Category Archives: parenting

Welcome Home

Prepping the welcome wagon

My daughter is home for a short break, which just happens to be the perfect cure for Batshit Crazy.

The weekend started Friday with a big turkey dinner including all the trimmings and a side of pumpkin pie. Oh, I’m not cooking a meal like this with the damn air on for just anyone … just my starving daughter.  

My daughter’s review of the new multi-million dollar food hall on campus would go something like this…If you’re looking to lose weight this is your ticket. Yep, you can enjoy the new retro styled decor while the scent of “disgusting & gross meat” cooked in water passes your nostrils and immediately takes away your appetite. Needless to say my home is an all-night diner when she is home.

Heirloom Tomatoes & Pesto …. it should be a crime to be this GOOD

Saturday was spent on a spontaneous trip to downtown Philly. We shared an heirloom tomato and pesto pizza at Stella’s, an amazing brick oven place in Old City. It was a beautiful afternoon, so we chose to sit outside to people watch, while we enjoyed some much-needed relationship conversation. “Enjoyed” is probably a bit strong. 

My darling daughter is going through the post break-up woes. She recently ended a 4 year relationship with her first love. Insert cheering crowds, clowns, balloons, perhaps a marching band, some dancers, banners, flags and of course my joy. 

It was the typical first love where you fall hard, despite the obvious signs of relationship Armageddon that the rest of the world is witnessing. Gotta love those damn Love Goggles!

Trying to convince your daughter that you know what she is going through, you know exactly how she feels and that you are living proof things will be better, is painfully difficult. No one and I mean NO ONE tells you about dealing with this shit at the baby shower… it’s not all freaking Ooos & Ahhhs is it?  

This leaves me with the pleasure of sitting on pins and needles with my mouth shut, as I pray for her healing heart. Suddenly breastfeeding and dirty diapers are looking pretty good. 

No sails due to weather…boo.

After lunch we walked off that heavy conversation, oh yea and the pizza, by heading over to Penn’s Landing. What a pleasant surprise we had when we came across the visitation of Tall Ships to our port.

We really had a lovely time walking, talking, listening to music and taking in all the incredible sights, including two young pirates kissing on a bench. It’s amazing how quickly your troubles disappear when you get outside of yourself.  

Next on the agenda a trip to Capogiro a/k/a Heaven on Earth, for our gelato fix of the season. We were holding vigil in the car on the way to our destination, in hopes that they would have our most favorite flavor for Fall…Pumpkin. 

“Mom! OMG! I can’t leave you alone for a minute…lol”

The gelato gods heard our plea and we enjoyed every last spoonful of heaven in a cup. If  anyone was listening to the sounds coming from the car, consumption of pumpkin gelato may not have been their first thought. Life was getting better by the minute.

While Emily was in making our score, I had the pleasure of meeting Daryl. I was illegally parked when he tapped on my window to let me know a spot just opened up. He was so nice and drunk as a dam skunk, as he guided me into a ticket-free zone. Thanks Daryl that was the best 2 bucks I spent today! 

Fairy Godmother

As we were leaving the city we saw heard some yelling as we sat at the red light. Low and behold it was this wonderful woman shouting “you don’t need no man to make you happy” and “cigarettes killed my sister” not really certain if the 2 were related, but it was good advice none the less.

It’s not everyday this sort of wisdom lands in your lap at a red light. She was wearing a Jesus Loves You hat, sequined top with a gold skirt…clearly a Fairy Godmother. 

Sunday was spent at the King of Prussia Mall boosting the economy. Honestly, there really is no shame in a little emotional shopping. Hey, a new pair of shoes does wonders for a young broken heart. Not to mention the joy it brought me to see my daughter smiling.

The mecca of retail therapy

Just a collective observation, the recession was nowhere to be found at this mall. It was jam-packed and everyone had a bag or two. It was like being in group retail therapy. 

If your brave enough to let go, life will reward you with something new to experience…Enjoy the Ride!

Grandmas Gone Wild

As I sat in the waiting room of the doctor with my mother, a conversation developed over a new photograph hanging on the wall. It was the doctor’s two beautiful daughters, who just happen to be part of the Olympic Field Hockey Team.

We were all expressing how happy we were for these young women and of course, how proud the doctor must be of their accomplishments. Personally, I was wondering…how the heck do you get not one, but two of these kids?  

