Till Kumo.

I never truly understood the void, the deafening silence, caused by the absence of something.

Till Kumo.

I desperately want to write him the tribute he deserves but all I can feel right how is the unbearable sadness every time I realize he’s not here.

When I woke up this morning I gently stretched out my legs because Kumo is always either at the foot of the bed, or on the bed directly next to our bed. I blinked a few times to look at my bed, then his bed. And he wasn’t there.

And then I remembered.

I kept listening the familiar knock of the baby gate as he came into my office to sleep beside me all day on his bed in there. Most mornings I slip him a cat treat or two. I had the bag of treats ready to go. But he never came.

As I sat in the bathroom at lunch time I kept listening for the little click clack of his feet and then the long deep sniff under the door to confirm I was in there. I sat and sobbed and wished so hard just to hear his feet. But they never came.

I laid out on the back patio to listen to the sounds and feel the warmth. I instinctively reached over to give him a butt scratch but was just met with empty chair. Because he’s not here anymore.

I physically can’t force myself to clean the kitchen. He would stand for so long just outside the kitchen that he’d start to sleep standing up. So I have a bed there. When I know I’m going to be in there for awhile I get him to lay on the bed and then we talk while I cook dinner or clean. I tell him how my day was and ask about his. I ask his opinions on what we should watch on TV. We complain about the current state of the world. He sleeps through all of this, of course, but when I stop talking he wakes up and lifts his head to make sure I haven’t left. So I start talking again to let him know I’m there and he can go back to sleep.

But he won’t be there and I don’t think my heart can physically handle the empty floor where he should be.

I am so. fucking. sad.

He’s not here.

That won’t change.


I know this will pass. I know that time will heal me. I know we had so many lucky extra days after his cancer diagnosis. I know I’m so thankful that we had the opportunity to be here with him every single day these last few years.

Please know that I am indescribably thankful for all the messages, comments, photos, and stories about our boy. It helps the tiniest bit to know that we’re not alone in this. Ben has been an absolute rock the last 24 hours. I see my pain echoed in his face and we allow each other to cry, to talk, to remind each other how lucky we were to be loved by him.

I’ll eventually be back to blowing up your timelines but for right now, I just need to be sad.

I need to feel this.

I love you all.

But it’s ALWAYS.

I found Heather Armstrong the day she posted about Leta’s birth. It was just another link on a page leading to another blog in a string I’d read that day.

I read that post three times then immediately switched over to her archive where I started to read from the beginning. Every single post became better than the last. It was the first time that I had ever seen anybody write the way I think.

Single simple sentences.

Then long rambling fields of words that I just knew poured out of her fingers and directly onto the screen in front of me exactly as they had left her brain. Frantic and disjointed but also logical. I used to see people criticize her writing and I’d be jealous because I knew those people didn’t live with the IMMUTABLE WORDS FOREVER RACING THROUGH THEIR BROKEN MINDS. IN ALL CAPS.

For almost 20 years I devoured everything she wrote. Every blog post. Every article. Every book. Every Tweet. Every Instagram caption. All of it.

When I couldn’t get my daughter to understand just how engulfing and sometimes debilitating my depression felt, I handed her It Sucked And Then I Cried. Trusting Heather’s words would be enough to get her to understand.

She understood.

I’ve been a lot less vocal about my struggles. Partly it’s because I feel like mental health struggles aren’t as uncommon as they were back then. Not uncommon, that’s not it. Aren’t as unacceptable. And also because I know there are so many people out there that are far better at expressing something I have never felt I’ve adequately explained.

Last Friday I took the day off so I could drive down to Bakersfield and spend the night with Cassidy leading up to a long weekend ahead. Thursday night I’d still not packed. I was being sucked into a black hole and all I needed to do to catapult free was pack a bag.

I did everything else I could think of EXCEPT pack a bag.

Then on Friday morning, bag still unpacked, Ben asked me what time I would be leaving. I told him I didn’t think I was going to go till Saturday.

This is what my depression looked like. The complete inability to physically put clothing into a suitcase to take a trip and do something I’d been looking forward to for three years.

I was going to allow myself to vanish into the void because that was less painful and tiring than the stress of packing a suitcase.

