Anxiety, Humor, Music, Nonsense, Tater Tots

Screw It, I’m Eating Tater Tots

A few years ago, I published a post about how difficult it is to title blog posts, and I highlighted how I almost titled the post, Screw It! I’m Eating Tater Tots.

Then I joked that it could be the title of my someday autobiography.

In the future, I might use this title for any post that doesn’t have a clear meaning.

Random thoughts, nonsensical musings, and other crap that doesn’t merit its own blog post.

“Screw it, I’m eating tater tots!” I would yell when yet another diet would fail. Or when I couldn’t think of anything else to write.

It’s a gray Monday in January.

Yesterday, we took Anna back to college.

I’m suffering from yet another migraine.

Screw it, I’m Eating Tater Tots!

See how it works?

She’s Gone. Again.

We drove Anna back to college yesterday after she had been home for a month, and it was difficult. I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea how difficult it would be. I won’t go into a big paragraph of parental melancholy, but suffice it to say that it’s just too quiet around here, and Ella agrees. When one of my birdies leaves the nest, the nest is unsettled. The good news is that my child has completed her first semester of college! Even more encouraging is that she is thriving. I am so happy for her.

I believe we need another emotional support hamster.

Since we’re being random, Nibbles is doing well. He is also thriving.

Blood Work Update

I had my blood work done again, and some of the numbers grew worse while some got better, but as my doctor says, “we’re not freaking out about this right now”. Because according to her, I am looking at it all wrong, which shouldn’t surprise anyone here. It needs to be a “journey” and not a quick weekend trip.

Meaning, I need to go back on low carb, but I need to start with higher carb intake and work my way down, to find my weight loss sweet spot. So if it means 70 grams of carbs per day, then stay there. She also said I can cheat here and there if that helps me to stay there and not quit. But with gray skies, Anna away again, and just blah, I am not there yet.

It’s a journey, it’s a journey, it is a journey.

*Disclaimer- I am not practicing keto, which is all the rage in a negative way right now in the news. I am on a low-carb (see: low sugar) diet because I have some stuff in my blood that requires me to be on it, NOT to lose weight. If I only needed to lose weight, I’d join Weight Watchers. 

Low-carb diets are hard, and did you know you don’t poop?

Low-carb isn’t difficult merely because I can’t eat massive quantities of bread and pasta. It’s also difficult to plan meals because, unlike other diets, it demands virtually entirely meal planning, standing in the grocery aisles staring at food labels, and inputting numbers into an app to tabulate your carb totals. Then, after all your efforts, you are rewarded with NOT pooping.

I Just “Discovered” Amy Winehouse, and That Says A Lot About Me

I recently discovered the documentary Amy on Netflix , and I watched it alone one weeknight and fell in love with her, and now I want to go see her in concert. But I’m unable to do so because she died seven years ago. So now I want to listen to all of Amy Winehouse songs all the time because oh my God, she is brilliant and I despise her husband and father for effectively murdering her.

When she was alive, famous and making the rounds back in 2007, I wasn’t really feeling her since the media was portraying her as a joke due to her public drunkenness and drug use. Which speaks volumes about the power of media persuasion, but I was also on a different path of my life; juggling a seven-year-old and pregnant with another. I didn’t have time for intoxicated wealthy blues artists whom I had nothing in common.

But now, I do?

She had such a talent. If that doesn’t make you cry while watching, the blues music will.

Here are my current favorite Amy songs as of right now because blues goes really well with not eating low carb, missing your little birdy, and darkness at 4:30.

Why I Left-Ish Facebook

In terms of page views, leaving Facebook is the kiss of death for a blogger. Pageviews equal more readers and more money from advertisers. But from a mental health standpoint, Facebook was wreaking havoc.

For many years, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. In fact, I had previously left Facebook once before in 2011. And while yes, it was difficult because I felt like I was missing out, I didn’t really miss it.

Back in November, I was furloughed from the job that paid me to write on Facebook, which began the ball rolling. For years, I didn’t feel like giving up a paid position to take a mental health break because the prospect of losing money wasn’t worth the gain in my feeling better about myself.