I was laughing to myself thinking about the sport careers of my kids, which was pretty much null & void. My son was 5 years old when his T-ball career began, but his heart was never really into it after the first practice when he ran over to me with his little angry face and boldly stated …”I don’t like it mom, that guy thinks he’s the boss of every body!” Um, the coach? Olympics were pretty much out of the picture at that point.

Not only are these young ladies exceptional athletes, they both attend Princeton University, they are beautiful and hold on to your seats…they are nice. Hmm…I started to notice a change in the room..something was brewing.

The room got quiet, the twitching started and the conversation took a 360 as the Brag Books started to surface. Oh, it was a full-blown episode of….Grandma’s Gone Wild!

Almost in unison they were thinking…Ok, enough about these golden children, let me tell you about little Bobby & sweet Susie. Suddenly the gloves were off and these little grey haired women were foaming at the mouth as they waited for the bragging to begin. Bring it on ladies, bring it on!

Across the room one woman laid out her granddaughter ‘s entire softball career, including her devastating loss at State Champs this Summer. Apparently loosing at State Champs is much different from just regular ole loosing, especially when your grandma is telling the story. 

Then *BAM* in the left corner we have a West Point Cadet, who didn’t even require an interview. Why? Because he was just that wonderful. Over in the right hand corner we now have a 17-year-old freshman at the University of Chicago and we end the show with a grandson who plays that game “where you kick the ball.” You better believe he was the best ball kicker anyone has ever seen.

Clearly competitiveness has no age limits, not in this waiting room any way. Feeble grandmothers suddenly have blood thirsty fangs as they try to out trump one another for the best grandchild on the planet award right before our eyes.

It was getting very heated, especially after the West Point cadet, that certainly seemed to raise some eyebrows. I decided to take inventory…ok, 2 canes and a walker…hmm this could get ugly!

The winner was clearly chemo grandma who slammed everyone down. Not only is she the mother of genius children, they both married genius spouses who just also happen to have genius parents. The kind of parents that helped design the Atom Bomb. I know that card couldn’t wait to jump out of the deck. 

So what happens when genius sperm meet genius eggs? They spawn super geniuses who are at the top of their classes at the best universities in the world. Of course they could be on magazine covers with their stunning looks, but their brains are much too large to waste on such nonsense, they chose to save the world instead. You could hear a pin drop as she continued to take down the opposition. POW… WOW… SHABAM!

Just as the nurse came out to retrieve this Super G-Mom she slowly got out of the chair. Faced the room and let us all know they also have a grandmother who kicked cancers’ ass … TWICE! Dam! She certainly knew how to close a show.

My mom just looked at me and said “when you really have the best, you don’t have to say a word.” Slam dunk!  As if I didn’t already know…Enjoy the Ride! 

HOPE

Recently I was presented with a challenge by Miss Four Eyes to write a post about HOPE. I was given this honor in response to my recent post Democracy Is Alive which was regarding a Grassroots effort to save a piece of Open Space near my home and the HOPE that we would be successful in our efforts.

What she didn’t know was something happened between then and now that resonated the highest form of HOPE.

In the very early hours of Monday morning, a very dear person in my life, lost her daughter in an automobile accident.

At 18 years old “Sammi” was full of life, vigor & HOPE. The reality is she experienced more than most in her short life, but throughout it all she never lost HOPE.

She HOPED to turn her life around and she did just that when she graduated in June with honors.

She HOPED that she would have the opportunity to be proud of her accomplishments and she did just that when she purchased her first car and moved into her own apartment.

She HOPED that everyone would just love each other and that love was evident at her funeral yesterday where there was not an empty seat in the church.

I went to visit my friend to express my condolences, however I was the one being consoled. This woman just lost her daughter, yet she was some how at peace. She explained that up until a few hours earlier she couldn’t fathom living another moment, but then something amazing happened. HOPE?

She was told by police earlier in the day that when they approached the accident there was one dead deer at the scene, however another deer was standing next to her daughter, protecting her until the authorities arrived.

A glimmer of HOPE …

Next she went to her childhood church where the services would be held. At this point she was overcome with the unknown answers to her questions. Where is Sammi? Why can’t I feel her? Is she safe? Little did she know those questions were about to be answered.

HOPE is moving in…

It was suggested that she take a moment to visit the new Prayer Garden around back. As she entered the gate she was feeling a pull to go to the right. At first she was fighting the urge because the brick path was heading in the other direction, but she gave in and followed her instinct.

