Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dear Forties,

Dear Forties,

Thank you so much for kicking my butt lately.  It is so kind of you to remind me on a daily, no hourly basis, that things are just getting warmed up and I have 8.3 more years of you.

Last night when I went to the Sushi bar with some friends of mine (in their early twenties) it was really great that you made me pull out the grandma reading glasses so I could read the sushi menu.  Then, when we left the restaurant you stung me again when the girls (frankly anyone female under 25 at this point can be called a girl) made the comment about how we should meet again because hanging out with me on a slow night for them wasn't so bad since I was twice their age.  Ouch.

This week as I have dropped my child off for VBS each morning you have slapped me in the face with the fact that I am BY FAR the oldest parent with a participating child.  Yes, Bubba is my youngest, but I still have some time left before I feel like I am twice the age of the girls there too, don't I?

Daily you remind me you are still here and laughing in my face when I run, get out of a chair, climb stairs, rise from sleeping, or any other gross motor movements.  Are you kidding me?  Please, please tell me that your good friend Fifty will be kinder to me.

First you took my muscles, and gave me aches and pains in return, then you took my eyesight and saddled me with reading glasses, then you took my smooth skin and gave me fly hairs growing out of my back, now you are taking the idea that I am young and fun, and turning me into an old hermit that would rather sit at home and read, sew and watch t.v., than go out to a social event.  What is next, Forty?  What is next?

Hugs and hairy kisses,


Monday, June 27, 2011

I Can't Wait for Puberty

Last night Bubba spent the night at a friends house.  He and his friend Josh are BFF's and while Josh has stayed with us a few times, this was the first time Bubba spent the night at his house.

After Sam arrived home I asked how the night went (great), what time they fell asleep (2:30), and what they did (watched Journey to the Center of the Earth). I got the standard answers, then after a few beats Sam said "After the movie Josh and I felt each other's arm pits and saw who had more arm pit hair."

Hannah, sitting at the kitchen table, looks up at me with wide eyes and smiles.  I catch her smile and without skipping a beat ask Sam "Who had more?"

Sam replied, "Neither one of us really had any."

Hannah mumbles under her breath, "That is SO gay.  Don't tell Dad he said that."

I Lost Bubba

Today I drug the kids to this seriously ghetto place in Dayton called Mendleson's.  Mendleson's is right downtown by the ball field housed in a huge (millions of square feet) old building crammed packed with old equipment, "lots" of things from businesses, hundreds of chairs and tables from restaurants, lockers and glass showcases, and floors of electronic and industrial junk.  It is a fun, but weird place to visit and buy the obscure.

We drove to Mendleson's to look and see if they had any wire shelving to zip tie together construct a new squirrel habitat in the basement.  If anyplace would have the necessary weird materials to make a squirrel habitat, it would be Mendelson's.

This is our second trip to Mendelson's since moving to Ohio and I can't say that I feel super comfortable perusing the store, but I knew what to expect and NOT to take a shower before our shopping trip.  While the three of us were walking through the aisles, Bubba was doing his usual "Pokey Puppy" routine and was lagging behind.  While I'm not a big fan of this, I am hyper aware of Bubba straying with all the crazy clientele in the maze that is Mendelson's.  We were just walking back up to the exit, having given up hope of finding the squirrel necessities, when I turn to Hannah and ask, "Where is your brother?"

Hannah and I start looking around the area, occupied by less than a handful of people, when suddenly I start to panic.  Where is he?  Did I loose him in the store?  Did he sit down and start playing his ipod?  OH MY GOSH!  I start calling his name...Sam!  Sam!  Where are you buddy?  No answer.  I start frantically looking.  A large, hugely obese man shuffles to the left and lo and behold I see my son.  Standing there.  Looking at me like I'm a crazy person.  

Sam was behind the fat man the whole time and I didn't see him.  Hannah looks at me and physically bites her tongue.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dear Betty Crocker,

Dear Betty,

Thank you so much for making such a delicious product.  Words cannot express the amount of love I have for your fudge brownies.  The happy red box.  The easy prep.  The mouth watering result.  I dream of your brownies.  I plan events just so I can make your brownies.  You are the cause of many hours and miles on the bike and on the street running off your yummy product.

If asked my favorite food, the answer is ALWAYS Betty Crocker brownies.  NOT Ghirardelli.  NOT Hersheys...Dunken Hines...Pillsbury.  None of those brands can match your taste, your perfect crunch and crackle.  No bakery can produce such a product as yours, and God forbid someone adds a nut to a brownie and tries to offer it to me.

