April Showers

It was a pragmatic matter growing up. There were six of us in a small three bedroom ranch house with one bathroom. We took our showers at night because the bathroom was a critical choke point in the morning, with four kids getting ready for school while trying to get in and out of the bathroom before Dad went in with the newspaper.

From the time i left home for college, that shifted. i took a morning shower. Some days, an early afternoon shower, depending on the start time of my first class, or the degree of hangover i carried on any given day. Not just for cleaning up, it was often necessary to get my eyes opened.

Thirty six years of working in a laboratory or office environment had me starting my day with a shower. As ingrained a habit as any, it took a slight hit at the start of the pandemic when personal hygiene was… well… less critical due to the complete lack of socialization.

Since moving to Stonerbrooke in September, i spend hours each day outside. i became a bit of a recliner potato over the cold months, but as soon as there were two or three warm sunny hours each day, i moved outside. Digging in dirt. When i started, there were garden gloves, but now they only come out when there are thorns or thistles. i added a solid nail brush by the kitchen sink to help scrub my crusty hands when i come in for a water break, but i am now doing dirty labor on a daily basis. For the first time in my life.

Yesterday, i spent several hours with a weed whacker, and then with a cordless sander working on a bridge that needs a new coat of paint. It has been raining a bit, so i was a muck-encrusted mess by dinner time. i took a necessary shower while the brussels sprouts were roasting for dinner.

Getting your hands dirty. Getting your body covered in grime. Getting chunks of unknown crud in your hair. Getting to sleep more easily because your body is just tired.

And unlike a career in research, later senior management – where the single most tangible product from a hard day at the office was often just a powerpoint deck – i can see the positive results of my effort.

A blooming legacy

We make a point of wandering the property every day. Two and a half acres. As the weather warms, we are delighted with new discoveries.

We didn’t just buy a house. We bought a homestead. Jay and Nancy lived here for 52 years. The original house was tiny – maybe 1,000 square feet, three bedrooms, one bathroom. They raised three children in that small house. It wasn’t until after their children moved out that they decided to do a major renovation on the house – adding a massive family room, and an upstairs master suite, with library.

When Nancy developed dementia, Jay did the best he could to care for her, but she was placed in a memory care facility in 2019. He wanted to be with her, and made the decision to sell, and move to a small apartment to be close by.

She was a gardener. As we met our new neighbors, we heard tales of Nancy’s devotion, and generosity. “We only recognized her from behind – she was always digging!” Every property on the street is decorated with hostas, iris, and peonies that she shared as she divided plants.

Nancy died in November. We’ve stayed in touch with Jay – sometimes delivering mail, always taking him cookies, or an occasional hot meal. During a visit to his apartment in January he seemed a little more awkward than usual.

“I have a strange question. I’ve got Nancy’s ashes back. I was wondering if I could take her to the gardens. I don’t know what else to do with her…”

When he called a couple weeks ago, it was one of the first warm days. The winter aconite and snow drops were putting on a dazzling show along the back tree line. “Today is the day. I’ll be over sometime after two. You probably won’t even know I’ve been there…”

We took that to mean he wanted privacy, so we retreated inside the house for the afternoon. We saw his truck across the street later that afternoon, he was likely visiting a neighbor, so we know he’d been by.

With each new discovery, we are just overwhelmed by the beauty. Tiny tulips (species tulips) and the most adorable jonquil (we’ve been calling them ‘dwarf-odills’). Scrawny bushes have burst into bright yellow blooms. Carpets of hyacinth, dotted with clusters of daffodils and narcissus. A friend has described this process – “the property is introducing itself to you.”

And we say “Thank you, Nancy”. Every day.

Making Hay

Was there really a time when i wrote a post daily? Yeah. i did that for almost a year in 2008. Clearly, i had some shit to work out.

Turns out, the need to hoark it all up and chew on the undigested bits* is far less compelling when i’m content, focused, and comfortable in my meat suit.

Suppose it’s time for an update, after disappearing (again) for half a year.

i’m good. Really good. After undertaking a rather seismic shift in my daily life, it appears to have been a stellar decision

For those who have been hanging around for the past decade, you may be aware that i’ve been in a long-term relationship with a fine gentleman, nicknamed Studley McRocklegs by a fellow blogger** who has long since moved on. Studley and i rode quite an entertaining rollercoaster in the early days, most of which was not shared on this here blog. We stuck it out, though, and when effort was required to do relationship work, we got big shovels and dug in.

