Thursday, September 30, 2010

Space Invaders

This morning, The Teenager filled me in on last night’s team dinner because, last night; she was too shell-shocked to adequately describe the experience. I knew the dinner had been successful because, there was virtually no food left when I returned from the football game and, having done the shopping for the event; I knew how much food there had been. Also, unlike the football game, were no reports of broken bones and, any party that ends without maiming your guests is a success as far as I’m concerned.

But, The Teenager’s definition of a successful party varies slightly from my own and, hers weighs heavily on attendance and by that, I mean that she was thrilled beyond measure because, and I quote, “The SENIORS came!”

Seniors are pretty high up on the school popularity scale, as is only right and natural and, having them attend a dinner hosted by a lowly Freshman was the pinnacle of success as far as The Teenager was concerned. Their presence at the dinner made The Teenager feel like a valuable part of the team which, is really what leadership is all about and, who are the leaders of a team if not the Seniors?

Still, I heart every one of those girls for being there. I don’t think they even realized just how special they made The Teenager, and all the other freshmen, feel last night and I hope the good karma they threw out there comes back around to grace each and every one of them.

Oh, and the fact that they all made Hugh feel like the best Grill Master in the Universe probably didn’t hurt, either.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Football Isn’t For Wussies and Teenaged Girls Like Hamburgers

Apparently, our football team is extremely breakable as evidenced by the second instance of a player being taken off the field in an ambulance at one of our games. Tonight, it was a compound fracture of the arm which is even less pleasant than a snapped wrist what with the blood and bone protruding from the skin and all.

Oh, and we lost, 0-20. It was not a pretty night.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (and, speaking of pretty), Hugh was entertaining thirty-four teenaged volleyball players at our team dinner. He tells me they were all very well behaved and that, while very delicate and ladylike; they ate like hungry lumberjacks, or, a swarm of locusts, or, Kirstie Alley on a binge. I think what he was trying to say was, they eat, a lot, probably even more than our football players which could go a long way in explaining why our team is so damn breakable.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To the Four Winds

I am so scattered right now, I can hardly string two words together, never mind full sentences. Suffice it to say that my kids’ schedules are kicking my ass.

This morning The Teenager had to be at the orthodontist by 8:00 after which we ran to the Hellmouth for the groceries required for tomorrow night’s team dinner.

After work, I raced home to hose down the porch so that the team will have a nice place to congregate during said dinner, then, I raced the Man-Cub to football practice, raced back home to dust and vacuum, raced back to the park to pick the Cub up and then raced back home to make dinner,

Tomorrow, I have to be at the Middle School by 7:30 for a volunteer assignment that I signed up for weeks ago then, I will do a full day's work, race home to do the prep work for the dinner after which I will race the Cub to his tutoring session and then to the football field for team pictures and his game.

Luckily, Hugh will be available to hold down the fort at the team dinner until the game is over and, I’m sure he will do a great job since the dinner consists of grilled hamburgers and brats and, the grill is his Domain so, it’s all good.

I’m just really, really, tired right now. And, scattered, did I mention scattered? Because, goddamn, I am scattered. I probably just need a good night’s rest, unfortunately, while I was hosing down the porch I discovered a ginormous black widow spider lurking in the trim around the garage door and now, I may never sleep again.

On the other hand, just think of everything I could accomplish during the night hours.

I’m so screwed.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Go Bananas

The Man-Cub’s birthday party at the amusement park in Neighboring City went spectacularly well and, by that, I mean; I didn’t have to set up for, clean up after or supervise during, a birthday party for the first time in the history of my parenting experience and, that, my friends, was spectacular.

Rather than slaving over table decorations, games, food and entertainment, all I had to do was show up with cupcakes; the table was already decorated and set for eight guests each of whom received tokens for the arcade and wristbands that allowed for unlimited access to the park attractions.