HOPE is getting brighter…

Just when she thought nothing could ever give her peace, she looked down to discover (3) statutes. One deer standing, one lying down and an angel sitting between the two.

Standing in awe at the foot of the statues a large bight yellow butterfly began flying around her, to the point of her letting out a typical mom statement of “I know, ok, ok I see you!”  Sammi?

HOPE is in the shadow…

The butterfly took a seat on her shoulder as she walked to the back of the garden where a large statue of the Blessed Mother stood, she realized Sammi was indeed in good hands.

HOPE is now a reality. 

Please keep my dear friend in a positive light in HOPE that she continues to have the peace she needs to get through each day.

I would like to pass this journey of HOPE onto a wonderful fellow Blogger who holds HOPE at its highest when it pertains to the treatment of animals. She is Susannah and her recent post Take Shelter is just one of her many posts that expresses her diligence towards the injustices against animals.

Have HOPE and Enjoy The Ride! 

Zaaaaaac’s Mooooom!

LAUGHTER: the experience or manifestation of mirth, amusement, scorn, or joy.

I love to laugh and it’s no secret that I enjoy making others join right in on the silliness. Over the past few weeks, mostly though writing this blog, I’ve been having flashbacks of different times in my life when the laughter took over into nothing short of hysteria.

My very first memory of this happening was in my 3rd grade classroom. I sat next to Philip Shreiber. Ah, Philip had one of those faces that always lit up like a cartoon. You actually can be born animated, Philip was living proof. Philip always appeared to be on the brink of laughter, which of course is contagious, especially in a  restricted environment like a Catholic school classroom.

That’s all it ever took was eye contact to get the giggles going. Well, all I remember about this day was he pointed at me with his shoe and we both lost complete control. I’m so easy.

Sister Marie Donald one of the good ones asked us to refrain, which as we all know is impossible. We were summoned to the back of the room like 2 criminals, along with ALL of the belongings in our desk. Just for added humiliation, because that’s how Catholics’ roll. One would think that would be enough to stop the insanity in its tracks, but it actually made it worse. Looking pathetic is also hilarious. 

Philip was then incarcerated into the closet and I was exiled to the corner. To this day I laugh thinking about the snickers from behind the closed closet door.  The longer it went on, the harder the laughter. Somethings never change now do they?  

After our return to civilization we were separated. I’m glad we never had to explain what was so funny, lord knows “he was pointing with his shoe” sounds very lame after the fact.

In my unauthorized research, I have concluded that this sort of hysteria laughter generally occurs in unacceptable locations or at inappropriate times, which just seems to enhance the intensity.

Now, what I am about to share is 100% true and parental discretion is advised.

Both of our children started taking martial arts when they were 8 & 10 with some other children on the block. Apparently not ALL the children.

Building self-esteem, 45 minute classes held 3 times a week that we didn’t have to stay and be bored watch, it was a parental dream come true.  Judge away, it was the best $99 we ever spent…a win win if you will. 

So what do young parents do when the house is empty? They get it on of course, without having to muffle the sounds of their pleasure. Bring on the sexual circus we have 45 minutes to get this done! 

Let me set the scene for you..the season is Summer, the windows are open and we live in a row home. Scary combination for many reasons, but especially for what is about to happen.

Just as things got started under the Big Top there was a knock at the door. In moments like this, the whole men are from mars, women are from venus thing becomes crystal clear.

Me: It must be the police letting us know something happened to one of the kids. Him: Acute deafness sets in. Perhaps if I was with someone from my own planet, things would have turned out very differently. 

Me: Are you going to see who that is? Him: What?  The knocking continues and my eyes are like saucers as the hubby peeks to see who dares to interrupt his good time.

Him: It’s Jeff (a kid) returning that movie. Now, where were we…The knocking was endless. This kid was determined to return the dam movie!

Me: Let me answer the door. Him: No, just focus come on he’ll leave. Me: Focus? The giggles start. 

Kid: Zaaaaaac’s Moooooom are you in there? Me: Lost it! Laughing out loud. Busting a gut is an understatement. 

Him: Very close to a pivotal moment. Me: Busted out in full-fledged laughter. Kid: Zac’s mom I know you’re in there I can hear you laughing. Laying there like a porpoise, laughing like a hyena…looking as unsexy as one could possibly look at any given time. 

Him: Jumps up to look out the window while mumbling something about how he can’t wait to ruin the kid’s sex life one day. The visual will be forever etched in my mind.

