So Sleepy

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I’m having one of those weeks where I keep thinking it’s Friday, and it’s…not, yet. I’m also having a very tired week. Not sure if it’s because it’s been pretty hot and humid, or because the air quality has been less-than-stellar (though it’s not nearly as bad here as it is in NY right now), or if it’s just that there’s a lot going on and I haven’t had a lot of time to recharge. Probably a combination of all of the above.

Mouse is currently snoring in her bed on the floor next to my desk. The deep snores that come out of this little dog never fail to amuse me. If you know anyone in Minnesota who’s looking for a sweet, silly dog, her adoption page is here. She’s a very good dog.

I don’t have a whole lot else to talk about this week, but before I get to the all-important doggo pictures, here are a few things I’m grateful for right now:

  • I had a really lovely birthday over the weekend. It was low-key and involved getting to spend time with loved ones, which was just what I wanted.
  • I picked up a new “cozy fantasy” book as a birthday present to myself. I think I mentioned Legends & Lattes on here back when I read that; Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea is a very similar vibe. Queer and cozy and fluffy but still very engaging. I read about half of it over the weekend before I had to turn my attention back to homework, but I’m looking forward to finishing it!
  • I’ve got some tentative social plans this weekend that I’m really looking forward to.

And now, as always, I leave you with doggos:

Patience and Balance

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I don’t know about you all, but I’ve felt for the past couple of days that this week should be farther along than it is…it’s been a long one. Work has been kind of bananas, and summer term at school started this week.

First things first: we’re still a single-dog household. The dog we met on Saturday was not a good personality fit with Nova. Thankfully, someone with the rescue who’s a certified dog trainer was able to sit with us and the two dogs and help us better interpret what was happening. Turns out Nova is not the kind of dog with the maternal instinct for teaching another dog how to be a dog. She needs a companion who will let her be top dog but will still engage and not be overly submissive. So, we’ve learned things about Nova and the rescue is willing to work with us to find a better personality fit. We’ve sent them a list of other dogs we’re interested in meeting, and they’ll set something up with us based on what they know of those dogs and Nova. We’re doing our best to be patient and to trust the timing will work out the way it’s meant to.

As I was looking over the syllabi for my two summer classes over the weekend and setting up my homework plan for myself, I realized that I had probably bitten off more than I could chew. We’re traveling the last week of the term, so that means I’d have to get final projects in a week early, and the one class I was planning to take asynchronously had a LOT of work due each week in addition to the big final paper. I talked it over with my husband and thought it through, and decided to drop the asynchronous class and just take one class this summer. I’m feeling much more settled about my summer schedule now, and much more confident that I can succeed without burning myself out. It wasn’t easy to let go of the idea that I’m supposed to be able to keep up with that level of work consistently, but I’m doing my best to give myself grace and remember that I can take my time.

And I think that’s where I’m going to leave things this week. But first, some Nova photos:

Back at It

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I hope you’re all hanging in there.

I finally started back at work last Friday, which was actually kind of a nice day to start – it meant that I got a relatively chill day to catch up on the mountain of unread emails in my inbox and unread Slack messages from when I was out, and then I was able to really dive back into work starting on Monday. It’s been a pretty good first full week back so far – busy, but not unreasonably chaotic. I think I’m mostly remembering how to do my job.

Of course, I also realized this week that I need to cut back on my coffee consumption. I usually only drink 2 cups a day anyway, but I started developing a fairly persistent eye twitch while I was out on medical leave that has only gotten more pronounced since starting back at work, and my stomach has been kind of unhappy with me. So I’m cutting back to a single cup for now, and contemplating making the switch to decaf. I’m pretty bummed about it.

Going to have to end it here because work is picking up. I’ll leave you with some Nova photos from the past week:


Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I was supposed to go back to work on Monday, but thanks to some paperwork-related nonsense around potential accommodations, I still have not been cleared to return. So this week has felt like a lot of hurry-up-and-wait.