Through it all, we were really comfortable living apart. In fact, it may be one of the key reasons our relationship thrived. Neither of us had lived completely alone during our lives, and once we were free to do so, found it quite liberating! For the past several years, though, we discussed “what’s next”. We both wanted to get out of condo living, and lose the home owners’ association albatross. Senior dog sanctuary for me, and a chance to dance naked around a bonfire for him… Some land. Gardens. Workshops – woodshop for him, welding for me. And enough storage for the camper, motorcycles, Jeep, bicycles, kayaks, and….

Given the collapse of all travel plans during the pandemic, we realized sometime in June that if we were going to make such a move, this year might be an ideal time. He casually started looking at real estate listings, while we both continued to purge excess household crap.

He found a place. Looked promising. About two and a half acres, an overly-countrified home, with not one, but TWO glorious barns! A spring-fed creek! Bonus! We went to the open house on a Sunday, and despite being nowhere near ready to make such a move, threw down an offer about a week later.

In September, after lots of crazy logistics, false-starts, headaches, and massive alcohol consumption, we hired a fleet of moving trucks and did the deed.

It. Has. Been. Fabulous.

There will be more updates – at least until Spring arrives, and i need to get my ass back out in these beautiful gardens to figure out how to keep everything alive. While i’m stuck inside, not quite ready to tackle the removal of fruit-encrusted wallpaper in the “country kitchen”, i’m going to get back out and make the rounds to see my blog mates. Hoping that everyone is staying safe, healthy, and has found a means to grow during a global health crisis.

* i remain relentlessly sexy…

** While i’m very happy that Renal Failure moved on, the blogosphere is less interesting without him.

Treading Water

For a fat kid i was pretty good at swimming – especially good at treading water. Perhaps it was the added buoyancy of the extra fat layer, or maybe i had a predisposition for staying in one place for long periods of time. Regardless of the reason, it was one of the few physical challenges at which i excelled as a kid.

treading around the drain

Here we are, about six months into a global pandemic, and i have no basis for complaint. Move the arms, kick the legs, stay inside, wash your hands, wear a mask, avoid crowds. Repeat. Hopefully just for another six months, but i’m not that optimistic given the willful ignorance of so many of my fellow citizens. There is also a pandemic of stupidity here.

At best, and with a good bit of luck, we’ve got 80 or so years on this planet.

The first quarter of our lives are spent being whisked along a trajectory that is largely out of our control. How we navigate that first quarter depends on what zip code we’re born in, and how our parents are doing in their second quarter of life. We are gifted (or cursed) with our genetics, and move through the educational system, while building our value systems.

Second quarter of those 80 years? Our 20’s and 30’s usually have us taking our first real risks, making the decisions (and non-decisions) that make us adults. Careers, trade school, marriage, children, buying cars and houses, sometimes hitting a reset button and taking a mulligan to find another route. Our lives are our own, and yet we sometimes don’t realize the lasting impact of the choices we’ve made.

By the time we get to the third quarter, much of our daily existence is managing the consequences of all those decisions we made in the previous quarter. Kids growing up, houses falling apart, work and career stress, paying bills, doing what we can to get the spawn going on their own trajectories. Taking care of aging parents? There’s one we didn’t really think about before! Not a lot of freedom of choice in our priorities. We ride that wave through our 40’s and 50’s. In my case, i stepped off of one roller coaster onto another, and started over with a divorce and new home just as my nest emptied.

If we’re lucky enough to get to our 60’s reasonably intact physically and financially, we are facing the final quarter of our lives. Last call. Not just circling the drain, but we can see the drain from here… i turned 58 this summer. Hi there, drain! How you doin’?

i’d been wrangling with this concept pre-pandemic. If i’m lucky, 20 years left. Maybe a little bit of overtime, but looking at my family history, not many elders made it to their 80’s, at least not with any degree of mobility. i’m staring my final quarter right in the face.

But wait! Pandemic! Yay! Let’s spend an entire year treading water! One year out of 80? 1.25% of my life? That’s not so bad! Looking ahead, it’s one year out of the 20 or so left for me. A whopping 5% of my remaining life — if i’m lucky — treading water, as i circle that drain.

