• Melisa Cats cake 51
    Blessings,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.

    I’m One Year Older and Here Are My Grievances

    I turned 51 on Wednesday. It was a much quieter birthday than last year; rather than spend my day on a plane headed for paradise I spent much of my day on the couch watching “90 Day Fiance.” Yes, seriously. Anyway, at my age I have a mental list of general life grievances that is growing just like it’s supposed to as we get older. I thought I’d make a list (not all-inclusive; that’s impossible) here so that when I’m still definitely blogging in ten years I can look back at 61 and think to myself, “Oh dear; I was so adorable back then!” Here are just a few things…

  • rainbow meth cupcakes
    Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  Food,  Fun in Knoxville,  I've Got Mad Skillz

    The Thrill is in the Hunt.

    I used to throw themed parties all the time. My boys were raised with big birthday parties that had tons of elements that coordinated with whatever show, movie, or thing they were into that year. The ability to take a theme and run with it, usually far further than the average person would care to and what I mean by that is “until said theme is nearly dead and gasping for breath but in a good way,” is something I come by honestly: my sister and I both get it from our mom. While I have contributed ideas for themed parties in the past few years when my friends have…

  • IMG 5432
    Blessings,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.,  UGH.

    This Is (My) Fifty.

    Today is my 50th birthday. I won’t lie: I am having a little trouble with this. This past week I have been filled with a strange type of upset and a little bit of panic that crashed into me out of nowhere. This “mini crisis” isn’t about anything related to my life itself. I have nothing to complain about (to say the least); the source of all of this is literally the number, and I am mostly surprised that I feel this way…but in a way, I’m not. I was one of those kids who did the math to learn that I would be thirty-two years old in the year…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?

    There Are Worse Things To Obsess Over.

    I have an odd obsession: toilet paper. My preoccupation doesn’t have anything to do with a particular type of toilet paper or even having a firm stance on whether it should roll over or under. I’m obsessed with having enough in the house. Weird, I know. I have worried about it for as long as I can remember, and I was never able to figure out why until I came up with a theory a while back. More on that in a minute. I get extremely nervous when the stash in the house goes down to single digits: heart palpitations and all. What if someone has a bathroom crisis and…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.

    The Clock Goes Ding Dong

    My in-laws are fans of clock chimes. I know this because they have a grandfather clock and two other clocks that are set up to go off in succession and not at the same time on the hour (or the half hour, or the quarter hour). The clock in the kitchen chimes in song, and there are multiple choices including Bread’s “If” (I’m certain about this one) and Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly” (I’m not certain about this one but I thought of it at the top of most hours when I was around to hear the extended version of “ding dong*”). I had a lot of time on my…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  I'm Apparently Old.,  Music

    You Don’t Have To Be On A Boat To Enjoy Yacht Rock.

    The scene: My car on a recent sunny afternoon. The players: My twenty-four-year-old son and me. The music: Yacht Rock. Dylan: “What the heck IS this?” Me: “It’s the theme from ‘Cannonball Run’.” Dylan: “Starring Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise*????” Me: “Yes! It’s on the Yacht Rock station. I’ve been on a seventies kick lately. I think it’s because it takes me back to my childhood. It’s comforting. Anyway (continuing in the voice of Thurston Howell III), don’t you feel like you could be sailing on a boat on a gorgeous day with not a cloud in the sky, listening to this music?” Dylan, rolling eyes: “Oh God.” Fade out.…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?

    The Cross

    This story actually began in 1999 when I was working at a local health club. I was friendly with the general manager–well, we all were–and whenever I met him in his office he would open his dorm-sized refrigerator and offer me a can of flavored carbonated water. I hadn’t heard of La Croix before I met him and always politely refused the offer because it just didn’t sound very good to me. He drank it like it was going out of style. I mean, he had a refrigerator in his office for the sole purpose of keeping his La Croix cold. One day, after many days of sticking to my…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?

    Oh, Nothing.

    I’m good at quite a few things, like accomplishing tasks like a madwoman. I’m terrible at quite a few things too, like doing nothing at all. To me, a Type A Control Freak Perfectionist Workaholic, the idea of doing nothing seems horrifying, dreamlike, and extremely unattainable in equal parts. I mean, in theory I love the idea. In practice, it feels like a waste of time. Either way, doing nothing at all as a part of my plan (because I always have a plan) is nearly impossible, mentally AND physically. My friends know me as a Do-er. I have been told more than once that I am envied for my…

  • Childhood Memories,  Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?

    Fun Facts About Me

    Today’s post was inspired by my friend Leigh Ann, who did a “Fun Facts About Me” post on her own blog a couple of days ago. (Thanks, Leigh Ann!) Before LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER CHICAGO, the last time I had any substantial stage time was in elementary school. I was in a couple of productions; my favorite was when I played Earth. Even when I was a kid, I could never do a proper, straight-legged cartwheel. This has always bugged me. When I was a teenager I had three main career aspirations: journalist, travel agent, and housewife/mom. I later earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. The movies I have…