The Most Impossible Task: Saying I’m Not OK

If you struggle with depression like I do, and if you haven’t yet read M. Molly Backes’ viral twitter string about the Impossible Task, I highly recommend it as something to help put words to a common symptom of this insidious disease. 

Depression commercials always talk about sadness but they never mention that sneaky symptom that everyone with depression knows all too well: the Impossible Task. (Other sneaky symptoms they don’t mention are numbness, anxiety, and inexplicable rage—just FYI for folks trying to figure this crap out. Depression comes in disguise, folks. It rarely announces itself via sadness.¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )  ...  read more

On Doing Way Too Much and Not Nearly Enough: What October 2020 Feels Like

I drive four mornings each week up the winding roads of Parrett Mountain, past alpaca farms and vineyards and into the Douglas Fir forests as I climb. It’s a slow drive by necessity; there are steep drop-offs and no guard rails or shoulders to offer forgiveness if you stray.

It always feels peaceful to me, that drive: the forced slowing of my typical pace, the tiered ruffles of the fir branches like a designer got carried away layering petticoats, the falcons that circle overhead, and the deer that dive down the canyons.  ...  read more

15 Realistic Recipes to Feed Your Family in an Apocalypse

The pandemic continues, Oregon is on fire along with the rest of the West, and even though the fire a couple miles from our house is now 75% contained (THANK YOU, FIREFIGHTERS!), my brain is broken. Just totally kaput. Zero percent battery, and I forgot where I put my brain charger. 

I was feeling badly about this, as though my inability to get anything done is proof that I’m a lazy sack who doesn’t deserve the air I breathe, even though that air is currently full of smoke and so dense we could chew it. But then several friends reminded me that our brains and our bodies are reacting exactly as they were built to do. There are fires in our forests. Visibility is shot due to opaque air. We’ve been at a heightened state of emergency for six months. OF COURSE WE’RE EXPERIENCING MENTAL SHUT DOWN. Our bodies are priming us to fight or flee. Our brains don’t need to form complete sentences right now. They don’t need to do anything other than basic survival.  ...  read more

All of 2020: A Story about Dog Poo

This is Abby (the human) and Lulu (the dog).

That pic is from 3 months ago, which means Lulu is now 45x bigger.

He is not a labradoodle, after all.

He is either a small, black bear, or a moose, or a husky, feral, adorable kindergarten boy named something that ends with -y. Like Kenny. Or Jeffy. Or Tommy. 

You know the one. He’s the kid who has NO IDEA how long his limbs are. He’s Bambi on the ice, made from 73% sweetness and 27% flailing. He takes corners too fast and runs into walls. He eats with pure joy and creates a colossal mess. Never did he ever finish a meal without spaghetti sauce or jelly to his eyebrows and wiping his face on his shirt.  ...  read more

This Is Worse Than the Day I Pooped My Closet

Listen, friend. I will give you one — and only this one — opportunity to stop reading. If periods gross you out, you should be done. Right now. Click away. Abort. SAVE YOURSELF. Or carry on. I don’t care — *shrug* — I’ve done what I can. Now it’s on you.

I don’t really know what to say about this other than it’s worse than The Day I Pooped My Closet. And I do not believe Hallmark has made a sympathy or apology card that quite covers the “I’m sorrys” I owe my son-in-law so I’m a little stuck on how to make this right. ...  read more

5 Plausible Explanations for What’s Happening in Our World Right Now

It does not snow where I live. Or rather, it snows approximately one quarter of one day during the winter. Everyone gets VERY excited, we cancel everything, people from snowy climates mock our hysteria, folks crash their cars, our children try to sled on icy gravel, and stores sell out of every apocalyptic supply item: bottled water, hot chocolate, mylar survival blankets, and hot dog buns. Don’t even ask; I do not know why with the hot dog buns — I just report the fact, folks. ...  read more