Read into that as you will. I am a work in progress….remember it’s the journey……

So, one Monday, I stopped publishing my blog posts on my blog’s Facebook page and didn’t tell anybody. I think it was about four posts ago that I noticed the same number of people responding, my page views were a little lighter because I had many people who would read via Facebook, so I gave options on how to follow me without using Facebook, and my views jumped again.

In some strange way, not having the Facebook app glaring at me in the face actually relieves my anxiety. Now I only access it through my laptop or when I get bored and have to sneak over to Instagram, but it’s not as good as the app so I don’t stay for long.

I need to look after my mental health. I need to shield myself from things that will undoubtedly harm me. Prevent toxic relationships from becoming even more toxic.

Oh, and getting rid of Messenger off of my phone was brilliant.

Are you taking a social media break? Tell me about your journey.

I got the worst damn migraine ever on the first day of 2019

I’m trying not to read too much into it, but you know me well enough to know I am. I told my therapist about it, and how I am really depressed in the days following a migraine, and how I normally experience “pain spirals” after a particularly bad one. (Pain spirals = weeks of pain after said migraine). She stated that I suffer from PTSD as a result of my pain and that this is entirely normal.

Pain is fucking awful, and when I have a bad migraine, I go to dark places. I feel like I’ll never get well; I want to jump off a cliff; I hate losing an entire day with my family because I am stuck in bed. It’s bad. But I am working through it with therapy, diet, exercise, etc.. to try to not let it mentally conquer me.

But for real, what a way to start 2019.

Marie Kondo Show on Netflix Made me Cry

On New Year’s Day, while nursing a migraine, I began binge watching Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Then my headache worsened, and I stopped and haven’t been able to resume watching it because of PTSD. I’ll watch it again omce I’ve had a month between me and the soul-sucking migraine, but for now, I know I watched enough to get the gist: get rid of everything that doesn’t make you happy or “spark joy”.

And as much as people want to mock it, it makes perfect sense. Why be surround yourself with things that don’t make you joyful every day?

When you are surrounded by things that create joy, you are happier.

It makes you smack yourself on the forehead, doesn’t it? Except we’re not smacking our foreheads because of the migraine.

So last weekend, I just began throwing shit out.

To be specific, six bags of items that didn’t make me at all happy and were dragging me down.

I had a plan prior to the holidays to get rid of things, and this was going to be my mantra: would I keep this if I had to move?

Meaning, would I want to put it into a moving box, drag the box into a moving van, and haul it across states to start a new life?

If you can’t get behind Marie Kondo’s movement, perhaps that mantra will help.

Apparently, I am not taking a lot with me if I ever move.

Back to the show, I became somewhat emotional (part of it could have been the migraine) during one scene in particular: greeting the home.

When Marie enters a client’s home, before beginning the tidying up part, she greets the home; “thanking it for always protecting you.”

Perhaps it was the soft sad music, maybe it was watching her greet the house, maybe it was when one of the first tidying up “customers” said, he never thought of thanking the home for all it provided, but I cried.

I didn’t just get tears in my eyes, but a full-fledged, ugly cry.

For at least a solid minute and a half.

Because guess what? Our home provides a lot of comforting, it protects us in ways we don’t even realize, and we should thank it. Our home has witnessed so much of our lives; one could say almost all of our lives.

It shoulders a lot of good as well as the bad. We go in and out of it every day, and without realizing how much it has to offer.

I am always thinking about how can I improve my home, how it can better serve our family, but I really need to think of how I can serve it better.

Holy shit, did I pull a lot from a tidying show on Netflix.

How is your new year going? What is it that you need to vent about? Leave it in the comments like a dumpster fire. I’ve got you covered.

