a peek into my crazy

Riding the city bus brings out every bit of my neuroticism.

Normally I’m a pretty confident, capable woman, but require me to take a city bus route – particularly downtown – and I become a nervous wreck. Something will go wrong, I’m sure of it – I’ll miss the bus, I’ll be at the wrong stop, the bus route will magically have changed and no longer go where I need it to (despite the fact that I’m looking at the route on my smartphone as I go), I’ll miss my stop, I won’t have the right change, someone will steal my purse, I’ll forget to grab my transfer, I’ll be held up at the dark stop in the early morning, someone awful will sit next to me and flirt with me, I’ll be late, I’ll be too early, I’ll run into someone I’d rather not, I’ll get lost when I get off, I’ll fall in the aisle, I’ll have forgotten to brush my teeth and the person next to me will die from the stench, my travel coffee mug will spill all over. It sounds ridiculous but in my brain? All distinct possibilities. And Metro Transit is not helping me out, either… for instance, stops are listed as cross streets. Friends, there are four actual corners at each cross street and sometimes there are bus stops on all four. How do I know which one? They don’t all have signs. I’m certain to be at the wrong one and watch my bus roar by. And God forbid I have to change buses! My heart rate shoots up just thinking about it.

Never mind that highschoolers and people who barely speak English and folks who are obviously on something all seem to be able to work it out. This gal here, with a college degree and a good head on her shoulders? Destined to be lost and wandering in the city.

It did not help, this morning, that the change machine on the bus wasn’t able to add. “Did you put in enough money?” the driver asked, and I smiled nervously and giggled and said “I’m pretty sure I put in $2.25” because OF COURSE I did – it was pre-counted at least four times and put in a labeled Ziploc baggie so I could put my frantic heart to rest before bed last night. Not that that helped me sleep. And now I’m holding up the line and everyone is glaring at me (why must they do that?) and all my worst expectations are being fulfilled.

But I made it.

And then I got off early. And since I only studied one route home at one specific time and stop (typed up in Evernote with precise walking directions and change counted out and sealed into another labeled Ziploc) I’m seriously considering sitting around until then. Never mind that it’s two hours from now. I can wait.


help, please?

I absolutely love every bit of them. Let’s start there.


They are the light of my life and they amuse, appall, challenge and inspire me beyond what I ever dreamed possible. And yet…

And yet maybe because I work with kids all day, too, or maybe because I have only the precious few moments of my daily commute that are kid-less in my entire day or maybe because I single parent two girls 5.5 days per week or perhaps, perhaps because I’m absolutely never alone – even in the shower…

I have very little left to give to them.

We spend our evenings on playdates, or hustling around running errands, or watching horrendous amounts of Curious George and Elmo while I fold laundry and try not to play on my phone. We have occasional dance parties and we read and sing together some, but, on the whole? It’s not what I dreamed or imagined for my family, for my life as a mother. It feels all too often like putting in time. It nearly kills me to play dolls or a board game or (God forbid!) try to do a messy craft. I’m snappy and impatient and I find myself bellowing and sending little girls to their rooms when really? I’m probably the one who needs to go to her room.

I’ve tried to set the alarm a little earlier so that I have half an hour or so to myself in the morning quiet… but it’s so much easier to snooze it when half an hour would feel so good and I’ve only gotten five hours of sleep, anyway…

And here we are. Mommy burnout.

Have you been here? Are you here? Do you have a light you can shine to help me see the way out? Because this? Feels awful. Truly truly awful. And I would love some help.

And a hug.


mostly treats


Olive requested a kitty pumpkin, so I did my best.

My little Dorothy could’ve trick-or-treated all night and never gone home.

Sleepy leopard baby lasted about two blocks before passing out on momma’s shoulder for the night.I showed my true personality.

And my favorite part…. relaxing afterwards, in a sugar coma.

Hope you had a happy Halloween!



Mary was my coworker, unfailingly warm and friendly, just the kind of person you would want working with your child. That anything so utterly horrific should have happened to her is absolutely inconceivable to me and I feel… drenched. Sopping. The slow slogging you feel when you walk through water, when your clothes (which shouldn’t be wet in the first place) are heavy and saturated and holding you back. The cool chill you get when the breeze hits your wet skin. I am waterlogged.

Victims in St. Paul triple homicide are identified


the couch conundrum

Here is our new-to-us sofa:

Pretty hideous, yes? I’ve always thought so. I met this couch on the porch of my in-laws’ house, where it resided after its original owners (my hubby’s grandparents) passed away. The first time I laid eyes on it I cringed and quickly deemed it one of the most dreadful things I’d ever seen.

Over time, I started to think that maybe, just maybe, it was kitschy and awful enough to be cute.

I got over it.

And yet, we loved the provenance of it, and the shape – the cute little side pillows and the puff of cushion at the top. It’s a solid, sturdy, expensive sofa that will be beautiful when it’s reupholstered.

If and when we can ever afford that.

Till then, what am I to do?

Slipcovering just turns it into a big, brown dumpy thing, devoid of all the charm we love – the cute cushions and buttons. But…

Can I really live with this scene?

What would you do?

**here’s a close-up of the pattern, for your viewing pleasure. Yes, it’s a Currier and Ives type print of horsedrawn carriages and little brick church steeples. Ugh.


  • Kickball game at the park, going on whilst I watch Olive obsessively go down the “big slide.” One team is, well, a normal-looking kickball team. The other team consists of a priest, a nun, a rabbi, a Mormon missionary, and Jesus. I spent the entire evening searching for an appropriate punchline.
  • Driving down 36th street, an old 1940’s beat-up green truck. I’m behind it and see the silhouette of two men with a big dog sitting between them. The driver has a tremendous handlebar mustache and a newsboy cap on, the passenger has a goatee and a bandanna wrapped around his head with braided pigtails trailing beneath. I’m certain we’re in a gangster movie.
  • The LochNess monster in Lake Harriet. No, seriously.

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