Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lazy, Bitchy and Ugly; The Trifecta

I spent almost an hour in the garden this morning, pulling the many weeds that decided to make their home there while I was away. The mosquito population has significantly diminished since Hugh’s attack on it with spray the night before last and I was able to weed in peace, quiet and relative comfort as the morning was cool, rather than blistering hot which has been the norm in the afternoons, lately.

On the whole, the gardening experience has been so-so. I don’t know if I should blame the weird spring weather we had or just chalk it up to the fact that I suck at the gardening but, for whatever reason, I have not produced a bumper crop of anything. Except weeds; if weeds were a staple crop, I would be in business.

Now, weed, on the other hand, is a quite profitable crop, or so I’m told; however, I’m not entirely certain Hugh would approve of me growing the ganga, it being illegal and him being the Dudley Dooright of Petticoat Junction and all.

And, I digress.

So, the garden is producing lettuce. I have a ton of green tomatoes. I have three bell peppers that are shaping up nicely and at least four white eggplants (why?). What I do not have are green beans in any large quantity nor peas, which are the main reasons I wanted to plant a garden to begin with; Mother Nature, she is so fickle. Most distressing of all is the fact that I have humungous zucchini and summer squash plants which seem to have no plans for reproducing offspring. Oh, they get blossoms on them, raising my hopes and causing me no end of excitement but, thus far, not a single blossom has turned into a vegetable and squash is supposed to be easy to grow.

Maybe I do suck at the gardening.

In other news, school starts in three weeks. Neither kid is the least bit thrilled by that piece of news, I assure you. We have managed to procure the necessary supplies but are lagging behind in the clothing department; we just have not had the time or energy to shop. Plus, as fast as these kids are growing, they will be out of anything I purchase before school even starts, better to wait, I say.

Also, I am lazy.

But, not too lazy to shop for our upcoming trip to Barbados, that I have pretty much covered except for one thing; a nice sundress to wear to dinner at the resort’s nicer restaurant. Why oh why is it that the fashions turn ugly just when I need to buy a particular garment? Seriously, every sundress I have seen so far this summer is made from fabric reminiscent of curtains that hung in my parent’s home circa 1972. It sucks (I mean, the fashions, Mom, not your curtains; I’m sure they were lovely at the time).

On the other hand, going naked in Barbados beats staying here, fashionably attired so, I can’t complain.

Well, I can and, I do but, you know what I mean.

Speaking of complaining about ugly things; I have a zit. It isn’t just any zit, it’s a monster zit. It’s The Zit that ate Tokyo. I am almost forty twenty-nine, again; I should be past the age of zits.

'Sup with that?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

While You Were Away

Hey, you know when having your husband lie to you is a good thing? When he makes you believe that you will be returning from a week-long vacation to a barren wasteland of a backyard when, in fact, you are returning to a garden oasis, complete with grass. Grass, people! Now I know how the Jewish people felt when they crossed over into the promised land.

Although, I wasn’t fleeing thousands of years of persecution nor did I wander in the desert for forty years so; that is a really bad analogy.

But, I sure do like my new yard!

The kids were likewise thrilled with their new playground and grass seems to be the equivalent of Puppy Crack as far as the dog is concerned; he races from one end of the yard to the other, rolls around two or three times, runs back to where he started and sniffs the grass before starting the process over again. If grass really is Puppy Crack, we could make a killing selling admission to the neighborhood dogs. On second thought, the entertainment value of seeing dogs high on grass would wear off almost as quickly as the grass would be ruined so; maybe we’ll just keep this discovery to ourselves.

Besides being a puppy paradise, the new yard also appears to attract mosquitoes in far greater numbers than we have previously seen; I watered the garden yesterday and returned to the house with welts too numerous to count. The recent rain could be to blame for the sudden population explosion but; I tend to believe that the sheer awesomeness of the yard is what did it.

The sheer awesomeness of my husband goes without saying.

Monday, July 28, 2008

All Good Things Must Come to an End

The kids and I are headed back home today following a fun and exhausting week.

Or, we will be once The Girl wakes up; she went to bed last night at six o’clock and it is now almost nine. I’m not surprised she was so tired, she did a bang-up job of baby-sitting my nephew all weekend, getting up early every morning, staying up late every night, wielding an imaginary light-saber for hours on end; it was enough to tire out even the sturdiest kid.

