Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Tea and Vodka Weekend

The wind is howling this morning.  All the magnifying glasses have been accounted for and destroyed.  No neighborhood fires today, thank goodness.

A fun filled and interesting weekend lays before me.  There's a big, crazy lady party tonight which promises an amazing hangover tomorrow morning.  Hopefully I'll recover in time to take some dear friends to tea at the Brown Palace

If you've never been to a high tea, it's really something.  I get the double pleasure of bringing a thirteen year old and her mother who've never been plus the location is quite breathtaking.  It's one of the oldest hotels in Denver and the tradition is extremely formal.  I know, I know...I'm sure a few of you are thinking, "Bri hates tea and she has to dress up!"  True.  But every so often it's worth the hassle and if I put enough sugar and cream in the tea, I can manage to swallow it without making an embarrassing face.  The dress-up thing is different.  Remember, this isn't Boston, New York, or London.  This is Denver.  Jeans and cowboy boots are still acceptable as long as I'm wearing diamonds and a dress blouse.  I love Colorado!  Yeeha!

It's still early and I need to start drinking my water bottle quota before the party tonight.  I must stay hydrated.   I never have Tequila hangovers but this is a Martini party and Vodka is a whole different animal.  Just thinking about it makes me grimace.  Memories of hangovers from days gone by.  Ooohhhff. 

Question...why is it that when someone is already plastered, the person bartending (normally, a friend) thinks it's funny to get you more intoxicated?  A beach party in Southern California, running out of Orange Juice, and this dear friend (who shall remain nameless) poured me straight Vodka.  That was a very bad night.  I don't recall much other than being dumped lifeless, vomitous, and sandfilled it into the backseat of another friend's car with a trashbag under my mouth.  Tonight, I will come prepared.  I will bring my own trashbag.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dance and Laugh!

Good morning all my dear friends and loyal blog followers!  Another beautiful spring morning here in sunny Colorado and I am experiencing a rare anomaly in my house for this hour.  Silence.  Usually by this time my youngest has found the cartoon channel and has, despite several requests, turned the sound up to drown out my laptop typing.  The only disconcerting thing about the silence is when my two small dogs are not at my feet where they belong.  This leads me to believe that Eric has left the tissue box and the "residuals" (ewww) on his night stand and my little darlings are feasting.  Another vomitous mess to clean up later I suppose.

For those of you who got up early to watch the royal wedding in Great Britain, good for you.  Clearly I am not a big fan of these things.  They are, after all, just another young couple.  A young couple with way too much pressure to succeed in life.  I wish them well, I really do.  That's all I have to say about that.  Sincerely, Lady Edna Watson of St. James (in reference to a goofy Facebook thingamajig).

Now I realize that even though my oldest spilt fruit juice all over the counter, Eric left for work looking very ill, and I dropped the blackberry jam knife down the front of my pj's while making lunches, I am still in a pleasant mood this morning.  How so you ask?  I'm curious myself as this entire week has been one in which I have been in a recovering cold haze.  Dirty clothes are piled so high in the laundry room that getting into the garage is a dangerous endeavor.  I have not made a homemade meal since Easter Sunday.  I  am missing appointments.  Craziness.  Yet today, I'm feeling invincible!

There is truly no explanation for it other than that it's a beautiful day.  So, I will breathe it in before the scheduled snow storm arrives this evening (what, it's April 29th for Pete's sake!) and continue singing Macy Gray in my silly Macy Gray voice until Austy tells me that I'm embarrassing him.  I will let my little dog, Tulip shower me with kisses and run around the house growling and hissing at the bigger dog, Tank because he doesn't know he's been fixed and won't stop harassing her (she has spunk).  I will pull up my hair, put on a tye-dye, blast the stereo, and dance like a crazy woman while I clean, sanitize and spray.  Finally, of course, I'll bring out my $3.00 doohickey vacuum attachment and crack myself up!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Am I Sleeping With the Enemy?

I just started and deleted a stupid, sticky sweet blog about spring and robins building their nests.  Now I ask you, does this sound anything like me?  I almost hurled. 

I'm sitting here at my kitchen table listening to the Road Runner cartoon in the background with Tulip drool all over my face and I'm dying to share the conversation I had with Eric last night before we fell asleep.  My dilemma is that Eric laughed and said he knew I would blog about it today and I laughed and said I wouldn't.  I hate to prove that man right.  He's always right.  My fingers are trembling...oh well, what the Hell.  

There are always adjustments when two people are married but having known Eric most of my life prior to our marriage (another day, another blog), I hadn't realized what a bizarre mystery he still was to me. 

When we moved into our spiffy, brand new, just built, beautiful two-story townhouse everything had to be just so.  That's ok.  I was and still am as many of you know a bit anal retentive (that's just an ugly phrase but so apropos in my case) and obsessive compulsive but in the beginning, I was nothing, nothing like Eric

I came from an earlier marriage where we struggled financially all the time.  We made due with what we had.  We lived out of milk crates and sold Plasma for cigarette money for goodness' sake.  Eric, on the other hand, if the vacuum worked but looked a little beat up, he wanted a new one.  What a funny guy!  Things had to be just so.  One of our earlier compromises was that my lists (remember those?) would be relegated to the side of the refrigerator which did not face the front door.  You see, Eric hates magnets and paperwork on refrigerators.  He thinks they look messy.  Ok.  I agreed to place my paperwork and magnets (which I'm not a fan of either really, they just keep my lists up in front of my face) on the appropriate side of the frig.  Done.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks later and our first dinner party in our spiffy, brand new, just built, beautiful two-story townhouse.  Our guests had asked to be shown about.  We walked past my side of the refrigerator.  One of our guests happened to be his cousin.  She and I stopped dead in our tracks.  Eric had arranged my lists, paperwork, and magnets based on size and height.  Very tidy.  Very frightening.

There was a horror movie made were Julia Roberts married a psychopath who arranged everything in her house by size and height.  It was called, Sleeping with the Enemy.  That night while lying in bed I wondered just how well I knew this man I married.  After he had fallen asleep, I checked the knife drawer just in case.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Entire Spa Experience

Oh the Spa!  Invented for women by women (well, this fact I can't be sure of but I have a male friend whom I'm certain will look this up and correct me if I'm wrong).  What a wondrous place.  The lovely fragrances, the soft lighting, the forest or ocean sounds mixed with pleasant background music, and what do I not hear?  Children.  Heaven on earth in a small building with plush towels, pleasant staff, and comfortable overstuffed chairs.  In fact, now that I think about it, the staff does what it can to make the Spa experience everything that your home is not.  No wonder it's so popular!

I used to be so intimidated by the idea of going to one.  The years I wasted by this silly notion!  These people want me to leave my house with the dishes in the sink and my sick husband in bed.  They also know that once they've hooked a girl like me, they have her for life.  You see, I'm not one of those ladies who are content with a basic manicure and can go home.  No.  I must have the Entire Spa Experience. 

I've been known to walk in when an establishment opens and be the last customer out the door.  I must have the whole kit and kaboodle; not the standard sixty minute rub down but the deep tissue, hour and a half with aroma therapy massage.  After which, I enjoy a relaxing cup of Rose Tea (by the way, I hate tea) and sit with eyes closed in front of the fireplace, if available, waiting for my full ninety minute, anti-aging, exfoliation, and lavender wrap facial.  Ooooh.  Hmmm.  The pimple popping lady will then escort me to the large tub room filled with scented earth candles where I will immerse my pampered body for thirty minutes.  The staff outside are trained professionals.  The ignore my moans or nod their heads in approval because they know their customer is content.  Off to the relaxation room again wrapped in my big, fluffy white bathrobe now sipping cold cucumber water (by the way, I hate cucumbers), and sit with eyes closed in front of the fireplace, if available, waiting for my full ninety minute spa pedicure and manicure.

To think I wasted all those years being paranoid.  As far as I'm concerned, there are only three things to worry about.  One, will the robe be big enough to cover my boobs.  To solve this issue in advance, I always check with the assistant and point out the fact that, yes I am a big girl.  Please supply an appropriate sized robe.  I do not like sharing my business with the lady trimming my toe nails.  Secondly, the flip over on the massage table.  This is a tricky one.  Yes, I am completely covered at all times.  It is the body flopping noise that is particularly distressing.  There is just no genteel way to describe it -- my apologies.  Prior to the massage, I ask to have the pretty relaxation music a little louder so I can fully relax if you know what I mean.  And finally, the cost.  After the beautiful day, I have the illusion that the bill will be as comforting as the experience.  Wrong - and I don't even like cucumbers!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Who's That Rapping at My Chamber Door?