Me: Complete hysteria, there is no coming back. Him: Sweating and pleading..Please just stay with me…focus. Ok, am I in a bed or clinging to a life raft in the middle of ocean?

Me: Laughing so hard I can’t even form words, let alone FOCUS.

Kid: Zaaaaaaaaaac’s mooooooooom …….I can still hear you laughing. I may have died and come back at this point..I remember a light.

Him: Mission accomplished. Me: Still laughing from under the pillow that somehow found its way over my face. Suddenly felt the need for a cigarette and I don’t smoke.

So, what’s the moral of this wonderful piece of literature you ask? Life is full of unexpected opportunities, challenges and change. How you respond is the key to your happiness. So..keep it light, keep it happy and just … Enjoy the Ride! 

The Car


Have you eve had a day where you swear a group of comedy writers must be controlling your every move? A day that leaves you shaking your head at the insanity of events? Hey, where’s my check? I earned it!

I recently had the pleasure of  having a day that could have easily been written by a team of Seinfeld writers and simply titled The Car. My son was on vacation with his friend and we were left with the task of finishing the deal on the purchase of his car. Yes, there is something seriously wrong with that last sentence.

While at the bank withdrawing my son’s life savings, I realized the car parked next to me was a 196o something Chevy Impala, the same car that my brother had when I was growing up. He passed on, so I was sort of having a moment. I must have been in deep thought because I never noticed that the owner was now standing next to me.

First thing out of his mouth was “you know this car loves the ladies.”  I turned my head and was greeted by the huge smile of a man dressed in red, from the hat on his head to the shoes on his feet. Cee Lo…is that you?  

There I stood having a conversation with a I hope for everyone’s sake Cee Lo impersonator about old cars for one reason…entertainment. Well folks, I’m pleased to announce he did not disappoint.

He broke the ice with this line …”you know I asked my wife if she would leave me if I hit the lottery and gave her half and she said yes! So, I got a scratch-off, hit for 12 bucks, gave her 6 and told her to get out…hahahahahaha!”  The outfit alone could have gotten him an invite to dinner, but that line..whew, that guaranteed him a seat at the head of the table!  He gave me his business card, for reasons unknown to me and we parted ways.

On the way to get the car I was telling my husband all about “Cee Lo.” Which was followed by a very serious…”can’t you just go to the bank like a normal person?”  The answer to that question would be “no” not when a Cee Lo look-alike is there at the same time. Seriously, would I ever get that opportunity again?  

Throughout the entire ordeal with this car we were dealing with the owner’s son. Just imagine Cam from Modern Family. We would be meeting him and his mother to finish the purchase. Well, when “Cam” came over to our truck to introduce himself he appeared to be alone. So, naturally I inquired as to the whereabouts of his mother, only to get the face of surprise along the words “right here.” For the love of god this woman was the size of the hood ornament! 

Needless to say I could just about contain myself on the way to transfer the tags when I couldn’t even see her in the car.  I couldn’t help it, this is one of those things that struck me as funny and I was slowly loosing control of my outburst. Deep breaths, think of sad things, get rid of the smile. Now get in there and transfer those tags! 

Well, that lasted for approximately 2 seconds after Rita came over to shake my hand and I could see the entire top of her head. In this moment it was confirmed that I am indeed a Sasquatch. 

Now, it’s no secret I have man hands, which has its perks, however this was not one. As I reached in for the shake I realized I am about to crush the hand of a senior citizen. Visual: Baseball mitt takes on a crab claw…never a happy ending. I pulled back just in time to just pinch her hand and spare her a broken bones.

The transaction wrapped up without incident, until we saw the mother & son duo battling it out in the parking lot over a trip to the AC Casino with the envelope of cash. She may be small, but she was apparently a high-roller leaving my son 10.00 of quarters in the ashtray. Cha-ching! 

Life is unpredictable so find the humor and Enjoy the Ride!

Don’t Shoot The Messenger

Here’s my story sad but true.

Nine, yes 9 glorious days ago, I geared myself up to increase my physical activity level from ZERO to at least a THREE by the end of the month. Considering that the temperatures outside have reached the Fires of Hell level, I opted to begin my journey in the comforts of my own home with the Wii Fit.

Easy enough…right?

Increasing my exercise level was nothing compared to hooking up the dam thing to get started. Both kids were at the shore, so I was left to master this on my own. I did break a sweat, but it was mainly from cursing at my frustration. If there were a calorie burn for cursing, I would be on the cover of Vogue.

