Anxious, tied in knots

My dog has a very large tumor in her tummy. The vet thinks it could be a cyst or stage 4 cancer. If it’s cancer, they expect her to live only up to three months. If it’s a cyst, she might be ok for a while, but it could rupture any time and she would die of internal bleeding. For a couple days, she wouldn’t eat and barely moved. My heart is in knots.

My contract is up on the 15th, so I need to be looking for a job. That scares me very much, because I don’t know that I’m qualified to do anything. I look at myself and see only incompetence. Possibly it’s “imposter syndrome,” but it’s extremely real to me. My stomach is in knots.

Meantime, a tiny, two person start up that I did some visual work for back in the autumn has contacted me because they are in an accelerator program and need more work. My husband is convinced that this is my opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something that could be big. My parents think it’s an opportunity to never be paid and waste time that I could otherwise spend looking for a proper job. I think nothing. I have never felt less bold or decisive, and my entire life has been a litany of timidity and indecision. My mind is in knots.

The only things that seem to make me feel temporarily better is my facebook group and when I go out for my run/walks and can immerse myself in audiobooks, physical discomfort and beautiful nature. Today, I saw a hawk perch in a tree, take flight, and land–unexpectedly clumsily–on the other side of the path, then fly away on strong wings. I heard a chorus of frogs. I saw the Golden Gate bridge looking blue in the distance. I saw a man on a horse. I saw three orange and black butterflies spiraling up a sunbeam under the shady trees. Last week, I heard a pack of coyotes yelping and wailing, echoing across the hills.

I have been eating not quite so triumphantly well for the past 4 days. I don’t think I did terribly today, although I was sloppy with tracking so it’s hard to be certain. I’m so worried about my good dog. Sometimes, I just lay on the floor, staring at her, trying to be as close to her as possible, to appreciate her as much as I possibly can.

I just want everything to be ok again, to stop hurting. Eating doesn’t help, it just begets more and more eating, but it’s still my first thought when I feel this bad.


Are YOU Interested?

I had an idea, and I’d like you to be a part of it. Let’s plan (you, me, and other bloggers) to run achieve a 5k together. We would pick a date far enough in the future that there would be plenty of time to both train and save for travel/accommodation expenses. We kind, vibrant weight loss bloggers would have a grand time enjoying each other’s company.

 I was inspired by this episode of the Half Size Me podcast. Basically, a group of 12 people who had each lost a significant amount of weight decided to run a relay race together. They had never met in person before, but they had common ground and were a joyful team. Hearing them talk about how close they became in just a few days (after months of online communication), I started wishing to experience something like that.

 For me, the goal of being healthy and happy is not always enough to keep me inspired. I’m trying to lay a ground work of motivation that will last even during those times when I just can’t make myself care about myself. Being a part of a supportive group, working towards a common goal, would be so motivating to me. 

Think about this with me. During plateaus, when goal weight seems impossibly distant, we could still be working towards our race. We could be seeing improvement in our endurance, our speed, even when the scale just won’t budge. We could be comparing training strategies, favorite stretches, pre and post workout snacks/meals. We could rejoice in non-scale victories together, or help each other through rough patches. 

 I’ve already created the Facebook group. Please, consider joining it. It is nothing without you! Rachael  has expressed interest already. If she hadn’t, I would likely have kept this dream to myself forever. I really would like a group of at least 3 if possible. If it’s just me and one other person, I’ll feel worried that I’m not awesome enough to be worth the trip, and chances are I’ll get too shy to be my proper self. Having more people takes the pressure off of each individual. 

There will be a lot of “get to know each other” sorts of questions on the facebook page, and possibly group calls or group video calls as well. 

 And we wouldn’t just run, then go our separate ways! We would make time to do something social together, maybe wearing clothes that make us feel beautiful, and take lots of selfies together, laughing and talking and enjoying ourselves. If we had access to a kitchen, we could teach each other healthy recipes. I don’t know, anything is possible. In the comments below, feel free to let me know what you would find awesome! 

 So please consider my invitation! There’s no commitment unless you want to commit.  Don’t worry if you’re “not a runner” or if you have more weight than you can imagine running with. You are exactly who I want!

