Remembering all the “mitigating circumstances” that are another person’s experience. I realized several years ago that some of my MIL’s characteristics have to do with poor eyesight and hearing—once you realize that, other things begin to make sense. So I’m glad I recognized that.

Remembering that it’s always weird and stressful to be in another person’s house, and the obligation is for us to make her feel comfortable and welcome, not the other way around.

Listening to my boss complain about his father ‘s visits helped with that, too. I’m remembering that MIL isn’t going to be with us forever, and we have to look for—and strive to create—those moments to treasure.

It’s been much easier this year. She hasn’t been (quite) as food obsessed, less insistent on paying for everything, just less maintenance altogether. The only moment, really, was about leaving the tip at the restaurant yesterday. Hrodebert said he would leave the tip, and was calculating 18% or so, and MIL insisted that because it was a buffet, one only had to leave a little bit. She wanted to leave $5; he wanted to leave $25. It’s true about buffets, that a full tip isn’t expected, but that’s for a restaurant where a couple employees come out every 15 minutes to wipe up the counters and refill the potato salad. This restaurant was serving drinks and wine, and there were three carvers at the turkey, ham, and roast beef stations, and a lot of labor-intensive food like shucked oysters, plus these people are working on Thanksgiving. That deserves a full tip.

At any rate, we left the $25, and had a very enjoyable meal. I would definitely go back there sometime on a normal night.

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgivings!


I’m reminding myself that I have control over what I feel, that I can choose how I experience the day. Which things do I want to remember? What is the story I want to tell?

So my story is that it was a beautiful day for a drive—the late fall colors and slanting sun over trees and fields. We visited a vineyard/winery and took a tour, then a wine tasting. Most of the wines were sweet, which isn’t my taste, but they weren’t cloyingly sweet and a couple were pretty good. Then a short drive to a deli-style restaurant for a late lunch, another gorgeous drive back, a brief stop at the supermarket for some odds and ends, then home, where we ate pretzels for dinner and drank our new wine.

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That’s the stuff I’m going to remember, and not the petty annoyances, because really they are petty and there’s no reason to enshrine those things in my memory.

But don’t be surprised if I post a few sharp remarks ;-)

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Guess whose mother-in-law called from the airport last night wondering why we hadn’t picked her up?

Yep. I’m not sure where the miscommunication occurred, but she arrived Monday night, not Tuesday.

Fortunately we’re only about 20 minutes from the airport, and we’d nearly finished all the prep for having a guest. The only real problem is what to do with her today—both of us need to go to work, we have one car, and we live four miles from the nearest anything (which is a gas station). I guess she can either come to work with one of us, or amuse herself at home.

Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. She lives with her daughter, my sister-in-law, and they could use a break from each other once in a while, and have a house to themselves. So she might be happy to putter around, with just Ingvor to hiss at her occasionally.

Well. Girding my loins for the week ahead…

Good foot

Only one twang today, and that’s with multiple trips up and down the stairs, and spending all day on my feet. I’m optimistic.

Cooking and cleaning, and I am EXHAUSTED. The only remaining chores are to do some grocery shopping tomorrow on the way home, blow the leaves off the driveway and deck, and finish making the bed in the spare room. Ingvor has been napping on the comforter all day, so I haven’t been able to pick it up off the floor and put it on the bed.

It’s going to be a rough couple weeks for me, given my personality. So I will try to stay chill but will probably gripe a little here. To me, it’s always difficult having house guests. With both of us working full time and having a 40-minute commute, time is precious and when our schedule gets derailed it has consequences. Disruptions to the routine can ripple out for weeks.

Will remind myself to appreciate the positive aspects. Will be nice to see my MIL, who I actually like quite a lot despite our rocky relationship, and will enjoy for Hrodebert to spend time with her. And we have some fun activities planned, such as Segue tour and wine tasting. The next weekend we’re camping, so I know I’ll start to feel stressed about not having a calm weekend at home. If I just accept and acknowledge that now, maybe I’ll cope with it better.

Breathe…. breathe….

Bad mood

Stupid foot + more rain = bad mood. So here is a list of things I hate:

1. When, instead of writing a new email, people find some ancient message and do a Reply, apparently because it’s too difficult(?) to start typing in my name and have the To: field autofill. So I get a message originally from 2012 with the subject line of Re: URGENT – deadline is TODAY, and the message is “Hey GZ, I have a question: I can’t remember my password. Thanks!”

2. People who can’t remember their passwords. WRITE IT DOWN.

3. When people bring their shopping cart back to the corral and push it just barely inside, so that there’s a giant clump of carts outside the corral blocking traffic and like, two carts inside it.

I guess that’s it. I mean, I’m sure there are more things I hate—don’t get me started on other drivers—but those are top of my list right now.

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WWJD? He’d push the cart all the way in the corral.

Well, let’s see if I can end with something more positive and cheerful.


Aha, I know. I just bought sleeping bags, so we can go camping in a couple weeks. They’re good to 30°F, which should be fine for us. I don’t imagine I’ll be camping in colder weather than that. Excited to try them out.

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