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I Want To Be The Girl With The Most Cake.

(This title is from the song seen in the below video. Today’s “I am” prompt reminded me of it and I can’t shake it)

Well. That was odd. And it took me back a decade or two.

I am…

I am completely riddled with allergies, or I have a cold. I think it’s a combination of allergies and exhaustion from the near all-nighter we pulled on Friday when Athena got skunked outside our house. I can’t..shake the smell memory. I hope she can.

old school blogging

I wonder if I’m on an upward path or a downwards spiral. One bad day can make it seem like an endless downturn. One glistening day can make me feel as strong, needed, loved and capable as I like to imagine I could be. Or maybe I already am.

I hear near silence and the sound of the whirring fan blades. I hear this weird “Doll Parts” song. I hear Athena’s soft sigh as she sleeps on the blanketed couch and dreams about what I hope is not skunks.

I see to the left – the whirring fan blades, the dog in a sunbeam, the allergen-laden forest. To the front – this here computer screen. To the right – a camera bag, a staircase, a ladder and an oil diffuser.

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I want to narrow down my bra-buying decisions today and pull the trigger. To feel heard and desired, instead of foggy and foggier. To go on a long road trip. To feel less imbalanced about money. To go and get some cheddar pretzel sandwiches.

I am still reeling in the allergies. Missing my kids and the weekend. Wishing it had been a better one anyway, or maybe a less skunky one. We were on a good streak for awhile, and maybe we can get it back soon.

I pretend I don’t care, even though I do. I can feel it in my bones and through my skin. Sometimes I pretend I do care when I don’t. And that I feel fine, even when I don’t (like now). And that it’s ok that I come last even when I shouldn’t.

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I feel nervous butterflies, like there’s something I am meant to do, or I’m forgetting I have to do, or maybe I shouldn’t do, or maybe it’s for a really good reason that just hasn’t revealed itself AT ALL on this Monday morning?

I touch the smooth mouse and clackety keyboard keys. The smooth water bottle to my right and the iced coffee to my left. I touch hearts, I hope, even though sometimes it feels like I can’t even touch one, especially my own.

I worry about natural disasters and Lyme disease and mosquitoes taking over the world. About global warming and first grade class assignments and another winter ever setting foot near me. About nervous stomachs and nervous marriages and not IF my kids are happy, but if we can have them stay that way forever. About money, and more money and that I have food allergies, diabetes, cancer or colitis – even though I’ve never had a single symptom of any. I worry about money when I don’t have it and I worry when I do because it’s not enough. Worrying is in my bones and through my skin and I’m not sure how to stop.

I cry not nearly enough and not about the right things. It’s hot button issues of family and death and weakness and feeling defensive but why wouldn’t you feel defensive sometimes, because why on earth wouldn’t you DEFEND?

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I am getting up to get fresh tissues every five minutes. This is BS. Flonase, why have you forsaken me?

I understand piece by piece, not to use the word “crazy” to describe people. I think we all have our quirks, our neuroses, or our bouts with mental illness, no matter how small or large. I’m learning to understand the struggles of many and to stay as diplomatic and supportive as I can. I understand that I need to open my mind more and more because so many great things happen with even the smallest mind openings.

I say that I love it here, but I can’t imagine growing old here. I say I want to leave, but I can’t imagine ever leaving here. Calgon, take me away and get me a house on both coasts, please!

I dream about a house on both coasts, and a stronger world, a stronger summer, a stronger family and a stronger me.

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I try to fight these little battles every day.

I hope that it’s working and that you notice.

I am over it. The school year. I am completely ready for summer.

This has been an Old School Blogging production. Won’t you join in?


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108 Comments

  1. Beautifully written, as always, Tamara! Short sentences yet so open and revealing. I don’t know how you do it. Hope you feel better soon, this allergy season is tough!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! Sometimes I think I called a post in, or worse – didn’t call it in but didn’t do a good job – and then I get a surprise comment from you to make my day.
      I think it is allergies because it’s a lot better today and it’s raining. Tree pollen is my kryptonite.

