Ah, to be young...

In our quest to figure out what the heck is really wrong with my skeleton, we’ve been seeing a lot of doctors and specialists lately, none of whom seem to really have answers, but they’re all like a team of detectives trying to figure me out, which is kind of fun! The latest of many theories is that the problem is not just in my hips, but also in my feet.

Apparently I stand with my feet pronated, or tilted inward, and that is a big no-no.

So on top of trying a new anti-inflammatory medication every morning, taking CBD oil, doing daily yoga, and eating an anti-inflammatory diet, my rheumatologist has assigned me with the task of getting orthopedic shoes. And, I feel like with good reason, I’m not thrilled about it.

Now, I’ve never been that hugely into my appearance. Like, my sisters have always had questions about any given outfit I’ve decided to wear, and I spent a lot of my childhood and teen years in my brother’s hand-me-downs, which was interesting because he’s a 6’8” and I am not, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve figured out and defined my look in a way. I definitely tend to opt for comfort and practicality over style, but I know I like color. My clothes are always covered in dog fur, because huskies, and I’m not a big shopper or trend follower (let alone a trend setter), but there are people who I look to for inspiration when I need to buy something or put together an outfit, and as far as I can tell, those people aren’t societal outcasts, so I’m probably doing okay. I’m also pretty into not wasting materials, so things don’t get refreshed in my closet all to often. I tend to sort of just buy or acquire stuff and wear it until it falls apart. In fact, while facetiming my sister the other day, she totally called me out for wearing a t-shirt that was hers in high school. She graduated in 2002.

So when it comes to shoes, I’m not that different. I go for basics and I wear them until they can’t be worn any longer. I’ve got my brown boots for the colder months, my Chuck Taylors for the warmer months, and one pair of brown sandals for the beach days. I think I also own a pair of running shoes from when I tried to run that one time, but I don’t know where they went.

Come to think of it, I’m actually surprised the Fab 5 from Netflix’s Queer Eye haven’t shown up at my door yet.

All of that being said, I know enough about style to know that orthopedic shoes are kind of a fashion death-sentence. There’s a reason a doctor has to tell us to wear them, right? They’re like the grapefruit for breakfast of footwear. Nobody wants it, but it’s good for you and your digestive health, so we sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top to make it tolerable and then get on with our day.

Of course it’s not just the look I’m worried about, but it’s what the look says. I already knit and crochet. I enjoy a nice, warm cup of tea in the evenings before I go to bed by 10pm. I read physical books and complain about my back multiple times a day. I don’t like gratuitous sex or violence in my television and I’m very sad that I don’t have a good space in my apartment to set up a jigsaw puzzle to work on throughout the year. I got very excited when our seed catalog arrived last month, AND I’M ACTIVELY WATCHING AN EPISODE OF THE GOLDEN GIRLS AS I WRITE THIS, so… I’m pretty sure that the minute I put on a pair of orthopedic shoes I will suddenly rip off my mask and reveal to the world that I am in fact the oldest of bitties in the blogosphere.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not trying to harp on the elderly. I just didn’t think I would be joining them quite yet! I mean, I’m not even thirty! I was supposed to have a few decades left before all of this really started happening.

It’s not just that the shoes aren’t my style (they don’t make orthopedic Chuck Taylors, I’ve looked), but they’re also damn expensive. Obviously, I could go the inserts route, and that is what I’m going to try first, but what if that’s not enough? What if my doctors end up saying “Sorry, toots, but you’re going to be spending over $100 on every pair of shoes for the rest of your life. And you won’t like a single one of them.”

Because that’s the thing, right? I know my style isn’t “stylish” according to the rest of the world, but it’s my style. I like it. When I walk out the door, I like to think that people can get an honest sense of who I am and what I’m like before I say “hello.” They can see that I like nerdy things from my graphic tees and that I’m an animal lover from the dog fur that is at this point just woven into the fibers of every article of clothing. They can see that I’m outdoorsy from my worn boots and artistic from the white converse that I’ve doodled all over with sharpies. And that’s what I want them to see. I’m not ready for them to see my joint pain or my spina bifida right away. I’m not ready for them to see an old lady before they meet a young woman.

And I know that these are just shoes and that I’m probably being dramatic and building it all up in my head, but if it’s orthopedic shoes today at 28-years-old, how long before it’s something more, like a cane or a walker? 35? 40? Can I push it until 50?