Post workout

January 7

I just finished day 2 on my “get running” app on a treadmill at planet fitness. I just want to write down how I’m feeling so I don’t forget how good it feels.

I feel warm. My legs feel especially warm, and they remember motion the same way my body used to remember the waves on the night after a day at the beach. My breath feels easy and clear. My heart feels alive. I feel fully awake for the first time today. My head feels a bit light, but not unpleasantly so.

Most of all, I feel content, again for the first time today. I feel “in the moment,” in my body, but not in the noisy gym where I’m waiting for my husband to finish up. I’m listening to my current favorite piece, (link here).

I’m beginning to feel the cold. It’s not unpleasant. It moves over me in chills, seemingly synced to the music.


January 8

I tried to do my another day of Get Running today, but I think I needed a break from it. I made it through 7 of the 8 one minute runs. Still felt good, just not as good as yesterday.

My goal is to love running. So many people do, including people who never thought they could. It seems at least possible that if I’m careful, patient and positive, I might cultivate a love of running too. Then I could run with my husband, and we would have something that we would enjoy doing together outside of the house.

Part of the reason why I think it’s possible to love running is because I’ve been listening to the Half Size Me podcast, and there are some stories of people who have lost impressive amounts of weight, and discovered that they love running. If they can do it, why shouldn’t I give it a shot?

That podcast (I may have mentioned it in 2014, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess no one remembers me doing so) is doing a lot to keep my spirits up. The host/creator/master mind behind it lost 170 lbs–and maintained the loss for 4 years this month–herself, and seems to have made it her mission to spread the gospel of possibilities. She does it through interviews with other awesome losers.

I love it because I need inspiration as much as anyone, but I find the motivational poster/quote with picture medium hard to swallow. If it has to be dressed up that much, how can I be sure it’s really deep and not just glamorous? But I find my own incidental inspirational quotes in the podcast, and I write them down if I can (often I’m driving).

Here are four of my favorites. Sadly, I don’t have any idea which episodes these come from, I’ve been binge listening (lol) for over a week.

I decide what happens to my body


How would I treat myself, how would I act, if I loved myself? What would I say when I talk to myself?


I choose to run happy!


You have to walk each step to be ready for the next one.

I could probably write a post about what each of these mean to me, and maybe I should, but for now I’ll let you make of them what you will.

In other news, I’m trying to be more positive…. actually, I guess the more positive way to say that is I have decided to BE more positive. There is no try, and all that. We’ll see.

It’s not easy, though I seem to have others fooled. I can still feel the darkness of how I am if I’m not careful, just under the surface of positive thoughts. But that’s ok, I just have to believe that the positive will seep through into the core of my being.


For long-term positivity and appreciation of all that is good in my life, I am stealing an idea that I read about a few days ago on the Damn girl, that’s a lot of fattitude blog. The good jar. In my case, it’s the good box, because I have a love of boxes that borders on the ridiculous, so I had a beautiful box I felt would be perfect. It’s also A great way to use the tiny pad of lovely peacock paper I got years ago. Nothing ever seemed right to write on it until now. It’s just a shame my handwriting is such garbage.

For the whole year, I will write down whenever something especially good happens to me. I want to fill it, so I am also including good decision. At the end of the year, I can look back on my year of goodness and be glad I kept track. The trick will be to not forget. I often forget things. I’ll keep it visible, even in the way, as much as possible.

In my last post I forgot to mention how I chose to mark the dawn of the new year.

Very literal. I watched the sun rise. It was lovely… a little cold. I noticed that the frost didn’t form until the sun was rising, and I wondered about that. If you know anything regarding frost, let me know. It’s hilly where I live, so it was light for a while before the sun managed to clear the hill.

That’s all for now, I think.


New year, new scale

My special Lose it! scale came today! It measures body fat and hydration and syncs to my phone via Bluetooth. So far, I’m super excited about it. I know many people consider it psychologically unhealthy, but for the past week I’ve been weighing myself nearly daily. 

I’m excited because I feel that tracking these descriptions of my body will help me control my health and move in a positive direction. 

Today, I started listening to an episode of Half-size Me, a podcast about weight loss and maintenance. It was this episode 

and the interviewee said something that stuck with me, “How would I treat myself, how would I act, if I loved myself? What would I say when I talk to myself?”