  2. I’d go to Nana’s farm in a heartbeat.

    So much of this feels like it comes from right under my skin. A few weeks ago, kids kicked a soccer ball out onto the lake while my girls and I fished. We watched it drift, and stop, change direction, drift some more. When it stopped, it was just moving, and it would start again. Eventually, it found a shore and was gone.

    I feel like this sometimes. I see you this way sometimes. You just can’t know at any moment what will happen or what it means, just where we are and how things look from there.

        1. Hired! Nana needs that because her last stall cleaner decided to.. not clean the stalls. You had one job!
          Do you have any dietary restrictions?

  3. OK and here I was thinking it was just me. Allergies and/or colds have been hitting my house. Madison’s nose is runny and she’s just spreading her germs throughout the house and getting everyone else sick right along with her. I am so ready for the summer. I can’t wait for warm weather. btw that Skunk experience is one I don’t hope to ever experience. One night I came home to find one outside my door but he ran away. Lucky me!

    1. Shoot – I was hoping allergies didn’t happen in Colorado!! Drat.
      Ok so the skunk smell that you might catch from roadkill or just a distant spray? That’s NOTHING. That’s like a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10.
      When it’s right next to you, you can’t breathe. You might vomit or faint or get woozy. It’s… astonishing.

    1. Now I’m thinking mine is allergies! It comes and goes and it’s raining here today so that helps keep the tree pollen levels down.

  4. Yup, I am finally feeling better again and then wham was sick again two weeks ago. I swear this better her it until Fall, because I am so over it and the summer needs to come and stay here now, as it was 85 degrees yesterday and only 60 and freezing today!! So, definitely with you on this and more, my friend.

    1. See now I don’t think I’m sick! It’s cold rain today which means low tree pollen counts and I feel a LOT better. Not 100%, but better.
      This is getting old! I guess I do want summer even more now.

  5. I dream about homes on each coast, as well. This is the first I’ve read about Lyme disease on your blo0g. Do you suffer from it? I have a fiend who’s been battling it for years, and is hard and sad. I love the family photo with you parents sister kids and husbands! Where were you? Pretty dress. I hope you feel better soon. I’ve been fighting an allergy thing as well, and my annual May exhaustion:)!

    1. I don’t have Lyme but New England is a hotbed of ticks right now so everyone is talking about Lyme and fearing for it. I do know a few people who have had it and it seems horrible!
      As for the photo, it was my in-laws’ 20 year anniversary party. And that dress is so puffy that it makes me look puffy and I just love it! A true party dress.

  6. I love this post! You took me so far back with that Hole reference! I started singing it as soon as I saw your post title. I think we should have homesteads on both coasts!

    1. Awesome! It’s quite the reference and I hadn’t thought about that song in so long.
      I like the homesteading idea – we can both work on this.

  7. I want to be the girl with the most cake, too. I feel your aching, Tamara. It’s always the little things, too that we worry over. I hope the allergies improve! Thanks for the video share as I’ve never seen it. She (Courtney with the most cake) is pretty talented. What happened to her and where is she today? #Throwback!!

    1. Thanks about the allergies! Last night I was sure it was a cold and this morning with the rain and the low tree pollen count, I’m convinced it’s allergies because I DO feel a lot better. I’m just worried that tomorrow’s sun might set me back again. It was rough.
      As for Courtney Love, I have no idea!! I’d love to know.

  8. Homes on each coast – YES! My poor kids are being assaulted by allergies and I wish I could take it from them. Loved every word of this. It’s almost here – SUMMER!

    1. Yes! Summer!! I thought it was a cold because it was relentlessly horrible but today I’m about 75% better and it’s raining, so the tree pollen counts are low. I seem to do fine with the grass and flowers but the trees are another story.

  9. It seems like all of my battles or little ones, but they add up! Luckily, there aren’t any huge ones smothering my family right now. Those have happened, I don’t like them. I worry about Lyme disease too!It is scary! I had a friend who was just diagnosed with Lyme disease because she works with horses! Now what we both need today is something with rainbow sprinkles, don’t you think?

    1. Yes!! I had rainbow sprinkles last night! No wait. I fell asleep after dinner because my allergies were terrible. Rainbow sprinkles tonight, ok? I’ll cheers you with mine.

