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unrelated photo of my hike today: clouds above, fog below (this is probably a metaphor for grief)

I lost someone this past summer. I didn’t misplace him, he died. He was very young and it was tragic and it has caused immense pain in my community, starting in his family and rippling out to his friends and to the rest of us: the parents of his friends who are also the friends of his parents.

Grief, I am learning, is a strange thing. I think of this person a lot and at odd times. I see a book I know he liked. I am reminded of Yosemite and I remember our families’ trips there together. My van’s automatic doors open and I remember him describing them as being powered by “magical unicorns”. He has visited me in my dreams a couple of times since he died. It never makes much sense when he does, but there he is, and I wake feeling sad and have to remind myself that he is gone and he is never coming back.

I actually have to remind myself of that most days. Someone told me recently that she had a theory that we have many layers to our selves and each time I remind myself it is me informing another of my layers. I must have a lot of layers because it has been five months now and I am still reminding myself: he’s gone forever, he is never coming back.

I am not sure what inspired me to write this today. I was going to say that nothing reminded me of him today but now I remember seeing a book on our shelf that I know he liked. I didn’t seem him very often anymore and yet I still feel his loss in my life. I feel the loss of his potential. What he could have been and never will be. What my son will be now that he has dealt with this loss.

Anyway, grief, it’s what is on my mind these days. It is what is coloring my outlook on life most days. It is what I think about when everything else is quiet and my mind is not occupied.

It kind of sucks.


christmas gifts and food

I got an Apple Watch for Christmas. Those of you that know me know that I am a bit obsessive about reaching my 10k step goal daily. This past year I had a 9 month streak of hitting my goal! I got sick in September and that ended that. I have been less strict with myself about getting to my goal every day but I often try to go for an extra walk in the evening to get the steps. Well, now I have some new goals to try to hit too!

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closed my rings!

I closed the rings yesterday but today I have only gotten the red (calories burned while moving) and blue (stand at least once per hour). Somehow I got 10k steps today without getting 30 “exercise minutes”. That one is going to be a challenge when a lot of my walking is done with the dog. He stops and breaks the “exercise minute” counting, or something.

I also got hand knit socks for Christmas, from my mom. Aren’t they pretty?

hand knit socks are the best socks

Finally, I was given a cookbook: Dinner in an Instant. Tonight I made a pasta dish from it, and it was delicious!

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creamy chickpea pasta with cumin and mint

I didn’t have all the ingredients because my husband and younger son ate the hummus when I wasn’t looking, and it was still delicious. I think it will be even tastier when I make it again and do have hummus. (I blended the chickpeas instead which made it not super creamy but still made for a tasty dinner.)

So my holiday went well. I hope yours went as well as mine did!

thanksgiving and toe doctors

I didn’t manage to post yesterday, which I think is a testament to the fun-filled day we had. My friend Linda hosted us and did a wonderful job, as usual. She even made adorable little place settings with a place for us to note what we were thankful for. What I wrote will probably not surprise anyone.

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Today I took my son to the foot doctor. He was highly entertained that there is a doctor just for feet. He is still wearing the “boot” the urgent care doctor gave him and now I have learned the proper way to buddy tape his toes.

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his boot, my boot

The doctor opted not to reset his toe, which sounds less painful all around. We still have to tape it for about 6 weeks. I suspect that will get old fast! Wish me luck.

bedrooms, toes, and ice cream

We have been working on rearranging the whole house since June or so and today was the beginning of the final step: switching my younger son back into the small bedroom and my husband and I back into the larger one.

His loft bed went away first, it is the end of an era.

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bye bye loft bed

This photo is a bit dark, but his bed is now in the small room! (It just needs a new frame.)

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at last!

Unfortunately, in all the hubbub of cleaning up today, my younger son stubbed his toe on one of the many air filters we currently have going, which resulted a trip to urgent care and probably podiatry tomorrow.

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sad pinky toe

In between all of that excitement, I made ginger ice cream for Thanksgiving. It doesn’t look like much, but it smells amazing and I hope it tastes as good as it smelled!

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ginger ice cream to be

bike spectating

Day 3 and I have already missed a day! Alas. Moving on…

I spent a good portion of today spectating my husband’s 100 mile (!!) bike ride! He took up biking a couple of years ago as a way to get to work and get some exercise in the process. Then he started going on bike rides with a local bike shop and his coworkers encouraged him to go on longer, harder rides. The result was that he signed up for a 100 mile ride to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity. A worthy cause to say the least!

I woke up bright (well, dark actually) and early at 5 to drive him to the starting point and then met him at a couple of stops along the way. The kids and I met him at the finish line to cheer his achievement and drive him home. We only have one vehicle and adding the distance to and from our house seemed like a bridge too far.

Finish line
Coming over the finish line at dusk after starting off at dawn!

So big congratulations to my husband who did a Very Hard Thing today!

Now I need to collapse into bed because I did a Slightly Less Hard Thing (getting up at 5am) and I am tired myself!