Under the Knife.

If you’re reading this, I survived my surgery enough to hit “publish”.

I thought about publishing it automatically, but then what if something went horribly wrong? Did I really want this to be my last blog post?

Because these are the things I think about. Which is why, on Tuesday night, I was having that conversation with Chris where I tell him our bank account passwords and such. After the seventh password and him shaking his head and muttering the entire time “I’m never going to remember any of this”, I just suggested, “You know what? Why don’t you just take $40K from my Life Insurance payout and hire an accountant to sort it all out for the first year.”

To which he said, “You think I don’t already have a backup plan? With all the sickness you’ve had in the past two years?”

“Seriously? A backup plan?”

“Yeah. I have Plan Alpha, Plan Beta, and more. That’s right – I have multiple backup plans.”

So there you go.

He has his own plans upon my passing.

See if I try and tell him any passwords ever again.

On to the post.

Today is the day.

I get to go from this:

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To this:

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It’s so nice of Apple to have an “Infected Tonsil Emoji” and “Tonsil-Free Emoji” just for occasions such as today – especially since they’ve failed us in so many other ways like simply giving us cheese and bacon (and poop with emotions.)

Despite Chris’ Family Body Parts Collection, he has decided that he does not, in fact, want my tonsils. Perhaps it was this Tonsil Keepsake Box convinced him how very much he didn’t want them.


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Or perhaps it was all of the times in the past month that I’ve made him look at my throat with a flashlight. But whatever the reason, I’m relieved – because it’s always less creepy to not have to ask your surgeon for your removed body parts.

I’ve been preparing for the ridiculously long recovery that is advertised with a tonsillectomy, but it’s hard to get others to understand it – it does, on the surface, seem like an easy surgery.

One conversation I had this week, in trying to explain why I’d be away from life for a while, went like this:

Friend: “I don’t understand. Tonsillectomies aren’t a big deal for kids. Why do you think it’s going to be such a long recovery for you?”

Me: “Apparently it’s way worse for adults than kids.”

Friend: “Oh I see. You mean…you mean like a circumcision?”

Me: “Yes. I’m having an Adult Tonsil Circumcision.”

So it’ll be a little while before I’m back to blogging, but I will have an absolutely delightful and very special guest next week. I promise that you will NOT want to miss this precious set of stories.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend. No – a doubly great one – one for me and one for you.

Because this will be what I’m doing.

Bleeding Tonsil Emoji with Flesh Uvula

Too much?

My apologies.

On Graduating Preschool.

IMG_5464First and Last Day of 3K

Noah is officially done with preschool, now giving him the privilege of saying that he’s done something I never did – he has gone to school outside of his home before college.

I know. Quite an accomplishment.

It was strange for me, being a parent in a world I’d never experienced, trying to learn what carpool is and how to pack a lunch box and where in the world to put all of the twenty-dozen construction paper crafts he brought home every day. But I managed to make it through the entire school year without doing the one thing I feared the most: forgetting his backpack and, therefore, his lunch.

(Because it would be the homeschool mom who would let her poor kid sit in school lunchless while the other kids with more experienced moms ate happily, snickering at the kid whose mom was clearly not “socialized” as a kid.)

But this year has been good. The experience has let him learn some independence, and more importantly, learn SOMETHING – anything at all. Because he had no interest in learning from me prior to his preschool career. Now, after ten glorious months of Miss Janey inspiring him to allow himself to be educated, the kid will actually write letters – any letters I tell him to – when I tell him to do it.

It’s like she turned him into a superhero – albeit a fashion-confused superhero.


(Every superhero got their cape tangled up with their backpack when they were four. I’m sure of it.)

He learned how to fall hopelessly in love – it’s a shame that Miss Kelly The Art Teacher was already taken. He learned the depths and breadths of 3K Spanish, and as of last night prefers to be called “Cinco” instead of Noah.

He also learned the importance of personal space. When I told him the morning of his last day that he needed to hug his friends because he wouldn’t see them again, he quickly told me “I can’t hug my friends!”

“Why not?”

“Because Miss Janey told me to keep my hands to myself.”

He did not learn, however, how to perform in front of a group. Which became painfully obvious at the onset of their year-end recital.

While the rest of his preschool happily sang and hand-motioned their way into their parent’s hearts, Noah was cool with sticking out his tongue.

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And checking out the awesomeness that is the back of his own hand.

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And tasting his pinkies for remnants of breakfast.

Preschool 6

And, when the other students joyfully sang, covering his ears to block out the rising tones.

Preschool 9

And pretending he was talking into his secret spy phone.

Preschool 10

And erasing all the shiny parents from his eyes.

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And maybe, just maybe, feeling slightly morose at his own lack of participation.

