Things I did on vacation

We spent ten lovely days in the Twin Cities. We spent much of our time catching up with our friends. It wasn’t too full of a trip which is usually my vacation downfall. 

We went to a wedding in Alma, Wisconsin on our last full day. It was scenic and beautiful. I’m glad we were able to be there for our friend on her wedding day.

We went to the SPAM Museum in Austin, Minnesota. It’s a random, small, free museum that I highly recommend. It’s come a long way since I was there ten years ago. Plus, free samples! 

I am 20 cans tall. Ha ha ha

We visited Stillwater, MN. It’s a cute little town with a decent shopping area. There had been heavy rains abd the area was flooded. The St. Croix River isn’t usually this high! 

This is a great scenic view taken from Mill City Museum..another must see attraction!

In all, it felt great to reconnect with my friends and get away from work. 

I’ve been feeling unorganized and coming back from vacation didn’t help. I’m still trying to get it together. Today was a big court day for my unit and I’m exhausted from all the emotions that go into these things.

Everyone is making babies

We are on vacation in Minnesota. This is the land of my people. I have a large friend group here that I’m very attached to. We are here for 2 weddings. One was last Saturday and one is this coming Saturday. In the interim we are hanging out with people and catching up. We haven’t been back in 4 years so there is so much to catch up on.

Mainly, all of the lesbians in my circle are married or engaged..and the majority are pregnant or trying to conceive. This means many conversations about trying to get pregnant and why we don’t have kids. We haven’t discussed our decision to not try for kids in a while but it’s coming up daily this week. I can’t tell if it’s getting better or worse the more I talk about it. It makes me feel weird when others are so excited for babies and I’m saying “we are happy without them.” Nothing makes you rethink a good decision like other people staring at you like you’re crazy. 

My ex-wife and her new wife are expecting a child. That came as a very strange blow to me. I want her to be happy and have all the good things in life but I feel like I’m competing with her for life goals. Lol. It’s all mental drama on my end, I know. I think I wouldn’t feel upset by it if she was able to be an adult every time she sees me, instead of being awkward and making mean faces.How do we go from BFFs to enemies because I moved away? I’ll understand how that friendship died. Oh well.

Only 3 full days left to get in all the sights and joys of the Twin Cities. I can’t wait to see other friends in the coming days and attend my dear friends wedding on Saturday. 

Mail love

Maybe you know, but maybe you don’t, that I’m a mail junkie. I have penpals, collect pens and stationary, and mail postcards and random packages to strangers. It’s something that’s very important to me.

Yesterday I received a package from my best penpal friend. We text every day and have spoken on the phone once. We have never met in ~9 years of friendship. She lives on the West coast and I’m on the East coast. We’ve been through a lot together and have written our hearts out during miscarriages & pregnancies, weddings, deaths and work drama. She’s one of those people I can text at 2am and not worry about being screamed at.

This year has been rough on both of us with work changes, big life decisions, and losing important loved ones. We agreed to get matching somethings a few weeks ago. I put her in charge of the something. 

I received this lovely package with a necklace that reads “and so I fly” It’s perfect for us and life in general. That card that came with it had me crying. The necklace was inside the little bag, which was inside the bigger bag, inside a cute unicorn card. She is so thoughtful and a fabulous friend. I am lucky to have such phenomenal people in my life.

Do you have a best friend you’ve never met? 

End of summer news

My last post was work related and so is this one. Yesterday I accepted the position I had applied for. This moves me to a new floor, with new attorneys, and a massive amount of work in front of me. If you’re curious about the work, search “juvenile life without parole” and read about the Supreme court decisions that came out in January. Some people are already being released from prison. My job will be to assist attorneys in identifying the mitigation needs and adequately offering that information to parole boards and judges to get new sentences or parole. In a 6 person unit, I’m the only non attorney. The other person they hired to be a mitigation specialist is an attorney. I’m feeling some kind of incompetent because I’m no legal mind. I’m sure I’ll be fine, though, because I catch on fast. 

