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Peri, My Ass


If I had to capture perimenopause in one image, it would be me on this frosty October morning, clad in a nightgown, ratty fur, reading glasses and rubber gloves, weeping copiously and sweating profusely as I rifled through the garbage can in front of my building because I absent-mindedly threw out Grace’s favorite toy while cleaning up. Brain fog: check. Sudden sweats: check. Major mood swings: check. Cat mind control: always.  This stage of life requires a very specific aesthetic–and sense of humor. I call it dowager chic. (PS: I found said toy.)

Missive 334,245 from the Cat Lady Frontlines


I just slogged home from dance class, so busted that I couldn’t believe I had to mount two flights of stairs to my bachelor’s pad, let alone take a shower, brush my teeth–you know, TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS. When I walked in, permakitten Grace was crouched on my dresser, all owl-eyed, staring at a mouse sitting pretty in the middle of my rug. I’ve trained her to stop buddy-buddying with mice–she used to be like, MA! FINALLY YOU FOUND ME A FRIEND!–but she still can’t bring herself to hurt them. So this picture is of the two of us not killing the mouse–me because I’m too tired, she because HOW COULD I POSSIBLY THINK SHE WAS A KILLAH. (And, yes, Grace has a Boston accent. Obviously.)

Grace and Taxes

Today I spent hours on the phone with the IRS while in desperate need of a super-rare hamburger—and, yes, that’s a euphemism for my period and the attendant horrible no-good cramps. I’m not sure why I bother to euphemize  menstruation-related matters anymore, and, yes, pretend “euphemize” is a word BECAUSE IT BLOODY WELL SHOULD BE.

See what I did there?

Well. The agent was beautifully human with my financially disordered self, and after we arrived at an arrangement that drew less blood than I’d feared, I had an impromptu americano with a friend in the pretty late-afternoon sun. Now I’m putting together a midweek cod-potato-kale casserole to roast in the cast-iron. Permakitten is weaving between my legs mewing companionably and we’re both watching the sun set from my kitchen window, apricot and rose and indigo, deeper and deeper indigo. I’m wearing a velvet robe for the first time this fall and considering a glass of wine and it’s dawning on me: This is middle-age, isn’t it? Equally harrowing and cozy, with the good grace to register all graces, big and small.
Ahoy Maties Cod-Kale-Potato Cast-Iron Casserole.
(I made up this recipe so I guess it’s my prerogative to give it a goofy title.)
Very thinly slice potatoes and toss with thyme, sea salt, olive oil. Arrange on cast iron pan, and roast for 30 min at 425 F. Meanwhile pull cod out of fridge so it comes to room temperature and prep with salt, pepper, herbs. (Tonight I liked chopped parsley and thyme.) Pull out cast iron and top potatoes with a layer of thinly chopped kale tossed with olive oil and lemon and then layer cod filets on top of that. Roast approximately 12 min, let cool for another 5, and voila! Serve with wine, hot sauce, afghans.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy