Wednesday, March 31, 2010

No Actual Animals Were Injured in the Writing of This Post

Despite clocking four miles in less than 45 minutes on the treadmill, three days a week for the past three weeks; the infamous Runner’s High continues to elude me. Rather than bouncing along euphorically, I find myself gnashing my teeth whilst mentally picturing puppies being tortured; I have no idea what is wrong with me.

On the other hand, in between grinding my teeth into fine-enamel grit and watching a mental parade of images of which PETA most definitely would not approve; I also solve the world’s biggest problems. We are talking, violence, war, famine and plague. Unfortunately, the second the treadmill rolls to a stop, I forget every detail of the process wherein I save the world but, you know; maybe I’ll be able to hold onto that knowledge once the high finally kicks in.

Fingers crossed.

But, not holding my breath.

Monday, March 29, 2010

According to Ancient Mythology, Harpies Had the Gift of Prophecy. I Hereby Prophesize a Lot of Therapy in The Man-Cub’s Future

Friday night, the weather took a dismal turn, with high wind advisories and blowing snow. The wind was so blustery that, at one point, I looked out the French door and it was snowing sideways across the back yard and that shit ain’t right.

It was still snowing when, after watching one of the most boring movies ever to grace the silver screen (The Invention of Lying), we all toddled off to bed so; it should have come as no surprise to any of us to awaken Saturday morning to three inches of very wet snow yet, ironically, I was. Surprised, I mean. And, disappointed since we had an hour-long trip to a nearby town for the Man-Cub’s wrestling tournament and foul weather always jacks up the works at these tournaments.

 Needless to say, I didn’t start the day in the sweetest of moods.

The fact that I was irritable became glaringly obvious when, at the conclusion of our precarious and life-threatening drive, we discovered that the Man-Cub had neglected to put his equipment bag in the car prior to leaving the house. The one thing he is responsible for and he forgot it. And, while I would like to say that I handled my frustration in a healthy and constructive manner; I would totally be lying.

In truth, I instantly morphed into a harpy shrew, with the yelling and the finger waggling and the “I can’t believe you forgot the one thing you are responsible for, where did I go wroooong?”, complete with garment-rending and exasperated sighing but, then I could have sworn I saw a sign welcoming me to Harpieville, Population: YOU and I reigned in the theatrics accordingly.

In the end, the Cub and Hugh borrowed wrestling shoes and headgear from one of Hugh’s officiating buddies whose son also wrestles and the Cub was able to compete. Due to the weather, there were a lot of no-shows and brackets had to be switched around to accommodate kids whose brackets were under-filled and, long story short; the Cub ended up wrestling kids ten pounds heavier than him. Happily, he rose to the occasion and managed a second-place finish, borrowed shoes and all. Later, we went out to lunch with another wrestling family and, to my relief, saw that the snow had melted enough for the drive home to be problem-free. The day was not a loss, as predicted during my earlier rant at the Cub and, we even got home early enough to do laundry and to catch our breath before Sunday’s volleyball tournament in Neighboring City.

Where, I would like to point out, we arrived complete with volleyball equipment bag, cooler, camera case and stadium seat, one item of which was The Teenager’s sole responsibility.

Return visit to Harpieville, totally averted. Future trips to the couch for the Cub, still highly likely.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Flashback, Spring Break 1991: Its All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Dropped on Their Head in a Fountain

The kids start Spring Break today and they are both looking forward to lazy days without alarm clocks, no practices to attend, no homework and no schedules. I’m looking forward to all the extra dishes I will get to do, the messes that greet me each day as I arrive home from work and the inevitable phone calls I will field that consist of tattling and complaining. Good times!

In another life, I actually looked forward to Spring Break but, that was back in the day when I was young and knew everything about the world, you know, like all teenagers do.

My fondest memory of Spring Break was the trip I took to Mazatlan in 1991 with my college roommates because, despite the fact that I knew everything; I really learned a lot on that that trip, for instance:

When you drink an exotic concoction known as Jungle Juice from a fifty gallon trash can along with 3000 other college students, you are bound to get tipsy. During your tipsy state, you may-or may not-attempt to smoke a cigarette despite your firm anti-smoking policy. Later, when you deny ever having done such a thing, your friends might present you with photographic evidence of the crime and, once you confess, you will be branded as a Spring Break Smoker for the rest of your life even though, twenty years later, upon further inspection of the incriminating photograph; you will discover that it was only possible to hold that cigarette if, in fact, you had two right hands. Also, MENSA might deny your application for membership.

Jungle Juice consumption will lead to the inevitable task of having to hold one of your girlfriend’s hair back as she pukes. This is a non-negotiable part of your allegiance to The Sisterhood; there is no excuse for bailing on this responsibility. Further, if said girlfriend should, in addition to being violently ill, happen to be dropped on her head in the water fountain outside your hotel; you may not verbally berate the Sisters who accidentally dropped her; that's just not cool.

Once you all recover from your introduction to the Jungle Juice and have sobered up sufficiently, it will be time to play games. On the beach. With partially-naked guys whom you barely know. It is important to note, you must win the prize at the Beach Olympics or suffer the wrath of your future teenage daughter in the event that she stumbles upon your Spring Break 1991 photo album and declares herself disgusted at your adolescent antics; being able to claim a victory over other adolescent naked beach gamers may lift her opinion of you. Half a notch.

On rare occasions, when a guy asks if you want to “pet his iguana”, he actually means, do you want to pet his iguana. also, aiding and abetting that guy in smuggling his iguana across the border could get you into a boatload of trouble. If you get caught.

Sometimes, on Spring Break in a foreign country, you will meet a guy who will proceed to follow you around like a whipped puppy, claiming to loooove you. He won’t, really. But, you can take advantage of the situation by getting him to buy you drinks and cool hammocks from guys hawking them on the beach. Not that I know anything about that, personally. (Unless his name is George)

When all is said and done, barring any unforeseen circumstances, you will have had a vacation to remember. You will have learned some new things, increased your foreign language vocabulary (Uno mas cerveza, por favor), and created memories that will last a lifetime with the people who’s friendship will last just as long.

So, yes, Spring Break; highly recommended.

Sisterhood, goes without saying.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sometimes,  Enthusiastic is a Euphemism

The Man-Cub won two awards at Tuesday night’s ceremony; the Flint and Steele Fire Starter Award and the Most Enthusiastic Scout Award which, I’m pretty sure is totally made up and is actually Scout Speak for Please, For the Love of God, Shut Up, Already, Kid. Despite that theory, I was ridiculously proud of the Cub and, not just because, if he ever makes in on to Survivor; he will do well at the fire challenges.

Granted, he’ll also be the guy in camp that everyone desperately wants to vote off because please, for the love of God, shut up, already but; you can’t have it all, I suppose.

On an entirely different subject, tomorrow is the first day of Spring Break. The kids have been dying a slow and agonizing death in anticipation of this break from school and, I have been dying a slow and agonizing death in dread of it.

With the exception of sending the Man-Cub to a Hunter’s safety class, we have no scheduled activities and I am certain to hear a massive amount of complaining about that from The Teenager, whose responsibility it will be to watch her younger brother while Hugh and I are at work. I feel a little bit guilty about not taking time off to spend with them but, with my flexible schedule at the store, it isn’t as though I will be gone all day just, you know, long enough to keep my sanity intact.

It’s really the best for everyone involved considering the whole please, for the love of God, shut up, already thing and, you know, we are making plans to take the little ingrates to Disneyworld again this summer so it’s not like they are totally deprived.

Depraved, yes, deprived, not so much.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

So Much for Always Being Prepared

The Man-Cub’s Scout leader called last night to make sure that the Cub had confirmed with his scout-mates that they would be bringing plates and cups to tonight’s awards ceremony. Although it was the first that I had heard of either an awards ceremony or party supplies, I assured her that everything was on track. When I hung up the phone, I had the following conversation with the Cub.

Chelle: Cub! Get in here, right now!

Man-Cub: What?

Chelle: Is there something you forgot to tell me about this week’s scout meeting?


Chelle: Well?


Man-Cub: Umm…what?

Chelle: Is there, perhaps, something you needed to do for tomorrow’s meeting?


Man-Cub: Oh, yeah, we have this, um, thing we are doing.

Chelle: And?

Man-Cub: And, um…. I need to be there?

Chelle: And, did you, perhaps, have a responsibility to make sure that something else was there?

Man-Cub: Oh, yeah! I was supposed to have someone bring something.

Chelle: Who bring what?


Man-Cub: Uh…plates? I think? And, cups?

Chelle: Were you supposed to bring them or did you ask someone else to?

Man-Cub: Yes.

Chelle: yes, what?

Man-Cub: I asked someone else to bring them.

Chelle: Who?

Man-Cub: One of the other Weebelos. I forget his name.

