Organs are for more than music!

Today was a No School day for the girls, so we spent it doing what ALL kids wish they could do on a No School day: We went to meet my new gynecologist! Wahoo!!!

Good News: After spending the past two months wondering if I’m dying or going batty, I finally have a possible (completely tame) diagnosis. Adenomyosis! In other words, my uterus is sort of turning itself inside out (not really, but sort of, but not really) and because it’s all huge and swollen (enjoy your dinner!), it’s invading my bladder’s personal space.

Crazy Uterus

You don’t want to hear any more details, so let me fast forward through the No Pants stuff and just say this: I now have a prescription for birth control pills. (I had my tubes tied back in 2011, so I’m hoping that the two forms of birth control don’t cancel each other out. (I don’t have any more love to give right now.)) I also have a prescription for Vicodin, and the fact that I mentioned Vicodin means that I just brought in some traffic from junkies who are looking for Vicodin! Welcome! (Note to junkies: I will fill the prescription only if necessary. In other words, do not come to my house. There’s nothing to see here.)

Side Note: Another big welcome goes out to all of the curious parents from our elementary school who have noticed that my e-mail ends with a fluid pudding dot com. (That’s what I get for volunteering!) “What is fluid pudding dot com?” you may have asked yourself before coming over. And now you’re feeling a pinch of regret. (It smells like cloves.) I really need to get a professional e-mail address. Please don’t think less of my daughters. They’re good eggs.

After the doctor appointment, the girls and I traveled to Fizzy’s for a chocolate soda, a wedding cake soda, an orange dream soda, and burgers (dead cow for them, veggie for me). Two of the local radio stations are playing Christmas music and that jazzed us to no end and led us to purchase a pumpkin pie on the way home from lunch. It’s a good day to be a Pudding, for we’ve grown a little leaner, grown a little older, grown a little sadder (not really. don’t worry.), grown a little colder…

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What’s not scary? Puff pastry, that’s what!

Before this evening, I had never used a ramekin and I had never fiddled around with puff pastry.

Tonight, on my parents’ 49th wedding anniversary, I made beefless wellington potpies. In ramekins. With puff pastry.

Beefless Wellington Potpie

(The recipe is in Betty Goes Vegan, and my only alteration was to leave out the wine. No regrets.)

Because I was able to scratch Ramekin and Puff Pastry off of my imaginary life list, I’m feeling all fired up to do a few more things that I’ve never done before.

1. Wear a mini skirt with ripped up tights to a giant spicy pickle hunt at the grocery store.

2. File a restraining order against Corey Feldman.

3. Knit a tiny scarf for my neighbor’s naked goose statue.

I hope your Thursday is going well. I almost bought a wax tart melter, but then I didn’t. That pretty much sums it up.

(If anyone has opinions on wax tart melters, I would love to hear them. I sort of made my own out of a teacup and my oil burning tiny stove, but I’m not completely sure that the teacup is lead-free. In other words, I’m compromising my family’s health to make our house smell like something called Winter Dutch Apple Wreath. Oh, the things we do.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Next up? Scalpel!

As I type this message to you, our mail carrier is driving around with an envelope addressed to me and inside that envelope is a hemostat. Imagine how my world will open up when I remove the hemostat from its packaging! Suddenly, when a surgeon looks at me and says “Clamp!” I can do more than stare at my shoes! I can remove a hook from a fish who has been searching the streets for a compassionate hemostat owner! I can crimp tubing on a shoddy homemade water filter! Most importantly? I can remove my nose ring when I don’t feel like wearing a nose ring. (Actually, the fish thing is the most important. I don’t want you to think that my nose opal outranks a needy fish!)

Here’s the thing. I’ve been listening to Roderick on the Line. When John Roderick expressed his fear of becoming a parody of himself (cool dad musician guy galavanting around Seattle in skinny jeans), my eyes opened wide and I looked (down and to the right) at my nose ring and then my gaze drifted down my left arm to the new tattoo and then I received an e-mail from ModCloth suggesting that I purchase some sort of Rockabilly dress and then The Decemberists shuffled on the iPod, and: Yipes. I’m 43 and so terribly unable to carry off the entire collection. Therefore: hemostat, arm warmers, and no more floopy dresses. Moderation is key. (The Decemberists can stay, mainly because I can’t get enough of January Hymn, which shuffles most often.)

I don’t think I will ever not love that song. And although several of the smartest people I know cannot read my tattoo, I don’t think I’ll ever not love it, either. AND, because I know a few of you are curious, please know that the vet shaved my cat this morning, and that is NOT a euphemism. Poor Ramona is walking around looking like she’s not wearing any pants. (I’d take a photo, but something about dignity and respect keep me from pressing the button.) The vet has assured me that people cut their cats all of the time.

Me: Not THIS person!

Vet: Believe me, it happens. She’s going to be just fine.

Me: Does someone want to give me a hug?!

Vet: What?

Me: I feel like I need to be punished and consoled all at the same time.

Ramona: Where are my pants?! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

On Saturdays, we tend to celebrate babies.

