Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh Charlie

I heard a clip of Charlie Sheen calling into a radio show (again). Charlie with the drug and alcohol problem. Charlie with the hooker problem. Charlie with the parties that the cops show up at.

He was doing in-home rehab (wink) and you sure don't have to do much to earn phone privleges when you're in your own casa. Now, however, he says he's on the straight and narrow and brought in a hooker and a model to celebrate. Gee, girls, I'm sure that's making mom and dad real proud.

This rant went a little too far as he bit the hand that's paid for his addiction all these years. His show, along with the lighting, sound, camera, costume and make-up people who work on it, is now canceled for the season. I'm sure those employees have a money situation much more precarious than he does which confirms that all those times his mama said to him, "Honey, it's not about you" he didn't hear a thing. The best move he can make after these last few days is to sit down and shut up.

Whaddya bet that's not going to happen?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Taxes Shmaxes

Why does doing the taxes have to be such a production? Why don't we keep track of this stuff on a monthly basis so it won't be so overwhelming in the new year?

Oh yeah, because it sucks, that's why. Who wants to sit down halfway thru the year with a bunch of receipts when you could be doing something fun like eating burgers on the patio, gossiping about the neighbor's new car (Did one of their grandmothers just die?) and swatting skeeters?

The dining room table is filled with piles of paper. W-2s, oh baby, that's the easy part. Just paper clip those together and you're off to a good start. Hmmmm....charitable contributions? What did I dump in that bag and leave on the porch for pickup? What was all that crap? The value of a sweater that I only valued for a couple of wears is valued at how much? One shoe with a clear intent to find the other to add to the bag would be worth what in the resale market? Can taking your family out to dinner count as charity? Why not?

We used to do our own taxes, then bought a tax program, then got a letter from the IRS that said we owed $9000.00 (forgot an important little piece of info). After the heart palpitations, sweating and general near death experience, we decided to pay someone to figure the whole mess out.

I don't know how he does it. I don't know why he does it. I just know that him doing it is the best money we spend every year and from the day he delivered the news that me and Big Daddy weren't going to the Big House for hard time was the day I swore I would keep better records.

I crack myself up.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Boxing Match

Last weekend we saw "The Fighter". Great movie. Great story. Great cast. I loved the mother - a tough, cigarette smoking broad loaded with faults played by Melissa Leo.

In one scene she is arguing with her husband and daughters about the direction one of her sons is going. One of her daughters dares to side with the brother and the mom gives her a drop dead look and asks, "Are you disrespecting me in my own kitchen?"

Why didn't I ever think of that? Disrespecting your mother in her kitchen is like spitting on a grave. Bad, bad idea. I have given life to children who twenty years later stand in my kitchen with the fridge open, grazing away and saying, "Is this all you've got to eat? There's nothing in here (chomp, chomp, chomp). What's the deal with the fruit?"

I am hereby empowered. Disrespect my dancing, disrespect my hair on high-humidity days, disrespect my need to always have lipstick on when I leave the house (so I don't look dead) or disrespect my fondness for yoga pants when I don't have a yoga body. But disrespect me in my kitchen? I just got me some boundaries.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Prairie Girl Makeover

A few years ago, my BF (let's call her Rhonda) and I took our daughters to Chicago for a few days during spring break of their senior year. We had a great time with the girls and took in the city sights. While walking along Michigan Avenue, we wandered into Nordstroms and saw that they were having a Makeover Day. Every line they carried was doing free makeovers so we signed up and went back the following day.

The girls went to Laura Mercier, Rhonda and I to Bobbi Brown. We were at our most charming as we entertained the makeup artists with stories, jokes and general mischief. We spent some $$$, left feeling hip and gorgeous and walked back to the hotel.

Rhonda was in the bathroom doing a close inspection of her new look and let out a shriek. I went in to see what was wrong. On the wall was a magnifying makeup mirror with an accordian arm and she was staring intently at her face. "Oh my God, will you look at all these hairs on my chin? How could I have gone there with these?" I told her it wasn't that noticeable (to the visually impaired) and then had a look see at my own situation and let out an equally horrified scream.

