Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Monday Meh

Things are very bad when you’re sending a text to the kid (studying up in the FROG) to please shove the frozen lasagna (not homemade, either) in the oven because you can’t bring yourself to get out of your bubble bath ūüėē.

That’s right, folks.   This is what it’s come to.  Also I can’t find my glass of wine dammit!!!

(I really wish I could come up with an Evelyn Waug-ish title for this post, but my lack of creativity is only surpassed by my lack of enthusiasm for, well, dinner).

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Spousal Conversations

I know I’m a competent woman – have always know it, I suppose, but it never quite occurred to me to think about it.¬† I was just…competent – at pretty much everything I ever set my mind to – and I don’t mean the “merely acceptable” definition.

Until I got (re)married, my own competence was sort of invisible to me.¬† And actually it never really occurred to me that others were not exactly like I was – I just thought of myself as just “who I am – nothing extraordinary”.¬† The Hubs has remarked on more than one occasion that I’m maybe the most intelligent person he’s ever met.¬† Not tooting my horn here – hold on because there is a (sort of) point.¬† Nevertheless, it usually goes something like this:

The Hubs:¬† “You know, Maevey, you’re probably the most intelligent person I’ve ever met.”

Me:¬† “Thank you Mr. Sweetie.¬† Now why do I sense a “BUT” about to follow?”

The Hubs:¬† “Because honest to God I cannot figure out how you think!”

Me:¬† “What’s to figure out?”

The Hubs:¬† “The obvious escapes you, you do realize this, don’t you?”

Me:¬† “Uh, no, not really.”

The Hubs:¬† “You managed multi-million dollar contracts; developed most of the procedures at your company, but you can’t manage a grocery budget.”

Me:¬† “Not true – I can manage anything I set my mind to.”

The Hubs:¬† “Why can’t you set your mind to managing the grocery budget?¬† There are only three of us here right now and one of them eats out all the time.¬† How can you spend $250 per week on the two of us?”

Me:¬† “Well, I shop in case I change my mind.”

The Hubs:¬† “Change your mind about what?”

Me:¬† “What I cook for dinner.”

The Hubs:¬† “I can’t follow where this is going.”

Me:¬† Well, since YOU brought it up.¬† You know I plan out our dinners and your lunches and all that.¬† That’s all fine.¬† But I need options in case I change my mind and don’t feeling like cooking what I had planned.¬† I need to have things in the house in case I want to cook something else.”

The Hubs:¬† “You’ve got to be out of your ever loving mind!¬† You’re shopping like this because you MIGHT want to cook something different on a Tuesday?”

Me:¬† “Yes.”

The Hubs:¬† “Maevey – YOU CAN GO TO THE STORE MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK!” (I use all caps here, because this is generally delivered at a lowish level of roar.”

Me:¬† “Stop shouting at me.”

The Hubs:¬† “You are totally out of control!”

Me:¬† “I know exactly what I’m doing.”

The Hubs:¬† “I give up!¬† There’s no getting through to you on this, is there?”

Me:¬† “I thought you liked my cooking!”

The Hubs:¬† “This has nothing to do with your cooking.¬† I need you to reign in the grocery budget.”

Me:¬† “OK – how much can I spend?”

The Hubs:¬† “Let’s go with $100/week.”

Me:¬† “So basically, soup and sandwiches?”

The Hubs:¬† “No!¬† Can’t you cook on a budget?”

Me:¬† “Even I can’t work miracles!”

The Hubs:¬† “Just try – PLEASE – just try!”

So I’m going to TRY and develop budgetary competence – for him, not for me.¬† Because I’m loving like that!



I Know It’s Been a Long Time

I kind of think I’m back – actually I’ve tried a couple times over the last nearly two years, but every attempt met with crushing defeat.

Sometimes just making it through another day is a victory, but it feels stupid that you’ve¬† nothing to share – got up, went to work, took 8 – 10 hours of abuse, tried to close up, cook dinner, drink¬† myself to sleep.¬† Not a pretty picture.

