Cherry Cordial Greetings

Missed me? I've missed me! That's a bit unsettling and narcissistic, isn't it? But show me a blog that isn't a little unsettling and narcissistic, and I'll make you dinner. Please enter your dietary restrictions in the comments.

It's a couple days away from 2016, and I'm all aflutter. Rather than an unrealistic fad diet or a commitment to swear less (LOL), I've decided to attempt something much more ridiculous in the year 2016: I'm going to write every single day for the next year.

Some of it will be published here, and some of it will be published at my day gig, and some of it will be published on my instagram feed, but I'm committing myself to writing one of these three places every day of 2016, and see who I am on the other side of it.

2015 was big, what with introducing the Copper Pot into the world and flailing about somewhat aimlessly with a horse who hates life, and then quitting my full time job. So I want to be absolutely sure that 2016 is much more impossible. Add in that by the time the year is up my baby will be a toddler that walks and stuff, and this premise gets even more absurd.

But you know what? I like absurd. White bread is for chumps.


When the Going Gets Rough - Go to Hawaii on the Inside

Sometimes when I'm a little stressed from working three jobs and not being able to sleep and worrying about money and my dumb horse, I look at the baby somewhere in my immediate vicinity or in my arms, and I instantly feel better. She's like the human manifestation of an orange cat's purr.

But sometimes all those things are happening, and my baby is far away being babysat by a loving grandma while I sit and fester at a cubicle. For those occasions, I just close my eyes....

Okay, no, first I open my Spotify and locate the Reggae. I find the classic reggae favorites playlist, hit shuffle, and THEN I close my eyes.

Then I imagine I'm back in my sassy rental car cruising around the Kalanianaole Highway on Oahu with the windows down in March, the smell and distant sound of the ocean permeating the cabin. My fancy mini bananas are on the seat next to me, and I literally don't have a single care in the whole entire world.

I went on that trip to see my BFF get married, which is a life highlight no doubt. But rediscovering reggae, seeing the octopus on my snorkel morning, and cruising that highway have refilled my canteen hundreds of times since then and now. I can't believe how much that week has meant to me. Now I just need an excuse to go back.


A List

1. Marriage Equality. Such a good day.

2. I've got a barn and a family baby shower in the next 4 days, which normally sounds just terrifying, except it's with all my favorite people, so it will be awesome.

3. A puppy came to the office today. I got nothing done for an hour and my hands smell like puppy. #winning

4. The barn now has a new outdoor jumping arena with new sandy footing, and the indoor arenas are getting rubber composite footing. If you're not a horse person, I'm sorry you had to struggle through that. If you're a horse person, thanks for struggling through everything else to get to that part, because, I KNOW, RIGHT? So exciting.

5. I had a salami sandwich for breakfast. No regrets.

6. Relevant to the previous item, my baby doctor lady ran some tests and told me I need to eat more spinach and red meat, drink a gatorade, and keep my feet up. So I'm pretty sure I've been medically ordered to have a relaxing barbecue every day for the rest of the summer. That I can do, Doc. You're all invited. Bring Your Own Meat. And bring me a Gatorade.

7. Also relevant to 5 and 6, Dan and I went to the our town's Roundup BBQ Dinner on Wednesday, and for $4, you got a pulled pork sandwich, hawaiian chips, the best homemade baked beans you've ever tasted, a giant Grandma's Pink Sugar Cookie, and a drink. You know why? Because our town is the greatest freaking big little town in the world.

8. Dan doesn't know this yet, but I'm never leaving.

9. He's already rather suspicious he'll have to yank the deed of our pioneer house from my cold dead fingers, and for good reason. It's hot, and breaking, and tiny, and needs more storage, but damn if that little pioneer house with a tomato garden and a jetted tub isn't the most perfect weird little house I ever laid eyes on.

10. It's been a weird and awesome week, world. I'm letting the bad stuff slide away, because that's what I need right now. I'm clinging to progress in all its forms, new beginnings, and good food. A swimming pool or two might be in order as well.

A certain someone frolicking at dusk on the longest day of the year. 


As Scar and the Boy Scouts say, "Be Prepared".

