Friday, December 23, 2011


If you've read this blog from the beginning, you know that one of the reasons I vowed to start writing on a daily basis was due to my cousin's wife, Carol.  Whenever I wrote something for my writers group, I'd send it to her to read, and she was enormously supportive.  Her presence among us has been missed greatly this past year, but when I meet up with her again I'll be able to honestly say that I worked hard at this writing thing.

The other reason I have been able to do this the last year is because of Mark.  He is very proud of what I've written, even when he is often cast in an unflattering light.  He has pushed this web address on everyone he knows, and I have picked up steady readers due to him.  One day, I hope to make some money as a writer, but time will tell on that one.  I daily feel guilt about not contributing to the financial obligations around here, and there are many.  When we recently talked about it he said, "You brought home the paycheck while I was in graduate school pursuing my passion.  I'm just doing what you did for me."

Well, I'd kind of forgotten about that.

I'm taking off until the end of the year to hang with my peeps and enjoy the holidays.  Thank you for reading this and passing it along to your friends.  As we head into the new year, I highly recommend moving any of those dreams from the back burner to the front.  Today.

In the meantime, when this guy sings this song.......oh my.  A most Merry Christmas and Happy New Year..............

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Early Christmas

Teacher Girl and Prince Charming are headed to South Dakota to spend Christmas with his family.  Whom we happen to have a big crush on.  They did this last year, as well, so we celebrate early with them before they hit the road.  It could be my most favorite time of the holidays because we have so much fun.  Secret Santa comes to town, we play a board game and since it's a week before December 25th, nobody is tired and cranky.  The pics...

                          The Boy Child with wine glasses.  It's good to be 21.

Prince Charming seriously likes his new slippers.  That tree????  Sheesh.

                         The Big Daddy got warm socks for those cold biking days.

                                                     New book. Yeah!!!!!

                          The Teacher Girl is about to unwrap something good.

                                       Mallie Bee looooooves her accessories.

God bless us everyone.  Oh yes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Last One

My dad loved Christmas.  He was involved in all of it, and before Martha Stewart even gave it a thought, he would go out in the yard to cut evergreens for our Nativity set.  When it came to buying a gift for Mom, he'd take one of us girls with him to help pick out something.  The year his cancer had come back, and he was knocked flat most days by his treatment, he was still determined to go out and find her present.  A few days before Christmas, we all went to the mall, Mom included, to shop.  Because I didn't live close by and really hadn't been able to help much, I offered to go with Dad while Mom and my sisters did their shopping.

Walking with him was a slow process, but we got to Mom's favorite store and he took his time finding her something, and when he did he was pretty pleased with himself.  We had plenty of time left before we needed to meet up with everybody else, so I found a bench for him to sit on.  I still had some things to shop for and he told me he'd be content to rest and people watch.

I would go into a store, run out to check on him, go to another store, check on him.  This lasted nearly an hour and then we had to make the long, slow walk to meet Mom and my sisters.  He was exhausted.  Happy to have gotten out and more than happy to be going home to bed.

That was 22 years ago and I remember every minute of it, down to the gift he bought Mom.  I think we all knew that was going to be his last Christmas with us, and attempting to make it seem normal was a difficult thing to do.   For every time I approached that bench at the mall, I saw sick and trying so hard.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Losing ####

I have been underweight my whole life.  Smallest kid in the class all the years I was in school.  Weighed 86# the first time I got pregnant.  I come from small women.

That changed a few years ago, when a few pounds crept on.  Then the next year, a couple more.  You get where this is going.  I can't blame menopause because that happened ten years ago due to ruptured ovarian cysts.  That was the summer I lost 13# due to the mess my body was.  The good old days.

Today I ran into someone who is about 5-10 years older than me and T.H.I.N.  Really thin.  I told The Big Daddy about her when I got home and said maybe she's one of those older woman who has an eating disorder.  Poor thing.  Or maybe she isn't stuffing Fannie Mae candy in her mouth every time she goes in the kitchen.  Maybe chips and salsa aren't her mainstay.  Maybe she exercises every day.  Really exercises instead of moseying around the neighborhood with her elderly dog.  Maybe she sweats.

I'm thinking that it's time for me to stop listening to that inner voice that's a complete whack job, and reverse course before I'm on the losing end of a bet to see if my fat ass could make it all the way to Des Moines.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Gift

From the archives of The Big Daddy Bad Behavior file..............

Years ago, we used to drive from Maryland to Illinois to spend Christmas with our families.  With little kids, it was a huge job to get them and everything they needed, plus all their Christmas presents, loaded up and into the car for the twelve hour drive.

We would arrive a few days before Christmas, and one or both of us would have to make a trip to the mall to finish up.  One year, The Big Daddy needed to make the trek on Christmas Eve to get a gift for me.  He was gone for hours, to the point where we were getting worried about him.  He finally made it back and went off to a bedroom to wrap his treasure.