Plus, there were all the rodeos, two days of carnival rides (the kids rode every ride they could reasonably stomach at least a zillion times thanks to Aunt Jules, who arrived from California to spoil the holy hell out of them), and the parades, not to mention the arrival of several of my girlfriends’ children with whom they could (and did) play for hours on end; in short, it was a typical and exhausting Stampede weekend.

The adults didn’t fare much better in the exhaustion category. We had a great time, though, as evidenced by my previous entry. In my defense, the altitude here is slightly different from that in Petticoat Junction; so, yeah, I blame the altitude, not the cheap boxed wine served at the dances.

As an aside, nothing says klassy like cheap boxed wine.

I really enjoyed my time with my sister and her husband (who did a fantastic job as Designated Husband for the weekend; he even let my sister and I live after we completely and thoroughly embarrassed him at the Sonic drive-up at twelve-thirty in the morning following one of the dances and too much klassy wine). My time catching up with my roommates was incredibly special to me and it is always good to see Jules.

I also had the pleasure of reconnecting with one of my oldest friends from High School, a girl with whom I spent many a weekend getting into trouble and who never failed to make me laugh until my sides hurt; we lost touch not long after my wedding (she was a bridesmaid and her adorable daughter was my flower girl. That adorable daughter is now almost eighteen and gorgeous. Also; I am old) and I can’t tell you how good it was to see her again. We plan to stay in touch and, hopefully, will get a chance to visit one another soon.

So, as usual, we had a great time. Of course, we all miss Hugh, who, as you may recall, stayed home to work on landscaping the backyard. At last report, the sprinkler system was good to go, the fence had been stained, a new chain-link fence had been constructed to fence off a portion of the yard that will house the tractor lawn-mower and many, many beers had been consumed. Actual grass in the backyard? Not so much but; we miss Hugh so much, we are willing to overlook it and, as Annie would say, there is always tomorrow.

Or, you know, next year, during which time I will be here, once again, enjoying the Stampede weekend.

It’s all good, is what I’m sayin’.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friends Don’t Let Friends Blog Drunk

But, apparently my sister does.

So, yeah, I’ve, um, had a few. But, only a few. I am basically 98% sober and, the fact that it just took me a good five minutes to locate the % sign on the keyboard in no way shape or form indicates a higher level of intoxication. Also; I think spell-check is going to be my new best friend.

So, we went to the rodeo tonight and then on to the dance. The dance, was lame with a capital L since everyone appears to be saving their money for the bigger dance tomorrow night. Those losers don’t know what they were missing; I was wearing a shirt that made my boobs look amazing in a most Charro sort of way. Too bad for them; tomorrow night I will be wearing a more modest outfit.

So, yeah, I’m not drunk, exactly; I’m buzzzzzing. My sister is likewise buzzzzzing and she gave me the best conversation in the world about which to blog:

Barbie: You know, they would make a lot more money on the drinks if they served them with bigger straws.
Chelle: Barbie, that’s not a straw, it’s a stirrer.
Barbie: Well, no wonder!!!

She's blond, have I mentioned that before?

And, on that note, I smell bacon frying in the kitchen so it looks like the After-Dance-Breakfast ritual is about to commence. I wouldn’t want to break with tradition by missing it.

Seez ya!

*Edited to add: There is no bacon, after all. What the Fuck's up with that?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Yes, yes we are having fun.

After spending more time than expected at the County Fair, we finally got on the road for Mayberry. The trip included the usual stops along the way; Starbucks for frappuccinos, McDonald’s for lunch, random roadside areas at which The Girl threw up. Yes, my poor baby suffered another bout of car-sickness, it sucked.

She was fine and dandy again by the time we rolled into my parent’s drive-way, however and was off and running with her cousin in record time.

The first thing I did upon arriving was to run over my mother’s foot with my giant suitcase, ruining her pedicure and causing, what I’m certain, was at least a little bit of pain, making me the world’s worst houseguest.

My sister, The Barbie, was already here when we arrived and we wasted no time in making ourselves comfortable, claiming the guest room for ourselves (at least until her husband arrives tonight and evicts me from the bed) and spreading our belongings all over the bathroom, just like when we were teenagers.

Our assorted offspring immediately set about playing with the assorted toys that my mom has collected for her grandchildren over the years and, in no time at all, the house was thoroughly trashed.

I’m starting to think my parents deserve sainthood just for allowing us to visit their home.