For the second night in a row, my husband tossed and turned with a horrible head cold.  In a way, I feel partially responsible for this because a couple of days ago, while I was being spiteful with my own sickness and particularly grumpy that I had to make myself a cup of coffee, I coughed and wheezed all over the bed sheets.  So last night, in lieu of an apology, I scratched his back, took his temperature, doled out fever reducing medication every hour while, I might I add, still recovering myself.  I guess this makes up for my lack of decency in my own narcissistic way.  Eric loves me.  I just brought him more toast and orange juice.  What more can a girl do?

I imagine these past few awful nights - while he gasped for air - he must have thought that death might soon come rapping at his chamber door (I certainly did listening to him for goodness sakes).  In the midst of this desperate experience I remembered a similar evening of my own many years ago before Eric and I were married.

I had been talked into tent camping in the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California during Thanksgiving weekend.  It was a last minute thing and our little group was ill prepared.  We did not check the weather forecast, bring up appropriate supplies, and to top it all off it was a "roughin' it" type of camp site - a wash your stuff in a stream and pee in an outhouse built a century ago kind of place.  Let me preface this story by explaining that this was my first camping trip (damnit, where's my sarcastic smiley face button when I need it).

Now, God bless my former in-laws and ex-husband whom I'm still very good friends with.  This painful memory does not belong solely to me but to everyone who went; however, I must supplement this with the fact that I am and always will be a spoiled, spa-resort, room-service kind of gal.  Give me a choice and I'm going to choose...hmmm, a private bathroom every time.

Here we were, my ex-husband (Jeff), his sister, her 5 yr-old bed-wetting daughter (remember this), her boyfriend, and myself who in the rush of getting packed forgot my jacket.  When the temperature dropped and the rain started pouring down,  Jeff and I cuddled up in our 2-person tent while his sister's group got soaked out of theirs after discovering a leak.  Now, our cuddly 2-person tent became a very uncomfortable 5-person tent.  Remember the bed-wetter?  That's right.  I smelled like pee.  Exasperated, I went to lie down in my car.  Another unknown fact; I have an intense fear of the dark with possible wild animals lurking about.  On the way to my car I heard what I believed to be growling.  I started screaming.  Unfortunately, I alerted the next two camp sites over.  It was my sister-in-law and Jeff snoring back in the tent.  I apologized profusely.  I sat soaking wet in my car, shivering, and feverish.  I had come down with the flu.  I vomited outside the door.  The night just couldn't get any worse or so I thought.  Sure it could.  I had to go poo.  This meant I would have to walk past one of the two campsites I had disturbed earlier, which I'm certain was playing the banjo tune from the movie, Deliverance, to get to the outhouse.  There was a boulder outside the car past my pool of vomit, a piece of newspaper, and not an ounce of pride left in me.  I was done.  That night I sat in silence, smelling like pee and vomit, waiting for death to come rapping, tapping at my chamber door - or in my case - the boulder outside the Honda Civic.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Teaching our Children Silly, Unnecessary Things

Yesterday the rambling lunatic gave herself a "blog" day off.  Weekends are slow reads (per my statistics), it was Easter, I was sick, and as I knew it would happen, I was an impressive procrastinator.  All things considered, the day went well.  Only two boxes of tissue spent, dinner was a smashing success, and the boys did not start any neighborhood fires this year.

Since I promised to tell you that story and yesterday was the one year anniversary of that colorful event, I will share it with you today.

Men love to teach their sons silly, unnecessary things don't they?  The day my husband brought out a magnifying glass and gleefully placed it over a piece of newspaper, I just about had a heart attack.  Really?  Do our two boys need to know how to start a fire?  Eric's response was that it wouldn't get hot enough.  Was he sure about this?  So, the summer before last (of course while my husband was at work), I was a nervous wreck watching the boys lighting bits and pieces of paper, twine, and other miscellaneous items in our fire pit on fire.  Strange, I guess it does get hot enough.  My rule was always that the cover had to be on and the wind could not be blowing. Unfortunately for us, we live in a very windy area which is prone to unexpected gusts all the time. Of course my rules were eventually broken when I saw bits of lit paper circling in the air up and over our fence. That was it.  All magnifying glasses that I knew of (and this was the caveat) were confiscated.  At the time, new homes were being built all around us and the neighborhood park across the street was still undeveloped and covered with tumbleweeds. My boys were 11 and 14 years old.  They were terrifying.  They had discovered FIRE!

Jump forward to Easter of 2010. It was dry and the wind was gusting between 35 and 40 miles per hour. The boys were outside on the hill (the park), the ham was in the oven, and my friend had just arrived for dinner and a glass of wine. Suddenly, Eric started shouting that the hill was on fire (our front windows have a clear view of the park and everything going north for miles). Black billowing smoke was coming from just over the rise, neighbors with buckets of water were running across the street, kids were following them, and then...there were my two sons -- walking slowly away from the fire, down towards our house like they didn't have a clue in the world that anything was the happening. GUILTY!

"Who started that fire?"

"What fire?"

"Knock it off! Who started it and how?"

"William had a magnif.."

That's all I needed to hear. I cut off Austynn mid sentence while William started to loudly deny his involvement and started blaming Austynn.  "Eric, William started the fire.  You need to get up there right away and have him take responsibility for it."  As I'm yelling upstairs I see the melted rubber on Will's sneakers where he obviously tried to kick it out before it got out of control. 

Eric came charging down the stairs, "Come on, William.  Let's go.  Bri, call 911."

Throughout my call to 911, Austynn had been crying and asking if William was going to jail.  My dinner guest was standing in the background.  She was aware of constant drama in my household but this was a whole new experience for her.  After the call, I settled Austy down and the three of us walked out to the park.  The fire was put out quickly, thank goodness.  The fire department is right across the street so it could have been so much worse.  William and Eric were speaking to the police officers.  What drama. 

William was cited with a ticket and had to attend a 4 hour fire prevention class with a parent.  Hmmmm?  Which parent?  One would think he should go with the parent who taught him how to start the damn fire to begin with?  Not so.  He had to work.  Wasn't that convenient.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm in Deep Self-Pity Cold Mode

Every cough is bone wracking and I'm making sure that they are loud and pathetic enough for all the men in my household to hear.  In fact, I believe I'm dying of some sort of unknown green alien cough cancer but I won't share this information with Eric because he'll just laugh at me and will not take my funeral arrangements seriously.

I feel deep grief when my dogs don't realize the depth of my illness.  They should know and understand that it is I, not Papa, or William, and certainly not Austynn who buys them their special peanut butter/apple treats.  It is I who picks out the special toy-toys which litter the floors of each and every room.  Spoiled mutts.  If it weren't for me, they would be eating cold, dry, dog food out of nasty, dirty bowls (if at all) every day.  They should snuggle and comfort me in my illness not beg for treats at my cold and nearly lifeless feet.  They are mercenary.

Why don't my birds sing and twitter when I walk by?  When I'm healthy and in good spirits, I talk low and sweetly to them being sure not to frighten my poor little Mikey bird, my Zebra Finch who is at death's door.  I change their newspaper, give them spray baths and scape their bird crap off my walls (again, I am in awe that they can shoot poop so far away from their cage).  No.  They merely watch me with weary eyes as I creep past the study balancing my bowl of coffee that I had to make myself this morning in a state of deep exhaustion.  Sigh. 

Don't get me started on my husband!  Is there really a two day limitation in caring for his sick wife and the mother of his children?  Was there an ulterior motive to working from home yesterday but now that it's Saturday she must fend for herself?  I'll remember this.  In fact, in a few minutes, I will crawl back into bed and not stifle my cough behind my hand.  I'll roll towards him and hack away with such abandon that the sheets will need to be changed -- but not by me.  No.  I do not have the energy.  I am spent from making my own coffee.  I feel perfectly content in my greasy, three day no shower, tissue up the nose, cough drop after-taste state.  I will merely lie in bed moaning, sip my mocha and watch videos of "Sleepless in Seattle", "When Harry Met Sally", and every Jane Austen movie ever made. 

