Thursday, May 31, 2007

Whatever Happened To The Lazy Days of Summer?

It isn’t even June yet and I already feel like the summer is rushing by. The kids, while happy to be out of school, are scheduled to the hilt; The Girl is attending volleyball camp this week and the Man-Cub starts wrestling camp next week. The Cub also has Boy Scout camp later in June and baseball games every Monday and Friday night throughout the month. The Girl, in a protest against having to attend daycare “like a baby”, has started working at the hardware store in the afternoons following camp.

She’s eleven and she’s making more money than I made at eighteen (oh yeah, I didn't have a job, so um, yeah; never mind). Of course, Hugh plans to split her checks into money which she can spend and money that goes directly into her savings account, but, still; she’s got some responsibility and she’s getting rewarded for doing a good job. Granted, she has only been employed for three whole days but; she appears to enjoy the work and she’s managed to keep from getting underfoot so, fingers crossed. Because, I mean, really; think of the money I’ll save on daycare! And, you know, about how good it is for her to develop a strong work ethic. Yeah, that’s what I meant.

Where was I? Oh, yes, the Incredible Shrinking Summer Season. We do actually want to get in some fun time before the children have to go back to school and it is looking more and more like we will have to schedule that in order for it to happen. Gah. I miss the slow, lazy summers of my childhood and only now realize that they were probably not all that slow and lazy for my parents.

Perspective is such a bitch, as is life, often enough.

Speaking of which, the brother of High School Boyfriend passed away this weekend. He was only 38; too young to die of anything let alone of lung cancer but, there you have it.

I loved High School Boyfriend’s brother like, well, a brother. He taught me how to drive a stick-shift when High School Boyfriend proved too impatient to do it himself and, in reference to a private joke between the two of us; took to calling me Sunshine! everytime he saw me. Every time and always with the exclamation point, always. He knew that it annoyed his brother to no end yet, he never got out of the habit; when I saw him three years ago, he embraced me in a bear hug and hollered Sunshine! You look great! He was sweet and funny and sensitive and I will miss him.

Ironically, I don’t miss High School Boyfriend so; maybe perspective isn’t such a bitch after all.

Sunshine! out.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Our Wicked Weekend

Hugh and I had a fabulous time in Denver this weekend. The Brown Palace is absolutely gorgeous and so very romantic but, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Thursday, as I mentioned, I was responsible for conducting an all-day training seminar for my job. The training had been in the planning stages for months and it was quite a relief to get it over with. I think it went well but, I won’t know for certain until all the evaluations are in; fingers crossed. Still, it was nice to have that stress out of the way so Hugh and I could enjoy our little get-away and, did we ever!

Friday, we unloaded the children on Oscar and Emily and made the leisurely drive to Denver. We weren’t on any particular schedule so we took our time and enjoyed the drive. Traffic was surprisingly light but lord almighty; were the State Troopers out en masse.

Once we got to Denver, we checked into the hotel. The Brown Palace was built in 1893 and has withstood the test of time brilliantly. The rooms are gorgeous, the front lobby is like something out of Titanic and guests are serenaded by a pianist from 10:00 a.m. until after the dinner hour, classy!

After we unpacked, we toured the hotel, stopping to take pictures of the view from our room on the fifth floor.
Chelle: Isn’t it romantic?
Hugh: It is. You know what it reminds me of?
Chelle: Titanic?
Hugh: No (crooking his index finger) REDRUM, REDRUM!
Chelle: My god, you are one romantic son of a gun, you know it?

In his defense, he was kind of right.

Later, we walked the block over to the 16th Street Mall where we enjoyed the Summer Art Fair before stopping for dinner at the Hard Rock Café. We finished off the evening with a viewing of Pirates of the Caribbean 3; agreeing to keep that little ditty to ourselves lest the children rise up in protest and hurt us.

The movie was quite good which, after my disappointment in #2, was a nice surprise. Also, Orlando Bloom can shiver me timbers, anytime.