28 thoughts on “Screw It, I’m Eating Tater Tots”

  1. I’m sorry 2019 has been a bit of a bite in butt for you in varying ways. I’m watching Marie right now but started cleaning before I watched her…5 bins worth of crap gone…60 more to go. I’ll laugh nervously as it feels like that number is true even if it isn’t. I’m glad I’m not the only one who got emotional at her greeting the house but now I just skip it because it’s the same sappy music over it to manipulate my emotions. Not happening. I hope you have better days ahead and I never started a FB page for my blog because people can still share my posts there if they want but I just can’t have one more thing to manage so I get you there.

    We were gone for 3 weeks over the holidays and I feel like I had a lot of mental shifts for the positive because I’m either old and/or exhausted of reacting the way I have in the past. One horrible thing that happened while we were gone is I think all of the emotional eating I didn’t do when my Grandma died in March and serious issues I dealt with mid year happened in those 3 weeks. (Penuche fudge with hot chocolate chasers on the every other daily, anyone?) Now I have some MAJOR weight that I need to get off so I sent every temptation food to work with the hubby today. They can eat it or not, I just can’t have it in the house anymore. I foresee 2019 as a year of big change.


  2. We ended 2018 with a warehouse size bag if tator tots. We began 2019 in seizure hell and right at its worst (I hope) got a call that our insurance dropped what little home nursing help we had. I went over 48 hours without a shower, in the same clothes, ready for our next 911 call. Vent over. 😭

    Nope. It’s not over. Our 19 yr old daughter hasacourt date this week regarding a restraining order against a married man in his 30’s with several children who decided he was in love with her and her him and began acting funny. Like at our door continually, following her funny. He was her boss (owner!)at her job which she can’t return to. Turns out google says he suffers from severe brain damage (post military) So there’s that. Because everything else wasnt enough. Help us Lord.

    Vent really over.

    I’ve seen that tidying show on my feed. It’s been on my watch list but I was iffy about watching it. Like, will it make me feelbad about my run down home? Because there is so mych sprucing I want to do but my life. My life, Kari. I think i need therapy.

    Screw it! I’m eating tator tots!


    1. OH MY LORD, JESSIE. Sending YOU big hugs and healing vibes. I will pray for all of you tonight before bed.

      Therapy, my friend, was a huge gift this year to myself. You deserve this gift. Do it.

      Eat away, my dear friend. EAT. AWAY.


      1. 🤣you always know the right thing to say😉. I hope you’ve seen the end of those migraines. Or will soon. Blech! My prayers are with you as well. I’m thinking our 50’s will be fabulous. We’ve paid our dues.


  3. Oh girl, I feel you on so many of the things! Also, I love posts like this, it’s such a wonderful glimpse into your life. Not in a creepy, I’m watching you kind of way, in a wow you’re a human like I’m a human, and this life thing is pretty crazy sometimes.

    So, the thought of little birdies leaving the nest is so damn hard. My littles are little. My son just turned seven, and that really is the age when they are no longer a baby. I mean, he hasn’t been a baby in a while, but seven is legit. It’s so much closer to double digits than 5 or even 6. Whenever he’s making me insane, I remind myself that there is going to be a time when he is waking up in a different place, living his own beautiful life away from me, and just the thought of it makes me tear up. You are a strong momma, and you’ve raised a strong, independent, woman who is thriving on her own. That’s superhero level stuff.

    Amy Wineouse was a genius. She was brilliant in her mastery of tone and emotion. Back to Black is so hauntingly wonderful. I cried when she died, it was such a tragedy. She was such a beautiful soul, who was smashed by the greedy men in her life.

    I was going to write a post about Marie Kondo! But I decided not to cause it was too negative, and I don’t want to put that kind of shit out there about something that helps people so much. It was pretty funny, I started watching with my husband, who had no interest in it. But he’s a stuff guy, and I honestly thought it would help him to at least be exposed to her. He was all good until that moment when she greeted the house. He was like, oh I get it, it’s like a bit she’s doing. I think I lost him for good when she told the people to thank their stuff before they got rid of it. He’s a good sport though. Honestly there were things in that show that I thought were really obvious, but at the end of the day I love holding things in my hand and seeing if they spark joy. It really has made going through stuff super easy! It’s like your body tells you what’s up, and you don’t have to think about it. No joy, it gets tossed.