Chelle: How are we supposed to call him to remind him to bring cups and plates if you can’t remember who you assigned?


Man-Cub: Huh. You might want to pick some up, just in case.

This is the child I have charged with the responsibility of picking out my nursing home.

Hold me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Things I Have Considered Dipping in Chocolate Today

-A banana

-A perfectly plump, large, ruby-red strawberry

-A neon pink marshmallow Peep bunny

-A large package of cinnamon bears

-A 5 lb box of Goldfish pretzels

-A Twinkie

-A 100 calorie package of almonds

Things I have actually dipped in chocolate today




Less than two weeks to go, less than two weeks to go, less than two weeks to go……

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Entertainment at its Finest

Friday’s run was super-challenging; I managed to run the entire four miles but never quite got into a comfortable rhythm, making the experience far less gratifying than usual. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when, by the end of the day, I was experiencing severe pain in the hip joint on my left side. When a ninety-minute massage failed to alleviate the pain, I knew I was in for the long-haul and, truly, it is 7:00 p.m. on Sunday and I am finally able to walk without a limp. The chances of me making it through tomorrow’s run are pretty slim but, I’m going to try.

Oh my god, I have the runner’s disease. Kill me, kill me, now.

Hey, that wish for death reminds me; The Teenager and I stayed up late on Friday night to attend a Twilight party at a local video store. We arrived at the venue shortly before midnight, secured our copy of New Moon as well as a place in line and commenced with the people-watching. Or, in this case, we commenced with the freak-show.

I’ve managed to block a majority of the horror but, I do recall seeing a large amount of metal embedded in adolescent faces, grown women sporting Team Jacob tee-shirts, a redneck family of four who practically wept with joy when they won a set of Twilight shot glasses, a minor brawl over the last Edward collectible doll and a toddler wandering the aisles carrying a poster larger than her own body.

At midnight.

The parenting on display in that incidence was, how can I put this, somewhat lacking.

In addition to the horrifying sights that night, we also experienced the robust smell of marijuana exuding from the teenagers in line ahead of us and, when The Teenager declared herself “starving and in need of French fries” when we left the store, I immediately chalked it up to a case of Munchies by Proxy.

That didn’t exactly thrill me, to say the least.

Plus, one of the little pot-heads kept shrilly declaring herself a proud member of TEAM EDWARD! WHOO! WHO’S WITH ME!! Yeah!! And, although The Teenager is totally on Jacob’s side, she felt bullied into declaring false allegiance lest the loud pot-head out her in front of the mob.

Nightmare stuff, that.

But, despite the fact that I dropped a good fifteen IQ points while standing in that line, the whole experience served to bond The Teenager and me in a way that watching the movie from the couch with a bag of popcorn and a box of Milk Duds just could not accomplish.

And, Saturday, following the Man-Cub’s wrestling tournament (Third Place!), Hugh and I got dressed up and attended the local community theater’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and, there is nothing like three hours of Shakespeare to restore IQ points.

Unfortunately, Shakespeare is no remedy for irritated hip joints but, I can’t ask for everything.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dear Lady Gaga,

I want to thank you for churning out fun and catchy songs that consistently fall in the 120-135 beats per minute range; they pull me through the last ten minutes of my run and have made it possible for me to complete four miles in forty minutes, a feat I never before believed possible.

As a token of my appreciation for your contribution to my achievement, I want to introduce you to a life-changing invention; here in America, we call them pants, the basic function of which is to cover your Downstairs Business.

Pants serve a number of additional functions as well, not the least of which is to keep you warm. They also serve to prevent the sight of your naked hoo-ha from causing strokes in the elderly population and can be used as a temporary floatation device in the event of emergency water-landings.

Pants come in a variety of styles, fabrics and colors and, I’m certain; you will find a pair that meets your satisfaction if you just try.

In the meantime, please keep making that awesome music and forgive me if I ban my children from watching your videos on MTV; I don’t mind if they listen to your music but I draw the line at my eleven year old son viewing your lady bits, digitally blurred though they may be. I'm sure you understand.



   Nice try but, still not pants.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hot Water Restored, Crisis Averted

Not only did I have hot water for my shower this morning but, the socks for The Teenager’s volleyball team arrived today and, in the last three minutes of last night's Lost, Sawyer redeemed himself and his inherent hotness, not that his hotness was actually in question.

So, yeah, all is well in Casa de Chelle.