I’m really excited to be doing such unique work. Also, a huge pay raise (tens of thousands) helps me relax about the significant amount of work required. Lots of work should equal more money, right? There will be travel across the state and that will mean we need a second car. I’m not rushing on that though because they told me that travel will be months away from now. I start Sep 6th as long as I get my current case load under control for someone to take over. 

My current unit does have a new Chief who started a few weeks ago. He is very charismatic and people are drawn to him. We had a nice chat 2 days ago and the next day I get the offer. He’s sad to see me go and I am sad to see what he’ll make of the unit. I’m also sad to move away from my office mate. He’s really been my support and we are each others “person” at work. I hope we’ll be able to have lunch sometimes. 

Our travel bug continues. We are off to Washington D.C. for a day trip on Saturday. Labor day weekend we’ll be in Cleveland visiting our best couple friends and meeting their kids first the first time. We are so, so excited about this! At the end of September we are going to Minnesota for a week for two weddings. That’ll be fabulous and I’m so happy for my friends! 

We celebrated 6 years of marriage last weekend. Hard to believe we have been together so long but I can’t imagine it any other way. 

Hopefully I won’t wait 2 months to post again.

Let’s catch up

Things are strange at my office. Several department heads were demoted, fired, or motivated to retire. There are so many managerial job postings right now! My director was demoted after 30+ years leading the department. She’s 70 and very hurt by the change but will continue on with the office in a lesser capacity. For now, we have no leader. That’s strange. 

I applied for a position in a new unit, one I’ve been following and training for. It’s a 3 year grant position which is fine with me but there is heavy competition. Attorneys are applying for the same jobs that social workers are! Only 2 positions are available in the first year and then 2 will be added in the second and third year. I feel nervous after hearing what a micro-manager the department heads are. I barely survived that type of manager when I first started here. Hopefully I’ll get an interview and will have a decent chance at one of the positions.

Last year I went to several grad school open houses to figure out if I wanted to get a higher degree. I need change either in the form of a new position or a new career path altogether. If I don’t get this new position, I’m applying to grad school. I’ve set my heart on doing something rather than being stagnant. In the coming months we’ll know what I’m actually going to be doing with my life. 

I went to a hot air balloon festival last week!

Buried my MIL with her parents in Burlington, MA on June 18th.

Ocean City,NJ         I got so sunburnt. A month later and I’m still peeling skin!

Wearing down

I have been mentally drained lately. It started with me picking up a book I had put down last month, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. This is a phenomenal book about caring for the aging, the struggles and triumphs of the medical professions and the emerging hospice/assisted living movement. It’s a real look at people who either don’t want a say in how they die, they just want all the treatment possible, and the people who want to know what’s next and plan for their care. So many things come up in this book that remind me of my MIL and leave me hurting and thinking. One part that really hit me on Saturday was a personal story of a woman who was in assisted living and was in extreme pain, spitting up blood, etc but didn’t tell anyone. She suffered silently and didn’t get help until she was having a heart attack – and died. I wonder if that was J my MIL. She had been so run down and weak for months on end and it seemed worse the week prior to her death. Was she really struggling and not telling us? We talked about that sometimes, if she was more uncomfortable than we realized. She didn’t complain much- except about why she wasn’t dead yet. It hurts me to think that she might have been hiding her true difficulty from us so that she could speed up her death on her own terms. I hope that wasn’t really the case and I’m trying not to kick myself for not noticing that something might have been going on.

We are going to Burlington/Boston, Massachusettes this weekend to bury C’s parents. They share an urn and will be laid to rest with his grandparents in a designated cemetary plot. There has been a lot of back and forth about if there is really a headstone there that needs to be written on or if there isn’t one at all. The granite guy and cemetary people don’t seem to be on the same page about what exists so we’ll find out on Saturday! C’s brother and brother-in-law will be there for the burial and then we’ll have some kind of lunch afterward. I think C’s brother won’t really feel the sting of her death until we are there without her. I know he’s been struggling and it doesn’t seem like his mom is dead. But she really is, as hard as it is for all of us.