The gals at Nordstroms must have thought we were two freaks on leave from the circus because, at least in that bathroom mirror, we looked like a couple of bearded ladies with fine lines being the least of our problems. Humiliated, we hit the Hotel Happy Hour early, sloshed down a couple glasses of wine, stroked our stubbly chins, discussed where to go to dinner (dark please) and tried to put the whole hairy mess behind us.

We got busy tweezing the next day, stayed away from Nordstroms (where we're certain they still talk about us to this very day) and enjoyed our last day in the city. We have many fond memories of that trip but rarely discuss The Makeover for obvious reasons. Now that our girls are a little older (and of legal drinking age) we'd love to do it again. But the next time, before we iron our overalls and hitch our wagon for the bright lights and big city, we'll definitely remember to farm our face.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Who's Your Mama?

My mom is the calmest person I know. When my brother was in a car wreck and his elbow went through the windshield, he came home from the emergency room all stitched up and showed the family his battle scar. He took off the gauze, crooked his elbow and blood started squirting against the dining room wall. My mom told him to join her in the bathroom where she cleaned him up, put fresh gauze on his wound and then finished eating her dinner like nothing happened. The rest of us sat in stunned silence watching the blood on the wall wondering if he was going to live through the nite.

I didn't appreciate my mom's demeanor until I was older, had kids and faced my share of stressful situations. It was her steadiness, especially in trying situations, that kept everyone calm and that in turn made us feel like everything was going to be o.k. I have done my best to follow in her footsteps, and though I'll never be as good as she was, I hope I'm close.

Not everyone has such a mother and I realize I have been very lucky. Behold the offspring of an OverReactor. Oh dear is right.

Monday, February 21, 2011


When I drop my daughter off at her high school, I love to watch the kids walking in. Some are carrying coffee and seem full of energy, some are goofing around with friends, some preoccupied and some half-awake. I'm always curious about what the future will hold for them and would like to tell them that for those of us far removed from high school, we anxiously wait.

There are very few states that aren't facing serious budget crises and in our state education looks to be in for some very rough waters. I have watched money all of my adult life. I've never had enough of it to make me worry less but my husband and I will not compromise on our kids' education. That always has come first and so we save and fret and save and worry and save some more so that all of them will be able to go to college. We could use a vacation from that worry but that is many years away.

To hear education discussed as a long-term problem (like an in-law who's over-stayed their welcome) instead of an investment with huge payoffs down the road is disturbing. If educating our youth is not the top priority of any society, what does our future look like? When those kids with all that potential walk by us, are we to tell them that their plans and dreams and future are up for grabs because instead of saving for their future, we took the vacation?

Friday, February 18, 2011

What Was I Saying?

I've reached a point in my life where I can be in the middle of a story, get distracted for a milli-second and then completely lose my train of thought. Sometimes, I glance out the car window, turn back to my husband to continue and I have no clue what I was just talking about. It. Happens. All. The. Time. I've seen it happen to him (although it doesn't seem as frequently but maybe he talks less) and friends as well. When it's happening to you, though, it's embarrassing, scary (is this the beginning of my memory end), funny and frustrating.

This morning I didn't even try to cover it up. It was too early to try to wordplay my way into the deep recesses of my brain and retrieve the forgotten info so I put it to him this way:

Would you mind telling me what I was just talking about because even I wasn't listening to me?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

All the Rage

If you've lived under a rock for the last few years, you might not be aware that birds are everywhere in the decorating world. This is all the funnier because just today I bought a plate with, you guessed it.....birds and why do we all drink the same kool-aid over and over and over again?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Appointment

Yesterday I got my teeth cleaned. I have not gone in a year. I have such dental phobia that the timing has to be precise. Early a.m. so I don't have too much time to think about it. Immodium for the pre-diarrhea feeling that kicks in as soon as I get to the parking lot. Tapping of the foot when the xray machine comes swinging around to keep my mind off the xray machine. Counting the ceiling tiles. Chatting excessively with the hygienist to prevent her from doing her job. Heavy tapping of the foot when she goes to find the dentist to have a look at my teeth.

