Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Clinky Counter

I am one of those people that strangers talk to.  Pour out their heart.  Lay it all down.  I have no idea why but it happens all the time.

I went to the Macy's counter to find out about something called Beauty Balm.  Cuz I'm such a girl and love skin products.  In the midst of helping me, my salesperson got a phone call of the personal nature.

When she hung up, I learned that it was her brother who was on the phone and he was having a bad day.  He's an alcoholic with some drug abuse sprinkled on top.  He hurt himself on the job - a cut on the forearm that went clear to the bone.   He has not been taking his antibiotics.  His daughter won't speak to him until he stops drinking and didn't invite him to her graduation.  He didn't have to sit with the family but she should have invited him don't you think?  It has made him more depressed.  If he doesn't take his antibiotics he will get an infection and might never work again.  Her parents died in the last year.  Five months apart.  The house they were living in got foreclosed because the brother didn't make the payments.  They had nine days to clear the house.  Her sister came to live with her and then her car got repossessed.  She often walks to work if her sister needs to borrow her car.  Her puppy died unexpectedly. 

The Beauty Balm in my shade was not in stock but I got a free sample from the tester.

Sort of.
Source: via Teresa on Pinterest

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How To Handle Stress

This may or may not have happened to me in the last 24 hours.......................

Had three adult children, two dogs and two cats in the house all afternoon after an awful night's sleep.  Locked myself in the bedroom just so they would leave me alone.  They did not.

Have run a one-person shuttle service with multiple trips here and there every day.

Nearly lost it at the local hardware store because they don't give a shit about shit.

Painted half the staircase.  Left the other half unpainted for traffic.  Had a cat run up the painted side AS I WAS PAINTING IT and chased him under the bed.  Dropped the ef bomb about twenty times then laughed hysterically on the floor of the living room for twenty minutes.  Crazy, scary, irrational laughing.

Have no recollection of brushing my teeth today.  Did I?

Went to pay some bills.  Checking account is a complete cluster and hemorrhaging money.

Ate the entire day, including frosting out of the can every time I opened the fridge and a couple more spoonfuls before bed.

Am hoping this is the cure but skipping the candles due to mildew.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Finding The Right Company

The Big Daddy and I were invited to a going-away party this weekend for one of the guys in his bike group that is moving.  He loves these guys, but I don't know them very well and let's face it.................I crack on bikers rather often.  Add to that, I am not a good mingler, and oh how I wished I could stay home.

When we got there, The BD immediately made his way to his posse and other than saying "hi" I didn't converse with them very much.  They inevitably start talking the bike lingo.............hills, sustained m.p.h., bonking........and it is a subject which I am not interested in.  I ended up eating at a table on the screened porch and had a lovely conversation with my table mates.

Two of the other wives that I have recently gotten to know in this group we're in the family room and I walked into their conversation about mother-in-laws (MIL).  That's when I heard the story of Classic Peg (name changed for reasons you'll know soon).

Classic Peg had no filter when it came to talking about personal matters and while they were in the car one day with two young girls in the backseat, Classic Peg started discussing her vaginal dryness.  Oh, you can't believe it.  I'm so dry up there it's like it's cracking.  Don't even talk to me about sex.  Hurts like hell.  Daughter-In-Law tried numerous times to divert the conversation to something else, but Classic Peg wouldn't hear of it.  I got some of that Prempro from the doctor.  You put it in the applicator, and squirt it way up into your vagina and let me tell you it does the trick.  Sex is much better once you get a few doses of Prempro up there because it's not so dry anymore.  You've got to keep up with it, though.  If you miss a few doses you're back to Crustyville in no time, and the sex starts hurting again.

She wasn't done.

A friend of hers had an even better story.  She took a neighbor to see her MIL's house.  When they got to the bedroom, the neighbor remarked on what a lovely view it was from the bed.  Oh, I know, MIL said.  When Bob takes me from behind............I love looking at that view.

When Bob does what??????

I never moved from the couch the rest of the night.  I had found my peeps.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mess Making

We are less than a month away from our big wedding and there is much to do.  I am not a list maker, but this is one big party that requires a whole lot of coordination, taking care of the deets and oh those logistics.  That is the part that is seriously messing up my brain.