Yesterday, Barbie and I ventured to the neighboring town for a bit of shopping and for lunch. By the time we returned, it was almost time to drive out to my older sister’s house for an early dinner. Older Sister was entertaining a houseful of guests of her own; three or four families with whom they rodeo. The grand total of people came to, I believe, 22 and my sister most certainly deserves sainthood when you factor in the following:

-Her visitors have been there since Sunday.
-And aren’t planning to leave until tomorrow.
-And, my brother-in-law (God bless him) was the one who invited them all to come and stay.
-Several months ago.
-Which he forgot to mention to my sister who was completely unprepared for the caravan of trucks and horse trailers that pulled into her drive last Sunday.

My brother-in-law (God bless him) is still alive and kicking although, I’m guessing, it required great restraint on my sister’s part not to kill him in his sleep. That, or she was just too damn tired to kill him; entertaining an army of people for days on end will drain you of your will to kill.

Or so I’ve heard.

For the record, were I in a similar situation, I would kill Hugh in his sleep no matter how tired I was.

Following dinner at Casa de My Brother-I-Law is the Luckiest Sumbitch on the Planet, I met up with my college roommates and we spent a couple of hours catching up. I got my baby fix for the year, cuddling and cooing at the most adorable baby on Planet Earth. I briefly debated smuggling him out of the house so that I could keep him but, Phoebe is nursing and I am unequipped to deal with that particular scenario so; I let her keep him.

Yes, I contemplated stealing my girlfriend's baby.

I am the world’s worst houseguest. But, at least she knew I was coming.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's Finally That Tuesday

We just finished loading the car for our trip to Mayberry. The Girl’s suitcase, which has been packed since roughly three decades ago, was the first item in the car which should come as a surprise to no one.

At the other end of the spectrum was the Man-Cub who attempted to get by with a baseball glove, his Nintendo DS, a skateboard, a change of (I think) clean underwear and a bag of sunflower seeds. Nine years of experience as his mother has taught me to expect just such an attempt so, I took the liberty of packing a suitcase for him; I hope he doesn’t mind wearing girl’s panties and a feather boa for a week.

I’m kidding. Although, that would teach him to properly pack his own damn bag.

Speaking of which, my suitcase is chock-full. I packed more clothing than a single woman has any business owning let alone packing for a week-long vacation. But! I’ll be prepared for any situation. In addition to my suitcase, I threw in a bag of shoes (any situation!), a bag of toiletries and cosmetics and my camera bag. Hugh looked a bit concerned upon viewing the massive pile of luggage; he may have imagined that I was scheming to leaving him. Of course, we all know that would never happen, after all; who else would put up with my insane Diet Pepsi addiction or with my obsessive need to own every new shade of OPI nail polish?

Just in case I was plotting my escape, however, he held out the promise of a grassy backyard upon my return. He held that promise out like a juicy carrot right in front of my nose and, because I love him, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt (six years without grass, people! I’ve heard it all before!); I trust that I will, indeed discover grass upon my return.

(Of course, merely typing that sentence practically begs fate to royally fuck me. Hey, Fate, you know I was just joking, right? I know there will still be a barren wasteland of a backyard behind my house when I come back next week, please-oh-please-oh-please don’t screw with me, m’kay? Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation).

Anyhoo…, we are off to the County Fair so that I can judge the photo contest. Then, following a quick trip to the Starbucks drive-thru for strawberry crème frappuccinos, we will queue up the iPod and hit the road, excessive luggage, bad yard karma and all.

Mayberry, here we come.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Yes, I Have Heard of Child Labor Laws. Why Do You Ask?

Hugh broke out the trencher Saturday morning and started the first step in a long and arduous process; installing our sprinkler system. Once he had the rows trenched for the pipe, he recruited the children to manually shovel out the dirt that fell back into the trenches. It was a physically demanding chore, for certain.

Which is why I wisely scheduled a full day of errand-running for myself, including a trip to Neighboring City to purchase yet more clothing for our Barbados trip; I’m no dummy.

I was just getting into my car and almost home free when The Girl accosted me in the driveway.

The Girl: Where are you going?

Chelle: I, um, I’m going to run some very important errands.

The Girl: Why don’t you have to stay and help with the yard like the Man-Cub and I do?

Chelle: Well, Girl, I don’t have to stay and help with the yard because I have Very Important Errands to run.

The Girl (rolling her yes): Whatever.

Chelle: Well, I better get going.

The Girl (tears welling up in her big brown eyes): It’s not faaaair. We have to do all the dirty work. And, it’s hot (which, in her defense, holy hell, yes, it was hot).

Chelle: Well, honey, drink lots of water and wear a big hat, gotta go!

