Meat treats, weird heavy things.

My parents might be a little more excited to see Elka than us, lol. They love to spoil her with Chinese food and jerky treats and scratch her all over. We had a delicious dinner with them on Friday night. Here’s my mom looking for the perfect meat-based snack for Elka and Elka patiently waiting.

We had a quiet weekend, we had had a bunch of dinner plans, but Edda was under the weather – snotty and coughing (but happy) – so we stayed home and did home things. Jeremy finally bought his Christmas gift. A step through hex bar? Hold on, what’s it called? Oh it can be called that or an open trap bar. Anyways, he could only buy this after we cleaned up the gym (we installed shelving and hooks so everything is up and off the floor) so there would be storage for the monstrous thing. Somehow he’s been influenced by other bikers that this is better than either a regular squat or deadlift. It is incredibly heavy, I think 80 pounds without any weights. I’m not sure I could lift it…have not tried yet.


Jeremy lobbied in an actual lobby in St. Paul and now he’s home. Thank goodness. We both like being at home, but sometimes it’s necessary to go out and talk to people.

He saw our friend Dave. Dave just started working at my job, in my group, a little over a year ago, so we talk most morning to do a check in and work updates. 🙂

Climate change, bread, olive oil.

Jeremy is in Minnesota this week fighting the good fight against climate change. You can read a little about it here. While he is in Minnesota, he’s also frantically putting stuff together for California as well. I like to say he’s saving the world, one agonizingly slow step at a time. Sometimes when people ask me what my husband does, I might quip that he’s an expert in cow poop and he kinda is. You can read about that here. He used the word poop in the first sentence. A true Martin man. He did kindly ask the web/blog/comms people to not put a cow as the leading photo in the article and they obliged.

Back at the mothership, I’m drastically outsourcing Jeremy’s hard work. All school breakfasts and lunches which Jeremy lovingly provides are now school bought. I’m making quick breakfast-for-dinner dinners and throw in a frozen pizza here/there and Edda and I are happy.

Jeremy traveled on President’s day and that day I tried to make focaccia which Claire Saffitz says is so easy. And taunts me bubbly yeasty photos like:

And then I get this flatness and limpness.

But, omg, still delicious. Turns out any carbs, salt and bake/fry it in like a cup of olive oil is amazing fresh out of the oven.

With love.

Yesterday – we had the work day off, though Jeremy and I both did some work – I was at the dog park and a very friendly woman said to me – I don’t want to waste the day, but I also want to goof off and go shopping for some shoes and watch TV. Yeah, I get that. Sometimes I feel like I’m always trying to justify a day of goofing off (otherwise known as resting). xoxo

Running in circles.

Jeremy went to Philly to attend his running coach’s retirement party on Saturday. Here are some guys who used to run around in circles together in the 1980s (OMG, we are all so old). And apparently once a year, there was the naked beer one mile run which I think has since been suspended in light of today’s ease of photography and distribution. Ahhh, yeah, that’s better left to the imagination probably. Fun fact, the guy third from the left in the black puffer jacket is Edda’s neurologist – he just happens to be one of the country’s expert on Rett Syndrome. Who knew? We didn’t know until only a few years ago!

Mirepoix, mysteries and dishes.

Jeremy made a slightly longer than one day trip to Philly yesterday, so it was just going to be “the girls” at home – Edda, me and Elka. Sometimes I’m like – I just want to spend the time by myself, but I overruled my initial reaction and invited Megan over for the afternoon and evening of low-key cooking and chatting.

I like this particular NYT’s recipe for chicken and dumplings which involves making a mirepoix which somehow sounds fancy and complicated, but it’s not really. I make this recipe about once a year and it’s all out comfort food to eat and soothing to cook as well. It takes a lot of the afternoon, but it’s nice to step through the steps and have the kitchen fill up with various aromas. I’ve always cooked this alone and never while actively chatting. Turns out, it’s hard for me to multitask – the chatting and following the recipe, but it did end up getting done at the right time – dinnertime.

