Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

“I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.” T.S. Eliot

Thank you T.S. Eliot.

I don’t know quite what this means because last time I checked, the boyfriend jeans need to be worn rolled with a peep-toe pump.

And yet alas, I have been greeted with suggestions that I am from another era.

The first was the news that Captain and Tennille were getting divorced. Is it THE Captain? Or just Captain? No matter, they were part the cheeky 1970’s songs that still haunt my childhood. ‘Do that to Me one more Time’?

 At eight I thought What? What are they doing one more time?

No one ever gave me answer. Stupid eight tracks.

More disturbing than their divorce is the fact that the Captain never, ever, EVER….

Owned a boat…

Really? Is my whole childhood a sham with a bad mustache? What is a  Captain of if he doesn’t have a boat?

On Friday I went to work armed with this scandalous knowledge. And I went to a meeting. And while everyone was mingling in… know that mingling time when you talk about random things…..I mentioned, “Did you all know Captain and Tennille are getting divorced???”

Silence….I have my audience.

“AND!”  I kept going…. “The CAPTIAN never owned a boat??? I mean really? What is he the Captain of RIGHT???” I leaned back in my chair and waited for the gasp….

My team stared at me. I took another sip of coffee.

“Heather, who is the Captain and Tennille?” One brave Marketing Assistant said.

“Really?” No! And I burst out into “Love! Love will keep us together!”


“Muskrat Love?”


Hmm…..and I went on with my meeting.

Last night I drug Hubs to a Natalie Merchant concert. 

My twenties can be defined by Grunge Rock, Indigo Girls and Natalie Merchant. In 1992, she sang “These Are Days”…..and I knew they were, because I was 20 something and invincible….and. I thanked her for proclaiming it.

Last night, Natalie came out in a black dress and a shawl.

Looking…her age.

Well maybe a bit older.

She is 50 and I know several hip 50’s chicks….who don’t rock it out in a shawl. Hubs fell asleep during the first half.

Where is my Peace Train? My 10,000 Maniacs? Where is These are the Days? Why the heck did the Captain never own a boat??!!!

As I have gotten older, so has my tribe. And I have had to adapt to that in surprising circumstances.  

Hubs loves The Who, and we go every time they tour just in case this is the last time they tour. 

Roger Daltrey has had some crazy hernia operation…..I KNOW this because he takes off his shirt at every concert….and I think…Wow, he’s buff for an old guy but that is a nasty scar.  

Roger was born in 1944. He will be 70 this year. Good Golly. You rock that scar Roger….rock it.

In my dotage, My nieces told me I can no longer use the words “TOTES” in place of totally…..even though I just found out that if I used TOTES everyday instead of Totally, it would save me 26.7 seconds.

That is cray cray…..which is crazy….which I Totes don’t understand because it’s longer than crazy…

I have also been told I can no longer use Cray Cray…..I am Totes disappointed.

And so….life moves on. These Are Still the Days, but maybe with a shawl and hernia operation.

And Love? Love will keep us together…

Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Chicken Carcass

It is a new year.

And I have made resolutions….to be more present, to write more, to determine what path will truly make me content, to do push ups……

And to stick to a budget.

I KNOW! Holy heck…..a budget.

And those who know me are gwaffing at the last resolution. 

I am not a saver. 

I am a spender. 

And I LOVE to be the ‘I GOT IT’ girl. You know…..the drinks come to the table and you whip out the Visa and say “Oh no, I got it.”

LOVE TO BE THAT GIRL. And I do it well.

And I married a Saver.

And last month we determined if we want that lovely yet modest home in mountains….perhaps I need to be less of the IT girl.

Poop. …I love being the it girl.

But I tackled a budget and in an effort to save money I tackled the pantry, the refrigerator and the freezer. 

Because I like to collect groceries, like I collect clothes and I collect bags….. Maybe it’s my fear of the zombie apocalypse….

The world is coming to an end but we have tuffle oil and Manchego!!!!

Really….we could still feed that small village in our house of two.

Tonight I came home, assessed the freezer, yanked out what I thought was pulled pork, put it in a pot and proceeded to make dinner.

