Featured

Welcome to Bits & Bobs!

Louise-Quote-72DPIIf you’re looking for Bits & Boobs, that’s a different site entirely. And I really can’t help you there.

If you’re looking for FDA-approved parenting tips, cleaning tips or organizational tips, this is also not the site for you.

But hey, if you’re looking for humor and randomness from someone whose life has been a great big spiral of suck lately, then come on in!

And by spiral of suck I mean becoming a widow.

And by even suckierness I mean being waitlisted for a widow’s support group. “Sure! Go ahead and grieve! But just when it’s a little more convenient for us.”

I’ve lodged a complaint with the creators of the ‘get out there and try new things’ advice (widowhood should not be on the list. Neither should crack cocaine, I suppose, but I can’t help everyone.)

Until I hear back, Bits & Bobs is my way of trying to make my heart chuckle. Climb my way out of the fog. Catch the next train back to sanity.

I hope it makes you laugh, too.

No pressure, or anything.

-Louise

p.s. The beauty of having a life that needs to be un-sucked is that you don’t have to be a widow to play along. Anything counts. So let’s do this together. Let’s laugh through the tough. And maybe one day our lives will be a little less sucky.

Olympics and Audis

 

Is it just me, or is anyone else craving an Audi after watching the Olympics for two weeks straight?olympiclogo2audilogo

 

 

 

Got a Mallet?

I’ve been offline for a while.

Actually, more like off-life.

Turns out the whole grief thing can really sucker you up when you least expect it. You think, ‘Oh good, I’ve made it through the one-year mark, melted down in the grocery store, been remiss on personal hygiene for more than two consecutive days, purchased elastic-waist-banded pants. I’ve done it all! Lived a full, grief-packed life. Let’s call it a day.’

And then it all cycles back. Like cicadas.

And the noise is too much to bear.

When I first learned about the stages of grief, I thought it was a linear-type program they were pushing. When you’re done with Depression, honey, just hand in your card and we’ll move you right on to Acceptance. Lines form to the left. Please enjoy the ride.

But no! Tricky business, this grief. Each stage keeps randomly popping up, like a Whack-A-Mole. And the truth is, sometimes you have the mallet with you to handle it, and sometimes you don’t.

People often say if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger (those are the days you wish you had the mallet with you), but to me that’s like saying ‘If I shoot you and you don’t die, but you almost do, and you suffer a crazy-ass amount of pain because of it all, you’ll be such a better person.’

A better approach to all this, I think, is what somebody suggested I do every night before I go to bed. Other than floss. Write down three things I am grateful for. And while I know there is a lot I have to be grateful for, I’ve decided, in the spirit of this blog’s catchy tagline, to come up with one thing that doesn’t suck.

Three seems like too much of a commitment for me right now.

But one?

One I can do.

And so now, if you will please indulge my love of all things hedgehog, I give you the first installment of…

“That Doesn’t Suck”

FullSizeRender-5

Because baby hedgehogs in tiny nesting baskets DO NOT SUCK.

See??? Tell me you don’t have a smile on your face right now!

I hope it has helped in some small way. Because we all have days when we don’t have our mallets with us, right?

 

 

Rubber Gloves and Weight Loss

The Clean Diet.

When I first heard the name, I thought brilliant! I have to clean anyway, and now I get to reward myself for doing it. I’ve been on the plan for the recommend 30 days and the results so far?

My bathrooms are spotless and I’m up 10 pounds.

I’m starting to think the whole ‘scrub-a-toilet, shovel-down-a-pizza’ thing, isn’t quite what they had in mind.

toilet.2

Once again, foiled in my efforts to master the mushy bits!

 

 

For Better or for Worse?

I was thinking about marriage vows the other day and I’m pretty sure we should change things up a little.

You know, cut right to the chase.

From day one.

Because, let’s be honest, when did ‘for better’ ever cause a problem?

Is making too much money really an issue?

Does having a clean bill of health ever wreak havoc on a marriage?

“My God, if he would just sniffle more or get cancer or something things would be so much better!”

So I say we just call it like it is.

Gold wedding rings

“I, so-and-so, take you, so-and-so, to be my lawfully wedded so-and-so, and if things get really, really, super screwed up along the way, I’ll still be here for you.”

Doesn’t that seem a little more realistic?

Because the stuff that’s going to tug away on those marital cords isn’t the good stuff. The easy stuff. The bringing-home-too-many-bonuses stuff.

It’s the stuff from ‘the worse’ side of the tracks.

And trust me, you’re going to want to hear that train coming long before it knocks you clearly off your feet.

 

Spring Eating

Spring cleaning?

SORRY!

I’m more of a spring eating gal!

 

SONY DSC

 

 

My seasonal obsession!

What’s yours?

Fix Me, Chris Martin

If you happen upon Chris Martin of Coldplay in The Hamptons at a book event, may I make a suggestion?

Get the name of his song right.

For the record, it’s Fix You.

And not, as some have tried to butcher, Fix Me.