The truth is, of course, that there’s no way to know right now whether or not things will get worse, or if these shoes will prevent any further issues from one day developing. All I can do is trust the doctors and give it shot. Because if this works, then that’s a great thing, and maybe it’ll end there. So I’m not going to let these new shoes cramp my style. I’ll decorate them with sharpies and glitter. I’ll sprinkle them with sugar and get on with the rest of my day. And they will be fabulous.


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Books and Bread and Leeks, Oh My! - Adventures in Homesteading

This blog post is dedicated to Ryan. He knows why.

Friends. I went full homesteader on Monday.

Okay, I didn’t exactly go out and get chickens or goats or cancel our electric bill and start pooping in a hole in our yard or anything, so maybe I didn’t go full homesteader, but I went pretty far. For me. And maybe only for me.

I woke up on Monday and I was READY. TO. GO.

First of all, I started organizing/purging my home library and it felt amazing. I started a LibraryThing account so that I could catalog all of my books.

Every. Single. One.

If you don’t know, I have a lot of books. Like… thousands. So far I’ve cataloged 361 of them. And that’s a little less than half of the ones I own on my “to-be-read” bookcase. The “read it and loved it” bookcase hasn’t been approached yet. That bookcase is significantly smaller than the TBR bookcase mainly because I take in a lot more than I can ever read, but also I give away a lot of books after I’ve read them.

Before you panic and you’re like “HOW CAN YOU SPEND THAT KIND OF MONEY?” don’t worry! I work in a bookshop and I get a lot of Advanced Reading Copies for free. But, I also buy a lot of books, because as anyone who loves books knows, they’re kind of an addiction, which I argue is a lot safer than meth, SO GET OFF MY NUTS, THE MR.

I forgot to take an actual picture, so I stole this from my  Instagram  story.

I forgot to take an actual picture, so I stole this from my Instagram story.

(Side note: I’m getting rid of a lot of books that I just know I’m never going to get to, and when I was trying to figure out what to do with them, I came up with some pretty good ideas, but one of them is a giveaway. I’m thinking I’ll do it when I reach 500 followers on Instagram, so go tell all of your friends to follow me so that you can maybe get a box of free books!)

What on earth does using the internet to organize my books have to do with homesteading, you wonder? Good question! I don’t really know, but it felt domestic, so I’m including it. I also did laundry. Does that count as homesteading? Sure! Why not! HOMESTEADING CAN BE WHATEVER YOU WANT IT TO BE!

Like… baking! Because I baked bread, mofos!! This one actually does feel homesteady because I made the bread not because I was bored and felt like making bread, but because we actually needed bread to make sandwiches for lunch for the week, and since the bread aisle at the grocery store gives me anxiety, I just said “screw it” and decided to make it myself, and you guys….

LOOK AT THIS BREAD.

I have to say, I made a peanut butter and banana sandwich (with a side of goldfish crackers, like an adult) with it the next day and it was maybe the best thing I’ve ever eaten. I’m never buying bread again.

In fact, I plan on never going to the grocery store again, you know why? Well, first of all, I can make bread now. Second of all, The Mr does the grocery shopping anyway, but third and most importantly of all, I PLANTED VEGETABLES. FROM SEED.

Last year we planted vegetables, and I’m going to say that it was a learning year. This year, we have charts! We have graphs! We have absolutely NO KALE! Things will be so much better.

This is just phase 1. At our height, we will have 87 plants started indoors and even more planted directly in the ground outside. I’m so excited.

This is just phase 1. At our height, we will have 87 plants started indoors and even more planted directly in the ground outside. I’m so excited.

Plus, this year, I’m planting in accordance with the phases of the moon, which I’m pretty sure makes me a witch now? I’m still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts, but this is like… Herbology 101, right? But with less screaming plant babies and more leeks. Also, for some reason I was feeling crazy and decided to plant Georgia Flame peppers, so… sorry, future me?

Anyway, all of this is to say that I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a little over a week, but I have a lot of books and bread and leeks to deal with.

But now I’m back, so yay! What have you been up to?

P.S. If you want to see even more photos of my homesteading adventures, go join the Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon! This blog is able to remain ad-free because of them. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

Emotionally Hungover and FANCY AF.

I’m a little bit emotionally hungover today because we were part of a huge retirement celebration for our pastor and her husband yesterday. It was all very lovely and bittersweet, and as is usually the case for things like this, the event brought a lot of people together who hadn’t all been in the same room in a long time. It was wonderful and terrible, and today I’m hanging out in bed for the most part.

