Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sometimes, husbands CAN get it

First, the bad news about my recent (er, em, 2 months ago) suet post: My suet wad fell on the ground after a windstorm.  

It melted and when I first found it I let out a long "eeeeew" because if you're grossly perverted, like me, you might see the remnants of a Peeping Tom, and not suet, in the leaves. 

Yes, ew. 

The smell of bacon brought me back to reality. 


I never got to see birds happily flitting about it — like the ones in Cinderella — but I did see an already-plump squirrel happen upon it and I swear to God, you could see the grin on his face as he sat down and went to town on the fat, nuts, and peanut butter. He ate the whole damn thing himself, that little fatty. Instead of shooing him away, I thought, "Good for you. Sit down and feast."


See, I'm trying out this new way of thinking, which is, slow the fuck down and enjoy life.



Which kind of ties into the good thing that came from my last suet post: Chuck read it, and he came home from work and did the dishes. More than that, though, we had a heart-wrenching, brutally honest conversation about the lack of equality in the way our household runs, and how the distribution of labor needs to be reassessed.

Basically, I said, "If things don't change, I will have a nervous breakdown, and I will gladly let you commit me."

The whole family got in on it — Junior, age 13, Everett, age 10, and Cam, age 6, the two dogs, and our cat. Oh, and Chuck, of course, age 48.

It wasn't an overly prescribed conversation, in fact, it was pretty laid back. It wasn't about doling out more chores — not yet, at least — but instead how it feels to be the person managing the shitshow and constantly barking at everyone to pitch in. 

I call it Phase I.

At one point, I gestured at my chest and said pointedly, "THESE don't give me superpowers. My boobs don't make me better at loading the dishwasher or doing laundry or vacuuming."

So far, the biggest change has been in Chuck. He's pitching in more, but the best part is that he is starting to SEE, like me, the do-to list. He's reminding the kids to pick up after themselves. He's putting the laundry away alongside the kids. He's making dinner and doing the dishes. 

The most important part is that as Chuck takes on more, he's more conscious of the work and effort that go into running a household with working parents, three sons, two dogs, and a cat, and he's more connected to it, rather than detached in his easy, breezy "hey babe, this'll get done, I promise" way — which made me want to strangle him on a daily basis.

Nope, now he gets it. A lot more. 

And he's finally stopped leaving puddles outside my office window.

I'M KIDDING. Relax. It's suet, I swear. 

I love you, Chuck.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Suet. Everyone's doing it. Especially if it's wad shaped

We eat more meat than I'd like, but we have three sons and it fills them up so for now, I make meat.

Sometimes there's fat leftover from the meat. Sometimes the fat sits in the pan for a few days because no one washes a Godamn dish in this house but me (deep breaths). One day, as I was scraping the fat off, I thought suet.

Doesn't everyone?

Then I thought, if I make a suet ball, I can hang it near my home office window and watch pretty little birds all day, which will make me forget about how no one washes a Godamn dish in this house but me, and that will be good for everyone. 


I looked up how to make suet balls. 

I miss the days when you'd Google a recipe and just get the recipe but no, nowadays people have to give you their life history and pictures of their cat and throw in every adjective possible to describe their dish/project — yummy! moist! succulent! tender! — so the fricken details are like 50 web pages in but praise be, I finally found a succinct suet recipe. Here is my interpretation:

Make bacon or hamburgers and let the fat harden. Or you can buy pre-made suet, which is lame. 

Scrape fat into a container. Freeze fat.

Affix frozen fat to a hanger. You can buy one or use string. 

Roll the frozen fat in peanut butter and/or bird seed. 

Hang it to something outside. 



I like my suet ball — maybe it's more of a wad — because it's imperfect, like me. Awww. Self-love.

You certainly can get fancier. You can even add mealworms and dried flies to yours! Because I have three sons and spend my fair share of time washing dried urine from the sides of the toilet, I think my life has enough of a yuck factor for now, so I'm sticking with peanut butter and seeds but by all means, if your afternoon consists of talk shows and bubble baths, handling mealworms might be good your soul.

Not to judge or anything.

Sadly, my suet ball has been hanging outside for well over a week and I haven't seen one bird. I have, however, stopped our dog from climbing the tree to eat it, so it's not a total failure. 

I have faith, too, that soon enough, some intrepid bird will get a whiff off that tasty — yummy! moist! succulent! tender! — ball of beef fat and swoop down and wow me with its delightful plumage. 

And soon this

will be nothing but a faded memory.

Or, more likely, Chuck will read this post and attack the dishes, like he did the eggnog, and we will be carried off into the sunset by a flock of wood-warblers, blissfully entwined and smelling of cooked bacon and Dawn dish detergent. 

Is it getting hot in here or what? Seriously, I should start writing ornithological erotica.