But, since you all didn’t see me on the six a.m. news, you probably already guessed that.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What a Sucktatstic Day I Have Had!

It got off to a rollicking start this morning when I discovered the absence of hot water for my shower. Hugh was less than sympathetic when I frantically called him at the gym, where he was working out. He actually had the nerve to say “I can’t warm up the water from here, Chelle”. Oh, no he di’int. Oh yes, he did.

Then, at my woman’s club, I failed to win the election for Second Vice President and, while I didn’t actually campaign for the position, I didn’t actively campaign against the office, either. So, I am three for three in lost elections, making me the official Susan Lucci of Altrusa. Go, me!

In addition, the matching socks that I ordered for the volleyball team still haven’t arrived and I am starting to fear that something has gone dreadfully wrong, at least; as dreadfully wrong as something involving socks can go.

The kids were released from school early today due to CSAP testing and, I completely forgot; the Man-Cub had to walk home. And, sure, the sun was shining and the walk is less than half a mile and he’s eleven, but still; what kind of a mother forgets her son at school?

Plus, I still don’t have hot water this evening even though Hugh “fixed” the problem earlier today and, if I don’t get a shower tomorrow, I will not be held accountable for my actions, ugly though they may be.

To top it all off, I am watching Lost and, while there is much more Sawyer this episode (major plus), it looks as though both he and Kate are going over to the Dark Side and, the hell, Lost? You already corrupted my sweet Sayid, why you gotta mess with my Dimples? Whyy?? For the love of God, whyyyy?


Here’s hoping tomorrow is a better day. And, you know, that I have hot water and am not forced over to the Dark Side, myself.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Only the Lazy Blog in Bullet Points. Hello, I Am Lazy.


-Pampered myself with a facial, complete with neck and shoulder massage, at the day spa in town. Left the place limp as a noodle. Can’t really recall the drive home, such was my blissful state.

-Took the Man-Cub to the Mother/Son dance at his school. Witnessed a second grader doing an adequate imitation of the Michael Jackson crotch-grab/hip thrust movement; still have not recovered.

-Ate a slice of margherita pizza that was to die for.

-Ate the rest of the pizza for good measure (it was a small pizza. Sorta.)


-Got up at the crack of dawn to attend the Man-Cub’s wrestling tournament.

-Got a little teary-eyed when the Cub took first place and, all four kids in his bracket fist-bumped him, patted him of the back and begged their parents to take pictures of them all posing together.

-Cursed loudly under my breath when my camera battery died right before that Kodak moment.

- Got teary-eyed again when one of the Cub’s opponents gave me a hug when I praised him for wrestling so well (we’ve known the kid since he and the Cub started wrestling six years ago; he lives in another town and we only see him at the tournaments and he’s just such a doll and his mom is MIA and always has been and I just adore the kid and can’t credit his dad enough with how well he is raising his son and, there I go again! Tears!)

-Spent the rest of the day supervising Hugh as he went about his Honey Do’s.

-Almost cried again at the sight of our house, free of Christmas lights for the first time since early December.

-Refrained from pointing out that this is practically a new record in timely light-removal but; only because Hugh was also kind enough to put together The Teenager’s new basketball backboard/hoop thingie.

-Also refrained from pointing out that we have had the basketball backboard/hoop thingie since February 23rd.

-Made lasagna as a reward for Hugh’s efforts.

-Actually remembered to set every clock in the house forward an hour.

-Cursed loudly under my breath the whole time.


-Got up earlier than the crack of dawn (thanks Daylight Savings Time, you bastard!) to drive The Teenager and one of her teammates to Neighboring City for volleyball.

-Burnt my tongue on my coffee; blamed Daylights Savings Time (you bastard!)

-Watched the girls play better volleyball than they have played all season; praised their team spirit and wished that the damn matching socks Hugh and I ordered for each of the girls had been delivered in time for the tournament; blamed Daylights Savings Time (you bastard!) although, it probably had nothing to do with the delay.

-Cruised the aisles at Sam’s Club, watching the kids try every available sample before purchasing berry sundaes and driving home.

-Fell into a drooling coma on the couch; blamed Daylights Savings Time (say it with me, you bastard!).

So, that was my weekend in bullet form. Because I am lazy.