Saturday morning found us at my favorite place to eat breakfast, The Corner Bakery on the 16th Street Mall. I had the ham and cheddar Panini (just typing that makes my mouth water). Since we didn’t have any plans for the day, we spent it wandering the mall, picking up some golf shirts (favorite sentence of the day; Maybe we could find a couple that aren’t so…gay?) and new dress shoes for Hugh as well as a few items of clothing for myself ( Tommy Hilfiger sandals to die for!) and gifts for the children. We walked as far as the Capitol Building and the county building and relaxed a bit in the park before heading back to the hotel to get dressed up for the play.

One of Hugh’s favorite places to eat dinner is Maggianos Little Italy so that is where we had dinner before the play. I highly recommend it, the Chicken Marsala is particularly good with a nice glass of italian Pinot Grigio.

The play itself was fantastic. Hugh even enjoyed it, despite shooting me the Look of Death when he realized that it was, in fact, a musical. He enjoyed it so much actually; he suggested that we try to see something else again, soon. I am all over that since the 2007/2008 season includes White Christmas. Also, The Little Mermaid is set to start in August.

Sunday, after our second breakfast at The Corner Bakery, we drove home and released the children from their weekend of servitude to their grandparents; if you consider servitude to include day-long water gun fights and all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets, that is.

Then, since we had promised them that we would take them to see the pirate movie, we found ourselves in our local theater, enjoying it for the second time. Or, for the first, depending on whether you ask us or the children.

And, once again, Orlando Bloom, mrrrowwwrr!

In other news, an exciting thing happened while I was away; I was spotlighted by Dana and Toni! I am so honored! Thanks, ladies!

Today, I am back at work and, that kinda sucks but, what can you do? Like I often say; you have to make a living if you are going to have a life.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Don’t You Just Hate It….

….when work gets in the way of your social life? Or, in my case, in the way of your hobby? There will be no update tomorrow as I will be conducting an all-day training; I’m so excited! NOT.

I probably won't update on Friday, either. Not because of work but, because I actually have a social life (shuddup! I do, too!); Hugh and I are headed to Denver for the weekend. We are staying here and are seeing this.

The cost of which makes the whole having a job thing a little less distasteful, I must admit.

Have a happy Memorial Day weekend, y’all!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Two For One

The Man-Cub and The Girl each lost a tooth yesterday. Isn’t that ironic? And, you know, somewhat hard to forget?

Not if you are the Tooth Fairy, apparently.

See, rumor has it that, when awakened by her bladder at three o'clock this morning, she was seized by panic with the realization that she had, in fact, forgotten to make her bedside visit. So, were it not for her bladder; the Ms. Congeniality kids would have gone without a visit. If that is true and, I’m not saying it is true since, I try to take gossip with a grain of salt and all; I hope she realizes the extra glass of Fairy Juice she had before bedtime saved her pitiful ass from a lifetime of scorn.

Especially considering her already somewhat tenuous relationship with The Girl who, by the tender age of six, was already asking questions such as; “Where does the Tooth Fairy live and how does she get from house to house? How does she know that I lost a tooth? Is she spying on me?!” And, what I'm sure had to be the Tooth Fairy’s personal favorite; “What does the Tooth Fairy do with all those teeth?” The answer to that question (Um….she sells them back to parents at a profit?) led to The Great Tooth Buy-Back of '04.

Seriously, she requested the buy-back in writing. And, she wanted a receipt.

You thought I was kidding? Fairy dodged a bullet last night, is what I’m saying.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My Kingdom For a Nap

We had a very busy weekend at Casa de Chelle. Friday evening, Hugh, the kids and I attended Family Night, which was sponsored by the kids’ after-school program and at which we were fed submarine sandwiches roughly the size of the Man-Cub’s head while watching the kids perform a number of skits they have been practicing since the beginning of the quarter. The skits were amusing, for the most part but, the thing I will remember most is the conversation we had with the Man-Cub who assured us that his new tooth was preparing to “hatch” any time now, really, any second now. Don’t look away!

For the record, we did and, it did not.

Following the family night festivities, we headed to the theater to watch Shrek the Third. The extra row of seats in the new car came in quite handy since Hugh had been diligently collecting additional children throughout the evening; we ended up with four additional little bodies to transport and, I'm fairly certain Hugh would have snagged a few more had I not appealed to his sense of self-preservation by pointing out the fact that my nerves could not possibly take much more.

