Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

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.




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!



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 🙂




Where Is My Daughter And Who Left The Changeling In Her Place?

I send the child who has lived with me her entire life (all 16 years) to go pick up the Halloween candy.

One honking hour later (did she travel to outer Mongolia?) she comes back with 4 ginormous bags of candy.  Not a single Reese’s PBC in the entire lot!  Not one.

“Whose child are you?” I ask.

“What’s the problem, Mama?”

“Do you see any Reese’s here?”

“Um that bag has the Pieces, so like, yeah.”

“I repeat – whose child are you?  No child of mine would think those loathsome things have any remote connection to a PBC!”

“Like, I’m totally helping you out, Mama.  This way you can, like, enjoy Halloween without temptation.  You should, like, be thanking me.”

I swear, it’s a freakin’ miracle that child still has breath in her body.


Reality-Based Menu – Third Edition

My humble offerings this week….

  • Monday – Pan Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Pearl Onions
  • Tuesday – Girls at their Dad’s house (I have plenty of options)
  • Wednesday – Garlicy Shrimp & Pasta; Salad
  • Thursday – Beef Stew (because chuck roast was on sale)
  • Friday – DIY Pizza (if they’re home)
  • Saturday – Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup (its Halloween and my neighborhood gets about a million kids, so need something easy)
  • Sunday – Not quite sure yet – maybe I’ll cook something in the crock pot (gasp!)

Once again I made myself miserable by going to the grocery store on Sunday afternoon, thereby casting a miserable pall on what had otherwise been a great day.  This week would be the time to shift my shopping day and get it all done and over with on Wednesday or Thursday.  Problem is, well, work.  Work interferes with much of my life.  Actually, it’s my lovely blog-pal, Mrs. C who has me rethinking the weekend shopping.  Confession time:  this is actually going to be extremely difficult for me.  I’m super linear in (some of) my way(s) of thinking and this one of those.  I think it’s because I associate M – F with WORK and the weekends with Household.  I just can seem to fit the shopping into my routine in an organic way – it’s always an interruption of some sort.  It’s worth trying to change my habit (and possibly my attitude) though.  Will report on this next week.

Made continued progress on my house project over the weekend.  I emptied two more storage boxes of crap (no, there isn’t a better word for it) so now have a greatly improved garage.  Moved a storage cupboard from my office to the garage and got rid of some really dilapidated shelves.  The office looks so much better.  Then, because my project has largely kept me from regular housework, I did a major cleaning of the living room, which included cleaning the floors (and indulged my Inner Martyr by cleaning them the old fashioned way – with a bucket and rag).

You’re probably wondering what part the minions play in all of this.  Well, besides working and tons of homework, they have project assigned to them.  I’ve also kept Iseult busy running to the thrift store with donations (now that she has her license I’m putting it to good use).

Progress really is a series of baby steps.  I’ve stopped worrying about the size/number of steps themselves and focus on momentum.  (Also, when I think I haven’t accomplished anything, I take a quick trip out to the trash/recycling bins and observe how they’re full.)

Well, that’s where we are at my house.  What’s cooking at your place?



Menu Update

Well things have been going surprisingly well.

On Tuesday night I made the chicken dish and it was fabulous!  There are still herbs in my pots, so was able to take advantage of that; also some lonely pearl onions made their way into the dish.  I can see me making this really often – easy and super tasty.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, I had drumsticks, so that’s what I used, but next time might go for boneless, skinless chicken thighs and see how they do.

Wednesday night we had the “chuck tender medallions”; I seared them for about 3 minutes on each side then popped them in a 400-degree oven for about 4 minutes; we  had them with roasted gnocchi and green beans.  (Wait – roasted gnocchi? What’s that? Heh!  Let me tell you about roasted gnocchi – one of the more delish sides you can make.  I get a package of gnocchi (not the refrigerated kind) and dump them on a baking sheet that I’ve sprayed with cooking spray; drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt; then into a 400-degree oven for 35 – 45 minutes; I shake the pan periodically to roll them around.  So Good.  You could season them up with pretty much anything – sometimes I used garlic oil; but once you have them, you’ll be hooked).

Tonight – still not sure.  Maybe spaghetti.  Maybe grilled chicken Caesar salad.  Haven’t quite decided yet, but there’s time.

(Besides, I always keep emergency cans of chicken noodle soup in the cabinet.  Nobody will starve.  And I could have one of the minions cook – if they’re home).


So….How About Some Menu?