I am feeling overwhelmed so..............

The Boy Child, Mallie Bee and I tore the carpet off the stairs.  I have hated it forever and so a couple of weeks ago I pulled it up off one stair and The Boy Child said, "Oh geez, no Mom, this is NOT a good idea."  I let that percolate awhile then showed The Big Daddy.  He told me to go for it.  When he was out of town.  And the day came when that carpet bug crawled up my butt and it had to go.  Now.  It was some kind of job and The Boy Child yanked and yanked that carpet and Mallie Bee and I pulled staples until the cows came home.  It was a group effort and at times the group couldn't stand each other, but we got the job done.

The risers have been stained and I need to decide what color to paint the stairs.  My original idea of black won't work because the stain is so dark it looks black.  I thought about white but that is so uninteresting.  When I went to the paint shop I found out I could get floor paint in any color I wanted and I am thinking aged-up, weathered turquoise. 

It's either crazy of brilliant..........a place I often find myself.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Break

Many years ago, I sat with some friends in the bleachers of the gymnasium of the elementary school and watched the Christmas concert.  First the choir would perform and then the whole school would have a sing-along.  It was great fun and the ending meant the official start of the winter break.

When the last song was sung and the kids started filing back to their classrooms to get their things, nobody moved.  Finally, one mom spoke up and said, "Well, girls.......our party's over.  Kids are home for the next two weeks.  Merry Christmas.  I'm stopping at the liquor store."

I remember it like it was yesterday.

Our summer break began much sooner than usual this year.  The Boy Child was done the first week of May and Mallie Bee got out early since she was a senior.  My quiet days alone are now about dirty dishes, food disappearing, a constant messy house, youtube videos played over and over, and the t.v blathering on.

I will miss this all come September, but for now I wonder if it is possible for kids to get bedsores.

I believe it is. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Going Out In Style

Our Mallie Bee graduated last week with about 400 of her closest friends.  Pics of the happy girl with her happy family on a perfect May evening................

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Have Never Found Another Decent Pair Of Shoes

The Boy Child is home for the summer and a thrifter like his mama, so we made a trip to Savers the other day.  As is our routine, we separated to look at different things as soon as we walked in the door.

He was looking for shorts, I was in the home goods.  As I was making my way to the back of the store, a woman stopped me and said, "Will you look at these?  Can you believe how cute they are?"  I looked around to see if she was talking to me as I had never seen her before and she sure seemed familiar with me.  "This is my first time here.  It's amazing."  Yes, but it's a secret.  Don't tell anyone.

I made my way to the pillows and there she popped up again.  "I mean it's just crazy how much great stuff is here."   I know.  I come here all the time.  Once, I found a pair of Donald Pliner shoes..............$200.00 shoes...........for $7.99.  Never. Been. Worn.

"Donald?  Donald who?  What are you talking about?"

Donald Duck, and now you need to move along.  I've no time to chat with strangers.  This business takes concentration.

Source: via Simone on Pinterest

Monday, May 21, 2012

I Don't Even Use Miracle-Gro

These are my hydrangeas.  I have five of them.  They are all this big.  I think they take steroids at night.

These are my roses.  I have eight of these.  I think they're buying steroids from the hydrangeas.

When all of this was planted ten years ago, we also put in two blue hydrangea bushes.  I would get maybe 2-3 blooms combined from those two.  One day, I was talking to a gardener and she said to yank them.  They don't do well in this zone, they'll probably never bloom, get rid of them.  I was going to, but they were healthy-looking and so I left them alone, content to live with their measly output.

This is what my blue hydrangeas look like now.  I look at them a couple of times each day.  I do the happy dance.  If you stop by my house I have to show them off.  I can't believe they're so gorgeous, and all those cold, spring days over all those years when I'd whisper, "Come to Mama"......finally paid off. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Taking A Gamble

I was driving The Big Daddy to an airport shuttle at 4:30 a.m..........why does he keep leaving me..........and we got on the subject of gambling.  I know plenty of people who do it and like it, but I have never been inside a casino let alone dropped quarters into a slot machine.  Not once.