I’ve needed a day like today - a day when I can just shirk most of my responsibilities and lay around in my bathrobe like a high society woman with zero problems. Sure, there’s a giant rip in my robe that I haven’t bothered to mend. It’s also covered in coffee stains (and I think paint for some reason?) and it’s the bathrobe that my sister had when she was in high school that I then stole from her when she graduated and that was…. almost 20 years ago?

BUT I STILL FEEL FANCY AF.

Did I wake up and eat cheez-its while I made coffee? Yes.

Did I spend a dumb about of time telling The Mr how cute our dogs are? Definitely.

Have I gotten any work done? You’re reading it.

And you know what? It has been perfect.

So, today I hope you put your nasty robe on and do the same. Call in sick if you have to. You deserve it. We all do.


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LET ME LOVE YOU

Galentine’s Day is tomorrow, which is by far my favorite made up holiday*, because not only was it brought to fame by the glorious Amy Poehler on Parks and Rec, but in general it is just a day to celebrate the glory that is a platonic, loving friendship between females. It’s the ultimate chicks before dicks day.



To celebrate I wanted to share possibly the most quintessential examples of pure female friendship awesomeness.

Yesterday I texted a friend who we’ll call “Lane” with some exciting news that I shouldn’t really share here (but I did share it on my Patreon, so if you’re an Awkward Ambassador, you already know.)

Me: *shares exciting news*

Lane: Ahhhhhhhh. Yes yes yes yes. *quotes and confirms great news* And yes you are amazing.

Me: Can you just follow me around and say things like this all the time?

Lane: I am so happy for you and yes I WOULD GLADLY BE YOUR LIFE HYPE WOMAN.

Me: YES.

Lane: You’re killing itttttttt. You have no idea how happy I am right now. I’m like beaming. My friend has given me a few weird looks.

Me: YOU’RE MY HYPE WOMAN, JUST SEND THEM TO A LINK TO MY BLOG AND MAKE THEM LOVE ME.

Lane: I WILLLLLL

I realize that to some of you this might seem like a ridiculous conversation, because it’s just full of caps-lock screams, but to many of us, this is what true love and excitement looks like. I feel like everyone needs a Lane in their lives - or better yet, we all should be a Lane in each other’s lives!

So… what has been happening in your life that you’re excited about? It’s Galentine’s Day (or week? whatever) and I want to celebrate you, my friends (even if you’re not a lady), so leave a comment down below and share your fun news and let me squeel with excitement for you publicly! You know what? I’ll even post about them on my instagram story. BECAUSE FOR THE NEXT 24+ HOURS I AM YOUR LANE!**


*This is a strange term to me because aren’t all holidays made up holidays? Like… none of them are just natural holidays, but we act like some of them are more real than others. THEY’RE ALL JUST DAYS THAT WE CHOOSE TO MAKE SPECIAL DAYS, PEOPLE.

**Unless the thing that you’re excited about is like… that you murdered someone who something. I probably won’t be excited about your murder. Or your murdering? Because “your murder” would be if someone murdered you… which also wouldn’t be great. You know what? Let’s just avoid murder all together.


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Making Butter - Adventures in Homesteading

If you’ve been following this blog you know that The Mr and I are starting to dive into homesteading. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go read this blog post) So far, it’s been going slowly, but well, which makes sense because it’s only February 4th, so there’s not a lot of farming that can be done in the dead of winter.

Since that’s the case, we’ve turned our homesteading efforts in a different direction: making stuff.

Like most beginning homesteaders, we started with a simple sourdough bread recipe. Or… The Mr did. I came home and was like “WHOA BREAD!” and then proceeded to unhinge my jaw like a snake and swallow the loaf whole.

“You know what this needs?” I said with a mouthful of doughy goodness. “BUTTER.”

“Oh, I’m way ahead of you,” The Mr said heading for the fridge. He rummaged around for a brief moment before popping up from behind the door holding a small glass bottle of heavy cream just as I shoved another piece of bread in my mouth.

“YEAH!!!” I jumped up and down with a level of excitement that is reserved for mild Taylor Swift fans during a brand new music video.