    I know this comment is long, but I’ve only got two more things. Migraines are the worst, I get them too, and they knock me out of commission until the next day. Are you taking anything for them? Have you found anything that works? And lastly, when you say low carb, does that include fruits and veggies? or just pasta and bread type carbs? I’m only asking cause I’m sitting here eating a big bowl of veggies and egg whites.


    1. Oh my God, we married the same man. Because mine was exactly the same way, staring at me like I had lobsters coming out of my ears when I was crying while at the same time trying to be supportive of his trainwreck of a wife.

      So as far as migraines, I am taking a preventative three times per day but at the urging of my therapist, that needs to change. Anything I am taking three times per day to NOT work isn’t working. Emailing my neurologist after this because let’s face it, this is way more fun.
      As far as low carb, yep that includes veggies and fruit BUT my doctor said that if I had a choice between a starch or a fruit, definitely do the fruit and I am eating veggies because I want to still follow the food groups to some extent. Especially grains and fibers, no matter what the low carb Gods say.
      Veggies and egg whites are totally a good thing and something that is saving me in this existence right now.

      Don’t you ever apologize for a long comment. They save me. For real. 🙂


  4. Also, I thought this post was going to be about low-carb tater tots made from cauliflower. Hahaha, ugh I’ve got cauliflower on the brain!


  5. I find that I do not give my all to finding a blog title. I can’t say i ever did real well with them but I’m at the point I’ve given up entirely. I have yet to watch that Netflix show…. should I admit it’s mostly because I’m stuck if heading about it on Facebook?? Ha! That’s my rebellious side showing. I’m sure I’d love it beside I am always clearing out clutter. I LOVE to organize!!


  6. Love this and you. We are all a work in progress. Take your time. Oh and buy some Senokot, just trust me it does wonders and non-addicting 😊


  7. Food for thought… when I turned 40 I started getting migraines for the first time in my life. First they weren’t bad and I could be functional. But eventually they worsened, and worsened. I was crying at my doctors office begging for help when conventional methods didn’t work. If you have more than 15 days of migraine a month you are eligible for Botox injections. I was on 2 (so-called) preventative medicines, and was getting Botox every 3 months. I became severely depressed and started anti-depressants which only made matters worse. In all of this, over 7 years of trying different things, the only change in my hormones was to change how I took my birth control pills. I had been taking them normally at the onset, but my GYN suggested piggybacking the packs to skip my period and maintain a level hormone level, avoiding peaks and valleys. I went almost 5 years without a period, which I won’t lie, was awesome. I didn’t see it at the time because the change was gradual, but the migraines got way worse. Fast forward to the end, when in desperation between the migraines and the depression… I came off the pill for the first time in 18 years when I had my son. In 2 days… 2!… I felt like a new woman!!! The funk lifted, and the headaches went away. I went 6 months on no BCP’s and with no migraines, but my testosterone went crazy which was hard to live with too. The same GYN recommended a progesterone only BCP to help dilute the testosterone. Now I get a mild migraine with some of my periods, but not all. Its not perfect, but I prefer this balance to having so much testosterone that I end up being unfaithful to my hubby or start growing hair on my face! My GYN doesn’t specialize in hormones treatments, and I keep saying I need to find a new one that does specialized pellet treatments, but for now this is working for me. Have you had a hormone study done? While diet can make a migraine worse, most times it doesn’t bring one on. Only people who know certain things trigger one for them. But if you have never found a trigger, you should get a hormones study and look at your options for finding balance… or, wait for menopause to come and go. Sorry for the lengthy comment, but hopes this provides you or someone else with some hope and help.