And what could be this gift that took hours for him to find?  I couldn't imagine.

On Christmas morn, when the kids had finished their Santa gifts, he presented my present.  I was full of anticipation, and ripped off the wrapping to discover a Stitchery Kit of Two Deer In The Woods.  Well, that wasn't what I was anticipating.  Or wanting.

He explained that on the way to the mall, when he was driving by way of the Forest Preserve, he saw two deer in the woods and that's when it came to him.  That deer live in the woods, I asked.   No, no, he said, that a deer themed gift was a sign.  Too bad the mall wasn't by way of a diamond mine. 

My mom observed this and without saying a word, got up and went into the kitchen.  When I came in, she said, "I gave him plenty of ideas, even offered to go with him.  Who gets the mother of toddlers a gull damn project to do?"  My Big Daddy, that's who. 

By then it was 12:00 somewhere and she cracked open the wine and poured us a glass.  Separated by many years, we each had our crosses in life to bear.  Dad, who took NINE YEARS to remodel the kitchen, and me, married to a guy who goes to every store in town on Christmas Eve to find a wildlife kit for his wife to stitch.

Another day.  Another Christmas.  Another star in the crown.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Ken

You may remember reading about Ken on my walks with the dog.  Lonely Ken.  Looks for me to talk to Ken.  Married to Barbie.

I saw Ken the other day raking about five leaves in the yard, and he stopped to chat and wish me, my family and my little dog, too, the best Christmas ever.  And a wonderful New Year because I have been so kind to him over the years.  No, I haven't, Ken.  You're being delusional.  We talked about our plans for the holidays and all was friendly until he said this..........

"I had the idea to watch for you so I could run out with some mistletoe and give you a Christmas kiss."

Ken, Ken, Ken, that's a dumbass idea.  And if I were you, I'd be real careful because Barbie's watching you right now from the window of her dream kitchen, and sharpening the knife she's going to use to Bobotize your molded plastic Manhood if you don't stop hitting on chicks walking their dogs.

Merry Christmas.  You're welcome.  Now I have to find a new route.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree

This is me trimming the tree......

and yes, my waist really is that small.   In my dreams.

We ditched our fake tree and have been buying real trees these last few years.  The Big Daddy Lumberjack likes to cut the trunk so it's nice and straight in the stand.  I cut a few branches to decorate with, and it's like a Norman Rockwell painting around here on Decor Day.

By day's end, when the house is a wonderland of Christmas, The BD and I sit on the couch with a glass of wine looking at our pretty, pretty tree.  Without fail, a strand of lights will stop working.  That's when we will try to jury rig it, check the bulbs, shake the tree, uplug and replug the strands, and check the outlet.  What we almost always do as well, out of sheer frustration, is give it the finger.  Which really doesn't do anything, but crack us up because we have the maturity level of ten year olds.  This year I checked every strand of lights, plugged them into one another to double check, plugged them into the outlet, unplugged them, put them on the tree, decorated the tree and plugged the lights in.  Half the tree was not lit and I let out a string of curse words that was as long as those crappy, made in China lights.

In this season of peace, love, and joy, that hunka evergreen irritates me every time I look at it.  I don't have the time to figure out what the problem is and turned it so the front and back are lit. The sides are scared of the dark and crying at night for some lights, but I DO NOT CARE.

No, I do not, for it is ELEVEN days until Christmas, and on day TWELVE, I can pitch that tree, lights and all, right out the front door.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Merry Everywhere

The holiday decor.......................I did the living and dining room in apple green and silver.

Our bar on top of the dresser I got for $20.00 at a yard sale.  The intent was to refinish it and sell it, but in the process I fell head over heels.

 The mantel.............

And mini ManLand was done in reds.............
 Including The Big Daddy's hockey trophies from back in the day...........

The hallway holds the AWESOME sheet music wreath that Nancy made me last year (and still available at the Prairie Girls Market at Good Company this weekend).   Shameless plug, but I can't help myself.  And what of the Christmas tree????  That story is tomorrow.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Precocious Pets

I'm a dog person.  I can tolerate cats, and I loved Beamer, but I'd much rather have a dog around.

The Big Daddy loves cats and and would much rather have them around than a dog.

Mars, Venus, kids, dog, cats, and fish all living under one roof.

The Big Daddy was in the kitchen when Henry decided he wanted a taste of some kitten milk, and you'd have thought the dog was holding the old man up in an armed robbery the way he tore into him.  He needed to wash down the snack from the garbage can.  I got mad at The BD for yelling at my dog, and who should come around to investigate, but Frank and Pip, and aren't they so fun, he says.  Oh yeah, they're precocious, I said.  Mallie Bee heard all of this and asked what that meant.  Little shits is what it means.  No, The Big Daddy said, they're mischievous.