If you are hungry for more, you can learn about types of suet here. Now go make some bacon!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Who, but whoest, art willful enough to tackle thoust far reaches of the fridge?


I've been looking at this container of eggnog since Chuck brought it home from the store mid December and officially announced it was "eggnog time." Junior drank one glass and remembered how he vomited up eggnog several Christmases ago.

After that, no one else drank any.

Christmas came and went.

The eggnog remained. 

New Years came and went.

The eggnog remained. 

The eggnog expired.

The eggnog remains. 

Recently, I started opening up the fridge and thinking of the famous William Carlos Williams poem, The Red Wheelbarrow. You know the one:

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

I started thinking of my own Red Wheelbarrow poem:

so much depends upon

an old eggnog container

leftover from Christmas

that no one else will throw away

because they are lazy pieces of shit
Sure, it's presumptuous to assume that the eggnog is still there because people in my house are lazy, but I could easily sub something else in for eggnog. An empty shampoo bottle in the shower. A wet towel on the floor. A lone sock under the couch. Dog vomit on the rug. A Lego head under a chair. 
When you are the default parent (I fucking love this article), you see all and handle all. 
You are exhausted and sometimes — oftentimes — depleted by It All. 
Could I ask someone to throw it away? Sure. But it's so nice not to ask. To assume that maybe, hopefully, someone in your household will too see the things you see.
So yes, so much does depend on the old eggnog. And I'm taking bets on how many holidays and/or seasons this chappy back row fellow will now join us for. 

glazed with refrigerator dew

beside the white eggs

Friday, January 15, 2021

Finding pleasure in small things and sometimes in tall glasses

I have been fighting the comfort aspect of remote working and remotely homeschooling — mainly because I am a masochist at heart. 

I live by no pain, no gain. Just ask Chuck — thanks to me and the way I run the house, he lives by that motto too, but he sure does put up a good fight.

Love you, honey!

I also firmly believe if you're put together you can't fall apart and that wearing pajamas out in public means you've given up.

Since Covid sent us into hiding last March, I've diligently showered and put on real clothes mostly every day (except that first week, when I was 100% shell shocked from living 24-7 with four boys). 

Some days it was a boost; others, pointless. 

I'm over that now (the masochism, not the living with all boys thing, though I am kind of over that too). Somewhere around August I started to realize that if I didn't slow down and provide myself with some comfort, I was going to implode. I had to stop worrying so much about being put together and concentrate more on feeling better. 

That meant putting thought into my surroundings and what I put on my body instead of the mechanical I MUST GET DRESSED BECAUSE IT IS TUESDAY.

If you find yourself in need of some small pick-me ups too, here are some suggestions.


Something quirky 

I was lying in bed before Christmas, feeling the pre-holiday blahs, thinking about the naked trees outside, my off-white bedroom walls — blah — and off-white curtains — blah — and I thought, I need color. I'm a wimp, though, when it comes to bold wall color so I did the next best thing: I went for colored curtains. 

I was on the fence about the tassels, but their large size prevents them from feeling kitchy or juvenile. These Anthropologie curtains are so quirky and so cute, and the salmon pink brings a splash of soothing colors to the walls. 

They're pricey, so I only ordered one panel per window. I also scored them during a 30% sale. Now, whenever I walk into my bedroom I feel a jolt of happiness. Unless there is a child hiding in my room, which there always seems to be. 

Mindra Curtain at Anthropologie


Something that hides your butt 

I've been hiking but I've been stress eating too, and I don't care to wiggle my middle-aged jiggle in my stretchy pants. I know Chuck is rolling his eyes right now because I am such a freaken prude, but I want my ass covered and warm. It's 35 degrees in Connecticut and we have old, drafty windows. And like I said, the jiggle. 

So I ordered this cozy sweatshirt from LLBean. I ordered the Medium so it would hang loosely. It's definitely not a jacket, but it gets the job done and costs less than similar versions at Athleta or Title Nine.

Women's L.L.Bean Cozy Full-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt


Something soft for your bottom 

Junior is a teenager and has embraced the Hollister brand with passion. I am 40+ and obviously have not. But when Chuck and I were shopping for Junior for Christmas, these pajama bottoms were on a table by the register, and all I did was touch them and I was smitten. They are ridiculously soft. And on? So warm and cozy! When I scored a clearance sale hoodie for Junior for $14, I also grabbed another pair of these for myself. 

Gilly Hicks Dreamworthy Soft Ribbed Joggers


Something soft for your top 

Circling back to Anthropologie, this has been my go-to top since I bought it. On sale. The blue is that perfect Tiffany blue. I ordered a large so the waist wouldn't ride up. With a camisole underneath, it really is everything I want in a shirt: it's forgiving, effortless and machine washable.