In all honesty, though, the kids he managed to borrow were really well behaved and everyone had a great time so; I would do it again. Don’t tell Hugh, though.

Saturday, while The Girl attended a birthday party, the Man-Cub and I visited our local library. The Cub loaded up on books about pirates which he proceeded to memorize on the short ride home. He now speaks Pirate fluently and is clearly prepared to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie which comes out later this week. I’m equally prepared to see the movie since, as we all know, I appreciate a good historical drama.

Or, I have an historical appreciation of Orlando Bloom’s very nice tush. Whichever.

Anyhoo, we killed the rest of the afternoon by wandering around the gardens at a local nursery. While I was focused on the plants, the Cub managed to notice a number of other interesting items including snails, two butterflies, a ladybug, the nursery’s resident cat and a dog owned by the nursery’s manager. To my credit, I stopped to admire each of his discoveries and, to his credit, he waited patiently while I changed my mind (approximately seven hundred times) about which color of rosebushes to buy and, he did so without too much sighing and rolling of the eyes (notice, I said too much).

On Sunday, we went to the local diner for breakfast where we delighted in tripping up our regular waitress by ordering things completely different than what we usually order. She handled it very well but I’m fairly certain the Earth shifted under her, if only briefly.

Then, we washed my car so that it could rain. Seriously. Living in a drought? I shall come to your location and wash my car and rain will follow. Guaranteed.

Then, since we were wet, anyway; we went swimming. I would elaborate on the remainder of the day but, I’m boring myself and, since I’m already tired, additional boredom could throw me into a coma. And, you would not want that on your conscience, now would you?

On a completely unrelated topic, a while back I won an auction for a pair of new Seven For All Mankind jeans on eBay. If you don’t know jeans, let me assure you; Sevens are the bomb. They also retail for like a gazillion dollars (or, you know, a couple hundred, potato-potatoh) and we all know I am no gazillionaire so; I was stoked to win them for a mere $30.00. They arrived in today’s mail and, they are just as advertised; new without tags, awesome, fabulous and….too damn big.

I am debating the logic of reselling them on eBay or eating my weight in chocolate until they do fit.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I’m Booooored

But, I’m wearing really cute shoes.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen, Edition Twenty-One:
Thirteen Cheesie Movies I Can Watch Over and Over

1. Dirty Dancing. Patrick Swayze brings the dirty; no one puts baby in a corner, indeed.

2. Steele Magnolias. When I am old, I will be Miss Claire to my girlfriend Joy’s, Ouiser although, she refuses to grow tomatoes. We’ve already discussed it.

3. Pretty Woman. I especially enjoy the part where everyone’s favorite prostitute goes shopping in thigh-high plether boots and is shocked when no one on Rodeo Drive will wait upon her. Shocked!

4. Parenthood. The closing montage in the hospital makes me cry. Every. Single. Time. All the happy, happy parents and the cute toddlers and the adorably squeezable babies, how could you not cry? Although, if you don’t that’s ok. Maybe sentimentality just isn’t your thing cough***freak***cough.

5. An Officer and a Gentleman. And, not just because our hero sweeps the damsel off her feet and carries her into the sunset, either. Ok, that’s totally why.

6. Urban Cowboy. John Travolta before Scientology sucked the sexy right out of him. Favorite bit of dialog:
Sissy: You happy?
Bud: Hell yes, I’m happy; you happy?
Dude, she’s living in a camper trailer with an abusive ex-convict with a penchant for eating poor defenseless tequila worms, how could she possibly be unhappy?

7. Sixteen Candles. "I can’t believe I gave my panties to a geek." We couldn’t believe it either, Samantha.

8. Hope Floats. The soundtrack is pretty awesome, too.

9. Bull Durham. Kevin Costner as Crash Davis had me at; "Well, I believe in the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days." Um, where do I sign up?

10. Point Break. Keanu Reeves in a rain-soaked tee-shirt=Chelle in a drool-soaked tee-shirt.

11. Footloose. Well, because everybody’s gotta cut footloose!

12. Say Anything. Admit it; you totally wish John Cusack would stand outside your window in the pouring rain, while holding a boombox from which In Your Eyes blares. You totally do.