I was so frustrated I had to call the Help Desk, you guessed it….the KIDS. Of course no one answers my crys for help and endless calls. This is very strange considering their life source phones usually need to be surgically removed from their hands at home. 

So, what’s a mother to do? This mother has NO shame, she called one of their friends. Interesting how my phone rings to tell me…Mom! stop calling my friends you’re so embarrassing! No, embarrassing would have been having the kid come over when I looked like a Sea Hag as I tried to hook this dam thing up!

First question from the teenage friend….Lisa, is it plugged in?  After I kindly reminded him of my brilliance, he walked me through it and it still did not work. The husband fixed it in 3 seconds, but I didn’t ask him for 2 days later…I was determined avoiding. 

Alright, time to blow the dust off those sneakers and get this party started!

Now, in order to get started you have to make a little character of yourself called a Mii and design it accordingly. I was starting fresh, so I created a new Mii. Her name is “Mom” so lame I know with brown hair and a pony tail. Note to self: Do not create an image of yourself when you are feeling like shit. 

Lequita, my alter ego Mii, is african american with blonde hair, pink lipstick an a ton of sassiness. Sort of like Niki Minaj without the boobs. I’m sure she will cheer “Mom” on from the sidelines. Lequita is so badass. 

Day One:  I step onto the Wii Fit board and it says “Ugh!” in a condescending voice. I get off and get back on only to hear “Ooo! Are you serious? There is something very unnerving about being virtually mocked.

Day Two:  The board is still mocking me, but now it gets personal. For some reason my scores are horrible. When I was Laquita I was killing it with my scores in the hundreds, now I’m barely getting 80. Low scores = whomp whomp sounds along with “Mom” hanging her head in shame. I’m really not feeling the love here Nintendo! 

PRETTY SURE MINE IS HAVING A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.

Day Three:  Still chugging along without any progress on my scores. The Geisha Girl voice on this game is now equivalent to nails on a chalkboard as she says, “Oh, you seem to be unbalanced.”  Now I feel like I’m at the nail salon, but I can actually understand what everyone is talking about…”feet like man” or in this case…couch potato.

Day Four:  Sweating like a pig as I continue to be baffled by my inability to increase these scores!!!! Then it happens THE VOICE has the nerve to say “working on your core muscles every day will help you with your balance.” Stick your core and your muscles up your ass! What the hell do you think I’ve been doing? 

Day Five: I decided to switch things up and do the program after work. There I was on the board in the middle of sucking at my attempt at virtual slalom skiing, when my son walked in the room. “Oh, let me try I haven’t done this in a long time.” Ok, but it’s really hard. “Yea I guess it is when you have the board backward!”  Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! So, for FIVE days this bitch couldn’t once say…TURN THE BOARD AROUND! 

Day Six through today:  I am kicking some Wii Fit ass and surpassing my daughter’s scores! The Geisha Girl is still a condescending bitch and I can not guarantee her safety at this point.

The lesson here folks….Don’t Shoot The Messenger, or in this case bludgeon a video game for speaking the truth. Instead I am grateful that this game was made in Japan and therefore very polite. If this game was made in the United States, there is a very good chance I would have heard “Dam girl, you need to give a game a warning before stepping your fat ass onboard!” 

Look at the bright side and of course…Enjoy the Ride! 


Memory Lane Has Pot Holes


Kids! I just love when my kids think I am doing something to embarrass them in public. For the love of God I was raised by the King of embarrassment, I couldn’t even come close.

Over the years my kids have told me “you’re so embarrassing” about things that aren’t even recognized on the humiliation meter. If someone has a birthday cake in their cart at the supermarket, yes I feel compelled to say “enjoy your celebration.”  That’s NOT a big freaking deal! Actually, the conversation is usually longer, but it’s not like I’m asking for an invite. I’m not ruling it out if the cake looks fabulous.

Try standing in the checkout line of the A&P with your dad, who just happens to be the only man shopping, as he lets loose the LOUDEST fart in history. As if that weren’t enough. Every head in the store towards us with looks of  horror and disgust as my dad, in true Jim fashion said “what? the doors open it will find its way out.” If my sister and I didn’t die of embarrassment..trust me, no one will! 

Recently we attended a graduation party. All the young kids were out on the dance floor, except my son. Apparently he didn’t want me to follow him onto the dance floor. He hasn’t recovered from the Mother/Son incident 2 years ago when I was pretending to lasso him onto the dance floor….”so embarrassing.”  Please, it was hilarious and he knows it! 