  10. I have mixed feelings about the summer: I’m glad to be able to sleep in. But Natalie can be very needy.

    And ugh, mosquitos. I hate them so much.

    1. They are really bad this year. We have some years without them but our terrible winter seemed to be the perfect blanket for their slumber and now they’re after us! Even our faces!

  11. Poor Athena.Skunked. It is the worst. My ridiculous dogs never learn. They’ve been skunked a million times. Once Clara caught one and she couldn’t get it out of her mouth fast enough. LOL I’m fighting all sorts of little battles too…I hear you. And allergies. I started having problems last August, and it went all through the winter. Guess what it is. The animals. They’re family so I guess I will just have to deal.

    1. Oh no! It’s happened more than once? I am shocked that the smell up close is NOTHING like the distant smell of skunk. It’s so bad I could have gotten sick from it!
      Sorry about the allergies! I’m allergic to pine trees and I live in a pine forest, so that one’s tough.

  12. Allergies are so bothersome! I have to say this year has been better for me so far, but it is probably because we have not had much rain here. A house on both coasts sounds really great. I am ready for summer too, but I always am because it is my favorite season. I hope your week is off to a good start!

    1. You get them too?? I didn’t really get them in California. In two years there I had them for ONE day once. It was SO weird. I thought I was so sick but I was fine the next day. Not like a cold.
      That actually happened this week. I was so sick and woke up fine today. Not a cold!

  13. Poor Athena…being skunked has to be the worst! Beautifully written post and allergy season is terrible. Hope the allergy fog lifts soon for you.

    1. It was SO bad! I couldn’t believe the smell. Smell isn’t even a word. It’s like all over body and home invasion.
      The fog lifted today because it rained! I hope it stays this way.

  14. Very poetic, Tamara. And I can’t imagine getting skunk smell out. Oh my goodness poor you! And I’m the same with allergies. Sometimes they wake me up and I’m reaching for tissue constantly especially in the morning.

    1. Let me tell you – it’s been four days and it’s still not totally out! It rained today so that at least knocked away the skunk smell from the yard AND my allergies are much better.
      Ah, sweet rain.

  15. Beautifully said, and you are not alone. I put on a smile and entertain NJ, but no one knows what’s really going on inside my head…..We are ALL fighting battles every day, but the good days ALWAYS outweigh the bad ones…Love the photo of all us. Wish we could do it again, can you we?

    1. It’s so true. We all have our demons and magic, I suppose.
      I do wish we could do that again! I think we will.. but it will be even better. I think.

  16. Thank you for sharing so much of your cake with us in this post, Tamara. “I am” “I feel” “I see” “I dream”……these are all slices of your cake that you’re sharing with us. Yes, we have noticed, and Absolutely Yes, you have touched our hearts. Your blogs with your entertaining stories, and music videos, and all of your sweet family photos always do! 🙂

  17. Oh boy can I relate to that feeling this weekend. Can I get on an upward bend or is it going to spiral down and I’m going to end up sitting on the floor in the back of my closet trying to breathe. I made it through. The sunshine and my family and my sheer will pulled me out of the funk. And your blog as always was the icing on the cake. Thanks.

    1. You sit in your closet trying to breathe too?? It’s.. interesting.
      Luckily breaths can be found, and slices of cake are found too.
      I’m happy to be a part of your icing, and it’s vice versa!

      1. Not just me then? It’s so cool and dark and peaceful in there. I haven’t had to do much it since I left my ex. But yes – I have on occasion tried to close the rest of the world out.

        I’m always glad for cake.

        1. Definitely not just you.
          Sometimes I don’t have to do it at all, and sometimes I go through a closet phase.
          Cake really helps.

  18. I have said it before and must say it again, you are amazing my friend! So many times you write what I cannot and the feelings I feel, come from the words in your head. Some days I feel so lost and alone, simply non existent in my existence. I try to fight it except when I am alone, putting a smile and laughter on the facade, for others to see. Allergies and colds bite the big one. I hope for houses on both coast for you dear friend and a tropical beach, somewhere for me! Lots of hugs!