I made it through without incident although after the xrays were taken, I could have spit that hunk of cardboard rammed into the back of my mouth clear across the room. The bad news was delivered again. You need a crown on your back tooth SOON. There isn't much tooth left and it's going to break if it doesn't get a crown.

Big, big sigh. I'm a dental basket case because I've been a head case for a long time and at some point I will put my big girl panties on and get it over with.

Who does one talk to in order to get an Immodium i.v.??

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's Good For You

I'm really, really trying to eat better. Less meat and bread, more fruits and veggies. I've always eaten breakfast, just not the healthiest kind and so (for the hundredth time) I am attempting to eat oatmeal in the morning.

This time I bought a hazelnut blend, added some water, cooked it in the microwave for a minute and a half and then added chopped almonds. First, I don't like cereal. Second, I don't like mushy food. Third, oatmeal has absolutely no color. Day one went pretty good but by the second day I couldn't even gag half of it down. Why does it have to taste like paper towels?

I thought about using my uneaten oatmeal to spackle some nail holes but it was too lumpy so I dumped it in the trash. The dog watched the whole thing and even he wasn't interested. Another fail but we happened to have some tasty oatmeal cookies and wasn't that a stroke of luck to get my daily dose of a filling breakfast after all?

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Gospel & Colin

This weekend at church was a heavy-duty Gospel reading about sin. Eye for an eye, cut off the right hand of the thief, divorce, adultery. Halfway through, I wanted to raise my hand and ask if they could shorten this all up for us and state what wasn't a sin. I was beginning to lose interest and then they got to the part that said if you look at another with lust you are committing adultery. That little line changed the whole ball game.

Call me a sinner and ready the staircase to hell because I only look at Colin Firth with lust. I've always liked him but since seeing "The King's Speech" I'm in love, love, love, love, crazy love with him. In interviews he's humble, funny and charming which makes a good BF. He also is drop dead gorgeous which makes an even better BF.

God will determine when we'll meet but when he does I'll explain that the winter of 2011 was ridiculously long and cold and Colin made my heart race. In all those pre-Oscar interviews when he looked at the camera, it was as if he was looking straight at me and I suddenly got very warm. It was self-preservation in some hard times. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Disclaimer: The fact that this was written on Valentine's Day is a pure kawinky dink ;)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Say That Again

Every time I see an infomercial, I think I've seen everything and then this comes along. Looking good and taking some pride in your appearance has completely left the building. Behold the Pajama Jean........... I kid you not.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Simple Pleasures

After a rough night's sleep, I dragged my weary butt to the kitchen where a full pot of coffee was ready and waiting for me. How I love the genius who thought to put a timer on a coffee maker. If only they could put one of those on me :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shampoo Bottles

I know that there have been numerous studies done on the teenage brain. Sleep, school starts, peer pressure, bullying, food intake, food outake, GPA, college entrance essay, but there is only one study I'm really interested in.

Somebody with some credentials behind their name needs to tell me why teenagers never, and I mean NEVER, get rid of an empty shampoo bottle in the shower. You go to clean the thing and they're falling on your head, into the tub and over the tub, and all of them are empty. I've gone so far as to call family meetings about this and the guilty look up from Facebook and nod and it feels as though my message is getting through. Not so as nodding is nothing more than a coping mechanism for teenagers with pain-in-the-ass mothers.

Some families have mission statements regarding the direction they want their family to go spiritually, financially and academically. I'm merely asking not to get hit in the head by a plastic bottle and since all previous methods have failed, I've decided to adopt the mission statement practice as well.


Too wordy?

How about this? You need to clean up after yourself, so help me God.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Date Night

It was a hot August night when I went on a blind date to Denny's with a pretty cute guy. When he parked the car, he hit the concrete block jerking us both forward and I said, "Well, I guess this means we're here."

