Category Archives: My husband rocks!

Quick Hit: Catchy

So, Mr. Chili gave me a spiffy new radio for my car last year, and it came with bluetooth capability, which means that I can play stuff through my phone.  Sometimes I’ll play my iTunes list, but if I’m going to be in the car for a while, I’ll log into Pandora and let that go.

I have a bunch of Pandora stations that I really like.  One of the things that I particularly appreciate about Pandora is that it exposes me to music I wouldn’t otherwise discover; I don’t listen to commercial radio because I can’t stand the inane chatter (or, you know, the commercials), and I haven’t figured out how to use Spotify yet.  If I don’t like a song, I give it a “thumbs down,” but I’m just as often giving “thumbs up” to the stuff I do like and, as time goes on, the station gets better.

One of the stations I created started with a Maroon 5 song, and that’s the station I’ve been listening to lately (I was on a big Dave Matthews kick this summer, but I’m trying to branch out).  This song is patently ridiculous, but it is also completely infectious.  It’s been in my head since I heard it three days ago.

Enjoy!

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Quick Hit: Cold!

It was so cold this morning, Daddy could make snow with water from the tea kettle.

No, Bean, that is just so COLD!!!

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Quick Hit: Holiday Bush

We have procured this year’s tree!!

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It’s nearly 13 feet tall and has, by far, the biggest trunk of any tree (of any height) we’ve ever had before.  In fact, one of the guys who helped Mr. Chili wrestle the thing on top of his Tiguan commented that “she’s an old one.”

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You can’t really tell from the picture, but the trunk is wider than the span of Mr. Chili’s hand.  Seriously.  We were concerned it wouldn’t fit in the tree stand.  It does, but there’s not much room for water in there; I’m going to have to tend to her a couple of times a day.

 

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Without the able assistance of our neighbor (who, himself, wrestled his ginormous tree into his living room yesterday), we never would have gotten the thing upright.  Mr. Chili will be pressured into putting the lights on it tonight so that the girls and I (all four of us; I promised Sweet Pea she could be in on it) can decorate it tomorrow.

Thus, my holidays are officially begun.

 

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Ten Things Tuesday

The obligatory thankful post.

1. I am deeply, profoundly, wordlessly grateful for my husband. He loves me in a way that makes me feel real, and I never expected to be as happy as I am.

2. I am thankful for my beautiful, healthy, wonderful daughters (all of them) and the relationships that we share.

3. There are a lot of really wonderful people in my life who call me friend, who offer me love and compassion, and who remind me over and over that they are there for me. I am humbled that such remarkable people think enough of me to give me that much of themselves. I’m not going to name names, but you know who you are.

4. I am also deeply grateful to the people who come here, who challenge me to think and to question, and who offer me their support and encouragement. This space is a big part of my life, and I’m thankful that you make it a part of yours, too.

5. I am thankful for the things I have in my life: a beautiful, warm, comfortable home; a fun, reliable vehicle; good food; warm clothes; vacations; entertainment. I have a lot and I’m aware of my privilege.

6. I am healthy. I can use my body in the ways that I want to. My mind is sharp and agile, and I can use that, too. I am aware that a lot of people don’t enjoy those riches.

7. I am crazy in love with technology. The internet delights me, I love my cell phone, and I’m completely enamored of indoor plumbing and central heating. I pause every once in a while to offer up gratitude for the fact that I can flip a switch and have light in the darkness, or turn a knob and have safe, clean drinking water.

8. I am grateful to the people who do jobs that I can’t (or would prefer not to). I love my mechanic. I have wonderful physicians. My mail delivery people and my trash collection people and my daughters’ teachers all rock my world. I try to be aware of all the people who work to provide all the things we all enjoy.

9. I am grateful for the many things that make me think. I get a lot of really great information from a lot of really smart people, and I’m honored that they share that knowledge with me.

10. I’m grateful for chocolate. Duh.

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Quick Hit: Civics on Sunday

The Chili family traveled to our state’s capitol today to see the President.  Turns out, we got to see two of them:

That’s where the Chili family set up camp, and that’s President Clinton at the podium (I couldn’t find an image with President Obama that included a wide enough angle to catch our position.  I borrowed the original image from The Obama Diary (which I love, by the way; GORGEOUS pictures and lots of great information).  His speech was everything we’ve come to expect from Mr. Clinton; funny, pointy, and passionate.  Poor guy seems a little tired, though, and sounded a bit hoarse.  I’m betting he’ll be up for a nice, long vacation come November 7th.