We had a table hostess who saw to our every need, delivering pizzas and pitchers of soda on demand. When the food was gone, she swept in and carted off the dirty dishes and, when she noticed that we had leftover cupcakes, she offered to refrigerate them for me until our departure.

The kids took full advantage of the many amenities available to them including a really cool lazer tag area and a lazer maze which, I would have taken pictures of had it been allowed, sadly, it was not.

I did get to take pictures of the rest of the day, however and, it’s probably easier to show you how much fun the kids had than to tell you because, as they say, a picture tells a thousand words.

Also, I am lazy.

And now, despite having done the bare minimum to ensure a fabulous celebration of my son's 12th birthday, I am exhausted. Also, I have a buttload of left-over cupcakes should anyone want to join me in a diabetic coma. Yes? Great, I'll be on the couch.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Scoreboard Doesn’t Lie

Except, when it does but, I’ll get to that in a minute.

After much bureaucratic bullpucky and nonsense, the boys finally got their official game jerseys at yesterday’s practice and, you never saw a team of kids more excited to take the field than this group was today.

They looked stylin’ and they were pumped to win; it probably didn’t hurt that they were all still cranked up on sugar, courtesy of the football-shaped sugar cookies the Man-Cub insisted I provide at last night’s practice since, you know, it was his birthday (and, he’s a pre-teen, now, Mom! A pre-teen!). I argued that I shouldn't have to slave over cookies since his birthday had actually been on Thursday but, since they didn’t practice on Thursday and, since his party isn’t until Sunday; the Cub apparently decided to call it a birth week and, well, it’s hard to argue with someone demented enough to think that they deserve an entire week to celebrate the day on which they were born and, as usual, I totally digress.

Anywaaay, as I said, the boys were pumped. Unfortunately the other team hadn’t yet gotten the memo about this being the Marauders day to triumph and, they started the first quarter with back-to-back touchdowns.

Not to be out-done, our boys rallied with a touchdown of their own, bringing the score to 13-6, quickly followed by a second touchdown, bringing the score to 13-13 which, somehow magically became 13-19 while our backs were turned, see…

as there had been no additional scoring on our side, we were a bit confused. Our confusion only deepened when, a mere minute later the scoreboard magically read 13-20.

As we waited for the other team to notice the error, our boys made the point moot by scoring another touchdown, making the score 13-27 when, in actuality it should have been 13-20 which meant we still won the game but, um, an accurate accounting of the score might have been nice.

For the record, the other team never noticed the error. Not one spectator noticed it, not one coach, not one player so; maybe the Point Fairy visits there on a regular basis and nothing phases these people, whatever.

So, we won but, not without some sacrifice as, once they started to lose, the other team started playing rather dirty, going so far as to snap the wrist of our starting quarterback on a late hit. It was not a pleasant thing to witness but, he’s a tough kid and I’m sure the story of how he was carried off the football field in an ambulance will become legendary first-date fodder. Let’s just hope his parents have Aflac.

As for us, we got off lucky; while the Man-Cub was tackled numerous times, he managed to bounce back up in a most Gumby-like fashion and we have no injury to report unless you count a sprained elbow from patting himself on the back a little too aggressively.

Eh, he earned it.

They all did.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Twelve. Yes, I Said TWELVE

So, yeah...the Man-Cub turned twelve years old, today.

He bounced out of bed at six a.m., raced downstairs to open his cards and to run an appreciative hand over the new bike that Hugh and I got for him and then casually informed me that this birthday makes him officially a pre-teen.

When I came to, I kissed the Cub goodbye and sent him off for what I’m certain will be a fun-filled day at school because, let’s face it; wherever goes the Man-Cub, thus goes the fun, it’s like a law of nature or something.

As I sit here, now, struggling to write something that the Cub may or may not look back on years from now, something that conveys how special he is to me, I rifle through old pictures for inspiration; it’s tough to adequately describe the pride that we feel for our children, the fierce love that we hold for them, the fear in our hearts each and every time we allow them to do something as simple as walking out the door to begin a new day and yet the difficulty comes not from having too few words to describe those things but in having too many. Sorting through the millions of reasons why I love this child overwhelms my brain’s ability to express itself.