Can’t say that i haven’t done anything this year. Not only did we earn our Technician Class Ham Radio Licenses, but we kept studying and moved beyond the entry level license and are now General Hams.  Bought kayaks and took a class, and have enjoyed paddling around on the waterways.

The grand adventures we’d planned were abandoned, but we still have managed to get out of the house a bit. Hiked about 300 miles so far – mostly in local parks. Camping is the very definition of social distancing. We have taken three trips this summer – just returning from a 3,000 mile adventure which included a brief visit with The Boy and his family out west. Two more National Parks checked off the ‘to do’ list.

Move the arms, kick the legs, stay inside, wash your hands, wear a mask, avoid crowds. i’m lucky, and recognize that i’m living through this from a position of extreme privilege. But i see that damn drain, man….

Can i get a witness?

We were both tucked comfortably into our respective bedrooms, swilling wine using our time at home to catch up by video chat.  Gintia moved away just over a year ago, and we hadn’t talked in a few months.

Comparing notes, we acknowledged the privilege of being only mildly inconvenienced by a global pandemic. We have not lost income, are reasonably able to procure food and supplies we need, and do not have to go to work “on the front lines” – healthcare, grocery, delivery, fire protection, law enforcement.

The weight of a global health and economic crisis was still threaded through the conversation, and i voiced my feeling of general helplessness – given my demographic, what can i really do to help?

“We are witness to history. Perhaps journaling, writing… somehow documenting what this feels like, what it looks like…”

Witness.

Yes, that is the word. She nailed it. We can witness. From where we are, with what we have, with what we see. What we feel.

Here’s a glimpse of my world these days:

  • Routine: i’ve been retired for almost 3 years. i liked not having a routine! Once quarrantined, i was drawn to a schedule. My morning  – language lesson (Turkish, using Duolingo) in bed with my morning coffee. A ‘plank challenge’ with a group of my SCUBA friends on Facebook. Studying for my HAM radio license. Daily walks – meeting Studley daily, between 3-5 miles. Sometimes around the neighborhoods, sometimes in a park.

Duolingo One Year

 

  • Rescheduling Trips: Three trips between March and June (so far) are being replanned. An inconvenience. A privilege to have the flexibility to reschedule. We are not going to complain. So it goes…

one of three

  • Doomsday Prep: For many years, i’ve been preparing to die. We’d started sorting out our affairs last fall, but given current events this has become more time critical. We found an attorney who could update wills, and sort issues related to property disposition. Lots of sorting, shredding, and filing in the home offices to get our other information up-to-date.

where there's a will

  • Pantry Raids: To be good citizens, we grocery shop every other week. Leaving the delivery services to those more in need, we are stretching the fresh goods, digging into the freezer, and doing more aggressive meal planning. Baking? You bet! Don’t let those bananas go bad – mash ’em up, and turn them into brown butter banana nut bars! i’ve done more cooking and baking in the past three weeks than i’ve done since Christmas.  Sometimes it’s like playing the home edition of “Chopped” – “Hmmm, what can i make from a half jar of artichokes, a can of SPAM, two apples, and quinoa?”

blueberry apple crumble

  • Porch Drops: i’m not the only one baking! Studley dusted off his mother’s ‘devil dog’ recipe. Other friends are doing cookies and breads. Rather than bash them in isolation, we’ve started doing ‘porch drops’ – containers of cookies, coloring pages, notes of encouragement, a shared bag of flour. Every few days one of us will drive the circuit. These deliveries bring a good bit of joy.

got your backside

  • Video Connection: With my children and grandcritters far away, i’ve gotten comfortable using vid chat. Beyond mugging for the littles, i’m now doing more video time than ever. Weekly (or bi-weekly) ‘meet ups’ with friends – we’ve done an on-line game night, and have watched movies “together”.  i’ve set up a weekly chat with my sisters. Catching up with friends, like Gintia, who are distant – she noted that there was absolutely no reason we couldn’t do that before the pandemic. She arranged a “group crafting meet up” via conferencing. It was lovely to meet new people, listen to their stories, while i was trying not to sew my fingers together while making face masks!

  • Random Mental Health Exercises: Since so many events have been canceled, we took a cue from a local cosplaying friend, and decided to get dressed up anyway. A stroll around the neighborhood, and through the cemetery, in steampunk gear… because why not?

steampunks

That’s what the days feel like here. What are your days like? How are they the same, or different, than they were before the advent of an historic global pandemic? What will you want your descendents to know about your experience?