But I think it was totally justified, my friends, because here is the awesome thing: My brother and his wife gave us a butter churner for Christmas. Sadly, it’s not one of those giant wooden ones that you see in Williamsburg, VA, but it’s the next best thing because it’s an adorable glass mason jar with a churning mechanism screwed on top of it and it’s made and sold in Amish country, so YOU KNOW THAT THING WORKS LIKE A DREAM.

And you know what? WE MADE BUTTER.

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It was actually stupid easy. We just put the heavy cream in the jar and started cranking. Then came the coolest/most disgusting part….

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So at this point you have all this butter, but there’s also all this liquid on top, which is the butter milk, and you have to squeeze all of that out of the solid butter that you have. It’s squishy and gross and awesome, and for those of you with children, I highly recommend this kitchen activity. Oh! And then you can use that buttermilk in recipes like buttermilk pancakes and whatnot. It’s kind of amazing actually. (Side note, the liquid pictured above is not the actual buttermilk. It’s just water because you also have to rinse your butter. That’s right, your butter gets a butter bath.)

From there, you add salt if you want and viola! BUTTER.

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Ironically at this point we decided not to put it on the bread, but instead we made a giant bowl of popcorn and melted some of our delicious homemade butter for that and I REGRET NOTHING.

Have you ever tried making butter?

Oh, Snow You Didn't.

I feel like everyone is experiencing amazing amounts of snow right now, EXCEPT FOR CONNECTICUT, and I’m not going to lie, friends… I’m not happy about this.

Last week we were supposed to get a massive amount of snow. A deluge, if you will. For days the forecast was like “OMG SO MUCH SNOW IS COMING YOUR WAY, CT. SO. MUCH. SNOW.”

Businesses were announcing that they would be closed days in advance. It was gonna be a big one.

And then the night before, everything changed.

All of a sudden the forecast was like “Ummmmm actually…. looks like it’s just gonna be a little snow followed by a disturbing amount of rain… so…. byeeeee.”

I was not happy.

The thing is, I love snow. I love snow so much that I have dogs who love snow. We just bought a new Jeep that is snow ready all the time, for crying out loud! Sometimes I spend my time on the internet just browsing for used dog sleds to purchase. We even received an antique toboggan as a wedding gift.

And right now it’s starting to feel a little personal. Like… am I too thirsty? Is snow kind freaked out by how much I like it? Is snow avoiding me?

I know that this is all probably due to climate change and global warming and whatnot, but the fact that the morning of our predicted storm I received a text from my mom in the family group chat with this photo…

….It just feels a little bit like Snow has been posting pictures with his hot new girlfriend all over my Instagram feed, you know? And you know Snow knows I can still see them. You know he’s posting these expecting me to see them.

And it’s frankly a little rude.

Like, what, am I not good enough or something?

(I just realized that in this scenario I’ve made my mom the hot new girlfriend of my ex, Snow, which is pretty screwed up when you think about it… or even when you don’t think about it, but we’re just going to roll with this because it’s the best metaphor I have for how I’m feeling right now. Don’t judge me.)

I guess all I’m asking is for Snow to give me one more chance. Let’s talk this out. I can’t promise that the dogs won’t pee on you again, but let’s be honest, that happens wherever you go.


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Goodbye, Ramona (or Way to Make it All About You, Jesus)

We bought a new car this week, which is on the one hand really exciting, but on the other hand also really sad, because in order to afford this new car, we had to trade in our old car, and my friends… I loved that car.

You probably wouldn’t have guessed that I loved her from the state of her. Ramona was not well taken care of, especially in our early days together. She was always dirty and in need of repair, and her insides were FULL of dog fur.

But… we’d been through a lot together. For a while all I really had was my dog Gio, and my Jeep, Ramona. Romana transported me not just to and from work and school, but she also got me from Ohio to Connecticut where I started a whole new job - a whole new life - and met The Mr.

When we got married, the kids that we work with at the church all worked together and surprised us by decorating Ramona with ridiculous “just married” graffiti, and because we thought it suited her, that stuff stayed on there for at least six months.

photo credit: JK Esslinger Photography

photo credit: JK Esslinger Photography

It would have stayed on longer, but when we came home for Christmas, my dad was so horrified that he went out there at 6am on Christmas morning and scrubbed it all off himself. Luckily, he forgot to check our interior rearview mirror.

Ramona brought us to the house where we met and picked up Aloy.

She’s been a part of everything.

And in so many ways, as we began to sign dotted lines at the dealership, I felt this overwhelming sense of guilt. We were literally trading her in for a younger model.