Also, I hate Daylight Savings Time. In case you couldn’t tell.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Flashback: It Might Run in the Family

My younger sister called me last night, seeking advice on how to handle a situation with her six-year old son whom had been called into the Principal's office of his school for some recent, unacceptable behavior.
Given my numerous trips to the Principal's office on behalf of The Teenager, I am, appparently, the go-to advisor for these kinds of problems however, my experience with discussions of unacceptable behavior goes waaay back to before The Teenager became, well, a typical teenager; back to when the Man-Cub was but a mere tot of four.

The following excerpt is from a journal that I started keeping in early 2003 and it accurately describes why I think my sister has nothing to be embarassed about; her kid was censored for rough-housing, my kid was apparently perverted.


Yesterday I learned that my four year old son is:

a. A pervert

b. An exhibitionist

c. A typical four year old boy

The jury is still out as to which one- if not all-of them.

When I picked up the kids from daycare Miss Lucy quietly informed me that the Man-Cub had been baring it all to the other children. Apparently he was not alone in his crime; he was in cahoots with an evil red-headed child who tattles on every other kid every chance he gets. In fact, a typical day of picking up my son goes something like this:


Man-Cub launches himself into my arms for hugs and kisses. I feel a tug at my skirt and look down to see red-headed evil child.

"Your son was mean to meeee!" or

"Your son pushed meeee!" or, my personal favorite, "Your son wouldn't play with meeee!"

I pat red-headed evil child, henceforth to be known as 411 (for information), on the head and dismiss him summarily. As I walk out to my car I notice that 411 has latched onto his next unsuspecting victim and "Your son was picking his nose!Your son was pinching meee!Your son was mean to meee!" will be the last sounds I hear as I buckle up the kids and start up the car engine and some Sarah McLachlan to drown out the noise.

So, today, the fact that the Man-Cub chose the red-headed evil 411 as his co-conspirator annoys me to no end.

As I am having a talk with the Man-Cub 411 is right in my face "Your son was pulling down his pantssss!" Finally, the Girl-child, hands placed firmly on her hips, leans down and gets right into 411's face and SNEERS at him "So were YOU, you little creep!" 411 slunk away to await the arrival of yet another poor unsuspecting parental unit and I continued my talk with the Man-Cub.

"Son, you know how special your private parts are. You know that we don't share them with people."

"Yes, Mommy!" Sob, here come the water works.

"You know that little voice inside your head that tells you when you are doing something wrong? Remember Mr. Conscience?"

The Man-Cub nods his head; sobbing like a baby.

"Well, didn't Mr. Conscience tell you that it was a bad idea to introduce Mr. Penis to your classmates?"

Man-Cub shakes his head. Tears and snot are running freely.

"He must have been asleep in my head!" Followed by uncontrollable BAWLING.

After he calmed down a bit we talked some more and then I sent him in to apologize to Miss Lucy and to let her know that it will NEVER happen again. I fought the temptation to FORBID him to play with the red-headed evil 411 EVER again. Obviously, I am aware that forbidden fruit is the sweetest. I can only hope that Mr. Conscience either wakes the fuck up or the Man-Cub realizes that 411 is trouble. Because it couldn't have been MY son's idea, right? Damnit.

I think I have impressed upon him how important it is that he follow the rules and policies at the daycare, though. And I'm serious about it. This daycare is amazing! They provide before and after school care and actually provide the transportation to and from the school. I drop my daughter off at school in the morning and then I don't have to worry about racing to pick her up after school or about her walking to our hardware store to meet her Dad. The pre-school program at the daycare is top-notch; the Girl went into Kindergarten waaay ahead of the other kids and the Man-Cub already recognizes core words like cat, hat, etc. The summer program is equally amazing. The older kids do field trips, swimming lessons, bowling, miniature golf and tons of science activities and crafts and the younger kids have guest visitors who do programs for them every other day. Last year they had a magician and they all learned how to make coins disappear. Plus, the daycare is affordable enough not to have run us into the poorhouse. So, getting kicked out would totally suck. And they can do it, too. One family with three of the worst-behaved kids I have ever met in my life got kicked out just last summer. Miss Lucy means business.

Once we got home I sent the Man-Cub to his room to reflect on what he had done. A while later he came downstairs and cuddled with me on the couch.



"I promise never to pull my pants down at school ever again."

"Thank you, baby."

My son. Maybe I should change his name to Monty.

Thus began a long history of fretting over my parenting skills.

Welcome to my world, sister.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Survivor: Some Observations

-Russell is a dick. A dick with the hidden immunity idol but, a dick nonetheless.

-The men have no problem passing up the opportunity to eat chocolate while the women descend on it like a pack of hungry lions on the slowest gazelle.