The Mischievous Ones still have kidney issues and peed on our bed the other day.  The bed of the people who saved them from a shelter that may have been No Kill, but it wasn't a lifetime guarantee.  Who does that sort of thing?   Well, me that time I took Nyquil and was dreaming I was going to the bathroom and I the bed.  

When they're not getting into trouble, they're fast asleep, but don't let the innocent, sleeping baby pic fool you.  These two are a couple of Gang Bangers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Wine-oscopy

You might be interested in knowing that small doses of a chemical used in laxatives has been approved for use in beverages to stabilize and thicken them.

Specifically, this kind of beverage.................

Source: via Amanda on Pinterest


Is it not enough that when you're out having a good time and you don't want to get up to go pee, but you really have to, so you get up and OMG you have to go bad except you have no idea where the bathroom is so you search frantically like a mother who's misplaced her infant, and there's a line, and you can't even make small talk because now it's starting to hurt, and when you finally get into a stall, your pee starter thinks it's a go and starts to come out before you even unzip your Party Pants????

It wasn't enough.

Now a laxative additive has been included in our Wine Slushy, and have these people no mercy for those of us who have pushed out a couple of kids???   Who just by standing for a couple of decades have caused a gravitational pull that can only be reversed with some kind of sling up in Ladyland?

No, they have no mercy and beware the pitfalls of drinking.  DUI, roofies, a hangover and now the possibility of some added weight in your going-out-on-the-town underpants.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lexus Shmexus

Could it be that it is only one week into December and I am already sick of seeing this.........

With this attached...............
Source: via Xixi on Pinterest


I've grown used to seeing the rich sitting around the tree in their designer jammies on Christmas morn and Dad saying, "Hey, everybody let's go out in the snow and see something."  And the little lemmings all follow because of the trust fund and Mom never gets bitchy and says, "What the hell?  In my new Tory Burch boots?"  She doesn't even look tired from running her ass off all month and she still has to put a Honeybaked Ham in the oven.

The newest commercial in Fantasy Gift Christmas features a couple about 30 years old in an elevator that plays the Lexus theme song.  When the door opens, there sits a new $50K car for the Mister and they must not have student loans to pay off.  Please go away.

Give me this lady any every day of the week.

She can hardly contain herself when the blenders go on sale, and with that jogging suit and pearls.......she's C.L.A.S.S.Y.  With a capital "T".......for the store that the Real Santa shops to make Christmas dreams come true.

Monday, December 5, 2011


This weekend Mallie Bee and I made a fast trip to Chicago.  She had an audition for Fordham University/Alvin Ailey School of Dance.  Be still our hearts.  We arrived on Friday, the audition was all afternoon Saturday and we left Sunday morning.


This is our dancer's ideal school.  It is so expensive it's not even funny, but she dreams big and we need more of those kind in the world.  We have, however, told her on a daily basis that we cannot afford it, and true to her nature, she hasn't let that stop her one bit.

While she was doing that, my sister and her husband and I hopped a bus to the fun part of town, ate lunch and did a little shopping amongst the crowds in the city I will always miss.

When we got back we had a bit of a wait for her to finish so we took a look at the church next door.  This church................

It was an absolute stunner inside.  Old world Europe kind of a feel.  We went back to wait, and I answered a whole lot of texts from everybody wondering how it was going.

When we had gone inside the church, I asked God to assist in what was going on next door, and significant financial aid sure would be nice.  That last part was a little half-hearted since there are too many people in dire straits in this world for me to be greedy.  What wasn't half-hearted, though, was my gratitude for my family who went above and beyond to encourage her and get her where she needed to be all weekend long, and our friends here in Kansas City who cheered for her from many miles away.

She thought it went o.k. and come March we'll find out what they thought.  I'm hopeful about all of it and how could I not be?   She may have performed a solo, but those ballet shoes she danced in carried the grace and blessings of everyone she knows.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Reserved Parking Only

I may have mentioned a time or twenty that The Big Daddy and I are from the Chicago area.   As you know, they get some mighty wintry winters.  What you may not know is that if you are a Chicagoan, and you shovel a space for your car, say in front of your house, and say you set up some 2 x 4s propped on some webbed lawn chairs, say in January, it means that you have reserved that area and are the rightful owner.   The law may say that it is public property, but street law says it belongs to the shoveler.  Messing with it and thinking you can park in a space you did not clear could get you one of those 2 x 4s upside the head.