Over the past several months, I've been very lucky to share the pregnancy experience with friends, family, past and current coworkers whose pregnancies overlapped and mirrored mine. It's been such a huge help! Being pregnant is both a lonesome journey that can only be made alone and also an incredibly uniting state that you share with a pretty good chunk of the population.

Over the weekend, Dan and I went off the grid for a couple days to spend time with family in a land where magically our phones don't work even if we wanted them to, and it was blissful. When we got back to civilization, I discovered that a solid half of my "pregnant clan" had given birth...early. Babies are all healthy and fine and going home soon if not home already, and that's the most important thing. But immediately after determining that important information, I turned white as a sheet and felt sick to my stomach.

Women due AFTER me just had healthy fat babies. I'm in the zone where like, this could happen. To me.

You know that dream where you find out you're in some sort of performance, and it's opening night, and you don't know any of the lines and you're supposed to do your own makeup? I have that dream regularly. This is kind of like that, only it's real, and someone sends me home with a baby at the end. And I still have to do my own makeup, which is really a tragedy.

Our house is a DISASTER. The "nursery", which is really just one side of our only other spare room which we use for every practical thing you can think of, is in no way assembled. The crib is built. That's about it. Her armoire closet is still a total wreck. The 10 layers of paint on the hardwood floors which are highly likely to contain multiple flavors of lead and arsenic are chipping and desperately need to be sealed in with a safe topcoat. There is nothing cheery or charming or baby-ish plastered to the wall above where her head will lay. My idealistic ambition to make her mobile myself out of hand-sewn horses and roadrunners has yet to even make the fabric store shopping cut yet, let alone all my snazzy ideas about making my own diaper pads and such.

Yes, diaper pads. 6 months ago, in my eagerness to save the earth and my money, I decided we were going to do the cloth diaper thing. 4.5 weeks from my due date, I'm totally panicking about how I've never even TOUCHED a cloth diaper in my life, and will soon be applying one to my flesh and blood 15-20 times a day.

Anyone who has ever seen the inside of my life the night before a horse show knows how I thrive on preparation. I have to-do lists, what-to-bring lists, color coded tape to signify different equipment for different classes, perfectly organized show boxes, a pristine horse and a spotless car, and a terrible case of nausea. That is the opposite of what I look like right now, except for the nausea part.

Have I mentioned that we don't have a daycare, yet?

I know it's "all going to work out", but right now, I feel totally unprepared for the onslaught of logistics that have to happen before the totally random hour of the craziest thing I'll ever do. I miss being able to say "oh well, it's just a horse show." It's the opposite of anything that's a "just". It's just everything.

But hey. I got this out there in the universe, and that helps. I'll start there.


How Someone's Semi-Retirement is Faring

It had never, ever, in a million years, been my intention to star in my own equestrian-themed Lifetime Movie wherein a girl meets and falls in love with a difficult wild horse wrangled into captivity from her desert home, and as the two slowly build their partnership, it becomes clear that only this girl, and this girl alone, can tame the mighty beast!

So romantic. So stupid. So impractical. So inconvenient. Unequivocally the story of my life.

Since I adopted Itxa 2 years ago Sunday, I've let exactly six people ride her. Three of those people were professionals, two of those people were riding at the walk, and one was pretty much my favorite teenager of all time. I can't say that any one of those rides was especially comforting to me, and some of them were just downright traumatizing. Not because the professionals weren't people who I trusted implicitly, but because Itxa's reactions to them were so vehemently negative and riddled with paranoia that no good could come of it.

So here I am, 32 weeks pregnant, and stuck with a horse who has had to fall out of work at the same rate as me. At first it was unendingly frustrating, depressing, and left me dripping in guilt.

And then I remembered that horses don't have goals, people have goals for horses.

She LOVES to be pointed at a thing and asked to jump it. She LOVES a good puzzle, and trying to figure out what she's being asked to do. (So long as you don't KEEP asking for it after she's figured it out, then she's done with you.) But in between those bright spots, there has been tail swishing, teeth grinding, ear pinning, endless irritation at the daily experience of being asked to be a useful horse.

