The Relationship Connection, LLC




Okay, so I have just short of three million irons in the fire as of this very moment.  But, I’m only behind on 2,999,998 of them.  Not bad right?

As I tend to be an over-achiever, it’s causing some level of pressure.  Not the “volcano is about to erupt” kind of pressure.  More like, “My tech skills are really BAD” kind of pressure.  And it’s clearly not the right time to take a web developer degree program.

So, I’m muddling my way through one painful baby step at a time.  I’ll get there… I know I will. (Insert pep talk here).  Really.

But…  until I do, I thought I’d let you all in on the Biggest, Most Major Thing I’m up to.  ‘Cause I’m really proud of it.  And I’m excited, like a 10-year-old on Christmas Morning!

My newest venture, as of August 2019, is to open my new business called:
The Relationship Connection, LLC
I will offer both live and online classes, workshops and consultations all related to.. you guessed it! Creating, Inspiring and Encouraging Relationship.
One class in particular, I’m very excited about… ‘An Evening With Jeannie’ will be an online interactive forum for those who register. We will have a topic to get us started. However, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and we’ll have conversation.

The Relationship Connection – Face Book page is already open. Feel free to “Like” the page to receive updates and register for live, in-person classes in Rochester, MN.
Or you can simply call  The Relationship Connection’ at: 507-251-1867.  Odds are, I’ll even answer the phone.

So, I have to tell you all how this came to be…cause that’s what I do, right?  It all started happening through the course of my every day life.  I’ve spent the last 35 years or so, working with people who are struggling in various forms and levels of relationship distress.  My career has been built on walking alongside those people.  I think they taught me so much more than I taught them.

My professional career began in nursing.  After I graduated, my first position was working in an Adolescent Mental Health Unit in a hospital.  I walked alongside youth who were coming with layers and layers of  childhood trauma.  I was fortunate enough to continue my education and learned to do psychological evaluation and worked with some amazing psychologists and psychiatrists.

At that time, I also began volunteering at a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center, and after seven years, I went on staff with that program.  I’ve remained in that field for the past 30 years.  Over the course of those years, I provided crisis counseling, medical and legal advocacy and expert witness testimony.  Spending countless hours in emergency rooms, police stations, court rooms and meeting rooms.                                        My current position is Director of Community Engagement & Youth Programming for a similar abuse center.

Throughout the course of my career, I’ve been limited on the scope of sharing the whole of my skills and experience, due to funding requirements, or position limitations.  Even when many clients have requested assistance beyond the capacity that I could provide it.   I had to refer them on.

The Relationship Connection allows me to step beyond.  To provide for those needs and share the wealth of experience I’ve gained over the years.

All the way from my first nursing class, and onto psychological testing, support group facilitation for thousands of people, community education programming,  writing curriculum, and finally, the ten years I have been blessed to Moderate a Web Forum for Dr. Nancy Kalish, Ph.D at  It has all led me right here to a brand new beginning.

Won’t you walk along with me on this next part of the journey?

The Relationship Connection      *    Live Louder.  Shine Brighter.


Hello, is anyone here?!

Tilt Shift Lens Photo of Blue Flowers       Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels


Hi Everyone…   It’s been a very long time!  However, I have some exciting news to share.

I have been diligently working on a new venture that will bring me back here to my blog as well as some other ways to connect with all of you.

I have had a lot of help and guidance as I put this all together.  And this is my opportunity to acknowledge and honor all of you…

To my blog followers:  I shared once that I write, because that’s what I do.  But if it weren’t for all of you who take the time to read and comment… there really would be no point.  So, thank you to all of the followers here, past, present and future.

My ever present and supportive kids… Angie, Andrew, Nick and Hunter – you guys are amazing to tolerate all of my inept technical abilities.  And even with all of the “Geez, Mom” and “Seriously?” comments.. you still give me remedial assistance as I needed it.  (I’m certain I will need more.)

My steadfast BFF – Tammy.  Thank you for all of the late night encouraging words.  And for always just being there to cheer me on.

Thank you Mary – for always being on the other side of the wall.   For all of the spontaneous conversations and trips to The Bear’s Den for burgers and a beer.

