwaukee is not exactly the go-to place for Mexican food
  • 1/6, 5:34pm

    ha! yes!
  • 1/6, 5:35pm

    We do, however, have excellent cheese

    and beer
  • 1/6, 5:38pm


Friday, January 15, 2016

Chats du jour

Is this the face of a happy, drooling middle-aged cat?

Yes it is!

Is this the face of a happy cat who is going bald from the bottom half of her belly down?


Is this the face of a cat whose food we have changed - with each food being more expensive than the previous - in an attempt to identify a food that will

  • Not cause her to throw up within three minutes of eating
  • Not cause her to GO BALD on her belly, at the base of her previously-lush tail, and on the backs of her hind legs?

Is this the face of a cat who had pretty much stopped throwing up months ago but then started to go bald so we switched food again and then who, five hours after eating her breakfast, randomly vomited on the bedspread and the quilt?


And is that the face of an SH who came downstairs to discover the bedspread in the dryer already and the quilt in the washer who asked, "Why didn't you stop her from throwing up?" to which I replied, "Oh because I LOVE CLEANING CAT VOMIT OFF MY THINGS."

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Life with an engineer #4,231

SH and I went to our college reunion. He, my roommates, and I went to the engineering reception. My roommate Rene was talking to a man who looked familiar. I got closer - recognized his name, took 30 years off his face, and yep. It was he.

Me: Are you professor X?

Prof X: Yes.

Me: You're CivE, right?

Prof X: Yes.

Me: I spilled a pitcher of tea on you when I was a waitress at the faculty club.

Prof X: What? I don't remember.

Me: I told you, "It's a good thing I'm an English major" and you said, "Yes. It is."

Monday, January 11, 2016

Marriage 801, Lecture 33: Goose, gander

SH: Remember when we met?

Me: Yes.

SH: And how I was able to wear my old tuxedo to Patrick and Ilene's wedding because it fit?

Me: Yes.

SH: I am the same weight now that I was then.

Me: Uh huh.

SH: But my clothes don't fit the same way.

Me: Really.

SH: It's like the weight is all moved around. I don't like it.

Me: I know.

SH: I exercise!

Me: Welcome. To. My. World.

Friday, January 08, 2016

The working life with engineers

Me: There were two guys - not just one - who came in to the gym at lunch and weighed themselves. IN CLOTHES.
Engineer: Well if you just watch for the delta...

Me: But the clothes don't all weigh the same.

Engineer: I have only three pairs of work shoes. Same shoes, different colors.

Me: Of course you do.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Life with an engineer #54

1. Note the expiration date on the package.
2. Remember that we are of the Tribe of We Who Do Not Waste.
3. I did not buy this. I do not buy this kind of food. This belonged to SH even before I met him. Which was ten years ago.
4. I have been trying to throw it away for years.
5. He doesn't want me to throw it away.
6. I finally looked at the expiration date today and said, Ya basta.
7. I tossed it.
8. I posted on facebook about it.
9. He pulled it out of the trash to separate the package into trash and recycling.
10. Even though our living room and guest room are full of the boxes he has hauled up here from his mom and dad's house.

Monday, January 04, 2016

The working life with engineers

You guys remember this, right?

The flowers arranged in positions two and four?

Well, here is the current version of that story.

A bunch of us from work went out to lunch.

1. My boss pulled over halfway to the restaurant to take a photo of the odometer as it turned 100,000. Which is fairly normal behavior. I challenge you to find a person who has not done that or some variation of that, for instance, taking a photo of 123,456 or 99,999.

2. He showed the photo to Other Engineer at the restaurant.

NB I really really like the people I work with. It is a joy to work with super smart people. There is no drama with engineers. But they are not like Ordinary People. At least, they are Not Like Me.

Boss: Look!
Other Engineer: You should have waited until 100,001.
Boss: Why?
Other Engineer: Because then it would have been symmetrical.

These guys crack me up.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas! See you in January!

SH and I will be eating beef tenderloin stuffed with blue cheese, polenta, and tiramisu. Church Christmas Eve, then Christmas day spent in PJs eating when we feel like it and watching movies. We will visit my mom later in the year when it's easier to travel to Colorado.

Thank you all for reading. Having an audience is the best present I could have.

Well, that plus SH's stepdaughter* had a baby girl in October, so now we have three bonus grandsons and one bonus granddaughter. THAT is the best present ever.

* Remember he married a woman 14 years older than he is.

** However - it would not be out of the realm of possibility for us to be grandparents if we had started early and our children had started early.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wisconsin 101: My people

Last week, I had the sad event of attending my great-uncle's funeral. He was married to my dad's mother's sister. It was sad, but it was also fun, because not only did I see my dad's brothers and their wives and my dad's cousin, I also met new -some degree of - cousins I had not met before.

