pinterest in real life + Young House Love

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of real fall, meant to show you what's going on behind the scenes as your favorite bloggers frolic through apple orchards and make out with their pumpkin spice lattes. 

Today, along those lines, I want to show you Pinterest in real life.

Ever since some genius crafter discovered that - gasp - dry erase markers work on glass, Pinterest has been full of pinners posting their dry erase frame creations.

I decided to jump on the bandwagon, putting a frame in our bathroom (on those shelves that I fought so hard for).

Brushing our teeth is usually the last thing each of us does in the morning before work, so it would be perfect for the love notes we were dying to leave each other as we parted ways.

Or  helpful reminders-

Not that I would ever have the foresight to package up leftovers for Y's lunch.  But that's the thing about Pinterest - it's supposed to make you perfect. 

But, readers, my husband is not John Petersik*. So instead of love notes, this is what I got:

*John Petersik: co-blogger of Young House Love who seems to be open to any and all DIY projects and doesn't incorporate voyeuristic whales into home decor. 

Edited to add: I actually met John and Sherry, the couple behind Young House Love last night at West Elm for their book signing. 

I'll share more later -- they are as friendly and real as their blog suggests -- but I thought this little story was relevant. You see, this exact project (sort of) happens to be in the YHL book. I showed John and Sherry Y's whale, which they, of course, loved (how could you not?! Look at that face!). 

And then, because I was at the back of the line and I think everyone in the store was a little delirious, John wrote this in my book:

My copy of this book is going to be worth millions one day. 

what causes radon: the truth

Being married to a resident can be kind of humbling.

Like when you realize that no matter how much you have to do at work, no matter how annoyed your boss is, when something happens to your house there is no argument: you don't have lives to save. You are the one staying home with the repairman.

This has its perks. Like... hanging out at home with the dog.

It also has its downfalls. Like, staring at an unfinished bedroom that would look a million times better if a) there was a picture ledge on the wall*, and b) there was no underwear on the floor.

But mainly it has its perks. My favorite: getting the real story from the repairmen. 

Recently, while sitting at home entertaining the people who were installing our radon mitigation system,  I got the inside scoop on why our basement has so much radon. I made sure to share with Y. 

Apparently, insinuating that Y caused a poisonous gas to emanate from our floors is the way to his heart. Just a few days later, our bedroom looked like this:

some other bedroom shots:

By the way, this is what our bedroom looked like when we looked at the house:

*I screw up every time I try to put something in our walls. Otherwise, I would have hung the shelf myself. 

real fall versus blog fall

Having lived in Louisiana for most of my life and loving the idea of fall, I never truly knew what a real fall was like. For the past few years, I've been relying on bloggers in cooler climates to show me. 

Now that I live in a "cooler climate" myself (have you heard? It's cold here!), I know the truth. There's blog fall, which is pumpkin-scented and crisp and lovely and all of those other words bloggers like to throw around. 

But then there's real fall. The greater blog population doesn't tell you about real fall. 

So I will.

Blog fall:

Real fall:

Blog fall:

Real fall:

Blog fall:

Real fall:

Blog fall:

Real fall:

Blog fall:

Real fall:

this is residency: waffles & rectums

On Y's most recent morning off, he was adamant about making me waffles.

It was a beautiful morning. There was nutella on the table. The waffles were warm.

And then Y opened his mouth.

Tip: don't let residents speak during meals. It never ends well. If you've learned anything from this blog, I hope it's that. (example a, b, , d)

 "Your rectum is amazing."

Imagine me choking on a mouthful of nutella. "What?!"

"I mean, not yours. Just in general. Rectums are amazing."

I did the only thing I know to do in situations like these. I blinked.

"Think about it. A small piece of smooth muscle and nerve endings can distinguish between liquid, gas and solids."


"It can let only gas through when there are solids present. It's so sophisticated."

I googled it, guys. This is the only time, ever, when sophisticated has been used to describe rectum.