To all of my coworkers that have to tolerate me every darn day…  thank you.  You all deserve a raise and an award.  Since I can’t provide either, I will bring brownies.

And to the Shy Guy – thank you for the webinar link that really pulled everything together.

Oh yeah, the announcement

I am putting the finishing touches on “The Relationship Connection.”

I’m beginning an online Consulting Business, that will offer classes, workshops and consultations to assist all of us with achieving the healthy relationship connections we seek.

This venture ties everything together.  My Education, Career Experiences, and Blogging.  So, stay tuned… I’m going to launch very soon!




A Mystery Plot Twist

Oooohhhhhh….. well lookey there.  Who might that message be from?  Well, well, well… Rick, the Mystery guy with the Tom Selleck moustache and the piercingly blue eyes.

Its sort of like a dolphin that you see skimming just under the surface of the water.  Then it dives deeper, sometimes much deeper as it glides like a hot knife through butter.  You don’ t know if you’ll ever see that dolphin again.  You assume you won’t.  It’s gone from sight… way gone.

I let my subscription expire.  I had it for 6 months.  There were several meet & greets, and a fair amount of  actual dates.  A couple real contenders, so it seemed.  But nothing solid developed.  I decided to take a break.  This online dating takes energy and focus if you’re serious about meeting someone.  Always putting your best self forward.  Giving your best effort and investment into the possibilities.  Then I had to invest my best self into a different focus.  Building my new business.  So I stopped.

Of course has their business in focus… with a whole marketing team, with a full assortment of tactics they use to attempt to keep you paying… and paying.   But I’m a smart consumer.  Hahahahahahahaha.  Sure I am.

About two minutes after I ended my subscription and closed my profile, sent me a message from …someone.  Of course they did!  BAIT!  And I couldn’t see who it was, or read the message, because I was no longer paying.   But I was determined to focus.  And I did.  Pretty proud of myself for not biting on the bait.

So, a couple of weeks go by, and that little red #1 message was still sitting there… trying to tempt me.   Alas, I knew it was a marketing ploy.  It was probably that someone had viewed my profile.  Or someone clicked ‘like ‘ on my profile.  Or the love of my life was messaging me… and I wasn’t answering.  Yup….. ’cause I have that kind of luck.  That’s how I roll,  A day late… missed the boat… jumped ship… didn’t notice… ugh.

Then yesterday morning I was on my computer before work and clicked the wrong bookmark.  (HONEST!  It WAS the wrong one!)  Immediately, opened up my closed profile page.  And right there… staring at me was the profile of a guy I hadn’t seen during my membership.  (Yes, I know… it was bait.  I nibbled, just a little bit.)

His name is Joe… a year older than me, 30 miles from me… looking for a relationship.  Hmmm.  Bait.  I should have eaten breakfast before I went on the computer.   See, it’s always important to have a good breakfast.

But, there was that red #1 message still glaring at me.  So I set Joe aside momentarily, and clicked the message.  It was actually a note from Rick.  The deep diving dolphin.  I won’t leave you in suspense, even though it IS a mystery.  Here is his message:

Hmmmmm……  glad I took dolphin swimming lessons myself and took a deep dive for a couple weeks.  “Come on in, the water’s fine!”

Creative Distance and Other Skills

fireworks display during nighttime
Photo by Peter Unden on

Well, I sure learned the lesson of creative distance.  Which is allowing adequate time and distance from an event to the time of its writing.  It makes for a more clear view of what the hell is happening here!

In my last post, I blogged as events transpired, literally.  I didn’t even give a breath of air before considering what to write or how I’d write it.  I just wrote.  And it flowed ever so swiftly from my fingers.  It felt pretty good to be honest.

I just thought the participants in the event would follow suit, in their creativity and courageousness.  (Great big sigh and head shaking.)  Rick, Rick, Rick…

But as not to leave any of the three of you in the dark as to the outcome of the mystery… I shall write again.

So Rick, the Mystery Guy, remains a mystery.  We bantered back and forth a few more times.  He gave me a simple clue about Tom Selleck, which I ultimately guessed that Rick also has a moustache.