President Obama was on.  He continues to inspire my admiration; he’s level-headed, thoughtful, articulate, genuine, and enthusiastic.  He speaks about people like people, not as abstract ideas (or, worse, something icky to be tolerated only when absolutely necessary).  He asked us, pointedly, for our support; he understands that this thing isn’t in the bag until people get out and vote.

I’m already on the list to volunteer to drive people to the polls on Tuesday.

It was a long day, strangely reminiscent of Inauguration Day nearly four years ago; it was cold (though a good deal warmer than it was that January morning), there were a LOT of people (if I’m not mistaken, it’s being billed as the biggest political rally in the state’s history, though we were not nearly as many as we were that January morning.  Also?  We met some of our neighbors among all those people, and I can see them becoming friends), and there was a lot of excitement.  I’m really glad we went, and I came out of the experience more confident than ever that we’re going to give President Obama his job back.

Fired up!  Ready to go!

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Allies

First, a little back story.  Last night, my husband and I were watching The Ed Show.  Ed was interviewing a couple of women about the response to Richard Mourdock’s tone-deaf comment about the sanctity of life created by rape (I’m certain you’ve all been beaten to death with the quote, so I’m not going to repeat it here) and about how outraged women are about the ways in which their bodies and lives and choices are so callously talked about (and decided) by prominent (yet utterly clueless) members of the GOP.

It was right about there that my beloved nearly scared me out of my seat by YELLING at the t.v. (and this is pretty much a direct quote), “WHAT ABOUT THE MEN!?  What about the men who are fucking outraged by this bullshit, HUH?!”

God, I love that guy.

Ever since the GOP stopped bothering to hide its misogynist agenda – in fact, they’ve gotten downright giddy about it –  I’ve been wondering about the relative silence from (some) men about the things that women have been complaining about for a while now.

I’m fortunate in that I associate with some pretty wonderful men who understand, without anyone having to point it out to them, that there are a lot of really important women in their lives that they would like to keep safe and healthy and free from government interference.  Mothers and sisters, wives, girlfriends, lovers, office mates, neighbors, aunts, cousins, in-laws, best friends; I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that literally every man can think of at least one woman he cares deeply about in one way or another.

Accepting this as true, it stands to reason that there should be more men speaking up about this (as my husband so eloquently put it) bullshit.  I mean, really; ask any straight guy how he feels about the ease with which the woman/women in his life should have access to contraception, for example, and I bet you’ll find more than a few of them who are all for universal coverage.  Talk to any man whose (insert relation here) has had a cancer scare (or, worse yet, an actual diagnosis) and ask them how they feel about mammograms and PAP smears and Planned Parenthood, and I’ll bet you’ll find more than a few of them who are all for them.  I’m betting you’ll even find a few men who, even if they’re not crazy about the idea of abortion, understand that to force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term is tantamount to denying her personhood; Frederick Douglass is quoted as saying “I did not know what a slave was until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted.”  To deny women choice is to enslave them to the State, plain and simple, and there are a lot of men (at least, in my circle) who actually understand that.

WAY back in March, a friend of mine wrote a short but powerfully persuasive piece about why he stands up, and about why more men should (it made me well up when I first read it, and it hasn’t lost any of its punch; “You want to go after our sluts and prostitutes?  The women I love? You’re going to have to go through me first” gets me every time).  I was excited to see Kevin Bacon in one protest ad against the GOP agenda and Jason Alexander in another.  I’ve heard Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert speak – in some pretty explicit and uncompromising (and bitterly funny) ways – about why the GOP’s policies toward women are dead wrong.  I’m pretty sure I remember Jay Smooth doing a video about it, too, but of course I can’t find it to link to that particular edition.

My point, though, is that these are the best examples I can come up with of men speaking out about the draconian, dehumanizing, and just wrong things that the GOP is doing and saying (out loud, in public, and with no shame).  I want more men to get angry.  I want more men to understand that these are NOT just women’s issues; if he loves a woman – ANY woman – these issues should matter to him, too.  While I’m heartened that my husband is infuriated by all of this nonsense (though I do hope he’ll give me a little warning before his next enthusiastic expression of that outrage), I’m saddened that I’m not hearing it from more men.

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It’s That Time of Year

The girls, inexplicably, have a four day weekend that started today.  As a consequence, Mr. Chili ditched work at noon and came home to be with us.

We decided to head out to lunch at Five Guys (we owed Punk a trip; when we went the last time, she was at band).  While we were enjoying our (yummy) burgers, someone – it may have been Mr. Chili, even – suggested we go apple picking.

After I checked the website (our farm is high tech!) t0 make sure there were apples left to be picked, we piled into the car and headed for the orchard.  In the store, we bought two peck bags, a sleeve of cider donuts, and a chocolate covered marshmallow rolled in toasted coconut (those are my favorites; they have nothing to do with apples or autumn, but I love them just the same).

