Tag Archives: marriage

Don’t Tell Me That’s The Bridge…

3 Aug

I’m not always so outdoorsy…

We went Up North this weekend.  For those of you not from around here, that’s what Minnesotans do on the weekend in the summer.  We spend 9 months shuffling as quickly as possible in our vertical sleeping bags from car to door and back again, so when it hits 51 degrees, all sleeves and pant legs come off and we park our butts outside.  We endure some crazy heat waves, vicious flies, and monster mosquitoes just because we know it’s better than being cold.  As I type this, I’m fighting the urge to scratch my left shoulder completely off.

We made our way up the shore to my favorite spot, Cove Point Lodge.  We had some time to kill before check-in, so we ate (naturally), and crawled around at Palisade Head.  There are blueberries everywhere!  It had been an hour or so since my last pizza, so I had a nice little antioxidant-rich snack.  When we got back to the lodge and got settled, we drank a deeeelishus French white wine in some Adirondack chairs on the shore of Lake Superior.  I couldn’t help but notice the wineless young lady who watched us while she chased her small child around.  I gave her a little pity smile…

We found some decent-tasting, overpriced food for supper…. smoked caribou, anyone?  And that was pretty much the end of the first day.  We got up the next morning and had a bizarre Scandinavian breakfast of pickled fish, pickled cucumbers (why are these not just called pickles?), hard boiled eggs, cheese, and dinner rolls.  And coffee.  We didn’t really have a plan for the day until he flipped open one of the magazines in the room and noticed that one of the state’s “best hiking trails” was about 3 miles away.  He was possibly getting in over his head with this idea, but whatever…

We found the trail and since it was an 11-mile loop, we figured we’d walk for a little bit and then turn back.  I may be a professional dancer, but I’m not exactly graceful.  I only actually fell down one time, but that’s mostly because I’m really, really careful about where I place each step.  Read: slow.  There was only one thunderstorm, which was nice, so we kept a pretty good pace.  We saw pretty flowers…

And took some bad pictures of ourselves… you don’t really need to see those.

We put in 4 or 5 miles on this trail, and pointed the car towards home.  We stopped for some calories we had sort of earned, and thought we’d stop at Split Rock.  Apparently they charge for that now, and we’re on a budget.  So we headed for Two Harbors (destination: Betty’s Pies), but then he pulls over emergency-style at the Split Rock wayside.  “Want to go for a walk?”  I only sort of have to pee at this point, so I figure why not?  We head down the trail, and after a few minutes we get to the first loop.  Again, we’ll just go a little way up and then turn around.  Right?  Nope.  This turned into “we HAVE to be getting close to the turnaround point.”  We were looking for a bridge that went across the Split Rock River.  My dismay was felt for miles when, after 4 days in the wilderness, we came across this…

At this point, it’s personal, and you can’t turn back.  We finally found the Real Bridge, which was leaning strongly to the left, and not so confidence-inspiring…

Much whining was heard up to and beyond this point.  I thought we were just going to “walk a little” and I “had to pee.”  From this point, though, the constant uphill seemed to level off a little.  The views were pretty amazing, and even though I was stuck in the place between feeling every nerve in your body and being completely numb, it felt good to climb hills like an 8 year old.  Apparently, though, it’s unusual to get very low to the ground for some of the steeper trips downhill.  Learn something new everyday, I guess.

Eventually, if we squinted really hard, we could even SEE where we were parked.

See that little inlet?  That’s where our car is.  This is well into Hour Three…

Obviously, we made it out of the Hundred Acre Wood, as I am alive to type this.  We finally made it to Betty’s Pies, and pigged out on some broasted chicken (I don’t know what it is, but it’s amazing) and two kinds of pie.  And coffee.  Cheers!


Ya Gotta Have Friends…

29 Jul

My friends are the greatest!

They tell me when I’m good at stuff.  Occasionally, they tell me when I’m not so good at stuff.  Example: “You should maybe consider taking your life in a different direction.”  They tell me when I look great, and when I’ve strayed from the looks that I look great in.  Example: I now own two of the currently-trendy belted Hefty bag dresses.  One maxi, one mini.  Friend J has insinuated that while I look fine in them, I should not add to my collection.  No matter how comfy they are.  Her (and my) better half hates them entirely, but we all have fat days.  This lady illustrates that you don’t have to have a fat day to wear this dress.