The Girl (stamping her foot and sighing in disgust): Fine! You better hope we don’t get heat stroke or something!

Chelle: Ok, I’ll do that.

The Girl (muttering something intelligible and, most likely, very nasty, under her breath followed by): I’m going to remember this!

Chelle: Of course you will, dear; you’ll have blisters, a sunburn and a splitting headache to remind you. Buh-bye.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel at all guilty as I drove away from the house.

I would also be lying if I said it took me longer than a nanosecond to get over it.

Chelle: Quality parenting since 1996.

Friday, July 18, 2008

We'll Always Have Porch Night

While I realize that nothing is going to make the rest of this week go by any faster, Porch Night certainly makes the wait more bearable.

The most recent installment took place following Hugh’s softball game last night. Jana, the kids and I accompanied the men to the game and, while they lost by one run, it was an entertaining show. Hugh managed to stay injury-free while Chris pulled a hamstring and had to resort to limping around the bases, dragging one leg behind him like Igor. Another teammate took a ball right in the face and yet another tripped over his own feet while crossing first base, tumbling in a most awesome fashion.

For the record, both Chris and Hugh have arrived at the conclusion that they are getting “too old for this shit” and will hang up their cleats at the end of the season. Jana and I discussed it at length and arrived at the conclusion that, while they intend to retire, they will, in all actuality, come back with a vengeance next season following a winter of recuperation not because they are just that fabulous, athletically speaking but, because their pea-sized brains will have completely forgotten that they are, indeed “too old for this shit”.

We fully intend to reinstitute Porch Night when that happens. In the meanwhile, we have possibly another month or two in which to indulge in this pastime and we plan to take full advantage of every minute we have left. The kids start back to school on August 20th, which is, in my opinion, waaayyy too early; I remember when school didn’t start until after Labor Day and ended right before Memorial Day. Of course, back then (when dinosaurs roamed the Earth), we didn’t get out of school for Martin Luther King Day or for President’s Day. Nor did we have Teacher’s In-service days or early release every Wednesday (don’t get me started on the early release bullshit let’s just say, it’s no wonder I am forking over my hard-earned cash for the Man-Cub to attend tutoring sessions this summer; he’s never in school to learn anything).

In addition to our schedules changing dramatically once school begins, the weather can only hold out for so long and, even if we have a nice autumn, Porch Night is probably best savored in the summer. With that in mind, Jana and I have decreed that every Thursday night from now until whenever, we will have Porch Night. We’ll miss next Thursday, of course, since I will be living large in Mayberry but, otherwise, every Thursday night. Then, during the long winter months, we will think back fondly on the evenings we spent boozing it up on the porch, eating way too much French bread and cheese while our children ran like hooligans throughout the neighborhood.

Good times.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is It Friday Yet?

Better still, could it just be next Tuesday, already? I mean, Friday is great and all but, next Tuesday I will be on my way to Mayberry for a week of fun, relaxation and lazy-parenting without guilt. Friday sort of pales in comparison.

I’m also looking forward to being in Mayberry because I get to reconnect with two of my college roommates whom I don’t see often enough and we fully intend to knock the dust off our party shoes (Hear that, Phoebe? We're coming for you!). Plus, I never fail to get good pictures when I’m home for Stampede weekend and I could use them; my portfolio for the annual Fall Photo Show and Contest is looking quite slim this year.

Speaking of photo shows and next Tuesday (subjects that actually connect, people! What’s next? Cats and dogs doing the wild thing?); I have been asked to judge the photo show at the County Fair this year. I consider it an honor and, since the judging is scheduled for early Tuesday morning, I could see no reason to decline the invitation. Plus, I’ll get paid for my services; about $100 if memory serves. The last time I judged the show was three or four years ago and I remember it taking all of about thirty minutes of my time so, we’ll still be on the road for Mayberry by 9:30, arriving there around noon. Just in time for my mother to start spoiling us all and for the lazy-parenting to begin in earnest.

And, without guilt.

Speaking of my kids (ok, that segue was a bit bumpy, we were, in actuality discussing my intention to abandon all semblance of quality parenting, not the children whom I actually parent, but! The subjects are related which makes it a better segue than some I have pulled out of the crapper so; work with me, here), both The Girl and the Man-Cub are excited to get to Mayberry, as well. How excited are they? Well, as I mentioned a while back, The Girl has already packed her suitcase and, if the Man-Cub asks “how many more days until we go?” one more time; I might have to snap him in half which would really disappoint my father since it would effectively remove golf from the list of possible grandparent/grandson activities.