Last weekend we went to a movie as Cute Guy declared it Date Night. When it was time to go, he went out the door first and then let it fly in my face. I got in the car and told him that when Barack and Michelle go on a date, I bet he doesn't let the door hit her on the way out. He said, "Barack doesn't even have to hold the door open for himself let alone his wife."

After the movie, we walked to the parking lot and wandered around for a bit because neither one of us remembered where we parked the car. Thirty three years after that Denny's date, we're still a couple of smart asses trying to find our way.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gift with Purcha$e

I needed some undereye concealer to cover some dark circles I've had since 1987 when I delivered my firstborn. I headed off to Macy's repeatedly telling myself, "Do not go crazy at the make-up counter.  Do not go crazy at the make-up counter." As if to sabotage me from the minute I walk in the door, Lancome was having a gift with purchase. I made a beeline over there forgetting all about my stupid, little pep talk.

My concealer was $29.50 and in order to get the gift I didn't need, I had to spend $32.50. Hmmm....$3.00 more dollars. Easy as in peasy. Our Macy's counter is run by a guy named Anthony who is a legend around here. He can give you the once over and know exactly which eye shadow, lipstick and blush color would look fab on you and he is never wrong. Ever. When friends of mine say they've been to see Anthony, I tell them to send their Macy's bill to my house so their husband doesn't have a cow when he sees how much anti-aging costs.

I'm pretty sure that in the history of Lancome, they have never sold ANYTHING for $3.00. In fact, my whopping .52 ounce of concealer is in the start of their price range so I ended up with a few more things than I intended to buy, but Anthony said it will make me look much more youthful. I brought home my make-up bag with the itty-bitty products inside and spread it on the bed for a closer look.

Lancome is a French company with some very descriptive product names, and with the exception of some mascara and lip gloss, I have no idea what the heck the rest of this stuff is for.

 Mon mauvais. Nouveau.

 Translation: My bad. Again.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


My friend, Nancy, and I have a little resale business going. The direction we're going is somewhat in flux but we've had a couple of successful sales, love repurposing ugly stuff and making some money along the way. We're always on the hunt for inventory and gravitate to the same kind of things with the same kind of price tags.

Last week I went to an estate sale on a scouting mission. The guy had some cool, old stuff and the prices were fair but not bargains. The sale was to end Saturday but he was hoping to be sold out by then. I was lusting for some leaded glass windows in the garage that were priced @ $40.00 and was hoping they'd be free by late in the day, so I drove by the house long after the sale had closed to check out the curb. Like I drove up and down the street waiting for the trash to appear whispering, "Come to Mama".

That I have no embarrassment about pecking the estate sale carcass left along the road should be disturbing to me but, hey, business is business and if there happened to be a leaded glass window somewhere in the vicinity of the curb, I'd have taken down a whole flock of scavengers - birdish and otherwise.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Like most of the country, we're in the midst of a doozy of a snowstorm causing the local forecasters to be on the verge of a weather orgasm. They're so excited they're practically breathless giving the details. Off camera they must have to take periodic hits on an oxygen tank enabling them to confidently go forward with the scare factor so the viewers realize that if they set one foot out the door, the consequences will be very, very grave.

Cue the anchor. After hearing the weatherman give the dire predication of the hours and days to come, she asks, "Just what is a blizzard?" I find it charming and endearing when news people treat the viewer as a complete idiot who has no idea between a snowstorm and a blizzard. He sleds right into his explanation (as if this wasn't a carefully planned segment) and enlightens us about the wind, temperature and snowfall amounts that constitute a blizzard.

Here's the short answer: If you send your husband out to get the paper at the end of the driveway and he calls you four hours later from the parking lot of Wal-Mart because he couldn't find his way back to the front door, you're probably in the throws of a monster storm. That's winter on steroids. It's not charming, it's not endearing and the only time it makes most of us breathless is when we have to shovel the driveway.

But the days ahead will be filled with graphics and scary music while reporters and camera crews are shoved out the door against their will to give us some youtube moments. We'll watch these underpaid gophers get pummeled by the snow and wind while we look out the window and say, "Yep, kids, that there is what you call a blizzard."