    1. I am so sorry you went through all of this. As you probably are well aware, I have tried a million things. Botox isn’t an option yet as I haven’t reached my trial threshold on preventatives so that it can be covered by insurance. Unfortunately, hormones of any kind aren’t an option as I have a higher risk of stroke and blood clot due to “sticky blood” that I am currently dealing with (hence the low-carb, low sugar diet). I am currently on blood pressure medicine three times per day as my current preventative but am thinking that will change when I see my neurologist at my next visit.
      Trust me, I am hoping my period going away all together might be just the thing I need. I will remain patient until then but man, this has been an awful five-year stretch.


  8. Aw, Kari. I think Tater Tots might be my favorite flavor of post from you. Wanted to answer you back after every paragraph. Just gonna hit the highlights:

    The coming and going thing was so hard for me my daughter’s first year at college. The return after winter break was so hard. It’s January. It’s cold. It’s gray. And your sunshine is gone. What I will tell you is: It gets easier. I look back on that whole first year and I’m just so thankful to be past it. It gets better. Reallytruly. I wish my girl were closer and I hate how long we sometimes go without seeing each other, but thank God for snapchat and for adjusting. As you know from reading my blog, the whole thing has been painful–but it’s getting better.

    Amy Winehouse. I’ve been meaning to watch that documentary for years now, but I can’t bring myself to. Such a talent! So tragic. I think I’m afraid it will make me ugly cry.

    July. Every time I hear “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” in December, I always mutter under my breath, “No, it’s not. JULY is the most wonderful time of the year.” I love July. It’s not so damn unbearably hot as August. Summer still feels new. (We don’t get out of school until past mid-June.) The days are still so, so long. Things are still green. If I wrote country songs, I’d set them in July, too.

    Kondo. I’ve been Kondoing for years now, though I did it on steroids in my move last year. I’m going to write a book that is the love child of Marie Kondo and William Morris (don’t have anything in your home unless you find it useful or beautiful). Kondo doesn’t really get the useful part. There are things I need in my home (brushes to clean toilets) that are never going to spark joy in me, no matter how hard I work on adjusting my attitude and perspective. Mashing those two up has been my key to home happiness.

    Migraine. You know I feel ya on this one. I GET IT. I get them. I get the migraine-fueled depression. Nothing makes me feel more defeated and desperate than the fifth day of a migraine. It is hard for me to understand it when I’m completely free of the pain, but pain for days and days makes a person crazy. Makes me crazy. I’m so sorry you started the year this way. I seem to be having some relief this school year. I still have them, but nothing like I was. What’s changed? 1. I’ve eliminated some major sources of stress. I say that like I did it. Some major sources of stress have left my life. Only took me 4 years of therapy to figure out how to get out from under that shit. 2. I’ve started seeing a personal trainer and I’m being serious about taking care of my body. 3. I’m drinking a ton of water. I think #3 is the most significant. When I start to feel a little pre-headachey, I down a bunch. I’ve noticed that if I don’t eat/hydrate regularly through the day, that’s when it hits me. Insomnia is also still a trigger. I used to think stress was my trigger, but I’m seeing that it’s the behaviors I have in response to stress (not eating/drinking, insomnia) that I think are the real culprits. Sharing just in case any of this might be helpful. I agree with your therapist that migraines can give you PTSD. I’ve had some that were so, so hard and I think some of that panicky feeling when I can’t get my meds to work is remembering how bad it can get.

    OK, small book. You know how wordy I am. Sending you love. It will get better.


    1. I have another migraine/pain day today and I am at that point where I just don’t want to eat healthily, don’t want to exercise, don’t want to practice mindfulness because nothing is working. I even skipped taking Melatonin last night for fear THAT was causing it. I am at the neurotic phase now even though I have been down this road before and know I will survive it. It just doesn’t seem like it right now. Thank GOD for comments like these because then I don’t feel so crazy and neurotic. It says something about the human brain that it feels better knowing others suffer too, doesn’t it?


  9. I left-ish Facebook too.
    I got emotional every time she started her ritual of greeting the house.


  10. For the last few years I would deactivate my my FB account between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but this year I just haven’t felt the desire to reactivate it. And now I’m curious is I can go all of 2019 without it.

