A Day of Baking Bliss

A Day of Baking Bliss

We went from almost 80 degrees last Sunday to snow flurries this morning! The day was cold and windy, and I have the weekend all to myself, so I decided to get my Betty Crocker on today. Before having my daughter, I used to bake a lot, and today made me realize how much I really do enjoy baking. I don’t know if it’s the creation of something new (and usually something sweet!), the smells emanating from the kitchen, the warmth from the stove. Maybe it’s all those things. But I find myself very relaxed and contented when I’m baking. It brings me so much pure joy!

This morning, I craved something warm and nourishing with the cold weather, so I found a recipe to make Blueberry Breakfast Oat Bars. I don’t have a gluten allergy but they looked and sounded good. I threw in some protein powder with it, because I didn’t have flax, and then dolloped the mixture on top. I assumed the dollops would melt down and cover the rest of the fruit in the bars, but nope! My dollops just sat there like lazy ass lumps. Needless to say, these tasted way better than they looked. Because from a presentation perspective, they pretty much looked like shit. LOL But, they were damn delicious. I enjoyed these with some mixed berry yogurt for my breakfast.

Berry Breakfast Bars

The second recipe I tried today I saw on Tiktok. It was an Irish Soda bread, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this week and it just looked so tasty. Off I went to the store to get the ingredients I didn’t already have at home. I was on the fence about the raisins, even though I got some from the store. Raisins are ok, but not my favorite. Plus I worry about dropping them, the dog eating them, and dying (just a smidge dramatic I know). After seeing someone comment about using chocolate chips instead, that’s what I went with. And I was not disappointed one iota.

Irish Soda Bread (with chocolate chips)

First of all, let me say, make sure you have a big enough bowl for this mixture! It is a one-bowl mixture, but you do need a big bowl. Second, get ready for an arm workout because this dough is D-E-N-S-E. Between the weight of the dough itself and the cast iron pan, I got a mini-arm workout in.

It took an hour for this to bake, and it was well worth it! The outside texture is crunchy without being too tough, and the inside is soft and cake-like. I cut down the sugar from 1-1/4 cups to just a 3/4 cup and used only about 1-1/2 cups of chocolate chips. The bread has enough sweetness to be satisfying without being overindulgent. I absolutely loved the Irish Soda bread recipe and plan to make it again.

Ahhhh, baking my old friend. It’s nice to see you again. We have to get together more often.

(I Need) Sexual Healing

(I Need) Sexual Healing

Ah, Marvin Gaye. I realize I am showing my (old) age with that song title, but I don’t give a shit. This song came on in the car during my morning commute, and my grin spread from ear to ear. The universe and its serendipitous timing! All I kept thinking was, “THAT is exactly what I need!” Let me explain.

I am in the process of getting divorced from a 14-year marriage. And during the last few years of our marriage, I completely moved out of our bedroom, into the spare bedroom. Needless to say, our sex life, which was on life support to begin with, completely tanked. We barely did *it* anymore, and even in the times we did, it was never earth-shattering (at least for me). Part of that I attributed to how long we’d been together, but there was an underlying feeling that I was more or less a receptacle. Which I genuinely hope you, dear reader, never have to personally experience, since it is a soul-crushing feeling. That you could swap me out with any. other. vagina. and the outcome for him would still be the same. I didn’t feel seen at all, and I started to seriously wonder what happened to my sex drive. I know things change after having kids, but there was nothing there. I contemplated if I was genuinely asexual. Like was my sexual being dead inside?!?

Then when I finally managed to tell him I wanted a divorce, we lived together for several months while he was trying to find a place to move into. We spent our days trying to be civil to one another, often failing, as we navigated our feelings about our breakup while trying to keep it together for the sake of our daughter. I spent those months collapsing into bed from utter emotional exhaustion. Sex? The thought never crossed my mind. I was too worried about getting through the next day or stuffing down my rage over some shitty passive-aggressive comment he made so I could get up and do it all again.

Fast-forward to today. We are alternating custody and my ex has been moved out for almost 2 months now. Much to my chagrin (and complete fucking surprise!), my sexual being is not dead inside. Holy shit, quite the contrary…this mama needs some action! It felt as like some switch was turned off, and someone turned it the hell on. I am daydreaming of fantasies quite often. And as much as I can and have utilized battery-operated toys, that doesn’t even compete with the feel of another body pressed up against yours. Or someone gently kissing your neck. Or pressing you up against a wall.

Here is the conundrum I currently face. I haven’t had sex with another person in over 10 years. I feel so old and decrepit when it comes to the hookup and/or dating scene I’m not even sure what to start. Am I looking for a husband? Gawd no, I just sent one packing! Am I looking to seriously date? My lip grimaces as I type this so I’m gonna go with a big N-O there. But on the flip side, the thought of a one-night stand makes me cringe. As a woman, the thought of bringing someone back to my place is a non-starter just in terms of my own physical safety. And with dating apps, how do I being to weed out the misogynists, creepers, and abusers? Ideally, a friends with benefits option sounds REALLY great right about now. Except I don’t have a friend that would fit that scenario. SIGH.