-Colby is rather hot when he’s being an ass. And, you know, every other minute of the day.

-Jeff is never hot, and he’s almost always being an ass.

-Tom should have invested part of his first million dollars on a personal trainer.

-For such a brawny man, James is easily breakable.

-Jerri! Pole to the face! It’s actually an improvement.

-None of the chocolate treats in the rewards challenge look at all appetizing to me. I’m cured of the addiction, thank you, Jebus!!

-Coach and Russell = Lenny and Squiggy.

-Small animals could nest comfortably in Rupert’s facial hair and, probably do.

-Blindfold challenges are hilarious.

-The Heroes suck at puzzles.

-Boston Rob is The Puzzle Master.

-Amanda wants to star in her very own version of Look Who’s Coming to Dinner, co-starring James, obviously.

-Colby and Candace are the smartest members of their tribe. They would also make really pretty babies.

-Bye, Tom!You can console yourself by counting the million dollars you won the last time you played the game!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

As Martha Would Say, It’s A Good Thing

This entry is chock-full of mindless rambling, enthusiastic product endorsements and my obvious overwhelming need to talk about my biological functions but as, scintillating as the subject matter seems, I completely understand if you feel the need to punch out now.

Go ahead. Right now, before it is too late!

Oh well, you had fair warning, I shall now commence with the rambling.

This morning, as I was eating a container of blueberry greek yogurt, I managed to drop a sizeable glob onto my white blouse, creating a purple stain roughly the size of a half-dollar directly over my right nipple, proving once and for all that the Man-Cub comes by his slovenly eating habit naturally and sadly, not from his father as I have contended for the majority of his life (of course, that’s just between you and me, internet. Right?).

Anyway, fearing that my blouse was ruined I, did the natural thing by cursing loudly and flailing about my home office like an epileptic having a fit.

What? That isn’t how you would have handled the situation?

Then, I remembered that I had purchased one of those new-fangled Tide to Go pens while waiting in the cashier’s line at the Hellmouth a while back and that it was still in my purse, unused. So, I figured I would try it and, damned if it did not lift the stain right off my boob. Really, it was as if the spill never happened (spill? What spill? The Man-Cub gets his sloppy eating behavior from his FATHER, remember)! It was magic, y’all. So, there is only one thing left to say…

To the makers of the Tide to Go pen, my rack salutes you!


Hey, speaking of my rack, I appear to have gained a cup size overnight. And, while having the Boob Fairy visit might be YOUR fondest wish before going to sleep each night, it is not mine. In fact, I am quite annoyed with the actions of the fairy and feel that a serious ass kicking is in order should the opportunity to catch the little bastard ever present itself.

On the bright side though, Aunt Flo is due to arrive in a few weeks and, she will take the excess with her when she departs, thus, my cups will no longer runneth over.

In news not related to my breast size, Mother Nature finally got the memo about it being spring and we had a full five minutes of sunshine today. I am hoping for a continuation of the trend and thus may finally get a chance to wear one of the three new pairs of sandals that I have purchased in recent weeks. The possibility excites me to no end as I have been working steadily on my bottle tan and have finally reached a level of color closely approximating an early summer tan. Also, I am eager to show off my newly toned bicep, triceps, back and shoulder muscles in all the latest warm-weather fashions.

By the way, if you just thought to yourself, “My god! This woman is vain! And terribly shallow!” I believe the word I need to share with you is *duh*. A teaspoon has more depth, I assure you.

On the other hand, after two months of resisting the siren call of chocolate and with the advent of running, I have earned the right to my vanity and I shall swim in the shallow end of the pool for a bit, without shame. Today, anyway.

Tomorrow, the PMS could completely scare away my self-confidence and I could be back to my normal, self-loathing and critical self. Who knows! It’s the crapshoot that defines womanhood! Three cheers for the X chromosome!

Ok, Sybil, Make Up Your Mind

Mother Nature cannot seem to decide if she wants to continue with the crappy winter weather or move on to a nice spring season. Personally, I am pulling for spring and, I have the recently purchased sandals, bottle of OPI (Clubbing til Sunrise), and new Capri’s to prove it.

But, seriously, in the past two days we have gone from warm temperatures and sunshine to snow to rain to a snow/rain mixture back to warm temperatures and sunshine. Currently, half of the sky is blue and cloud-free and the other half is gray as a sheet of metal; clearly hoarding yet another storm to be unleashed on us at some time in the very near future.

