Celebrating in February!

It’s crazy how much my family and I have celebrated and socialized this past week! I’m downright exhausted — but in a good way.

For instance,

  • This past Wednesday, February 14, we celebrated — Valentine’s Day, Ash Wednesday and David’s and my 27th anniversary!
  • The day before was Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras.)
  • The Sunday before was The Super Bowl.
  • The Saturday before, we saw Argylle. (As a writer, I felt like it was my obligation to see this movie. I’m so glad I did!)
  • The Friday before, we had lunch with one of David’s sons; and then later that same day, I met a friend for coffee.
  • Lastly, this past Friday, I attended a luncheon with the writers group to whom I belong.

This may not sound like much if you socialize regularly, but for us — the homebodies that we are — it truly was. For the sake of brevity, I’m providing tidbits of conversations from only three of these events —

From the Super Bowl

Me: What just happened?!!!!

David: The TV skipped ahead.

Me: Why did it do that? Go back to where we were.

David: Uh oh. I can’t. The TV won’t let me.

Me: Are you freakin’ kidding me?!!!!!

(What happened is that we’d paused the TV at the start of the third quarter so we could eat dinner. David also took a phone call from his son who lives in California. Afterward, we resumed watching the game. Unfortunately, we weren’t even halfway through the third quarter when the TV skipped ahead at 9 PM, which is when David had set the DVR to record the new TV series, Tracker. Only, at 9 PM, the game still had three minutes left to go in the fourth quarter. I figured this wasn’t a problem. We’d just rewind back to the third quarter. Only,



This totally screwed up what I was going to blog about. Was there even a Clydesdale Budweiser commercial?

I guess I’ll never know. 🤷

Well, that’s not quite true. Thank God for the internet. If you also missed the commercials and are interested,  you can find them here.)


Fat Tuesday — conversation at restaurant

Lauren: So what’s everyone giving up for Lent this year? I’m giving up my snooze button.

Me: I’m giving up negativity.

Lauren: You’re giving up negativity?

Me: Yes.

Entire family: *laughter*

Ryan: Wait, why is that funny?

Lauren: Because Mom’s going to try to stay positive and not get upset about anything until Easter.

Ryan: That’s a long time. I don’t think she can do it.

Lauren: Exactly. That’s why it’s so funny. What are you giving up, Ry?

Ryan: Uhm, I’m still thinking about it.

Lauren: Dad, what are you giving up?

David: Who, me?

Me: He’s giving up lint.

Lauren: He’s giving up lint for Lent?

Me: Yes.

Lauren: Are you going to be saying “yes” a lot over the next several weeks?

Me: Yes.

Lauren: I’m glad I’m not giving up alcohol.

Me: I’m glad I’m not giving up alcohol either! *raises hand to get the waitress’s attention to refill my empty wine glass*


Okay, Valentine’s Day deserves an entire post of its own. Maybe I’ll share that next week.


Writers Group Luncheon

Me to “J”: Have you seen the new documentary with our favorite former cult member in it?

“J”: Which one?

Me: Are you asking which former cult member?

“J”: Yes.

Me: How many former cult members do you know?

(I’d actually met Anna LaBaron [the former cult member in question] years ago while waiting in line at a Half Price Bookstore to see The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson. I didn’t know who Anna was at the time, but she was writing a book about her life in a cult. Months later at a different event, Anna gave a talk about escaping this cult she was born into. Several of the women from our writers group were in attendance. That was before the pandemic. So, imagine my surprise when I’m watching TV this past January and a trailer for a documentary comes on with Anna in it! I told David, “We have to watch this! I know her!” The documentary series is called Daughters of the Cult and is currently streaming on Hulu. Also, it’s not like we’re good friends or anything. I’m sure I’m only one of thousands of people she’s met over the years.)


Me to “S” (talking about my manuscript): …it’s nice that I can write about a range of topics. I mean, I can express my more immature side, sure, but I can also tackle serious subjects, too.

“S”: We like the immature you, best!

Me: ?????


“P” to Everyone at table before her friend arrives who is joining us for lunch: Now my friend’s name is Judith, not Judy. She hates to be called Judy. So no one call her that!