It also involves leeks which I enjoy chopping and washing.

When Megan comes over, I like to try make layered colored non-alcoholic drinks. So I made a crushed pineapple, mango juice and grenadine mix which kind of layered a little bit, but was fun to eat/drink.

We also like to play these murder mysteries, we were not confident in our selection of the murderer – but it’s not the gardener!

I went to bed without washing any dishes, so I awoke to this. But now the kitchen is clean again and I’m going to enjoy the rest of this long weekend.

Laptops and wheelchairs.

We had dinner last night at my parents house and my mother (who is an excellent cook) made an especially delicious meal of homemade dumplings and the very tender beef/tendon dish that I love. My dad, for a few years, had trundled along with a $300 laptop. I remember the last time his laptop broke – it must have been during the pandemic and I tried to get him to wait a few days for Jeremy to pick out a reasonable one for him. We have a saying in our house which is – let’s buy the Honda Accord version – mainly we want something solidly built, mass produced, easily and reasonably fixable, but absolutely nothing extra – no style, no flash, nothing luxurious, but not so cheap that it falls apart in 3 weeks, it needs to be dependable. So I was like – we need to buy the Honda Accord of laptops. But my dad couldn’t wait and went promptly out – probably to Best Buy or Walmart and bought the cheapest one he could find – $300, definitely the yugo of laptops. But my father is the captain of his own ship, so I shrugged and went on with my life until Monday night when he called and said that his computer broke and he needed to pull files from it. So he brought it over to the house and Jeremy tried to get it to restart to no avail and of course, it’s not fixable really nor are the power cables standard to any modern laptop system. But Jeremy said he’d try over the next few days, ordered another weird power cable in case that was the culprit. Then my dad left and a few hours later, the computer decided randomly to power up. So Jeremy dutifully downloaded the files my dad wanted, but then we also realized that the screen was so bad that it was basically unreadable and that the speed of the processing was so slow that one literally had to wait 2 minutes between opening/closing programs or files. And so now, really, this is intolerable for something I know he spends hours a day entertaining himself with. So we did buy the honda accord of laptops for him – a dell something or other (very boring. no colors. no gaming. no steve jobs.) which matches Vince’s school computer and Jeremy’s work computer so something we are all familiar with for fixing and Jeremy has the tools for replacing batteries, etc. And we showed up to dinner with this modern contraption. To which my father was both excited for and frustrated with. what?!! no disk drive? only 3 USB ports? What about Microsoft word/excel? So there was a slight talking down from the ledge about these things. We introduced him to the free Google docs/sheets suite which we all use personally. (again, this is true love, Jeremy setting up my dad’s computer, swoon).

Note Edda rocking her TS Era’s shirt gifted from a friend who went to see her live. We did not go (I saw her in a movie theater for $15 which was fine enough for this swifty). I’m a little worried that TS has jumped the shark with the super bowl. I heard little whispers of overexposure from various sources. I hope her next album is good.

This morning, look at the glory of Edda’s bacon and egg pajamas! Disregard her grump face. We bought a new travel wheelchair for her. We wanted something lighter and smaller when we travel because….we are old and tired. Her school wheelchair is very heavy (probably close to 50 pounds) and is made to tie down in a school bus and survive crashes, but this one is probably closer to 25 pounds and is to zip zip around. We’ll see how it goes, she won’t be able to nap as comfortably, because there isn’t a head rest, but perhaps it’ll be OK.

New skillz.