Sometimes, your friends will pretend that you don’t bother them when you totally do.  Example: Friend N (see also: Husband) pretended this morning that we weren’t leaving the house 15 minutes late.  He sat at the breakfast table, staring into space, as I rushed around trying to get out the door.  He then claimed that he “hadn’t noticed the time” and marveled at how “the last 10 minutes go by so quickly!”  I think he was grinding his teeth, but it was nice of him just the same.

Sometimes, your friends remind you to do the things that make you happy.  Friend K, who is 11 months pregnant, is getting impatient with my lack of writing.  She sent me a message at 4am today that I should get to writin’ because she is bored and can’t move/sleep/sit still/function.  Or something to that effect.  So here I am, 12 hours later, writing!  Hi K, hope you’re staying cool.  You should really schedule your last trimesters for the cold snaps.

Sometimes, your friends help you buy things.  In college, Friend B and I shared joint custody of a pair of purple velvet pants.  No, really, they were cool…  Friend KS and I currently share joint custody of a set of sweet recipe cards from the 70s that have cocktails on one side and appetizers on the other, complete with awesome photos.

Sometimes, they challenge you to try new things!  Or new old things.  Like crocheting.  Is that even a word?  I’ve tried knitting… I’m okay at it.  Crocheting is easier, I think.  Friend J just asked if I could show her how.  Right now, I could not, but I was just thinking about trying it again after reading Friend K’s post about it.  So I think I’ll re-examine my yarn collection and crochet hook, figure it out, and teach Friend J.  Think about it… I get to do something challenging (figuring it out), something creative (making something fuzzy), and something that adds to one of my many great friendships (teaching Friend J)!  I think I’ll try this cute flower, it looks like a good first project…

I can barely keep track of my great friends, but they seem to always still be there when I resurface from my long work weeks.  Maybe it’s because of my keen fashion sense… or my cocktail-making skills.


15 Jul

Remember how I’m not buying things?  Right, me too.  This morning, I poured myself a tall mug of coffee and left for work with enough time to stop at my favorite place for squandering money, the Bead Monkey.  They rearranged!  There was a much better selection of Swarovski crystals, some new semi-precious stones that I hadn’t seen before (lemon jade is my new favorite!), and I played with some of the precious metals they keep behind the counter – I’m making a gift.  And maybe one for myself.

While I was talking to the super nice lady behind the counter, and we were holding chains up to links, some JERK started honking his horn.  And not just honking, really, but laying on it.  Pretty soon, we decided that it must be an alarm going off.  A lady came in and said it was coming from a nearby building, their security system must have been tripped.  Then another lady came in the door on the other side of the shop, and my stomach sank.  I got that feeling you get when you realize the woman in the distance – so far away, you can just barely make out her features – who is stomping towards you is Your Mother.  I recognized that “building alarm,” and the lady said that it was coming from a black Pathfinder.  I don’t drive a Pathfinder, but not everyone knows cars.

I put two and two together quickly enough and ran out to shut it up.  Not happening.  I started the car.  I stopped the car.  I locked the doors.  I unlocked the doors.  I hung my head, walked back into the store to grab my umbrella.  I mumbled an apology to the poor deaf people and high-tailed it outta there.  There’s a repair shop about 4 blocks from where I was, so I went in that direction.  I learned two things along the way: 1. If you seem to be reclining on your horn, people will pull over and let you pass them; 2. As you pass them, they will give you the dirtiest, most hateful look you can imagine.  The guys at the shop sprang to action and got it to stop.

The icing on this lovely cake was the record rainfall happening the whole time.  After I dropped my car off to be muzzled and muted, I walked 3.5 blocks to work.  I was dry when I started out, and 2 hours after I arrived at work, I was dry again.  Sigh.

We’re still in need of some detective work to uncover the cause of this whole horn problem, and then a solution.  The prevailing theory is that a remote trigger was installed by N, and that my proximity to a cash register is what set it off.

Is this really all there is…?

10 Jul

Okay, I don’t exactly have an issue with monotony.  It has been 4 weeks since my last confession.  Post.  Have a seat, I’ll catch you up…

We made it.  We’re officially Not Newlyweds.  I gave him a Kindle (paper anniversary… get it??) which I more or less had to set up for him.  He’s not very technological.  He gave me a hat!  I love it, but I haven’t figured out what to do with it yet.  It looks like this:

We spent the weekend at the same hotel we stayed in one year prior.  We had dinner at the same restaurant.  We spiced it up by having drinks at a place that had nothing to do with anything other than I really like it.  Turns out it all felt really overpriced this time, but as he put it, “a nice parallel.”  Next year we think we’ll order a pizza.