“P” to Everyone once her friend arrives: Everyone, I’d like you to meet my friend Judy—

Judith interrupting “P”: It’s Judith. I go by Judith…


Me to “T”: We just saw Argylle and we loved it! It was a wild romp!

“T”: What’s it about?

Me: it’s about a woman who writes spy thrillers kind of like James Bond and then she gets caught up in one. Then the plot gets all twisty. It was a lot of fun!

“T”: Oh, I love a good James Bond movie. That sounds like fun. We should all go and see it as a group.

“D” cutting into our conversation: What movie is that?

Me: Argylle. Have you seen it?

“D”: What kind of language is in it?

Me: Do you mean, is there any bad language in it?

“D”: Yes. I don’t watch movies that have bad language.

Me: Uhm…I think the “f” word is used once. Maybe. Not sure. I didn’t really pay attention…

“D”: Oh, I’d probably need to look into that. I’d rather see a documentary.

“T”: *blank stare*

Me toD”: You know, when I think about it, you wouldn’t like this movie at all. It has violence in it. People fight. People get killed. It’s a spy movie.

“D”: I wouldn’t like it then.

“T”: *continued blank stare*

Me: *blank stare, then orders dessert* (Because I’m staying positive, y’all! And I can’t think of anything more positive than ordering dessert when a conversation has come to an abrupt end like this one did. Also, I shared with the entire group, so everyone got at least one bite.”


This is taken from the site of the restaurant and isn’t my own photo. But this is what the seven of us at the table shared! Butter cake! Yum! And it was served warm, too!


Hope everyone’s having a lovely February so far.

So much to look forward to. Also, going to try and not turn into a full-blown lush or gain a million pounds during Lent while I’m giving up negativity! I CAN DO IT!!!!!


  1. Argylle is rated PG-13, but I don’t think it passed muster for “D.” 🙁  Do you have certain criteria that prohibits you from seeing a movie?
  2. Did you see Argylle? If so, what did you think? Is there something at the movies presently that you think I should check out?
  3. We’re not Catholic, but we like the idea of Lent, so we give something up during this season. Do you practice Lent? If so, what did you give up or do you practice Lent in a different way?
  4. Do you celebrate Fat Tuesday? If so, what did you do?
  5. Did you watch the Super Bowl? It’s usually a boring game. And this game was no different…until it got interesting. I can’t believe it went into overtime! Congratulations to the Kansas City Chefs Chiefs! (I love that commercial!)
  6. Do you have a favorite Super Bowl commercial/s? A least favorite? Please, dish!
  7. Have you ever met someone who’s been in a cult before? If so, details, please.

And music —







16 thoughts on “Celebrating in February!”

    • EW,
      Well, let’s see…on the 2nd was Groundhog’s Day. I understand we’re expecting an early spring this year. And today was President’s Day. And on the 29th, it’s Leap Year Day. But on the 28th? I have no idea. Is it your birthday? Mona

  1. Like you last week was a whirlwind of holiday-ness for me. I didn’t do anything as exciting as going to a Writers Group Luncheon, but I was aware of the need to at least acknowledge lots of fun going on around me, except for maybe the serious vibe of Ash Wednesday.

    Fun fact, The Bloggess left a comment on my blog once and sometimes I feel like that’s the reason I keep on blogging. Not that everyone else’s comments aren’t wonderful, too.

    • Ally,
      The fact that Jenny Lawson left a comment on one of your posts is really special! It’s nice being able to reach out across the world and touch people’s lives and get to know them. At least that’s how I feel about blogging. It is a bit of a commitment, though! Have an awesome week ahead, my friend! Mona

  2. Mona,

    Happy anniversary to you and David. Pretty cool it is on Valentine’s Day, and it certainly makes it a convenient anniversary to remember lol.

    We always get dinner “out of the way” before the Super Bowl starts so we can zero in on those commercials. I don’t have a favorite, but once the “big game” is over and you have to then live with all the ads over-and-over again for the next several weeks, the “reruns” this year aren’t as annoying as in prior years. I do think the ads this year were for the most part pretty darn good.

    I know a few people who give up drinking in January, or for Lent, but in each instance they hit the sauce twice as hard upon their return. I’m not sure that “counts” lol.