Care in the Era of COVID-19

i’m taking it seriously, but not panicking*…

Coming back from Turkey in February, i watched Heathrow airport go from “Busy, multi-national transportation hub” to “Refugee camp” within minutes of the flight cancellations due to weather. The news from Wuhan, China was coming out, and some people standing in the lines were wearing masks, but the vast majority weren’t. Things could go from ‘normal’ to ‘extra-crunchy’ very quickly.

When i got home, Studley and i started adding a few extras to the weekly shopping cart, thinking about what we’d need to manage being stuck at home while battling the flu for a couple of weeks. We made soups, and filled our freezers. Not panicked – prepared.

On Thursday this week, our Governor announced dramatic closures across the state as a pre-emptive method of limiting the spread. Schools closed for at least 3 weeks, no public gatherings greater than 100 people. Major sports leagues canceled seasons.

More people paid attention, and then the run on the grocery stores started.

i looked for places to volunteer. One major concern nationally is that so many of our children rely on school lunches for their main meals of the day.**  With prolonged closures, the state, school districts, and community volunteers rallied to come up with a means to get food to those in need.

Going to the page for volunteers, i started to put in my info as a delivery driver. i was stopped cold by “Must be under 50 years old”…

That was the first time it occurred to me that at 57, with a somewhat compromised immune system, i’m….. uh…. i’m a little more at risk than others.

Later that day, i got a text from a young friend – Oktay and his wife are originally from Turkey. i met them at a local gathering of Turkish immigrants. We’ve stayed connected – they coach me on my Turkish, and i bring them treats when i visit!

Oktay’s text: I hope you are doing well. Please let me know if you need anything. I will be more than happy to help you. Don’t go outside unless necessary. Again, if you need anything I will go outside for you and drop it to your house. Just text me or call me!”

(sigh)

i had been preparing to call a few of my neighbors, who are in their 70’s and 80’s with the same offer…

it me

Maybe i’m going to have to sit this one out….or come up with other ways to support the community.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*On the bright side? We’re all learning how to spell new words, like “panicked” and “quarrantine”…

**Don’t get me started on this national disgrace. Food insecurity is rampant in the US. Don’t let our obesity fool you, healthy food isn’t available to all. Processed, filled, corn-based, shit food is cheap, and has to do for many families…

Days for Girls… and Retired Women.

i’m old. It’s been many years since i’ve dealt with menstruation.* When i was new to the cycle, it was a pain in the ass – heavy, bulky, pads, anchored to elasticized belts that were all we had in the stone ages of the 70’s.

The liberation of tampons found me during high school! “You mean i can go swimming at the lake with my friends this weekend? Hell, yes!”

i was privileged. Globally, it’s not quite that simple.

Such conveniences are not readily available, and there are tremendous cultural barriers. Many girls are stuck at home – missing one week of school each month. Many are STILL forced to resort to rags, mattress stuffing, banana leaves, feathers – whatever is handy to manage menstruation.

Celeste Mergens was working with a family foundation near Nairobi, Kenya in 2008, assisting an orphanage.** She recognized that the options for dealing with periods were limited – she first tried supplying disposable pads, but that it was not viable, or sustainable. Days for Girls was born…

Kits, with cloth-based, pretty, washable, and long-lasting components — with education — were the solution. Since Days for Girls was founded, more than 1 million women and girls have been assisted, in over 125 countries world wide.

What's in a kit

Where do the kits come from? Volunteers. A global network of volunteers, organized in local groups, diligently make the kits to a prescribed standard. Other volunteers are trained to do distribution and education.

i stumbled upon a local group about a year ago. Went to a monthly gathering. Fell in love with the mission.  For two hours each month, i join a diverse group of retired women. The group leader has arranged work stations – cutting, ribbon sealing, folding, packing, grommeting. The sewing is done off-site during the month by a cadre of skilled volunteers (not me).

workstations

And now i am the Grommet Queen.

Happy chatter. “How are the kids?” “Has Marge recovered from the fall?” “Did you get tickets to the game?” But mostly we are focused on our tasks. i measure, punch holes, set up the grommet thingie, apply grommets. Repeat.

home of the grommet queen

i was happy this month – in 2 hours i completed 60 pad holders. As i make them, i offer kind thoughts and encouragement to the woman or girl who will someday use this as part of her kit. “You go, li’l sister! Being a woman should not get in your way.”