The best that I can hope for is that the Cub will know, that he will just intuitively know how much having him in our lives has enriched us. How his sense of humor, his kindness, his adorable and unique wackiness make each day of our lives richer and more complete. How his infuriating habit of leaving dirty socks on the couch or his tendency to absent-mindedly leave his athletic cup in the most random places (like the kitchen windowsill) at once, baffle and delight us. How his never-ending supply of fart jokes and his ability to burp the Pledge of Allegiance amuse us and how proud we are at the bottomless well of compassion that he has for animals, smaller children and old women (I suppose it comes as no surprise that old women find him equally adorable); perhaps he will just know these things. Perhaps he won’t.

On the off-chance that he doesn’t, I suppose the best way to sum it up is merely to say, “I love you, Cubby. I love you every day of your life, every inch of your body from the tips of your toes to the top of your unruly head of hair, I love you.”

Also, while I very much appreciate your recent promise to look after me in my old age, even going so far as to say that I can come and live with you when I am old and feeble and you are happily married and secure; the day that you do stand at the end of that aisle, waiting for your bride? This is what I am going to see.

I don’t care how old you are.

Happy birthday, baby.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Forecast Calls for Rain. Of Course it Does

The Man-Cub’s football team is scheduled to play at 5:30 this evening and it has been raining on and off since before I got out of bed this morning; this should make for an interesting and muddy game.

Yesterday was beautiful, with temperatures reaching the eighties, sunshine and a light breeze. Today, we have the rain and, by tomorrow it could be snowing and, that’s autumn in the Rocky Mountains, folk; be sure to pack an umbrella with your sunscreen and snow boots.

Speaking of packing, my parents arrived yesterday to spend a couple of days watching the grand-spawn participate in their sporting endeavors. Unfortunately, The Teenager’s team lost the first game that they have lost all season, putting their record at, I believe, 9-1 which isn’t too shabby.

Of course, my parents are now worried that they jinxed the team with some sort of bad mojo or some such shit but, everyone is entitled to have a bad day and, unfortunately, fate picked yesterday to visit one upon several of the girls on the team. Shit happens, we move on.

And, I’m enjoying my parent’s visit regardless of the loss or of the fact that we will inevitably end up watching the Cub’s football game from our stadium seats while huddled under umbrellas and blankets because; my parents are just that good of company.

And, I have a bottle of peppermint schnapps and a bunch of hot cocoa and I’m not afraid to use them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Monkeyshines

Busy weekend, head still spinning, exhausted and, it’s Monday again, sigh.

Saturday morning I was up with the sun to see The Teenager off on her volleyball road trip. I wanted to go watch her play but, Hugh was working for the police department and I had to take the Man-Cub to his football game which was originally scheduled as a home game but which had been moved to a neighboring town.

Once we got to the neighboring town, however, we discovered that some communication break-down between the activities director in our town and the director in the neighboring town had occurred and that the field we were going to be using was already occupied by two other teams. Not only that but, the team from the neighboring town had never gotten the message about the change and they were back in Petticoat Junction wondering where the hell we were.

Apparently, the reason for moving the game in the first place was the fact that our school had volunteered to let two opposing teams from opposite ends of the state meet in the middle to play their game on our field, a conflict that our activities director thought would tie up the field for our game. However, we were scheduled to play at 10:00 while the high school game was scheduled for 1:00, leaving plenty of time for us to play, had she just consulted the school athletics director. So, we hustled back to Petticoat Junction for the game only to discover that the activities director had cancelled the referees, leaving us with no officials and no way to play an official game. So, the boys scrimmaged the other team while the parents fumed in the stands.

                                                            Fumble recovery!

Oh, and we won.

Which, doesn’t mean shit since there were no referees and therefore it was not an official game.

Boy would I love to be a fly on the wall of the activities director’s office when she starts listening to her voicemail messages this morning.