But then things took a decidedly dark turn.  As in any mystery they often do.

Rick announced that he was having so much fun at this game of ‘guess who I am”… that he wanted to continue it for quite some time.  He admitted he wasn’t really ready to meet as he was shy and hadn’t dated in a long time.

To be honest, this cat and mouse stalling was getting old on my part.  He wasn’t ready to post a picture on his profile, and clearly not ready to even divulge who he is.

He had promised a picture on day 5… he didn’t even message me on day 5 or 6.  By day 12 still no picture and then the announcement that he liked getting to know each other like this.

Okay, so I called him on it.  And poof… he has all but disappeared.  He didn’t even sign on to the dating site for a few days.  It has been 8 days with absolutely no word from Mystery Rick with the piercingly blue eyes and the Tom Selleck moustache.

So as not to leave you all in a state of surprise and disappointment, I’ll fill you all in about Jim.  “The one to keep your eyes on.”

Jim and I met on a Sunday afternoon over delightful cake and coffee.  It seems I’ve chosen a favorite restaurant here to take all of my potential dates.  They have a lovely atmosphere, an extensive menu and a full bar.  Which I have never ordered from, lol. although I may have to now.

We had agreed to meet at the front entrance at 2:00 pm.  I arrived and stood waiting, sucking in my tummy, and acting all put together in my Bob Mackey dress.  ( Don’t be silly, I got it at a resale shop.)  But I get tons of compliments on it.  It’s called ‘wearable art’ and I quite like it.

I stood there as the waitresses bopped back and forth.  I stood there as an older couple entered and found their seats.  I stood there checking my hair in the reflection of the Goose picture.  I stood there until Jim came from the table he’d been seated at this whole time and started looking for me by the door.  Right where we agreed we’d meet. Oddly, there I was.

We did the obligatory ‘hug’, and took our seats across from each other a table placed along large windows that ran the length of the restaurant.  Jim is ten years my senior without a wrinkle on his face.  His eyes are a warm brown and he studies me with them.  Intently.  He comments, “You have a very young face.”  It seemed accusatory, not like a compliment.  Like I was trying to pull a fast one on him.  I’m 60. Nearly 61. I couldn’t pull off 25 if I’d had a make over and four pairs of spanx.

I responded with “thank you?”  I emphasized the ?.

The waitress brought water and menus.  We shared that we had planned on dessert.  She returned shortly with decadent dessert menus.  He settled on the Chocolate Cake drizzled with raspberry sauce.  I chose the Coconut Cake.  (I’ve had it before… really, it’s amazing!) I also asked for a box.  One piece of cake could feed a hungry family of four.

Jim shared that he had been set up before by women on the dating site.  Women that said they were much older than they really were, trying to snag a sugar daddy.  He admitted he had given money to one woman.

That ladies… is what is called “A SIGN!”

Not quite as blatant as the bolt of lightening that flashed just outside the window.  And not even the wind that was whirling the sheets of rain vertically past our seats.  Still a sign, none the less.

A sign that he is easily taken in by a pretty young woman.  Easily manipulated by a little cleavage and long legs.  And worse of all, that he was willing to pay for the fantasy she was selling him.

Cause any of you that have read even a blog or two of mine know that I’m not gonna take advantage of anyone.  Not even someone I barely know.

Instead, I went into ‘online dating class mode‘… “don’t ever give a woman money.  Ever.  Any woman worth having in your life would NEVER ask you for money.”  It wouldn’t even occur to her.”

We took bites of cake and commented on the torrential rain, now flooding the side street.  The waitress came to check on us, how’s the cake?  good.

As she walked away I noticed Jim studying my face. Without even a blink.

He’s a photographer.  So I started wondering if he was noticing my freckles, or how my nose is just a little crooked.  From that time my 2 year-old son slammed the freezer door closed and nearly broke my nose.  Or if my eye make up had smeared.

Jim asked if my eyes are blue.

He’d just been glaring at my face for eons.. they are blue.  Blue.  Maybe he was looking for a descriptive word… indigo, cornflower, sky, or baby-eyes blue?