That may seem simple, but it gave me an idea. This may sound horrible, but I’m going to try pretending to love myself. Yeah, not as good as actually loving myself, but I think it’s actually a step on that path. Even if I can’t make myself feel something I don’t feel, I can make myself treat myself differently, and I can try to keep a better leash on my thoughts.

A month or two ago, I was at a very low point. I had disappointed my husband again. We were driving home, and when we got there we just sat in the car together, silently. I was dry eyed. My husband asked me what I was thinking.


He insisted.

“Please I don’t want to tell you.” I can’t tell him, that would be so manipulative, abusive even. You melodramatic bitch. Keep your mouth shut.

But he never gives up. I couldn’t think of a lie, so I started crying as I told him “I was thinking how much better off you’d be if I killed myself.” 

I explained how he’d be sad for a while, but he’s tough enough, he’d get over it. Then he could marry someone better. I was thinking of the kind of woman I’d want for him. I was wondering if I had the strength and courage to kill myself for his sake. And I didn’t cry until I was forced to tell him. The idea didn’t even seem sad to me. That’s how deep my self loathing runs. 

Obviously he objected and made me feel better, as I knew he would if I told him. He told me that he needs me. That’s why I felt I couldn’t tell him. As long as the idea stayed in my head, it was noble, but as soon as the words left my lips, it became self-serving melodrama designed to change his disappointment to concern.

To be clear, I’m not able to kill myself. Not at all. 

So I decided that the better idea was to become the woman I want to be, the woman my husband deserves. To live a better life. I only just made a proper start of it recently, but it seemed to have flipped a switch in me. Changed my perspective.

So, that happened. And, awkward and awful as it was, it seems to have been for the best. 

Not a New Years Resolution

I determined I would not have a New Years Resolution. I would not start my new life on the first day of the new year. I would not.

No, I would jump the gun. I have seen my mother get excited, year after year, about her resolution, only to let them slip. I have become superstitious. My resolution has nothing to do with the New Year. My resolution is about life, not about timekeeping.


Really though, it is about life, my life and the lives of my as yet unconceived children, our shared health and the quality of my life with my husband.

So I started a few days early, a bumpy start, but solid enough as a place to start. I’m trying to come in under calorie budget as much as I can, within reason, and get exercise regularly. I have been scheduling my days, starting at 5 am (though I haven’t managed that wake up in a week or so) for a while now, and it seems to make everything easier. I put everything into the calendar on my phone, and then it gives me reminders on my apple watch, and that way I can stay on track. Sort of. Driving my husband around at unpredictable hours sort of has ripple effects throughout the day.

IMG_7244Today, I’m somehow 600 calories under budget, despite chocolates and coffee with half a cup of irish cream creamer. I did accidentally skip breakfast, so perhaps that helped me stay under. I also went to personal training this morning. So. Many. Squats. Sumo squats, jump squats, etc. ad nauseam. But I love finishing and knowing my exercise is done for the day, that I’ve accomplished that much before 10 am. It feels good (afterwards).

Those of you who read my last post may be wondering about the bird situation. No, my old bird has not returned. But I’m slowly making progress with Raindrop. I can put my hand in her (I don’t actually know the sex, but it’s easier this way) cage and she doesn’t freak out unless I get too close or move too much. She will eat spray millet tied to a stick that I hold. She chirps at me and fluffs her feathers. I say her name when she looks at me so that the sound of her name and of my voice become familiar. She has such big black eyes, so much more innocent than the golden eyes of Jasmine.

Some of the feathers on her back are slightly yellow. Sadly, when I first saw that I thought it was some kind of stain, but one of the feathers was laying on the table the next day, and I realized that she has yellow and grey stripped feathers. It reminds me of a pale sun breaking out of the clouds. Like a real raindrop, Raindrop holds many colors if you look closely.

Kale is becoming a staple food again. I can eat a whole bag of kale on my own, cooked with onion and dressed with soy sauce. I’ve discovered that a large amount of whipped cream is not very high in calories, and is delicious on raspberries, so that has become something of a staple treat, if that makes sense. Sometimes I go overboard and eat too much whipped cream, but it’s so much air that it’s not easy to really do a huge amount of damage like it would be with, say, chocolates, or all of the other things I might reach for.