Anyhoodle, after that debacle, the Cub and I did some grocery shopping and then headed home where we spent the day cleaning the house and working in the yard while waiting to hear from The Teenager (they won! Both games! And, she got to start!!!).

Sunday, I was busy making candy monkeys for the Man-Cub’s upcoming birthday party. I’ve never crafted candy before and the process was a wee bit nerve-wracking for me but, in the end, it all worked out.

These bad boys will go on the cake that we are taking to the amusement park in Neighboring City.

Later, since I was feeling so smug at the success of my craftiness, I made 42 invitations for a dinner that we are hosting for The Teenager’s volleyball team next week.

And, that pretty much used up every bit of energy that I had left which probably explains why I am dragging ass this morning.

I’m sure the fact that it’s Monday has nothing to do with it.

Yeah, right.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Flashback: This Used to be so Much Easier

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. I love the colors of the changing leaves, the color of the seasonal produce and, well, the color pallet in general, I suppose. I also love the activities that come with fall, apple picking, corn mazes, trips to the pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving, caramel apple dipping and, a bit later on, Trick-or-Treating on Halloween night.

Unfortunately, as my kids get older, they are becoming, shall we say, less inclined to accompany me on such excursions which, sucks, Big Time.

And, while I enjoy the activities that they are involved in right now, the memories of which will no doubt fold themselves seamlessly into my love of all things autumn; I kind of miss the way it used to be, back when they were small and at my mercy in planning their social routines.

For instance, from the time they were all quite small, Jana and I would take the kids on an annual fall picnic and pinecone-hunting expedition after which, the girls would craft birdfeeders from the pinecones while the boys raced about the yard, raking piles of leaves in which to hurl themselves.

We went to the same picnic spot pretty much every year and, with the exception of perhaps one time, the weather was always picture perfect.

In addition to our picnics, we would take the kids on some other fall expedition, usually featuring a pumpkin patch, a hayride, a corn maze or some combination of the three.

These excursions gave the kids a chance to play together as well as giving me and Jana some much needed adult time and, while we still have an occasional opportunity to get together these days, it just isn’t quite the same.

Oh, and convincing two out of five of the children to dress up for Halloween Trick-or-Treating? Yeah, totally isn’t happening.

And that kind of makes me feel old.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Insert Theme to “It’s a Small World After All”, Here

Since school started last month, the Man-Cub has been singing the praises of a new kid in his classes. The Cub, a couple of his old friends and this new kid apparently hit it off really well and are now thick as thieves, including playing together on the tackle football team.

Naturally, with his birthday coming up, the Cub wanted to invite New Kid to the party, which we are having at an amusement park in Neighboring City and, I had no problem with inviting New Kid but stressed the fact that I would have to meet his parents before I would feel comfortable whisking him off on an hour-long car ride, you know, like any sane parent would.

So, yesterday, at the boys’ football game, I “met” New Kid’s dad or, I guess I should say, I discovered that New Kid’s dad was a man whom I grew up with, like literally; we went to school together from Kindergarten to graduation, played together on the playground, attended Catechism classes together every Wednesday and, most recently, threw back a few drinks at our twentieth high school reunion.

I knew he and his family lived in the area and that he had kids who attended the same school district but had no idea that his son had transferred into our school. It was a pretty nice discovery even though, when I told him about the party and my need to be acquainted with the parents of our guests, he very seriously told me  that, knowing I was the parent; there would be no way in hell he would allow his son to go traipsing off with us to Neighboring City.

He was kidding, of course.

Unless he wasn’t which could only mean one thing; he’s totally afraid that I’m going to give his son a bunch of dirt on him

See? Not only does he know me but, he knows me too well.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Husband Is Coming Home Tonight, You Know What THAT Means

He’ll once again take responsibility for defending our home against rampaging zombies, chain-saw wielding maniacs, aliens and rabid Avon ladies; he may or may not use the pepper spray, baseball bat and football helmet, his choice.