I just said…yes.  And took another bite of cake.

Thunder rumbled and lightening flashed.  The rain lasted for ever! So did this gi-normous piece of cake.  I placed 2/3 of it in the box.  Jim did the same with his.

I thought we had reached the end of meet & greet  #2,374.   (I’m guessing here… I’ lost count like four years ago.)

But no… Jim asked if there was something happening in town that we could go see.  We walked to the cars and he followed me.  Which he shortly learned was a huge mistake.  You see its road construction season.  So over the river and through a parking lot and a bunch of orange cones that tipped over and a ‘bump here’ sign, finally lead us to a park.  Where the water runs through it!  Yup, lots of rain run off flowing and flowing.  And me in my Bob Mackey dress and platform sandals.  Yup…I dress for a date.  But I didn’t get my toes wet.   Those platforms came in handy!

We could hear thunder still rolling around in the clouds overhead.  Jim thought it was unsafe and I wanted to go storm chasing… so we hugged and parted ways.  Right after he invited me to his place for the 4th of July…  BOOM!














A Mystery in the Making

close up of flower
Photo by Pixabay on

Okay, so I promised a new website, etc.  But there’s been a Plot Twist!   A mystery is unfolding.  And I have to share it all with you as it unfolds.

Generally, I give things some creative distance before I write about them.  But this is just too too mysterious not to share “live” with all four of you that are still following this blog.

So… here goes.
I began this blog years ago… to share my online dating sagas and take all of you along for the ride.  At one time there were a bunch of you reading along as you watched me plunder through singleness and dating.

Well, fear not!  I’m still single!  And as usual, I met with Tammy to discuss my dating woes and hopes.  And as always, Tammy needs the Binder to keep track of the current list of potential dating contenders.

Really, it’s not that hard.  We have:
Tim #1 – He is completely unaware of any possible potential interest on my part.  Maybe he’s just there on the fringe for later speculation.  (He does however now know my name, and called me by it just yesterday!  Progress… really.)

Tim#2 – Oh dear.  He captured my heart in two short passionately intense weeks.  And those were just the text messages through the dating site.  He is witty and intelligent and funny.  We had our meet and greet… success.  I played it exactly right.  Just as I knew he was thinking he had my interest (which he did) I announced that it was getting late and I needed to head home.

My statement was completely unexpected, and the sinking look on his face said “Oh my god, she doesn’t like me…she’s making an early departure.”

Just then he slid to the edge of the grey sofa, in the grey room with the grey rug under the gray coffee table that he said is fine to put my feet up on.  He did have a lovely Keith Urban guitar in the corner though…. (not grey).

Oh, back to the edge of the grey sofa…  he hugged me, a lot.  And very well, I might add.  As he began to pull away, I turned as to not slip off the edge of the sofa in a graceful plop on the floor…  as you remember, I’m graceful like that.  Tripping over the cracks in the sidewalk and all.

Again, back to the edge of the grey sofa… as I turned, his soft, warm lips pressed tenderly against mine.  Dang… that was a powerful kiss.  I’m sure you all felt it.  After a couple more tender but well-planted lip-musches… he whispered in my right ear, “what’s happening here?”

Well, we all know what he was hoping was happening.  I responded quite well I think,  for being all kissed and everything.  “I don’t know, it was sort of a surprise.  But a very nice one.”

Then I got up and walked toward the door.  He tottered on one foot as he put his shoes on to walk me to my car.  In the elevator, he reached his arms around me and kissed me again, whispering, “I’ve always wanted to do that.” (Kiss a girl in a padded elevator.)  And ‘No’ it wasn’t the psych elevator!  New tenants had just moved in and they hadn’t removed the pads yet.)  Really.

Once we arrived at my car, and we deciphered why I had a parking ticket (insert long story about one way roads)…  I drove directly home.

But I digress…   (I need a bit of that creative distance before I share further about Tim#2 otherwise known as ‘Seven Shades Of Grey’.)