All I know is I could definitely use some sexual healing. And soon. Until I figure this shit out, brb, while I go invest in some battery company.

To Be (Married) Or Not to Be

To Be (Married) Or Not to Be

Well, it is go time motherfuckers! Shit or get off the pot so to speak. Friday we have our first discernment counseling or therapy session. Never heard of it? Well, neither had I until I had gotten a little information from a therapist on TikTok. Then I did some more research on it and thought, “YAS! This is what we need!”

What is it? It’s a specific type of counseling that helps you to decide one of three paths for your marriage/relationship: 1) continuing as is, 2) separation or divorce and 3) intense couples counseling for 6 months with divorce off the table during that 6 month period. It is time boxed, between 1 and 5 sessions, so it doesn’t drag on interminably. You don’t really use discernment therapy to hash out your relationship or marital issues…it is more or less you, your partner, and a therapist deciding, “Should we stay or should we go?”

I just let out a huge exhale as I typed this, because even though I initiated the appointment I’m still wracked with anxiety about the potential outcome. I know, I know, if we do get divorced, I will not be the first person to ever experience this. Nor will I be the last. But not a single person goes into their marriage thinking they are going to possibly end up divorced somewhere up ahead in the future.

The hubs and I have not been doing well, pandemic aside for awhile now. But the pandemic certainly did nothing to help us out. We even have been in traditional couples therapy for the past year…and it’s not helping. And I am at the point where I am so tired of living in this limbo. I want a decision, whatever that is, and a path forward. I don’t know that I’d call it forcing my husband’s hand, but in a way, yeah, I guess it is. And I will be OK whatever happens. There is something deep down inside telling me this and it’s been rooting me, despite my occasional bouts of anxiety. I have been through so much in my life…what is one more thing for me to overcome? Stay tuned everyone…Friday is the first appointment. This picture spoke to me…and I’ll be repeating it to myself all week long.

Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

Adulting: No User Manual Available

Adulting: No User Manual Available

I remember as a child longing so much to be an ADULT, because fuck this shit of parents’ rule…I want to eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups whenever I want. Don’t tell me what to do, you’re not the boss of me! I mean, c’mon, what kid hasn’t said that at some point during their childhood?!? Being an adult seemed so magical, fun, and exciting! No one to make you eat your vegetables or make you go to bed at a certain time or tell you what to do. Ah, the nostalgia of it all. It sounded SO good when I was a kid.

Sitting on the other side of that childhood wishing as a middle-aged adult who is also a parent, I so desperately want to give back my adulting card. Like where do I get a refund people?!? Can I be a Karen and ask, “May I speak to the manager of life, please?” Because this shit is not magical, fun and exciting. Most days, if I’m truly honest, as an adult and a parent, I’m winging it. I’m making shit up as I go along and praying to the gods, nature, divine (basically anyone out there who may listen to my fervent praying) that I don’t fuck things up too badly with my decision making. The pandemic has not made this decision making any easier. At least in the beginning stages of this, it seemed like we could all die if I made the wrong decision for myself or my family. I’m only being a smidge dramatic, but the burden seemed real to me.

There’s SO much decision fatigue as an adult. From your job, to friends, to all the household and parenting responsibilities, we’re making decisions. All. Damn. Day. Some are easy…like I’m too exhausted to cook so pizza tonight for dinner it is! Some aren’t that easy…will moving to a new job alleviate some of my work-related stress or just shift it around? Is a new job going to make things better, worse, or samesies?

And then you get into the major dilemmas of life, beyond career. Currently, my husband and I are going through marital issues and the myriad of questions and potential decisions overwhelms me like an avalanche. Will counseling help? Can we really afford it (we can’t)? What if we get divorced? How will that affect our daughter? Am I making the right decision? Am I going to permanently fuck up my daughter or look back and think if I take step A, I made a horrible mistake?!? Queue the avalanche of feelings. Worry. Helplessness. Anger. Sadness. Uncertainty.

I’m longing for that parental oversight of someone who will tell me what to do. In an individual counseling session for myself, I even talked to my therapist and said, “So, can you provide me a bulleted list of what needs to be done?” She laughed, but I was one million percent serious. Can someone just tell me what I need to do here?!? What is the next right step for me? Does someone have a secret adulting manual they can share with me that has the Cliff Notes and all the answers?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? No? Well, damn it, I’m at least going to go back to eating my Reese’s Peanut Butter cups while I fret over this adulting bullshit. And it IS complete and utter bullshit.