While I’ll be glad to have him home, his arrival is a day late and one giant hissy fit short because; I really could have used his help earlier today when corralling the cat in his carrier for the trip to the vet for his one-week post-operative check up.

I am not exaggerating when I say; the cat hates the carrier and, despite being lured halfway into it by a trail of cat treats, he still managed to throw the above-mentioned hissy fit-seriously, there was hissing-during his struggle to escape. Then, he howled for the entire drive to town. Then he spat at the veterinary technician, and, it wasn’t a very impressive showing but, if he was physically capable of hawking a loogie at the poor woman; I have no doubt he would have.

All that drama for a checkup that consisted of the vet prying open Gilligan’s jaws and giving his mouth a cursory glance before declaring the incision to be healing nicely before sending us on our way which, is when we re-enacted The Taming of the Shrew once again.

I could have used a second pair of hands in the cat-wrestling portion of the program, is what I’m saying and, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that Hugh really should have to do a night patrol in the football helmet.

Payback, Hugh; it’s what’s for dinner.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In Which My Dog Is a Ginormous Asshole

I believe I have made mention of the fact that Hugh is out of town on business, leaving me alone to defend our home in the case of attack by a rampaging zombie horde, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, aliens from outer space or over-zealous Avon ladies and; I’m ok with that.

While I have no actual reason to believe that I will encounter any of the above-mentioned threats, (with the possible exception of the over-zealous Avon sales representatives because, let’s face it, this economy hasn’t exactly been kind to the independent business woman and we all gotta eat); I do exercise a reasonable amount of caution when securing the house for the night. So, when I was awakened by a loud banging noise on the back porch at three o’clock this morning, I wasn’t terribly concerned.

Ok, that is a lie; in actuality, I was certain that a chain-saw wielding maniac was breaking down the back door, intent on driving us from the house, straight into the arms of the zombie horde which would then eat our brains after which they would toss our empty shells to the aliens for immediate pod-like possession.

Because, at three in the morning; that seemed like a totally reasonable scenario.

Also, terrifying.

Luckily, after a bit of stealth sleuthing, which included outfitting myself with a can of pepper spray, a baseball bat and the Man-Cub’s football helmet-to protect my braaiiins, obviously-I discovered that the loud banging noise was the result of Rowdie tossing one of my rather large spaghetti squashes, which he had stolen right off the vine growing over the garden fence, around the porch while eating it.

Let us recap: My dog stole a squash from my garden, proceeded to eat it in its entirety and, loudly, on my porch at three o’clock in the morning, waking me from a solid sleep and scaring the bejezus out of me, forcing me to don a piece of athletic equipment that did not fit me well at all and, when I had the temerity to scold him for it; looked at me like I was high.

I know! I was thinking the same thing you are; what kind of lame-brained dog eats spaghetti squash?

Monday, September 13, 2010

M-O-N-D-A-Y, S-U-C-K-S, Sung To the tune of the Mickey Mouse Song.

This past weekend was so nice, the weather was gorgeous, I didn’t have to work and, with Hugh in San Francisco (Stanford to attend a clinic for college wrestling officials) for the weekend and in Las Vegas (Fall Market for the store) for the majority of this week; I had a chance to spend some quality alone time with the remote control.

Oh, and with my kids. In fact, the Man-Cub and I spent all day Saturday together while The Teenager was traveling with the volleyball team. The two of us attended our community’s annual Airport appreciation Day before driving to Neighboring City for a shopping excursion that lasted longer than any shopping trip I have been on in quite some time yet; I didn’t spend that much money. Hugh would be so proud.

One purchase I did make was a DVD copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid which the Cub and I proceeded to watch and which caused us both to laugh until our sides hurt. Then, the Cub went to spend the night at his friend’s house, leaving The Teenager and me to spend Sunday morning together, watching and, in my case, rewatching, the movie. We all give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up.