Children.  You may eat stale cereal for breakfast as I have not and will not go grocery shopping today.  Deal with it.  Bond with your father.  Enjoy your time together.  I have a date with Mr. Darcy and a box of tissues. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Queen of Last Minute Endeavors

I wasn't always a procrastinator.  I used to plan ahead with such detail that I had lists for my lists.  I still do to a point but it depends on the event or what we're doing. 

Take this holiday Easter weekend, for example.  By now, the goodies for the boys Easter Baskets (yes, I still do that sort of thing for my young teenagers) should have already been purchased, the holiday dinner planned, and clothing selected and pressed for church services.  Instead, I've come down with a last minute cold and find myself lying in bed sipping cold coffee and debating whether or not I should put another pair of socks on my feet.  I refuse to consider doing anything past the next ten minutes except for moving towards the Kleenex box in the bathroom.  The tissues on my night stand are full and I really loath the idea of using the dirty t-shirt on the floor next to me however much I've been considering it.

So, I know exactly what will happen come Sunday.  I'll decide to go to the early morning mass because it will be pouring rain and that will be the most unfortunate time to attend.  I'll wait until the last minute to pick up the house and enlist my entire family to assist (which they should) and listen to the grumbling and eventual arguing which ensues when pulling my sons away from their electronic devices for longer than a half hour.  Disciplinary action will occur whereas these same electronic devices will be taken away.  Yelling, crying, and temper tantrums will commence.   I'll leave this particular chaos in Eric's capable hands and drive to the grocery store chaos.  Since we're having a family friend for dinner, my initial thought of ham sandwiches and a can of Campbell's Split Pea Soup is now out of the question.  Ham or Prime Rib?  Probably Ham since I started out late.  Besides, the last Prime Rib attempted was so overcooked it tasted more like a bad chuck roast.  That was an expensive disappointment.  Besides, I can't screw up a ham (well, I could and have but that's another blog entirely).  The hams will be picked through and the other procrastinators will be showing their fangs.  I'll have to take whatever is available and make do, scrape up a few of the remaining produce items, and find a nasty looking cake from the bakery section.  My poor friend.  At least she'll have the comfort of my home and hearth.  Oh that's house will be a sty, I'll probably give her my cold,  my husband will be pissy because he had to deal with the boys, and the boys will be surly and rude at the dinner table.  What fun she'll have with the Potts' Family on Easter! 

Crap!  Why did I have to think past the next ten minutes?  I don't want to get out of bed even for the socks or the box of Kleenex in the bathroom.  The t-shirt is looking mighty convenient right now.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Bleepin' Whozamacallit is a Wazzin

Before I begin, I must add the following disclaimers:
  1. If you are younger than eighteen years of age, please get your parents permission prior to reading the following blog. 
  2. If you have a weak stomach, you may want to reconsider reading any further.
  3. Remember, I tend to be irreverent and sometimes sexual in nature.  
Now you, my friends and adult blog followers, will crawl into the deep recesses of my warped and sometimes naughty mind.  Let me further add that some of these words and catch phrases I can not take full credit for.  They have morphed over the years from normal words into well,'ll see.  Also, Eric, my husband, friend, and soul mate, is not the mild-mannered, polite, young man his doting mother-in-law thought she knew over the years.  He's actually quite bizarre and has a crude sense of humor (which are a couple of reasons why I love him so much).  To spare him any embarrassment, I will not share which of the idioms below he can take credit for, though some of you can make a fairly good assumption and probably be right.

  • Snot Waggle:  A nasty thing which hangs in the back of my throat when I have a sinus infection.  When it is eventually blown into a "Snot Rag" (tissue) it seems to go on forever but when finished it is indeed a moment for celebration.
  • Jackinuzzi:  Pretty much a Jacuzzi but without need for further explanation. 
  • Discomboobilated:  One of my personal favorites.  I use it instead of "Discombobulated " so often with strangers that they think I'm a total idiot and don't know any better.
  • Tankus Poopis and Tootis Peepis:  Nicknames for our dogs and really stupid ones at that.
  • Fart Mongar:  I suppose this started out as Fart Mongul but morphed into another entirely ridiculous family term.  Again, I don't believe there is need for an explanation; however, William holds the current title.

 I'm thinking perhaps that's all you can handle at this time.  And gentlemen, please do not "up chuck chuckie" any "loogies" today because Breezy finds them absolutely "disgusto mundo"!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Was Crackin' Myself Up Last Night

As many of you know, I'm still in the ever elusive search for my cell phone. Being the eternal optimist for all things lost (in particular, things I've lost), I believe that it will show up eventually. Eric, my husband, on the other hand, tends to be more realistic and feels that it's time to call the phone company and make sure no one is charging calls overseas and making girlfriends the easy way. As of tomorrow, a lovely new cell phone will arrive on my doorstep. Just another stressful reminder that I had the last one for less than a year. Fortunately, I'm a bit of a procrastinator and never wasted my precious time programming phone numbers. This whole cell phone adventure is one of the many reasons I find myself so amusing. Even though Eric ordered the new phone last night, I felt it was truly necessary to give the search one last shot so down on my hands and knees I went to look underneath my china cabinet. What did I find? Not the phone. Of course not, that would have been too easy. No, instead a plethora (again, lovin' that word!) of dust bunnies.

I know, I know -- your brain is rattling and your eyes are rolling (or is it the other way around?). How did I get from there to here? Don't think about it too long or you'll self-combust. All I can say is that next to bird seed on my tile, the other dreaded enemy to my eyes are dust bunnies.

Now, let me explain that this whole search and rescue operation happened while Eric was at a community meeting and the boys were upstairs getting ready for bed. I should have been reclining comfortably with a glass of refreshing diet lemonade and watching Turner Classic Movies without interruption on the beautiful new LED, LTD, LEV whatever the heck flat screen thing we have once I learn how to use the new remote control(s) combination system. (Really? Why do we need two remotes? Explanation, please.) Not so. Instead, I was totally excited about the $3.00 doohickey attachment I bought months ago through mail order for my vacuum. It's a narrow tube which reaches underneath dressers and china hutches to attack such awful invaders as I discovered last night. I found myself laughing gleefully as I sucked them up. I thought I heard screaming coming from the little bastards. It was bliss! I bow my head in shame. It is true. I profusely enjoy using my $3.00 doohickey vacuum attachment.

Once I demolished the enemy, I had forgotten all about my cell phone and started a new and destroy. Floating balls of dust located in lost forgotten corners of the house were my targets along with any other hidden, tiny, miscellaneous, corner bits of crud. With my $3.00 doohickey vacuum attachment lethal weapon in hand, there was no recourse. The war was on. I could not stop. It was like some sort of sick addiction. I attacked the vents on the refrigerator, underneath my sink (those spilt coffee grounds had no chance), and yes - the bird seed behind the piano. Then, my obsession became quite funny. I was cackling with laughter at myself. Austynn heard me from his bedroom and asked me if I was ok. I was probably frightening him to be sure. There's nothing unusual with mom vacuuming at strange times throughout the day but to laugh like a witch, he was most likely terrified. I knew I had gone too far. It was time to put my doohickey away for another day. Damn it! I was having so much fun. I am a sick, sad, and twisted individual.

Oh, by the way, I never did find the stupid phone last night but at least I had a darn good time looking for it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fevers, Sour Stomachs, and Little Green Aliens

When children are small there is no questioning as to the validity of their symptoms.  When they have a 102 fever or they're coughing up green aliens, it's pretty much a slam dunk.  The older kids are the questionable ones.  They always seem to have the mystery illnesses, the sour stomachs, the headaches, the constipation - the maladies that can't be verified with a thermometer or a sink full of something gruesome.

Take for instance my 12 year old son, Austynn.  He is a hypochondriac.  If I twist my ankle, he has to have his x-rayed.  It is an unspoken rule in this household that if there's something wrong with you, i.e., a toothache, a minor paper cut, a pinched nerve, you do not - UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH - comment about it in front of Austynn.  If so, after you die and while I'm planning your funeral, Austy will be in my bedroom showing me a developing staff infection under a fingernail from where he was folding a paper airplane. 