It was sad but not that sad - when a person lives to 95 in mostly good health and has had a happy life with great kids and great grandchildren and a great wife (and with fabulous nephews and great nieces), you can think, "That's a pretty good run."

SH and I stayed for the reception. I was late getting in because I was gabbing with new to me cousin - child of my dad's cousin whom I had not met. Oh man! This woman is fabulous! I have the coolest people in my family.

By the time I got to the food, it was almost all gone except for the dessert. Woman does not live on dessert alone, but woman sure wants to take dessert home.

Fortunately, I had my new purse - the orange thing you see below THAT I LOVE - which meant I had room to wrap and stash leftover little cheesecakes. We are still eating those little cheesecakes.

I asked my dad's cousin's lady friend (I hate using the word "partner" - they are not in business together) if she thought it was OK to take leftovers.

She said absolutely - the retirement home residents were already starting to cruise for leftovers.

"The family might as well take them home," she said.

But that's not the main thing I wanted to talk about.

My great uncle was 95. My great aunt is 92. She is beautiful and elegant and sharp. I have really good genes.

I have even better genes - my dad's cousin said, "We're related to the oldest woman in Wisconsin! She's 112." He showed me photos of my aunt Helen at Vi's birthday party this summer. "Vi and Helen are cousins," he explained, which means Vi is also my cousin of some sort through my grandmother.

I googled Vi and discovered that yep, she is reportedly the oldest woman in Wisconsin and that she lives two blocks from me.

Two blocks.

There is an old folks' home by us.

I stopped by to meet Vi last night, but she had already gone to bed. "Oh just wake her up!" the nursing assistant said. "She just went to bed."

"When I am old and asleep, I do not want people to wake me up!" I said. But I did get close to Vi's bed - the door to her room was open - and whispered, "Vi! Vi!"

She did not awake.

However, she started talking in her sleep. "Oh, you shouldn't have!" she said. "That's so nice! But I don't have anything for you!"

I was tempted to wake her up just so she wouldn't have the distress of thinking she had been caught empty handed. But I didn't.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Life with engineers #65

SH and I were visiting our friends Bonnie and Gary (the people who have brought bacon grease to our house and who had two jars of it waiting for us when we arrived). 

Gary is also an engineer.

Their house has several places where you can turn the lights on and off from more than one location, as in you can turn the lights on at the dining room side of the kitchen and off again at the den side. Or at the bottom of the stairs and then off again at the top.

Got it? Multiple locations to turn lights on and off. A system designed to make life easy - a system designed so a person can always have light when a person wants it.


This is a huge advantage and one we do not have with our basement stairs. If I want to go downstairs to watch TV in the dark, I can either go downstairs in the dark, which is a little dangerous, especially in an old house with stairs that are not to code, or with the lights on, which means I either have to leave the lights on or I have to turn on the basement lights and then walk back upstairs to turn off the stair lights.

I am always torn between extreme laziness and my fear of death by falling down the stairs.

I would like very much to have a light switch for the stairs light at the bottom of the stairs. That is technology working for us.

SH and Gary agreed that they would walk up or down the stairs IN THE DARK rather than have the downstairs light switch be in the down position to have the lights on.

They. Would. Risk. Death. just for an aesthetic principle.

At least with SH, this is the man who is completely untroubled by having four shaving cream cans on the bathroom counter.

Friday, December 18, 2015

I get to meet Tish Jett!

 You guys, I got to meet the glamorous Tish Jett! You know Tish - from A Femme D'Un Certain Age. I love love love her blog. I am not fancy or stylish or elegant but I like to read about women who are. Tish makes it all seem so accessible and I like the way she writes.

She lives in France, of course, but was in Chicago for a while during her US book tour (you need to buy her book about style at any age!) and she invited me to an event hosted by the French Chamber of Commerce, so onto the train I hopped, slightly worried that my red cocktail dress would be found wanting, but Tish is as kind and gracious as she is elegant, so not one word of criticism from her - not even a lifted eyebrow.

She is witty and fun and absolutely lovely and I feel privileged that I got to spend an evening with her. Her friend Janice of The Vivienne Files was also there and she is also lovely. I want these women to run my wardrobe and makeup and fashion and style and everything.

I also got to eat. There was so much food. There was too much to eat. I can't eat more than one or two macarons at time, especially after I have already eaten lentil soup made by the 40something chef with tattooed knuckles who - no joke - asked for my phone number and I had to tell him I am a married woman. Unfortunately, he was rude to Tish, so we wrote him off, but even so - still nice to be asked for a number.

There were all these pastries and I wasn't that hungry so I started wrapping them in napkins and throwing them into my purse.

And then Tish got us leftover cheese from a cheese vendor. And she got us each a baguette from the baker and I walked from the hotel to the train station the next day with a baguette sticking out of my bag and feeling very, very French. It. Was. Lovely.