Alright, it was me, but in my defense, I was flustered. He’s Chris Martin, for God’s sake!

When I saw him perform on The Today Show yesterday, I suddenly relived the whole encounter. Not that he would remember any of it, but for me, every syllable of our conversation is still etched in my psyche.

A little background:

I was in The Hamptons two summers ago for a book event to benefit the East Hampton Library.

I say this like I flit about the place all the time. You know. Party to party. Social engagement to social engagement.

I’ve been there once.

For 48 hours.

But jackpot for me!

Chris Martin was there.

So was Gwyneth.

And two good things about that. She was busy signing books. And there was a long line.

So it was just me and Chris. Oh, and all the other people at the reception, but who’s counting?

ME: I’m a huge fan! (wanted to start off with something original).

HIM: Thanks

ME: No, seriously. My husband and I both are. He’s been very sick and every time he comes out of the hospital we listen to your music over and over again. We listen to Fix Me all the time.

HIM: You mean Fix You?

ME: Oh yeah, that one.

There were other elements to our conversation, like the repetitive use of ‘uhhh’ on my part, but once I finally managed to string some vowel/consonant combinations together that passed for actual words, we talked about health, doctors and the fact that he had to leave.

It was short, sweet and very memorable. (at least for me)

And when I think back, I really wasn’t exaggerating. Richard and I listened to Fix You on loop after each of his surgeries. And ultimately, when he lost his battle, I used it at his funeral.

“And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace”

So, maybe in the end, Chris Martin, it wasn’t such a slip of the tongue after all. Maybe you really did fix me. Or at least help me through what is still a really tough time.

After all, isn’t that what music does? Transport you. Guide you. Help you through.

Or at least your music does.

And I thank you for that.

 

How about you? What’s your song? Your place to go when times are tough?

 

 

Clip it in the Bud

Dear Presidential Debate Moderators:

I’ve noticed you’ve been having a hard time lately.

The rascally behaviors this debate season must have you going bonkers by now.

The name calling…

The talking over each other…

The yelling…

Here’s where I thought I might be able to help.

I work in an elementary school where we use this clip system to nip similar saucy behaviors in the bud.

clip system

 

Perhaps it could be of assistance in your next debate?

It’s really quite simple. With every infraction, you’ll just say something like, “Candidate Johnny. We don’t call each other names. Please go and move your clip down. And consider this a warning. If I have to talk to you about this again, you’ll be on red. And then I’ll have to call your parents. You don’t want that to happen, do you?”

Oh, and try to maintain a serious face at all times when giving directions. They really can sense when you’re folding.

Anyway, I hope you find some success with it!

At the very least it will be a way to use up those clips you probably have hanging around because who even puts their laundry out to dry anymore?

Good luck and cheers,

Louise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call me

ICELAND!!!

I just wanted to put it out there that I still haven’t heard from you.

I suppose I can hold out a little longer.

Hope all’s well.

Look forward to talking soon!

(please check under the Advertise section for clarification if you think I’m completely batty).

 

 

 

We don’t see dead people

The problem with the TSA is they don’t recognize a dead person when they see one.

Granted, he was cremated, but I’m pretty sure TSA training should include both forms of dead.

Regular and sprinkle.

Last summer, I flew to Ireland to spread some of my husband’s remains in the River Slaney, his childhood fishing hole. It is a horribly surreal experience flying with your husband’s remains in your carry-on.

At the very least you’re hesitant to reach for your bareMinerals powder to touch up at the end of the flight.

Perhaps, because of the enormity of what I was doing, all I really wanted was for someone to acknowledge my pilgrimage.

Pull me aside in the line.

Tell me they were sorry for our loss.

Give me a hug.

Put my shoes back on for me after security.

Something.

But…

it turns out a body can go through not one, but TWO, major airports completely undetected.

I found it strange I couldn’t bring more than 3.4 ounces of liquid on-board, for fear of what? I would randomly start spritzing people mid-flight? But 10 or so ounces of dead husband gets an ‘all-clear?’

There was a glimmer of hope when my bag was scanned in the second airport.

A pensive look on the agent’s face.

A sideways cock of the head.

A finger pointing to the screen.

Me! Me! Me! I wanted to shout. That’s my bag. And, yes, that is my…

Instead, they opened up the bag right after mine, the one with the anatomically warped doll, and we were sent on our way to obsess over female proportions, without as much as a foot rub.

And that was it!

That was my last chance before boarding to let everyone know that my husband of nearly 20 years was propped up next to my laptop in my carry-on, and, YES, I was having some issues with it!

Fortunately, this was a flight to Ireland, so drinking was available, and I could at least sit back and remind myself that this was what Richard wanted. I was doing this for him.

And on the actual day, when we stood along the edge of the river and scattered his ashes, and tears came faster than breaths, I knew this was the right thing. The river welcomed him with such peace and serenity that it felt cosmically staged.

It turns out, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

 

 

 

 

 

An apple a day…

 

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

apple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, but what if he’s hot?