Tim#3 –  Oh dear… and not the same kind of oh dear as the previous Tim.  So Tim #3 and I met half way between where he lives and where both of us have adult children.  Life is silly like that.  He arrived right on time for the meet & greet.  He brought one long stemmed red rose tied with a lovely red ribbon.  As he opened the door to the restaurant, all eyes turned toward the rose.  I”m sure everyone thought it was an episode of The Bachelor.   Except I wasn’t wearing a bikini.

It was after lunch when he shared that he had moved in with his soon to be ex-wife at the end of their first date, that’s when I knew he could keep the rose.  (Yes, I left it in his car.)  I did NOT accept the rose.

Jim –  Awww…. Jim has some real potential here.  Keep your eyes on this one.

Dan –  Okay, so this is awkward…  I know you’ve NEVER heard me say that before.  Do ya know on dating sites… you get like a bazillion profile pictures of guys to choose from every darn day.  And you look at every picture of every guy with either a motorcycle or a fish.  Once in a while a dead deer hanging on his wall in the background.  Dan didn’t have a fish, motorcycle or a deer.

But, oh my gosh!!! I’m standing there on a Sunday Morning at my church passing out bulletins as people file into the sanctuary…. and here comes this guy toward me…

Yup!  From the dating site…  grinning right at me.  He ‘hearted’ me on the dating site.   I did not follow suit.  And now here he is grinning and all.  Dang.

So, he looked me up on the dating site later that day… another ‘heart’ he sends me!   Now, I HAVE to respond, cause you just know he’s gonna be there next Sunday too.   So I tell him this lame story about a small group thing they asked me to participate in.  I told him he could share his thoughts about it. (As totally UN-romantic as I could come up with.)

And for the record… he showed up on Sunday… this time he hugged me… right.. in… the… church… entry.  In front of EVERYONE.

So let’s recap… 3 Tim’s, a Jim, a Dan.

And the mystery guy… Rick.

So, On July 4th, while I’m at my son’s new house dancing in the living room with my granddaughter.  Rick sends me a  ‘like’ on the dating site.

Here’s what I know….

He’s a year older than me.  On his profile he says:  I love the outdoors. Walking hand in hand by the lake, watching movies and cuddling.

Uh-huh… we’ll see.

He says he has piercing blue eyes and likes live bands and something about skiing on gravel.

But he’s got no profile picture.  Just a grey square where his picture should be.

So, experienced on-line dater that I am, I messaged him saying we had quite a few things in common and politely (really) I asked him to post a picture so I would know who I’m talking with.

Two days later I receive this response..  “Hi ______!  You’re right, I believe we do have a lot in common and quite a bit to talk about! Thank you for messaging me and I’ll be back to you soon. I will also post a photo soon, but in one of my favorite places to be, so it’ll have to wait until Friday due to my work schedule! I work at the ________ ________ ________. Thank you, … Rick

Of course, You know I was not about to wait two days to respond…    “Hmmm… you are a mystery.   But __________ ____________ _________ narrows it down to a mere thousands of possibilities, lol.  Any other clues you care to share? I work near there myself. Maybe we’ve passed on the sidewalk… or even spoken to each other.  Hmmm…. I may be compelled to write a story about this on my blog. My followers will be intrigued.”

An hour later he responded… “Well, you are right! 🤪 this is already becoming quite fun! Mysterious can be good! I know we’ve crossed paths and probably have spoken. I’ll send you more hints before I post a picture! I like this.  It’ll give us more to talk and laugh about! 🤣”

So… I thought I’d up the ante a bit with this…  “I’ve already started the blog post… you’ll be famous by morning.  I’m especially hot in Brazil right now. Before long… you’ll need a disguise to buy groceries.”

A matter of minutes later…. Rick replies:  “🤩🤪 lol! You’re so funny! I’ve never been famous before! 🤓 I’ll have to stay a little mysterious for a little bit more then. Let’s stay in touch and hopefully meet in person sometime soon!🙂”  

Seriously?!  Does anyone know a guy named Rick, with piercing blue eyes?


Oh How Time Flies!


Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve posted a blog. I’ve got the first week of my new job under my belt. It was a wonderful week! I have really missed doing victim services work. I hit the ground running. It was 3:00PM on the first day before I even made it to my office. By the time I left at 4:00 I was already behind in work. I mentioned that to my boss and she smiled. She shared that she has been behind for the whole 22 years she’s worked here. That was a comfort (I think).

The second day I facilitated a children’s group. What a great time! The kids were engaged and participated so well. Of course the hand carved school buses and color crayons they took home-made them eager for next week.

The third day I was just getting the lay of the land. I think a map might help. I have supplies in three different storage areas, and I can’t remember which stuff is in which area. SO I do a lot of back tracking, at least for now.

Day four found me meeting with the insurance specialist regarding my benefits. I’ll just say AMAZING! That covers it.

Day five surprised me with free circus tickets to take the kids to the circus in a couple of weeks. And I created a ‘what’s new’ type of calendar. Did you know that National Leap Frog Day is on Wednesday? Don’t forget to celebrate!

Chuck and I are spending the weekend in Iowa. The weather is fabulous and we have taken full advantage of it. He bought a couple of new pear trees for his yard. We had a lovely lunch in Mason City at ‘The Hungry Mind’. We stopped by to visit my girlfriend Tammy and then took a walk at East Park. All of the baby geese were out for swimming lessons.

After we got back home, my daughter stopped by for a visit with her Boxer, Oscar. Shortly after she arrived, the front door opened and my granddaughter appeared with a big smile. She stayed for a short game of Candy Crush. I’ve been stuck on level 201 for like a month… the things we do for our grandkids!

This evening it’s off to the races! Hunter is racing in the Sport Compact Class this year as is my son Nick. Competition between brothers… it could get interesting.

Okay, well that’s it in a nut shell. I haven’t forgotten all of you out there. Life has managed to fill my moments lately. Once I get adjusted to this new schedule, I will blog again in earnest.
Love to you all!

Last Minute Update


I’ve been so short on time that I haven’t been able to post. I have just a few minutes now, but I wanted to keep you all up to date on the latest developments.

First of all, I got the job! I start my new position as Child Advocate for a Women’s Crisis Center on May 4th. I’m very excited and I know I will be challenged. It’s a new town for me so just finding my way around will be hysterical all by itself.
I’ve given notice at my present job. I have mixed feelings about that of course. I enjoy the staff and individuals I work with. And saying good-bye is always difficult.

On the up side I’ve decided to keep my apartment here for the time being. Chuck made a generous offer to let me stay at his place during the days I work there, and I can come back and have weekends here with my family. It will help us all make this transition.

Second on the list is that Chuck got an email from his doctor’s office that he will be scheduled for a couple further diagnostic tests. It doesn’t seem to be a panic, so I feel relieved about that.

He also has a birthday coming up, so I’ve decided to have a birthday party for him. (After some detective work, I learned that he hasn’t had one on a while.. party that is.) So what better way to celebrate his special day and have a chance to entertain as a couple. We brain-stormed a couple of ideas and have settled on one. So if you’re reading this… you’re invited. Just message me for the details.

Okay.. that’s it for now.

ANTICIPATION – Is Makin’ Me Wait


Remember the commercial from years ago… Anticipation ~ is makin’ me wait? Ketchup. It’s all about the ketchup.

Well, not exactly.. I”m just trying to make light of all the pots that I have simmering on the stove at this moment. Oddly none of it requires ketchup. But all of it requires time and patience. Thus the anticipation levels are rising. Pots on a slow simmer. One bubble and then wait for it… another. But nothing is done yet. The flavors have not melded. The ingredients haven’t yet combined thoroughly. And you really do want it to be just right. Sometimes waiting is the only answer. Other times it’s right to push on through with a decision. Not this time.

First of all we have Chuck’s tests. They were completed and the results came back. He’s been sort of vague about the results. It puzzles me really. He pooh-poohs it when really it isn’t pooh-poohable. But he’s dealing with something here other than his health. His health is just the venue with which the issue has come forward. His wife passed away unexpectedly. Grief comes in waves and stages over time. I think this is one of those times. You can’t experience the death of a partner of 43 years and not be deeply affected by it. He had health things that he had been managing for a few years, and yet she.. with no health issues, just passed away.

I think he has the mentality that if you don’t think about it- then it isn’t a problem. Minimize it. It’s no big deal. Really. And compared to all that he has swirling around in his mind, it really doesn’t begin to compare. So what does that mean for me? Hmmm.. my favorite! Patience. Pass the ketchup.

Then.. there’s the job interview I had last week. It was so awesome. Then I got a call on Monday, that they wanted me to come in for a second interview. (A shout out to my references, you know who you are – and thank you so much for your input into my future!) The second interview was just as amazing as the first. I was asked about my availability, as in how soon would I be able to start. So I feel very positive about this opportunity. I was told that I would hear from them in a day or two. Today was day two… and guess what?! Not a word. Nada. Maybe tomorrow. Pass the ketchup.

TGIT – Thank Goodness It’s Thursday. My favorite television watching evening. I wait for it all week actually. My daughter and granddaughter have me hooked on Grey’s Anatomy. In fact, Kali informed me that she is watching the whole series from day one.. all over again. And then follows Scandal. That one gives my blood pressure a work out. But I love it. And it wasn’t on last week, so I’ve been waiting a long time for this one. Pass the Ketchup.

In my current job, I have one weekend a month where I’m off and not on call. This weekend is it. And Chuck and I are going to spend it together. We are taking a bike to the bike shop in Minneapolis to have the brakes adjusted. Gotta stop when ya gotta stop. While the bike shop is doing their thing, we’re going to the zoo. I love the zoo. It makes me smile. After we pick up the bike, I know some fun little spots to eat, I have a favorite and I haven’t been there in ages. Jake’s City Grille in Eagan. Yummy. No ketchup necessary.

So while the pots are simmering on the stove, life goes on. Anticipation is makin’ me wait. But I have the weekend with my favorite guy. It’s all good.

A Most Excellent Day


There are those days that are simply amazing. I had one today. It was cold, about 35 degrees… with a fine mist that soon became snow April. Not necessarily welcome. In fact, completely unwelcome at this point. It’s spring for crying out loud. But I barely noticed.

Odd? Yes. Because I don’t like winter. I’m not into snowmobiles or skiing or ice skating even though I’ve lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin or Iowa for most of my life. My idea of a perfect winter day is hanging out in the kitchen concocting some new creation or buried under blankets on the couch watching videos.

But today, none of it mattered. I was up early. Made coffee and sipped at it while I checked email. I showered and made myself presentable. I even had a good hair day. Then I drove into Rochester for an interview. One step inside the front door and I knew something wonderful was about to happen. Of course in that first step I tripped. But I didn’t fall. Fortunately. I was there for an interview. It wouldn’t have made a good impression if I had needed first aid.

Even though I had never crossed this doorway before it felt comfortable and familiar. A cheerful young lady behind the reception counter was answering a phone call and a client was on the lobby computer looking up an ad she had found. A small boy, maybe about 6 can plodding through the reception area where I had taken a seat in the corner. He looked at me, but did not respond to my hello or smile. I didn’t think he was being rude, I am after all a stranger. A slim woman in a black exercise suit came through carrying a bag of supplies. She glanced at me as I glance at her. I wondered if we would become coworkers.

I was lost in that thought as another woman appeared, younger than I am but taller, as most everyone is. She motioned that I should follow her. Through this hallway and that, then a door way, and another until there was a desk with two chairs facing it. I took a seat and the interview began. With a worksheet and ten minutes to complete it. An essay none the less. fortunately I like to write and usually have a lot to say about most things. I was finished with the worksheet with plenty of time to spare. I put my pen down and looked around the room. A mid-fall yellow with black words scrolling across the room just above the file cabinets. The only visible word said Every the other words were obscured by unexplored Easter Baskets. Apparently this is where the extras are kept until next year.

The young tall woman reappeared with a reinforcement. A group interview, I took this to be good news. I thought maybe my initial impression might have been a good one and worthy of further investigation. It was a good thought.

