So Much Baggage

Today’s and yesterday’s prompts go together quite well, as is to be expected, so I’m combining them.

When I get ready for a trip, I make a list. I check it twice. No, seriously, I check it a lot. These are the things I need to do before going. These are the things I need to pack. These are the things I need to have ready for when I return. These are the things that I don’t need to worry about, but I’ll worry about anyway because I can

I’m pretty bad.

At least, I used to be. I think I was much better for our anniversary trip six weeks ago. 

Nearly all of my trips in the past fifteen years have been to visit my parents. Even so, I always get anxious that I’m forgetting something that will be the end of the world if it’s forgotten. 

I can think rationally about this. I can pick up a toothbrush for a buck if I forget it. It’s a house that people live in, plenty of toiletries are available (you may appreciate knowing that my mind blanked momentarily, and I wanted to call shampoo and toothpaste ‘condiments’).  I know with my brain that not a single item I’m packing is essential. 

But I freak out and end up with half a dozen last-minute stragglers and odds and ends stuffed in my purse as an afterthought.

And I’m sorry, Ian, I know I also freak out if you touch anything I packed or set out. 

Leaving is stressful.

But I’m trying to let go of all that. Seems to be working out so far.

Traveling Nowhere

Today’s prompt asks:

Are you going to the BlogHer conference in July? What part are you most excited about? What are your fears?

No, I’m not.

Cop out post? Maybe. But I’ve been feeling cruddy today. I’ll do better tomorrow. Swear.

Ready, Set, Go!

I just signed up for June’s NaBloPoMo, so I’ll get to posting soon.

Three Stars

I wondered what to write about on day five, so I checked the NaBloPoMo prompts, and found this:

Tell us about a dish you attempted to make that ended in disaster. Have you ever re-attempted the meal?

A specific meal immediately came to mind. It wasn’t a disaster, per se, but it wasn’t a raging success, either.

It was hamburger helper, and I’d invited my best friend and my then-fiancĂ©e over for dinner.

That sounds horrible, doesn’t it?

Now, now, I was young, poor, and at the very beginning of my first experience living alone. Sure. I’d cooked plenty of meals at my parents’ house, but those were actually mostly breakfasts. I used to cook a mean breakfast–eggs and grits and bacon and biscuits–but I credit that to working nights for a couple years and being awake all night when everyone else was sleeping. It was appreciated on occasion.

So yeah, hamburger helper. I don’t remember what kind it was, only that it was a red sauce, not a white sauce. Which are two of the three styles of hamburger helper anyway, the third being cheesy. Literally and figuratively.

Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not above some hamburger helper. I love me some tuna helper as well, especially the broccoli one. But when I compare it to the wide range of comfort food recipes I am now an expert in, it seems–tawdry. Maybe that’s just me.

But I didn’t even make a side. And I didn’t stir enough, burning the bottom layer to the pan. Oh, the humanity! No, not a disaster, but not the best meal I’ve ever prepared.

I wonder how that works, that I expect more of myself than I should, given my age and experience at the time. I certainly didn’t know everything I know now.

Like, at least serve some store-bought garlic bread with your hamburger helper.

Man, I love me some store-bought garlic bread. Depending on the store.

Do or Die!

What to write about my second day of NaBloPoMo? The Daily Prompt sounds good:

You have three hundred words to justify the existence of your favorite person, place, or thing. Failure to convince will result in it vanishing without a trace. Go!

This is serious business, y’all. There’s favorites, but then there’s favorites, you know. Like in sixth grade when your best friend asks if you like him or if you like like him.

It’s that serious, but you see me wasting a significant portion of my three hundred words on blibbetty blah.

Because my favorite song speaks for itself.


If you’ve been around the block a few times with me, you know I have to bring up Van Halen’s Panama at least once a year.

Best song ever. For reals.

You trust me, right?

You have to trust me, of course. Ain’t no way I can explain in three hundred words the glory of this song.

It’s so–peppy!

And so–catchy!

And I mean, come on. It’s David Lee Roth, for crying out loud. Diamond Dave! Aside from David Bowie, who’s better than that? Serious question, guys. I’d like to know your preferences.

Not that he’s a good-looking guy. Not by a long shot (sorry, Dave). It’s his charisma that wins me over. The man does have a stage presence.

And Eddie Van Halen is almost equally impressive on guitar. Almost.

But the song itself!

I really love this song.

Have you ever been depressed? Not just sad or unhappy or disappointed, really depressed, in need of hospitalization, so depressed that suicidal would be an improvement. I hope not, but it happens to some of us. Over and over or relentlessly, it happens.

Sometimes life gets in the way of living. Sometimes brain chemistry gets in the way of life. Sometimes antidepressants become more essential than food and water. Sometimes all you can do is lie there, lacking the will to move, wondering if today will be the day your body gives up on your brain.

Panama never let me down.

Happy February!

February NaBloPoMo, Day 1:

The Chandelier.

Today Ian’s electrician coworker came over to install seven fixtures for us. One was a replacement chandelier for the dining area. My mother, Abby, and I chose this one:

The boys are not fans. They decided they won’t be cleaning it; that will be up to me and my mom. So, up to me.

He took the old chandelier down, but we hd another spot for it–in the master bathroom.

Our bathroom is so bright now! There will be no escaping a clear view of bodily flaws in any of the mirrors.

On the plus side, I’ve been thinking about participating in #100daysofmakeup on Instagram, so I’ll have plenty of good lighting to create a hundred different looks.