When the kids were little, there was a new store opening in town called HQ.  It was like Home Depot, but more designery.  The Big Daddy offered it up for the team and agreed to take the kids and I there for a fun family outing.  On opening weekend.  With thousands of other people.  We circled the lot forever and finally found someone who was leaving.  The BD turned his blinker on and we patiently waited for them to pull out.  As they did, another driver whipped around the corner and beat us to the spot.  "SON OF A BITCH", The Big Daddy yelled.  "DID YOU SEE WHAT THAT BASTARD JUST DID?"  Oh my God, he stole his space.  With his blinker on.  He totally ignored Blinker Etiquette.  The Big Daddy was crazy, and I had his back.  This was Parking Space War and we waited patiently for the thief to get out of his car so we could lay down some ef bombs. 

With three young children in the backseat.

After a few minutes and off in the distance, we could hear sirens.  And The Little Boy Child said, "That's the police.  They're coming to get that guy and they're going to poke both his eyes out until they bleed and put him in jail for taking our space."    I'd like to thank the Academy on behalf of The Big Daddy and I for naming us Parents of the Year.  Again.  

A few years later, again with all the kids in the car, I was meeting a friend at a festive holiday shopping center for lunch.  We were running late, the parking lot was jammed and I was circling and circling until I finally found a space near the door.  I got the kids out and an older couple stopped and said, "Didn't you see the sign?  It says compact cars only."  Well, no, I didn't see the sign and there was my minivan and geez, it wasn't even a tight fit.  Kids, I said, we're just gonna leave it there.  The Teacher Girl was in a Mother Theresa phase and said, "No, Mom, you can't.  We'll get in trouble for not following the rules."  Oh, for God's sake.  I put all the kids back in the car and looked for a regular space.  A minivan space.  Which is how I scraped the entire driver's side when I pulled in too close to a concrete pole.

We got into the shopping center and I was so rattled and stressed and pissed that I needed a drink or three.  Instead I sat with my friend and six kids with a paper engineer hat on my head waiting for my burger and fries to be delivered by a choo choo train.  That I thought about punching.  I told her about my mishap with the pole and my encounter with the Parking Lot PoPo.  This is the kind of stuff I can't let go.  Gotta let it fester.  Build up. 

When we were leaving, I happened to spot Deputy Fife and The Mrs. and stopped them for "a moment of their time."  That's when I told them that when I moved my car the entire side was hit and maybe they should mind their own beeswax when it comes to people parking their car.  I did leave out the fact that it was me pulling in too close to a pole that caused this crime against my car because I like to blame other people when I mess up.   "Oh my, oh dear," the Mrs. said,  "Are the children o.k.?"

What are you talking about lady???  What children???  Oh, ya mean those three watching Mom get her crazy on.

As we enter the hap-happiest time of the year, it's all about parking, parking lots, parking etiquette.  For The Big Daddy and I, it means working hard to suppress that Chicago thing that's in our DNA.  Oh, but our hearts sure would be glowing with holiday greetings if only we could bring our lawn chairs and 2 x 4s to those gay happy meetings at the mall.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

The First Noel

When The Big Daddy and I married, we lived about two hours from our parents.  He was in graduate school, I worked in a bank.  That year, Christmas Eve was on a Saturday.  The bank kept regular Saturday hours, 9 - 12, and I offered to work since we didn't have much of a drive.

It started snowing early in the a.m.and was a swirling, blizzardy mess as the morning wore on.  There was stories of accidents and bad driving conditions from customers, and one of my coworkers who was going in the same general vicinity as me heard that the interstate was closed.  Puhleez.  There wasn't all that much snow that could have accumulated in such a short time.

While that may have been true, in central Illinois there is nothing to stop the snow, and with the right wind conditions it certainly can close a highway.  So there we were, The Big Daddy and The Loan Processor spending Christmas alone in the dreary basement apartment.  With the roaches.

Because we had planned on being with the family, we had no tree.  Nor a Christmas dinner or gifts to open because we were broke.  Ho. To. The. Ho.  We dug in the fridge and came up with some cube steaks and a couple of beers.  Nothing celebrates the joy of Jesus' birth like chewing on some gristle off of t.v. trays while watching MTV.   I was DEEpressed.

Finally, The Big Daddy said, "Enough.  We are getting out and going to the movies.. Your pick."   That's how we ended up at "Terms Of Endearment" and I had no idea Debra Winger was going to die.  I boo hooed and it was a miserable 1st married Christmas except for this..............

In the movie, Jack Nicholson offers Shirley MacLaine a drink which she declines.  He tells her she should consider it "to kill the bug that crawled up your ass."  I believe it's one of the finest movie lines of all time and I have used it over and over.  In my head.  To people who make me nuts.

We went back to our place, killed some Christmas roaches in the bathroom and called it a night.  We eventually made it home to celebrate New Years with our families and we drank plenty.

Just to make sure.

Source: via Sally on Pinterest