The next weekend was reasonably quiet, as I’d thought I would be on a business trip so there wasn’t much planned.  A little garage-saling (saleing? sailing? whatever), a little birthday party for one of my many pregnant friends, and an inaugural batch of bacon chocolate chip cookies.  That’s right, I said bacon.  After this experiment, it may be making appearances in all manner of baked goods that come out of my kitchen.  As I write this, I realize that a “quiet weekend” for me involves baking, shopping, and partying.

The NEXT weekend was Inlawpalooza.  I survived.  We went to Colorado to celebrate my cousin-in-law’s wedding to a lovely man who will not become a priest.  Long story.  Okay, it’s not that long.  She’s pretty hot, so he thought he’d marry her rather than finish seminary.  Good times were had, sleep was not.

Now we’re back in town for a (little) while.  I’ve set up a tentative chore calendar which I am certain he will love, and I’ve got some 3-ingredient recipes to try out.  Next week I have a little more time to myself than I normally do, so I’m trying to think of things to do that will help me feel like a more balanced individual.  So far I’ve scheduled a brunch.  I thought maybe a “pole fitness” class would be fun, but those conflict with my work schedule.  So… maybe some yoga?  Hopefully some writing, I always enjoy that outlet.  Jewelry-making is a distinct possibility.  And chores, though not enjoyable themselves, always make my life seem a little simpler.  I definitely plan to spend some time this week making limoncello.  It has been a couple years since I’ve tackled that, but I’m confident that I can still pull it off.  Now I just need to find a summer cocktail recipe for it… club soda?  mint?  hibiscus tea?  Stay tuned for more on all that, and on my pineapple bok choy slaw.  It can only turn out well.


8 Jun

Seems that a busy work week can put a damper on my intentions to get to this… ironic, given the title of my last post!  Oh well, back on the wagon!

We are both control freaks, but of different colors.  Me, I’m a freak about the details.  He is a freak about “the plan” and something called “all-or-nothing.”  I will explain.

Because of the high incidence of Spandex (R) and exposed skin in our chosen profession, we sometimes (less frequently than in previous years) shave some carbs out of our diets.  For me this means having two pieces of cake instead of three.  Or having sushi, because “it’s only a little bit of rice!”  For him this means eating scrambled eggs and cottage cheese and grilled chicken.  Once he decides not to eat cake or rice or anything that tastes good, he just doesn’t.  End of discussion.  I can’t seem to understand why, after our grilled chicken and cottage cheese, we can’t just have a little dessert!

By about Tuesday (we have Sunday and Monday off, so Tuesday is the beginning of our work week), he is usually asking me what “the plan” is for the weekend.  My response is usually something like this: “…I don’t know…” accompanied by a look that says, “stupid question, stupid answer.”  I’m a really nice person.  The thing is, I’m a recovering over-planner, so whenever possible, I like to go where the wind blows me.  I learned it from my friends, I think it’s lovely.  He thinks it’s disorganized.

However… if we are GOING to make “a plan,” it needs to be The Perfect Plan.  This is where I become a freak.  (Maybe my resistance to planning is a self-preserving attempt to be less freakish?)  We’re going out to lunch?  I have to research the menu online – nothing is more irritating than an unpublished menu! – so that I can make a decision on my order sometime the same day as being seated.  I need to find the perfect patio on a gorgeous day.  And what kind of cocktail will enhance the sunshine?  It’s paralyzing, folks.

A couple weeks ago, after much “What do you want to do?” and “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” he planned a date.  It was wonderful.  I did not criticize the details.  I didn’t even want to!  We went to see The Hangover 2.  He poured Captain Morgan into our Coke.  The movie, and the drink, were gross.  Then we went to dinner.  This was actually pretty exciting, because we never do the dinner-and-a-movie date.  I had a good martini, some thawed calamari, a pretty decent entree, and a great time.

I think we can all see the lesson here: let him handle the details.  I’m going to start doing a LOT of delegating.  As an act of self-therapy, of course!


28 May

Committed can mean all kinds of things.  Since the underlying current of this blog is my marriage, you might think I’m referring to marital commitment.  I’m not.  I’m referring to the kind of commitment that happens in a psych ward.  Or on a weekly calendar.  Or the relationship between the two.