I’ve been trying to keep myself occupied while I wait. This week I’ve helped a friend brainstorm about a game they’re designing for a class, gone to lunch with my mom, worked on my spiritual direction website, read, listened to podcasts, listened to music…and spent a fair amount of time compulsively checking my email, waiting for news about the work situation. I don’t mind the extra time off, but the waiting isn’t my favorite.

I don’t have a whole lot else to report on this week, but I’ll leave you, as always, with some Nova content:

Winding Down, Gearing Up

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It’s gone from late winter straight to summer here in the Twin Cities this week (it was in the 40s last week, and yesterday we almost hit 90F), which has me feeling very thrown, and grateful that it’s supposed to calm back down to a much more seasonable 60-something in the next couple of days. Still, I’m glad for the sun that’s come out and the feeling of life re-emerging.

I am also re-emerging – this is the final week of my medical leave, and I’ll return to work on Monday. I’m a little nervous, and part of me wishes I had another week or two off. But at the same time, I’m looking forward to getting some structure back in my life. I don’t honestly know if my anxious brain could handle one more unstructured week.

In the meantime, my Comparative Religious Ethics class is wrapping up this week, and I’m trying to get my final paper written before the deadline (tomorrow at midnight). I have accepted (mostly) that it’s not going to be my best work. I think I can get it done in time, and I’m happy to see that I have a bit more focus than I did a couple of weeks ago, at least.

I still have another month of my Spiritual Direction class…because it’s through a different university that’s on a different timeline, that class will end right before my summer classes start up. I’m a little bummed that I won’t have a break between semesters, but at least this is the less stressful class. This summer I’ll be taking a class on Buddhist scriptures and one on early Christian theologies. I’m looking forward to both of them.

As I get further out from surgery, I’m trying to remember to stop and appreciate the feeling of rightness in my body. It feels more like it’s…mine. The fact that I never have to worry about menstrual cramps again (which I occasionally got mild versions of even after almost a decade of taking testosterone), or that if I were to lose access to testosterone, will never need to worry about my period coming back, is giving me an even deeper sense of peace and rightness within my body than I expected. So that’s cool.

I should get back to homework, so I’ll leave it here for this week. As always, here’s your weekly dose of Nova:


Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It’s been a decent week – recovery continues to go smoothly and although I’m still figuring out the limits of my energy, I’ve been feeling good overall.

This week has included listening to a handful of audiobooks (all books I’ve read before, because it turns out I have very little capacity for new information right now), knitting, and building a bunch of Lego sets:

The bouquet was a surprise gift from a friend, and was a delight to put together. My husband built the bonsai tree and the T-Rex, and I built the rest. This has been a really great way to keep my hands and brain busy, so I ended up ordering a couple of additional sets, which should get here today!

On Tuesday my cousin and I went to see the new D&D movie. We enjoyed it immensely! I was pretty beat after that excursion, but it was worth it.

Not a lot else to report on at the moment. I’ll leave you, as always, with some Nova moments from the past week:


Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I am 9 days post-op from my hysterectomy, and feeling pretty good.

The procedure itself went really smoothly – the whole care team was fabulous, and the only thing that was less-than-stellar was the number of attempts it took to get the IV going, but that was unsurprising (my line is always “I’m not afraid of needles, but my veins are”), and even through that the nurses were really great. I haven’t needed to take anything heavier than ibuprofen for pain since the day of surgery, which was a pleasant surprise. I was feeling so good last Friday (three days after surgery) that I joined my husband and best friend for Nova’s morning stroll around the park across the street – I was a little wobbly when we got back inside, but mostly thought I was fine…until about 5pm that evening when I just crashed. I’ve been taking things a bit more slowly since then and letting myself sleep as much as I feel like I need to.

Really, recovery has been remarkably easy so far – the biggest challenge has been some brain fog and an extremely short attention span. I’ve been blown away by the support we’ve gotten from family and friends – surprise care packages, gift cards, sweet notes, visits…it’s just been really lovely to feel so cared for.

Since I don’t have a whole lot else going on right now, I’ll leave you with some extra Nova content this week – she’s been a trooper with having the household routine totally thrown off.