Also, I think having his cousin appear on the doorstep in two pieces would completely scar my nephew and I can’t have that so; rather than snapping the child in half, I may simply resort to duct-taping his mouth for the next four days or so.

And, getting back to the subject at hand, I would say they are super-excited to go.

Speaking of which, is it Tuesday yet?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The List

Because Jana insisted that I make one, here, in no particular order, are my top 10 Hot Men.

You’re welcome.

1. Paul Walker, yummy.

2. Chris Evans, who is handsome whether he is rocking blond hair or darker hair but, I prefer him blond.

3. Jensen Ackles, and yes, Jana; this one probably is young enough to be my son.

4. Josh Holloway, I would get Lost with him, any day.

5. Jamie Bamber, and if you don’t know who he is then you are not watching the Best Show on Television, otherwise known as Battlestar Galactica. And I feel sorry for you.

6. Orlando Bloom, only the sexiest pirate ever to don tights. Oh, wait, the tights were on while he played an elf, either way, mrrowwrr!

7. Hugh Jackman, beautiful and he has a sexy accent, can’t beat that.

8. Ryan Reynolds, chocolate brown eyes and biceps to die for.

9. Anderson Cooper, so what if he may, or may not, be gay, he’s still pretty to look at and smart to boot.

10. Tom Welling, Superman, indeed.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Need a Weekend to Recover From My Weekend

I am exhausted. The entire weekend was jam-packed with places to go, people to see and things to do. Friday night, after I picked the Cub up from Scout Camp, we journeyed to a neighboring town for the first game of the All-Star tournament where we got our butts handed to us on a platter. The final score was 14-4 and I was feeling relatively confident that we would not make a come-back at the game the following day.

However, the score in Saturday’s game was much closer, so close in fact that it actually looked like we might win, thus taking second place in the league and securing a trip to the State tournament which takes place next weekend. When the Cub brought in a run, tying the game, I mentally screamed noooo!!!! Please don’t let us actually win this thing! (I only thought it, it’s not like I said it out loud, Dad).

Luckily, however, our rally was short-lived and we lost the game by four runs. And, while that might make me sound like a really poor excuse for a Sports Mom….well, yeah, I am a poor excuse for a Sports Mom but! After seeing some of those moms in action; I’m pretty damn happy with my own brand of parenting, thankyouverymuch.

Besides, the boys have been playing baseball since March; let them have a little bit of a summer break.

After the game, we headed home and relaxed for approximately an hour and a half before loading up the car and running to the drive-in to see Hancock and You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. For the record, Hancock was ok. The Zohan movie was a waste of time and good movie candy.

Yesterday, I was fully prepared to spend the day doing chores around the house but, Jana called and asked if we wanted to join her and Chris on their boat and, it was really hot and the kids were really excited about the idea so, we went.

The lake was not nearly as busy as we had expected it to be, given how hot it was, and we were able to pull the kids on the large tube as well as knee-boarding and wake boarding for a few hours before it was time to head back home where we grilled chicken legs and pork chops and watched The Spiderwick Chronicles with the children before seeing Chris and Jana off at the door.

Then I fell into a drooling coma and Hugh almost had to carry my sorry ass up the stairs.

Today, I am one sore SOB, courtesy of this:

I can’t complain, though because it was a lot of fun and, now Jana and I can boast that, no matter how hard her husband tried to knock us off the tube; he failed.

Ok, except for that one time when he sent us both skipping across the lake like stones. Thankfully, we weren’t hurt, our pride being the only casualty. Well, that and my bikini bottoms which got sucked down to my knees during the crash. Otherwise, no harm, no foul and, turns out I am remarkably fast at pulling my undies up underwater.

Who knew?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Conversations from the Porch

While discussing our radically different ideas of the qualities required of the 10 Sexiest Men Alive:

Jana: Harrison Ford.
Chelle: Indiana Jones? I did not see that coming.
Jana: Seriously? He’s hot.
Chelle: Seriously? He is not.
Jana: He is! Your turn.
Chelle: James Stewart.
Jana: What?! The guy from It’s a Wonderful Life? Ewww!
Chelle: Well, you have to consider his entire body of work; you can’t judge his Hotness by one movie.
Jana: You judged Harrison Ford by Indiana Jones.
Chelle: Indiana Jones is Harrison Ford’s entire body of work.
Jana: You may have a point.