The day was warm and clear, and there were, in fact, apples to be picked.  Most of them were up really high, though, so extraordinary measures were taken to obtain them.  Observe:

That’s Bean, poking out of the top of a tree.  Oh, and just for the record?  The orchard does NOT forbid people climbing the trees (and we’re VERY respectful of them; we don’t even so much as bend a twig).

The Chili household is currently redolent with the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking apples.   The girls baked a couple of pies and, after I come home this evening, I’ll be putting together an apple crisp to bring to my mini-high school reunion at Sooza’s tomorrow.

This is one of my favorite things about autumn.

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Quick Hit: Awesome

My husband is the fucking BOMB, You Guys!

I had a technical problem that I could not figure out how to solve.  My husband listened to what I wanted to do and why I wanted to do it, and when he couldn’t find an add-on that would work the way I needed the process to work, he fucking WROTE CODE to get me what I needed.  He INVENTED a solution to my problem.

SWEET!

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Sixteen

My beloved and I commemorate 16 years of marriage today.

My relationship with my husband has always felt like the strangest combination of well-worn and brand-new.  We’ve been together for over 20 years now (TWENTY YEARS!), but I still get butterflies sometimes when he pulls up the driveway.  There is a matter-of-factness about our being together that feels infinitely safe and comfortable, but I’m still left with a feeling of disbelief that this can actually be my life.  We know each other’s vocabulary and sense of humor and tics and habits, but I know that we’re both often surprised by how easily we fit together; how we’ll wordlessly pick up where the other leaves off, or how we’ll step in to fill a gap or lend support without the other having to ask for it, as if we’re energetically connected and can know, without consciously knowing, what the other needs.

We have managed, thus far, to move though some really difficult phases – the loss of jobs (both his and mine), family deaths, fears and uncertainties – but never have those difficult parts been about us.  I know a lot of couples who find themselves looking out and away from each other when they’re feeling challenged or threatened, but we’ve never done that.  There’s a sort of intrinsic knowing that, regardless of what happens to us, nothing can intrude on the promises we’ve made to each other.  In the end, our marriage is what’s most important to both of us, and everything else – even the hard stuff – is secondary to the knowledge that we’ve got each other.

For all of that, I never take a moment of my life with this man for granted.  Though I know that he’s there, unquestioning and unconditionally, I never take that knowledge lightly.  I’m grateful, every day, that he chose me and I work, every day, to honor him with my own devotion, commitment, and love.

 

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Quick Hit: Good Parenting

I’ve got a post brewing about parenting, and about why my generation seems to suck at it (honest to God; who the fuck is RAISING these KIDS?!), but I thought I’d share this ahead of time.

This evening, my family and I settled in to watch The Assassination of Dr. Tiller.  When it was all over, we talked to the girls about what we saw, and about the culture of the abortion issue.

My children have always known that their parents are both strongly pro-choice.  We’ve never shied away from the complexities of the issue; the girls understand that it’s a wrenching choice that no one but the woman involved can truly understand, and that we refuse to pass judgment on the issue because we know we don’t have the right to make decisions for anyone but ourselves.  Further, we’ve made the distinction between being pro-choice and pro-abortion; no thinking, feeling human being is pro-abortion, but we also recognize that situations drive women to have to make these choices, and having safe, legal, accessible abortion services is crucial to women’s health and autonomy.

I think what bothered my kids the most weren’t the graphic pictures of the murder scene, or of the images that the anti-choice protesters distributed, but rather the callousness of the anti-choice “leaders” who were interviewed for the piece.  Bean was pretty astute in pointing out that no one who promotes the kind of disrespect and hatred that these people foment should be allowed to walk away without consequence when someone else takes that rhetoric to its horrifying conclusion.  Punk was a little harder to read; she kept going back to a conversation we had where she was certain I made a proclamation about abortion as birth control, and she hasn’t yet been able to get past that (for the record, and regardless of what she remembers, my stance is and always has been that “abortion as birth control” is a trope formulated by the anti-choice movement.  I can’t even begin to imagine a woman who would subject herself to such a thing, particularly not when birth control is (for the moment) so inexpensive and readily available.  Introduce me to someone who uses abortion as birth control, and then I’ll express an option on the matter).

I love that my daughters are mature enough to have these conversations.  I love that my husband is unashamedly in support of women’s rights in all forms.  Finally, I love that my girls are thinking now about these really tough issues.  I have precious little time left with them before they venture out into the world and have to make decisions for themselves; that they have the opportunity to do this kind of critical thinking right now bolsters my confidence in their ability to navigate the world on their own later.

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