13. Father of the Bride. It occurs to me that I might have a slight crush on Steve Martin. I said I might. On the other hand, it could just be that bit about me being a sentimental fool which, once again, might not be your thing and, that’s ok. Freaks.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Say It Isn’t So

Last night, Hugh, The Girl and I attended the 6th Grade Orientation at the Middle School. We learned where The Girl’s locker will be, how much we are expected to pay for her gym uniform, the subjects that will be covered in the school’s curriculum and exactly what it sounds like when my dried-up ovaries fall out of my pant leg and roll across the cafeteria floor, never to be seen again.

It isn’t a pleasant sound and, frankly, I would have been embarrassed where it not for the fact that all the other mothers were likewise frantically searching the floor for their rogue reproductive organs.

And, speaking of reproductive organs; the most anticipated and/or dreaded day of Fifth Grade has arrived! That’s right, today is the day that the gym teacher and the school nurse separate the boys from the girls for The Talk.

You know, The Talk. The one about ( P-U-B-E-R-T-Y.) wherein the girls learn about the onset of menstruation and the boys learn about wet dreams (I’m assuming, having never been a boy and all. It’s a relatively safe assumption, right? I mean, they aren’t exactly teaching the boys how to figure a four-point spread or the correct use of a condom. Are they? Oh my god.).

The Girl has been looking forward to this day since before school even started and, already having an extensive knowledge of the lesson’s content; doesn’t seem the least bit anxious. In fact, she seems to have a pretty laissez-faire attitude about the entire topic. She is, however, curious about what they will tell the boys about what the girls are learning and vice versa. Having "been there-done that", I predict a certain awkwardness between the boys and the girls for the rest of the day and, I can’t wait to hear all about it.

In fact, I’m looking forward to hearing her version of events way more than I am looking forward to embracing the realization that I have a daughter who is old enough to navigate the Feminine Products aisle at the Hellmouth.

Weren’t we frequent fliers in the baby products aisle like, yesterday?

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Weekend in Pictures

The weather in Colorado was pleasingly cooperative this weekend. Sure, we had a thunderous rainstorm yesterday but, with that exception; the remainder of the time was lovely as evidenced by:

The children spent the majority of Saturday on the trampoline, which I like to think of as a very large play-pen, for older kids.

I spent my time with Racheal Ray and SPF 45.

Saturday afternoon, I attended the planning meeting for the Youth Baseball Associations’ annual fundraiser and, as promised, Margaritas abounded. I have no pictures, however since it is just bad form to whip out the camera and document drunken antics of people within minutes of meeting them. Although, I must admit, this particular group would have found no offense. Which is why I’m thinking; I will be seeing a lot more of them.

Sunday I enjoyed my Mother’s Day breakfast of Beehive Pancakes on the back porch while sipping a latte and reading a good book.

I also enjoyed my Mother’s Day present; rocking chairs for the front porch! Thanks for the chairs, Hugh! And, you know, for making me a mother.

The children and I spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool but, alas, the pictures are on the other camera, the one I neglected to bring with me to work today so, no pictures for you. Ok, fine, maybe just one.

Look! It's Mother's Day on Fantasy Island!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lessons Learned

When I was in kindergarten, I was allowed to walk to the creamery where my mother worked as a bookkeeper after school. My mother’s office was on the second floor of the building and a large metal grate in the floor allowed heated air to reach her in the winter and cool air to reach her in the summer. Wafting on the air, no matter the season, was the pungent scent of raw milk, masking the slightest hint of spoilage.

Along with bottling milk, the creamery produced a variety of dairy products including cottage cheese, ice cream and ice cream novelties; my mom always gave me a treat of some sort as soon as I arrived and I enjoyed it quietly while waiting for her to finish her work and take me home.

On my birthday that year, rather than bringing cupcakes to my classroom like all the other mothers, my mother brought chocolate-coated ice cream bars and, I was skeptical; the five-year old me wanted my mom to bring cupcakes, just like the other kids’ moms. The ice cream bars, however, were different and this unique treat made me quite popular with my peers. Of course, my mother was bathed in a most flattering light as well and I learned something that day; different can be good. Also, my mom was cool.

