of champagne, Uno, and tulip trees

It has begun. I am begining to get crazy Andy Rooney eyebrows in earnest now. For a few years I've had one rogue eyebrow hair over my right eye. No biggie. I can smooth, clip, or tweeze as needed. But now? That eyebrow has at least three Andy Rooney hairs and my left eyebrow has a couple hairs that are starting to mutate. It is only a matter of time before I have to shave them off and start painting fake eyebrows on. Or get tattoos?

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We're getting good at Saturdays. MM declared that one weekend last month, and he's right. And not just Saturdays, but playing together any time. We have so much fun together. And it doesn't have to be going out - although we enjoy that. Here are some recent fun things:

 - We'll haul out Baby Laptop to the garage and turn on Oldies (50s and 60s doo-wop or R&B) or Worldbeat (heavily emphasizing French Jazz and Argentinian Tango*). Then we do projects. MM might do some leather crafting or woodworking or sword maintenance. I might paint or sort through the boxes of stuff we're trying to get rid of. Its a mellow, puttery sort of day, but we love it. We take little dance breaks or sing to each other. We eat snacks and drink sparkly cucumber water. It feels old-timey and festive.

 - I've been teaching MM how to play games like Yahtzee and Uno. He's helping me with my checkers game, and when we have the energy, he's teaching me to play chess. (I am a full-contact, freakout chess player. Very stressful.) Sometimes we just spend an evening playing games** with each other, and it makes an average Tuesday feel festive. Game Night for two! We just realized that neither of us has ever played Parcheesi, so I think that will be our next game purchase. That or Bananagrams. Oooh, or Dutch Blitz. Anyway. Games.

  - We'll ride our bikes to Starbucks, walk to the park, or drive to our local winery, and plop ourselves down under a tree with stacks of books and spend an afternoon not reading. Half the time we're sipping iced tea or wine*** and start chatting and never get to our books. Or the pattern of sunlight filtered through leaves**** is too beautiful to waste.

  - We've gone out kayaking around the lake, walking around the park, Agua Polloing around the pond, biking around the neighborhood, and driving through the wetlands by moonlight. These aren't grand adventures, but they feel so fun to us. Its like having the boy you like ask you to "ride bikes." Woohooo!

Anyway. We're thankful that we enjoy each other and like to share things together. A friend of mine told me that her husband was especially thrilled that being married was like having a friend sleep over every night. I feel that way too. It feels like a lifetime of slumber parties.

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* We're taking Tango Lessons. $5 for an hourlong class with a fabulous instructor. One gentleman at class told MM, "I've been taking lessons and dancing in this city for years, and he is the best male dancer in this area. If someone from Argentina gives a workshop, you should go, but other than that, this guy is the best." We haven't much to compare him to, but we think he's fantastic. Learned more in one lesson than we had in four weeks of our previous class. After the class, we can pay another $5 to practice with the other students. They are all better than us, so everyone in class helps us learn. Fun!

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** Last night we played Uno in our former Junk Room. We finally - thanks to a tip from my amazing Mother-in-Law - got cheap shelves so we can put things away. Hallelujah! We bought three 5 shelf bookcases and some storage baskets. Now we have homes for books, decore, childrens toys. And because all that got sorted out, we can put the giant pallet of toilet paper in the hall closet instead of in that room. It's not finished yet, but oh - so awesome! Hung drapes yesterday and will do the mirror tonight. The library/tango/yoga/tv/guest room is open for business! Just in time because Book Girl is coming this week!

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*** OK. So. I finished my biography of the Widow Clicquot. It wasn't the best written book, but I learned a lot. And its whet my appetite for France. I'm creating a list of books, movies, music, etc. to start experiencing. And we're getting ready to compile our list of Things to See and Do in France. Well, this Saturday we were all dressed up from a birthday date with MM's sister, and decided on the spur of the moment to go get a glass of champagne while we were still in our fancy clothes. When we saw the menu, the first champagne listed was Veuve Clicquot. :) MM insisted that we use some of our Anniversary money to buy the whole bottle.

It was the best champagne we've ever tasted. I geeked out about the Widow to the waitress, rattling off statistics and trivia as she opened and poured. And I snuck the little cork cage with Mme Clicquot's portrait into my purse as a momento. It may sound lame to people who buy this champagne all the time. But for us it was a big deal (we're in a Two Buck Chuck stage right now). And it was just a fun thing to find THIS champagne after reading the book. Serendipity! And my man got to treat me to a luxury, which makes him happy. A delicious, sparkly afternoon. :)

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**** Our landlord is going to chop down the giant, beautiful tulip tree in the front yard, because she's tired of having it trimmed every two years. This tree provides our only protection from the hot sun. We are sad to loose the beauty of the tree as well. We're the only people on our street who regularly use our front porch. Without the tree, we can't sit out there. Major bummer.

When we found out we told the property managers that we would move if we lost the tree because it would be too hot to stay. The owner countered, saying she will install central heat and air, which, ok, is fine, except for none of the doors and windows seal, so it will be pretty useless. And expensive for us to run. Lame lame lame. Surely maintaining your heritage tree is less expensive than removing it and installing central heat and air?

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Well. I've got work to do. House work. Office work. Creative work. Annnnd work, work. My sabbatical is coming to an end, and its time to start the ol' job search. This week my goals are to update my resume, clean out the cobwebs from my LinkedIn account, and start some preliminary searches.

I'm so thankful to have had this time off. I did a lot of soul work during this time, and I am so much healthier than when I started. I feel restored and ready to go back. Peaceful. Hopeful. My mind is ready to engage and my creative juices are flowing once again. Thankful, thankful, thankful!


  1. Anonymous8:35 PM

    My left eyebrow wants to grow up while the right one still droops. If I don't let the barber trim them, I look like the propeller from a French Spad.

  2. Oy! God bless your barber. :)

  3. I feel refreshed just reading this. You 2 are doing such fun things and doing ordinary things with fun!

    Sorry about the tree - that is lame.

    I look forward to seeing where your job hunt takes you.


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