    1. You are amazing too!
      I had no idea what I was going to do with this so I kept walking away and coming back to it.
      Echo and I want to homestead on both coasts, so you will surely have to join in or visit!

  19. Shut up! You put up the Hole song, I LOVE it! It’s so weird, but it was an anthem for me in college. Lol. Oh man can I relate to your worry. I worry that I worry too much and then I worry about that. I get it. You are awesome and I’m so glad that you linked up. I hope you get some allergy relief soon.

    1. That’s way too awesome that you loved my Hole reference!
      I loved your link up too!
      And the allergies went away with the rain. Now I’m just scared they’ll come back.

  20. This is beautifully done. I wish there was a way to stop the worry. I’m SO sorry about the skunking. Knock on wood, we’ve avoided that so far, although we have plenty of skunks around, and a curious dog!

  21. I tend to worry a lot too although it isn’t really that obvious at times because people may see me as a happy go lucky kinda person. But the truth is that I also worry inside. Also I’m so good at pretending that I’m okay. Sometimes I pretend that I’m an antisocial. Sometimes I really am antisocial. Sheesh.

    1. That’s so interesting and I appreciate you sharing. Yes, the impression I get of you is happy-go-lucky. And I do still think you are! I think we’re all multi-faceted. Worrying seems to be in my blood.

  22. I thought your dog was a fox at first. He’s beautiful. Or is he a she? Sorry. I have only sons, so in my mind everyone’s he. No more worrying! Everything will be fine. I peeked at the end of the book. Good wins. 🙂 Just tell yourself that, at least. 🙂

    1. It’s a she! Thank you! We took her to a park once and a little kid said, “Mama, is that a red fox?” And the mom said no but she didn’t look sure! haha!
      I always peek at the ends of books! Don’t tell anyone..

  23. I am a worrier. I slept horribly last week due to the worry about the fundraiser. I’ve been trying meditation to calm my worries, sometimes it helps, sometimes the worry seeps through my peaceful thoughts. And I worry about natural disasters and car accidents.
    I hope your allergies get better! (By the way, the last time I was in NJ I swear I suddenly was allergic to something there, it was so strange.)

    1. I saw a video from Mara Wilson (you can probably Google it) and it was a really great breathing exercise that I use. I honestly don’t know what meditation really is because when I try, I fall asleep. Oops!!
      I hope you’re sleeping better now that the fundraiser is over! I’m going to Jersey this weekend and I hope my allergies don’t follow me or meet me there.

  24. Isn’t it funny how life goes through these waves of really good and then for no apparent reason, it’s like you get sick and then everything around you seems “womp womp”? Super frustrating, I know. But let the countdown to summer and better days begin!:-)

    1. Womp womp for sure! I get really melodramatic as if I can’t remember ever being healthy.
      But I got better overnight so I wasn’t really sick! Those were fierce allergies, though.

  25. I like Summer – but I may like when they are in school more – lol

    My mom who lives in MA too, said she was having really bad allergies too

    1. ha, I think that’s fine to admit.
      We got lots of rain last night and it seems to have helped everyone. I was a mess with the tree pollen!

  26. I’m totally laughing about the Flonase comment. Just bought some last week myself! I’ve also thought about 2 houses… but I think I’m deciding that is just more maintenance and responsibility – maybe just a rationalization for the fact that I’m not ever having 2 houses:)

    1. Flonase usually works well for me so this must have been some horrible tree pollen!!
      My in-laws have two hours and it’s a ton of work for sure…
      In my fantasy I have a groundskeeper at both house, of course!

  27. I read somewhere that this has been a record worst year for allergies. I’ve been on my meds since early February, but I still got sick. I may have had a cold too, it’s hard to tell one from the other. The only thing I haven’t had is itchy eyes, so I guess the meds are at least working 100 percent for that. My husband just left for a doctor appt. It’s baseball season so our shoots are outside hours at a time. I hope you feel better soon. I think allergies bring about a “heaviness” in our spirit that I see in your post. I’m not looking forward to summer but I am looking forward to allergy season being over.