When I was a teenager, as my girlfriends declared their bitter and undying hatred of their mothers, their embarrassment at having to be seen with them, I told funny stories about how my mom, while in Hawaii on a vacation, completely humbled my sister and me by donning a snorkel mask and fins and tearing up the reef in Hanauma Bay even though she was-and still is-petrified of water. Had she not taken the initiative, we would have missed a truly memorable experience while sitting on our butts complaining about the taste of the salty water and the scratches the coral left on our skin when we swam too close to the reef.

This taught me that a good mom always takes one for the team and that some experiences are worth a little pain.

Later, in the face of a breast-cancer diagnosis, my mother met fear and uncertainty with faith and humor. While I know in my heart of hearts that she was terrified, she never let it show, instead choosing to calm our fears and raise our spirits. She maintained a positive outlook and a cheery demeanor while she kicked cancer’s ass to the curb and in doing so, taught me that attitude is 99% of any battle and how you choose to fight defines you as a person.

That said; my mother has never met a challenge that she has not overcome. She never left a job undone or allowed a good deed to go unnoticed or unappreciated. She instilled in me a deep and profound sense of duty and more than a smidgen of self-pride.

She also taught me not to take life too seriously and, especially, not to take myself too seriously after all, if you cannot make fun of yourself, whom can you make fun of? And, what is life without joy?

And, during times of great pain and sorrow, she reminded me that, without the rain, there would be no rainbow; within the pain, there was the promise of happiness.

As one of ten kids, she was forever hosting one or another of her siblings and their assorted families at our home. As a result, I have an abiding love for family and a secure sense of belonging. Our household ran on an open door policy; all were welcome and there was more than enough of everything to go around. My friends loved the chaos and warmth they found in our home and my mother was generous to a fault when it came to hosting them as well. These days, my own home is base-camp for the neighborhood’s children; if we are home, chances are good we have company. Chaos does not faze me in the least and, as in my mother’s house, there is always enough of everything to go around.

Most importantly, she taught me how to be a mother. She taught by example with grace and quiet dignity. She taught with humor and wisdom but above all, she taught with love. The people that my children eventually become, owe a great deal to my mother.

Often, people comment on my good cheer and unflagging optimism and it is with great pride that I reply; I get that from my mother*.

Happy mother’s day, Mom.

*I have also been accused of being stubborn but she would tell you that I get that from my father.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fingernails on a Chalkboard

There are few things that I enjoy less than socializing with strangers; subjecting myself to extended periods of the above mentioned sound, for example. Or, bathing my hands in lemon juice following an unsuccessful attempt at avoiding paper cuts while stuffing envelopes. Or, out the cat's litter box....with my tongue.

Last week, however; I was invited to attend a fundraiser planning party for our Youth Baseball Association. I came by the initiation via the Mayberry Grapevine, i.e.: So and So told So and So that you like to be involved in community projects and So and So concurred so, So and So thought that they would call and introduce themselves and hey! Why don’t you come and spend several hours with us brainstorming fundraising ideas and knocking back Margaritas?!

Under normal circumstances, I would have politely declined (see above: paragraph One of this document) but; they kinda had me at Margaritas.

So, I am going to spend tomorrow afternoon in the company of women whom I have never met. With whom I have never, with the exception of a handful of telephone conversations, spoken to. Women I would not know if they approached me on the street and goosed my heinie while singing love ballads from Bon Jovi (what? That doesn't happen were you come from?). And, the crazy thing is, I’m actually looking forward to it.

The way I figure it, at the very worst, I will have little in common with these women and will be uninterested in helping them with the fundraiser (although, we do already have in common the fact that our sons participate in the youth baseball league. And that they also appear to like the Margaritas; one must never discount the power of Tequila in forging strong and lasting alliances. Which, is probably why we never see a Tequila reward on Survivor. And, I digress). On the other hand, I could find myself in the company of women whom I would like to get to know better and, there is very seldom a downside to that, so…I’m getting prettied up and I’m going.