There was a time in my life where i enjoyed being in a leadership role. Helping re-start a bicycle advocacy group, being on a high-visibility board or two, being a mouthpiece for a cultural organization. What i’ve learned is that there is deep joy, and satisfaction, in being nothing more than a useful pair of hands.

i can’t fix all that is wrong in the world. All i can really do is chip away at it… one grommet at a time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*After breeding, i opted for a tubal ligation in 1999. Ten years later, i chose uterine ablation – a procedure which fries the lining of the uterus, eliminating the montly cycle. Back then, i was recently divorced, and decided that the annoyance of a period would be a buzzkill to my aggressive “dating”… (cough, cough). Menopause, for me, was a year of being hyper-emotional, with the occasional ‘thrash night’ in bed, due to overheating. 

** More about Celeste, and Days for Girls at their website.

Housekeeping – Another Surface Interval

Where is daisyfae? Apparently on a road to hell, as i’m seeing pavers marked “good intentions” all around me…at least when it comes to posting regularly.

Still feeling the urge to write, chewing on lots of tasty nuggets that i need to sort out. For the past few months, i have been either in manic travel mode, or mired in winter slugdom, drinking coffee in bed far too late into the morning, wondering where my ‘get up and go’ went.

The trips? Since my last travelogue, i’ve been gone a bit. Spent almost three weeks in Turkey last month, living with my daughter and her family. The little one is now a very busy toddler. She would run into my room in the morning, encourage me to sing, and then tell me (in toddler-speak) about how her night was. It was wonderful! They are all doing well, but i missed them before the taxi even got to the airport.

Christmas included a roadtrip to spend the holiday week with Studley’s children – Son, daughter-in-law, and daughter all together for a week of games, booze, trampoline park (i watched!), and time spent cooking. Also included a trip to ‘doc in a box’ due to my unexpected bout with bronchitis. Mellow, quiet, and a week spent mostly in pajamas – and virtually no photos taken.

Visited with my son and his family over Thanksgiving in November. Just flew out and back, but had a good time with the clan, and extended clan. The vampire cupcakes were a success – and Max is already planning what we’ll make on my next trip!

We spent a few weeks in Alaska in September – visiting Studley’s daughter, Pixie! Rented a camper for a week and put over 1,000 miles on it, driving as far north as Fairbanks. Alaska is the place to be if there’s a global apocalypse. The residents there are fierce, independent, and rugged to the core. Got to watch a family butcher a moose. Just something you don’t see every day…

Long camping trip out west in August – started with a few days visiting The Boy and his family, and then onward to see Badlands National Park, and visit Cheyenne, Wyoming. i have a much better appreciation for the scale of the great plains. Corn. Cows. Muledeer. Gigantic skies. On the way back, we chose to get off the interstate highway, and wander the old national road system. To say that discovering roadside attractions has become a new hobby is an understatement. We have seen — SEEN — the world’s largest popcorn ball! Life will never be the same.

Festivals, music, dancing, friends, volunteer work, planning the next trips – i am anything but bored. Perhaps just slugging my way through a touch of the winter blues. Thinking that my recent round of being stuck in bed, drinking coffee, and being unmotivated is another ‘surface interval’ for me.

Apologies for another ‘non-blog’ post, but i’m going to try again. i plan to use some of my ‘slug time’ to get back out and about in the blogosphere – hoping to catch up with my old friends in the ether. i suppose it’s possible to bring the laptop to bed while i drink my morning coffee.

 

 

A Parent…

When i left home for university, i was just 18. Other than a few weeks the following summer, i never lived with my parents again. Due to a combination of sheer will, and a bit of luck, i did not ‘bounce’ back. The youngest of the four children in my family, i was the only one who managed to make it to adulthood without a temporary return to the nest. They had worked hard to raise us all, and by the time i got to 18 they were tired. So very tired. i didn’t want to pile on heartache.

With my own children, it was a little different. The Girl moved back in after graduation, while pursuing work in the Foreign Service. She worked full time, saved money, studied for her exams. She was an excellent room mate and citizen of the household. Her cooking and baking skills were greatly appreciated (the best tabbouleh i’ve ever had). She was here about a year and a half before setting out for her life abroad.

