Oh hi I know it’s been awhile.
N and I had fun together on two separate occasions.. once at Raleigh Pride, where I met “Dolly Parton.”
And other lovely “ladies”
And another fun evening at Kipos where they have some EVOCATIVE new wall murals!
Aaaaand… then we broke up.
There will be no further discussion of N.
Let’s talk about what other aspects of life have looked like because they have been great.
Time with friends!
My friends Kyle and Shaylen had a baby in December and she is an excellent, top notch, high quality baby. She has been EXTREMELY DEDICATED to her cheek expansion program.
Look at this absolutely ridiculous ensemble.
And look at this phenomenal facial expression hahahaha.
Another time I met up with Shaylen at Vida Dulce, a Mexican ice cream/shaved ice/magic frozen wondrousness shop I’d read about in our local paper. Shaylen got an ice/mango/chili concoction.
And I got an ice/coconut/sweetened condensed milk concoction!
I was meeting up wtih a friend after so I also took some to-go selections that were more portable.
A fruit cup fits nicely in a car’s cup holder
The fruit cup involved mango, cucumber, jicama, watermelon, and other wondrous things with a sweet and sticky chili lime glaze. Mmm.
Then of course churros are also never a bad idea.
Lesli was also at the dessert gathering though escaped the camera lens. Speaking of Lesli I had a grand time cat sitting for her. Boo and Sun BEGGED me to go outside so I honored their request.
Look at Boo’s tiny blep ❤
I also think Boo’s little sister had fun playing with me. (Her cat, my cat, and my sister’s cat all have and love this toy from Chewy).
Lesli is great because she gets excited about food the way I do. There was a new dipped frozen custard place- called Simon Says Dip This- in downtown Durham. We decided to investigate. (She’s sweaty coming from spin class. I have a touch of the crazy eyes which I guess is the effect ice cream has on me?)
I got the cookie butter dip and a topping of churros and it was fine but not extraordinary. If you are ever in Durham and want ice cream recommendations consult me and I’ll steer you somewhere good.
A week or two later it was time to meet up again, this time to celebrate Lesli’s birthday! This time two more friends, Gisele and Alisa, joined us. We met up at the glamorous Alley 26 and sat in the eponymous alley. First place I’ve been to so far that requires proof of vaccination to eat there, even in the outdoor space. YAS PUBLIC HEALTH! Please for the love of God get vaccinated if you are reading this and haven’t already.
Service was slooooooooow (hi labor shortage everywhere) but was fine because we had tasty beverages and lots to discuss. There was a mix of formal entree ordering and sharing of small plates.
Hi bone marrow!
Hi friggin gorgeous tomato salad! The green globs were avocado-y and the white globs were horseradish-y.
This peach, burrata and proscuitto plate was even better! We had to wait about 17 hours for the crostini to go with it but when it finally arrived it was swoonworthy.
Another fun friend-tivity!
My friend Aaron just bought a big plot of land in the country. He and his band had an album release party of sorts with the flatbed of a truck as the “stage.” We ate tasty gumbo outside (A’s a Louisiana native) and listened to his band play, then all their musician friends started jamming too. And then there was a fire pit and smores.
I will say I have never been a particularly gifted socializer at the best of times and a year and a half of precious few opportunities to practice has not particularly helped. Especially seeing all the cool musician types doing all their talented collaborating But we must stretch ourselves emotionally sometimes.
Fortunately there is also…
Time with family!
My dad came down for a long weekend. He called me randomly at noon on a Tuesday, which is a great way to make your daughter think you are in the hospital or something. Then he calmly said he was just thinking of coming down to hang out. He also asked what household projects I had in need of doing which is an ideal houseguest question haha.
He set up a makeshift workshop in my living room and Lola was VERY dedicated to “helping.”
He got a chance to bond with my cousin’s kiddo Chase who obviously shares a lot of interest in power tools and yard activities with him.
But he’s recently gotten into baking and insisted that I make him a birthday cake. He “helped”. (God, children are so unhygienic it’s very upsetting).
