The brewer’s wife

Recently I met someone new under unusual circumstances. We met through our realtor, at a party she was hosting with a stranger at the stranger’s house. Generally this was out of my comfort zone as an introvert. Paul, the extrovert, said that he didn’t care either way if we went. It was rare to have a weekend evening free at the end of summer. Even rarer was that the introvert was all excited to go. I wanted to meet some new people in the neighborhood.

The party had an eclectic variety of home brews that were remarkably good. Paul said that he wanted to thank the brewer for offering up his marvelous beer. We had a long conversation with the brewer and he stated that he loved sharing his beer with friends. I jokingly asked him how we could become friends.

Skip a month ahead…I was planning Paul’s 50th birthday party. I was wondering what to do about drinks. I was already planning on having the food catered in. Then I thought of the brewer. I asked him if he would be willing to share his beer with us for the party. I offered to pay him which apparently was illegal. Whoops! I didn’t know. He said he wouldn’t accept money, but would do it for a friend. So we set up his kegerator at our house with 3 of his home brews.

After the party, we invited the brewer and his wife over for supper and to pick up the kegerator. Now the brewer’s wife is a doctor of psychology. Most of her clients are autistic. She also works with their families.

I had my first one on one conversation with the doctor. I ended up telling her a lot of things that I don’t even tell my closest friends after knowing them for years. I told her about the day on the lake that my brother almost drowned. That day, at age 6, I was left alone to watch my 3 younger brothers swim.  Alissa would certainly yell if there was a problem, but Alissa didn’t. I told her that since I was in grade school I felt like an adult.

I told her that I was homeschooled from 8th grade through 10th grade because my autistic brother was too violent to go to school. I told her that I lived my late middle school and early high school years in great isolation from my peers. I told her how I was a caretaker for my brother. Instead of going out with friends on a Saturday night, I helped shower my autistic brother. I told her that for many years I was a massive bruise from when my brother hit/hurt me. I told her the hardest part was that he never was told that hurting me was wrong.

I told her of my restrictions because those things could set Matt off. I wasn’t allowed to use hair spray, wear nail polish, or perfume. We had to dip our tooth brushes in peroxide and baking soda for awhile. I told her that my dad was abusive. I told her how I sometimes have flashbacks.

She said that lots of times special needs siblings have issues with addiction or depression. She said that the depression rate of special needs siblings is 50% compared to 6% of the regular population. But she said that the state lacks funding to have programs for siblings because they are ‘normal’. I find that very sad.

I told the doctor that I would be willing to speak to parents or siblings about my experiences. I told her if my story could help a couple others who are struggling, it wouldn’t all be in vain.

That evening, they left the kegerator at our house promising to get together soon to pick it up.

The next day I apologized for being so candid. I told her that I don’t usually share personal things with complete strangers about my life (outside of this blog). She told me that she was honored that I shared my story and that for everything I’ve been through it’s surprising that I am a solid person. (She also said she would be sending a bill which I hope she did not mean!!!).

She said that she was planning on finding a way for me to share my story of hope with others who are struggling. I’m not sure if anything will come of it or not.

I’ve always felt like my purpose is to help others…to write about it…to speak about it…

God works in mysterious ways…sometimes he works through beer.

 

Salt Lake City, Utah

On our free evening in Salt Lake City, we decided to go to the Mormon Tabernacle to hear the choir practice. The most impressive building shown in the picture above is  the Mormon Temple (not where the choir practiced). The practice was held in the dome shaped tabernacle. Before entering, there was a group of kind elderly ladies that searched our purses. People were sitting informally in the pews to listen. It attracted an international audience.

By far my favorite instrument is the pipe organ. This was the largest pipe organ that I have ever seen. The sound was rich. Too bad I couldn’t fit it in my suitcase!

The tabernacle was inside of Temple Square which was surrounded by a large wall. Once I passed through the gates, I felt like I was in a different world. Everything inside was green and lush. There were immaculate gardens. It was peaceful and beautiful.

There were several statues in Temple Square, one of a seagull. Our Salt Lake tour guide said that when the original Mormon settlers came there was a cricket plague. The seagulls swooped in to devour the crickets. Now the seagull has a monument erected in its honor. It is also the state bird. Who would’ve guessed?

Right upon leaving the grounds, there was a young group of Christians evangelizing to the people as they exited.

Outside the gates there were several outdoor fountains that at certain times of the day had a water show, but I didn’t see that.

Down the road from Temple Square was a place that had a lot of signs for tourist photos. It seemed like a traffic hazard more than anything. It was something different.

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Like major cities, there was a homeless population. There were kids that came by on skateboards asking for money to buy drugs.

The city itself is very clean. It was hard to find a cigarette butt or a candy wrapper. It would be nice if such care was taken towards preserving the polluted Great Salt Lake. Although it is nice to know that they weren’t serving fish from the Great Salt Lake at local restaurants since the lake is much too salty for fish.

