Thanksgiving

Still on vacation from the husbometer data project, but life is good. Thanksgiving has been a time for family.

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A fun part of married life is all the new family!

Bagels and Pita Chips

Bad dreams wiped away by husband cuddles. Another day to sleep in and enjoy family time. Breakfast was leftover bagels topped with everything, and coffee. David and I watched a video about the 1950s French involvement in Vietnam.

A morning excursion to Portland City Center featured a charming bakery, a well-balanced thrift shop with a little bit of everything, and novelty shop equipped with thank you cards and cute oven mits.

After that, we said goodbye to Sophie and packed up Tom’s car. The drive is a blur of conversation, music, media consumption, naps.

Lunch was also dinner? A rest stop was involved. Think: skimpy overpriced salad, pita chips (unexpectedly covered with cinnamon sugar), guacamole extras and large fries from McDonald’s.

We dropped Caroline and Kristin at their dad’s place, and had the opportunity to visit there for a little while.

Then we returned to Chapel. I retrieved my jacket from the basement, and the boys unloaded love on Rocky (the family companion).

The rest of the night was spent driving back to the city, hunting for parking in our neighborhood, hauling things back to the apartment, chugging seltzer and settling in…

We bickered over David’s recent line of complaint: I am oppositional and he doesn’t feel his opinions are valued. He presented the complaint in the form of comparing me to one of his relatives.

Please take a moment to imagine my data project, the “Husbometer“, making squeaky, break-down noises.

What other strategic objectives do we have for our coupledom in these last of the 100 days?

My thoughts return to a post-nup, and a yearning to mitigate some relationship stressors (my gainful employment).

 

L.L. Bean

Saturday began nice and slow: cuddles, coffee, radiant heat, improv breakfast.

The day picked up speed around 1pm with a brunch outing and a two-car excursion to Freeport, Maine.

We got lost in the L.L. Bean stores. L.L. Bean and other Freeport brands created a complex retail maze. Soft sweaters and sales galore. When it was time to leave, David grew frustrated in his failed effort to promptly reunite the group.

We returned to Portland and some bickering ensued. David performed poorly on the husbometer.

As a group, we grabbed pizza at Flatbread Company and attended a community theater performance of Mother Butterfly. Scenes that stuck out: Sophie’s mom singing opera, the family fighting, the cancer doctor.

Sleep-in

For me, Friday required sleeping in.

Hannah (a fellow Syracuse University grad student who took my room in the old apartment) shared an AirBnb bedroom with me Thursday-Friday during the conference. Kenneth took the other room.

Hannah left in the early morning, but Kenneth and I drove in later. I was due to volunteer at the Syracuse University iSchool booth from 10am-1230pm. This was my opportunity to reunite with Molly and to hang out with Jay, who both work where I used to — the iSchool’s enrollment and recruitment office.

Tom, my brother in-law, called me as I was leaving the AirBnb for the Riverside Convention Center. He proposed a weekend trip to Maine with David and I.

I spent the morning debating the proposed trip to Maine. David and I chatted over logistics and preferences via Google Hangouts.

Thanks to the conference’s New Members roundtable, I had a luncheon to attend at no-cost. I ate a sad meal of apple-squash soup and a “vegan selection” that had the likeness of hot spinach-cannellini bean salad. Fine as long as you like side dishes for main dishes and your lunch is free.

Meanwhile, David agreed to join the trip to Maine and let everyone know that it was “not because he wanted to go to Maine but because he wanted to spend time with the sibs”.  I, having also decided to attempt the family trip to Maine, embarked on a snow-sleet-rain plagued 6.5 hour drive home from Rochester. I rerouted to Chapel Lane mid-trip after consulting with Tom mid-trip.

That night, David, his siblings (Tom, Caroline, Kristin) and I all departed around 9pm for Maine from Chapel Lane. Our destination was the family home of Tom’s partner, Sophie in Portland, Maine.

It is a great honor to travel with all of you. – Me to the Dougherty Sibs

Cathartic

Scene 1

I am at work. I am talking with Patrick and I use the word cathartic in a sentence. I like the way it comes out of my mouth, and I compliment the word. I dub it my word of the day.

Word of the day:

Cathartic

ca·thar·tic
/kəˈTHärdik/

Adjective

Catharsis and cathartic both trace to the Greek word kathairein, meaning “to cleanse, purge.” Catharsis entered English as a medical term having to do with purging the body—and especially the bowels—of unwanted material. The adjective cathartic centered English with a meaning descriptive of such a physically cleansing purge. It didn’t take long for people to start using these words figuratively in reference to emotional release and spiritual cleansing.

Scene 2

Work is progressing.