Let's pool these paragraphs together shall we?  I have a hypochondriac who hates school and wants nothing better than to stay at home.  Yesterday, his stomach hurt immediately prior to getting into the car.  I snapped at him to be quiet and to stop complaining.  Not one of my better moments but he'd been whining all morning and the prospect of listening to him for another moment was beyond my sanity.  He took two steps towards the car and an entire breakfast sandwich, banana, and cup of milk came flying out of him.  The dogs charged for an instant meal.  Life is gross.  I pushed them back into the house while Austynn looked down and commented that it was a waste of a perfectly good breakfast.  "Go upstairs, Austynn, change into your pj's and put your barfy clothes into the bathtub."

"I told you I was sick, Mom".

Deep sigh.

I remember having this same conversation once with my son, William when he was 8 years old.  I was still a relatively new mom so I had a bit more of an excuse.

"I don't feel so good today, Mom."

"William, the only way you're getting out of school is if you you barf on your teacher."

Less than an hour later I received a phone call from school.  William had vomited on his teacher.  Deep sigh.  Well, I didn't like the woman anyway. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Subject is Boobs

This is a singular topic in that it affects just about everyone.  If you're a man, they turn you on.  If you're a man and they don't, then I suspect you find them intriguing and you probably wouldn't mind having a pair.  (Don't wince, I'm calling it like I see it.)  Women will pay thousands of dollars to enhance their cup size.  Personally, in the past, this tomboy would have paid thousands of dollars to reduce her cup size.  It's all very strange.

In my case, they get in the way.  I've adjusted throughout the years but there are still times when their presence baffles me.  What do I do with them?  Where do they go?  For instance, last Wednesday was my first guitar lesson.  (Yes, this 44 year old is taking guitar lessons and plans on playing "Hey, Jude" sitting in front of my fire pit by summer's end.)  It was awkward at best.  I was sitting in a small room, with a twenty something instructor dude named, Will, on a tiny stool with my ancient, cracked guitar, and the majority of the room filled with my breasts.  My guitar had nowhere to go.  I couldn't get my arms around it.  I think this actually embarrassed the instructor dude.  We had to make up a new style of holding the guitar based on my chest size.  The guitar was even confused.

After years of struggling with this kind of stuff, it's nothing new.  I was very athletic in junior high.  Sports bras?  Are you kidding me?  I couldn't find one in my size.  When I played basketball, I ran up and down the court practically crossing my arms in front of my chest because it hurt to run. I can not count how many bras were broken going down drops on roller coasters.  When I was teased, it was about my bust size.  Not a pleasant joke for someone who was painfully self conscious about it.  I never wore tight shirts.  I never showed cleavage.  I believe I mentioned this in one of my earlier blogs, but I was extremely modest growing up.

So what does a tomboy do when she's given a gift that most girls want?  She hides behind over sized sweaters, extra value meals, and double servings of mashed potatoes.  Eventually those boobs are just part of a bigger body that no one notices or if they do, it's just another fat girl who looks like every other fat girl. 

What an amazing thing a body part can do to a person's self-image.  I'm working past that now.  I realize that I'm a funny, rather extraordinary human being with beautiful eyes and an amazing spirit.  My body is what it is.  If people find it beautiful, terrific.  If not, their loss.  I understand that it's what God has given me.  Some days I stretch out nude before the mirror and realize what horrible things I've done to it.  I've undergone life threatening surgery to take off weight.  Ok, that was stupid.  Move on.  I've starved myself with weight loss treatments, gone through OA programs, physically hurt myself...why?  Exactly, why? 

I'm beautiful.  I don't give a shit how big my boobs are anymore.  Yes, they're big.  Oh well.  Yes, my BMI is high and I've put on some weight since the surgery.  Who the fuck cares?  I'm done with that.  I shouldn't have had the surgery to begin with.  I mutilated my body.  I'm done starving myself.  I'm done counting carbs and worrying about the ounces of meat on my plate.  If I want an ice cream cone, I'm going to have one.  So, take me as I am.  Love me or leave me.  I don't really care.  My boobs are staying as they are.  Eric, you can relax now.  No breast reduction for Breezy.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Not-So-Perfect, Perfect Cup of Love

Sunday mornings are tough for me.  They'd be ok if I wasn't caught up the night before in a game of poker with my neighborhood friends, or waiting for a new SNL (Saturday Night Live) episode, or mesmerized watching LOCKUP RAW marathons on cable.  Last night it was the latter.  So, like many Saturday evenings before, I stayed up past midnight and asked Eric to set the alarm for 4:00am.  Why?

I've made a commitment to my church to sit in their 24 hour Adoration Chapel for an hour every Sunday morning.  If you're not Catholic, this would be difficult to explain.  Just understand that it's something that gives me great joy and that even though it's pre-dawn, I chose this time for a reason.  I've considered trading the hour several times but for reasons that are my own, I will continue making that early drive and sit alone with Him in the quiet morning. 

When I get home I either make breakfast or crawl back into bed.  Since I had stayed at church for Palm Sunday services, I got home late and made breakfast for the troops.  Ok.  After a few hours of sleep and no coffee -- this lunatic housewife was not ready to type a daily blog much less a paragraph.  BED!

That's the nice thing about Sundays in my house.  I have free reign after breakfast.  My husband has the dishes and keeps an eye on the dogs while he's reading the paper.  I can sleep all day if I want to and today, I just about did.  I rolled over in my jeans and t-shirt at 1:00pm to the thought of, "yes, I still have coffee waiting for me!" 

Then, I heard it.  The sound of a microwave.  Thick, size ten, bare feet slapping about on my kitchen tile.  "Mom! Your coffee is ready!"

No!  Austynn didn't do it!  No one knows how to make my coffee except for Eric and it took him intense weeks of training and cups of wasted coffee.  Nooooo!


"Austynn!  What are you doing?"

"I made your coffee mom and some lunch."  Austy proudly opened the microwave oven to show me my double cup coffee bowl and a plate with two blueberry Pop Tarts.  In the background I can hear Eric upstairs gently prodding me to be gracious.

I pulled out the luke warm bowl.

"Taste it, Mom!"  Inside it was something that looked like my coffee; however, it had so much cinnamon sprinkled on top that I would have to scrape it off with a spoon first just for verification purposes.  I asked Austynn how he assembled it lest he wanted to try out something new on me.  Fortunately, he used all of the regular ingredients.  Just a little too much or not enough. 

"It's perfect, Austynn." 

"Are you sure?"

"I'm positive.  You know just how I like my coffee.  Will you share the Pop Tarts with me?"

"Sure, Mom.  I love you so much."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

How Old is Too Old for a Sleep Over?

I don't believe there is a statute of limitations for sleep overs.  In fact, I think I'm due for a good old fashioned one with sleeping bags and munchies but instead of soda pop, I think I'll bring over a bottle of Tequila and a few shot glasses. that I think about about it, a couple of my former slumber parties may have have included alcohol.  Yes.  I think so.  I'll get to that later.

I bring this up because last night there were a couple of them that I know of right here in Thornton, Colorado.  One, here in my home between my son and his best friend, Blake.  Another, several miles away with a young lady turning the magical age of thirteen with six of her best friends sprawled over her living room floor.

Oh my goodness - the madness of having friends spend the night!  I can't imagine that these events have changed much over the years.  Secrets and farts shared.  Horror stories...Bloody Mary in the bathroom mirror.  Light as a feather, stiff as a board.  Sneaking out to toilet paper enemies' homes or stranger's for that matter if we were too young to drive.  Placing hands in bowls of warm water or freezing each other's bras.  Pulling out a Ouija Board and scaring ourselves half to death.

And, as we got older, the parties became more interesting.  On my eighteenth birthday my parents went to a party themselves.  The moment their car pulled out from the driveway, I had several of my best guy friends join us (no clicking tongues or wagging fingers please).  We were good kids.  We did drink though which I suppose was naughty.  Every beer bottle and male visitor was gone before turning back into pumpkins, the clock struck midnight, and well before my parents came home.

