Spilling the Beans


It’s April’s Fools Day, happens every year on the first of April, and in addition to all this foolery, it’s my husbands 60th birthday. Happy Birthday Larry.

Seth Godin says fooling has become a business model, and so now, every day is April Fool’s Day. Something to consider…

Let me began by saying I’m not a fan of COVID-19 especially with all it’s concomitant obstacles. It’s like jumping hurdles just to get into a grocery, only to find the shelves are empty, and you have to touch a sticky keypad so you can bring home five more cans of  split pea soup, that you didn’t want, but felt desperate to grab something.

What is wrong with me? [That’s rhetorical Looney]

Not to mention that I’m spending way too much time with my spouse, I think we’re going on thirty-six years, no wait, that’s how long we’ve been lawfully wed. I’m having trouble remembering what day it is, let alone how long we’ve been sheltering in place, it’s been a REALLY long time, and my fear is it might never end?

I’m talking about the quarantine, not my marriage, try and keep up people.

Not that I’m complaining. Much.

We’re a complicated species are we not? All this togetherness can not be what God intended, but here we are, sheltering in place till Corona do us part. Alain de Botton says, “the emotionally intelligent person knows that they will only ever be mentally healthy in a few areas and at certain moments, but is committed to fathoming their inadequacies and warning others of them in good time, with apology and charm.” Sometimes we forget the apology and charm are just as important as the misdeed.

I’m only keeping it together because I have a seriously loving sister, loyal dog, devoted man, brilliant children, a fierce group of friends – and really strong coffee.” If that sounds needy, so be it. 

Something you might not know about me, I’ve been accused of obstinance, I prefer to call it dedication, but either way I’m ridiculed daily for carrying an open mug of coffee? It accompanies me wherever I go, when I putter around the house, on my drive to work BC (Before Corona), even strolling across campus. It’s a sacred practice, I use my mug to hail people, I call it my flagon salutation, and I think it’s cute.

I don’t have many superstitions, but I always travel with my coffee, it’s my emotional support plan. Please try not to judge that which you do not understand.

People say, “how do you do that without spilling?”

“It’s my gift,” I say.

David Letterman claims, “if it wasn’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever.” #truth

But the truth is I do spill, part of the reason my husband insisted I order a rather ugly brown interior for my car, so the spills would be less noticeable.

I’ll only admit this to you, he was right!

I encounter bumps in the road, and when that happens the contents in my mug spills out, it’s physics, not talent.

I think we’re all like open mugs, when we get bumped, that which we are full of spills out.

The system is infallible, because you can’t anticipate turbulence, or curb your enthusiastic response, be it kind or foul, your truth is ruthlessly revealed.

This is what’s known as spilling the beans.

You know people who completely lose their shit when encountering obstacles because that is what they are full of.

Glennon Doyle says, getting bumped is inevitable, if we want to change what spills out of us, we have to work to change what inside of us.

I’ve been hanging out with myself for decades, and what spills out when I encounter an impediment is always revealing, and worthy of my continual care.

I’ve been observing Larry and I as if we were lab rats, placed in an inescapable maze, because that is the reality with which I am presented.

Here’s what I have noticed about me and my beloved:

  1. I talk to figure things out.
  2. Larry does not.
  3. I get on the phone with friends and we talk about our feelings.
  4. Larry gets on the phone and he talks about sports, the news, and working out?
  5. I eat when I’m bored.
  6. Larry walks the dog when he’s bored (we’ll not discuss who is and who is not gaining weight).
  7. I read books.
  8. Larry reads the newspaper (several of them).
  9. I enjoy the quiet.
  10. Larry likes the television on, even when he’s not watching.
  11. I’m sensitive.
  12. Larry’s often confused about my sensitivity?
  13. I’m tidy.
  14. Larry is not tidy.
  15. I’m perfectly happy spending the day thinking, reading, and writing.
  16. Larry is not happy unless he has a project in the works.
  17. I’m not shaving my legs while in quarantine.
  18. Larry’s not shaving his beard while in quarantine – he calls it his Corona Beard (his is more socially acceptable and I don’t care).
  19. I like to watch movies.
  20. Larry likes to watch series (guess what, we’re watching Tiger King).

I could go on and on, but you get the general idea, we’re different. Maybe that’s why it works? And I have observed how we both like to lounge in our pajamas, sipping coffee late into the morning, reading, sharing some scrambled eggs, and crispy bacon. We love hanging out with our adult children and grandchildren, spending weekends at the lake, gathering (zooming) with friends, trying new recipes because we both like to cook, eat, and enjoy a nice Tempranillo.

I suppose if there is any good to come of this virus it’s a deeper appreciation for our loved ones, for our health, for our precious lives before this radical virus was inflicted upon our predictable little worlds.

We’ve all had to step up our game. It will take years before we “get back to normal,” and it’s going to take everything we’ve got in the mug so to speak, if there is any chance of recovery.

This is what you might call a big bump, but we have big mugs, fill it up with kindness, get rid of the shit, because we don’t have any toilet paper to waste.

Stay strong, stay put, wash your hands, level the mug! Love to all, C

I’m Living in the Gap, trying to find my way around this new maze, could you put out some cheese?

What have you learned about those you’re sheltering in place with? Oh please add a few explicit observations to my list.