Later, Ben asked me if everything was okay. It was the 3rd time he’d asked me that day which is always my indication that everything is, in fact, NOT okay with me.

“No. It’s not. I want to sit in a corner and cry. For no reason. Actually? I feel like I want to just cancel this entire thing. I’m GOING TO GO. I’m going to go spend an amazing weekend with my daughter and my best friend. But I just want to fucking cry. And this feeling is SO FRUSTRATING and stupid and I hate it.”

Ben smiles and nods. He knows I just need a breath.

“I am GOING TO GO. I just need a day to… feel this. Then tomorrow I’m going to drive down to Bakersfield. I’m going to have SO MUCH FUN. Today? I’m allowing myself to be sad. To FEEL sad. For no reason.”

So that’s what I did. Finally at around 8:00PM I forced myself to put things in my suitcase. No list, no thought, just started. I ended up with as much packed for this 2 night stay as I did for 10 nights in Mexico because my mindset was: Just get something, ANYTHING, in the fucking bag.

And I had AN AMAZING TIME. I laughed till my cheeks hurt. I ate delicious food. I got my ass kicked by Julie twice at the bowling ally. I got to watch Cassidy’s excitement about getting my old Prius which is a big upgrade for her. Got to laugh again with Jeannine and Mike.

It was perfect. But I REALLY did not want to go. I wanted to let a chemical imbalance ruin it all. So here we are. 20 years after reading that first blog post about Leta, and I’m still fighting.

But Heather is not.

And being honest, it scares me that somebody as privileged as Heather wasn’t able to get the help she really needed. Because what does that mean for the rest of us?

Today felt like a really big punch in the gut. I’m reminded that mental illness isn’t temporary. It isn’t EVER cured. It’s getting better or it’s getting worse.

But it’s ALWAYS.

Till the end.

My heart goes out to Leta, to Marlo, and to the rest of Heather’s family.

Temperature Blanket 2022 – Month 2

Every night while knitting my stripe for the day on my temperature blanket I think, “I should blog about this so I can look back and see the progress later.”

Every night.

I’ve been knitting a row on this blanket every night for the last 56 57 days and I’ve yet to take 20 minutes to sit down and hammer out a starting blog post about it.

Today Yesterday that changes.

I think. There’s a good chance that I’ll walk away from this at some point and forget it about it. Lets see how it goes. (I walked away and forgot about it. It’s the next day.)

No promises. (Thank goodness.)

One of the things I noticed about most temperature blanket crafters is that they live in areas with a wide range of temperatures throughout the year but I live in California where there isn’t really a huge range. We average between 50 and 100 degrees annually with very few days colder than that. So while most crafters use 10 degree increments, I decided to go with 4 – 5 degree increments. Simple right?

HAHAHAHA No. I can screw pretty much anything up. Add numbers and the odds for screw up increase.

I thought right away it would make the most sense to keep colors in the 10 degree range but break them up into light and dark within that 10 degree range. So like green from 70 – 79 but light green from 71 – 75 then dark green from 76 – 80. That way it would be really easy to identify temperature ranges.

temperature range

But then I was going back and forth on putting them in ROYGBV order or colors that would better match the temps. Like blue for the coldest temps then reds for the warmest temps. I ultimately decided on the latter and plugged them into my spreadsheet. But then added a 35-40 line because historically every few years there is a cold snap in our town. Without really paying attention, that threw off my rounded color range. Now I can’t just easily think, “Oh, yellows are 60’s range!” Yellows now run from 56 – 65. I hate it.

Next, I had to choose what pattern I wanted to use. I went back and forth on this because the pattern I wanted would require two rows per day to really be able to see all the colors from each side of the blanket which would lead to a BIG blanket. After swatching a few different patterns to get some swatches that would work with single rows, I decided on day one, very last minute, to use neither and went with the original pattern (Double Seed Stitch) that will require two rows per day.

On December 31st 2022 we will have a blanket that will reach all the way across all four seats of our couch. It will be a family sized blanket. Here it is on Day 57 of 365:

By day 365 she’ll be 153.5 inches long. My entire body is 64 inches long. I can double her up in 2023 and stay nice and warm under 2 layers of blanket. I can’t fucking wait.

