Still passing the open windows and falling down the stairs

Every day bubble

My plan to surviving the holidays was to crawl into denial.

There is no holiday cheer happening here.

I do not want to exchange gifts. I do not want to carole. I do want to eat cookies, but refuse to do so.

But I had planned on sucking it up long enough to get through the one and only family gathering last Saturday. I was bracing myself for questions about the Baron, the break up, and how I’m getting on by myself. Again.

Perhaps the universe had the insight into my ability to embrace the holidays. So I stayed home sick in bed instead. All weekend. Lost to phlegm and naps.

And now I’m completely back in the bubble. Although, I might consider letting a cookie or two join me in here.

Cookies can break your heart, too…

I’m sitting in my mom’s office as I type this, listening to her grumbling in the kitchen.

“I’m going to write a letter to the paper!”

“This is cookie fraud and everyone needs to be warned!”

“This is the REAL nightmare before Christmas. That’s what we’re calling it, right bandick?”

Usually, cookie baking is a fun tradition that my mom and I enjoy once or twice between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And for the past few years, we’ve thrown caution to the wind and have baked a couple of winners from the local paper’s holiday cookie contest. In general, they have been fun additions to the standard Christmas cookies and even if they weren’t great, they weren’t too much trouble and so, easily forgotten.

This year, we chose to try our hands at “Swedish Almond-Chocolate Macaroons” and “Chocolate-Drizzled Churros”. To be fair, the baker who submitted the macaroon recipe (apparently, traditional macaroons had nothing to do with coconut), did state that “they’re a little bit putzy”.

A LITTLE PUTZY??? We’re now five hours into the process.

The macaroon dough, which needs AT LEAST 30 minutes in the fridge, is impossible to ball because it’s nearly all almond paste which is just like, well, paste. And if they are under baked at all, they’ll tear when being removed from the cookie sheet, but over bake them for a second and they’re black on the bottom. They then need to cool completely, AT LEAST 30 minutes, before the filling (which includes a HALF POUND of butter) is applied. Finally, they need AT LEAST an hour back in the fridge before dipping them in the chocolate, which includes MORE BUTTER (we chose oil).

And may I ask, who has room in their fridge for two or three cookie sheets? Well, I do, but that’s because I only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches these days. But my parents are normal people who eat normal food, much of which is stored in their refrigerator, leaving very little room for fussy cookies.

We were excited about making the “churros” as the baker made no mention of putziness. This recipe is not the traditional fried churro. This is a baked cookie that is shaped like a churro, except that it’s the daintiest cookie you’ve ever seen. These effers were nearly impossible to spritz and by the end the dough was so overworked from do-overs that it was not as airy as it should have been. Once baked, they were required to be handled no less than three times to cool, dredge in a sugar/cinnamon mixture, and arrange for the chocolate drizzle.

Every time one would break during handling, it would be moved to the quality control plate, which in the end accounted for approximately 25% of the cookies. Although, it didn’t really matter since it was determined that these cookies are too delicate for the Hulk family to distribute to others without turning them to powdered sugar.

But we know that the best part is moms and daughters being together. And my mom was the one who taught me to swear, so there is no one I’d rather bake (or bitch) with, in the world.

So sad.

When they are tiny little kittens, and you are 22, no one stops you to take a moment to consider how much it will hurt when it is time to say good-bye.

Sierra, the stink face cat, my little squeaker, has a mass in her tummy.

We have to say good-bye a week from Friday.

I am so sad.

All quiet on the (mid)western front…

The Red Baron and I spent a pretty low-key Thanksgiving with his family in west-central Minnesota, where it was sunny and cold(ish), but the company was very pleasant.

Things have been really (REALLY) great lately and I’m hoping that this trend continues into the new year and well beyond.

I’m getting a little bummed about the short, short days, but we’re just a few weeks away from the turn-around, which always gives me a little bit of a mental boost. It’s been warmer than normal over the past several weeks, we don’t have any snow on the ground, and the ponds still haven’t frozen over (at least not enough to stay frozen), so I’m having a hard time getting in the holiday spirit.

I’m sort of missing writing, but I realized a few years ago that if I’m not angsty, I’m not so inspired to write. So, I’m hoping that I will stay uninspired for the foreseeable future. Maybe five years was a good run and it’s now time to sign off…? I guess I’ll think on it; I’m paid up until spring so no need to make any rash decisions.

Take care for now, my cyberspace friends.

10 + 5 = growth

Where were you ten years ago? Ten years ago today?

I was on my way to rehab.

Well, I guess that’s not “technically” true. I was actually on my parent’s couch, nursing a hang-over, calling to find treatment, all after I had spoken to my boss and quit my job. It was a big day, which was following a big night of drinking in which I scared my cousin, lost a friend, and had to be rescued by mom and dad.*

Somehow, I managed to slowly pull my shit together. I went through treatment. I lost fifty pounds. I got a job. I went back to college and actually graduated. I bought a house. And then I wound up entwined in addiction again.

This time it was second-hand addiction. A boy. A nice boy with a bad problem. And I lost myself again.

Until my brother introduced me to the world of blogging. I’d always been a dabbler in the world of journaling but blogging somehow made me feel free. I could pour my heart out into cyberspace and strangers would tell me what they thought. It was like group therapy without the coffee and smokes.

I worked through that relationship on this blog and, looking back, I prepared myself for something better. I was getting to know myself, finally. And now, five years later, I’m finally right where I want to be.

The Red Baron never reads this blog, but if he ever stumbled across this post, I would want him to know that ten years of sobriety and five years of therapeutic blogging have brought me to him. The universe would never have punished someone so good as him with someone so effed up as I used to be.

I’m not sure how long I’ll keep blogging, as it seems to get more sporadic with each passing month, but I do know that I will be sober for the rest of my days and I can only hope that each decade brings with it the kind of growth that I’ve had in my first.

*It wasn’t the first time they rescued me and, even with all of the progress I’ve made since then, it wasn’t the last either. They haven’t always understood what I was going through, but they’ve never walked away. Thanks, mamacita and poppo! I love you, probably more than what is considered healthy.

Oh, and, thanks to my brother for being a great role model in sobriety. Uh, oh. Here comes Kanye West; I’d better wrap it up.

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