The Boy? Bounced back a few times during The Wilderness Years*, while fighting his way through The Gargantuan State University. When he left school, to work full time on the road, he used my place as a mailing address, and would be home for a week a month. We had to revisit house rules, but he became a decent room mate.  When he enlisted in the Army, we both knew his time living with me was coming to an end – and we enjoyed each others company more than ever.

The Girl was really gone eight years ago. The Boy? Five. They are far enough away that time spent with them is rare, and quite precious. When The Girl comes home for a month in the summer, i adjust my schedule to accommodate another person in the household. There isn’t much she can do to annoy me. i know it’s brief. i know she has to go home again. The same with visits with The Boy. The chaos is disruptive, but never in a bad way.

What i’ve discovered is an ache – something new for my parental angst inventory. When they are headed home, or when i’m leaving after an extended visit, my heart simply hurts. It’s physical. It’s not debilitating, and it doesn’t last for more than a week or so… Just a soft blanket of melancholy.

It was my hope to raise independent, functional adults, living lives of deliberate choice. Clearly, in that way i succeeded.

When Mom died, i was surprised to find her calendar notes, carefully tracking my planned business trips, up until the month she died. She always asked questions about where i was headed, and i didn’t give it much thought. i think she just needed to know where on earth her kid was, even though the ‘kid’ was in her 50’s.

Looking back, i realize that the fiercely independent girl who left home at 18, determined to never ‘bounce’, wanting to spare her parents heartache failed. It can’t be avoided.

parenting - the hole truth

Source: The Artwork of Chad Knight(Digital Artist)

 

*Should be a trademark of kono over at The Asshat Lounge. If you’re not reading his blog, you are missing some of the sharpest, darkest, most honest writing on the internet. 

Trailer Park 2.0

Drinking whiskey and diet ginger ale in a sippy cup, while taking a shower on a Sunday night*, i felt something i haven’t felt in almost a year. The urge to write. Not because something was bothering me, gnawing at my innerds, driving me to hoark it up, sort it out, and blast it into the ether. Not because i felt a sense of obligation either. Just because i missed doing it.

So. Here we are.

Due to the confluence of my engagement with social media, the death of my mother, and a reduced number of active blogmates, i just sort of wandered off. i missed it (mostly the social connections), but i no longer needed it. i also didn’t have much time – still working 40 hours a week, plus travel, i didn’t have much downtime.

The more i’m learning about social media, however, the less i’ve been playing in that space. There is no doubt that we are all being exploited – driven to outrage – as a means to divide us further. Clicks are dollars, and outraged people click the shit out of clickbait articles.

Who is doing this? Does it matter? It’s happening. i want nothing to do with it.

My facebook, and instagram use is mostly for sharing travel pictures, event/charity planning and promotion, farting around, and staying in touch with those i genuinely enjoy. i love seeing my friends living their lives – my favorite days on social media are ‘back to school’ and halloween, because of the amazing pictures people share!

i’ve curated my feed to drastically reduce “outrage” posters – right, left, libertarian, or just the generally outraged. Many in my networks have culled their networks to a like-minded choir. Yes, there is comfort in knowing you’re not alone in your outrage, but it really doesn’t change anything.

The challenges i face these days are no longer complex family dynamics, raising strong-willed and/or self-destructive offspring, balancing end-of-career issues while figuring out how to retire.

What i wrangle with these days are issues of extreme privilege. “When should we plan our trip to Machu Picchu?” “Can we go to the regional burn and still be back in town for the festival we’re working?” “When will i have time to remodel my bathroom with all of the travel?”  Yeah. It’s pretty obnoxious.

Underlying this is something a bit deeper, though – planning the final season of my life. Making myself harder to kill while simultaneously preparing to die. Not a topic that lends itself to social media – unless you are able to guide your life by an endless series of clever memes and clickbait listicles.

For tonight? i’m gonna pack up my suitcase. Joining the holiday air travel scrum in the morning as we head west to visit The Boy and his family**. My grandson has already told me what kind of cupcakes he wants us to bake, and we’re going to bake those cupcakes. There is no reason you can’t have vampire cupcakes at Thanksgiving.

Max makes a cupcake

*i am, in fact, a grown ass woman. i do not judge others for wine in a bubble bath, beer on a patio. don’t judge me for my means of self care…

**A sentence that was inconceivable just five years ago.