Jana: Ok, here’s my list; Orlando Bloom,
Chelle: Mmm,hmm
Jana: Colin Farrell,
Chelle: Ummm…ok, I can see it. Sort of.
Jana: Russell Crowe,
Chelle: Eww, ick!
Jana: Harrison Ford,
Chelle: I think we’ve covered that but, to reiterate; ick.
Jana: Johnny Depp,
Chelle: Ok, but not when he’s playing a gay pirate.
Jana: He wasn’t gay! He was….effeminate.
Chelle: Whatever. Gay.
Jana: That guy from Nickelback,
Chelle: I have no idea, go on.
Jana: Sean Connery,
Chelle: You do like them old.
Jana: Hush! Vin Diesel,
Chelle: Eh, he’s alright.
Jana: Where are we? Nine? Umm…god! I don’t know! George Clooney.
Chelle: He is hot.
Jana: And, that one guy, from the Terminator….
Chelle: If you say Arnold Schwarzenegger, I will be forced to disavow our entire friendship.
Jana: No! The young one!
Chelle: The kid? Oh good god, that’s worse than old guys.
Jana: Noooo! The one who plays the older John Conner, in the last movie; you know who I’m talking about?
Chelle: Oh, yeah. He was on Carnivale on HBO. Eww. I might have to disavow our friendship, anyway.
Jana: Whatever!

Jana: Ok, your turn.
Chelle: Let me think for a sec.
LexiLou (Jana’s step-daughter): Ooh! Ooh! I know! I know!
Jana: Alexis! You are seven; you don’t know ten sexy men.
LexiLou: I know five.
Chelle: God help us.

Jana: Seriously, your turn. Name at least one.
Chelle: Ok, um…oh! Tom Welling.
Jana: Who?
Chelle: You know, Clark Kent from Smallville.
Jana: Seriously? Isn’t he like, young enough to be your son?
Chelle: Cold, dude. Cold.
Thank God for Porch Night

Yesterday was just as hectic as predicted and I’m happy to have it over and done with. Unfortunately, today isn’t looking so relaxing and laid-back either.

I have to take the Man-Cub to Scout camp where he will swim, whittle pointy sticks, shoot bows and arrows and learn how to proficiently tie knots for approximately seven hours before I have to pick him up to race cross-country to our first game of the All-Star tournament.

With any luck at all, we will lose said game and be out of the tournament, thus allowing the Cub to attend camp again tomorrow. If, on the off-chance (and I do mean off-chance, we kind of suck for All-Stars, not that there’s anything wrong with that.) we actually win the game, he will have to skip camp tomorrow to play ball which would kind of suck. Don’t get me wrong, the kid loves baseball but; he loves tying knots and shit, too. Plus, the end-of-camp-campfire is tomorrow afternoon and I would really hate for him to miss it; we’ll see what happens tonight, I guess.

Also, have I mentioned lately how much I love this summer schedule? Love, love, love.

Thank heavens that, two weeks from this moment, I will be relaxing in my childhood home, surrounded by friends and family. I’ll have no crazy-ass schedule to keep, no house to clean, garden to weed, or work to do. Throw in a good bottle of wine and that is Nirvana, people.

And I won’t even need a porch.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Taming of the Shrew

Otherwise known as How I Beat the Thursday Scheduling Beast. In the end, it was quite simple, I just prioritized; the Man-Cub will skip the fundraiser with the Cub Scouts and will instead attend All-star practice. He will do so with the understanding that he will be required to work an extra shift at the next fundraiser, taking place the first weekend in August.

Hugh’s softball game was rescheduled for later in the evening on Thursday, making it possible for him to take the Cub to practice and to coach the team before heading out to his game. Since Hugh will have the Cub under control, and The Girl is going to accompany Jana and the kids to their Tee Ball game; I will be free to head into town for my scheduled shift at the fundraiser, finishing there just in time to head back home and start the ice cream machine going for Porch Night which will take place just slightly later than usual.

What? You didn’t think I was giving up Porch Night did you? Priorities, people.

Speaking of priorities, I really need to weed my garden. Oh, I’m not going to do it anytime soon, I’m just saying, it needs it. I did manage to cut my lettuce this morning, however; I cut enough to fill six gallon-sized Ziploc baggies, the majority of which I plan to foist off on my unsuspecting employees. As an aside, the fact that I was able to get quite so much lettuce out of the garden tells me that I should probably cut it more often. Also, that people at work are going to start running when they see me coming with baggies in hand.