One major misconception I had about Salt Lake City before visiting was that it was a dry city (as in hard to find alcohol, not as in climate). I didn’t find that to be the case, although the beer on tap has only 4% alcohol. Some of my local favorites are the Moab Brewery Porcupine Pilsner, Squatters Arnold Palmer Ale, and Wasatch’s Polygamy Porter. The good thing about less alcohol was that I was able to sample more. Although Utah law says that you can only have two drinks in front of you at a time, even if those drinks are 2 ounces each.

I was surprised at some of the restaurants in the city. I had an unbelievably good burger at Fat Jack’s Burger Emporium. I built my own and it included some unusual ingredients like Spam, avocado, cilantro, and a fried egg.

Even though we didn’t have a lot of time to explore the city, we were able to see a lot of the major highlights.

Forever 21?

It has been a rough month. If only I could wipe February off the calendar this year.

There were a few good things that happened though.

The most difficult thing that happened this month was burying my MIL who fought death and wasn’t ready to go.

That was followed by the break up of my daughter Angel with her boyfriend of 3 years, Mitch.

Let’s just say I would rather think about the possibility of planning a wedding instead of a funeral…

It wasn’t in the cards I guess.

Talking about cards… Guess who got carded??

There is someone living out there that thinks I could possibly be under 21.

I went to the grocery store and bought a 6 pack of Madtown Nut Brown Ale. Great beer, by the way. The lady looked at my driver’s license which clearly stated 1974 and glanced at my face several times. I am hoping that she couldn’t believe I looked so young for my age versus she was visually impaired in some way.

Just for a quick comparison…the picture on the left was taken a few days after I turned 21. I remember the night well.

After sipping (not slipping) on mudslides, I decided to highlight my own hair.

Great! Now I’m thinking of songs…slip sliding in the rain…singing in the rain…what a glorious…anyway, back to my hair…

Highlighting my hair was a royal pain. Come to think of it, I don’t know of anyone else that did it besides hairdressers with their own hair.

Highlighting…I remember putting what was like a swimming cap on my head. Then I had to pull through small strands of hair out of tiny holes in the cap with what looked like a knitting needle.

I would not be considered a person that has a lot of patience to sit down and do crafts like knitting.

In fact, the only crafts I like is craft beer.

So, I said screw it, pulled the cap off, and highlighted all of my hair. Kind of gave me the grunge Kurt Cobain hair that was so wicked in the 90’s anyway. Who says that anymore?? That is so wicked.

The picture on the right was taken after I turned 21 for the second time.

I don’t look a day older from picture to picture, right??

Okay, maybe a couple of years**cough**cough**decades..

Forever 21?? Ah, who am I kidding??

It was fun while it lasted though…I chuckled in wicked mad laughter at the thought as I sipped my Madtown Nut Brown…slipped down…sliding…singing in the rain..Great!

 

 

Give me the green?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

This year I won’t be able to cross drinking green beer off my bucket list. It’s probably overrated anyway.

I have to go to a parent meeting at my daughter’s school tonight. Sometimes with parenting you just need to have the ‘I want to do this, but have to do that’ mentality.

I don’t know if I should really be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day that often anyway. I don’t have any family with a Mc or an O’ in their last name. The only red headed relative that I have isn’t even Irish. Hmm.. I have such a small amount of Irish in my blood that I probably should celebrate it once every 10 years anyway. Kind of like leap year.

Wait, isn’t this leap year?

This year I will have to plead another heritage. Tonight I will be celebrating at the middle school.

 

 

1oo followers!

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Thank you, thank you, thank you to my 100 followers! 

A few weeks back my employee gave me a 32 fl oz can of Badger State chocolate stout for a special occasion. He often brings back beer from around the state to appease me. So I said to myself that when I get one hundred followers, I will crack it open and share some with my husband. Somehow I thought that time would stand still for a couple minutes but apparently once again I was wrong. It happened last night before I went to bed and I couldn’t justify opening it right before bed. So seemingly by magic when I woke up I had 101 followers which was good because maybe one would back out and then I would have to let the beer sit longer.

Along with opening a special occasion beer, I am going to upgrade my wordpress account to make it more user friendly. I thought that I would have time to do that this morning, but after I got in to work it became quite obvious that wasn’t going to happen. There was problem after problem after problem. I took the afternoon off to run to appointments with the kids. This morning at work the employee that covers for me called in sick, so I became bottle necked at work. While at work I received a call that the 40 mph winds that we are having ripped my hot tub cover off. 

I did get the appointments and errands run efficiently then drove home through a blizzard. Yes, winter did finally make it to Wisconsin. We still have strong winds and are expecting a foot of snow tonight. Bring it on! Maybe I can finally use those cross country skis! Until then, I am cracking open a beer too celebrate. 

Midwest (wild)life

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This picture exemplifies life in our state. I was driving to work when I saw this majestic eagle sitting on a deer next to an empty 12 pack of beer. I didn’t have my camera so I grabbed my cell phone and got a few shots. I was about 6 feet away from the eagle. He wasn’t moving and I got this eerie respect for his great size.

This is my National Geographic gone bad picture.