During the day, Hugh texted us pictures of a store that specializes in salt water taffy, a photo showing barrel upon barrel of scrumptious taffy goodness and, we were justifiably jealous. In retaliation, we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner. Then, the kids went to bed and I watched the season finale of True Blood which was mostly meh, except for the part where Jason Stackhouse was awesome. And, you know, hot.

Which, brings us to today.


Monday; two days worth of receipts, payroll, bills to pay, a kitten that has recently developed an Attitude and hours on my feet, a mad-dash to the Man-Cub's football practice, the age-old question of what the hell to make for dinner and the discovery of  cat puke on the living room carpet. Yep, I hate Monday.

Thank goodness tomorrow is Tuesday, which is followed by Wednesday which is the day my husband comes home; I've missed him ever so much and, you know, he's bringing taffy.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Color Blindness Has its Advantages

For one thing, this is the closest he will ever get to aerial combat.

It's true, the cute pilot-guy at today's Air Show told me so; color blindness is a fighter-pilot deal breaker. That comment made him my favorite person for about five minutes, right up until he told me that it would in no way preclude the Cub from hand-to-hand combat.

It's a shame, I really liked him up until then.

Anyway, we had the opportunity to meet this nice man whom- despite my teasing, I respect and appreciate greatly for defending my freedom- at our community's annual Airport Appreciation Day. A number of military planes were on hand, along with the men and women who pilot them and, we really enjoyed meeting them and learning more about them and their planes.

The Cub had a chance to sit in the cockpit of an Apache Helicopter, to explore a large bomber and to stand on the wing of a few other planes. It was quite exciting for him and I had to work really hard at acting like it was the first time that I had ever seen such cool planes when, in actuality, yeah, saw them yesterday when we were setting up for the event. Met the pilots! Touched the planes first, nanananana!


But still, very cool.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Charity Starts at Home, With a Bottle of Wine and a Cheese Basket

Recently I was asked to serve on a fundraising committee for a local non-profit organization, a responsibility I was quick to accept because the charities that benefit from the funds are near and dear to my heart. Also, the fundraising involved for this particular organization consists primarily of planning elegant parties and, I cannot tell a lie; I likes me some elegant parties.

So, parties that benefit the less fortunate of our community? Sign me up.

And, you know, the fact that one of my favorite Bunco-slash-Porch Night drinking buddies-is the Executive Director of the organization and that I will be doing the majority of the party planning with her didn’t figure into my acceptance of the role at all. Really, the fact that she has excellent taste in wine, can mix a mean margarita and makes me laugh until my sides hurt didn’t factor into the decision in the least; I really just want to help my fellow man.

Anyway, my first event with the organization is tomorrow night. Preparations for the event have been going on for quite some time and, last night, my friend invited me to her house to put together baskets for the silent auction component of the event; it took us several hours to determine which of the donated items went in each themed basket, how best to showcase them and how to arrange them then, my friend attempted to school me in the art of bow-making at which, alas, I still totally suck.

By the time we were finished with the baskets, it was past nine o’clock and time for me to head home. Tomorrow, we will meet to do the set-up for the event, which kicks off at 5:00. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Hugh departs for San Francisco tomorrow morning, leaving me responsible for the children and their various schedules, I will be unable to attend the party. I’m kind of bummed about that but, according to the organization’s board of director’s, I will have plenty of other opportunities in the future and, you realize what that means, don’t you?

I may finally develop a social life that doesn’t revolve around my children and their sporting endeavors.

In the name of charity, bonus!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Gilligan, the True Adventures of an Agoraphobic Cat

Last night, while reclining on the couch with Gilligan on my chest, I noticed something odd; Gill’s face appeared to be swollen on the left side. So, after some sweet talk, Hugh managed to pry Gill’s mouth open, revealing a very swollen gum line and prompting a visit to the vet first thing this morning.

Now, Gilligan is neither a good traveler nor an ideal patient. For one thing, he is seventeen years old which, in cat years is closer to 84 and, while he’s still really spry for 84, he’s also rather um, cranky. Like, seriously cranky.