As a gift, last year, I received an all edge brownie pan and it has changed my life.  The problem is that the all edge brownie pan I now own has three channels for brownie.  There are four of us in our family, and unless one of us is gone, there isn't a good way to break up three rows for four people.

Once the red fudge brownie box is in my pantry it calls to me.  It beckons me to make it.  To eat it.  I can't leave the box alone, it gets lonely.  I get lonely.

Hugs and fudgey kisses,


Nine Lives

Can dogs have nine lives?  I love (most days) my 9 pound Chloe, but last night, again, she proved to be indestructible.

First, Chloe is a rescue dog.  She showed up on a friends doorstep on Christmas day 2004, after living in the woods for what was possibly months.  At nine pounds I can't imagine how many hawks, coons and other wild animals she encountered and conquered.

Since coming to live with us in January of 2005 Chloe has been run over by a bike, ingested an entire corn cob and passed it painfully after a few days, had kidney problems, jumped out of a stopped car in a school parking lot and made her way inside to find me, suffered many a blow to the head from children playing basketball and soccer, Chloe has taken off after me when I have driven away from home, she has chewed her way thru a wooden gate, peed her way thru every airport she has flown thru, and lost all her teeth, just to name a few incidents. 

And last night?  While visiting my brother in law and hanging out with his family in their backyard, Chloe found a mouse trap and set it off on her tongue.  Yes, her tongue.

No, we are not negligent.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dear Axe Body Spray,

Dear Axe,

Yesterday when Hannah's new friend Bryce got in the car, please do NOT take offense that Sam asked what smelled.  Sam did not mean to accuse you, Axe, and imply that something was malodorous.  

Leave it to little brothers, Axe...come on, you have got to understand that there was no harm intended on your good teen product name.  Bryce smells good, and the sudden change in the car from old farts and buffalo breath, to nice clean boy smell, was just a sudden shock.

Bryce "claims" that it wasn't you, Axe, but just soap and pit stick, but we know the truth.  Teenage boys really stink.  Puberty does funny things to their smell.  Your product is a godsend, Axe, but PLEASE, PLEASE remind them that it is best in small doses. 

Thank you, Axe.  From all of us.

Hugs and stinky kisses,


Dear Bank Teller,

Dear Bank Teller,

Thank you so much for putting up with my 10 year old.  You were very kind and patient with us when we showed up to change his allowance money into singles.  You, smartly, counted all twenty (2 months worth of allowance) ones back to him so he would not think you "jipped him on anything."  

Thank you, too, for patiently answering his questions about how many ones you keep on hand at the bank, in case he wanted more, and you very smartly commented on how thick 20 ones looked in his wallet.  You, my friend, are a pro.

Unfortunately normally I think your bank sucks.  Your bank has personally screwed me and my husband too many times to count and it makes my blood boil just to walk into your lobby.  But you, nice bank teller lady, redeemed your employer just a little today.  A TINY bit.

And, no, Bubba is not going to a strip club, which is I am sure what you were thinking when he asked for his bills to be broken into ones, he is not longer extended credit at the Bank of Mom, and has to pay for his itunes apps as I type in the itunes password.  Just in case you were wondering.

Hugs and single kisses,


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dear Recumbent Bike,

Dear Recumbent Bike,

Thank you so much for kicking my butt every morning.  Ever since I ran 5 miles last Wednesday, I haven't been able to walk, ne sit in a chair for extended periods of time, but you, exercise bike, have made it so I can still burn some calories.

The strange thing, exercise bike, is that you make me sweat weird.  Don't take this the wrong way, but why does sweat drip down my arms like James Brooks in Broadcast News when I am riding a bike?  It seems that my arms, lying flaccid at my sides get more action than my quads.

And can I say that you are not very helpful when you flash my results at the end of my session and you give me some weak number like 300 calories burned when I have just worked my butt off for 40 minutes!  I am expecting better numbers from you, bike!  How am I supposed to work off whole pans of brownies and, let's face it, 5 or 6 donuts when YOU can't make that burned calorie number higher?

Well, thank you exercise bike.  I appreciate all you have done for me, now I am going to go and make you my bitch.

Hugs and sweaty kisses,


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dear Hasbro,

Dear Hasbro,

Thank you for making the Nerf products.  This week we purchased ANOTHER one of your Nerf guns for a birthday present, the gift of choice of young Samuel.  Bubba is a huge fan of Nerf and owns 4 or 5 of your rapid fire guns.