A few days ago, we discovered that Edda can swallow her seizure pills whole. Why this didn’t occur to us years ago is beyond me. We had purchased a hospital grade pill crusher (which weighs as much as a brick) and millions of little plastic pill crush containers and crushed her keppra and trileptal every morning and every evening. We had mixed the powdered medication in a delicious yogurt (Edda’s yogurt, specially purchased for her – no one else in the family was allowed such decadent yogurt which tasted exactly like melted ice cream) and she seemed to eat it happily. But about a week ago, I inadvertently (because I often eat meals at the same time as she does), licked the seizure med spoon and tasted the bitterness of the residual medication and immediately made the toddler-yucky face and looked at Edda as if she was the saint that she is tolerating with grace all the indignities of her disability. And then Jeremy was like – maybe she’ll swallow the pills whole. The next night, Ginny took her meds and stuffed them into grapes like pigs in a blanket at a super bowl party and down the hatch they went. We all looked on with surprise. The next morning Jeremy plopped one whole on top of a spoonful of the irresistible yogurt and, again, they went easily down. Huh.

Sometime for years, we do things the “old way” and then don’t try out the “new way”. We like doing things the “old way”, but things are always changing, including things I didn’t think would ever change.

Look at this long haired corgi at the dog park. Swoon. Like a little low slung puff ball. Super cute.

Salmon dinner and plane tickets.

Jeremy made a lovely Valentine’s day dinner for us and my parents. Mom and dad brought champagne and we had cake. This is my favorite dinner that Jeremy makes, I could eat it all day every day. And he bought me my favorite berry cake for dessert.

The night ended with Jeremy helping my parents purchase their flights to China in a month or so (this is my true Valentine’s gift from Jeremy, such a good son-in-law). They tried to do it themselves and they got a price of $9000 for the pair of them (!), but with Jeremy’s help, it fell to a more reasonable, but still shocking price of $4500. It takes a PhD now to book airline tickets it’s so confusing. Cabin, cabin premium, cabin premium extra – who knows what you get with the extra extra things? 2 inches more of legroom for $30, $50, $100? Or maybe you forgo any luggage, checked or overhead. Gah.

2 hour delay, snow, dishwasher.

The nor’easter was suppose to blow into the east coast yesterday, but mostly it was going to be centered around NY and north, so I didn’t pay any attention to the weather at all here. It was gently raining in the morning yesterday, but I got Edda up and out of bed and ready for the bus and at 7:05, I was like – huh, the bus is late, I wonder what is going on and then I checked my texts and found an unread one that said – 2 hour delay! Ugh. So then I unpacked Edda from her wheelchair and her coat and fed her breakfast and and trundled with her upstairs to my office to work some of the morning.

By the time the bus was suppose to come at 9 am (instead of 7 am), it was snowing the hardest it would during any part of the entire day. Anyways, it stopped well before noon and the rest of the day was quiet weather-wise. I don’t know what it was, but I was in a terrible mood yesterday. Who knows why really anymore? Maybe the off schedule, maybe because it was rainy, maybe because the world is not exactly to my liking. I’m no longer sure.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone, love is all around and I hope you are with the people you love and who love you too. Jeremy is going to make a nice dinner tonight and we’ll be with my parents – double date. Last night, Jeremy went on a quick run to the grocery store to buy the last ingredients for the meal I requested (salmon) and so I cleaned up after dinner which is not how the usual division of labor goes. I have, sometimes in the past (though not very often truthfully), cleaned up the kitchen and Jeremy gets all discombobulated because he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to be doing otherwise in the early evening and he uses the dishwashing time to watch his beloved construction and biking youtube videos and he is also particular about the loading of the dishwasher. In other words, he likes doing the dishes and I often mess up the dishwasher loading and we’ve spent many a nights thoroughly discussing the different strategies of dishwasher loading (my strategy being willy-nilly and his strategy is well thought out and involves dish nesting/size, water accessibility and effectiveness and unloading ease). Anyways, last night, he had to go out and so I cleaned up and loaded the dishwasher and started the cycle and this morning, the morning of Valentine’s Day, he was unloading the dishwasher and said happily – thank you for loading the dishwasher the way I like it loaded. And then I laughed and said – well, Happy Valentine’s Day to you! And thank you for overlooking any mistakes I might have made trying to load the dishwasher the way you like it loaded. And thus concludes the Valentine’s episode of 2024.