So, now that I've gone down memory lane, I do believe it's time once again to pull out the nasty old sleeping bag and call a slumber party together.  So what if "light as a feather stiff as a board" won't work on me anymore (as I've gained a couple of pounds since those days)?  I never did believe in the "Blood Mary" theory but that's ok and if someone freezes my bra they owe me $50.00 bucks (do you have any idea how hard it is to find a bra to fit boobs my size?).  As promised I'll bring a bottle of Tequila and the shot glasses.  Also, I always have bad gas and a lot of secrets.  I know a couple of piss ant kids' homes I'd like to toilet paper and I think I still have my Ouija Board from the good ole' days.  Let's call it...your house or mine? 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Stupid vs Embarrassing

First of all, spell check does not include title lines so I must pull out the actual dictionary to look up the word, "embarrassing".  Sad but true, I can not spell.   I sat down in shame in the 4th grade spelling bee after missing the word, "chocolate".  You would think I'd have an aversion to chocolate after that humiliation.  Not so.  I gobble it down in spite of it.

This morning, thank goodness, I had enough coffee grounds to make my mocha, no whip, 3 Sweet N' Lows with 2 shakes of powdered cinnamon, cup of heaven.  If I hadn't - well, I shudder to think of how my day would have been.  You see, last weekend was difficult and my mind wasn't working on all eight cylinders (as Austynn just gave me a quick lesson on how cars work).  I didn't grind my coffee beans.  Duh!  Today I must go to the grocery store and remedy the situation in hope that they see the desperation in my eyes and the unground coffee beans in my hands.  If not, things could get very ugly.

Trying desperately to clip on sunglasses over glasses that I'm not wearing.  This is stupid in itself but to do it while you're talking to someone teeters dangerously close to embarrassing.  I'm not quite sure how to label this one yet.  I need to consider it a little longer.

Stupid versus embarrassing sometimes can also be defined as to whether or not someone is actually there to see you do the deed.  For instance, yesterday I was looking at the trees in my backyard and stepped in some fresh dog doodie.  That was stupid.  I should have been looking down periodically.  After all, the dogs do poop outside from time to time.  And, as if that wasn't bad enough, while I was walking into the house and listening to a robin sing, I tripped in the patio (obviously I'm not a multi-tasker).  Of course, the first thing I did was to pretend I was in great pain to see if anyone was staring down at me from their bedroom windows (the embarrassment factor).  Since I saw no one, I got up and walked sheepishly into the house (hence, the stupidity factor).

The final stupidity factor..the smell of dog doodie on my kitchen tile.  Perhaps I should have taken my shoes off before I walked inside the house?  Doh!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It Costs Money to Be Sad

So here we were, Eric and I sitting at our dining room table last night and groaning, "What happened?  Where did all our money go?"  Let us recall last weekend to my "deep dark" my nickname for my bouts of bipolar disorder which falls upon the household like a rock. 

Friday was grocery shopping day.  These days usually mean there is nothing, and I mean nothing - no bread, milk, etc., in the house.  I was immobile - locked in a fetal position in a dark room.  If I had a pacifier I probably would have been using it.  Not a pretty picture.  Depression is ugly.  It's debilitating and I do not mean to paint a silly picture of it but sometimes that's all I can do from my stand point.  I can either laugh or cry and I've done my fair share of crying over it.  Could Eric have gone grocery shopping when he had come home from work?  Probably.  Did he want to?  No.  So he scrambled the boys the few eggs we had left and took me out for a quiet bowl of onion soup (no meat on Fridays during Lent for Catholics). 

And this is how the rest of our weekend went.  Quietly.  We did a little shopping here and there as I could handle it and the crowds.  Eric took me to a movie and had me buy some flowers for the backyard.  Things we would normally not do before we sat down and paid our bills. 

Finally I had the strength and courage to face the grocery store.  My depression is at bay for the time being.  My medication is doing its job and last night we could not put off the inevitable any longer, we pulled out the bill box.  Sadness is expensive. My husband held it together while we reconciled one receipt after another.   He has so much patience with me.  I love Eric beyond words.  Everyone has a hero.  What a blessing that mine walks in the door at the end of every day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Banshee is Annoyed

Ok, things really aren't that bad but since Eric has been so sweet lately (and I suspect it's because he knows my monthly schedule better than I do), I need a venue to vent my hysterics...AND THERE ARE SO MANY!

Where the devil is my cell phone?  I've replayed my steps since last Thursday which is the last day I remember using the darn thing.  Since then absolutely no recall.  Friday was my "deep dark", as I tend to call my bouts with depression, so I know I was immobile and Saturday everyone in the house was in power search for it.  The last time I used it was in the car (of course while I was pulled off safely to the side of the road) and then I came home.  Really?!  I'm hopeless.

I'm annoyed that even though I'm drinking a delicious cup of coffee right now it's thwarted by the fact that I ate one - solomente UNO - corn chip while I was making the boys' lunches and that nasty, greasy after taste is hanging on and destroying the sublime flavor of my mocha.  What did I find so satisfying in corn chips when I was younger or just last week for that matter?  They're actually pretty gross or at least they are with coffee anyway.

This thought came to me last night at 2:00am - why do companies change their product packaging without warning?  For instance, feminine protection (gentlemen, please read ahead if this disturbs you).  I purchased the green package at the wholesale store as I always do.  Granted, I didn't stop to double check the exact description but why should I if it's the same brand, color, located in the same spot, and Austynn is being a maniac?  Next thing I know (2:00am last night), they weren't exactly what I was counting on if you know what I mean.  Now I have 76 feminine protection products that I neither like nor will ever use.  Rather difficult to sell at a garage sale.

And finally, on the same vein, please tell me why the olive company decided it was a good idea to add diced jalapenos to their cans of sliced olives?  This is just one more thing I get to watch for when trying to make a macaroni salad.  It sure was fun picking all those seeds and peppers out by hand after the fact. 

Ok, I'm done now.  By the way, Banshee will be gone by Friday but I've asked her to leave you alone for the rest of the week.  Thank you for your patience.  I feel much better now.  Even my coffee tastes good.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Not Quite Right This Morning

Nothing was quite as it was supposed to be this morning.  The alarm went off and we missed it (well, that's actually par for the course).  The Banshee came out for her monthly visit.  Pray for Eric.  I woke up with the melody "Yankee Doodle" rewinding through my head and to make matters worse it was the "placed a noodle in his cap and called it macaroni" version.  It will haunt me all day.  The dishwasher ran late yesterday so there are still dinner dishes in the sink from last night.  Austynn woke up 45 minutes early and requested that I stop what I was doing and feed him breakfast immediately.  Tulip is annoyed with me because I ran out of cookies and she - God forbid - actually had to eat a dog treat.  And finally, while reading one of my prior blogs (I do this every day to set the tone), I caught a ridiculous grammatical/spelling error in the very first sentence.  Why didn't someone tell me?!  It's like walking around in public with my zipper down!

Things have finally settled.  I'm gulping down my coffee with reckless abandon and have taken half a bottle of Midol to ready myself to do battle with Banshee.  Eric was a sweetheart and took William to school so I have to try hard not to let her show her ugly face today. This combination will also, I'm hoping, wreak havoc on the tune in my head.  By the time I'm finished with the caffeine and the medication is coursing through my body, I won't know whether to hum Back in Black or Fur Elise. I told Austy that I will get him breakfast after Bugs Bunny and no sooner.  Good Grief!!!  As if I need to be dictated to by a 12 year old wearing dinosaur camouflage pajamas!  Eric gave Tulip a piece of Ham to make-up for her missing cookie.  She is so spoiled.

Finlly my frends...if i make errs on me blog in the futre i would ask plitly that you notify me as soon as possble.  Is it cold in here?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bastard Guilt

Guilt.  Just the word implies "ugly".  I don't like it.

Ok, let's sweep it under the rug.  Nope.  It's still there.  I know it is because in my anal, obsessive-compulsive mind I'll be thinking about it all damn day.  I'll take a bath but it will ruin it for me.  A walk, fahget about it.  Ok, let's get it out from under the rug and throw it out the window.  No can do.  Now it's in the grass.  It will grow like a weed and ignore the $15 weed spray I purchased at the home improvement store.  Bastard guilt.  I hate it!

Obviously I'm not one of those easy go lucky people who let things bounce off of me.  I was raised to be a martyr.  I came from a family of martyrs...heck, I'm Catholic for Pete's sake.  It's ingrained in us.  Deep breath.