And to think it all happened on my kitchen table. Over my waffles. 

this is residency: carrying leeches in my purse

When Y started residency, I committed to a few things: keeping the house clean so he wouldn't feel stressed the precious moments he was at home (failed), having dinner waiting for him after a long day (failed), and carrying around leeches in my purse (succeeded!).

After he realized that hanging out with Ike and me wasn't relaxing enough -- I beg to differ, the soothing high-pitched tones of WHOSTHECUTESTPUPPYINTHEWORLD are quite relaxing -- Y decided he needed a hobby. He picked fishing. Ike and I were not invited.

When a resident decides on a Sunday evening that he wants to go fishing on his next day off (in this case, a Wednesday), he has to plan carefully. On Tuesday, he had a 1 hour window of opportunity when he got off work before every other business closed for the day. In that sliver of time, he bought a fishing pole and whatever other accessories fishing requires -- except for bait. 

That was when he turned to me with resident eyes (which are similar to puppy dog eyes except that I don't have to pick gunk out of them).

"Will you pick up bait tomorrow on your lunch break?"

Sure, I said. This is how I imagined the errand would go: I would buy a can of worms (what other container was I supposed to assume worms come in?), throw it in my car and head back to work.

It was more difficult than that.

There happens to be a bait store not far from my work. When I told the cashier where Y would be fishing, he nodded knowingly. "You need leeches." 

Just the word leeches made me want to vomit, but I managed to keep it together and accept the two most disgusting plastic tupperware containers to ever exist. As I walked out, I was reminded to keep the containers refrigerated or their contents would "turn to mush".

I gagged silently. 

So much for forgetting about the bait in my car. I started hatching a plan to secretly store leeches in my work refrigerator. Luckily, the cashier at the bait store had put my disgusting purchase in a white paper bag that looked a lot like a lunch.

(Speaking of lunch, I needed to pick mine up. Which involved leaving my car in the hot sun for several minutes. Terrified of leech mush, I reluctantly put the white bag of disgust in my purse while I ran into the grocery store, sneaking a peek every few seconds, and gagging as I felt everything slosh around in my purse. I'm positive I looked like a shoplifter with morning sickness.)

When I got back to work, my heart was pounding as I prepared to act on my top secret mission. I didn't know if leeches smelled. If they could escape from their tupperware. If they made noise. I had only been working at my job for a few weeks, and I didn't feel comfortable enough to ask the forward question Can I store leeches in the refrigerator?

I stuffed my little pets into the back of the fridge, behind a 2 year old jar of peanut butter, and proceeded to check on them every 15 minutes. On check-in number, oh I don't know, 12 I noticed that the bottom of my white bag was soaked through. 

THE LEECHES HAVE OPENED THE TUPPERWARE, I instantly thought. I peeked into the bag and, for the first time, actually looked at the leeches (which were still safe in their plastic container).

And that was how I found myself, on my 15th day of work, sitting on the communal kitchen floor, gagging and wondering what my life was coming to.

PS. Y has been fishing for several weeks, and the only thing he's caught is this old fishing pole.

PPS. I went fishing once, for an hour, and caught 20 fish.

Minneapolis residency vacation

Y's vacation is over.

And by vacation, I mean a consult month, a rotation with an 8-5, Monday through Friday schedule. He calls it vacation. The rest of us call it real life. 

Tomato, tomahto.

Today he switched to a more stressful rotation, but honestly, I think it's for the best for both of us. 

For him, it means I will stop making him pose in front of walls. I didn't realize how obnoxious I must have been until I looked back through my pictures.

I will benefit from not having to listen to Y rap/sing anymore. Approximately 2 seconds after we moved to South Minneapolis, Y discovered that "South Minneapolis" and "West Philadelphia" have the same number of syllables. Cue the constant, Minneapolis-themed renditions of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song. Even Ike is over it. 

Put a sock in it, plz.

Below, some pictures of our "vacation" adventures:

exploring downtown

Amazing seats for our first Twins game, which was really more of a kettle corn scarfing fiasco. We finished an extra large bag of the stuff in about 20 minutes. I'm not sure what the deal is with kettle corn around here, but I'm not complaining.