Here is a nice beauty shot of her and then I’m done.

I blogged.

Please hand over my gold star.

We Bought a House and Sold a House and Nobody Died

First, we spent SO MUCH MONEY and SO MUCH TIME getting the house ready to sell. People do not tell you how expensive it is to SELL a house. I was assuming we would just put it on Zillow and Redfin and people would come and 7 days later the house would belong to somebody else.


We did make one excellent decision though and that was to hire a ROCK STAR agent. He had us do all our inspections ahead of time and it was probably the best thing we did in all of this mess other than making the backyard look the way we’ve wanted it to look for 13 years but never put the money into.

PROTIP: Spend the money to make the house look the way you want. Stop fucking around and just do it.

The universe was looking out for my sanity and the house sold in 7 days almost exactly to the hour from when it first hit the MLS listings. In that 7 days our lives looked like this:

5:00AM – I get up, start some laundry, shower, get dressed, clean up Ready Room.
6:00AM – I start working.
7:00AM – Ben gets up, makes bed, showers, cleans bathroom, picks up bedroom, and heads downstairs to feed the dogs. He dusts, picks up poop, sprays side yard with pee enzyme spray, and blows/cleans up leaves.
9:00AM – I take my first 15 minute break. Move laundry to dryer, pick up dog poop and spray side yard with pee enzyme spray, clean up any kitchen mess, vacuum if I have time.
11:00AM – Ben takes dogs to daycare. I take lunch and vacuum again, mop the floors, dust more, and take down both baby gates we use for the dogs.
1:00PM – I take another break from work. Put any dog beds and the dog stairs in the back of my car. Possibly vacuum again. Finish up any laundry I had started that morning.
2:00PM – Depending on the day I would either work on deep cleaning things or we would have to leave the house if we had showings. House was available for showings between 2:00 – 6:00 daily. If we had showings I had to put Romanoff and the litter box in my car and hide all of her beds, food, and water.
5:50PM – Pick up dogs.
6:00PM – Put all baby gates back up. Let pissed off Romanoff back in the house.
ALL EVENING – Vacuum, work on any house projects, find more things to clean, eat dinner (We haven’t cooked at home since we put the house on the market. We’ve had a brand new stove top for 2 weeks AND I HAVE NEVER GOTTEN TO USE IT.) Stay on top of poop and dog pee outside.
8:00PM – Go to bed. Spend all night tossing and turning and being convinced nobody is going to buy our house.

Rinse/Repeat every day.

On the weekend we had to be out of the house most of the day so we got up and cleaned like crazy people then left with cat in tow while the dogs were at daycare. Thankfully we were able to hang out in Ben’s lab one day (Romanoff was NOT a fan of lab life), and then some friends let us hang out at their place on Sunday and Romanoff found a nice comfy pile of blankets to sleep on in one of their closets. She was much more happy with that arrangement.

BUT! The house is SOLD.

There were several moments when I wanted to strangle Ben. LOVINGLY. And there were several moments where I could see smoke start to drift from his ears when talking to me. But we would come back within minutes and apologize and the other person would also apologize and then we would both agree that this is HARD and it is okay to be frustrated and a bit short.

Communication! Our old therapist would totally high five us in these situations. Then bill us $270 and give us homework.

Again, all of this was ONLY possible because we hired a very seasoned and amazing agent. If I had one piece of advice to give when selling a house it would be to hire a Pat. Pat started out very diplomatically guiding us down this road but we soon let him know to just be brutally honest about the house and what we needed to do and he did that… kind of. He was the perfect amount of tenderly honest but also kind and funny and just SO on top of everything and never once complained about any of the like 23,482,342 emails we sent him at all hours of the day and night. One day when we were coming back to the house after getting some food he was out front weeding our sidewalk! He was every bit as invested in us selling our home as we were and that showed from the very first conversation.

NOW! We are in a 5 day period where a buyer can back out. Ben caught a flight to Austin to attend the F1 race, a plan he made months and months ago but somehow happened at the perfect time. I am going to take the weekend to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Honestly, I plan on GLORIOUS SLEEP and Netflix and finally getting to cook myself a meal on our (for 25 more days) beautiful new cooktop.