Should anyone expect me to give the hostess's litter box a tongue-sweep however; I’m grabbing the tequila and I am outta there.

Other plans for the weekend include housecleaning, yard work, catching up on our Netflix queue and, possibly, a trip to the swimming pool on Sunday.

Which...huh; is it really any wonder I would take a risk on total strangers for my weekend entertainment?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen, Edition Twenty:
Thirteen Things I Want To Do This Summer

1. Decorate my wrap-around porch. I especially want to find some comfortable wicker furniture and some colorful cushions.

2. Build the stone planter around the porch and plant some colorful flowers in it. I’m tired of how bare it looks without it and I’m equally tired of the stray cats in the neighborhood thinking that it is cool to meet up underneath our porch for their nightly howling sessions. My own cat does not approve.

3. Rent a cabin on a lake and invite my college roommates and their families to join us for a long weekend (we tentatively have this planned).

4. Finally see grass in our backyard again.

5. Take the kids to the swimming pool more often than I did last summer.

6. Visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park with my sisters and their families (which I am totally doing in July!)

7. Read at least three good books.

8. Drink at least three bottles of good wine.

9. Take the kids to the drive-in more often than we did last summer. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate since we always watch the double-feature on an air mattress in the back of Hugh’s truck (helloo…we are Rednecks, pleasure to meet cha!) and rain spoils the party.

10. Obviously, I want to succeed at Operation Hottie by July. Two pounds to go! Tooth whitening to commence in June, self-tanner application to follow.

11. Catch up on my scrapbooks. I am woefully behind, not even having started on the billion and one pictures from our trip to Disneyworld last summer.

12. Take more pictures of my kids and the dog. Because it is a vicious circle, don’t you know?

13. Spend more time with Jana and her family. My kids miss her kids when we all get so busy.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Conversations With Random Strangers

This morning, while getting my daily coffee at the coffee shop, I had the following conversation with a large burly man.

Chelle: I’m sorry, I’m standing right in your way (I was blocking the regular coffee pot).
Burly Man: No, you’re fine; I’m going for the frou-frou coffee.
Chelle: Ah.
Burly Man: Drinking frou-frou coffee doesn’t make me any less of a man.
Chelle: Well, of course not.
Burly Man: Besides, I put it in a dirty cup.
Chelle: Yes, well, that would suck the frou-frou right out of it.

That conversation, by the way, is totally indicative of the characters residing in my community and the main reason why I can never move; normal people bore me now.

Monday, May 07, 2007

And He Said It Couldn’t Be Done

For the past two months, Hugh and I have been keeping a secret from our family and friends.

And, while keeping the news a secret has been slowly eroding my will to live, I did it. And, I did it for two reasons; one, because I didn’t want to jinx it and two, because Hugh said that I wouldn’t be able to do it.

Seriously, he didn’t think I could do it. And, I was like pee-shaww! Of course I can keep it secret! And he was like, yeah, right. And I was like chall-enge! And he was like, it’s on, baby! To which I replied; you’re damn right. It. Is. On!

Because we are adults like that.

And, I did it. I kept it a secret for two whole months.

This weekend, it came to pass that it was safe to finally tell the secret and I did a victory dance in the living room the likes of which would rival that of the high school quarterback scoring the winning touchdown at the Sate competition who, by the way, will totally be getting laid by the head cheerleader and I was all BOOYAH! In. Your. Face! Victory!

Because my parents taught me to be a gracious winner and all.

Now I totally get to spill the beans so, without further ado, Hugh and I………………

…………bought a new car!

What? You didn’t think I was knocked up, did you?

So sorry to disappoint.

Anyhoodle, remember waaaay back in March when Hugh and I went car shopping and were disappointed not to be able to find what we were looking for on the lot? Yes? Well, did you know that you can custom order a fully-loaded vehicle straight from the factory? Yes, we knew that, too. What we didn't know was that you could do so and spend less than you would on a car that was already on the lot and that was not fully loaded. Boggles the mind, doesn't it?

Equally mind boggling is the effect that the built-in DVD player has on the children; it's suddenly like traveling with zombies, glassy stare and all. Not that I am complaining, mind you in fact, I think I like it.