This evening, upon dropping my child off at her crushes' house, Hannah and her crush went and showed their age and innocence by running off to play Nerf war with their younger brother and sister.  Yes, the war was played in the dark, in the basement, and there were times that Hannah and her boy crush were alone in the dark...when she spills her guts to me tonight I'll ask if boy-crush FINALLY made his move and held her hand, or, gasp, kissed her.  

But Nerf, it made my heart swell with the fact that there was a little "kid" left in her after all.  Thank you for that.

Hugs and rapid fire (hopeful) kisses,


Don't Touch the Hair

Yesterday morning I realized I had scheduled a hair appointment for 9:30 a.m. that day.   When it dawned on me I looked in the mirror and thought, man, I don't really need a haircut, but I will go because it is RUDE not to show for an appointment.

I get to the salon (let's face it, it is in a strip mall and it has a cheesy name, but it is still technically a salon) and check in.  The receptionist tells me she will let Andrea (pronounce On-dre-a, not And-dre-a) know I am there.  The clock ticks by.  Five minutes pass.  Ten pass.  Andrea comes out of the back room with cell phone to her head motioning to her chair while she talks on the phone about "camp."  I groan.  I have been going to this woman for 2 years, and ALL this woman EVER talks about is Girl Scouts.  Nothing against the Girl Scout organization, it seems like a fine wholesome thing to have your daughter participate in, but I am tired of hearing about the drama in her troop, I am tired about listening who has to sleep next to who in the tent, I am tired about hearing about how she has to leave work to run to Micheal's to get extra craft materials...I am just tired of Andrea's talk.

Andrea FINALLY gets off the phone (RUDE!) and starts to go on about what supplies and how far they are going to hike at camp.  She does not greet me.  She does not ask me how I would like my hair cut.  She does not ask me how I AM DOING.  She just starts talking about freaking Girl Scouts and cutting my hair.  And I grow quiet, too quiet.  And get pissed.

If you know anything about me, or have spent any time with me, you would know that if I suddenly grow very quiet, it is usually that I am so supremely pissed off that I can't speak.  Either that or I am hungry.  Maybe distracted.  But, most times when I am quiet?  Watch out.  I AM PISSED.  I guess I take after my Dad in that respect.

Andrea finally shuts up for a second and I tell her that it is summer and I want my hair a bit shorter, but since it has only been about 4 weeks since my last haircut (I had to schedule this soon because of freaking Girl Scout camp next week) not too short.  Andrea pulls out her card* that lists my last 15 haircuts and the measurements on how she cut it and takes a peek.  (* Remember this card.  This is key.)  Andrea proceeds to cut my hair, pulls out the blow dryer, OH NO SHE DIDN'T and puts a LARGE wad of goo in my hair and starts blow drying it with one of those large round scratchy brushes.  UH-HUH?  My face must have gone from pissed to puckered up, because what the heck?  She took one look at me and immediately stopped.

By this time?  My hair was sticking S*T*R*A*I*G*H*T off my head.  Like I had stuck a finger in a light socket.  Andrea pulled out the mirror and showed me the back like she was proud.  I looked at it, ran my fingers through the obvious shelf-y bumps and must have puckered harder.  Andrea asked if how it was and I commented with a fine, getting up out of my chair and taking the drape off.

I went up front, paid and left.

So, I figure I get my haircut every 5 weeks or so, so that would be roughly 10 haircuts a year. I have been going to Andrea for 2 years and change...that means she has cut my hair over 20 times.  When I first started going to Andrea I filled out my client card* and noted a few things about my hair preferences.  First, I NEVER want my hair blowed dry.  I don't do it at home, it is a large waste of time since when the stylist does it it looks like cotton candy old lady hair, I just hate the blow dryer.  Second, I noted I love short hair, but never want it to look too butch, mannish or stereotypically lesbian spiky.   Third, I don't want a distinct shelf in the back of my hair.  I did that for years, and it just isn't my current look.  Fourth, I don't like those scratchy brushes like my Mom used to rat the crown of her hair with.  They are a thing of my childhood and it gives me the creeps.  Back when I filled the thing out I thought the client card was a great idea...get all my dirty laundry in the air, BUT TODAY SHE DIDN'T DO WHAT I ASKED.

Add the fact that I looked like I stuck my finger in a light socket to the fact that I can't stand her Girl Scout nonsense...I will not be returning.

I went outside to get in my car and remembered that I needed to stop at the store to get coconut for a dessert that Hannah was making for a party we were going to.  As I was driving to the store madly looking for something in the car to plaster my hair down with, it started to rain.  I parked and walked out into the rain hoping my hair would get sopping wet on the walk into the store.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dear Neighbors,

Dear Neighbors,

Thank you for your warm and generous hospitality to others.  It is so wonderful that you beautified your yard with an in ground pool and volleyball court recently, and that you have a constant stream of gangly teenage boys in droopy swim trunks trying to woo your gorgeous blonde twin high school girls.  