We went to a baby shower on Saturday evening, and it was possibly the best baby shower ever.

What Made The Baby Shower A Great Baby Shower:
1. It was held in a cafe that featured 40 different types of desserts.

2. Free flowing hummus with vegetables and pita chips. Honestly: All You Can Eat, and it was probably the best hummus I’ve had. (I’ve had lots of hummus. You know it’s true.)

3. No games. NO GAMES! No guessing how many squares of toilet paper it would take to wrap around the new mom’s belly. No avoiding saying the word “Baby” in order to win a prize. No games!

4. Everyone received a salad that held candied pecans and cranberries.

5. My kids joined me and they’re finally at the age where they can sit down and enjoy themselves without fighting or screaming about how bored they are.

Before we left for the shower, Harper walked in wearing a really cute pink plaid shirt.

Me: That’s a really cute shirt.

Harper: Meredith said I should take it off.

Me: Why?

Harper: Meredith said that a sure-fire way to make a bad impression is to wear a plaid shirt to a baby shower.

(She wore the shirt, and to my knowledge, no one judged her.)


During the shower, I told Harper that eating this mint will put a baby in her belly. She believed me.

Harper is a good sport. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>


I don’t mean to make anyone angry, but I’m really close to being over halfway finished with my Christmas shopping.

Here is my advice: Tell yourself that you’re going to have surgery in December and you need to get this stuff taken care of so you can recover gently and happily on the couch with hot tea in hand and Meg Ryan on the television. Ready, set, go.

This is what I’m going to be doing five more times between now and February. Meredith has joined a co-ed volleyball team and I’m all high on it.


When I was a kid, my cousins and I spent quite a few Saturdays sitting on the driveway of my grandma’s house and burning leaves with magnifying glasses. This morning, Harper grabbed a magnifying glass and got to work on some leaves in our back yard. My grandmother would have been proud. (And then she would have offered up some chocolate cake with white icing.)

Disco Inferno

This arrived in the mail today, and suddenly I’m wanting to thank people for a thank you card. I know that Emily Post would probably shake her head at me, but still.

A&W Magnet ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Breaking up is hard to do.

Let’s talk about hair. Last year I broke up with the woman who cuts my hair, and I still feel guilty about it. She had been cutting my hair from the time I was 17 until I was 42 and that’s a quarter of a century. Sadly, her schedule and my schedule started to not work out (she lives in Nashville and would come into town every month or so) and suddenly I found another woman who cuts my hair perfectly and I LOVE HER. How did I break up with my original stylist who had seen me regularly from 1987 through 2012? I just stopped calling her. UGH! Terrible! TERRIBLE! (Honesty: I feel guilty about it at least once each week, because that’s how I am.)

Welcome to Masterpiece Theater
(She gave me this haircut, which made me look like a snide bow dress wearing Echo & The Bunnymen fan girl. Bring on the dancing horses!)

Let’s talk about my insides. My gynecologist first saw my innards shortly after I started dating Jeff (at age 26) when I realized that Jeff looked a little bit like the gynecologist I HAD been seeing, and that seemed weird. She delivered both of my kids. She tied my tubes. She sang songs to me about IUDs and Lupron and Depo-Provera and I held up my finger and said, “No, no, and no.” I then sang a song about a hysterectomy, and she held up her finger and said, “No.” And then I talked about not being able to speak during ovulation and she said “Here’s an Aleve.” In the past five weeks, I’ve peed into five cups (successfully!) and bad things are happening that I don’t want to talk about, and she’s done with returning my calls and I think we’ve reached a urethral impasse.


(These are my tubes. Tied.)

Anyway, I called a new gynecologist yesterday because she received 31 5-star ratings on a doctor rating website (I know.), and her name is VERY similar to my name, which means we must have a lot in common. Anyway, I took a few minutes to explain my symptoms to her nurse, and BOOM! I’m going in for an ultrasound on Tuesday and will be spending additional time with the doctor on Friday. AND, a good friend of mine (who also shares my name) actually KNOWS the new gynecologist and has nothing but nice things to say about her.

Two things:

1. I’m hoping to be uterus free in 2014! If you can dream it you can achieve it!

2. I’ve never met a bad Angela. (Please know that I’ve never met Angela Lansbury.)

Tomorrow I’ll be telling you why you should never hit a bat in the head with a shovel. (37 bats are high-fiving each other right now, because they agree with me. Wholeheartedly.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

These are a few.

It’s nearly seven o’clock and I almost forgot to write! Hello there!

Let’s see. The day started off fairly well and then it turned to crap and then it got a little crappier. BUT, I’m pleased to report that my crappiest day really isn’t that crappy in the scheme of things. You know. The scheme. Of things.

(In case you’re counting? Crap and variations thereof: 4!)

To cheer myself up, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite things with you.

I’m still in love with Modern Ritual. I’m currently wearing Optimistic and yesterday Harper and I both wore Social Butterfly. I recently added Autumn Blend to my wishlist, and I’m also looking at Love Blend 01.