I also like the fact that I can plug my iPod into the dash and listen to my music on the Bose sound system. Oh, and the seat warmers, my ass, it shall never go cold again! Of course, the second we signed the paperwork, the price of gas shot up like the space shuttle, and, people at the Hellmouth look at you kind of funny when you insist on using canvas shopping bags for your organic veggies and then load them into a full-sized SUV but, I'm willing to overlook that part for the toasty buns.

Needless to say, the car was worth the wait and the skin I lost off my tongue every time I had to bite it to keep from telling the secret.

So, to recap: Not pregnant.

New 2007 Chevy Tahoe with all the bells and whistles, kidneys intact.

Very happy.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Barbies Are Coming, The Barbies Are Coming!

All of yesterday’s kvetching and wallowing about in irritated fury distracted me from sharing some truly good news; Younger Sister and her family are moving back to Colorado from Washington this summer! I am so excited, Younger Sister has been too far away for too long and, I’m not just saying that because she possesses bargain-hunting superpowers that I will be able to take advantage of on a more frequent basis, either (although, I totally will! Squee!). Or, because she is bringing along my nephew, with whom I share a geeky fondness for comic book heroes; thus enabling me to better train him in The Ways of the science fiction fanatic. Except....that is totally why!

....Mwah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

I am actually rubbing my hands together in wicked delight, can't you just picture it?

Anyhoodle, as I see it, the only drawback to having Younger Sister and her family reside in the same state as Hugh and me is the fact that I am embarrassed to be seen with them. Honestly, I just can’t take them anywhere; they are far too pretty to be seen with.


This is what happens when Barbie and Ken get married and, you know, breed.

However, posessing transcendental beauty is perhaps their only flaw as individuals, a couple and a family, so I will overlook it. I'm charitable like that.

In totally unrelated news, this weekend is the celebration of our town’s 125th anniversary of existence. I am scheduled to be a tourguide on walking tours of the historical buildings downtown, in costume. Unfortunately, the forecast is calling for thunderstorms so; the tours may get rained out, completely gypping me of my opportunity to dress like a Victorian era prostitute. I know! How sad!

I just might have to placate myself with chocolate and visions of my nephew in his Batman costume reciting the Super Heroes Pledge to my sister…in Vulcan.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thursday Thirteen, Edition Nineteen:
Thirteen Things That Are Irritating Me Today

1. My job.

2. The people I work with.

3. My new bra. Note to said bra: It is lift and separate, not divide and conquer.

4. The damn bird that woke me up at five o’freaking-clock this morning with his insane chirping. Note to said bird: Sparrow; It’s What’s for Dinner. Think about it.

5. My job.

6. The other drivers on the highway this morning, especially the jackass in the truck who though it would be a good idea to cut in front of me without signaling. Note to said jackass: Fuck you and the mangy dog next to you.

7. My new haircut.

8. The fact that my son is so completely irresponsible with his belongings. Note to said son: The next time you leave your backpack in my car, I will not turn around and drive back home so you have it when your father takes you to school. I won’t. Do not test me.

9. The pink frosted donut in the break room. Note to said donut: Stop calling to me; I will not eat you. I don’t care if you are covered in delicious and colorful sprinkles; I will. Not. Eat. You!

10. Have I mentioned my job?

11. People who talk shit about me behind my back and then are too chicken-shit to return my phone call, the one I make to call them on their behavior. Note to said chicken-shit: Jr. High was decades ago.

12. Insane project deadlines.

13. My obvious lack of willpower and dedication to my diet. Hate you, pink frosted donut. Hate. By the way, you were delicious.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I Can’t Run, I Have Crabs!

Said the Man-Cub as his sister raced for the car this morning. It was Pet Show and Tell day in the Cub’s classroom and he had decided to take his hermit crabs, Jimmy Buffet and “Dark” Vader to school rather than try to wrestle the cat into a carrier or drag a still somewhat physically challenged dog into the car.

He totally gets his brains from my side of the family.