    To my knowledge, Mrs. Chess and I have never met a cult member. That’s not exactly on our bucket lists, but I guess if the situation arises it would be an interesting (compelling?) interaction.

    Great music here – nice way to dance into a Tuesday!

    • Bruce,
      Do you think disco is making a comeback? Hope you and Mrs. Chess enjoyed a dance or two! I agree that most of the new commercials this year were pretty good! I understand the merchandise for Dunkin Donuts sold out within hours. Who knew there was even merchandise? I wouldn’t mind a donut right now, though. Okay, off to eat a zero sugar candy bar! Have a great rest of your week, my friend! Mona

  3. Hey, Mona! I wish there was a “love” button for this post. I can relate in so many ways! Especially your line about being “immature” yet able to talk about serious stuff. I get you! Now I must see the movie “Argylle”. I am a fan of weird movies. I am really open about what movies I will watch, but the ones that are funny with heart get me every time. Favorite Superbowl commercial? I laughed really hard at one about Reese’s peanut butter cups with caramel in them. The people in the commercial were freaking out about this new invention in the most hilarious way. I’m Christian, but not Catholic, and don’t typically “do” Lent. However, our co-pastor at our Colorado church (we watch virtually-I call it “vurtch”) used the word “intentional” a lot during the sermon this past Sunday, when talking about Lent. I’ve been chewing on that word in my mind ever since.

    • Rhonda,
      I love that word — vurtch! Did you make it up? I think that’s an amazing word that should definitely go into today’s lexicography. I’ve been known to watch a service or two on the video streaming service of the church I sometimes go to. I really enjoyed the caramel peanut butter cups commercial, too! I mean, it’s candy, right? What’s not to love! I also loved the Dorito’s commercial with the two grandmothers. That was fun. Apparently, there was a Clydesdale commercial. I had to watch it online, though! (I read an article that said that what makes a commercial most memorable are the ones that incorporate both tears and laughter in them!) Probably why I have an affinity for the Clydesdales! My former therapist, who is Catholic, said that he prefers not to give anything up — he prefers to actually do something extra throughout those six weeks to celebrate Lent. He never told me exactly what he does, though. Perhaps he practices extra kindness in some way. Anyway, I really appreciate you, Rhonda! I’m so glad this post resonated with you and that you get me, my friend! Hugs, Mona

      • Vurtch-yes I did make that up! And, I agree it ought to be considered for entry into the American English lexicon. I like that, doing something extra for Lent as opposed to taking something away. It’s all about the intention.

  4. Letting everyone have a bite of your dessert reminds me of William Gaines, founder of MAD Magazine, who would sometimes take the entire staff to lunch. When they ordered dessert he’d say, “Get one for yourself and one for the table.” The one “for the table” was for everyone else to try.
    Also, weirdly, I don’t know if there was a Budweiser Clydesdale commercial this year. It’s weird because I live with Dalmatians and there’s almost always a Dalmatian riding on the Budweiser wagon. Sometimes we’ve even known the Budweiser Dalmatian. Not personally, but, you know, it’s kind of like you knowing the woman who was in the cult. I want to watch that documentary and also Argylle. Because my interests are so varied I’ll watch pretty much anything.

  5. Chris,
    That’s funny about the MAD guy! I always like just a bite or two of something sweet to finish off a meal, so sharing dessert just works for me. So you didn’t see a commercial for the Clydesdales either? That is so weird if they didn’t actually air it this year. I did find it online, though. Hopefully, you have no Cruella de Vils in your life! I’m currently watching Feud: Capote vs. The Swans. It’s a based upon telling instead of a factual tale. Fascinating glimpse, a bit depressing to watch, though. The cult movie raises philosophical questions for me. Also, David and I just finished watching the six-part series, Monsieur Spade. It would have helped tremendously if we knew how to speak and understand French. Even so, it was worth watching IMHO. Hope you enjoy Argylle as much as we did! It was fun! Take care and I’m sure I’ll catch up with you on your blog soon, my friend! Mona

  6. Love this, Mona!

    And I want to see Argylle now too. On first glance of the trailer, I’m getting some sort of Romancing the Stone on steroids vibe.

    Take care!


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