So, what do I do?  I've been fighting it for a week.  I hate doing it but today I have nothing scheduled.  Today I will clean the french windows in the study. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dad's Secret Snore Spy Speech

Growing up family vacations were always a lot of fun but the sleeping arrangements were tough because there were so many of us.  Before my younger brother was born eleven years after myself, we were still a crew of six.  When my parents were younger they couldn't afford the extra or attached hotel room which meant we'd have to hunker down into a single room with two full beds, a roll away, and a sleeping bag taking up every available inch of the discount lodging's not so sanitary floor. 

The kids didn't mind.  It was one big adventure.  It was a family sleepover with benefits.  We could giggle and pretend to be asleep while we watched mom and dad's TV shows out of the corner of our eyes.  The only downfall to this sleeping arrangement was the inevitably that my father fell asleep first.  Even had he not just driven eight hours through Indian Reservations with four kids arguing in the back seat of a station wagon, he still would have fallen asleep first.  It was just his way. 

So once the lights were out and all the dinner gas, giggles, and hissing to be quiet was dispersed, the long night and the difficult process of actually trying to fall asleep began.  Oh the snoring!  My father was the master. 

At home two thick walls separated his nightly symphony yet there were evenings when even my pillows and the walls weren't enough to block the monstrous noise.  He sounded like a bear growling in the forest but here, in the bed right above me, there was nothing I could do.  No living Grizzly was capable of making a roar that loud.  How did my mother sleep through that?  How could I??  How were my siblings sleeping so soundly?  Unbelievable!  So in order to survive and enjoy our vacations I came up with an ingenious sleeping technique, "Dad's Secret Snore Spy Speech". 

Each grunt, each loss of breath (far be it from me to understand he probably had severe Sleep Apnea, poor guy), each wheeze, each exhale, every flap of lips, etc., was a code for some extraordinary mission that I was to accomplish the next day.  So instead of trying to ignore this intense racket, I was listening in rapt attention and, as with everything important, I fell asleep doing this.

My mother used to coach me as a little girl to marry a man just like my father.  Last night, at around 3:00am, I got up to go to the restroom and as I snuggled back deep into my comforter, I heard it.  The Secret Snore Spy Speech.  My mission for today, to go out and buy a box of earplugs and have Eric tested for Sleep Apnea.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Depression is Ugly

Yesterday was a tough day for me.  Even with all the anti-depressant medication coursing through my blood, I couldn't find a way to crawl out from under the darkness.  Depression is ugly.  I sense it when it's coming.  It's like a cold, grey cloud hovering over the horizon.  I think if I could just fill my day with enough coffee and take my Adderall, I will be too hyped up for that cloud to linger over my household.  Perhaps it will take one look at me running hither and thither and say, "No can do.  She's putting out Easter Baskets for Pete's sake!"  Nope.  Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.  I take my meds and drink my extra strong coffee but to no avail.  My body says it's exhausted and every muscle hurts.  I want to crawl into a fetal position and shut my door on everyone and everything.

I do a lot of pretending on these days.  I try to psych myself out.  I say, "Ok, maybe painting my friend's kitchen was just too much for my big ole' body to handle (far be it from me to accept that I was sitting on my fanny painting the lower half and only for about four hours).  Maybe I'm just tired and need a nap (at 9:00am).  I'll sleep for an hour."  Next thing I know it's 1:30 in the afternoon and I have to pick up William from school soon.  The idea of leaving my dark room makes me want to weep and I do.  I'm supposed to bring medication to Austynn's middle school before 2:00pm.  I can't do it.  This would mean I would have to get out of the car and speak to someone.  Impossible. 

My secret is out.  I call Eric at work and tell him what's happening.  He feels awful because I asked him earlier in the day if he'd like to come home.  I didn't say why because I didn't want him to worry.  Sometimes he can leave the office at noon if work is slow and finish up at home.  He couldn't do it yesterday.  I asked him to call Austynn's school and give them a head's up about the medicine.  Austy would be ok.

I eventually made it through the afternoon in bed.  The boys understand what's happening.  I don't lie about it.  They know that I have some dark days from time to time.  I was in the hospital last November for a very bad episode.  When I came out, we talked.  There's no point in closing my bedroom door and pretending it's something that it's not. 

I hate these days.  I feel so helpless and lost.  The recovery time varies.  It's still with me somewhat this morning.  I suppose once I take a shower and plan on shopping at our local warehouse store for bulk toilet paper and pot stickers in quantities of 100, I'll feel much better.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing the droll faces of retired people passing out samples of cranberry vitamin water and 3-cheese tortellini at the end of each well-organized and over-sized merchandise aisle.  I love that place!

Deep breath.  I'm feeling a little better already.  Thank you for reading my serious blog today.  Obviously I'm not always in a silly mood.  But suddenly I'm feeling downright giddy with the prospect of wholesale grocery store madness. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm a Walking Contradiction

Yesterday while I was practicing my painting skills, or lack thereof, on my friend's kitchen walls, we were reminiscing over our youth and childhood (I'm dangerously close to breaking into song from the Sound of Music).  It's amazing how a Jewish girl from Florida and a Catholic girl from California could almost be sisters.  (Yes, it does sound like there should be a punch line but strangely enough, there is not.)

Before I begin, I do owe her an apology.  She mentioned an old friend constantly being insensitive and my comment was that she's toxic and to leave her at the dump.  Then, I immediately turn around and start talking about how an old friend hurt me but that I'd probably forgive her.  What a putz!  (My, I do believe that's Yiddish!)  I'm sorry my dear.  I'm a walking contradiction.  Do not accept any advice I dish out.  And that goes to all my readers.  Never, ever forget the title of my blog...

Back to the friend conversation.  I suppose this was due to come up eventually.  There are probably a few folks out there squirming and thinking, "Oh boy, is she really going to dig this up?"  Yep.  This blog is supposed to be therapeutic so perhaps by the time I'm finished writing, there won't be as much discomfort out there.  By the way, I'm smiling as I type this.  Relax everyone.  It's ok. 

I've never had a problem making and keeping friends.  I have a fairly relaxed attitude and a weird sense of humor as many of you have come to know.  Growing up I tended to hang out within circles of friends.  Many of these same friends I still communicate with on FB today.  Several, in particular, became like sisters to me.  We had each other's clothes in our closets and if the shoes didn't fit, we made them fit damn it!  We knew everything about each other.  We were bridesmaids at each other's weddings and planned on having our babies play together.  Most of us managed to keep that promise but at one point it almost collapsed.

I became the bulls eye for something vicious.  I don't know what was said about me - I never asked.   All I know is that one day, before my wedding to Eric, and after I moved out of my parent's home, I called my friend and tried to give her my new phone number.  After three sad excuses of being too busy, my naive brain finally figured it out.  Oh, she didn't want it.  Heartbreak.  No reason.  No explanation.  She just didn't want it.  Her wedding was coming.  Every one of the "sisters" were in the wedding.  I wasn't even invited.  Heartbreak.  No reason.  No explanation.  Friends that I'd known for years, part of our little circle had stopped communicating with me.  What had I done?  What had I said?  Heartbreak.  No reason.  No explanation.

So yesterday, here I am painting with my new friend whom I truly feel is like another sister.  Laughing hysterically, cussing, sloppin' paint everywhere, commiserating over our special needs children, and I hear myself telling her this story.  A story I hadn't shared with such great detail in over ten years.  Then the most amazing thing came out of my mouth.  I heard myself say, "I love her" and "I wish she were in my life because I miss her so much".  No reason.  No explanation.  Just time, a healed wound, and some forgiveness for an unknown childhood heartbreak.  You can stop squirming now. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

If I Were a Dog What Would I Say?

First of all, this is a dangerous question because I most certainly have antagonists who already have a smart ass answer prepared for me.  Sticks and stones...

If I were Tulip, the two year old female Shih Tzu, I would tell Tank, the two year old male Lhasa Apso, to stop doing the "nasty" at mama's feet this early in the morning.  Come on!  Let her have just a few minutes of peace, PLEASE!