Speaking of baggies (kind of), The Girl has already packed her suitcase for our trip to Mayberry. You are probably impressed with her maturity and attention to responsibility, right? I mean, how many twelve-year-olds do you know who organize a week’s worth of outfits, complete with matching accessories and shoes, and then packs them, just so? Not many, I’m guessing. She also packed books, movies on DVDs and games from her Approved List, as dictated by her Babysitters Handbook since she will be watching my nephew for a couple of nights while I corrupt his parents with drinking and debauchery and she wrote out a detailed list of items that she needs me to purchase for her overnight bag before we leave. She is more prepared than a Girl Scout. On acid.

Of course, when you factor in to the equation, the fact that we don’t actually leave for Mayberry until July 22 and, thus, that suitcase will sit fully packed for the next thirteen days; the assumed maturity tends to look more like, oh I don’t know, obsessive, perhaps?

I have no idea where she gets it from.

Now, I have to go hose down the front porch and make sure that I have the necessary ingredients for homemade ice cream, I have company coming over in just thirty-six hours, you know.

Yeah, no idea where she gets it from.

Monday, July 07, 2008

All Better

I am mostly recovered from the weekend. Of course, it is Monday which means that work was a real pisser as usual but, still; mostly recovered.

Of course, I say that now; talk to me next Monday after I spend another solid week running around like a chicken with it's head cut off; mostly recovered will be a pipe dream at that point.

My family's schedule is just about to do me in.

Hugh is working long hours as well as coaching the All-Star team. His softball season continues throughout the summer and Jana and I have come to realize that we are actually expected to attend games rather than sitting on the front porch awaiting the return of our conquering (or not) heroes.

The games are played on Thursday nights which is usually not a very busy night but, this coming Thursday appears to be cursed or something, to wit:

- I am scheduled to help at a fund-raising booth for my woman's club during the neighboring town's Thursday Night Main street event.

-The Man-Cub is scheduled for both baseball practice and to help in his Cub Scout's booth at the same event.

-Hugh is scheduled to both coach the All-Stars and play in his softball game.

-Jana and I scheduled a Porch Night and invited several new people to attend, not realizing that I was over-scheduled or that her step-daughter has a Tee Ball game that night (we are brilliant).

In short, arrrgg!!!

The rest of the week is, as I have said, no picnic, either.

The Man-Cub has All-Stars practice every night as well as a scrimmage against another team tomorrow night. He also has tutoring sessions tomorrow and Thursday afternoons and we still have to figure out a way to allow him to play in the All-Stars tournament this weekend and attend Cub Scout day camp plus, he seems to think that he should be allowed a social life with, like, sleep-overs and shit.

The Girl is also agitating for more social time with friends, the latest effort being a madcap plan to convince Kaz's parents that she should be allowed to drive three hours south to my hometown with us for the annual summer festival later this month. The jury is still out on that one but, in the meantime, I am driving the child all over hell for her sleep-overs, etc.

What about my social life? Oh, that's right, it revolves around my children! Well, thank God for that!

Perhaps I should just face the fact that my life is, well, busy.

Damn! I need more rest.

Also, I just looked at that picture up there and realized that my roots are in desperate need of attention. Hey, maybe I could schedule that for Thursday night, too!


Sunday, July 06, 2008

It's Independence Day

My father called yesterday to inquire as to the reasons behind the lack of updates on his grand-spawn and our three-day Fourth of July weekend. He’s terribly disappointed in my slackage. Gee, sorry, Dad! I was busy. Busy eating smores and sipping glasses of wine on the porch swing while watching the crazy antics of said grand-spawn and the son-in-law with whom I produced them.

I was also busy with the BBQ and with $345 worth of fireworks and with the business of keeping the slip n’ slide good and soaped up so that the grand-spawn, the son-in-law with whom I produced them and all of their friends would be able to slip without sticking to the slide, thus causing severe road-rash and much wailing of small (yet, loud and surprisingly high-pitched) voices; soaping the slip n’ slide is serious business, man!

Plus, there was all that food to eat and people to chat with and wine-did I mention the wine-to drink! And, just when you think I couldn’t have any more to do; I had to supervise the nine children produced by myself and my friends, as they jumped on the trampoline. Nine kids on a trampoline is an ambitious project to supervise, trust me.

And, we did this all for three days, straight, pretty much.

I am exhausted and the blog has suffered, yes, so; sorry, Dad.