I seem to have run out of things to say for tonight, so here are my favorite christmas tree ornaments

Goodbye Sweet Bird

My little parakeet, Jasmine. flew away on Sunday. She was fully flighted and never locked up, which, I suppose, makes it my fault that she was able to fly out over our heads when we opened the door coming home. It was devastating. 

I tried to run after her, but my legs were like jelly and she almost instantly flew over other houses, where I could not follow. It was lightly drizzling. The next couple days it rained harder off and on, and it still makes me sick to think of my poor birdie out in the cold and wet. I know just how that would look, because I’ve watched her emerge from her bath, triumphant but shivering. The feathers on her tummy turn a brownish grey that seems totally unrelated to their usual brilliant blue. 

I have no hope of ever seeing her again, and I feel immensely guilty that I allowed this to happen. 

Let me take some time to memorialize my little bird right here.

The first thing she did when we brought her home was to fly straight into my dog’s face. No hesitation whatsoever. I think that is when she established dominance, because the dog consistently ran away from her. 

When her wings were still clipped, she loved to explore the floor and under the table, learning her surroundings. Once she could fly, she took to perching on the windowsill, way above our heads. But much of the time, she seemed content to sit, eat or chew on, in or around her open cage. I had elaborate sticks and toys and coconut shells set up for her both inside and outside.

 There was a period when my main interaction with her was to let her perch on my nose and groom my eyelashes/bite my eyelids. It wasn’t exactly pleasant, but I was so thrilled to have her attention that I just took it.

Sometimes, I was allowed to pet her head and she would close her eyes, cuddling up to my finger. I miss her so much!

More recently, I’d discovered her favorite food: grassy weed seeds. I was teaching her to fly too me and land on my hand to eat. It was going really well. She was such a precious, tiny, sassy little creature. 

Which makes me feel all the guiltier for getting a new bird, yesterday. My husband also feels I hurried into it.

What happened is this: I had told my mother that I was thinking of getting a handfed baby bird someday in the future. You have to wait a while to get a handfed baby. She called a place and they told her that they had just-now-old-enough-for-purchase baby parakeets (not handfed) available that very day. Before I knew it, I was on my way to get one. 

I intended to get green or yellow. One that wouldn’t look too much like my lost bird. Instead, I found myself drawn to a bird that looked a bit like my old girl, except ghostly pale. 

My initial impulse was to name the new bird Rain, but I’m not getting a lot of support for that name from my family. I’m undecided about whether or not that matters.

I still feel sad about my lost bird. I dreamed that she came home last night, only to wake to disappointment. And I feel weird that I ….replaced her…. so soon. Of course, you can’t really replace a living being. 

I just felt this desperate guilt, and thought that if I could take excellent care of a new bird, I would somehow be redeemed for my mistakes with the old one. It feels bad that my husband didn’t approve of my action. That added to the weight of my misery. At least before I got the new bird, he felt sorry that I was hurting. But when I got the new bird, he compared me to a widow getting remarried a week after her husband’s death. That hurt, especially since he’s my husband. 

Now he seems to have accepted what I did, and is mostly concerned for the bird. He denies it when I ask, but the implication of his concern is that he feels my bird left because of something I did wrong. Not cleaning the cage enough, not figuring out her favorite food soon enough. Something. 

But this new bird comes from a store that takes birds seriously, and I can call them whenever I am concerned about my bird. I called them this morning because my bird was silent, barely moving, neither eating nor drinking, and had off-colored, liquidy stool (and a messy poop chute). S/he is doing better now, don’t worry.

Since new bird was not handfed, I have to start from square one in taming him/her. Right now, I’m still terrifying and unknown to the poor wee thing. The instructions the bird people gave me say I must allow my bird to get accustomed to his/her surroundings before trying to interact or finger train. It’s hard to wait when the bird looks so alone in the huge new cage I got, but it helps no one if I make the first days more traumatic than they need to be. I stay nearby though. 

I will work on my relationship with this new bird as soon as I can, instead of allowing it to take a year to get of the ground, as I did with Jasmine. This bird will be loved and know it.

If you’re the sort to pray, consider sparing a word for my bird. I’ve made up stories for myself in which she is ok, but I find my own imaginings hard to believe. I just wish there was something I could do.