Hubs came home, looked in the pot and said, “What’s for dinner?”

“I think I’m making pulled pork.”

He eyed the pot suspiciously. Because it did not look like pulled pork, it did not smell like pulled pork…

It smelled like chicken.  

I have a habit of collecting and freezing chicken parts in the hope that I will put the chicken parts together to make a lovely chicken stock for an amazing chicken soup. ….but at one point this year…before the budget, Hubs looked in the freezer and said, ‘it is a frozen chicken graveyard in this freezer.”

And so tonight, in the effort to determine what was in the freezer, I accidentally made chicken carcass for dinner.

Our chicky ended up in the garbage…which I do realize is a poor Memorial for something that has spent so much time in our household.

Dinner did finally include a lovely brisket with sautéed spinach.

How does this bode for 2014? It really doesn’t BUT: 
  • If it smells like a frozen chicken, it probably is a frozen chicken.
  •  When in doubt, throw it out
  • I don’t want to label people. But maybe I should label my chickens
  • I might not be the IT girl, but you can join me for some soup J
  • A clean freezer is less fowl
To 2014 
Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

2014 is Calling

It is a new year. 

I still hate push ups. 

It took me three weeks to feel normal after the flu. 

Christmas has come and gone and I now have only 11 ½ months to make this year extraordinary.

So far it is off to a good start. Did you know our work was mentioned in Denver’s Magazine 5280? You can find it here:
The North American Mitochondrial Disease Consortium? 

Only possible with money from Summits for Samantha. And the article came out on December 31st…..and I thought well, this is a good way to start the year.

So it begins. 

If you live in Colorado you know that marijuana is now legal. This happened on January 1, 2014. And if you don’t live in Colorado, I can tell you, for us Average Joe’s nothing has really changed. The mountain air stills smells of pine, not pot. And I have yet to use the phase Are you completely stoned??!!! With a co-worker, buddy or hubs….although now that I mention it, I might have to….just cuz.

I have finally watched Downton Abbey and realized it is not Downtown Abbey. Ah….the things I learn in 2014.

I have jumped on the Denver Broncos Bandwagon. I am not a huge football fan but I have decided that Peyton Manning is quite impressive. And for NOT being a huge football fan, I like watching him play. I’ve even started running around the office yelling hurry hurry’!  Sadly, it hasn’t had the same effect…..chalk it up to another lesson of 2014.

I traveled last week to DC. I haven’t been on the road in months and love to going to DC. No matter what is going on in the government, visiting DC still makes me feel hopeful. I had an extra two hours before my plane and found myself…..

At the Holocaust Museum.

I have been wanting to go for a while….well wanting is not the right word. I have been intrigued about how one memorializes something so horrific….how such a tragedy can be explained, contained in a building, captured into four walls. And as my own search for resiliency continues, I am intrigued by those who have found it in the past.

I stood in line. A volunteer asked where I was from.

“Colorado,” I said.

“Well, that’s a long way away.”

“Yes,” I paused and cleared my throat. “I’m kind of scared to go in. I don’t know what to expect.”

“Well, it’s not an easy thing to talk about is it?”

“No, but it’s important.” 

And so I put on my 2014 big girl pants and went through the exhibit.

I have tried to put into words what I thought about the museum and I find it hard without sounding trite. Two images stay in my head…..the tiny train car used to transport people to the camps and the tiny Danish boat used to help people escape to Sweden…..a transport of despair and a transport of hope.

As I made my way to the end, there were stories of survivors, stories of resiliency, amazing, sad, hopeful, terrifying stories. And I thought, how did these survivors go on? How did they live a life after all of the death?

All I could draw on was our own experience, which pales in comparison but it was all I had. And I thought of the beauty we find in simple things; a sunrise, a sunset…..and the importance of having a voice and carrying on the story. The beauty, tragedy and irony of life continuing on.

And so hello 2014. 365 days….what will be taught, what lessons do you have to give? The first 12 have been…life….thoughtful, trivial, draining, enriching….life

I still do hate push-ups.