Preschool 13

After the performance, the rest of his classmates congratulated each other and said tearful goodbyes to their dearest friends (okay they really just sat on the rug like they were told), but Noah found his own rug. And his own quiet place. Because he was clearly extroverted out.


He adored school. He already misses school. But the introvert inside of him gives me hope that maybe he’ll be suited just fine to homeschooling (at least next year) after all. No crowds, no performances, just books.

A Matter of Taste.

We live adjacent to a really nice part of town.

“Adjacent”, in this context, is a synonym for “undesirable”, and that’s fine. Our quirky little neighborhood is unincorporated and we embrace that unincorporation. Without silly zoning rules to hold us back, we have such fineries as skateboarding half-pipes and 400-600 white pigeons in portable buildings in our back yards, and “natural areas” and sleds pulled by electrical cords in our front yards.


So it’s not surprising that some of our well-to-do neighbors are not always fans of our adjacentry.

I first became aware of the extent of their suspect fandom when I saw a new neighbor walking by. I was feeling oddly extroverted, and I flagged her down to say hello and introduce myself. She made sure that the first half of her first sentence clearly informed me that she lived “one street over” and that also, our street had an ant problem. And mosquitoes. And we should do something about that.

[We did. The Mosquito Authority does good work. Our mosquitos left and are probably in her yard which is why her house is currently for sale.]

Undeterred in my neighborly spirit, I asked if she had kids. She did, in fact, and their ages were uncannily compatible with Ali and Noah.

Which led to this conversation – one I shall hold dear in my heart for the rest of time.

Me: “Oh! Your kids are the same age as mine!”

Her: ”Yes, but – they’re in different…uh…districts.”

Me: “Oh, yes. Well, we homeschool. So we bought outside of a city school district on purpose.”

Apparently my explanation sounded like one-upsmanship to her, so she quickly retorted,

Her: “Oh, yes. I’ve considered homeschooling too because we just aren’t made for this system. I’m thinking we may go the [$30,000/year] private school route instead. My kids are just too creative for this [ridiculously sought after] school system. We’re just round pegs in a square hole.”

[Explanation brackets mine.]

So we know our place. And we keep our sleds-pulled-by-extension-cords on our side of the fence and happily enjoy The Kingdom’s delightful restaurants, shopping, playgrounds, and running trails, never forgetting that those lovely amenities are not ours. We are just travelers from a foreign land…a land that just happens to have exceedingly close proximity to Oz.

Oz, that has houses such as this one:

(Okay that’s a ridiculous (but true) example. Most are slightly more normal looking manors.)


But every now and then, it’s nice to know that they’re human too. And just because they paid three to 30 times more for their house than we did for ours, that doesn’t always mean that they have better taste.

(Although usually it very much means that.)

Such as, for one, this holiday display:

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And this mailbox, always my favorite example of Decking the Halls.


But those examples that I had always held dear faded when, on a run before Easter, I was jolted out of my happy place by this frightening appearance, staring at me from behind a bush.


I jumped back with a yelp, then cautiously peeked over the bushes again.


I quickly took inventory.

There was a tulle dress with pastel rainbow ribbon sewn to the hem.
A bouquet of fake Tiger Lilies.
A satin purse surely containing a weapon of mass destruction.
Bunny ears.
And, the most frightening part, a bunny mask with hollow eyes, nose, and mouth.



I held eye contact as long as I could, then ran (much faster) back to my car. Because one never knows when a creature like that might become sentient. And rabbits are fast. Even when wearing tulle and an extra pair of ears.

I was relieved when Easter was over and I could resume my regular running route without fear of having my heart torn out by that evil creature. I ran many miles without even noticing the statue, presumably because it went back to simply being a statue.

Until Saturday.

I was running toward the sun, trying to keep the sweat from burning my eyes, when I caught a glimpse of something ethereal. From another planet – surely. I turned slowly, then stopped running to take in what was the majesty of The Statue.


The first thing that struck me was that this was no rabbit.

This was a rooster.

Which meant that at Easter, there had been poultry pretending to be a rabbit. With four ears. Which was immediately more disturbing.

But now – now we have a cross-dressing pantsless rooster standing proudly who can’t see where he’s going and is quickly losing the flowers daintily wrapped around his hat.


It wasn’t as frightening as his previous dalliances, so there was that.

After my run, I looked up the Rooster Residence on Zillow, the premier tool in a serial-stalker’s repertoire. The rooster owned over 5,000 square feet of house, purchased fourteen years ago for nearly a million dollars, and clearly worth even more now, despite the somewhat suspect doorkeeper.

So yes.

Us county-dwellers have our quirks.

And we know where we belong on the food chain.

But none of us are dressing up our concrete cocks and making runners think they just entered into a horror movie.

So maybe – just maybe – we’ll hold our heads a little higher next time we go out to eat.