Thanks for reading all that. I’m sure it sounds incredibly trivial to anyone who has lost a person dear to them, but to me, the grief is real. 

Oh, and it’s my birthday tomorrow (Christmas Eve), so I need to try and look happy in front of my family for that and the holiday. 

Fit Book (subtitle: I’m back!)

I’ve been gone a while, but I’m getting up early tomorrow, so I won’t spend time talking about that. I ate a lot. Oops. It’s over now, whateves. 

A few days ago, my husband wanted pens from target. While he was looking at pens, I looked at blank books, because I love blank books. I never fill them. But I keep getting them. Then I saw it: “fit happens” …”that’s dumb,” I thought, and opened it. And somehow, as I flipped through and read tips and quotes and saw spaces to write, I started to want that book. I have a new (though possibly temporary) job that pays more money than I feel I’m worth, so I decided to get the dumb book. I have, in the past, spent $30 on a single binge, so why not spend less money on something that would last longer and possibly be a good thing? That’s how I convince myself to buy things, I think about how much money I’ve wasted making myself extra obese, and then suddenly $.99 for a song to workout to seems like a stupid time to be stingy. I realize that “I’ve wasted money in the past, so it’s ok to spend more” is flawed logic. Therefore I’m careful to only use it to justify buying beneficial things. 

Unexpectedly, the book seems to be helping a lot. I’m way more positive about my ongoing weight loss struggle than I was without it. And, though today is my first perfect day with the book, the previous two days were still way better than the days before the book. So I call it a win. An upward trend. Or a (hopefully) downward trend, if you’re looking at the scale, I’ve been remiss about weighing in. I’ll start tomorrow. 

Here’s my day, as viewed through the fit happens book (no caps on the cover, so no caps here):

I expect you can’t read my handwriting, so here’s the most important part all neatly typed: 

***this inspires me***

Rachel the Red-Nosed Reindeer! 

See This blog post for an explanation. She’s been losing for a long time, plus the whole time I was here blogging my losses, and the whole time I stopped blogging and started regaining. And nows she’s done a race, painted up like the cutest reindeer ever! Here’s a screen shot from her blog, which you should read 

So cute! So inspirational!

I need to go to bed, so go read Rachel’s blog post while I go to bed. 

Training Montage

It’s been a while. I know I’ve missed you all more than you are likely to have missed me, since there are so many other wonderful blogs to keep you satisfied.

So I start with the big news of today: I had my first session with my personal trainer! I felt super clumsy, but I was extremely glad to have someone supervise me, to make sure I do things close to right. We started with jump rope, then he had me punch a punching bag.  At first he told me to go hit the bag as fast and as hard as I could. Quickly, he realized I had no idea what to do, so he showed me the correct form, and I practiced that, quite slowly.

You may be asking “Katrina, why would you film that?” Great question. I want to get some clips of me trying to exercise throughout my process, and then cut them together into a training montage. I would like to see something like that, but I can’t make someone else do it, so I decided I have to do it myself. I want something I can go to when I’m losing steam, that will make me feel excited about the possible-ness of losing weight. Montages are magical. I want to watch a video that is just a few minutes long, that makes me think, even just for a moment, that losing weight is a beautiful, almost fun process. I want someone to convince me of that long enough to get me started. I can’t have that, but maybe I can make that happen for someone else.

Also, some of you already read that I was toying with the idea of someday becoming a personal trainer. I’m still toying with that idea, and if I ever do act on that thought, I think the montage could come in very handy for promotional material and making myself relatable for the client. Apparently, I am sometimes capable of forethought.

I just filmed what I think will become the intro to the montage video, so you guys get a sneak peek. I didn’t really do much to make myself look good in this clip, because I figure it’s basically a just a before shot. So I’m rocking the Einstein-bedhead look, with the braid I slept in all messy. That’s my usual look, by the way. I have a very poor track record of self care. I believe strongly in self care, just apparently not for MYself. It just seems like a waste of effort to get all dolled up when I usually don’t even leave the house for more than an hour a day. Part of me believes that as I lose weight and–hopefully–gain self esteem, I might learn to present myself in a way that I am not ashamed of. The other part of me thinks I’m putting the cart before the horse. I’d be interested to know others’ thoughts on the matter.