If you are watching the news, you are flooded with the shooting of Pulse in Orlando, Florida, USA. This attack on the gay community has terrified me and hurt me in ways that are so hard to even talk about. I can’t talk about it without weeping, without thinking of how we are set back by this. I am struggling to make sense of it and to still be “proud” and “out.” I am not very “out” in general life because of these kind of fears of violence and disproval. Now that something has happened on a large scale it makes me want to go back into the closet, be even more stealth, and separate myself. I’ve never said this but today I told C “I’m glad we don’t go to gay places” because I don’t want to face this reality. I haven’t felt fear for my safety since I was first coming out 15 years ago. Now it seems so real and that it could happen anywhere. Bars and clubs are home for so many gays. I used to be at the gay bars every weekend because that’s where my people were, my safe place to be a lesbian and meet others, to not worry about being judged. These places aren’t just a hang out, they are a community center for the LGBTQ community. No one should be afraid to go anywhere but the truth is, we have the potential to be scared to go everywhere. I want to know I can gather with my gay friends and not worry about a hater throwing shit at me, being rude, or shooting me. My brain is on repeat that “this is not a national setback” and “I could be next.” I don’t want civil rights to get stalled and I don’t want to let my fear and anxiety change me into someone else. I also don’t want to weep when I think about all those beautiful souls who died for nothing. There was no cause or choice on their end. They were dancing and having a great time with friends and they were murdered. MURDERED! Nothing will take away the pain and suffering of the loved ones of the deceased and injured. This will forever be a mark on our country and on the LGBT community. I hope I live to see a day when none of us are murdered for being our true selves.

Boston anyone?

If you have 6 hours near Boston how would you spend it? We’ve spent zero time there but will be going in a few weeks to bury C’s mom’s ashes and want to do something fun afterward.
All suggestions welcome!


My mother-in-law passed away this morning. I felt it last night and didn’t want to go to bed. I even told my friend staying with us “tonight feels different, I just don’t think she’ll make it.” I decided to be on morphine duty every 2 hours so I could keep an eye on her. At her 4:30am dose she was agitated and not as she has been. I woke my husband up and we sat with her until she passed away an hour later. Our dogs were with us, one laying on her legs. Her hospice team came out quickly and the funeral home was soon to follow. We’ve taken care of the arrangements for cremation and will pick her up in a few days.
It’s surreal and heart breaking. Our house feels so quiet now that her oxygen machine isn’t here. It’s strange thinking of all the things we didn’t do, like her mother’s day dinner or special projects we had planned. My husband is devastated, they were very close. His mom was so proud of him and so grateful for us doing so much for her. I’m glad we were able to offer her comfort in her last years and give her great experiences.


Prayers needed

My mother-in-law, whom lives with us, is terminally ill and her time will come soon. We are at the hospital now waiting on hospice but they say her life is coming to an end very soon. She went downhill very fast and though she’s been ready for death for a few years, it’s still hard on us.
I don’t know what the days ahead will bring. I hope she goes peacefully.

Stuffed French Toast


Tonight’s amazing concoction: stuffed French Toast. Recipe stolen from Food Network.
One loaf challah bread or similar braided bread. Cut pockets in one side
Filling: 6oz softened cream cheese, almonds and raspberries (mix all together: I used food processor to chop my nuts and berries and then mixed it into the cream cheese.
Custard: 2 eggs, 3/4 cup half and half, 1tbsp sugar, 1tsp vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Once you have your filling mixed, put in a piping bag or create your own using a baggie. Just cut a corner out for easy squeezing. Then pipe filling into the bread. Skillet should be warm. I added butter to this to start with. Cook as you would normal French Toast, until both sides are golden. Remove from pan and enjoy!