Interestingly, in semi-retirement, (essentially getting out for grooming, loving, and a mix of fun and practical ground-based exercise around twice a week) a lot of that irritation has dissipated. This summer has been a good reminder for me that Itxa has had about as much stability and tranquility in her life as an unruly foster kid- a year on the plains, a few months in a negative adoption experience, a year in the prison program, holdings pens in between all that, and then 2 years trying to be reformed by an ambitious, well meaning, but amateur equestrian.

I think a whole lot of that was not an awesome experience for her, myself included, but because of our longevity and some good aspects to our relationship, I think Itxa has at least learned that I am her friend. She doesn't always trust me (the feeling is mutual), but I think we do actually like each other, and maybe she's never had that before. I'm glad that our mutual semi-retirement has taught me that, and I hope it helps me make the right decision for her when the time comes to get back in the saddle later this summer.

More than any other personal equestrian goal I have for myself, I know that my next major mission is to help Itxa enjoy her work, and continue to push our relationship from liking each other to trusting each other.

And with (realistically) another 10 weeks or so to go before that next stage begins, I'm glad we're getting this time to just be friends.

Hey look! No crazy eye!


Excerpts From The Bachelorette

JJ: My pick-up line most of the time is 'Hi, I'm JJ, I'm divorced, have a kid, and live with my parents.'

Amy Schumer: Is that true?

JJ: That's totally true.

[look of sheer and utter glee and delight crosses Amy Schumer's face, takes a swig of white wine.]

JJ: Is that bad, should I not say that?

Amy Schumer: I LOVE THAT.

JJ: Probably I shouldn't try to do that Steven Tyler kickstand on the mic stand?

Amy Schumer: No, I think that's a really, really good idea.

JJ: Sometimes I feel like I'm too smart for like, 90% of the audience. Gets me in trouble.

Amy Schumer: I'm gonna make you feel better. You're not.

[cutaway to Amy Schumer confessional interview]

Amy Schumer: JJ is a sweetheart. He's just missing charisma, humility, and a sense of humor. Basically, you should hire him as your next Bachelor. Maybe when he watches the show he'll reflect back on himself and not....be such a turd.


April Fools Baby Tricks

After 24 weeks of the gestational experience, you get pretty used to 2 things: thinking about the fact that dogs only gestate for 6 weeks, and feeling a squid-like creature violate you in various charming ways from the inside out. I can't begin to explain how mixed my feelings are about this experience. Every instinct tells me it's the creepiest damn thing that's ever happened to me, and yet, I'm completely obsessed with the next time I'll feel my prodigy knocking out a bedroom wall in there to make room for a crafting space. (She's going to DIE when she finds out about Pinterest).

So this morning when I was getting ready, driving to work, and enjoying my morning tea at my desk and I realized in a panic that "renovations" were awfully quiet this morning, I started to needlessly panic like any good first time gestator. Fortunately, I have learned from friends and internets that drinking ice cold water and laying on your back can kick construction back into high gear. So I proceeded to fill my water jug full of ice and frigid water, chug it, and go lie on my back on the couch in my office ladies room.

Needless to say, in swift and merciless response to me abruptly waking her from peaceful morning slumber, the squid decided to turn the craft room into a home gym, and decided my icy-full insides were the perfect punching bag. Let's just say it was lucky I was already in the ladies room.

I'm still not totally sure which of us was the victim and which of us was the perpetrator of an April Fools joke, but certainly, everyone got what was coming to them.

In unrelated/related news, here is a picture of me looking pregnant on a beach in Hawaii on the day of my BFF's wedding. I'll be posting about this trip very soon!


Culture Tangent: A Film About Helpless Blind Women and "Love"

I just watched this short film.

But just because I'm putting it here doesn't mean I'm endorsing it. Did I think it was sweet? Sure. Did I cry? Of course I did. I'm pregnant. McDonalds Arches glowing radiantly in front of an epic sunset make me cry right now. The bar for that has been set exceptionally low.