I think I work too much.  I don’t work too hard, just too much.  Four days a week, I leave for work at about 10:00 am, and get back home between 10:30 and 11:00 pm.  On the fifth day, it’s a more typical 9-5 scenario.  I have a job many people would kill for, but I find myself wishing I could spend more time writing.  Or making messes.  Or cleaning up the messes made by me and Others Who Live In The House.  A brief survey of my friends tells me that a common symptom of being too busy is a messy house.  You have just enough time to come home, drop your things on the floor, and get 6 or 7 hours of sleep.  Then you’re back out the door again.  There isn’t much time left for maintaining any standard of cleanliness, nevermind making a dent in the storage room under the stairs.  I realize I complain about the mess a lot – it’s really not that bad.  If you wanted to drop by my house, I’d like a phone call when you’re on your way, and in 20 minutes I could have it in a perfectly non-embarrassing state.  My goal, though, is to have it set up in such a way that I’m not always putting my energy into arranging and stacking and putting away, so that I can start vacuuming more than quarterly.  That is my goal.  I am committed.

Creativity is a big part of my life.  I dance.  I work at a dance studio.  I (try to) teach people to be creative in their communication and presentation of plans or ideas.  Sometimes I teach dancing.  Sometimes I make jewelry.  Sometimes I spray paint something old to make it look new… or older.  Sometimes I silver leaf something ugly to make it pretty.  Writing is my latest venture into creativity.  My goal is to do it twice a week.  I am committed.

I used to go to church every Sunday.  EVERY SUNDAY.  I also used to rely much more heavily on routine than I do now.  These days, my favorite routine involves a cup of hot coffee and a book or “the news.”  We’ve found a church that we like so far, and have gone consistently for a little while.  Shopping usually helps me stick to new ventures.  Some of you will understand this right away, some of you might need a minute to catch up.  A new outfit will always make your golf game a little better.  A new fishing pole and shiny pink lures might help you catch more fish (or at least you’ll look cuter when you’re pulling up weeds all day).  The same holds for getting back into my church routine: having a new bible makes it just a little more fun to get up early on Sunday.  So, I shopped and now I’m committed.

My calendar is full.  I’m constantly oscillating between simplifying and complicating my life.  These days I’m very committed.  And on the verge of being committed.  But there’s always the insanity plea!

Oh Look!

24 May

I have a short attention span.  This makes me challenging to be around in several ways.

In any given shopping situation, you might find me changing directions (let’s call this “Path B”) without warning or announcement because something caught my eye.  You would then find my husband continuing on Path A for quite some time before noticing my disappearance, hunting around until he finds me – I don’t stick up much above the racks – and reminding me yet again that he would like a little warning when I decide to tear off in the direction of whatever was shiny or polka-dotted.

He loves movies.  We have the largest collection of VHS tapes in the Central Time Zone.  He owns most of his favorite movies and likes to watch them while we cook or eat or do other chores.  Last night, he put on “Road to Perdition” while I cooked and he did some dishes.  About every 2 minutes, I said something like, “Who’s that guy” or, “What are they doing?” or, “Are they gangsters??”  This, apparently, was irritating.  I’ve been known to ask the same questions during an episode of Law & Order.  Supposedly, nobody else in the world has trouble following the plot of Law & Order.

Our house is too big.  We have about 2500 square feet.  My last place was about 1000 square feet, and I was only responsible for half of it.  Have you ever tried to clean 2500 square feet?  There’s SO MUCH TO DO that it’s hard to stay on one task for very long.  No, seriously.  You’re cleaning your office, and then your mind wanders to all the other things that need to be done.  There’s that box in the basement waiting to be sorted (does that mean emptied and spread around a 12-foot radius for anyone else?), or maybe the counters in the bathroom need to be wiped down.  Or maybe there’s a pair of socks that didn’t make it into the sock drawer, and I can NOT finish what I’m doing until one or three of those other tasks are complete.  Begin distraction task, repeat distraction.  This seems like a good time to mention that my mother-in-law’s house is Very Clean.

I try to put a positive spin on things.  I’m a silver lining kind of girl.  I’m trying to sell him on this silver lining being my endless curiosity, or my interest in all kinds of things that could bring richness and texture to our lives, but I’m pretty sure he just sees several pairs of half-made earrings, or the 12-foot spread of junk that at least used to be contained in a box.  He may be infinitely patient with me, but at least all my socks make it into the sock drawer.