Then, the Moving Stress can begin!

I will miss this house, I will really miss our amazing neighbors, I will miss Gilroy, she has treated us well. But I am so excited to live in a whole new area and all of the fun exploring it will lead to.

Dixon bound in around 25 days!


So I got the Pfizer booster shot late last week and after my second shot experience (I was a giant baby for 24 hours) I wanted to better track my response this time.

This time I was a big baby who had to act like an adult for 36 hours. We had a contractor here tiling our fireplace which required a last minute annoying trip to Lowe’s. Two different couples came to get some of the massive boulders I’d been pulling from the back yard. Ben was at a track day so I was on my own when dealing with all of this.

AND I JUST WANTED TO GO TO SLEEP. Finally around 3:00PM the contractor left and I stopped answering text messages from boulder hunters.

COVID Booster timeline
COVID Booster timeline

I was pretty good most of Saturday. We made our 29,374,920,374th trip to Lowe’s and Home Depot this month and worked on house stuff but I slowly just kept getting more and more sleepy and finally around 4:00PM had to lay down. I slept till around 6:00PM and felt a lot better.

Today has been pretty great but my swollen lymph node does hurt pretty good. I was able to do all the things I wanted to except braid my hair because it hurts that spot to raise my arm. After the second shot it took about 3 days for it to swell and hurt. This time I started to notice the swelling at the 16 hour mark. I don’t know why but much more quickly this time my body was all TIME TO RAMP UP BABY. I’m not mad about it at all.

Okay, I’m done writing about being a whiny baby.

I’m so happy that I got the shot. Once again, I feel extremely lucky that the science exists to protect not only myself but everybody around me from a disease THAT WE SHOULD NOT STIL HAVE TO BE THIS SCARED OF.

I’m not going to post the micro-eggplant. You’re welcome, internet.

I was going to show you a really dumb interaction I had with a spam texter today but my site was temporarily dropped earlier this week from Adsense for “violence”, or something dumb like that, and now I’m worried it will get me dropped completely and I really want that $0.83 per month in ad revenue, man.

“She” basically tried to get me to buy n00ds while I explained that if we met it would 100% be to see if I could actually get away with the perfect murder after listening to hundreds of hours of true crime podcasts.

And she seemed really into it actually. Except she was wearing Meowth socks while squatting naked in front of me and there is just no way I’m taking that kind of chance.

After that she stopped responding. So what I’m saying is, applications are open!

I’m going to continue the trend of leaving a TikTok I think you need to watch at the end of my post. I have a lot to choose from this week because I just recovered from a stomach flu and MANY, MANY, MANY hours were spent sitting and scrolling, if you know what I mean.

Poop, I mean SO MUCH POOP.

You’re welcome.

Now I drive (legally) alone past your street.

I have been 43 for 3.5 days now and for 3.25 of those days I was not a licensed driver.

Apparently 42 year old me thought that I should just shove the renewal form in my desk drawer to worry about later. She did put a reminder in our planner. Then for the last two weeks Past Anna decided that she was adult enough not to plan anymore.

Then 43 And 1 Day Old Anna tried to buy something that required a license and they were all, “HAHAHAHHHHAHAHAH NO.”

Today after work I rectified Past Anna’s laziness and went to the DMV and am now officially a licensed driver again. It’s crazy how COVID has forced the DMV into a well oiled machine of efficiency. I made an appointment last night for 3:10PM and was out the door at 3:27PM. I’ve never been able to get an appointment in the SAME MONTH, let alone the NEXT DAY. And out the door in 17 minutes? UNFATHOMABLE.

I also punched Past Anna in the face and got my planner sorted pretty quickly by downloading one of Planner By Kay’s monthly kits. As a person that is unable to Art, I really love her kits so much that I subscribed to her Patreon. Mistakes were made, I highlighted a Monday instead of a weekend. It’s okay though because that kind of chaotic mess is what I like in my planner. If everything went smoothly and looked perfect that would just feel like a lie.

Lastly, in a attempt to get more people to become as equally addicted to TikTok as I am, I’m going to start dropping my current favorites at the end of these posts.



Nah he heard that Valcano erupt and he got ghost 😂😂

♬ original sound – Austin Watkins

9/11 makes me feel shame.