  • We’re living letters. Every act of kindness makes our faith a little more legible. Bob Goff
  • Remember, the most powerful words in the universe are the words you say to yourself. Marie Forleo
  • Because I haven’t yet learned the simplest and most important thing of all: the world is difficult, and we are all breakable. So just be kind. Caitlin Moran




Leave a Comment

  1. Thank you Cheryl. I always enjoy your writings, but they make me envious of your ability and willingness to express your thoughts. (Sorta like I used to feel when I hadn’t done my homework!) Keep up the good work! Love to all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Corona…
    I was relieved to once again see your post. Very relieved. Sitting here in the middle of nowhere, Corona virus was just an abstract concept. Difficult to get a feel for, grasp the significance. Conflicting data, in the common cold family, a really bad flu, only gets old people with many medical problems. Then comes data of massive death rates in Italy and Spain. Then it starts hitting my age group and younger. Rest in peace Adam Schlesinger (Stacey’s Mom.) My dad, mother-in-law and others, hidden away for the duration. Then it arrives in mid-Missouri. Someone you know and like fighting for their life on a ventilator. Patients torn between suffering with their painful problem, letting that tumor grow a bit vs. breaking quarantine and getting treated at the hospital, where they risk exposure and a possible death sentence for themselves or a family member. Somehow, seeing your words brought some relief. I can gather from your post that you all are doing well (whew.)
    Nothing makes you shake up your priorities more than looking at your job and wondering is this the day I get the bug? Will all that cardio help (apparently not much.) But there are blessings to be found. While I was video training today, my coach asked me to name 3 things that I feel are positives. I can name a bunch.
    You nailed the pluses with “it’s a deeper appreciation for our loved ones, for our health, for our precious lives before this radical virus was inflicted upon our predictable little worlds.”
    Spending all that quality time with your family and spouse….you will either grow closer or farther apart. Hope its’s the former. This is a good chance for a trial run at retirement (maybe too much free time is overrated?)
    Glad to see Sue’s name in the replies.

    PS If you are going to be delayed on your weekly blog entry, let us know (we will be nervous otherwise.)
    PPPS Love it when I have to look up a word in your post. Props for “flagon.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mike! So good to hear from you. I was late posting this one and didn’t realize it was a cause of concern. Note taken.

      Yes, the news has been devastating and I try and take it in small doses. There is so many unknowns it’s putting us all on edge.

      I’m slightly overwhelmed these days. I have a little over 60 students who think I know how to teach remotely with flex learning plans. I’m totally winging it, caught up in a whirlwind of curriculum planning sessions, weeding things down to the most important elements, and let me just say it, God is not making this easy!

      What is the most important thing about Easter? Who the hell knows?

      Corona has put us all in a dark tomb, we are like the disciples hiding out in fear, hoping death will pass us over. But I know the stone will move, we will return to the world, hopefully with gratitude and appreciation for another chance at living our best life.

      I’m also half way through that Godforsaken on-line course. What the hell was I thinking? it’s been challenging, but I’m leaning a lot about genre, moving my work forward, building community in the creative world. It’s been good but time consuming.

      Doing a lot of grandchildren care as we trade off with Nic and Julie so all of us have productive work time. That has been wonderful and challenging to say the least.

      And the blog, last on the priority list, hence the delay.

      How about you and Gail? I pictured you all out at the ranch, sheltering with your lovely daughters, running around in matching pajamas, making homemade bread, watching Tiger King, maybe singing kumbaya by the fire while you sip a nice hearty red?

      But now I’m wondering if you are you going into the office each day? Are you seeing patients? I was hoping your office was closed. I’m worried.

      Larry and I are figuring all this togetherness out, we were in a snag last week, but he realized the error of his ways (not) and we’re back on track. Seems we both want to be the engine! Bahaha

      And thank goodness my lack of grooming will not affect wearing a mask! I’ll pass on your note on to Larry. I’m not a big fan of the rough beard so this is a bit of good news.

      Please stay healthy, looking forward to making up for lost time with my second cousins once removed, lakeside or otherwise. We’ll have to figure it out. Pass on my love to the family, miss you guys as always, Cheryl


      1. Your picture of us is amazingly accurate- we are relaxing at the farm, wearing jammies, cozy by the fire ( today is unusually cool in the 30’s)
        Garden planting is well underway. We are well stocked on homemade pizza ingredients. Unfortunately Mike still has to treat urgent patients. (Peeing is essential!) Daughter Rachel is home and made sure we watched Tiger King😜
        We are enjoying the extra time both in person and on Zoom with family, but somehow there is still never enough time to get everything done.
        PS I’m very careful with my mug of hot cocoa because it is sweet to the lips, but messy when spilled 😉
        Love to you and your family

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Hi Gail, so good to hear from you! Ha, I totally nailed the Severance’s sheltering in place, and would love to know what you thought about Tiger King. I was not enamored, or too impressed, but it was entertaining. I didn’t think it was possible for so many people to habitually make one bad decision after the other? Made me a little crazy.

          You’re gardening with temps that low? Whoah, I was complaining about planting impatiens when it was deep into the 50’s. I’m clearly a fair weather farmer.

          I can’t believe they consider peeing essential! Some people are obsessed with their urinary tracks. Do you have a process for detoxing Mike as he reenters the homestead? Dante is working construction, he strips off his work cloths, showers, launders daily, and washes his hands a lot. He usually stays at a hotel near the site he’s working on so we only see him a few times a month. I’ll take what ever I can get.

          We’re also zooming with family but also enjoying remote “happy hour” with lots of displaced friends.

          Here’s to leveling our mugs Gail, allowing for the bumps in life, filling with quality substances!

          I have to say with all these family dinners we are making a dent in the wine collection! Cheers. Love to you and yours, Cheryl


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