    1. I usually start Flonase in late February because I generally get hit in March or so. I got surprised this year and Flonase didn’t help me! Although maybe it did because it was only two really bad days and now I feel normal. So the meds are working for me, but maybe not 100%.
      I feel you about the heaviness! What you saw here? It was very real!
      I feel lighter now.

  28. There’s so much in here today. I’m sorry your suffering from allergies or a cold. I’m sorry about the skunk incident. I always hope I never have any real encounters with skunks. Bad days are so tough and when I have a good day it’s like life is perfect and I’m floating sometimes. Sometimes just a nice bit of quiet or noise or outside works for me. I’m glad to read your words today, I’ve missed them 🙂

    1. Skunks up close? 1,000 times worse than that distant skunk feeling on the road. 1,000 times worse!
      So glad to see you here and I can’t wait to read your post. I admit I peeked at your announcement! I suspected it! I’ve been on the road so haven’t sat down to comment yet.

  29. I loved this!!! I’m worry a lot too. And it’s been really bad lately. Which is why I’m trying to meditate and learn how to live in the present. I’ve been reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and it talks about tuning out all the thoughts in your head. I have too many thoughts going on, but I’m trying to get better at tuning them out. Because it helps me not to worry so much.

    1. I’ll have to read that – thanks for the recommendation! I try to meditate but I fall asleep. I do well with good breathing and with laughing with my kids. It’s tough sometimes.

    1. Wow, it’s you! Thanks for checking in!
      The allergies went right away with that great rain last night. I hope eastern MA got it too.

  30. I’m afraid to say this because I will probably jinx myself…This is the first year in a long time that allergies haven’t bothered me. I’m not sure if I’m too focused on other things to notice or if I’ve really gotten a reprieve this year. I hope your symptoms lessen soon.

    1. I applaud your reprieve! I only get them bad like once a decade. This was BAD but it only lasted two days so I guess I can’t complain.

  31. I love these posts not only because I get a glimpse at who you are, but because it gives me a relaxing, warming feeling to know that I’m not the only one thinking these things.

    And oh my goodness — a dog getting skunked is soooo awful, surpassed only when it’s done to you. Ugh, I hope no one (poor Athena) has to go through that again! 🙂

    1. Aw! I’m so happy to provide a relaxing, warming feeling! That’s like the #1 reason to blog.
      The skunk thing.. so awful… just so awful..

  32. Yeah they really want you, they really do!

    I hope you’re feeling better soon. My daughter is dealing with allergies or a cold, which means she won’t play her last game before the playoffs, tonight.
    This was such a lovely look inside your soul, Tamara. And that picture of you is gorgeous!!
    Worry, although natural and somewhat instinctual it is nasty and debilitating. I have been meaning to write about my gray (worry) period….. we’ll see.
    Sending you big hugs!
    XOXO

    1. ha, yup! Now the song is back in my head.
      I hope your daughter is better? Mine went away SO FAST because it rained a lot. So mine wasn’t viral after all, but it was so rough.
      Thanks about the photo! That’s how I see myself. When other people take my photo I’m all, “Who is that??” It’s the photographer/critic in me.

  33. I have a similar conversation in my head – I want to leave NYC but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I want to stay in NYC but I long to pick up and move somewhere completely different and free. And the allergies! What is going on this year? Someone said that it was a pollen tsunami – like that’s a real thing. Who knew. Love this beautiful post friend.

  34. Ugh, skunk scented dog is such an awful smell! And, allergies are annoying and miserable. I use Zyrtec, and it helps, and changing up my diet has helped with the allergies, too. Hope you find something that works soon!

    1. Zyrtec helps me too but also puts me to sleep! Flonase usually helps but this tree pollen was bad! I’m happy it only lasted two days. I feel fine again.

  35. I don’t know if anyone mentioned this,but my good friend and mother of three who also had allergies turned to Young Living Essential Oils-I hear they are a God send! I am getting to know more about them and after much research and interviewing her I am hooked. I would consider it and give it a shot!

  36. I am sorry about your allergies, Tamara. Even through your sniffling and sneezing, you produced such a meaningful post. Hope you feel better soon. An yes, I agree with you about summer. Lazy days (at least I hope) , here I come!