Sexy Hippie

The Create Bracelet. This is the bracelet given to me by a very special person and it led to me having the word Create tattooed onto my forearm last week. This is it. I LOVE this bracelet.


Ira Glass stretched out on a couch. Honestly, if I didn’t have Create tattooed onto my arm, I would seriously consider having this photo of Ira Glass tattooed onto my arm. I would want his arms repositioned so that he was playing my veins like a string bass, and I want him to stand in the crook of my elbow. (I know!)


I’m a mitten away from finishing my only Christmas knitting for the year, so I celebrated by starting a pair of arm warmers for myself. This yarn is kettle dyed and it reminds me of kettle corn and apple butter and fall leaves. I bought it several years ago and have been waiting for the perfect project to spark me. Picot arm warmers.


The girls gave me a flower loom for my birthday, and I’ve been making wool flowers. They might turn into bows. They might become ornaments. At this point they have no purpose other than looking cute on my computer table.


My dad shared his caramel pie recipe with me, and I’ve made four in the past month. Graham cracker crust, layer of bananas, layer of caramel, layer of whipped cream, cherries, chocolate shavings, and nuts if you have them. (I never do.)


Mr. Kipling Cherry Bakewells. We ate them in London, and in August we found them in a tiny shop ten miles from our house. I’m letting myself buy a box every six months so that I don’t get tired of them. I’m looking forward to February.


Scout on a shelf.

 Scout makes herself at home on the kitchen shelf.

Harper’s ‘Just Like Meredith’ doll.

Harper's not very happy about her "Just Like Meredith" American Girl doll. Eighth birthday sadness.

All better? All better. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Leaves become most beautiful when they’re about to die.

Every year the Pudding gang goes on a fall leaf adventure, and yesterday was The Day. We took a ferry to Grafton, Illinois and stomped around through Pere Marquette after learning that it’s really hard to be a vegetarian in Grafton unless you’re willing to eat a big greasy glop of cheese. (We took the girls to a restaurant/winery who claims they have the best burgers in Grafton. It’s a really big place with a really big meaty and boozy menu. When I asked if they have veggie burgers, the woman at the register just stared at me and shook her head. I ordered the big greasy glop of cheese, as you do when your only option is the big greasy glop of cheese.)


I could sit here and type things like “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower” (Camus) or “I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion” (Thoreau), but you’ve heard it all before. Alternatively, I could make some sort of weird connection like Orange IS the New Black!, but we all know if I’ve never seen a Doctor Who episode or a Housewives of Whatever County episode, there’s a pretty good chance that I’m missing out on all kinds of good things on television, including OItNB and one should not reference things that one is not able to explain. Time is all around. So much stuff exists and I have no idea what’s happening! I’M ON INSTAGRAM, so you would think I would be more aware of THINGS.


As we walked through the park, our conversation turned toward The Hunger Games and the things you need to be aware of while exploring woody areas. Unmedicated monkeys. Owls with anger management problems. Lions in denial.


At one point I asked, “What if we turn this corner and there is another family of four and they come up to us and calmly say, ‘We are here to fight you.’? What should we do? Should we just start beating the crap out of them or should we say, ‘Listen. We don’t want to fight you.’?” Both girls agreed that we shouldn’t fight. Suddenly, I felt like a good parent (who lacks the energy to look up the rules about quotes within quotes, so I’m burping out punctuation all willy-nilly).?,”!


With that said, a few months ago, Meredith asked who Prince is. Last night we pulled up a Nirvana video on YouTube, and she asked if it was The Beatles. We still have a lot of work to do.

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Sweet dreams are made of this.


I had a very crazy dream on the couch. In the dream Henry was a horse and he took me and Scout to Subway and I must have been dreaming really hard because I ate something at Subway. What I ate was a sandwich with italian bread, not a foot long, and it had lettuce and ham. I was wondering if we could go to Subway for dinner.
Love, Harper 

I love that she knew she was dreaming really hard not because she was riding to a restaurant on the back of a 50 pound dog, but because she actually ate something from Subway. (Harper is my picky eater. She won’t eat sandwiches.) Last night we made her dream come true, and she actually ate a ham and lettuce sandwich. ((Henry and Scout stayed home.))

Dogs in a Box

This morning at approximately 3:00, Meredith shouted out for Jeff. She had just experienced a dream during which she threw up (in the dream).

Meredith: It makes me nervous because I’m wondering if my dream is trying to predict my future and maybe I should take a stomach pill.

Me: I was just dreaming that I was running on gravel because someone broke my fountain pen at a party and there were snakes and raccoons in the house. I hope my dream isn’t trying to predict my future.

Harper (half-asleep): Don’t worry, Meredith. I’ve had lots of dreams where I pooped in the bed, and it’s only happened once or twice in real life. Ha. Ha ha. HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

(Meredith did not throw up. The only animals in the house are the ones we adopted. Harper hasn’t defecated in the bed since before she could walk. All is well. Enjoy your Sunday.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>