I use a quote design website to create some shareable, post-able social media content. The quote content is sourced from the recent New York Times article “12 Authors Write About the Libraries They Love“.

 

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Scene 3

After work, I go to the gym. I return home from the gym and empty the contents of the fridge into my digestive system.

When Anya arrives home, she and I have a reflective talk about identity and marginalization. The conversation begins when she compares the vibes given off by two people who spoke with her Julliard class.

Scene 4

I fill in the husbometer spreadsheet with today’s data and observe that the average is stable. David – fresh from the shower – takes a look at the data with me.

Week Average of Score
1 0.62
2 0.57
3 0.54
4 0.55
5 0.55
6 0.56
7 0.56
Grand Total 0.56

– END –

Turn Around

Had a hard time leaving Mom. Tried to start my drive back to NYC too early in the day. Mom looked sad to see me leave. She watched me from the doorway. She withheld tears. I started driving and felt pulled to stay. So I pulled over, called a few people, and then turned around to be with her again.

Dad worked through his birthday (today). I called him on the phone and he told be about this Dilbert comic:

dilbert.png

I hung out with mom by the fireplace until around 6pm, when my restlessness became too much.

Returning to David was bliss. He met me on the sidewalk.

Olivia

Quick

Oh, hello there. Me here popping in for a quick entry.

Mom’s first time out of the house today since the surgery. We went to the Smilow Cancer Hospital for her post-op check-up. We managed to forget paperwork and lose a canteen, but otherwise smooth sailing.

We came home with yummy takeouts from Tolland Pizza and Big Y. The postman came by with two boxes of chocolate-covered strawberries from the Fronings! Mom got emotional reading the note. I’m really proud of her strength.

Husbometer is quiet today. Excited to return to David in time for the weekend.

I am sneaking in a few visits with family and friends tonight and tomorrow morning. Eager to visit with Olivia for the first time since the wedding! Mom is relaxing by the fireplace with Chloe.

Dog Food & Finances

Chloe is a 14-year-old bichon poodle mix. Mom has taken to homemaking Chloe’s food in order to help her skin irritations. Mom’s friend recommended the recipe.

My day started with chicken liver retrieval duty. I also picked up peanut butter and honeycrisp apples.

The Recipe:

Ingredients: chicken livers, oil, frozen veggies (peas, carrots, e.g.), instant (brown) rice, water.

Mom heats the oil and dumps in two containers of chicken livers. (Some grocery stores carry them, some do not.) Once in the pot, she cuts the chicken liver into smaller pieces.

At this point, Chloe begins to dance around her in the kitchen.

When the meat is cooked, Mom adds 1 cup of instant rice and 2 cups of water.

When that is cooked (it doesn’t take long), she adds a pleasant ratio of frozen veggies.

Scoop a serving, let it cool, sprinkle with angle eyes medicine, promptly serve to pooch.

Mom stored half of the remaining batch in the fridge, half in the freezer.


Husbometer looks good. David and I continue to touch base by phone.

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Other highlights of the day included a run, reuniting with our friend Kris and neighbor Ellie, catching up on my budgeting (finally!), and visiting with my brother Zack and his foster dog. Doing minor tasks to keep tabs on EveryLibrary work-life.

Mom did the stairs for the first time today post-surgery!

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I spy a loyal companion who hasn’t left her mama’s side.

Oww-y!

Today, I journeyed home to be with my mom. She is recovering from surgery.

The drive went quickly. I listened to video lectures for my online coursework. Near the end of the drive, I ran an errand in Ellington for mom. After getting medicine from the vet, I stopped off to explore the local library.

Hall Memorial Library

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Impressive board game and cake pan circulating collections!

Mom and I caught up. To convey her pain, she told a story. She was passed out post-surgery. Mitch said she sleep-talked through her deep sleep, saying,

oww-y, oww-y, owww 

After lunch with mom, I settled into computerland. Zack visited with Duke, and I completed my first GoodReads book review! (Something I hope to continue doing to better develop my librarian powers of reading-recommendation).

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway.
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. Edition borrowed from my husband’s family.

It felt good to catch up with the husbometer and dig into the blog today. In my reports of daily life, I’ve lost sight of my earlier intention to have a somewhat strategic first 100 days of marriage. A brainstorm:

  • Draft post-nuptial agreement
  • Finish the book given to us by the attorney friend of David’s Aunt Joss
  • Continue tracking husbometer data
  • Review husbometer data with David
  • Create strategies for the lower performing categories
  • Articulate career and finance goals

Emotionally? We’re doing okay. A lot of love, excitement, and little moments. We’re still learning to communicate effectively with each other, and that may be a lifelong project. The commitment part of things is the steel frame in my vision for the future. David uses the word “coalescing”, and I like that.

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