Why don’t you look at some pictures while I rest?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Boys and Their Toys

After dinner last night, Hugh suggested that we take a ride into town to buy some fireworks for tomorrow night. I didn’t realize that, by some, he meant $345 worth but, he did and; I don’t know why that surprised me because he does it every year but, it did.

I’m willing to overlook my husband’s need to best the neighborhood kids and their fireworks (Fireworks? You call those fireworks; a bottle rocket and some sparklers? I’ll show you fireworks!) though because, who-hoo, three-day weekend ahead!

Tonight, Jana and the kids are coming over for Porch Night, which is what we are officially calling our evenings on the porch with wine and cheese. Porch Night has become a summer staple and, anytime Jana or I are having a bad day, we call the other up and say “It’s been a Porch Night kind of day” which is code for, grab the wine and the children and meet me on the veranda, STAT!

Tomorrow, we are going to their place for a Fourth of July BBQ before coming back to our house to watch the fireworks show taking place at the park near our house. Since the park is so close and our back porch offers a perfect view of the night sky above the park, we have elected not to fight the crowds but to instead enjoy the show from the comfort of my porch rockers. The fact that the park doesn’t allow wine did not factor into our decision at all.

Ok, yes, yes it did.

Since Hugh is working a security detail at the park during the fireworks show, he won’t be joining us on the porch. However, after the park clears, we will join him there for a private showing of what he has entitled his Fireworks Spectacular and, I’m sure it will be spectacular.

It better be $345 worth of spectacular.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July? Already? Egad, Where is the Summer Going?

Last night a lone mosquito broke into the house and had his way with me. I’m guessing it was a lone mosquito because I never saw more than one at a time but, what do I know; mosquitoes all look alike. Anywaay, thanks to that damn mosquito, I now have three welts on my chestal area. They do not look at all sexy when I am wearing a tank top and my empathy for the lepers has increased ten-fold.

I don’t really know any lepers but, still; that must suck.

As an aside, are there still lepers in this day and age or did leprosy go the way of 1970’s tube tops and jeans with roller skate patches ironed on the back pocket?

On a completely unrelated topic, Emily returned to work yesterday and duly delivered my performance review; I did much better than she thought that I would. Um, thanks?

On the topic of unrelated topics (????), today I am taking the Man-Cub to town for a session with a tutor. Despite having all A’s and B’s on his report card, the child still scored low on the school district’s standardized tests (don’t get me started on the standardized tests; I spit on the standardized tests) and the school recommended that he attend summer school which, past experience with The Girl has taught me; is an exercise in futility as far as any actual learning goes. The Girl attended one session a couple of years ago and, aside from being able to accurately identify the Spanish words for book and pencil; learned nothing. And we paid full price for the privilege of her doing so.

No thank you very much, this go around, I did some research and discovered a woman who actually gets to the bottom of why each student is having problems and addresses them accordingly. I know, what a concept! Public schools should take note.

Anywaaay, as I said, the Cub has a session today as well as one on Thursday. We are also doing a variety of exercises with him at home and, I have every hope that he will have mastered the areas in which he struggles by the time school starts again in August. At the very least I hope he will develop more self confidence in his skills and will be less intimidated by the standardized testing process (SPIT).

Since the Cub will be tutored on Tuesdays, my usual woman’s’ club day, and since I can’t see taking an entire day away from the store, I have requested a leave of absence from the club. Generally, when a member requests a leave, we all know she isn’t coming back but, in my case, I do intend to return. I am, as we all know, a huge sucker.

Later this evening, the Cub has baseball practice with the All-Star team. Practice lasts for two hours every evening and, by the time he gets home, the Cub is starving, dehydrated and exhausted; All Stars is serious business. So serious, in fact, that I have to surrender an original copy of the Cub’s birth certificate to be approved by the officials running the up-coming All-Star tournament. I understand that this is a precaution that must be taken in order to assure that some unethical coach doesn’t throw a fifteen-year-old ringer in with the nine-and-ten-year-olds but, honest to God; my son is the smallest kid on his team, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t attract a hell of a lot of suspicion as far as being a ringer goes. The really tall kids on the team, on the other hand, well, I hope their mothers know where their original birth certificates are.

Luckily, I do know where the Cub’s certificate is and will surrender it well in advance of the tournament which is scheduled for next weekend. As luck would have it, the Cub is also signed up to attend Boy Scout camp on that weekend so; I am going to have to do some juggling to accommodate both events. I already paid for Scout camp and, we feel an obligation to the All-Stars so, I expect some serious scrambling come July 11-13th.

July, gag.

Where did my summer go?