    I won’t watch Marie Kondo. I read her “life-changing magic” and it made my skin crawl. Not the whole woo-woo of thanking and appreciating things (though that was annoying) but because I PROFOUNDLY disagree with her on some things AND I tried her T-shirt folding method and hated it. I’m probably not her target audience. I’m just not a stuff person (I’ve moved way too many times to be a stiff person) but I don’t need some organizer telling me to toss manuals. I LIKE them. I USE them. I have a good system for them so shut up Marie Kondo. Sorry, I digressed. My dislike is visceral and I still haven’t figured out just WHY my reaction is so strong. Maybe because everyone else LOVES her and I’m an asshole?!? I don’t know.

    Good luck with the low carb adjustment. That is really, really hard even when you are doing it for really good reasons and I’m sure it’s only made harder with migraine.


    1. The folding is madness. MADNESS. I didn’t follow that at all but I used some aspects in my getting rid of crap. I am now calling it the Kari Wagner Hoban method. Mine includes eating lots of chocolate too, so there’s that.
      You’re making me laugh so hard. You are not an asshole. Trust me, I am kind of an asshole so I know what one looks like.

      So I am ditching low carb for Weight Watchers….long story…..until I can get my weight at a better level. Then I may go back to low carb. I may not. As you can see, I really have my shit together.


  11. Do any of us really and truly have our shit together? (The answer to that is NO.)

    So much juicy stuff to comment on. I’m feeling the need to talk to you in person; to have a lunch date. We’re way overdue. But now we have like 3 feet of snow and it’s 50 below zero (OK, so I exaggerate a little, but it sure feels this way). Anywho…I know exactly what you mean about Anna coming home from school and then leaving again. When Tim was at NIU, I loved having him come back home on holidays or long weekends, but when he’d leave to go back to school, my heart broke all over again. Now he’s in his own apartment and even though that’s been two months, it still feels very weird. Don’t get me wrong, I love being an empty nester now and his moving out was waay past due. But I’m still a mama. 🙂

    Facebook…I admit, I’m addicted. And the stupid thing is, I have a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with it, too. I need to work on staying off of it once in awhile. #goals

    Marie Kondo…I have a love-hate relationship with her, too. I got her book from the library when it first came out and it didn’t impress me. I’ve watched her first two shows on Netflix and seeing her do her “magic” in person was more of a positive influence, though she annoys me, too. The one thing I like about her theory on tidying up is the way she does it: by category. That totally makes sense. And it does work because I’ve done it myself with certain things…DVDs, CDs, kitchen tools, notebooks and journals, makeup, etc. However, there is no way in hell I’m folding all my clothes to stand up. I’ve had no problem with the way I’ve always folded clothes, so why start all over?

    I didn’t know you had sticky blood (until I saw one of your comments ^). Have they tied this to your migraines? Because having sticky blood can lead to migraines, from what I’ve read.

    OK, I don’t want to take over your post…sheesh, I’ve written a novel.


    1. I love novels; especially when they are in my comments!
      I will have to ask my doctor about that connection when I see her in a few weeks. I just began a new preventative regime on Friday which includes an injection once per month rather than three pills per day. The medicine in the injection attacks the migraine proteins in your blood, so let’s say a prayer that it works. So far so good.

      Let’s get together even if it is shitty out. It’s good for the soul.


  12. Girl, I’m so sorry. At the end of last year I had migraines daily for about three months. They never did figure out the cause. Fortunately we found a medication that helped them ease and they finally went away after about a month on the medication. I’d never wish those upon my worst enemy. Migraines and chronic pain are so awful to live with. I’m glad you’re getting the help you need. Wishing you the best!


    1. So I just started a new preventative, an injection called Emgality, that I will administer to myself once per month. So far so good. Praying this works.

      Chronic pain is awful and as much as I hate to say it, I do understand how we have a pain medication epidemic. We need better ways to make ourselves feel better that isn’t just in pill form and more doctors who recognize this. I am lucky to have doctors who are supportive and know how I feel about pills.

      Sending you a big hug. 🙂


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