But let me give you the cliff notes of what this 8-minute movie (which was almost certainly made by a man) is all about:

  • Woman cooks and cleans and does laundry for her husband, even though they both appear to have equally demanding full time jobs.
  • She insists she does this, because it's important his coworkers can tell from his crisp white shirts that his wife loves him. (GAAAAAG.)
  • He doesn't seem to put up much fuss about this.
  • Woman goes blind, and because she feels she can no longer serve her husband, feels unworthy of his love.
  • Woman appears to slowly learn to adapt and continue cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and going to her demanding full time job.
  • BIG REVEAL: Turns out he's silently helping her to adapt by pre-sorting the laundry and following her to work every day, during which he condescendingly remarks that she insists on continuing to work, as if that's cute. 
  • He gives himself a big old pat on the back, "She will never know how much I do for her, and I never need her to know."  (Nevermind that he ALSO doesn't seem to notice how much she does for him.)
  •  Because that's what makes her feel like she's worth something in this world! How sweet! What a SELFLESS guy. What a romantic! What a love story! 
  • And what I think must be the sub-moral of this story, if you go blind and you're single, you're TOTALLY screwed and will never adapt, because disabilities mean you can't do anything by yourself anymore without dying.

I hope if I ever go blind, people will be as patronizing and self congratulatory as this guy is about continuing to love his super hot, hard-working, intelligent, and resilient blind wife. Because God knows without his help, she'd NEVER learn how to adapt on her own to continuing to serve her husband at all costs.

4.5 MILLION HITS and counting. 

I know, I KNOW, I watch The Bachelor. But you know what the difference is between The Bachelor and this? We all agree that those women are crazy and that whole scenario is culturally regressive, and we accept it as sort of a sick and twisted entertainment device. This is just straight-up misogyny dressed up as an artsy and culturally accepted perspective on love. DO BETTER AT LIFE, SHORT FILM SCENE.    


A List

1. This is probably the most boring "new look" my blog has ever had, and yet, it's still incredibly turquoise. We'll see how long it lasts before I inevitably bedazzle it.

2. Speaking of bedazzle, I feel like this woman accurately captures all of my childhood fantasies about the fashion choices I would make as a grown-up when I had the liberty and finances to do so. I'm a little sad that I haven't lived up to that, but certainly, it's not too late!

3. The reigniting of my desire to write about my personal life happens to coincide with the fact that I am pregnant. While I probably will mention the whole pregnancy, motherhood, cute baby thing here, do not fear- I have no intention of suddenly becoming a mommy blogger. I think the internet has enough of those without me, and I still have way too many things to say about Corn Dogs.

4. For example, THIS IS A THING. My beloved life partner apparently knew this existed AND EVEN ATE THERE months before mentioning it to me, and when I confronted him in horror about this, he stated that he did not know that I had these feelings about Corn Dogs.

5. Truth: I had one of those "oh my god, I'm a stranger in my own home, we don't know each other at all, this is how it ends" moments in the course of this conversation. I also cited the subtitle of this blog as evidence that I do in fact have very serious feelings about corn dogs. He relented.

6. Still haven't eaten at Corn Dog Commander. Stay tuned.

7. In addition to worries about the expenses, the day care, my career, and the curiosity about EXACTLY how much childbirth hurts, yes, one of my primary daily worryings is what will I do about Itxa between the months of April-August. It doesn't sound that long, but Itxa wants to be a star, bidges, and she don't wanna wait for my fat can to get back in the saddle.

8. This worry recently HILARIOUSLY led to me asking my trainer to pop up on the little demon to pop around a few fences, and the Neurotic Stink had an absolute meltdown about it.

9. She's apparently convinced herself she's a one-woman horse. How cute. How inconvenient.

10. Did I mention she's also the love of my life?

11. "What about your husband?" "What about your unborn child?" BLAH BLAH BLAH people. Look at those socks. When my unborn child stops poking my gag reflex and enjoys me sticking my fingers in its ear canals as much as Itxa does, we can talk.

12. My childhood BFF is getting married next month in Hawaii, and I'm her maid of honor. How cute is that? There will be pictures and travel updates galor, so LOOK AT ME! Pregnant and traveling. Don't give up on me yet, globetrotters.

13. I tried, but I can't stop/won't stop liking Kanye West. Interesting people make bad choices, America. This one was harmless. Get over it.

14. I like all of you. Thanks for reading.