As it turned out, the crabs were a huge hit, as they were the only pets that were not, well…dogs. The girls squealed when the crabs climbed up the Cub’s sleeve. The boys, of course, said “cooool!” Snakes and snails and puppy dog’s tails, and all that. The Man-Cub’s teacher asked him several questions about the crabs and about how he cared for them and he was able to answer every question with the certainty of a professional crab wrangler. He especially enjoyed explaining what they eat; dried mealworms! More squealing from the girls!

After the pet show, I kissed the Cub good-bye and returned the crabs to their rightful home on the Man-Cub’s dresser to recover from their brush with fame, which they took in stride, by the way, because they are somewhat used to receiving a lot of attention. After all, the Cub is well known for placing them on the living room floor, surrounded by Leggos and toy dinosaurs, just to see how long it takes them to break free (Jimmy Buffet holds the record at ten seconds, flat). He has also been known to carry them in his pockets, risking certain death in a possible washing machine mishap. At this point, they are practically superheroes, Invincible Crabs, if you will. A little Show and Tell should not faze them in the least.

Of course, having said that, I will go home tonight and find them dead of murder/suicide or some other such thing. In which case, I will blame “Dark” Vader, as murder is in his nature, being from the Dark Side and all.

Changing topics, last night, the kids pulled about a bazillion weeds out of the space in our yard that used to be home to my vegetable garden. Hugh plans to Roto-til the space this weekend and, in his dreams; I will replant. I say in his dreams because, the space is a huge mess and I personally think it will take more than just a weeding and a good tilling to prep it for vegetables which, is kind of sad, actually.

See, back in the era commonly referred to as, Before the Remodel from Hell; we had a decent yard. We had grass and a place for the kid’s trampoline and, if memory serves, these things called flowers. It was lovely. And, in this Eden of ours, was a relatively large kitchen garden. I grew tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, carrots, beans, peas, cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins and squash and we enjoyed the fruits (or vegetables, rather) of my labors at just about every meal throughout the summers. I enjoyed my garden and I looked forward to planting it each year. I would love to have the chance again.

Of course, back then I had the energy to spend hours on my knees pulling weeds and hand-fertilizing wee baby lettuce plants; whether or not I can regain that energy, even if Hugh and the kids regain the space, remains to be seen.

On the other hand, the kids are older now and slave labor is not entirely out of the question.

In other yard news, while the kids were weeding last night, Hugh was cleaning up the accumulated debris from the remodel. Three years later; way to go, Hugh! If we keep it up at this pace, we just might have a garden and a presentable yard yet! Factor in the child slave labor and, I’m guessing, 2010 could just be our year!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Signs of Summer

The Man-Cub’s first baseball practice was last night. As the coach’s wife, I am now responsible for hauling the team equipment to the field for each practice as well as for games. I also haul two or three lawn chairs, a small cooler full of snacks and a large water cooler. You would think, at the very least, that I would get a tee-shirt but, noooo.

My tulips have spent themselves and are now are giving way to Shasta daisies and peony bushes. Also, the aspen trees are budding, as are the lilac bushes and, our resident mourning doves have taken up their usual place on the ledge outside my bedroom window; I listen to them cooing to each other as I get ready in the mornings.

Hugh opened the bedroom window last night to let in a breeze and I didn’t catch a chill until almost dawn.

My favorite liquor store is having its annual wine sale. Yes, Mother; I have a favorite liquor store. Where did you go wrong?

Our town’s annual soapbox derby is taking place on Saturday. Sadly, the Cub has decided not to participate this year but, still; it’s a sign of summer.

It rained today and I smelled the storm coming before the first drops hit. It smelled wonderful.

The Girl informed me that she needs new flip-flops because her heels are hanging off the backs of her current pair.

I have a wicked bad craving for fresh cherries, roasted corn on the cob and char-grilled chicken.

The daytime high so far this week was 82 degrees.

Yes, summer is just around the corner and, after such a long cold winter, I can’t say that I’m sorry. In fact, bring it on. Bring on the picnics and festivals. Bring on the fresh produce and ice cream treats. Bring on the sandals and the bikinis.

Okaaay…maybe we can skip the bikinis but, definitely; bring on the ice cream!