No, embarrassing is when you’re outside jumping rope with all your friends and a Taxi comes rolling down the street. By the way, at this point no one knows what a taxi is, so yes the crowd is forming.

Where does it stop you ask, right in front of my house of course. All heads turn toward me for some sort of answer. The door opens, my dad emerges in a HOSPITAL GOWN and the crowd looks as perplexed as me. Shall we all take a moment and be grateful for the fact he was holding the back together covering his fat ass. I quickly learned the art of diversion. Hey, I’ll be steady-ender!  

I think I went wrong by providing my children with the illusion that I was the perfect mother who would never do anything un-mother like in their presence. The key is to start embarrassing them right out of the womb, they’ll never know any different. Let’s just leave those standards for other families.

I never knew any different until I started to notice the perplexed look on everyone else’s face when something was going down in my world.  Oh, you mean it’s weird to have megaphones playing music on top of your car?  It’s not if your mother is running for State Legislator and your dad is spreading the word. However, it is when he drives by your school and uses those speakers to say “Liiisssaa” while you’re in class.

My kids would have grabbed their lunch money and high tailed it out of Crazy Town!

For god sakes the more I think about it, the more I realize my kids are clueless in their definition of embarrassing. They recently referred to my old Ford Taurus wagon as “so ghetto and embarrassing.” No, it wasn’t my spinners they were referring to, just the fact that the car was old & dirty. Jeez, I wonder who could have contributed to that mess…hmm. 

I think terms like “ghetto & embarrassing” could be better served to describe our 1970 something green Caprice Classic, which was already as big a whale without the (2) loud speakers and a 3ft wooden sign sporting my mothers name and barricaded to the roof. This vessel of humiliation was still used as our family car and I never remember referring to it as ghetto or embarrassing. 

The crowd sipped silently as she slithered into the car.

Honestly, you haven’t lived until you arrive at a 7-Eleven for a Slurpee in a circus on wheels. To this day I know my sister questions her decision to stop for that Slurpee. Live and learn friends, live and learn.

I waited in the circus car with my dad when she went in for the Slurpee. She was taking her good ole time…poor decision number 2.

Never dilly dally within a 10ft radius of an unfiltered man with a microphone….ever!

As soon as he saw her in line he picked up he microphone and said “What’s taking so long? Get your ass out here!”  She slithered right back into the mobile circus as if nothing happened. Taking into consideration if she walked there was the possibility of being followed and spoken to over the speakers, um yea..getting back in was clearly the best decision of the day. 

Today these are the moments that give us the biggest laughs, bring us together and are considered memorable, not embarrassing.

No one ever said Memory Lane didn’t have some pot holes, in fact that’s what makes the road more interesting.

My goal is to provide my kids with as many “memories” as I can, so they can laugh about them for years to come. Something tells me I’m off to a good start! 

Just fart out loud and Enjoy the Ride!

I Love My Samsonite

I came from a funny family, in every sense of the word. I grew up at a time when fathers went to work, and mothers stayed home to do motherly and wifely things all day. Yea, that was not my house.

My mother went to work when I was 7, and my father was most likely the first stay at home dad in the United States. A role model or instruction manual would have been nice, really really nice. 

I’m pretty sure squirting the Jehovah Witnesses off the front porch with a garden hose would have been frowned upon in the instruction manual. Hey, at least he didn’t ask us to be accomplices, he just told us to”watch this.” In his defense, they were warned and clearly weren’t used to people following through with their threats.

Mother & I preparing a cake for the church bake sale.

Our family already stuck out like sore thumbs amongst the Ward & June Cleaver types on our block. My parents were 20 years apart; I have (2) siblings old enough to be my parents, another sister who is 15 months older than me, who was no doubt the, oops, leaving me to be the WTF shock. Honestly, the only thing drawing more attention would be a third eye or tentacles. 

This dynamic was much harder on the older siblings. They grew up in an era where families were portrayed as “perfect.” The white picket fence father knows best era. I never trusted those homes, everyone has some Samsonite, and those people locked it in the closet.

My sister and I really had an advantage. Our examples were more realistic with an integrated family like The Brady Bunch surfacing along with the All In The Family crew that made us look downright acceptable. We were way ahead of the Modern Family times. 

When you’re born into crazy, there is only one thing to do…LAUGH. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We all walked away with quick wits and the ability to find humor in just about any occasion.