We have had such a long and rainy spring then surprisingly hot spring, it has been a welcome change to have had this week of 75 degree days and 55 degree nights.  Now that these "perfect" days and nights are here and I do NOT have to have my air conditioner running full blast all night, I am sleeping with my windows open.  Last night, while trying to get to sleep from 10:30-11:30 it was a little frustrating to have the beach bums holding a raucous game of volleyball outside my window.  No, I am not employed.  No, I am not a senior citizen.  I just like to go to bed by 10 most nights.  And, might I say, that if I am horizontal, I am fast asleep within seconds, which is a gift AND a curse, but I digress.

Thank you, mainly, for your privacy fence so us lookey-loos can't see you having all these parties.  EVERY night.  EVERY weekend.  With NO invitation to us common folk outside the walls of your newly constructed compound, mind you.  And thank you, too, for said privacy fence so I don't have to look at my child's teachers and former teachers in their bathing suits, since you work at the Elementary and are BFF's with every teacher my son has ever had for some strange coincidence.  Better seen than heard in this instance.  My retinas thank you.

Hugs and wet kisses,


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dearest Verizon,

Thank you so much for offering unlimited texting as an option in our calling program.  For only $5.00 a month my daughter can keep in contact with a boy.  Every minute of her waking hours.  She can have a cyber-relationship with a new boy, stay in contact with me and David (when it is convenient), talk with her girlfriends, sit next to someone on the couch and carry on a conversation with them while watching a movie (I actually find this refreshing since I DO NOT like movie talkers) and receive texts from strange boys who apparently like kittens.

Hannah has a new boy in her life.  This one is for realseys.  He actually CAME OVER TO OUR HOUSE twice already this week.  And it is Wednesday!  AND we met his parents!  But thanks to you, Verizon, Hannah and said boy can text each other upon waking, text each other throughout the day and even text each other back and forth "eney meeny miney mo" to see which house they are going to hang out at.  Without you, Verizon, I would be paying 5 cents a text x (conservatively) 1000 texts a day...basically I would be poor because of this child's texting.

Why do I allow my child the ability to text?  Who is the parent in this family?  I know Verizon. I am the parent. You are right, Verizon, if I wanted to do something about this I could.  But at the old age of 13.75, Hannah has a boy that is a friend, who is REALLY great in a not so Eddie Haskell way, and wants to spend time with her.  It is like I am experiencing High School all over again, I mean, it's that I am trying to help Hannah make good relationship choices.  You and your texting, Verizon, have made dating such a foreign thing.  Gone are the days of waiting by the phone for a boy to call.  You have made it so that girls can have "boyfriends" without actually having face to face time with them.  Some of the awkwardness is being alleviated. 

Thank you Verizon, for your support in all of this.  Believe me, I know you are reaping the rewards with the amount of money I pay you each month and the "opportunity" to upgrade my phones coming up this month.  



Monday, June 13, 2011

The Chilean People

Dearest People of Chili,

Thank you so much for making my introduction to your ingenious product such a smooth and buttery one.  I am newly acquainted with your product and am quite happy I took the chance and purchased your sinfully yummy drink.

I am quite finicky and have had some poor reactions to other products in the past, but your red ambrosia soothed me after a long days work moving 8 tons of dirt in our yard.

Whilst I have been a fan of the Australians in recent years, your sheer genius in producing such an excellent product has demoted the great people of Australia to second place in my book.  I am now hearing the great chants of "Malbec....Malbec...Malbec" in my dreams.

Keep up the good work!

Hugs and drunk kisses,


Friday, June 10, 2011

8th Grade Boys

I spent the morning volunteering at the 8th Grade Farewell party.  Mind you, my 8th grader is a girl, but 8th grade boys are weird!  5 minutes after arrival I was thrust into the position of first base ref for one of the kickball stations.  

Of coarse, because it is kickball and 14 year old kids, one of the boys gets hit in the junk at the end of the first inning.  While he is rolling around on the ground at my feet another boy (Daniel) walks up to me, assesses the situation and starts describing a recent event in his life where a friend of Hannah's grabbed him by his junk and gave it a twist.  He went on to vividly describe the resulting vomiting and pain.

Seriously.  I knew neither of the boys.  Is this what 8th grade boys discuss with strange 41 year old women?  The balls of these kids, I tell ya!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thank You

Thank YOU for putting up with me.  I have been missing lately.  And not too much fun to be around on the blog, or in person.