Almost Time

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! I am extremely distracted this week as the countdown to my hysterectomy gets smaller and smaller. We’re now less than a week away, which is absolutely wild.

I am blown away by the number of people who have offered support while I recover, and I am so, so grateful. Particularly with the news being what it is these days, I am painfully aware of how lucky I am to have this access and support. I wish it was like this for everyone.

A couple of months ago, I got really excited about the idea of tablet weaving, and ordered a loom and some other supplies. And then I kind of forgot about it…until this past weekend, when the loom finally arrived! I’m excited about it again, because I think this will be a really good recovery activity – I’ve found a simple pattern that I don’t need to think about too much.

I’ve also got a couple of simple knitting projects lined up, and am compiling lists of podcasts, books, movies, shows, and video games that friends have recommended for while I recover. I am going to be on medical leave from work for four weeks, and I’m trying to focus on my rest and healing and not worry too much about what chaos may be happening at work in the meantime.

That’s about it for this week. There will likely not be a blog next week, or if there is, it will go up late. See you on the other side, and in the meantime, here’s some Nova content to tide you over:

Ticking Away

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday. It’s been another wild week at work, and I’m scrambling to get everything I need to done, because surgery is now officially less than two weeks away. I am excited and anxious and a little bit overwhelmed, but I’ve also been completely bowled over by community support leading up to this, and for that, I am grateful.

Last night I went out for drinks and dinner with two of my best friends, and it was delightful. I’m finally starting to feel more connected here. It took a long time for me to feel like I had connections when we moved to Chicago in 2012; having to leave those deep connections when we moved back to MN in 2021 was hard, and I’ve been struggling a bit to figure out what community looks like for me here. But reconnecting with old friends has been lovely, and I’m tentatively letting down some roots in a handful of other places – an in-person D&D group, a potential songwriting group, my seminary classes…it feels like I’m starting to settle in more, and it feels nice.

I don’t honestly have a ton to talk about this week – a good 90% of my brain is focused on surgery and everything that needs to get done before then, and there’s not a lot else going on. But I’ll leave you, as always, with some quality Nova content:


Hello, dear readers, and welcome to Thursday! It’s been a hell of a week at work so far, but last weekend I went on a really lovely solo retreat, and I’m going to focus on that today.

I stayed in a little one-room cabin that was extremely cute:

I arrived Friday evening, and most of my time there on Friday was spent getting acclimated to the space. I ended up crashing pretty early that night.

Saturday ended up being a beautiful day! This was my view as I sat and ate breakfast, journaled, and worked on some songs:

(My husband pointed out that the pile of snow there looks rather like a leopard snoozing with one eye open.)

I spent a fair amount of Saturday writing, whether journaling or working on songs. I ended up getting two new songs written, both of which I’m pretty happy with, and which brought my final total for FAWM up to 11 songs in the month – that’s 10 more songs than I expected to write, and almost 4 times as many as I wrote last FAWM! In the evening I lit a fire in the fireplace – I wasn’t sure if I was going to end up doing it, because matches kind of freak me out and I was afraid I’d accidentally burn the place down, but it ended up being fine:

As the fire crackled, I watched the sunset from one of the rocking chairs, and it was glorious:

After it got dark, I turned all the lights in the cabin off and looked outside in the hopes of doing a bit of stargazing. I ended up seeing an old friend directly outside my window:

It was a lovely time away, and by Sunday morning I was ready to be home. I got back and had a lovely afternoon to lounge around my apartment with my husband and Nova before heading back out for a D&D game that evening, which was also super fun!

Monday I ended up waking up pretty sniffly and very tired, so I took a sick day. Tuesday and Wednesday were bonkers days at work, and I’m bracing for that to continue through the rest of the week. Still, I’m grateful for my little weekend getaway and the chance to reconnect with myself.

I will leave you with two things: first, if you’re interested in listening to anything I wrote for FAWM this year, you should be able to do that here through the month of March. And finally, here are some photos of Nova using me as a pillow for a full hour on Monday. I think she missed me while I was gone.