Over the weekend my hubby turned the BIG 50. The whole family gathered at a local restaurant for dinner to celebrate.

Soon after arriving it was clear that either the air conditioning wasn’t working up to par or we were all having a unison heat flash. Not good in close quarters when it’s already close to 100 outside. 

One of my sisters came back from the restroom and claimed “Omg! I look like a freaking rice cake with lipstick!” The best part about this is we all “got it” and could quickly respond with a confirmed “Omg! You do, you need some peanut butter girl.”  

It’s official folks … RiceKake will now be included on the list of other famous sayings within our family circle. The new spelling was given the next day by the creator, just to give it edge…so badass.

Yesterday my husband referred to me as a RiceKake when I surfaced from a public restroom dripping with sweat after suffering stomach pains. Nothing says love quite like..Are you alright you look like a RiceKake? I quickly responded with…Seriously, I need some Nutella!

Our parents used crazy expressions all the time that have been embedded in us, but we tweaked them over the years. The list is very long, but I chose (2) that are most commonly used.

My mother was famous for the term “crazy as a hoot owl.” Throughout the years it has been altered to a simple “hooty” and for extreme situations “hooty in the highest.” This is a reference given to those people who are either crazy in a good way or a notch away from insanity. Please do not confuse this with “suits of skin” which is in a separate category. 

All of the women in our family, including the offspring, use the term “he/she has a hair.” This originated from “he/she has a bug up their ass.” Over the years, depending on the level of attitude, we have all tweaked this to meet our individual needs.

It started out with a hair, which led to a ponytail that soon graduated into a braid and ended with a dread, which is short for dreadlocks. Oh yes, we all know it’s bad when one of us says “dam, he/she has a freaking dread!” You haven’t seen attitude until you’ve seen someone with a dread! 

Example of use:  Daughter: Mom, my boss had the biggest hair today.

Me: How bad?

Daughter: Oh, at least a braid!

Me: Well, he was probably just having a bad day, don’t worry about it.

My upbringing made me who I am today, complete with my own set of Samsonite to bring with me into adulthood. Recently I recognized the importance of working through the unpleasant moments by embracing the flaws in my baggage and sorting through all the good things that I safely tucked away in those little secret compartments. That’s where All the good stuff is.

Our families give us character, some more colorful than others, but ultimately all the same. The more we all except who we are, the easier it is to …. Enjoy the Ride!

Fantasy Friday

There has been quite a bit of chatter amongst the ladies about fantasies. Let’s face it; between Magic Mike and 50 Shades, this Summer is one of the hottest on record. This does not include flashes or dew point averages … they are a separate kind of hot.

Here is the low down folks. I wasted 10 hard-earned dollars saw Magic Mike. Seriously, I’ve seen better plots in porno flicks! The lack of chemistry between the characters was so awkward for the audience, especially this patron, I actually found myself wanting an unexpected plumber to appear on the screen to “take care of pipes.” I still don’t think there was a script. 

I will admit to enjoying the dance moves of Channing Tatum, however I am NOT turned on by guys even if they are smoking hot who wear oversized sweat pants accessorized with a baseball cap. Construction workers, anyone resembling a cast member of Mad Men and of course the Indian or I guess since it’s 2012, the Native American from the Village People would do it at any given time …. Depending on the mood of course. 

As for 50 Shades of Grey, I haven’t jumped on that bandwagon…yet. I think I’ll hop on board at the end of July, when my kiddies will be enjoying the shore without us. We will have the Love Shack house all to ourselves, just in case there are any side effects to reading what Mr. Grey has to offer. Any who…

All of this chatter had me thinking about my own fantasies. Guess what, they don’t include men. Put your filthy minds away right now. Let’s see what good old Merriam Webster has to say about the word Fantasy shall we.

FANTASY: noun; the forming of mental images, especially wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing.

Thank you Merriam for setting the record straight, those Fantasies do not have to include sex. That being said let me reveal some of my most passionate thoughts. There is one fantasy that I’ve been having for years … Jeez, just the thought puts a huge smile on my face. As each year passes, I add different scenarios that just make it better and better….ahh. Oops, slipped right off into La La Land for a moment. Let get down to biz…here is just a taste of what gets this momma excited.

I long for the day when my son gets his own dwelling, for so many reasons, but none more satisfying than what I am about to disclose. The anticipation can be overwhelming at times. Brace yourselves folks….