Please excuse my moodiness.  It is not you, it's me.  I am struggling with some things in my life, and with time, I will recover and be stronger.  I know it is a process, but honesty, therapy and prayer will heal me.  

Just like when you are sick, or after a loved one dies, it seems like you are in slow motion and the world around you moves by and others take the joys of everyday life for granted.  

Here is what I have learned, need to remember daily (and can share) so far:

I am hard on myself.  I don't say nice things to myself and often interpret others remarks toward the negative.

God can give you faith for tomorrow in a situation that seems hopeless.

I need to be independent and have independent interests.

I need some self confidence.

Moving 3 times to 3 different states has given me wonderful friends, but also made me lazy when it comes to keeping in touch or making friends in my current location.  

I know, it seems strange that someone with my engaging personality and good blog presence can be such a downer, but we all go through crap in our lives, and sometimes it's nice to hear just that: other people struggle too.  It is nice to hear that things will be okay.  God will give us the faith we need and promises to never leave us or forsake us.

Things WILL be better.  Thank you for putting up with me.

Dear Painting Crew,

Dear Painting Crew,

Thank you so much for all your hard work beautifying my neighborhood with your dilapidated vehicles and parking along both sides of our residential street for the past two weeks so each one of my neighbors and myself have to drive through your obstacle course of cars to get to and from our homes.  The thing I am most thankful for, though, is one truck in particular that has a set of steel testicles hanging from the rear of their truck bed.  This one particular pornographic accouterment has encouraged such interesting discussions at our home.

Thank you for being such a FREAKING redneck that you decide that it is okay to hang testicles from your truck.  My teenage daughter also appreciates your panache.  She has learned so much from you and your truck.  As we were weaving by the other day she commented on how your testicles looked like a rear end, and I got the pleasure of explaining to her that those were in fact testicles and you had some sort of insecurity complex so you needed an extra pair.  This realization has opened her eyes to the world around her.  It is almost as if she is learning the truth of the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, she is now asking me to interpret other foul bumper stickers and car charms.

Thanks so much for everything!

Hugs and sloppy kisses,


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dear Super Mom,

Thank you so much for allowing your child to come over to our house for a school project/play date on Thursday.  I know, I know, that I must have seemed a little unrealistic when I suggested the two boys could get together after school sometime, but I real appreciate the way you went through Super Kid's schedule and found an hour of time for Bubba.  I was so kind of you to be able to fit Bubba in only 10 days from the original request.  

I understand what with guitar lessons, softball, other play dates, and all the other myriad of tasks you set out for your son that you plan each hour of your child's life with a Daytimer.  Who wouldn't?

I also appreciate how over prepared Super Kid was for the 58 minutes Bubba was allowed to spend with him.  It was so kind of Super Kid to bring an electric guitar, amp and music to my house to really show Bubba his mad guitar skills and make Bubba feel like the idiot child.

The best part of the whole 58 minutes for me, though, was when you corrected me.  THAT was really kind of you to show me the error of my thinking.  In front of my child.  I really needed to be reprimanded.  Let's make sure we get together again soon.  I'll check my calendar and get back to you.

Hugs and sloppy kisses,


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Big Thanks to Macys!

Dear Macy's-

Thank you so much for hiring sales associates that work for commission sales.  A few days ago I was in your store making a purchase for my husband and came across one of the worst sales associates I have ever encountered in my 23 years of adulthood shopping.  And THAT is saying something given the lack of the oxymoronic phrase "Customer Service" in the last few years (right Jennifer)?

Let's start with her appearance.  Whilst a black cami is always a good choice under a sweater for those just in case wardrobe malfunctions (funny story about me and my lack of cami's later), the shear Frederick's of Hollywood cami this certain employee was wearing was inappropriate given she was having a major wardrobe malfunction.  Her sweater had come unbuttoned and her 60 year old cleavage was on display for all to see.

Secondly, when I walk up and am obviously in a hurry to check out with my one item, when said ASSociate makes eye contact with me, asks me if I am ready to check out and takes my purchase from my hand, I am pretty convinced that she IS NOT going to lay it down and walk away to help someone else.  I was very offended that this sales associate was so bent on multitasking, but sucked at it.

When I went back to your fine store the next day to return the item, since it did not fit my husband, I was very irritate to see that the SAME employee was doing THE EXACT same moves...making eye contact, asking to be helpful, then walking away.  I am was very happy to be returning my item and will be taking ALL my purchases to another check stand from this point forward.

Hugs and sloppy kisses!