Starring in the Brenda Show

starring-in-the-brenda-show

It’s that time again. Time to do some catchity-catch-upping. I feel like a million years has past since my last post. New York seems like a lifetime ago. But what has happened in between? I don’t know! A whole lotta work and stuff and stuff. The stuff and stuff is the stuff I can’t talk about. Nothing to worry about just the usual “not my story, not my privilege to tell” kind of thing. Boring, I know. If I could talk I could fill up novels! But I can’t so let’s talk about the weather.

Summer has slowly morphed into fall and I couldn’t be happier about it. My arms are mystified by these things called “sleeves” that they have suddenly found themselves enveloped in. My arms hate sleeves. You know how some kids get used to wearing shorts and then when their parents force them to wear pants in the winter, their legs feel like they are suffocating in cloth? That’s me and my arms. They like to be free like a bee. But! It has been chilly in my air conditioned office and sometimes on my early morning dog walks so I have braved a sweatshirt now and then. Crazy talk!

starring-in-the-brenda-show-2

I made some fig tarts, school has been in full swing and I’m starting to have a regular balance between work and home life. It’s been a long time coming but getting an office has finally formed a truce over who gets to have more of my time. It’s really nice. But I do miss my family.

I’m still going to the Sticks weekly to hang with my mom. My dad is gone for a month or so to drive a truck for the potato and beet harvest in Idaho. We miss him dreadfully but my mom is a trooper! She walks Spreckles, the dog, by herself up to the park with her new knees and we are so proud of her.

the-den

Bug and I are up to our usual mother-daughter dates in fun coffee shops. The rest of the family is not into food like we are so they miss out. How cool is The Den looking these days? It’s a pretty special spot.  Amazing food too.

In other news Bug and Joon went to their first Homecoming Dance! It was big news in our house. Bug tried to pretend it wasn’t a big deal at all but she was the one that forced me to take her shopping for the perfect dress that didn’t exist. We went to the mall, we went to a boutique thrift store and finally in the end she found her dress for $20 at a regular thriftstore. She didn’t even try it on, because they don’t have fitting rooms. We just eyeballed it and it fit perfectly! Well… after I took in the top by two sizes and cut off the dusty hem from some bride who must have worn it dancing the night away. I say that’s a perfect fit.

homecoming-2021-1

It was so cute to see them with their “dates” aka the guys they played Minecraft with the whole year everyone was forced to stay home during the pandemic. I’m thankful for their group of gamer friends. They kept them sane.  I can’t say I know what goes on while they are gaming (other than a lot shouting and laughter echoing from the girl’s rooms) but they seem to all be good students and basically a good influence on our kids.

homecoming-2021-me-in-the-thick-of-it

How cute are they all dressed up? How awkward am I trying to insert myself into the middle of everything?

homecoming-2021-girls

They had a great time and danced the night away in their tennis shoes.

baby-blair-1

Also in big news: Suki had a baby and she’s been living with my mom! The baby’s name is Blair and she’s the best baby ever. Very even tempered and pretty sweet. So of course I had to do a photoshoot.

baby-blair-2

Suki is a great mama. I hope she gets to stay with my mom for a long time so we can all be part of Baby Blair’s life. I’ve missed my nieces and it’s so good to have at least one of them back here for a while.

I think that’s it for now! Hopefully I get back here again before November with more news because this once-a-month blogging is pathetic!

Bug Gets Her Braces Off

avocado-park-photoshoot-1

Bug got her braces off last week. This was a HUGE big deal for me. Mostly because I had braces from the time I was 14 (if I remember right) until after my high school graduation. The fact that I had braces was a HUGE BIG DEAL. This is because my parents couldn’t really afford braces but I had the most snarled up mouth they found a way. Many times they couldn’t really swing the payments so I’d sit in the orthodontist office while the dental staff mumbled something to the doctor and he finally sent me home without any tightenings because my parents were late on their payments, thus the reason I had braces on for FOUR VERY LONG years.

But you know what? I am forever thankful to my parents for their struggle and their sacrifice. I would not be who I am today if I hadn’t had braces. I wish I could find a picture of my old snaggle-toothed scary smile to show you.  My perfectly straight-smile has gotten me everywhere (even if my teeth are way too thin and they look a bit discolored because they are almost translucent near the tips) and I am incredibly thankful.

avocado-park-photoshoot-2

When Toby and I got divorced we agreed that he would pay for Bug’s braces. Her teeth were not as messed up as mine were as a kid but she had a definite flare to her top teeth. Just enough to bother me. But the years went by and there was always some reason Toby couldn’t swing it. Funds are tight when you live in the most expensive place ever. Finally I decided that I’d pay for it. I’d go into debt if I had to to pay for it so I did, that’s how much it meant to me.

avocado-park-photoshoot-3

So Bug and I met with a local orthodontist and they set me up on a payment plan. I socked in as much money as I could and made payments after that. It turns out I could totally swing it and I paid it off before her braces even came off!  Thank you books that teachers assign in long-distance learning programs!!!   I am so proud that my books paid for Bug’s braces. If you had told me that my books would take care of me when I started working on them years ago, I would have never believed you. I remember my first paychecks not even being enough to justify how much time I spent on them. But these things grow. If you work at something long enough it eventually pays off. I will always be so proud of Bug’s straight teeth. Now let’s just hope she remembers to wear her retainer every night and I don’t have to pay for them to be fixed all over again before she moves out and has her own means to take care of her teeth.

avocado-park-photoshoot-4

After we went out for a special lunch and she said no to popcorn, gum or caramel (because it’s not like she ever denied herself having those off-limits treats when she had braces) we decided to catch golden hour at a local park for fun. We took a bunch of pictures that are kind of pointless because she’s wearing a mask and you can’t even see her new shiny straight teeth!

avocado-park-photoshoot-5

But you know Bug, it was all about fashion anyway.  Teeth schmeeth. She was more proud of her Target bra she hacked up to create some kind of over-blouse bustier. I let her be free with her fashion choices (much to Payam’s dismay) because I really truly think she has something and I won’t be at all surprised if she becomes some kind of color expert/fashion maven someday.

crazy-big-bunny

Meanwhile I look like a big dork! Why is middle-age so unkind to me?? Have hips, will model shresh (aka a dress that is not a shirt or a dress, thank you Aunt Kathy for that term).

Goof-Bug

Bug is a big dork too. That’s why we love her so much.

us-2-2021

And lastly us because I am fond of taking selfies with this girl. I’ve been doing it since she was born before “selfie” was even a word.

bug-gets-her-braces-off

And lastly lastly finally a picture of her without her mask or braces that we took a few days later in the car. Actually she took it because I begged her and that is why you have this doofus gopher goofus picture on the lower right. She’s funny, I’ll keep her.