The March List – 2021

Brain officially fried. No good reason. I’m writing this on Spring Break, so you’d think the opposite would be true – that I’d be recharged and energized, but alas. Also WordPress did another update so now a really weird font is showing up as my default and I don’t know how to change it so excuse that.

1) Let’s start with the best news, which is that we are adding a puppy to our family! I mean I can pretty much just end the list here.

It’s been two years since Sam left us. The girls have been ready for another dog for almost as long, I’ve been ready for over a year and the husband finally caved, which means he’s reluctantly ready. Yay! When he initially gave the ‘okay,’ I started seeing (visualizing, especially at night when I was tired) Sam and grieving him again, but that didn’t last long.

2) We surprised the girls by planning a road trip to Cincinnati. The puppy and littermates live about halfway between Grosse Pointe and Cincinnati, and the girls and I have never been there so we thought it would be a nice Spring Break activity. Normally we go to Hawaii to visit my family, but dumb Covid hacked our plans yet again this year.

We told the girls the night before that we were actually taking the trip because we wanted to visit our new puppy. They weren’t jump-in-the-air excited, I think because they weren’t sure if it was real and needed to process the news as truth. We’d been saying no for so long! After it sunk in, they were thrilled of course and we looked at all the pictures I’d been getting of the pups since they were born in late February.

3) Answers to your burning questions:

a. Boy

b. No. When we visited the puppies they were too little. Meaning their personalities hadn’t started to show and it would have been impossible to choose which one would fit best with our family. We have first pick of the boys (there are six!) and we will do that when the pups are around 6.5 weeks or so.

c. English Golden Retriever. Which basically is a Golden Retriever with a heftier build and blockier head.

d. Found the breeder online. They are a family of five who have experience raising and socializing puppies. Their momma dog Hope has the sweetest disposition.

e. Of course we haven’t picked a name. We have two kids with strong opinions and we are two adults with equally strong opinions, although the husband seems to be less and less inclined to need to weigh in. Which means we might end up with my top pick after all.

f. We bring him home at the end of April.

4) Cincinnati was great. I didn’t realize it was such a hip city (sorry, Ohio!). Great neighborhoods and a lively downtown. We actually stayed across the river in Covington, Kentucky (another fact I didn’t know – that Cincinnati was literally across the river from Kentucky, which in itself was a cool, pictureque, town.

The day we checked in to our hotel it was sunny and warm. Rained all night and we woke up to a cold morning. There is a Jimmy John’s across the street as you can see in the pic, but we really didn’t come across many chains at all.

5) We loved all the murals, too. So many good ones that I wasn’t able to catch on camera.

6) Finished two books this month. “Lions of Fifth Avenue” was…fine. I enjoyed, just not sure I’d recommend, as it didn’t grip me in any sort of memorable way.

It’s about a family (weaves between two generations) who lives in the New York Library, which apparently did happen historically at one point. It was a reference library – can’t check out books. Anyway, the family’s last name was Lyons. And there were lion statues flanking the library, who weren’t mentioned but in one or two sentences, so I’m super annoyed that the title was spelled Lions and not Lyons. The book had nothing to do with lions. Absurd.

7) “Confessions of a Bookseller” is the sequel to the book I read a few months ago, “Diary of a Bookseller.” As expected, it was not as good as the first, but if you read and found the first one entertaining, you will like this one. Reading it made me want to travel and meet interesting people. It also makes me want to make more friends with quirky characters, which believe it or not, are a bit difficult to find here in Grosse Pointe.

8) The husband brought in an Amazon package a couple weeks ago with my name on it and I said “I didn’t order anything.” Then I thought I must have ordered something, and that the something was either super dumb or not actually needed since I didn’t remember ordering it.

But it was not dumb, nor was it not needed. My girlfriend Erin had sent me this beautiful book as a random I love you gift. The sweetest. I have been following this account on Instagram for years. Her arrangements are swoon-worthy and her flower farm is my dream office environment.

9) Podcast choices are still on the darker side. “Taking Alex” was an intriguing true crime story about a man and woman who went missing, then were found naked, one of them dead. The person in jail is adamant they did not commit the crime and there are many strange incidents surrounding the case.

I love the true crime, but hate when cases aren’t clearly solved. I’ve started listening to Case Closed, a true crime podcast where cases are, in fact, closed. Although still not always as tidy as one would like.

10) It’s spring. Yay! Which means a-hole grackles and redwinged blackbirds. They are everywhere. I promise you the other day on my walk they were taunting me and planning an attack as I walked (then ran) down my block.

My girlfriend Lisa swears by this electo sonic something or other device that scares off these types of birds and I looked it up and yes, it’s a thing. But it’s a thing that costs a few hundred dollars, which I’m not willing to gamble on. So I went with the $13-dollar solution from Amazon.

If it is not immediately obvious, it is a blow-up balloon with large, shiny eyes that scares away blackbirds and grackes. So….yeah. I’m sure they are totally working and that next month there will be zero grackles and redwinged blackbirds in our yard.

PS – Yes, that is snow on the arbivitaes and yes, that is a recent photo. Eye roll.

11) Puzzles, blah, blah, blah nerd, blah, blah, introvert, blah blah, pandemic stress reliever.

But I did find some coworkers to exchange puzzles with! Shauna in maintenance and Henry in the cafeteria both do puzzles – who knew!? The two puzzles we’ve (90% me, 10% kids) done so far are courtesty of Shauna. I was also more than happy to unload some of my boxes to Henry before break.

Aunt Irene and mom at our wedding. 2008

12) My beloved – as in deeply, intimately loved – Aunt Irene passed away this week. She was 85. There are so many words I can use to describe her. She was strong, passionate, effervescent, confident, opinionated but empathetic. Creative, talented, fun, musical. Sharing what she loved with others – her pond, her music, her family, her friends, stories of her travels – brought her so much joy. And I will never forget her roaring laugh. She was not afraid to show emotion and she showed it big. She truly lived life to the fullest and for that I am grateful and happy.

Although we aren’t related by blood (she was married to my Dad’s brother) she’s never been anything but 100% family. I am grieving slowly, which I’m thinking is out of pure necessity (kids have been around – spring break – I’m tired, stressful work stuff, brain spent, puppy prep anxiety, I have this weird jaw clenching thing going on, etc.) and one more thing will just end me. I know I will think about her daily for a long, long time.

I’m thrilled we have a new puppy to look forward to. It’s a bright spot in our otherwise hectic lives…. even in this second year of the pandemic we’ve managed to make our lives hectic again. *sigh* Spring is my favorite season, and I’m sure as the garden gets greener with each day that our spirits will lift a little bit each day as well.

Happy Easter and Happy April!

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