He’s also terrified of leaving the house, in fact, he has gone no further than the first five feet of the front porch pretty much ever and, one loud noise sends him scooting back in the house like his ass is on fire.

 In addition to his reluctance to enjoy the great outdoors, with the exception of Hugh, the children and myself, he barely tolerates people so; you can imagine a trip in a car to an office full of strangers was not his idea of a great way to spend the day and, he wasted no amount of energy in reminding us of that fact because, while the drive to town took less than 20 minutes, he yowled piteously the entire way, mostly because he couldn’t quite get the hang of not pitching forward each time I tapped on the brakes or of rocking backward when I stepped on the gas and, really, there was nothing to be done about that because it is virtually impossible to explain the physics involved in centrifugal force to a cat.

I tried.

Besides, while annoying, the yowling was equally humorous once we resigned ourselves to the idea that it was merely the geriatric cat equivalent of a grouchy old man waving his cane and yelling at the neighborhood kids to GET OFF MY LAWN! And, he is 84, remember; some things have to be excused.

Luckily, the yowling stopped once we got to the clinic. Oh, it was quickly replaced by hissing but, if a strange woman shoved a thermometer up your ass, you’d hiss too (I hope. And, if not, I don’t want to know).

To make a long story short (too late!), Gill’s left canine tooth was infected and had to be removed, prompting a three-hour surgery and two-to-three weeks of follow-up antibiotics. Due to his age, there was some concern about complications like hemorrhaging but, other than Hugh’s wallet hemorrhaging money following the operation, all was well.

He’s home now and appears to be on the mend, by which I mean; he’s no crankier than usual and still seems to think that we were placed on this earth to attend his every need which may be true but, what can I say? My parents taught me to respect my elders.

Sniff..This "outdoor" shit is soooo over-rated.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I’ll Fall For You

There was a fly buzzing around in my car earlier today and, when I rolled the window down to allow him a dignified escape, the smell of green chilies tumbling in a roaster rushed in to take his place. I was at a stop light next to a farmer’s stand and the sight of the green chili roasters, melons, squashes, tomatoes and peppers served as a vivid reminder that autumn is upon us; before we know it, piles of plump orange pumpkins will join the other produce and Halloween decorations will take their place on the hay bales lining the produce stand.

The tree in our front yard, always the first to change into its autumn finery as well as the first to shed it, is starting to show the slightest bit of gold in its leaves and the days are starting to feel mellow and soft around the edges; all good indicators that it is time to prepare for the new season yet, I’m hesitant to throw in the summer towel quite yet. Maybe next week.

For now, I am enjoying the in-between by attending The Teenager’s volleyball games (another win today) and the Man-Cub’s football practices. Sometimes, during the practices, I walk around the park where they are held and, every once in a while I run. I’m nowhere near where I was a few months ago in terms of speed or endurance and this disappoints me, immensely. I’m also disappointed in my inability to stick to a decent diet, failing time and again to crush my sugar addiction but, I’ll keep trying and, who knows, the next time might be the one that sticks (fingers crossed). Anyway, the slightly cooler weather has been welcome on the days that I do run and, if the temperatures continue to drop after sunset, it won’t be long before I break out the feather duvet and the flannel sheets which means that I will have to listen to Hugh complain that there are feathers poking him in the ass no matter how well- fluffed the duvet.

Good times.

On the other hand, the addition of the flannel and feathers heralds the season of baking, with pumpkin bread, cider donuts and spicy molasses cookies headlining the menu so, maybe I’m not so hesitant to move into the next season after all.

Also, the sugar cravings are rearing their ugly heads, again. Damnit.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Please Sir, I’d Like Some More

There were several reasons why Hugh and I chose to get married on Labor Day weekend but, the fact that it offered three-days in which to celebrate was at the top of the list and, like the weekend seventeen years ago; we used each of the three days to our advantage this year.