It is not because I'm tight-fisted and don't want to part with money, but because I am afraid I would be one of those people who got instantly hooked.  Intoxicated by the next big "win" and before you know it the savings account is gone, the checking account is gone, the car's been repossessed, the house is in foreclosure, and we're sitting on the stage of the Dr. Phil show.

I would be crying.  The Big Daddy would be saying he loved me, I complete him, something about wind and wings and together, baby, we'll make this right.  Dr. Phil would give me a righteous stink-eye.

That's the t.v. version.

The real version would be him tossing me out on my risky ass for losing everything we earned.  So instead, I end up at Target.  With milk on sale at forty cents less than the grocery store, times two gallons, why, that's an eighty cent savings...............and $76.00 later I'm thinking I should kick my own ass and head to the boats.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Curbing Your Dog

In the twelve years Henry and I have been cruising the hood, he was never one to poop on a walk.  He preferred his own backyard, and while I always carried a bag I rarely had to use it.

That changed about a year ago when he decided it wasn't a bad idea to use a public space for that purpose and would sometimes go twice.  Thanks.  While I see people swinging their bag of crap all the way home, I like to clean it up and get rid of it.  Fast.  Pronto.

In my effort to use less plastic bags, I am often searching for a bag to take along with me.  As a last result, I will use the bag the newspaper comes in.  Not only our are daily papers too thin these days, the bags they come in are even thinner making them a poor choice for scooping poop.

On Henry's 2nd movement of a twenty minute walk on a lovely spring morning, I only had a newspaper bag left to do the deed.  I strategically rolled it down my arm so I could get this job over fast.  I picked up the poop and it felt right out of the oven which I guess it was.

That's when I discovered there was a hole in the bottom of the bag and I was clutching a pile of shit in my bare hand.

I screamed.  I freaked.  I wiped my hand ten times on the grass.  I cut the neighborhood stroll short and went home to take a long, hot shower.   When that was over and I had taken some deep, relaxing breaths, the rest of the day went much better.

Bare-handed shit picking up.  My new barometer.

Source: via Joe on Pinterest

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Just 10

We are five weeks away from The Big Wedding.  Many things are starting to move at a faster, more frenzied pace.

But not everything.

In January, after The Big Daddy and I had feasted at the table of Holiday Munchies and Spirits for a solid month, we had a Come To Jesus about getting in shape for this wedding.  It would be the perfect occasion to get our act together with family and friends coming from all over to celebrate with us.

It's not going so well.

Every Sunday night I have a conversation about starting the week with a longer walk at a faster pace and better food decisions.  Eight hours later I'm nursing my coffee and looking for a reason not to walk.

The Big Daddy is better than me about exercise with his bike riding.  This week, he was going to ramp things up with an early wake-up twice a week to do a hard ride before he goes to work.  Day One had him bagging the idea and sleeping in another hour.

Slack is the glue in this marriage.

If we don't get our asses in gear, we'll need to RSVP for two more, what with the extra 10# and the gobbler that used to be our neck.

It could get us another helping, though.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Yapper

Last week, I had the good fortune to hear Anna Quindlen speak.  This is the 2nd time she's come to Kansas City to promote one of her books, and both times I went to see her. 

Ms. Quindlen is the dream friend.  She is smart, funny, loyal, and an unwavering supporter of women.  She gets how women think and casually drops pearls of wisdom in nearly every sentence.

It has been my good fortune to have friends like Anna.  Women who can discuss Hillary Clinton or Kate Middleton in one breath, give a movie review and name five places to go for drinks after, who have strong opinions on politics and current events, and who make it their business to stay informed about things that matter.

And then there's the other kind.

I recently had to spend a few hours working with that kind of woman.  Why must they talk incessantly?   It was constant.........the chatter about nothing.  The subject of private vs. public schools came up and she asked the two of us who have kids in the public school system about a high school close by.  She heard there was a lot of problems with fights.  No, never heard that.  Are you sure, she asked.  Yes.

Well, she said, I've heard that school has a lot of "transitional" people.  Transitional people?  You know, renters.  The low income type.   

I don't think there is a single community or school system that is immune from the economic hardships that have been going on these last few years, but the more immediate problem wasn't the renter types in a public school she knew nothing about.

