Let’s Talk About April (784 days)

I know, I know. It’s been over a month. A lot has happened. Nothing has happened. Let’s talk about April.

I have found the customer care in our county’s environmental department to be abysmal. Solely because I have left THREE messages and Todd sent several emails regarding a perc test and absolutely NO ONE has responded. To say I’m pissed off is an understatement. But, as I handle most things, I mutter some profanities about the uselessness of people who have a job to do and appear to have little to no integrity about its execution and then I shrug my shoulders and accept fate as it is. Whatever.

I had a girlfriends dinner with my longtime friend and sister-from-another-mister with whom two hours was not nearly enough time to recover all the updates and thoughts and opinions. It was one of the best things that has happened this spring so far. She cannot know how much I value and miss her. She is brutally honest, minces no words, and asks all the questions, sometimes the ones you don’t want to answer. There are few people with whom I can be wholly me, with whom I can share something weird or funny that few people can appreciate.

I am constantly reminded of life as it is in middle age – planning for the inevitable future and prioritizing what truly matters. Like the fiber in a baked potato, which aids with digestion and the Vitamin B6, which helps break down carbs and improves metabolism. Health is important! I am treadmilling several days a week and cannot seem to give up the wine or the martini in favor of faster weight loss so there’s that. Thankfully Todd doesn’t call me out on it. Sometimes he even pours me more wine.

Speaking of wine, I purchased some non-alcoholic wine from a company called Surely – a bottle of red and a sparkling rose –  more than 30 days ago and have yet to crack it open. And, like all annoying companies these days, they keep emailing me for my opinion. Unfortunately, I will hereby admit that I quite like a buzz and so I haven’t felt motivated to drink something that will be enjoyable but will not interrupt my sleep or give me a hangover. My sleep is already interrupted by cubital tunnel syndrome (yay me) and a certain brown poodle who dared wake me at 4:00 in the morning on a workday.

But nobody really wants to hear about your ailments and all the doctor’s appointments coming up so I got my hair cut. I’m a fun client because I can ruthlessly suggest we take it all off without hesitation. I love the idea of long hair, I loved feeling the hair flowing down my back but truly, I have accepted that this face was not designed for long hair. So short it is. Next up, I am THIS CLOSE to letting the gray shine through. I’m so sick of coloring my hair. My friend Tara, always bold with herself and her hair, got it chopped off and went natural and she looks gorgeous.

Speaking of gorgeous, I bought an opaque floral trench from White House Black Market and wore it for Easter dinner with mom and the legendary Aunt Dianna. The two of them met Todd and me at Harry’s Savoy Grill in Wilmington and hell hath frozen over – mom was early. She called me in the morning about something and mentioned that Dianna had told her to plan her timeline (or something like that) and she expressed confusion until I told her that it was code for PLAN TO LEAVE EARLY SO YOU CAN BE ON TIME FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE. Dianna knows her all too well and provided the sort of kind, no bullshit suggestion that only a friend can deliver successfully.

And so there they were. Seated at the table in their Easter frocks and hats (looking like little old ladies from the porch at assisted living), pre-gaming with vodka highballs. AND PEARLS. I noted the pearls, asking if they both actually own pearls, and mom said she keeps a pair in the console for occasions such as these and now I’m wondering what exactly my mother is doing with her time off.

Dinner was amazing. I had a filet with crab mac and cheese and whipped bacon and horseradish mashed potatoes, with a Caesar salad. My filet was swimming in a pool of exquisite bordelaise sauce (a favorite of mine since my 15th birthday dinner in South Philly a lifetime ago). I ate one of my mom’s clams casino and ten minutes later I was still chewing on it when she said how fantastic they were and I was still trying to make it adequate to swallow. Overall, it was wonderful – especially sitting next to Dianna, whose amused cackle and person I have missed so much.

Four days later Todd and I met his mom and dad out for a late lunch to celebrate her birthday. I made reservations online with Fogo de Chao in Baltimore, where she had wanted to go with us since before Covid, for 2:00. Now I’m on their mailing list and getting emails about Mother’s Day reservations and other events. On the day of the reservation, someone called me at 12:30 p.m. and said they lock their doors at 2:00 and could we come at 1:45 instead? Had I known this I would never have booked that time. However, WHY is 2:00 an available time if it isn’t?  I said as much and told them we’d never make it in time. I cancelled the reservation and after some swift thinking, we chose to meet at a place called Michaels, where we’ve been before and know the food is good. And it was.

Neph decided to join us but showed up a half hour late so we were already ordered. The no-nonsense waitress told him what to order and told him what he didn’t want and told him to hurry up and We. Loved. Her. Everyone had something different. I’m not much of a dessert person – as I later told a coworker, to which her response was, wait, what? – but I saw a Berger Cookie Sundae on the list and well, aint nobody turn away a Berger Cookie anything. It was AMAZBALLS. (Chocolate and vanilla ice cream with chunks of Berger Cookies topped with whipped cream and drizzled with fudge sauce.) *

The rest of the month was filled with usual stuff, like renovations, planting gardens – oh! We bought a Japanese Maple for the side of the patio and some other bushes that we hope will grow and thrive next to the wall. The back is looking lovely and all of the flowers are in bloom out front – I finally added daffodils and crocus (the ones in the back SHUGGIE CHEWED OFF) and the tulips are blooming alongside the flox. I’m not a gardener and I don’t pretend to be, but I am intent upon making the front look as lovely as possible for a bilevel home.

We went to Lowe’s for some additional stone to complete a new sidewalk Todd is building and picked out a couple of plants. Loaded everything in the truck and when I returned the cart I saw watering cans WHICH we are in need of so I went back to the truck for my wallet and told him to wait there. Then I pulled a Sherry (stepmom who has a penchant for losing herself in any store with a wallet in her hand) and disappeared around the herbs section and gathered me some potted basil, oregano, cilantro, and thai basil. It couldn’t be helped and I stood in the checkout line smiling sheepishly at my husband in the truck across the way. It’s a new lesson I’ve learned about not waiting to do anything. If the opportunity knocks, open the damn door.

There’s more but it will keep until next time.

Meanwhile, enjoy these random tidbits…

A PCR remains positive up to 3 months after infection.

Interesting how we bargain with ourselves over the situations we accept in our lives. (not sure where this came from but I felt it important to share)

Recently overheard:

In retrospect, I wish I’d had the onion.

My favorite wine is tequila.

He can make a penny scream.

*Berger Cookies are a Baltimore thing. Soft cakelike cookie hand-dipped in rich chocolate fudge frosting. The Bakery was founded in 1835 by German immigrant Henry Berger and is still operating by descendants of his today.

**Not to downplay today’s date – it is Cinco de Mayo! Grab your margarita and a taco and dance around the flagpole. But be sure to invite your neighbors so they at least know you haven’t completely lost your mind.

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