In this particular household it would be the following:

  • I do not like that younger boy's chunky, clunky fingers around my neck at any time of the day.  I need my space.  He may pet me gently between the hours of 8:40am and 2:30pm Mondays through Fridays.  School?  Oh, that's too bad.  Well, then his visiting hours will have to wait for school holidays or summer vacation and then we'll have to work out some sort of compromise.
  • Those other two wild beasts can not be on the bed at any time during my nap.  The room must be dark and I don't want to hear Tulip's snoring.  It can be very disturbing.  I must also have my own pillow free of drool and tree bark.
  • My food bowl and its contents belongs to ME!
  • Those two flying things in the other room frighten me and squawk every time I walk by.  I have a feeling I scare them too.  Maybe it's my eyes?  Perhaps my tongue?  Well, I can't help that.  I'll just stay clear of them to be on the safe side.
  • I like that yellow, chewy, t-bone squeaky toy.  I claim that as my own.  Don't touch it!
  • I've been told that I'm one of the ugliest dogs in the world but I'm beautiful.  I'm loved and I'm safe and that's all that matters.  No one or thing is ugly as long as they're loved.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Take a Deep Breath and Stretch

I knew I couldn't find my computer for a reason.  All it takes is a moment to clean my glasses.  I really have to get use to the process of looking through lenses in the morning.  I had this ridiculous thumb print in the center of my right "goggle" for use of a better term.  I'm sitting here squinting.  How ridiculous.  My apologies, I digress.

There is a reason I'm procrastinating.  I'm stretching myself to do something that's uncomfortable for me this morning.  I've been asked to distribute Holy Communion to a nursing home.  This in itself is not the awkward part.  The nursing
home in question also asks that I offer a church service including a commentary or homily on the daily bible scriptures.  This is just not my thing.  Thinking about it makes me want to crawl back into bed and call in sick.  No can do amiga. 

So, this got me thinking about the things I've pushed myself to do in the last several years.  Yes, I've felt nervous about them.  Could I have crawled back into bed?  Sure - but I would have missed out on some amazing moments.

My wedding day to Eric.  I was petrified!  I thought, how could I get married again?  I screwed up royally the first time and I wasn't prepared to hurt my best friend and ruin his life.  Walking down the gang plank towards the boat (we were married on the Colorado River), I was ready to turn and run.  I even had two strange, drunken dudes from the beach party below try to talk me out of it (they were doing a pretty good job too).  No.  I took a deep breath.  I ignored the king sized hotel bed calling my name (by this time scattered with rose petals) and boarded the boat to my destiny and the best decision of my life.

Adopting my boys.  Eric and I could have taken the safe route.  We could have adopted infants or not have adopted at all.  We knew the boys had horrific backgrounds and a lot of emotional problems.  You would be amazed at who and how many people tried to talk us out of our decisions.  We prayed, talked, cried, and jumped in with our eyes wide open.  It's been hard.  I won't lie about that.  We have a very difficult road ahead of us; however, God would have never given us the boys if He didn't think we could manage somehow.  We love them.  We wouldn't change a thing.

I was laid off from work, Eric quit his job, we pick up and move to a state without any prospect of employment, buy a beautiful new home and just hang out for awhile looking for jobs.  I'm thinking that was kind of nervy.  No family, a friend over fifty miles away and we're totally laid back and relaxed.  I think this reflected our Southern California roots just a wee bit.  What do you think?

Geez, all of a sudden this blog has become way too serious (in a good way, I suppose).  I have the cajones - well, not really - to get married to my best friend, adopt two special needs brothers who require an amazing amount of attention, move from everyone and everything and start up a new life in Colorado.  I think I'm pretty good at stretching myself to do things which may be a little frightening or a tad bit uncomfortable. 

I can't even imagine what my life would be like if I went back to bed and hid under the covers.  It would be so damn boring.  I guess I'd better stop rambling and get ready for the nursing home.  If I can do this stuff I can certainly talk about scriptures for a few minutes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Damn the Alarm Clock!

Why can't the alarm clock go off in the morning like it's supposed to?  Seriously?  Why do I have to roll over in a state of cozy bliss, scramble to pull myself up and over Eric's shoulders to peak at the time, subtract the ten minutes that my husband adds to outsmart our brains into thinking we're early, and then realize how late we actually are?  Shit!

Bri:     (accusatorily)  Didn't you set the alarm clock last night?

Eric:    (groggily) I thought I did... (jumps out of bed)  What the fu...

Bri:     What do you mean, "you thought you did"?  You either did or you didn't!  (state of cozy bliss has moved on to state of irritation and bitchy hag nagginess)

After fifteen years of marriage, Eric knows that this state of bitchy hag nagginess will only last moments and decides to let it ride its course.  Better not to say a word and let the dogs cheer me up.  He leaves the room in his underwear to wake up William who only has ten minutes to get ready for school.  Bri watches Eric's droopy drawers walking away and starts giggling.  Her bitchy hag nagginess has left the building.

Eric:    (Returns from William's room)  I'll take William to school.  By the way, he's complaining that he has gas cramps and can't go.

Bri:    (Being the ever maternal and genteel ladylike figure of the household, she hollers from her bedroom to William's) You're not staying home because you have gas, Will.  We'll give you two minutes to lay on your belly and fart.  After that, it's Gas-X, a Pop-Tart, and out the door! 

Eric:    Nice!

Bri:     Hey, you know it!  Thanks for taking him to school, Potsie.  I forgive you for the alarm clock. (giggles)  I love you.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mid-Life Crisis is a Bunch of Crap

A few days ago I found myself needlessly roaming around a world import store.  Actually I shouldn't say, "needlessly".  I'm never caught dead shopping for anything other than groceries without some sort of purpose.  I had found some Italian coffee syrups for a friend's birthday and did not want to go back to my car right away.  My boys had just been to a video game shop and were discussing in great depth the art of destroying battle tanks.  I needed a break even if it meant "shopping" per se. 

So there I was, in a store on pay day, when it suddenly occurred to me that this place had some really cool stuff.  Imagine my joy as I walked along the aisles and found beautiful, bright, beaded purses and funky, dangly earrings, and all sorts of things I'd love to buy; however, with money being as tight as it is, I settled for the $20.00 Indonesian purse and $4.00 earrings made from who knows where (probably the back office). 

After 40 minutes of leaving the boys to discuss the joys of video battle games, I came back to the car wearing/carrying my new found exotic treasures and the first thing out of their mouths was, "you look like you're trying to be a teenage hippie."  Nice.  Brats.  For once I buy something I like, and they accuse me of being a sixteen year old flower child.  "Stop talking about battle games in front of me or I'll make you take that stupid video game back!"  There!  That will teach them to hurt my feelings. Hmmmfff!

Was I trying to look like a teenage hippie?  Was I going through a mid-life crisis?  After all, I am starting guitar lessons this week.  Who does that at 44?  I've come a long way from the days of plaid skirts and ruffled blouses. What was I trying to prove and to whom?  Nothing.  After deep and intense consideration during the long ten minute drive home this was my conclusion...

Mid-life crisis is a bunch of crap.  There's no such thing.  The reason that 40-somethings start buying funky clothes, or fast red cars, or get their noses fixed, etc.,  is because these are the things they wanted to do when they were young and for one reason or another couldn't.  For instance, I was too self-conscious to be that liberal hippie in high school.  I was too uptight.  I was afraid of what my conservative parents would think.  I was a pleaser.  I couldn't branch out on my own.  My first husband was a long-haired, hippie pagan dude so in a way, I suppose, I was challenging my 12 years of Catholic school upbringing.  Unfortunately for him I didn't consider the ramifications of what I was doing.  I wasn't ready to face my skeletons.  I married him for the wrong reasons and tried to adapt him to fit into the same conservative environment that I was raised into.  Wrong.  Divorce paperwork.  Sign at the dotted line.  I'm so sorry.