It was that she never stopped talking long enough to pay attention to a single thing.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Arranging A Plan

Last week Nonie called to tell me of a florist that needed help with arrangements and wondered if I was interested.  That would be a yes.  I met another friend for coffee and she wanted to know if I was interested in doing some contract work for a company in town that sells homemade soap.  When they get big orders, they call in extra help as needed which is what she had just recently done.  That would be a yes.

Day One at the florist's house consisted of showing me what to do and shoving buckets of flowers and vases at me to arrange.  And I was in heaven. 

No interview.  No interview outfit.  No selling my skills.  No excessive smiling.  No sipping the Kool-Aid.......and if I wanted to work more they'd love to have me back.  Seriously?????  You like me?  You really, really like me????

This week I painted furniture.  Tomorrow and Saturday it's flowers.  Who knows where I'll make a buck next week, but gypsy employment is turning out to be an interesting gig.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Right Tool

There's something about me being in the kitchen with a knife that gives The Big Daddy the heebie jeebies.  He gets nervous and hovers.

As I was cutting a watermelon, he appeared out of nowhere and stood behind me.  Watching.  Lurking.  Assessing.  When he couldn't take it anymore he said, "Here.......let me do that for you."   O.k. with a sigh.

Later in the day, I was cutting potatoes to put on the grill and decided to use the slicer The Queen Mum gave me.   As if The Big Daddy could smell a sharp instrument, he walked in during the process.  Oh geez.  Oh gosh.  Here let me do that for you.  That's o.k.  No, no, I'll do it.  O.k. but be careful.  The blade is really sharp.

All of about fifteen seconds went by and he yelled SON OF A BITCH, which one tends to say when they cut themselves and start bleeding.  Holy shit, he said, that thing is sharp.  I mean really sharp.  Isn't there a tool to use so you don't get your thumb too close?  I mean there should be a tool of some sort.  Like a handle so you don't get cut yourself.  Yeah, a tool handle thing.  Are you sure there isn't a tool that came with this thing?

As a matter of fact, a tool did come with the device.  It is called The Brain.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Send It Up

I read a lot of blogs for a lot of reasons.   I like to read what's out there.  I want to get better at writing and life.  Reading the stories of others teaches me a little bit about both.

The blog below is about a husband who was diagnosed a year ago with stage 3 colon cancer.  Two weeks later, his wife was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.  Neither of them had any idea they were sick.  They aren't even 40 years old.  The blog started when their daughter was born as a way for family and friends to keep with their life.

This update was posted yesterday.  The lives some people live can break your heart.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Shopping For Snakes

This is me and my sister back in The Wonder Years.  We were girly girls trying to survive in a house with three older brothers.

It was some kind of work.

I liked to dress up.  I'd put my fake stole on, get my pocketbook and plastic high heels and go to the market.....which meant I'd clomp around the house gathering cans of food.  One summer morning, I decided to clomp around outside and that is when I had an up close and personal encounter with a snake.

I went running in the house, losing one of my plastic high heels in the process and screaming SNAKESNAKESNAKESNAKEYOUGUYSASNAKE!!!!!!

This is what The Brothers lived for.

They went tearing out the door to find it and when they did one of the boys said, "'s just a garter snake.  It's not gonna hurt you."

The Queen Mum came out to have a look.  The boys had plans for that snake and picked it up with a stick to do God Knows What.  Mom gave them a look and said, "Put that gull damn snake down and go find something better to do."

A snake is a scary thing to come across when you're six years old and out shopping the backyard for some root vegetables to feed your pretend family.  Not near as threatening, though, as a mom in the heat of summer who wasn't about to let her little hellions spend the rest of the day making snake stew.


I wrote this story two weeks ago and had technical issues getting the picture included with the story.  Drrrrrrr...........  I became obsessed with getting it posted so I was constantly thinking about it.  This is what I saw a few days ago on the way to the park.  

I kid you not. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Deep Breath

The Big Daddy came blowing back to town on Saturday and it was like back in the dating days....we were so happy to see each other.

We discussed the crappy news about Mallie Bee not qualifying for any scholarships even though she's a brainiac and everything a school would want in a student.  Two kids in college at once, BD.  How are we going to pull this off?

It keeps me up at night.  This pending drain on our savings account.