Erm.  Yes.  I’ve been dink on the whole posting thing. But we have been eating – nothing inspiring, mind you.  Actually, I’m still not all that inspired, but  here goes anyway…

Monday – Roast Pork, Saffron Rice, Cuban Black Beans

Tuesday – Grilled Sirloin,  Israeli Salad, Steamed Lentils

Wednesday – Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad

Thursday – Try a New Recipe – Lettuce Salad with Hot Beef Dressing

Friday – Everyone does their own thing and I have dinner plans with friends

In other random news…

I went through something of a reading dry spell.  I bought a bunch of books, but then couldn’t bring myself to read.  Am wondering if it has to do with the medium; I spend all day staring at a computer screen; then I look at the Nook or Kindle and think to myself, “stare at screen some more?”  It’s just not moving me.  Does anyone else miss paper? Nevertheless, last week (I think – maybe it was the week before), I picked up Amanda DeWees’ “Sea of Secrets” (a Victorian Romantic Suspense – along the lines of a Gothic, but just this side of “not”) and to my delight, discovered something of a tribute to the Bard of Avon!  No, I won’t tell you which one – read it yourself and find out.  This sort of pulled me out of my funk – well, that and the announcement of a new theatre production of Hamlet which will ALSO be filmed and then distributed worldwide on 15 October for National Theatre Live.  Now, I may no be able to get myself all the way to London to see the production, but your can bet your sweet bippee I’ll find a way to watch it on screen somewhere stateside.

From the world of cooking – Nigella Lawson is coming out with a new cookbook “Simply Nigella” which will be out on 03 November 15 (Dear Santa, I want this).  I own several of her cookbooks (How to be a Domestic Goddess, Nigella Feast, Nigella Express) and they’re terrific.  So even though I’m about to go through another culling of the cookbooks, hers will stay.

On the home front – my office declutter project is nearly complete.  I can’t quite bring myself to reveal how many years’ of old paperwork I went through and pitched.  After wearing out the motor on a new shredder, I decided that the best thing was to just take advantage of a shredding service.  Best $20 I ever spent.  There’s still a  bit more to go through, but at least I can file my stuff and put my hands on critical documents.  It’s a really good feeling.

Iseult has her first summer job – she babysits a toddler and 4 year old in the morning and then a couple days a week she works at the local parish school summer camp.  Everyday she comes home from babysitting with a slightly shell shocked look which amuses me to no end.

I’ll try and do better next week – maybe even have a more inspired menu.  With that, what’s cooking at your house?


Long Time…No See

It’s been a few weeks.

Every now and again its good to give yourself a time-out. It’s good to step back a bit and try to look at life a little dispassionately (actually quite a challenge if you are me).

I used this opportunity to go shopping – quite a bit in fact. I had already gone through my closet and boxed up all the stuff that didn’t fit, but this was only the beginning. My delightful friend, Hearthie, gave me a good fashion scolding and some excellent advice – which I’ve embraced with a vengeance. The upshot – I’ve purged my wardrobe of every unflattering, dowdy, frumpy, ill-fitting, boring, uninspired, insipid, loose, baggy piece of clothing I owned. Whew! Oh yeah – I learned my lesson about shoes too – bought a pair strictly for comfort and ended up with a blistered heel. So, we’re not going there again.

In other news, we bought a really cheap waffle iron so we could cook tater tots and cinnamon rolls in it.  Maybe we’ll make waffles at some point.

I am simultaneously reading Tosca Lee’s superb “Demon, A Memoir” as well as “Paradise Lost” (because reading the two together just appeals to my need to examine things from every angle) and waiting feverishly for Patricia Briggs’ new release in a couple weeks (she has Chapter 1 up on her website – yes, I tortured myself and read it).

OK – that’s it.  I have take Iseult driving… then I’ll probably need a drink or a manicure.


Just Go With The Flow

My Christmas tree is still up.

That’s right – my Christmas tree is still up.  All the stuff is still on it.  Also the stockings are still hanging on the mantle.

I know what you’re thinking – “Is she planning to just leave it all up until Valentine’s Day?”  Well, maybe not that long.  I don’t like taking down the tree.  It’s anticlimactic.  There’s no special “taking down the tree movie”; no special ritual; no cookie (not that I’m baking at the moment).  It’s just a January blah.

In past years this would have bothered me.  It’s half way through January and the tree is still up.  But I’m not letting it get to me.  I did finally take the wreath off the door.  The outside lights are down (mostly).  It will get done.

So what have I been doing if not taking down my Christmas stuff?  Well, I organized the pantry; cleaned out my closet and dresser; am half way through a reorganization of my office.  These things are far more important from daily living stand point than the tree (well other than pretty soon it’ll be a fire hazard).

Also (and this is a big deal for me) I got a Confederate Rose.  It’s not in the ground yet (as we’ve been experiencing some global warming, ummm, arctic blasts, lately).  But I’ve wanted one FOREVER  and now I have one.  I can’t wait to get it in the ground.  We’re going to plant it right next to where we buried our Lilly.  I know she’d have loved it.

So what’s next?  Well, yes, I’m going to deal with the tree (probably this week) and, weather permitting, plant my new shrub.  But if things come up and it all gets pushed out, well, OK.  None of this is life or death.  I’m going to try and keep that perspective.