They ladies shot out questions and each took a turn writing down my responses. I felt so excited by this interview. I was talking… a lot, like usual. I felt confident and like I fit in here somehow.
Then a ‘trick’ question. “What position are you applying for?”
But I caught it and responded with, “I was told the only position available was….. ”
There was a new development.
(I was quietly praying that there was another second position, full time.)
These young ladies did not let me down.

“In fact, just this morning we became aware of another position. It would be full time though.”
I believe my excited smile could be seen for several blocks. Just short of jumping up and down, I shared that I would in fact, be interested in that very position.

This of course lengthened the interview to an hour and a half. But I felt I had an intelligent well-thought answer for each question on their lists. Reaching the end of their questions list, the two of them conferred as if I could no longer hear them. Deciding that if further questions were indicated, they could simply call me. I agreed. They handed me one last sheet of paper and a pen. They need a background check. No worries. It seems everyone does.

I turned in this last form to the ladies who were now stationed in the reception area. They were visiting with a coworker who had gotten a new dog last night. A pug named Margo. The name suited her.

The young tall woman took the signed form from me and said they’d be checking my references and then I’d be hearing from them. I thanked them and asked them to call if they needed anything further.

So my fingers are crossed as I lay myself down for a nap before I go to work tonight on the night shift. If I get the new job, one of the perks will be sleeping at night. I can hardly wait.

Monster Under The Bed


Remember when you were a kid and you were sure. Just positive. That when the sun went down at the end of each day, a monster appeared under your bed. One that would grab your foot if it got too close to hanging over the edge of the mattress in the night. The kind of monster that scares you so badly that you can’t even scream for your mom or dad to save you.

Okay, so the blood test in question finally showed up with results. Chuck got a call on Friday afternoon. That in itself says something. The levels were still as high as they were three months ago. They wanted to do further testing then, but Chuck said, let’s give it three more months and see. The doctors and I aren’t happy.

The test result didn’t freak me out as much as the fact that he didn’t tell the doctors that he’s having pain. That is very well related to these tests. I was angry.
I had asked to go along for the tests and consultation. He kept saying it was no big deal. (If it was no big deal, then why couldn’t I go along, was my response.) So to placate me in the moment, he promised me that he would tell the doctors about the discomfort that wakes him in the night. He promised. And I believed him.

Well, for tests that were no big deal.. NOW it’s a big deal all over the damn place. Cause he broke that promise to me. And he didn’t tell the doctors. I wasn’t so sure at the time which thing made me the angriest. But anger is anger. And I was definately that.

I don’t get angry very often. But I was this time. The level of it even surprised me. I’m sure Chuck was just as surprised becasue he’d never seen me angry before. Well actually he didn’t seee me angry this time either cause he avoided me through the whole weekend. (Yeah… that was one way to ensure the anger had even more to feed on.) Avoidance isn’t a healthy way to deal with anger.

As the weekend progressed, my anger morphed into other things. Like a little boy’s toy, it transformed into all sorts of ugly. I tried to let it dissipate. Tried to write my way through it by journaling. I wrote him several of those letters that you never send. By Sunday afternoon when my daughter texted to see if I’d heard from Chuck, the anger had turned into crazy thinking. And then finally the tears fell. And fell.

I wasn’t so angry as I was hurt and disappointed. He had broken a promise to me. Lied. Avoided. And worst of all, he was denying.. about his health.
This isn’t a little cold thing or a sore throat that would eventually heal itself. We’re talking big, bad and ugly disease here.

So I did the ‘put myself in his shoes’ thing. I tried to imagine what would be going on in my head to come to the outcomes he was choosing. And I didn’t like what I saw.
Fear of course. Has he given up? Is it that bad already and he’s just not telling me? Does he think I’ll run away if I know?

Finally late on Sunday afternoon, I answered an email he’d sent me earlier in the day. Then he called me. And we talked it out. For a long time. By the end of the call, apologies had been shared, forgivness given. And a new promise made.

Today Chuck called and talked with the doctors. He goes in tomorrow morning for more blood tests. Other testing may be scheduled as well.

I thanked him for facing the monster under the bed. For being brave enough to run across the room and turn on the light so that we can look under the bed together and face that ugly monster head on.