So, yes; indecision may-or may not-be Mother Nature’s problem. For the record, my money is on the former rather than the latter.

In news not related to weather, I finally attended my first meeting of my new book club the other night and I really think I am going to enjoy it. The hostess was a friend of mine from way back when I was working at Old Job and I hadn’t seen her in ages and ages so; it was nice to catch up. The snacks she provided were delicious (brie with an awesome fig jam), the ladies were warm and welcoming, and the wine drinking lasted longer than the actual discussion of the book with celebrity gossip featuring heavily in the conversations. Also, no one was the least bit ashamed to admit that they find Taylor Lautner extremely appealing. Also, jail bait but; what’s a little harmless drooling over unattainable movie stars among friends?

The Mother Ship, she has landed.

In other other news, Hugh and I are closing on our new mortgage tomorrow. We got a sweet interest rate that will allow us to consolidate our car and boat loans into the house payment as well as pulling out cash for The Teenager’s braces, money to finish the landscaping in the front yard plus a little something for a family vacation later this summer and, all for the same monthly payment that we were making before.

I think even Mother Nature would agree; that was a deal too good to pass up. Now, if she would just pull her head out of her royal ass and give us some nice weather, maybe we could actually start on that landscaping.

Fingers crossed.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Six Inches

-The length of a dollar bill

-The distance a snail travels in 2.5437 minutes

-The average length of the male penis

-The length of hair cut off my head this weekend

That’s right, I finally found a new stylist to tame my wayward tresses, and, if I had a dollar for every time she said “Wow, your hair is long. I’m really cutting a lot of hair off, here. Are you sure about this?” I could have paid for the haircut without whipping out my wallet.

So, yes, I had a penis-worth of hair removed from my head and the results are exactly what I wanted even if I did have to constantly reassure the stylist that my long hair was the product of laziness and not an actual attempt to grow it out on purpose. I feel like I made quite an accomplishment. Now, to lose ten pounds, reverse the aging process and finally establish world peace.

I’m going to be a very busy woman.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Friday Flashback: The House, The House, The House is On Fire

My mom was a working mom before working moms were the norm. When my sisters and I were very young, she worked in the office of a business that sold large farm implements (tractors!) and my sisters and I were kept under the watchful eye of my grandmother.

Eventually, my parents allowed my older sister to watch me and my younger sister and then, the summer after I turned thirteen; I was allowed to watch my younger sister while my older sister pursued a more active social life.

I felt pretty good about the responsibility and really enjoyed the independence that came from not having to answer to my older sister for everything. Plus, I tried really hard not to be a bossy dictator where my younger sister was concerned although; she might disagree somewhat with that assessment.

Anyway, during that time, I developed an enjoyment of cooking, specifically breakfast foods and baked goods featuring cream cheese and chocolate chips (cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, oh how I miss you).

One fine summer morning, I decided to fry a couple of eggs for my breakfast. I melted a few scoops of lard in my mother’s heavy skillet, cracked a couple of eggs and waited for the magic to happen. Unfortunately, something magical was also happening in Pine Valley at that moment and, my attention was caught by the antics of one Miss Erica Kane.
It wasn’t until I heard a strange popping noise coming from the kitchen that I remembered my breakfast and, upon entering the kitchen; discovered a grease fire blazing on the stovetop.

Being next in line for MENSA membership; I grabbed a potholder, gripped the skillet and was making my way to the sink to douse the flames when it occurred to me that; flames shooting five feet into the air + my mother’s lovely 1970’s patterned curtains on the window over the sink =Certain Doom and; I whipped back toward the stove to set the skillet down. Which, is about the time the heat from the handle started burning through the potholder and, in a panic, I dropped the skillet onto my mother’s lovely 1970’s patterned carpet.

Thankfully, the grease had burned itself out at that point and, although the skillet was melted into the floor, the flames were gone. Unfortunately, so were both of my eyebrows and a large majority of my bangs, having been singed by the flames.

Despite the fact that hot grease had sloshed out of the skillet as I made the trip across the kitchen, I had not one burn on my body. This is especially miraculous when one considers the fact that I was barefoot, wearing a tube top and a pair of ratty cut-offs that would have made Daisy Duke proud. I was incredibly lucky, obviously.

I called my mom and she refrained from profanity both on the phone and in person five minutes later when she came reeling through the front door following a frantic drive home.

