In Case You Haven’t Heard: The Civil Wars.

I don’t know, but I can’t get enough of them lately. This song in particular is beautiful and sad and lovely. I think most of us have felt like this at some point in our lives, about someone we love. So, make some tea, put on some warm socks, and check out The Civil Wars. It’s just that kind of music.

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Bad parenting.

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I think I should probably stop judging parents who let the TV, video games, etc. babysit their children, because that fireplace mesmerizes and occupies Picky from October to April. What can i say? Mama needs a little quiet time, here and there.

Apple-pickin’ fools.

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We had beautiful weather last weekend, so Andy and I decided to head north, and pick apples. I think it’s worth noting that this activity is much more charming when A) it’s not 80 degrees; B) I’m not wearing black and exposed to direct sunlight. Nonetheless, we got lots of good apples, enjoyed the time together, and supported a farm that employs some of the families served by my agency. All in all, not a bad weekend in New York.

In Case You Haven’t Heard: Melody Gardot.

Now this voice, this is something really special. Melody Gardot’s voice rides a strange line of being coolly detached, yet full f emotion at the same time. She was injured in an accident a number of years ago, and began to use music as therapy during her recovery. Luckily for us, she decided to share that talent with the world. Her album Worrisome Heart, is the perfect soundtrack for Sunday brunch, or for when you’re looking for music that’s not going to compete for your attention with another task. It’s pretty good bathtub music, too. At least I think it would be, if I were the bubble-bath-taking type. Gross. Anyway, maybe you can try it, and let us all know. Enjoy!

In Honor of National Coming Out Day.

I am that dreaded B word. A bisexual. And even as I write that, I cringe, knowing what the connotation of that word means to many people, on either side of the coin. To some, it means I absolve myself of the right to be taken seriously. To others, it means that I must kiss girls in bars for male attention. And to me, it means that I’ve absorbed all of these misconceptions, and somehow internalized them, causing me to take myself less seriously. I won’t even say the word, I find. “Fluid”, “queer”, “no labels”, or “I love everyone”, I say. Just not the B word.
I came out later than most people, at twenty-five. My parents were in denial, not allowing me to acknowledge my relationship with my then-girlfriend in any form. I couldn’t bring her to their home, they wouldn’t come to mine if she was there. And so, living two lives became necessary. It caused me huge amounts of stress, but I refused to let them back me into a corner. So, I gave them time. And while they eventually came around, I will say that the experience changed my relationship with them in an irreversible way. I can only imagine what that must do to a young person, who still lives at home. I had the luxury of independence.
A few years ago, I fell in love with a man, a man that I am still with today. We have a home and a life together, and it’s a good life. I know this relieves my parents, mainly because the phrase “that phase” has been uttered more than once. I have friends who’ve said, “I wish you were still gay,” as if that’s something that can be turned on and off. This angers me, because it makes me feel less significant, as if who I am isn’t valued by the people I love most in my life. Nothing has changed-whether I’m with a man or a woman, I am who I am. And I’m going to be OK with that. I can only hope everyone else is, as well. If not, well…that’s their issue.

So today, I’m coming out again, but this time for myself. As a bisexual. As that B word. And for those of you who have yet to come out as whoever you are…be just that. Who you are. Because that is truth, and truth is beautiful-no matter what it looks like. Happy National Coming Out Day!

Calling All Dysfunctional Domestics!

It hit me yesterday, while I was trying to make something as seemingly simple as apple fritters, yet still ended up getting batter all over Pickle’s head (through no fault of her own, shockingly): I’m bad at this whole being-domestic thing.

Doesn’t it seem like when you were growing up, the women (and in some cases, men) in your lives seemed to make it happen with what seemed like little to no effort? Perfectly pressed clothing, good meals, clean homes, well-kept children/pets, etc-the whole nine yards. Me? Try one-perma wrinkle in everything I iron, burned/bland meals, a home that no matter how frequently vacuumed, still boasts a rogue tumbleweed of dog hair, and an out of control canine. How, in what seems like only one generation, did we go from Martha Stewart, to Jessica Simpson? I try, really I do, but honestly, I suck. And I also don’t like doing those things.

So, here’s what I’m looking for from you, dear readers-your stories. I want to hear what it means to be the anti-domestic, as I call it, and how you manage in a world where it’s not second nature for us to be flawless at home life. I want to hear your stories (funny or otherwise), your experiences, and your ideas on the state of domestic ability in our generation. I’m looking for a series of guest writers to develop posts on the topic, to be published here on my blog. If you’re interested, please email me at: JenniferLHurlburt@gmail.com, or send me a facebook message. Come tell your story of kitchen fires and parental mishaps!

Gracious host.

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I took this picture the night before I left DC, from my hotel balcony. Every time I visit, I’m reminded of what a vibrant, electric place it is, and I never leave disappointed. DC knows how to show you a good time.