"Spoonbridge and Cherry". From what I can tell, this : Minneapolis :: The Bean : Chicago. 

Reading (currently reading State of Wonder by Ann Patchett) while Y fished. Unsuccesfully. But more on that later. 

A stop on an 18 mile urban bike ride. We spent all 18 miles marveling at how Dutch the city felt...

...and then we remembered we had tickets to see the Rembrandt exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (which happens to be the largest collection of Rembrandts in the United States). The day, needless to say, was sufficiently Dutch.

the BEST thing about residency

This might be a tad premature -- Y is only about 55 days into his residency, after all -- but I'm going to go out on a limb and say I've figured out the very best part of the whole residency thing.

It starts with a little argument about our house that turned into a full blown, silent treatment kind of dispute. I wanted to put shelves up in a certain part of our bathroom to display essentials like the 20 year old bottle of Chanel No 5 I found in my mom's drawer, and the 95 cent bowls I scored at Anthropologie. Things that absolutely need to be on a shelf center stage in our bathroom.

Since my brain turns to mush as soon as it tries to think about tools and drywall anchors and studs, I needed Y to put up these shelves. But when he tried to drill, it was more difficult than he thought due to a piece of metal in the wall. He managed to successfully put up one shelf, but he wasn't willing to do more damage to the wall to put up the second shelf.

I -- because I'm so handy, remember? -- tried to convince him that one tiny hole in the wall wasn't going to affect anything. This is where things got hairy. Apparently, I was "nagging". Psh. 

"Why can't we put them over here?" he asked, pointing across the room.

"That doesn't make any sense!" Why would we have one shelf on this wall, and one halfway across the room? Boys. 

"You literally picked the one spot in the wall where we shouldn't drill. Find a different spot."

Eventually -- it took at least 3 days -- Y realized that I was not going to shut up about the shelf. He successfully hung it, much to his chagrin. So far our house is still standing.


The second part of this story involves the facts that a) these shelves are above the toilet, and b) Y believes that when he "only pees a little", flushing the toilet is not required.

You see where this is going.

When my moisturizer fell into some fresh urine the other night, there was no question: HE was fishing it out. Not only was it his urine, but he has dug around inside a) dead people and b) rectums. And probably c) dead people's rectums. All gross tasks should default to him.

This is where it gets good, fellow naggers. Listen carefully.

As he gingerly placed the bottle in the sink, I shook my head. "Whose idea was it to put those shelves there, anyway?" It was sarcastic; slightly apologetic. I was ready to take the blame.

He looked at me, anger flashing in his eyes. "Where else would we have put them?" he retorted indignantly, as if I had insulted his greatest work of art. 

You guys. Residency makes them forget. The possibilities are endless.

cadavers over dinner

 {phlegm: a love story chronicles Y's finer moments as a true romantic scientist. See the rest of the love story here.}

The girl and the boy sit close to each other in a corner booth. It's their anniversary dinner, and they've chosen a popular new restaurant that specializes in meat and bourbon. The boy has a beer, the girl has a champagne cocktail. They toast to three years of marriage and two months in their new house. 

The waitress sets down a platter of exotic meats. She points to each one. "Pickled heart macella, summer truffle sausage, turkey braunschweiger, wild boar head cheese." Translation: beef heart, sausage, turkey liver pate, and boiled boar head.

The girl gingerly takes a bite of sausage, the one thing that appears safe. The boy takes a bite of pickled heart and nods approvingly. "This is delicious." The girl tentatively pokes at it with her fork, working up the courage to take a bite. 

The boy continues. "This is actually really tender. I would expect heart muscle to be tougher than this, since cutting through a cadaver heart is so difficult. Now the psoas muscle --on an animal, that's where you get a filet, and the human muscle is similar -- you can slice right through that muscle."

The girl vomits.

Just kidding. The girl is used to this. She smiles, nods, and does not eat the pickled heart macella.