And you know what – in all this time some amazing things have happened and I count not rejoice in a single one of them.¬† Mind you, crap happened to.¬† But let’s get a little list of “What Happened to Maeveypants Over the Last 18 Months”:

  • Ran off to Las Vegan and got married
  • Angharad FINALLY went back to college (she will graduate in the spring)
  • Hubs broke his ankle STANDING ON THE BACK PORCH – don’t ask!¬† Took 21 days to get a pass to drive him to his workplace (again, don’t ask!!)
  • Yours truly has developed “issues” with the C5 & C6 vertebrae (what this means is I had a lot of MRIs, and experienced the hell that is dealing with the “pain clinic”
  • One of the MRIs disovered a brain tumor that doesn’t seem to be doing anything, so I’m not supposed to be overly concerned (for real!).
  • Iseult graduated from HS and started college this fall and is dealing with the joys and anguish of her first boyfriend.¬† This means that I am dealing with said joys and anguish, as well.¬† But this is OK, because she has other problems which really keep me up at night and I’m just grateful every day that she’s alive.
  • Oh yeah – I quit my job (last day was the 20th) and I’m not handling it particularly well.
  • God and I are in a state of detente at present.¬† That’s not really the word I want to use, but I can’t come up with another one.¬† It bothers¬† me greatly, but I still can’t get myself to Mass.¬† Or pray.¬† But sometimes we talk – or rather I whine and complain and rant on and on.

So that’s the quickie roundup.¬† I really want to start blogging again and I hope I can.

No promises though.




We’re All Doomed

Heh – got you with that title, didn’t I?

It’s true, though, we’re all doomed to hitting that unwelcomed state of Menopause.¬† It will come quicker for some than others, and none of us will experience it exactly the same way, but in the end, that’s where we’re headed.

I’m sort of mid-menopausal (I think).¬† It’s actually really hard for me to pin point when I started experiencing the symptoms because I was in absolute denial that it was happening.¬† For unexplained reasons, I thought it would kick in around age 70 (yep – I know it’s ludicrous, but there you are).¬† This denial led to a whole lot completely unnecessary discomfort on my part and I’m rather feeling it’s my duty to talk about it.

Part of the problem with menopause is that nobody really wants to talk about it because we all see it as the Threshold to THE END.¬† The end of youth, fertility, femininity, attractiveness, self-as-we-know-her.¬† It’s this element of fear which keeps us from actively thinking about it as another stage of life to be managed.

I’m going to start a series of posts about menopause to discuss the things I’ve encountered, some solutions which have worked well for me, the things I handled poorly, and overall experiences.¬† I invite my readers to join in at whatever level with which you’re comfortable, and don’t let your age stop you from asking questions or posting observations.

Some of the topics I plan to discuss are weight issues, hot flashes/night sweats, vaginal dryness, changes in skin/hair/hails, treatment options, clothing/fashion, product recommendations, diet, lifestyle.¬† Lest anyone worry, I’m not turning Wannabe Martha into Menopause-Central, but this is where I am, so it’s going to get some blog-time.

A bientot.




To Thine Own Self Be True – Particularly When it Comes to your Wardrobe

This was a typical experience:¬† I’m in the dressing room trying on a new outfit.¬† Size is correct; it’s all in colors/patterns I like; it’s fashionably up-to-date.¬† And yet.¬† It’s not right – I don’t look “right” and I can’t put my finger on the problem.

One of two things then happens:¬† I leave with¬† no purchase, frustrated because I can’t find anything which looks good on me.¬† Or (more the case), I buy the outfit, take it home, and then never wear it because it doesn’t look right on me and I don’t feel good wearing it.

Is this a familiar situation with anyone else?

Then last year, my dear friend, Hearthrose, performed a miracle – well, actually it was a fashion analysis, but it might as well been a miracle.¬† You see, I knew that certain colors looked obviously horrendous on me (yellow/orange), but what I didn’t realize were the colors I SHOULD be wearing – the dominant colors which should make up the bulk of my wardrobe.¬† I also learned WHY some colors didn’t work for me.¬† I learned about fit; fabric; pattern; proportion, and how to properly dress MY body.

This is the heart of Hearthrose Image Consulting – helping you bring out your beautiful.¬† I’m not sure how it happens that many of us lose our sense of what we look like, how we want to look, what actually is becoming to us.¬† I suspect it’s often to do with having children – we start to dress for the job of running after tiny mess-makers and pretty soon, that’s all we are.¬† Then when the mess-makers evolve a bit and become actual people, we’re¬†still in “that” mode and it’s hard to shift.¬† The other thing that happens (and trust me, it will happen to every single woman), is we hit the BIG M – and our bodies take on minds of their own such that even if we had actually cultivated an excellent style and were perfectly comfortable in our own skin, that just gets flushed down the toilet and we’re left staring at a body we don’t recognize and which rejects all our clothes.

I have literally turned over my entire closet and my makeup (I’m going to share about that later).¬† Le Mari, tired of seeing me in my hideous ill-fitting, unflattering “uniforms”, shipped me out to go shopping, and, armed with Hearthie’s treasure trove of information, I reworked my entire wardrobe for fall – pants, skirts, sweaters, tunics, tops, shoes, handbags (yes, I rid myself of over 60 pairs of shoes and about 40 handbags).¬† There is absolutely NOTHING in my closet that I’m not overjoyed to wear.

I’m going to add a couple of qualifiers here – for one thing, I’m dealing with¬†randomly sporadic episodes of extreme pain – and this meant that I had to change out handbags which aggravates it (seriously, some of my bags weighed over 5lb EMPTY).¬† My weight can fluctuate depending on the medication I’m taking – so I need a range of¬†sizes¬†so that I can be comfortable.¬† Some days I’m extremely sick to my stomach, so I need¬†some outfits which are¬†somewhat loose or which have elastic waist bands¬†so that there’s no pressure on my abdomen.¬† BTW – this led me to discovering some great joggers which I wear all the time – they fit well (not baggy) and I often wear them out with the cuffs rolled up and a cute T-shirt/tunic, and some flats – I look good and, more importantly, I function.

For anyone interested, these are the joggers (ToBeInStyle French Terry Joggers)¬†(they’re not leggings, in case anyone has a particular aversion – I don’t but hey, that’s just me).¬† The price is insane and I have 4 pair in black and blue.¬† I also bought these¬†(LA Gear Cotton Joggers), and they’ve been excellent on days when I just can’t get comfortable.

I’m going to close with this – we all need help at various times in our lives – and our image is definitely worth investing a little time and money.¬† We should take care of ourselves, feel good about our appearance, embrace our beautiful, and shed those things which detract.¬† Check out my girlfriend at Hearthrose Image Consulting and get started on refining or redefining your image of you.

A Bientot!




Not Dead…Not Quite Out of Bed

It’s been a rough couple months here Chez Maeve – largely it’s been me, but there have been other issues with the people I live with.

Sometimes you have to pull back in extreme ways just to keep yourself whole – that’s how it’s felt.¬† This blog, such as it is, has often felt like a fissure – albeit one I created myself.¬† Thing is, I’m not naturally comfortable with exposures of inner self – and when that inner self has disintegrated into a plethora of ball bearings spewing all over, well, it was time to close up the fissures for a while.

I¬† haven’t been completely dead to the world – I play on FB a little; I hang out on Pinterest; and I discovered some interesting new blogs – Fashion for Ladies of/and/or Approaching A Certain Age, LOL.¬† I’ve cooked a bit – and that’s really an indicator of how things have been – I just haven’t been able to cook much.¬† Really, though, the worst has been that I can’t read.¬† My TBR pile (electronic, that it is), is enormous.¬† I just can’t seem to indulge myself.

It wasn’t actually my intent to engage in a PLSUM mini-rant – somehow ended up that way and that’s the problem – EVERYTHING seems to come out that way.

However.¬† I’ve always been a “take the bull by the horns” kind of girl, and the pity party has degenerated into an out and out orgy of “Woe is Moi”.¬† I can’t stand it anymore.¬† So, am going to try and post some tales of my travails and (digital) travels and see if I can’t turn this space into something a little more meaningful.

Hey – I just thought of something kind of cool – Le Mari and Moi are going to a morning meditation thingie tomorrow at the local yoga place (OK – nobody get antsy – I’m not going all new-agey-wavey and all that.¬† It’s just that I need to find mental quiet and this seems¬† like a good start – I shall report back).¬† Also, it might actually help me go back to church.

I hope all you dear friends have had a lovely summer and that your fall is cool and invigorating.  Mostly, I hope someone is baking something!

A bientot!



Random Thoughts for a Wednesday

This happens all too often…

That something has occurred is not, in and of itself, indicative of a normative situation, so it’s rather foolish to discuss it that way (as though it’s typical).

Conversely, the fact that an occurrence is not normative doesn’t¬†warrant exclusion with the dismissive, “that almost never happens…”.

Also, not everything’s a red herring.

(You could say I have a bee in my bonnet today, an all too normative experience for me.)




Guess What Just Landed on my Kindle?

Mary Tudor:  Princess, Bastard, Queen by Anna Whitlock

The Lake House:  A Novel by Kate Morton

Lady MacBeth:  A Novel by Susan Fraser King

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice:¬† or, On the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King

Sunshine?  Check
Comfy Deck Chair?  Check
Fabulous Cocktail(s)?  Check

I can’t wait to get started!