After a long day of helping him move into his new place, our bodies still covered in sweat, my husband and I slowly walk over to the refrigerator to grab some cold juice boxes. Our son immediately notices the juice boxes from his childhood, forming a huge smile on his face.

On cue like 2 well-organized Ninjas, we drop the juice boxes. In a flash we start jumping on them shooting the juice across the room hopefully on a light-colored carpet to see who can shoot it the furthest. We walk over to our son, pick his jaw up off the floor and tell him Game On as we laugh all the way home. I have goose bumps! 

After we arrive home we discuss our next encounter. The anticipation of being invited to a dinner party brings shivers down my spine. Should we start off slow by flushing the glass votive holders down the toilet or do we slam hard with the unexpected and decorate the hallway with EVERY Always Maxi with Wings in the box … either way I’ll leave satisfied…I might even have a smoke!

Fantasies are a wonderful escape from reality. It doesn’t matter if they include the likes of Magic Mike and Christian Grey or if they are filled with juice boxes and maxi pads. If you’re smiling in the end that’s all the matters.

Imagination is everything, don’t leave home without it.  Enjoy the Ride! 

Friday Fun Fur

Star of the Blog….CHESTER

Look who is featured here on Fun Fur Friday, Chester my Beagle. Chester is his official name, however it’s been replaced by…Pop, Pudding Pop, Popsicle, Sickle, Sickle Cell Anemia, Buddy, Bud, Friend, Chess, Woo Woo Waa Waa and Little Littles.

Don’t judge I happen to come from a family of name changers, it’s in the genes, it’s what we do. Yes, this includes yours truly a/k/a … Lee Wee.

My mother was calling for me back in the day, but I didn’t want to go in just yet, so I hid behind a car with my friends (giggling). On her 3rd attempt to get my attention, you guessed it …”Leeeeeeeeeeeee Weeeeeeeeee come on honeybun it’s time for bed…Leeeeeeeee Weeeeeeee! (giggling)” Mothers’ always get the last laugh.  It’s all a blur other than crawling home and being dubbed Lee Wee from that point on.

Hater’s gonna hate.
I didn’t ask to be this cute…it just happened.

To your left is Chester’s baby picture. At a mere 9 weeks old he is sitting in a planter we had in the yard. He climbed in there on his own and I was so mad that I didn’t have a little sailor hat…ugh. He was cool with not having the hat, I’m still not.

Simmer down…simmer down. I’m already sitting on the step, because I want to Sit On The Step … Campeche?

To your right is the Toddler stage. The never-ending guessing game. Do you want to sit on the step? Do you want to go in? How about some water? Walk? Do you want to go for a walk? Do you have to go pee? poop?  I still expect answers…I am such an optimist.

Chester’s “CAT” phase ended when his ‘growth spurt” caused him to require assistance getting in the window.

We all love the Teenage stage, what’s not to love. Going through those wonderful experimental stages of wanting to be a Cat, staying up late, sleeping until well after noon and my favorite…defiance or as you like to think…independence.

It wasn’t easy watching you walk without the security of the leash, but we had to let go and trust you wouldn’t run. Not that you would ever leave your food source.

No doubt Chester was up late watching that special on
Animal Planet…AGAIN!

Long gone are the days when we chased after you as you bolted for a rabbit, knowing you never had a chance. Yet we were RUNNING. 

We no longer hear you running up and down the steps howling during a good game of hide-n-seek anymore. The days of chasing your orange ball are few and far between. We won’t mention how you somehow muster up the energy of a puppy for any form of food….just sayin.

The only thing missing is the yellow “Crime Scene” tape.

Finding a sunbeam is one of your favorite pastimes. Laying on the step like a rock for hours and scaring the crap out of the neighbors is priceless. Always a character.

Middle age has set in and suddenly you’ve taken on the personality of Walter Matthau in Grumpy Old Men. You still enjoy people and other dogs … from a distance.  You are set in your ways, your schedule is etched in stone and your happiest moments are sitting outback with your human counterpart. 

Middle Age at its best..

I’ve come to the conclusion that my parenting and pet raising methods are very similar. I enjoy the security of a leash. Chess is pushing 49 in dog years and I still worry about him running into the street. Honestly, does the word “run” even cross his mind? 

The kiddies are growing up, my grip has loosened on the leash and my sense of security has been turned over to…Faith. Hey, I can always step on the leash if I drop it! …. Enjoy the Ride!

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