On a lighter note, a special thing happened when I was having my personal training session today: I looked out the open door and who do you think was looking in? You will never guess, so I’ll just tell you. It was a peacock. Just a random peacock peeking through the door. He was walking down the street by the time I got my phone out, IMG_6112but I did get a picture of his retreating form. My trainer was as surprised to see the bird as I was, so apparently this is not a regular occurrence in the area. He–my trainer, not the bird–said that it must be good luck to see a peacock. It certainly felt lucky. Magical even. And very surreal. I can’t stress that enough. One minute my mind was all crunches, next minute, boom. Peacock. I’d say it was more magical than a rainbow.

I had a great training session, pushing harder than I ever would when I’m on my own. I kind of, sort of liked it, a little bit. At least during the session I had a sense of clarity of purpose, and felt I was headed in the right direction. I usually don’t get to feel that way.  Now I’m actually sore. I rarely work myself hard enough to get sore. And guess what? I go back for more tomorrow.

I meant to also tell you all about my mother in law and brother in law and how their visit went, but I’m getting sleepy and I’m ready to post this. Hopefully, I’ll eventually get around to it.


I don’t even really know where to start, and for some reason I am not feeling like a very inspired writer today. Every word is work.

For those who missed it before, it’s important to note that my husband is from Kenya. That’s where all his family lives. So I’ve never met my mother in law.

That changes next week. My Mother in law and older Brother in Law are coming for my husband’s graduation ceremony! I’m very excited to meet them, but also super nervous.

I will have to be more together than I usually bother being…. all the time…. for two whole weeks. I think I have to get rid of most of my pants, because they are full of holes, or don’t fit. I also want to have more than two functional bras, so I don’t have to do laundry super often. So I need to go shopping, which is dreadful. I need to learn how to stay awake during the day. My husband caught me napping on the sofa a couple days ago, and actually asked me if I was going to do that with his family around, and explained that that “would be so embarrassing.” Now I’m particularly worried about that. I really like to sleep, and it’s sometimes hard to stop myself.

But I’m also excited, like I said. I’m meeting them years earlier than I expected I would get to. I really want to make a positive impression on the woman who raised such a strong willed, clear headed, incredible husband for me. I tried talking to his mother on the phone once, but I couldn’t really understand what she was saying, between her accent and the poor connection, and most of what I did catch, if I recall correctly, seemed centered around God, and being effectively agnostic, I had no idea how to respond. What, for example, is the correct response to “God bless you,” when you haven’t even sneezed? Is it just “thank you” or “God bless you too” or something completely different? I think she said that on the phone (it was years ago now, so my memory is pretty fuzzy), and know I felt extremely lost for words.

I’m looking forward to showing them around the San Francisco Bay Area, a place I love. I think they will really enjoy it too. It’s hard to know what things they might want to do, since my husband insists that we not plan ahead. Men are mysterious creatures. He thinks everything will sort itself out and be great. I know that unless we have some options ready for them to choose from, their whole two weeks will go by and they may not get to see everything they might want to see, which I think would be really sad.

There is one major dark cloud though, and that is my sister’s attitude. She and my husband don’t really get on well. For example, his first experience of her was overhearing a phone call she made to me when she found out I was dating a Kenyan. Not knowing that he could actually hear her quite well, she went on and on about AIDs testing, and how there are a lot of AIDs cases in “that part of the world.” Once my sister starts talking, it’s really hard to get her to stop, and often if you try to stop her, she just hammers the point more, thinking you don’t get how important it is. So that happened. He was not favorably impressed.

She has issues with him which I am not completely clear on, but which may include 1. she once had a boyfreind come home from Kenya talking about how he fell in love with a girl there (not Michael’s fault), 2. she thinks my father likes him better than he likes her because “he always wanted a son” (not Michael’s fault, and not true), 3. she thinks my husband is “an emotionless robot” (that might be his fault, he can come off that way sometimes. He’s just very understated). I’m pretty sure she had decided not to like him before she ever met him or heard much about him. Also, I’m married and she isn’t, despite her being 9.5 years older than me. Add to this that she is bipolar and occasionally suffers from her own paranoid interpretations of situations, and the picture gets pretty volatile.