Happy Weekend to you all ūüôā




I’m Just In That Kind of Mood Today

I read something earlier today on Le Interwebz that made me howl with laughter and reminded me of this scene, from¬†THE BEST¬†ROMANCE EVER WRITTEN IN THE HISTORY OF EVER AND YES I WANT TO BE BURIED WITH A COPY….

Le Background – Nora Beckett, lady in waiting to Queen Mary I (yes, that one), is rather despondent at the news her (asshat) father plans to marry her off to one Percivale Flegge (I’d be despondent, too if the rumors turned out to be true) and also that she is far too plain for any man to want to marry her and she can’t even drum up any enthusiasm for attending¬†the de Rivers’ banquet.

Here is Her Majesty’s take on cheering her up!

“The Queen made a grumbling noise. “Look you, Nora. It’s true that women are inherently the Devil’s instrument and not God’s, but as long as a girl is chaste, obedient, and intelligent, there’s no reason she can’t also be pretty. God delights in beauty devoted to His works.”

“Think you so, Your Grace?”

“My father used to say so all the time. ¬†And he was, after all, the great King Harry.

Nora contemplated this new idea. If England’s powerful and fearsome Henry VIII approved, it wasn’t for her to question.”


Lady Gallant, Suzanne Robinson (yes it has¬†“those scenes”¬†– none particularly gratuitous IMHO¬†but then I’m flat out of delicate sensibilities, soooooo…..skip “those” pages if you must, but by all means, read it).



Easy, My Ass…

“…books about cooking largely admitted what every homemaker knew to be true:¬† that feeding people was backbreaking work, and then you died.” (The “Myth” of Easy Cooking by Elizabeth Dunn – linked in earlier post referenced and linked below)

Thanks to Els’ encouragement to expand on my¬†earlier post (which was really just a link), and because my blog pal’s¬†latest post has sparked some excellent commentary, here is my little screed on the matter of “Easy” cooking.

Every single thing in that article resonated with me.¬† I have DOZENS¬† of cookbooks (even post-cull) and any number of them promise “easy”.¬† Easy.¬† Sure.¬† Maybe in an alternate universe.

Let’e talk turkey, shall we?

30 Minute Meals.¬† I owned 4 of these cookbooks.¬† You can’t actually prepare any of this, from lights-on to table in 30 minutes.¬† Really, you can’t.¬† Not unless all your prep is done ahead of time.¬† And then – let’s talk about the sheer ridiculous number of post and pans and utensils required to produce the meal – basically¬†an hour of clean up.¬† And you know what else?¬† In my house, the produce is not all washed and dried and prepped and ready for me to slice/dice/chop.

How about ingredients?¬† Spurred on by this article, I pulled out a couple of my “easy weeknight meals” cookbooks.¬† Kohlrabi.¬† Celeriac.¬† Butternut Squash (you know it takes an hour alone to simply carve that thing into something you can actually at some point cook and eat, right?).¬† Le Sigh. (Disclosure – I can actually get kohlrabi and celeriac at my local grocery store, but I’m lucky that way and anyway, it’s only fairly recently that securing some of this stuff didn’t require a pilgrimage to Whole Paycheck).

Mostly where Dunn gets it right is in WHO is exactly creating these recipes.¬† Not “home cooks who learned at their mothers’ elbows in family kitchen”.¬† Culinary School grads.¬† Nothing against them, but what the ^%$#(*&^do they know about screaming into a driveway at 6:30 (sure, you left the office at 5, but then you had the commute and you had to pick up the kids from daycare and then you still had to stop by the grocery store before heading home) with tired, hungry, cranky kids?¬† Answer?¬† Big Fat Hairy Zilch, that’s what.

I firmly believe that there are nights you pick up a grocery store rotisserie chickn, maybe a frozen mac & cheese and bag-o-salad.¬† That’s what you do unless you have a martyr complex the size of Mt. Rushmore.

You also need to get over youself and allow that shortcuts by way of semi-prepared and/or prepackaged food items are not only permissible, they’re essential.¬† Look, most women, whether they work outside the home or not, ain’t sitting back on the chaise longue, sippin’ on mint juleps and noshing on bonbons all day.¬† They’re really working.¬† All day.¬† And some of them are herding small children.¬† All. Day. Long.¬† They’re tired.¬† Kids are tired.¬† Hubs comes home – he’s tired.¬† Everybody’s hungry.¬† Shortcuts are your salvation, and if you can swing some prep work on the weekends, or even do some make-ahead meals, that’s great.¬† Otherwise, let’s all chill out and stop worshiping at the altar of “Everything-From-Scratch”.¬† And have a glass of wine, while you’re at it.