And that man said, "You have to stop this.  We will make it work.  We will be o.k.  A year from now, I'll be here.  You'll be here.  We will be o.k."

I know he can't guarantee me that, but if we are both here a year from now and the people we love are here and healthy then he is right.

We will figure it out and I'm glad he's home.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Awards Season

On Wednesday night, I attended an awards ceremony for the graduating seniors.  These are students who are recognized for their brains, their involvement, their leadership and their success over the past four years. 

Each department gives an award to the outstanding student in their subject, and there are other awards that run the gamut from athletics to art to merit scholars.  One of the last awards given was the Principal's Award which goes to four students who have demonstrated leadership amongst their peers.

Though Mallie Bee didn't win any of the special awards, one of her friends did.  Her friend whose mother died of ovarian cancer when she was in the 8th grade, who had some very tough years before her and her brother settled into their motherless lives and who has never blamed anyone for the lousy hand she was dealt.

She strode across that stage with the confidence of somebody twice her age and I couldn't have been happier, for her mother was one of the dearest people in my life.  Six years earlier, I sat next to Vicki in the elementary school gym when the 6th grade choir sang and she cried the entire time.  When they finished, she laughed at herself and wondered how emotional she'd be if her daughter actually did something big.

Well, my friend, she did do something big.  Very big.  She got through lonely days, upheaval and uncertainty, and stayed true to everything you valued in life.  When the principal handed her that award.........I cried for you.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Bug Project

People ask me all the time how I feel about our impending empty nest.  I have mixed feelings.  Some days I can't wait to not have to put the brakes on my day at 2:30 and hightail it home, and other times I look at The Big Daddy and think.........hmmmm.  You and me have some catching up to do.

These days have brought about a lot of reflection on this child-rearing gig that I've been doing for the past 25 years and most of what I remember is the good, the barf, and the school projects.

When The Teacher Girl was in 1st grade, the kids had to do The Bug Project.  It came with a sheet of construction paper that the bug had to fit on, and it could be anything your child you dreamed up as long as it fit on the paper you were given.  Like every instruction sheet I've ever been given, I skimmed it, thus not fully understanding the significance of the endeavor.  We helped with the drawing of it as far as advice, and might have put a few sequins on it but it was most definitely a 1st grade effort.  All the bugs were put on display in the hallway so the kids chould show off their work their parents work.

We had no idea what we were in for.

Bugs that lit up, bugs that had moving parts, bugs with their favorite food coming out of their mouth and a bug made entirely of mink because Sarah's mom owned a fur shop.

Sitting on a piece of construction paper in the back was The Fisher Family Bug that looked like it took a long, slow crawl from the trailer park and had been run over a few times in the process.

We learned our lesson and when it was The Boy Child's turn, we stepped up our participation.  I made many trips to the craft store and his bug looked significantly better than his sister's.  Alas, in The Land of The Overachievers and The Overindulged, it wasn't a show stopper.

When it was Mallie Bee's turn, The Big Daddy said, "Don't worry.  I've got this covered."  For a week he toiled at the workbench in the basement working with plaster of paris, paper mache and paint.  When he emerged he was carrying a cricket that weighed as much as The Beester and announced to the family..............

"That school will remember the last Fisher bug."

They did, too, for it was a menacing black cricket so pumped up on steroids that it scared the bejeezits out of kids and adults alike.  When it came home from The Big Show it spooked Mallie Bee so much that we shoved it in the closet with the other scary monsters and called it quits..........

.............which is what we are looking forward to after all these years.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Mallie Bee and I spend a lot of time together.  She does not drive.  Yet.  She has been slow to get her license due to a busy schedule and her parents continued apathy.  At the moment, she is not the least bit happy about this situation.

I took her to school and we were talking about making each other nuts.  Sometimes, she said......I make myself nuts.

Explain away.

Well, I overthink everything.  Somebody will say something to me and I'll think......what did she mean by that?  Is she mad at me?  I wonder what I did to make her mad?  But I hardly see her so how could I have made her mad?  Then I'll think........maybe she's not anything.  Maybe I'm reading into things that aren't there.

You have learned from the master.

When a sparkly, beautiful, smart girl says those things it sounds more like teenage angst then a neurosis.

All in due time my little pretty.