Now picture a room. Make it dusty and disused. It’s a bedroom. A bedroom whose occupant moved out soon after moving in. A bedroom with stuff in it, some hers, some mine, some my mother’s. My sister does not live in that room, and hated it so much that she moved in with her boyfriend to get away from it. Does she love this room? No. Does she spend time in this room? Never.

Now picture a woman, traveling across the world, her very first plane ride, excited to see her son graduate from a top university. What would you give her to sleep on, a sofa, or the unused bed? Would you put her in the living room, or in a bedroom?

My sister is convinced that my mother in law will go through her things and laugh at her. So my sister wanted to move all “her” stuff out. It turns out some of the stuff she wanted to move out and take with her to her place in San Francisco were some boxes of family photographs. Yes, some of the pictures are of her friends. But other pictures are of my mother’s childhood, or pictures that my mother wants to keep from when my sister was an infant…. My sister already sorted out all the pictures enough so that there are none of me, but she wants the pictures of our dead grandmother, who I’m not sure she even met. Everyone knows that anything that goes to San Francisco is unlikely to ever come back. The long and short of it is that my sister spoiled part of mother’s day by trying to take these pictures away. My mother successfully convinced her it would be ok just to put them in the closet. Really though, why would anyone rifle through unlabeled, unexplained photos of strangers? That sounds really boring.

While I’m on the subject of mother’s day, I need to complain about something else my sister did. She ignored me. She was barely more subtle about it than a kindergartener would have been. It was just me and her in the room. I look up at her, gesturing with a head of lettuce, “how much romaine do you think we need?” Nothing. She looked away and pretended I hadn’t said anything. When I passed her in the kitchen, all she did was raise one eyebrow in apparent disgust. I’m annoyed, but not especially mad. It was hurtful, but ultimately not surprising. She is 35, but often seems to forget and act like a 5 year old. Whatever. I’m over it….

In fairness, she was inconsistent about ignoring me. When she felt like it, or when my parents were around, she acted almost like nothing was wrong. And she made a pretty great lasagna.

So what would you do? Put the mother of the man you love into an unused bedroom? Or do you think it’s reasonable for my sister to make a big fuss?

My sister feels righteous about her moods. She thinks that because she is bipolar, she has a right to be moody. And maybe she does. But she broadcasts her every mood a bit too much, and seems to make no effort to fight against the paranoia. Every time she has a bad thought, she seems to just accept it as a real truth. She assumes the worst, and lets everyone know how terrible she feels they are being towards her. Maybe that’s her right. But it makes it uncomfortable to spend time with her, and the whole family feels it. My husband avoids her, my parents find her tiring to be with, and I’m a little bit scared of her.

Once, back in 2013, we were actually pretty close, or getting close. We did things together. We had good times. It was nice. But then I ruined it. All I wanted to do was help her. I told her that she might consider trying to reign in at least the display of her moods a little bit. I thought that if she just understood how her volatility cuts her off from the family, she might be able to repair relationships a bit, and be closer with the people who love her. But she took it as an attack, thought that I wasn’t respecting her condition enough, and that I just didn’t understand her the way she thought I should. She actually told me that it had been a mistake to confide in someone so young, and that it was a mistake to think I could ever understand. Since then she has barely spoken to me, and I’ve been too afraid to spend time alone with her.

Sorry, this post was all over the place. Here are some flowers from my garden. I find these ones especially exciting, particularly the love in a mist, which is my favorite.

May so far: A bad day, a good day, a false start, a fresh start (tomorrow)

So May is off to an interesting start. Very much in the extremes. Here’s the rundown.

May First: A Bad Day

Warning: TMI, feel free to skip to the 2nd. There’s no great way to say this, so I’ll just do it quick like a bandage. I peed myself. Hugely.

My husband will be volunteering at a hospital a maybe 30 minutes away from home. The hospital requires a background check, so he had to go to the sheriff’s office to get his fingerprints looked at or whatever. He doesn’t drive, so I drove him.