It's sort of the same thing with people getting nose jobs and fast cars.  It could be the self-confidence factor or now just possibly because they can afford it.  People in their 40's aren't worried about getting older.  I believe they have the opportunities or the self-confidence they didn't have when they were younger.  The only questionable factor is the men who leave their wives for younger women.  This one baffles me.  Are these guys idiots?  I mean, really!  Do they truly believe younger women find their receding hairlines and muffin tops attractive?  These young ladies (???)  know that the older guys can afford to give them stuff.  That's all.  Here's the real stupidity factor - the older guys' wives, even though our boobs may not be as perky, we totally have it going on in the bedroom.  40 year old women know what they want and how to get it.  So in my opinion ladies, if your man leaves you for a younger woman, don't mope.  He's the ultimate loser.  You get the house, the kids (well, sorry), a really good financial settlement, and you can totally go out and be a Couger.  The secret is out - 40 year old women are hot! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Foresight and a Fire Pit

Last night the boys, Eric, and I enjoyed our first outdoor meal of the season complete with plastic table cloth and flies hovering over the macaroni salad. Afterwards, we finished off the evening with ghost stories and ice cream cones sitting around the fire pit. I frightened Austy half to death with stories of suburban werewolves. Bad mama; however, it couldn't be helped.  Something always comes over me when I have a flashlight under my chin.  I often scare myself half to death much less the kids.

This gave me pause to think about all the lovely things we do as a family but don’t do often enough. The evening gave our boys so much happiness. It didn’t take a lot of planning just a couple of trips up and down the basement to get the outdoor table and chairs. Forcing William, our fifteen year old, out of his room is always a bit of a challenge but once he was out, we knew he'd have a nice time.  The fire pit probably could have waited for a night when the winds weren't gusting over 25 miles an hour.  Foresight is always a blessing but at least we didn't catch the dry, weed ridden park across the street on fire again (another day, another blog).

We do have some great memories together. Certainly there are the typical amusement park vacations and the road trips through Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore but there are also the more intimate memories.  The Friday nights sitting around the kitchen table playing games.  Packing up the cooler and taking last minute drives into the Rockies, finding a river, and letting the boys play in the afternoon sunshine.  Long, lazy Autumn bike rides.  Reading the Lord of the Ring Trilogy to the boys during one particularly hot and steamy summer a couple of years ago.  So many good times.  What happened?

I know.  Game Boys.  Wiis.  Play Stations.  E-readers...and yes, mom's notorious need to conquer Cooking Academy 2 World Cuisine.

No more!  I have been collecting things to do in the Denver area from magazines and other sources for some time now.  I will no longer use the excuse that we can't afford it (well, we really can't but that's beside the point).  I vow to do the following:

  • I will no longer allow Austy to "repair" the bicycles so that we will have working bikes to ride.
  • William will keep his shutters open during daylight hours so I will not be so concerned about him becoming a vampire.
  • I will continue to be annoyed with Eric for purchasing William's E-reader without dual parental consent and have William turn in said E-reader at any and all family sponsored events.
  • Austynn may continue to play his Gameboy during long, extended drives to give mom and dad much needed silence.
  • Eric and I will make it a point to play more games, be more patient, and be open to the silly, goofy, spur of the moment madness which makes our family the unique group of individuals that we've become. 
  • And finally and most importantly...I will no longer feel the need to conquer the world with my cooking skills. It is a silly, stupid game and I HATE IT!






Saturday, April 2, 2011

Psychoanalyzing a Bowl of Pasta Salad

I woke up with one of those dreams where I knew I needed to share it with someone.  Eric is still asleep so you, my friends of the Internet world, get to mull it over with me as I sit here with my perfect cup of coffee.  I suppose I could discuss it with Austynn; however, he may actually break it down correctly and I'm not in the mood to be psychoanalyzed by a twelve year old for three hours.

Ok, here it goes...I'm back in California, my home state.  I'm on the way to a cousin's picnic.  When I say, "cousins picnic", I must offer some sort of explanation.  These picnics are always on my mother's side of the family.  My grandparents had eight children.  My aunts and uncles averaged four to five children each.  My cousins are all adults and average two to five children each.  And there are a lot of great-grand babies.  I can't even name most of them any more.  Heck, I'm lucky if I remember my distant cousin's names.  You get the picture.  It's a baseball stadium of people. 

I always felt awkward at these picnics.  I tried to hang around the few cousins I knew best but as I grew older, it was more and more difficult.  All of these cousins had babies and I'm just not a baby person.  "Oh, baby.  Sweet.  She just barfed.  Here you go."  Hand her back.  Also, because I inherited my father's lovely dry sense of humor, I had such a hard time communicating with people.  I'm a tomboy at heart and desperately wanted to hang out with my dad and uncles playing poker.  Nope.  Go talk with your aunts.  Uggghh.

The dream.  I was heading to the park with my older sister, Ellen.  Some background.  Growing up, I aspired to be like her.  She's the oldest of the family.  Smart as a whip.  Funny, quirky, and at these picnics, flows in and out seamlessly.  If she had a choice, she'd go.  I was crammed in the backseat with one of my cousins.  My brother Jim was in the front and between him and Ellen was this gi-normous bowl of macaroni salad for the buffet line.  Oh my gosh!!!  I forgot my salad!  It was sitting on mom's counter.  My offering looked nothing like Ellen's -- it never did.  Mine was a quarter of the size.  Just a regular 'ole bowl of elbow macaroni salad with olives, pickles, and mayonnaise.  Hers was was taken out of the pages of Sunset Magazine.  It was lovely.  There were chunks of cooked andouille sausage, some beautiful fresh herbs, and Italian noodles from an import store.  When I asked to turn around, I was told that there would be plenty of food and to not worry about my little salad.

And then, in my dream it occurred to me.  Revelation.  In California, I will always be Richard and Maryellen's daughter.  Though there's nothing wrong with this there's a certain level of behavior that comes from being their daughter that I don't like having to respond to.  I'm Ellen's sister.  I'm not the fun one at the party or the one who makes the best food - I'm just her sister.  I was always the fat one in the family.  I was the awkward one at the family parties.   I couldn't just be me.  

A miracle happened once I settled down with my family in Colorado.  I wasn't looking over my shoulder anymore and worrying about my little bowl of pasta salad.  I didn't feel like I had to go to parties or picnics to make my mother happy or pretend to be the chatty, happy cousin that I never really was. I could go to parties and be grumpy and my friends would totally get me.  I have friends that if their baby barfs on me, I can laugh and say, "No way, take this monster off my hands before I toss her in the sink!" and not offend anyone or have them call Child Protective Services.  I can bring the most disgusting appetizer on earth and they'll tell me it's the most disgusting appetizer on earth.  I like that.  No pretending.  I am who I am. 

Finally, (this made me sad so I won't use names), someone I've known my entire life from California was chatting with me a few months ago and told me she could tell I was on medication because I sounded "weird" on the phone.  When I hung up I wanted to cry.  I wasn't on medication.  I was happy.  I was genuinely happy that I was talking to her.  She didn't know me at all.

For the first time in my life, I feel completely free.  So it took me three states, 1200 miles, and a weird dream to figure that out.  Heck, I could have saved a lot of money on therapy a few years ago.  Also, I'm glad I didn't ask Austy to help diagnose me.  Instead of three hours, it only took several paragraphs.  Who knew that psychoanalyzing a bowl of pasta salad would save me so much time and money?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Life is Gross

Ironically this had nothing to do at all with what I was planning to blog about this morning.  It just so happens to be the first thought that popped into my mind when I started typing.  When this happens, I figure, what the Hell, I guess I'd better go with it.

It probably had something to do with my dog, Tulip.  You see, when I sit down at the computer in the morning each of the dogs must have their place.  Tank, the larger and heavier one (hence his name), lies in a doggie bed at my feet. Tulip or Tootie, my Shih Tzu, loves to snuggle up in a baby carrier on my belly.  This sounds sweet or weird or goofy or anything else you can think of depending on whether you hate or love dogs.  Here's the nasty part, she's a licker.  This morning she found my mouth while I was yawning.  Yes, gross.  On the positive side, I did brush her teeth yesterday.

Life happens.  I spray.  I disinfect.  I use hand sanitizer but somewhere along the way sanity must kick in and say, "it's ok to let your kids play in the mud or let your dogs sleep in your bed".

My kids are pretty darn healthy (knock on wood).  I don't go overboard with stuff.  If something disgusting happens, I usually laugh.  Our mantra in this house is, "life is gross, get over it!" 

I've worked in nursing homes and volunteered with Hospice.  I've been present at the beginning of life, held death's hand, and been witness to a lot of humanity in between.  Life is interesting, messy, and yes at times - gross.  Laugh at those times.  Just be ready with the hand sanitizer, or in my case this morning, a bottle of mouthwash.