But The Mr reminded me that this was all good and that Ramona was going to probably have a great time at a farm upstate. I realize at this point that a lot of you might be reading this and thinking “wow, I knew Emelie was a little wacky, but… she knows the car doesn’t actually, like, feel things, right?” And to that I say you’ve clearly underestimated my delightful insanity.

As did our car dealer.

Me (to the car dealer): Please don’t judge me when you see me hug our old Jeep goodbye.

Dealer: Nah… I’ll only judge you if you cry.

Me: You’re definitely going to judge me.

I ran up and hugged her goodbye without even noticing that billboard across the street, and it’s not like I’m not a fan of Jesus, but NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU, JESUS. GOD.

I ran up and hugged her goodbye without even noticing that billboard across the street, and it’s not like I’m not a fan of Jesus, but NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU, JESUS. GOD.

I love you, Ramona. Thanks for everything.

And Rubi? You’ve got some big wheels to fill, but I’ve got a good feeling about you.

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Adventures in Homesteading

If you follow me on Instagram, I think we all knew I was heading in this direction. I live in the middle of nowhere on an abundance of land. I often document my (weirdly successful) attempts to make my own skincare and home cleaning products, and last year The Mr and I (somewhat unsuccessfully) started a raised bed vegetable garden.

So…. was anyone really that shocked to see that I bought this book the other day?

Gio really missed his calling as a model.

Buy the book here. Check out her blog here.

This lovely little book called out to me at work in the bookshop the other day, and much to The Mr’s and I’m sure many others’ concern, I brought it home and immediately dove in. Because you know what? I kind of do want to be a modern homesteader. Not, like, in a poop-in-a-bucket prepper kind of way, but just in a “hey, I make or grow what I can” kind of way.

I’m definitely not going to start a big farm or anything, but I think my ultimate dream looks something like this:

Eventually I’d like to find a 1-2 acre plot of land with a small, livable house already on it for like… not a lot of money? On this plot of land I’d like to have a decent vegetable garden that grows enough to make up for a lot of our food. I thin I’d like some chickens for eggs, and maybe some goats or a cow for milk. And that’s it. The house would be an ongoing project that we would constantly be working on.

This is not a thing that will happen any time soon, however, so until then, I’m going to do what I can and try new things as I’m able to. We have a nice little raised bed garden on the property we are currently renting and I’m going to learn from last year and go for it again this year.

I want to learn to make and mend instead of throwing away and replacing.

And I’m going to fail a lot. It will undoubtedly be hilarious and you know I’m not going to hide any of it. I’ll be posting about it on instagram and here on the blog as much as I can.

BUT DON’T WORRY: This is not going to be a blog all about homesteading now! Just sometimes. Because it’s a thing I do now. And I’m not very good at it.

But that’s what makes it fun, right?

What about you? Do you consider yourself a homesteader? What tips and tricks have you learned over the years? I need all the help I can get, so please feel free to share your knowledge down below!

Oh hi there!

So… December happened and I guess I kind of blacked out there for a minute? Basically I tripped and fell into a bunch of knitting projects and diy skincare gifts for my family and forgot that I have a writing career that I’m supposed to be keeping up with. Oops!

But the good news is that I’m back, and this accidental break from writing might have been exactly what I needed. I’m feeling refreshed and excited to get back to my keyboard, and that feeling is so perfectly timed with a new year right around the corner!

I’m not big on resolutions or that whole “new year, new you” concept, but I do like any opportunity to set goals.

For example, this year, I want to really hone my personal essay writing skills. I want to get back into meditation (Headspace is 40% off right now, btw!!), and I want to up my game when it comes to submissions. On a more personal level, I want to judge less - both in terms of myself and others.

I guess those count as resolutions? I don’t know, but hey, no judgement, right? I guess Resolutions get a bad rap, don’t they? Aren’t they really just goals? I think it’s good to have goals to work toward, as long as those goals aren’t “hey, I want to murder at least 15 more people this year” or “Let’s burn down more museums!” Those I feel are worth judging.

So maybe my resolution should be to be more selective with my judging? Like maybe I shouldn’t judge people who are just minding their own business, but I think it’s definitely okay to judge a little bit when murder is involved, right? Am I overthinking this?

What do you think? Do you make resolutions? Are you excited for 2019? Tell me in the comments below! I promise I won’t judge you. Unless your resolution is more murder.


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