Despite the fact that I had completely ruined her carpeting, caused enough smoke damage to require a repainting of the entire kitchen and scared a good ten years off her life, my mom did not punish me for that fire. Nor did she put a stop to my babysitting my sister, instead, trusting that I had learned my lesson about leaving a hot stove unattended, she allowed me to carry on.

I never took that trust for granted and I never caused another grease fire in my mother’s –or anyone’s-kitchen. In fact, even today; I don’t cook with grease, period. I don’t fry eggs, I don’t fry vegetables and the mere thought of frying a chicken brings to mind the scent of singed hair, causing me to break out in hives.

I'm serious, I don’t even keep grease in my house and; I only allow my children to use the microwave when they are home alone. I have also instructed both children in the correct methods for dealing with a grease fire (suffocation with baking soda, salt or a lid) in the unlikely event that they encounter one as well as in the correct usage of a fire extinguisher (of which we have three in the kitchen alone).

I learned from my experience, is my point.

Also I don’t wear Daisy Dukes anymore but; that has more to do with the onslaught of cellulite than with childhood trauma.

In case you wondered.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sounds Sketchy to Me

Last week, I purchased a pair of Sketchers Shape-Ups which are shoes that supposedly tone your butt and legs while you walk.

If you are like me, you thought that simply walking accomplishes that goal but; the good people at Sketchers would tell you that you are wrong. Your butt and legs need the special rocking motion of the Shape-Ups in order to efficiently activate the muscles involved in holding your ass up in the perkiest manner possible; just walking, pshaw, not good enough for producing an ass that defies gravity.

And, I don’t know about gravity-defying but, I will say, my back feels remarkably good when I wear these shoes. Like, it hasn’t felt this good to stand on my feet all day since way back before the whole orthotics debacle of 2008-2009.

And, no nerve pain!

Plus, my arches feel supported, no, cradled like newborn babies in these shoes.

So, what I’m saying is, tight ass, schmite ass, I don’t feel like an eighty year old woman hobbling around the store when I wear my magical, pain-free-although, admittedly Frankensteinish shoes and that is all that matters to me.

Granted,  if a side-effect of the magical pain-free shoes just happens to be that my ass perks up like a teenager’s well, then, what a nice little bonus.

Really. I’m serious.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Four Months From Now, This Is Going To Seem Really Cute
Right now, not so much.

I. Am. Sick. Of. Winter.

Sick, to death, of the cold, the snow, the dreary days and long nights. I'm ready for spring and, being that it is now March, one would think that spring has arrived yet; it is supposed to snow again this weekend.


So, yes, in four months, when I am sunning myself from the deck of the boat at Lake Powell or drinking another root beer on the front porch while the fan spins lazily over my head; this picture will strike a nostalgic cord in my heart.

Today, it is with great satisfaction that I tell you; the Man-Cub beat that snowman to smithereens with a baseball bat not ten minutes after I took the picture.

I think he is tired of winter, as well.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Seriously, Son; Where Did Your Mother Hide the Little Debbie’s?

I am still rocking the Lenten sacrifices. I’ve had not an ounce of chocolate since January; having decided to kick that habit prior to the start of Lent. In addition, no pink frosted donuts, fluffy sugar cookies or delicious Little Debbie Swiss cakes have passed these lips since before Ash Wednesday. I haven’t even been tempted, I swear.

On the other hand, Hugh has been fruitlessly searching the kitchen pantry for any sign of forbidden confections since, oh, the day after Ash Wednesday. I could save him the trouble, I suppose. I could lie and say that I haven't been buying easter candy and storing it fora saliva-soaked candyfest at precisely 12:01 on April 4th but; what fun would there be in that? It's more fun to watch him search.

A welcome side effect of the lack of sugar in my diet has been an increase in my energy levels and, despite a chest cold from Hell; I have been quite energetic lately. I even managed to continue running on the treadmill despite the fact that I am literally choking on the lining of my lungs, burning with fever and, spouting copious amounts of snot from my cherry-red nose (you are so very welcome for the visual. What can I say; I’m a giver).

I also had enough energy to make it through the man-Cub’s wrestling tournament on Saturday which is impressive if for nothing save the fact that we had 25 wrestlers competing and I managed to cheer for all of them.

I cheered the loudest for the Cub, of course and, he did not disappoint, taking first place in his weight bracket.

Hugh was pretty proud of him too but; I think he would be even more proud of him if he would just give up the location of my hidden stash of Cadbury eggs, already.

Ha! Like I would tell the Cub where I hid them, what does he take me for, an amateur?