Rocio Surplice Top

Something naturally pretty 

Of course, comfort doesn't have to cost money. When moss invaded some of my planters this fall, I didn't pull it out. Instead, I let it grow. I even moved more into my empty planters. Now, there's a lovely little collection. The soft green is comforting to touch, and it's a pretty pop of color by the front door.  

Even better, Connecticut can't tax it. At least, I don't think they can. Uh oh, time for my last comfort item:


Something pretty and tasty  

What helps battle the stress of taxes in the Nutmeg State, Covid, remote learning and work deadlines more than beautiful clinking glasses of vodka? The flower essences taste like summer, which is literally right around the corner!*

Ketel One Botanical Vodkas

*If you're sauced it's easier to believe the lies, so bottom's up!

Friday, January 8, 2021

Actual transcript of today's remote learning


From kindergarten today:

"Can you unmute your mic, Kendra? I can't hear your answer to what is one LESS than three?"

"Can you unmute your mic?"

"Can you unmute your mic?"

"Can you unmute your mic?"

"Can you unmute your mic?"


"The answer is four. Boys and girls, we are doing LESS than."


"Can you ask your mom or dad for help?"

"I can't right now. They're still screaming at each other."

"Can you mute your mic?"

"Boys and girls. If your parents are having sensitive conversations in the background, can you please MUTE YOUR MIC?" 

"Mrs. Anderson?"

Toddler screaming in background.

"Yes, Kelly?"

"I got a kitty."

"That's nice. Can someone please tell me, what is one LESS than seven?"


"We're doing LESS than. Not MORE than. Kevin?" 

Toddler screaming in background.

"Can you mute your mic?"

Toddler screaming in background.  

"Dale, can you please MUTE your mic?" 

Toddler screaming in background.  

"Kevin, can you please unmute your mic?"

"Can you unmute your mic?"

"Can you unmute your mic?"

"Can you unmute your mic?"

"Can you unmute your mic?"

Toddler screaming in background.  


"Great job! Can you please SIT in your chair?" 

Toddler screaming in background.  

"Mrs. Anderson?"

"Yes, Kelly?"

Toddler screaming in background.  

"I got a kitty."

"Can you mute your mic?"

"Can you mute your mic?"

"Can you mute your mic?"

"Can you mute your mic?"

"Can you mute your mic?"

Rinse, lather, repeat, Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

And now, to make something nutritious for dinner.


Saturday, January 2, 2021

No really, I have some 2021 resolutions, and they include swearing like a trucker on Slim Jims and Chiclits

I miss this blog. I miss it so hard. It used to be my happy place, and now it's like a tumbleweed-ridden town. Or, like our old 1930s house with its drafty ORIGINAL windows and spider webs. Loved in the rearview mirror but really, wouldn't new windows be nice?

(And what the fuck, Anderson? Sixty-five thousand dollars for 30 windows? Shouldn't we get $50,000 off for sitting through your 8-day window presentation and oohing and ahhing over your McDonald's heat lamp re-enactment? We made you coffee, for God's sake.)

But 2021! Fuck, yes. Never mind the pandemic and homeschooling three kids while working full-time. Child's play in comparison to my recent epiphanies: the kitchen sink and the moon. 

First, the kitchen sink. 

I am going to be a big girl and accept the fact that after 25 YEARS of living with my spouse, Chuck, he does not give a rat's ass about doing the dishes. He doesn't care if he has to climb on top of dirty dishes to rinse out a coffee mug. He looks into the kitchen and sees NOTHING. So, no more arguing about the sink. If I want to wake up to a spotless sink and countertop, I am going to godamn do it myself. 


Yes, I will still curse Chuck under my breath as I wash — notice how I'm protecting my 40+ something hands from dishpan hands so I'm vibrant and filly-ish for him? Sweet, yes? — and daydream about unique ways to make him pay (thank you, Unsolved Mysteries channel on Pluto TV), but I will also remind myself that Chuck snowblows, mows, shopvacs the attic and basement and runs out for chocolate and/or dessert items at 10 p.m. if I'm dying for something. 

He's also super cute and lets me put my cold feet on him in the winter. 

Thus, henceforth, being of sound(ish) mind in 2021, if I want to wake up to a clean kitchen I will do the dishes myself before I go to bed. 

Next, the moon.

I bought this moon lamp from IKEA in 2010. ELEVEN years ago and yet, I never use it because I'm worried I'll need to replace the bulb. 


So, I plugged it it on New Year's Eve, and it's plugged in right fricken now. The kids love it. I like it. Thus, henceforth, being of sound(ish) mind, I shall plug in my lamps.

Just like that — BAM — I've tackled the spoons and the moon, and it's only January 2.

Maybe, just maybe, I've cleared out some blog cobwebs, too.

But what the fuck with the windows?

Where we're at as we head into summer.

  Easter: "Look, Mom! Everett made all of your moods on his Easter eggs."