His sister Juliette “helped” as well. Which is why their family has a busted whisk.
Despite our best efforts the cake turned out well haha. I made the VERY wise choice to make the layers at home (2/3 the recipe for this Pink Lady Cake from Smitten Kitchen; absolutely smashing) and then threw together a quick strawberry filling wth the rest of the bag of frozen strawberries, some sugar, and some lemon juice. The kids whipped the cream and we assembled everything together. Adorable and tasty.
I have actually had some unusual sans-kids time with my cousin too which has been really nice. We got Mexican and margs one Saturday…
And then arrived one VERY exciting weekend
Some things that happened
- My cousin Ashley (Sophia’s younger sister) lives in London and got married during lockdown and Sophia couldn’t be there.
- Thanks to the MIRACLE of vaccination (YOU’RE VACCINATED RIGHT?!) Ashley was able to come and visit Sophia
- I went “oh, since we didn’t get to attend a wedding celebration for Ash I should make a cake or something!”
- Sophia, who’d been trapped in a house with two small children for a year and a half, took that vague suggestion and turned it up to 11
And thus, I ended up taking a day off of work, sneaking into an outdoor yoga class that was actually a conspiracy between Sophia, her yoga teacher friend, and several neighbors acting as decoy yoga class attendants.
When Ashley’s high school best friend walked in, she finally realized the elaborate subterfuge (mind you, I and her mother in law were in the back row but we were too sneaky I guess!)
The yoga class was a delight.
The weekend also involved:
- fancy lunch
- fancy hotel suites (for some… I like sleeping in my own bed and I live here!)
- fancy hair and makeup at a fancy salon
It’s funny because when I got home I looked in the mirror and was like AGH DRAG QUEEN WHO’S BEEN ATTACKED IN AN ALLEY but the pictures were nice. That kind of makeup is really meant to be photographed, not to be… experienced in the normal world haha. Also that pic was before the shocking pink lipstick.
I got everyone matching clutches (Sophia is much more into these modern wedding rituals than I and insisted on there being some kind of matching items. Rather than forcing people to bring their own old bridesmaid dresses, ARGH, I said I’d get some bags. And rather than getting gross sh** on Amazon I bought from various vintage collectors on Etsy so that was really quite fun)
Ashley’s friends (two of her high school besties and her MIL came in from out of state!) were so so nice.
Also got to see the Dorothea Dix sunflowers for the first time! Twas a magical day.
Time in nature
I’ve kept taking a billion walks in a billion woods.
I’ve been doing lots of farmer’s market shopping. I promise there have been lots of fruits and vegetables… some eggs and cheese… but on this particular day what apparently I chose to document was my chocolate scone and cold brew lolz. Absolutely incredible.
Finally, a brief discussion of work
This is not work. This is a lovely lunch with Chelsea.
We went to Neuse River brewery and had a lovely European sort of meal (I did the damn thing and got a goat cheese salad and a side of fries).
However… that meal was a farewell.
Because Chelsea, my partner in crime for the past two years, my go-to source of wisdom for a weird tube feeding conundrum, my listening year for the angst of having a career that is deeply misunderstood, undervalued and underpaid… quit. She departed for for more money (yay!), more autonomy (yay!), and a very happy life in her hometown of Richmond, VA.
Oh and then another dietitian quit.
Oh and also we were supposed to hire another dietitian because we are taking on new patients… but have not been able to recruit anyone.
So that’s the story how Lindsay and I are doing five people’s jobs. In addition to doing many side projects like trying to convince senior management to care about the quality of the diet related advice that gets shared with our patients by the non dietitians in our organization (I have had medium low success; which is sadly a much higher level of success than I would have predicted).
And that is part (actually a fairly minor part) of how work has been FREAKING EXHAUSTING. So that’s part of why I’m blogging so little. And part of why in my weekly therapy appointments I’m agonizing over my very tenuous sense of self and constantly bubbling anxiety. Hopefully this is a situation that will improve sooner rather than later.
IN THE MEANTIME, what has everyone else been up to?