  37. What happened to Flonase?! It helped T so much last year, and this Spring it isn’t making a dent, even when combined with Allegra twice a day. At least she hasn’t had her annual bouts of allergic conjunctivitis (yet). Hopefully summer will be here soon enough to ease your symptoms. So glad you’re looking forward to it. My first summer home with a kid makes me so nervous!

    1. Flonase has been my rock for years and this week? Nothing. I even took Claritin and Zyrtec to no avail. Perhaps I need to try Allegra.
      I will say that the best medicine was rain coming yesterday! Now I’m nearly 100% fine! I had gotten so bad I thought it was a cold!

  38. My allergies are kicking my butt, I have to take my allergy meds AND my essential oils as soon as I wake up otherwise, I can’t recover.

    I’m over the school year too… for so many reasons, the commute definitely being one of them. Picking my son up everyday and getting the two kiddos packed up and driving around sucks.

    1. I think the essential oils definitely take the edge off! I’ve been loving peppermint and lemon and lavender!
      I hear you about the school year for the same reasons.

  39. I love your old school blogging posts.

    I feel for you with your allergies. That’s brutal. I thankfully don’t have seasonal allergies but I’m wickedly allergies to cats.

    I’m ready for summer too! Although we’ll be homeschooling through the summer, it will be nice to have the warmer temperatures.

    I love that photo of you at the end. Gorgeous.

    Thanks for sharing.
    xoxo

    1. Ouch about the cats! I have one walking across my face as I write this and I’m thankful to not be allergic because that would hurt. (well, we wouldn’t have cats)

  40. So sorry about your allergies!! This season has been crazy! My eldest wakes up with puffy eyes most mornings. I also don’t like that feeling of little butterflies. I drive myself crazy trying to figure out what I’m forgetting!

    1. Puffy eyes! No good. That happened to my friend and she took her kids to the beach and it went right away! So the problem was apparently tree pollen. For me it’s pine trees, I think.

      The butterflies feeling is weird! I’ve always gotten it randomly, even as a kid. Not badly but just subtly there.

  41. I’m over it too. Four days in Aruba with no allergies was heavenly, but I went right back to them within an hour of getting home. I hate taking medication, but I must take a Zyrtec every day or I won’t be able to function. Will you share that Calgon with me, please?

    1. Aruba is on my bucket list! I heard there’s no humidity there. Sign me up.
      I’ll give you some Calgon. I got it in the form of overnight rain! It washed the tree pollen away and my allergies got 99% better. I won’t say 100% because I’m not sure I’m ever there this time of year..
      Zyrtec makes me Zzz…

  42. Phew – so many things in one post… Allergies – baah, got to hate them, but got to live with them, too. There’s a new photo of you I haven’t seen before – very deep. Oh, and when you find out how to get two houses, one on each coast, please fill me in on the secret, ‘kay?! 🙂

    1. I took that photo for two reasons – 1. to prove that I don’t have brown eyes! But mainly – to take a photo of how I see myself. Generally when I see photos of myself that other people took, I say, “Please tell me I don’t really look like that.”
      And of course I do.. but a girl can dream.

  43. I love Hole — That song takes me way back to like last year because if I say way way way back that would make me super old and stuff.
    I love that you are a wide open book and that you put it all out there. You are real and even though you say you are afraid and nervous — to be able to put emotions like these into words and post them, that takes courage. I hope that it heals you as it does for me. Reading your words helps me feel less alone and I hope you know that.
    one thing I do not love about you — allergies. Fuck that with a pill and call it a day 🙂

    1. Oh, dear you. I don’t really know what I am but I know no other ways – so in that respect – yes. Real and honest and afraid and nervous and maybe even brave.
      The allergies went away! Otherwise I would be taking Sudafed like candy. (just kidding..people who read into everything and think I have a meth lab)

  44. We all have 1000 feelings going on inside us – worries, fears, joy, calm. Hopefully you can feel more of the joy and calm, especially with the lazy days of summer ahead of us.

  45. I think a trip to the farm is always the answer. but that’s my great memories; and I don’t think the beach would be all that bad a cure either. I am ready for the suns warm rays to melt all the worries and stresses of this year away!

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