Cabbage is Rolling!


I have the good fortune of coming from a family that manages to find humor in all of life’s crevices; the darkest, dirtiest, scariest recess can’t keep us down for too long, perhaps out of pride, or fear of falling apart, but we can usually laugh our way out of a tight spot.

Over the past week, I have been spending a lot of time in the hospital with my family, and when we were at our most tense, yet guardedly relieved after my father just came through 5 long hours of surgery, we stood in the ICU begging for a flutter of his eyes or a squeeze of the hand, when the voice on the intercom announced, “CABBAGE IS ROLLING! CABBAGE IS ROLLING!”

We looked at each other and started laughing. Did we hear that right? CABBAGE!?

CABG, or cabbage is apparently medical lingo for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, so the intercom was simply alerting the nurses that another bypass patient was successfully coming out of surgery, while we are giggling like 12 year olds. We are a classy crew.

Irreverent, juvenile, and a little inappropriate? Maybe. But it felt good, and put our situation in perspective. Our triple cabbage, with a side of thoracic aneurism, is still alive, and that’s something to be pretty damn happy about, so we let the tension and fear slowly roll off with each chuckle and belly laugh.

This week has served up a good reminder to myself….no matter how tough it gets out there…embrace my inner 12 year old and look for rolling cabbages….they are there, even if it takes a while to find them.

Besides, I’ve always agreed with Maya.

“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.”
― Maya Angelou

The Anonymity Thing

blank face

The one question that came in on my FAQ post was the one I knew I had to address in greater depth than the comments section – the anonymity thing. When I meet people in person through this site, it almost always comes up… some get it, some don’t and I’m OK either way as long as they respect my wish to remain anonymous.

I naturally have close friends and family members who know I have this site and they mostly interact with me about stuff posted here offline. I think they like their anonymity too!

So why? What’s the big deal? Everyone else has their selfies all over instagram and their blogs, so what’s my problem?

I chose anonymity 5 years ago for many reasons. It’s not because I’m ashamed of how I look- I’m not! I was, however, a little insecure about why anyone would care about my renovation journal, and I didn’t want it to be about ME, but about sharing interests. As a transplant trying to learn my way in this town, I also wanted it to be a way of connecting with my new community. I had never lived in a suburban area before, and I missed the interactions we enjoyed in urban apartments and historic neighborhoods, despite loving our new found privacy. So I guess I was seeking some virtual neighbors.

My choice to fly under the radar, yet still be in a public domain, might be seen as hypocritical by some, and that’s’s my gig! My blogging has always felt a bit narcissistic, so maybe part of me feels slightly less self centered if I keep my image out of it?

It just seemed if I didn’t try to be everything it would keep things simple.

HA! It has actually been far more difficult to remain anonymous when today, so much social media is connected. My google account wants to connect with my Facebook who wants to connect with EVERYTHING, and it seems like there has to be constant vigilance every time software gets updated because THEY know who I am and they want me to share it ALL by default.

I choose to remain anonymous now because I realized the community I wanted was, and is, there…without having to give it all up! I don’t keep my children’s spaces and faces under wraps because I think predators are stalking us – we just aren’t that interesting – but it’s about respecting them and their privacy…especially as they are getting older. They used to WANT me to put them up on the site, and now they are very glad I don’t, and you can’t “undo” that kind of stuff. I also like to think I am teaching them that the internet can be a wonderful place if you are careful and responsible…but I could really be deluding myself there – I guess time will tell?  If the Things turn Anthony Weiner > Carlos Danger in their young adulthood, the last laugh will be on me.

BTW, I don’t judge anyone who wants to post their kids online AT ALL – I think it’s great, I know I enjoy following along, and I truly admire them for feeling free enough to do so, it’s just not me/us.

I guess, at the end of the day, I just never thought it mattered. I can only picture the voices of my peeps on NPR and does it stop me from listening? Nope, I nerdily tune in every day (Ari Shapiro is now in London!) and listen along, blissfully unaware with no faces to many of the names….although, Ira Glass is kinda handsome.

Theater of the mind, friends…theater of the mind.


Flash Forward

I’ll post up some snaps of the holidays soon, but I need to keep things somewhat chronological.

While everyone is looking back at 2012, and looking forward to what 2013 will bring, I had the chance to glimpse forward 30 years, or so I can only hope. We went to spend a few days with my parents before Christmas, and during that time, I got to crash a party..kind of.

My mom and 15 of her closest girlfriends get together a few times throughout the year to celebrate birthdays, and the holidays are no exception. This year, a couple of ladies had to miss out, so I somehow wangled an invitation. I’ve been hearing about this gig for years, so I was in! This younger generation interloper was ready to try and keep up these energetic ladies!

Because these are wizened and sensible women, they rented a limo to drive the majority of party guests to the lovely country home of this year’s hostess. There is wine involved after all.

It was every bit as cacophonous as I expected, with many talking over each other wielding insults, compliments, and all around chaotic merriment. We had a gorgeous lunch with champagne, a crackling fire, and a communal present swap where the rules had to be explained… Every. Single. Turn. It doesn’t matter they’ve been doing this every year for a few decades. The Golden Girls don’t have ANYTHING on this bunch.

Despite the fact a significant amount of time was spent discussing various forms of cancer, who died recently, who has been diagnosed with any of the dizzying variety of ailments and diseases…they laughed until they cried. This is their world now. This crew refers to MD Anderson like we refer to the grocery store. As friends, spouses, and loved ones drop away, one by one, they still have each other.

I can only hope that I am lucky enough to have that kind of support system in 30 years. Through multiple husbands, children, mastectomies and boob jobs, these ladies inspire me in many ways, and I was grateful for the chance to witness it in all it’s tipsy, giggly, somber, yet sweet glory. Thanks for having me.