20 years later I have a much different perspective than I did on that morning as a fresh 23 year old. As the events in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC happened I was watching on TV. I switched the radio on to listen as we drove to work, and I hardly did any work that day. I just kept listening to the radio and refreshing new websites and the forums I was on at the time. In my memory, it was the first real tragic even where the internet played a big roll in information dissemination and where I was getting facts.

Mostly, when I think about 9/11, I think about where I was living at the time. Kern County is a VERY red county in a VERY blue state and there were so many people with little American flags on their cars, and flags raised on houses I had never seen before, and flag clothes worn in not-July, and moments of silence… but I also remember vividly the hate and rhetoric being shouted around me by my in-laws and husband. About other Americans.

Vile things about Muslims. Vile thing about other religions on the coattails of that hate.

I don’t ever remember saying these same things. Maybe I just suppressed that memory. I REALLY hope I didn’t, I have grown immensely since then. But I also did not try and correct these dumb opinions. I lived in a town that hasn’t really changed all that much today, with lots of people who are still saying the exact same things.

Now 20 years later I see those same people posting remembrances about that day. About how tragic it it was. How we mourned collectively as a country, stopping everything to watch specials on TV, to attend ceremonies, to pay tribute to the 2996 American’s that died and the anger that it happened. That that many people could be lost in a day. That many families torn apart in 24 short hours.

But a lot of the people I see posting this won’t get vaccinated against a disease that has killed, averaged since the US went on lockdown, 3763 people. PER DAY. Americans.

So when people talk about how far we’ve come and how much we’ve learned, I just want to ask them what the fuck they are talking about. Because if we’re being honest, we are far worse off now. The same people that were shouting American First seem to be the ones doing the most to keep American last.

So I feel ashamed to still be where we are today. I desperately hope that one day I won’t feel this way on 9/11. That one day American will be the beacon of hope and inclusion so many of us dream it could be. But today, 20 years later, is not that day.

S’all good, man.

I came downstairs to write a blog post about what ungrateful douchebags birds are but Ben came down too and now we’re watching Better Call Saul. So this is just a post to say the post I WAS going to post is not this post and it’s actually Ben’s fault.

Saul Goodman

Because brains are DUMB.

Survivors Guilt

Pandemic survivor guilt makes me feel like an asshole. Just wanting to blog about this makes me feel like an asshole for complaining about feeling like an asshole.

I lie in bed at night and I think about this and I feel like I need to purge it from my brain and when I tell people about it I don’t want to trauma dump on them so I just kind of gloss over the topic while hiding the fact it causes me so much anxiety that I want to crawl out of my skin and run away.

“I feel GUILTY that people are out of work, they’re struggling so much, they’ve lost so much, people are DYING. This pandemic has brought me to the dream point of working from home permanently. I never lost a single hour of pay, as a matter of fact in the last year I’ve been given a raise and a promotion. People in my family have gotten sick, but nobody has died or is suffering any kind of long term complication.”


It’s so hard… no, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to rectify in my brain that I’m just LUCKY. I didn’t do anything extraordinarily amazing or worthy of being in life where I am in life post 2020. I don’t have a degree. I didn’t have to overcome some hardship to get to where I am. I was born into a white middle class family and went to private schools where I fucked off to the point of being expelled. I literally never took school seriously till I was raising another human being who was in school.

I ended up with a great job that I’ve been saying for years could only get better if I didn’t have to drive 2.5 hours per day to get to it. Now I have that forever. I didn’t have to work for it, it was just handed to me. People lost their jobs and all of their income but I got a pay raise and didn’t have to put on a bra for almost an entire year.

This is dumb. It’s so dumb to feel this way. There’s no logical reason to for it. Feeling this way doesn’t solve anything and it doesn’t make me a better person.

Maybe because I’ve been reading so much about race and privilege in an attempt to be a better person, I’m just now realizing the dumb luck of being born white and middle class is why 2020 didn’t suck for me like it did for a lot of people. And even as I type this out I realize the privilege in that feeling like an asshole is the hardest hurdle I face currently.

So I lay in bed at night and feel guilty. Because brains are DUMB. Imposter Syndrome is even more dumb.

The end.