I made a point of using the restroom before we set out, but sometimes my body just doesn’t care how careful I’ve been. By the time we reached our destination, I was whimpering in desperation. my husband got out of the car while I was parking, so when I got inside, he’d already been wandering around trying to figure out where to go, and was able to tell me where the bathrooms were. I made it into the bathroom, but nowhere near to the stall. Louis CK said it best “I just see it. And my eyes tell the rest of me ‘f**k it man, let go, we’re here'” (he swears a lot in that clip, but I think you’ll agree that, in the situation, it’s called for). That’s what happened. I hobbled over to the stall, peeing the whole time, wondering why I couldn’t have had just a few more seconds.

You’d think I’d be overcome with mortification, but this sort of thing has happened to me before, and I’ve learned to throw myself at the mercy of others. Granted, in the past it’s always been people I knew, and who cared for me, but in this instance it was just a woman who happened to use one of the other stalls. See, I had left my phone in my car, and wanted to talk to my husband before moving from the safety of the stall. This woman kindly agreed to bring my phone from my unlocked car. She was able to find the car, which amazed me, because it has few identifying features. And she brought my phone to me.

I’d thought my husband would have some great idea, but no. He just advised me to come to the car, there weren’t many people around and I probably wouldn’t be seen. So it was kind of a wasted trip for the savior woman I never saw. My shoes squeaked on the tiled floor as I hurried, head down, out to the parking lot. I only encountered one person, and I just told myself that she had no reason to be looking at my legs, which were as blotched as a black and white cow.

My husband asked me, “how did you manage to get it on the front and  the back of your pants?”

“I don’t know. It just sort of exploded out.”

“Like a fire extinguisher.” We both laughed at that. By the way, you should feel free to laugh at this too, it would make me feel better. I’m one of those people who feels better admitting embarrassing things and laughing about them with others. I find secret embarrassments are somehow more embarrassing. Perhaps it’s just because my life has been mostly full of kind people…. That’s not to say that I would have wanted more witnesses! I just like to explain myself and feel understood.

I sat on his sweatshirt, to protect the car seat. We dropped off his paperwork and headed for home. And we almost got there, before he remembered that he had something else he needed to do in that other area–30 minutes away. He wouldn’t have forgotten, I’m certain, if I hadn’t distracted him with my urine. I didn’t have time to go home and shower because he had to do this thing by a certain time. I can’t even remember what it was…. Something to do with reading biometrics or some such. So, good little wifey that I am, I turned the car around, and took him back to the hospital. I waited in the car, but I have no idea how long. Time was really dragging at that point, making it even harder than usual for me to guess the minutes. Every second feels like a long time when you are a 25 year old worrying about getting diaper rash.

On the bright side, I have never enjoyed a shower more than I did that day.

I had a consolation bingefest, made of chocolate, chocolate, and even more chocolate, more than I even wanted to eat.

May Second: A Good Day

It was a mayfair celebration, so of course there are flowers in my hair. Yeah, they’re real flowers

You will need a little bit of background at this point. I went to a tiny school called the East Bay Waldorf School from Kindergarten through high school. The high school part of the school failed after my class graduated, so it’s just pre-k through 8th now. I still love the school, and find ways to go back to visit when I can. In fact, I filmed it for a college project, which I hope I can eventually share with you. Right now I can’t, because it hasn’t been approved by EBWS for public viewing. The secretary of 16 years is graduating retiring this year, and specifically asked that I be brought in to sing at her retirement party. I love singing in public, so I was down. I don’t have a band though, so I had to use the instrumental tracks from an album I made in high school (that was with my friend Sara’s band, all seasoned professional jazz musicians). We had no way to feed the music through the PA speakers, so someone brought in a little bluetooth speaker, and we had to call it “good enough.” I sang three songs.

My husband couldn’t make it, so I had my mom film me for him. I thought I should share a video of one song with you lot, sort of my version of Rachael’s Off with the Cloak. I wouldn’t know what to say in a vlog, so I thought instead, I’d share something I’m considered good at. Again, you can’t hear the backing track that well, but I guess that’s not what you would be listening for anyway.

Anyway… No more stalling. Here it is

After the performance, when I was once again just a person in the crowd, I got a fair number of people thanking/congratulating me on my voice. I ate a lot of cupcakes, to celebrate.

May Third: A False Start

Not much to say about today. It was supposed to be my personal beginning of May, the May where I would be perfect all month long. But right at the end I ate too much naan.

May Fourth: A Fresh Start

….I hope. It’s only been 58 minutes so far.