Upget Schoolgo

I think Oompah (my grandfather) said this first? But my parents said it too. Anyway. It comes to mind this morning because I’m getting the morning routine back that I’ve now established into its normal time slot of basically way too damn early to be awake. 

We’ve been preparing and planning a lot virtually in recent weeks. In-person work begins for teachers on Monday, so my morning commute also begins. It is an hour north. Everyone looks at me crazy when I explain I drive that much each day. Honestly? It’s nice. I drink coffee. I listen to podcasts or sometimes nothing at all and think. I’m alone. It is the only time I’m ever alone.  Sure, it does really suck after concerts or events that the nature of my job includes. On a snowy late night it’s not particularly my favorite. But typically it’s nice and I have missed it a ton since March. More than I thought.

However, a big drawback of the drive is the time it takes out of my day. I like to be with John Michael and Joe when I come home. I like to cook. I’d rather not tie that time up with exercising so that leaves me no choice but to get up and get it over with in the morning. Ugh.

This brings me to this morning. 4am. Alarm goes off. No. Another alarm I put across the room goes off (necessary to drag myself up). Put on the headphones and went downstairs to exercise. I did it.


I’ll be 35 in a couple weeks. I have gray hair (that I’ve had since I was in my mid- twenties…why?????) and bad shadows under my eyes all the time. Side note? In looking at this picture while I write this, the night cream really does wonders for my eyes.  Still a bit puffy. 

Came upstairs and got cleaned up like I normally would for school. Instead of the commute today, I got to write this blog post in peace. The house is quiet. Except for the clicking sound of Remi’s paws as she follows me all around. 🙂 Today I hang with John Michael and have some projects I need to do for school and for my business.

Tomorrow and the next days will be the hardest. Always those next few couple days.

Typically I’d say I’d rather be up late. I think I tend to naturally get my creative thoughts then and seems to be more of a natural rhythm for me. I do not think they will be changing the American school time table anytime soon though. “Upget schoolgo.” I will try not to be too crabby.


But my reward? This cup of coffee. My best friend.


I was born with a droopy right eye. John was born with a droopy left one. Mine was definitely worse before I had two eye surgeries. Throughout my childhood and life, I have had to physically lift the right eye in pictures to make my eyes a bit more even. “Lift your eye” or “open your eye” was pretty common to hear.


I found myself saying it to John Michael the other day when we were taking pictures. Then I hear him say, “Mom, I want to take a picture of us with my eye open!” Awww.

First Trip to the Dentist

Not really a “funny” John Michael moment, although he said lots of hilarious stuff to the hygienist and dentist. His imagination is through the roof. They had cloud covers on the fluorescent lights. So he was telling her about how they fell from the sky and landed there. And all these elaborate things for how he thinks the water gun works there. With hand gestures.


He did a pretty good job. He never really likes laying on his back but then he realized they wouldn’t hold him down (like when he gets a shot, which is the part he hates more than the shot). So he was just fine after that.

Talked away and thought it was the greatest thing. She said they normally clean the front ones on the first visit but because he did well, they did them all. He let them scrape, floss, and buzz his teeth with the motor toothbrush. Said he was doing a good job brushing and he got a prize. 🙂


Behind on the thoughts for end of July. Here’s some happenings that we’ve been up to on the home front. Building and fixing (trucks and treadmills). Photography shoots. Gray hairs (me), hair cuts, (by me), hair done (for me, not by me). Some good drinks and foods. Baseball and fires outside.


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Grandma Carole- we made steaks with the beans out of your garden! And cucumbers with our wings and celery!

My one. 🙂



“Are we gonna stop at Wendy’s house?” (referring to when we stopped at Wendy’s on the way back from Elk Rapids for dinner). 

“Does she have a really big house?”

“Mom, I want to go to Wendy’s restaurant, ok?”

It’s probably a sign I have watched too much Brooklyn Nine-Nine when John walks up to me and says the end credits, “Fremulon. Not a doctor.” 

Ranchero Sauce

So ranchero sauce is some good stuff. My brother’s girlfriend, Christie, is an exceptional cook. When we were in Elk Rapids the weekend before last she made heuvos rancheros. If you’re not familiar, it is like chorizo, avocado, cheese, cilantro, a sunny side up egg, and the ranchero sauce. Some pico de gallo or salsa.

We liked it so much that when my husband and I celebrated our anniversary this past weekend I made it again.

Cheers to 7 years of marriage to this handsome man. 10 years together this September!

Anyway, back to business. The ranchero sauce recipe makes a ton… I consider this a good thing.


The next day I made the same dish but instead of chorizo, I used bacon since I was out of chorizo and that’s all I had.


Sill had some ranchero sauce. Not a bad thing. The night of our real anniversary on Monday night I made some flank steak with a caesar salad. Thought to myself- ranchero on the side? Yes. It was incredible.


Thanks to Christie, we have these two recipes she used.





You need some ranchero sauce in your life.