Saturday afternoon we watched The Teenager’s volleyball team trounce their competition then, Saturday night, Hugh and I attended a performance of Oliver! at our local community theater after which we ran through the Taco Bell drive-through, because tacos are theater food and we are classy that way.

Ok, not really but, our local Taco Bell has been closed for renovations for the past several months and only just recently reopened; Hugh needs his Taco Bell fix on a regular basis and the kindest thing I could do for him on our anniversary was to indulge his habit which, I realize, makes me an enabler to his addiction but; as long as he continues to look the other way when I pick up the latest bottle of OPI, who am I to judge?

Latest bottle, by the way? Diva of Geneva and The Color to Watch and, yes, I do realize that makes two bottles; what part of addiction do you not understand?

And, I digress.

Sunday we spent the day lazing around the house, watching movies on DVD and munching on our favorite pizza-a Mediterranean chicken number that positively curls my toes-and drinking chilled white wine while I admired the vase of roses that my husband purchased for me in a bid to receive sexual favors. He was the only highest bidder but, this is a family blog so I’m not going to go into detail about what happened next, YOU’RE WELCOME, FAMILY.

Today, we are continuing the trend toward laziness, at least until the children have to leave to attend volleyball and football practices. Later, Hugh and I are going to wrap up our anniversary weekend with a visit to our favorite fancy restaurant where we will toast our marriage and say goodbye to the summer since, sadly, this weekend signals its ultimate end.

Not that we wouldn’t like more, because we would. More afternoons spent reading on the porch with a glass of iced tea.

More hot days spent on the lake.

More fresh vegetables from our own backyard (although, I should mention that the garden has somewhat rebounded from its near-death experience and I now have seven, count ‘em, seven, butternut squash ripening on the vine).

More family vacations.

More opportunities to see old friends.

And to entertain new ones.

Ah well, all good things must come to an end, otherwise, how would we appreciate their return?

So, goodbye until next time, Summer. We'll miss you.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday Flashback: The Night Before

Tomorrow Hugh and I will celebrate our seventeenth wedding anniversary which means that, on this day seventeen years ago, we were getting our party on at the rehearsal dinner. And, what a party that was. Not only were we celebrating our impending nuptials but, my dad was celebrating his 50th birthday which, means, obviously, that he is celebrating a birthday again, today so, happy birthday, Dad!

In 1993, the celebration included a cake decorated like a graveyard and lit with 50 sparklers which, while posing a major fire hazard, was also pretty damn impressive. I’m guessing his cake this year will be sugar-free, fat-free and flavorless, if there is a cake at all which, why bother with that list of restriction? Sorry, Dad.

And, back to 1993.

Following the rehearsal at my family’s church,-which I somehow managed to get not a single photograph of, by the way- we gathered at Hugh and my new house for a backyard BBQ. At which, in addition to the cake, we dined on a roast beast lovingly prepared by my soon to be in-laws.

And, you know, there was some beer, like, a lot of beer which goes a long way in explaining why Tee felt the need to play air guitar on her leg....

As well as why Father Michael McCleary needed a designated driver to take him back to the church,

And why my entire side of the family looked somewhat dazed and confused. Most importantly, the presence of beer explains why there are no photos of me with my husband-to-be at our rehearsal dinner although I disntictly remember being together, I swear.

Until we weren't, that is because, the beer was also to blame for the after-party that Hugh, his groomsmen and my bridesmaids all attended later that night; a party that went well into the morning of our wedding day and that ended with my soon-to-be brother-in-law throwing up over the fence in our backyard while Tee casually informed Emily that her son was, and I quote, “wasted”.

I missed those shenanigans because, for some crazy reason, I wanted to look good on my wedding day and figured that a good night’s sleep might be in my best interest although, since I was kept up half the night by the noise generated by my grandmother’s oxygen machine; I might have been better off in the bar.

And, actually, despite my bridesmaids never making it home that night, they all managed to look pretty damn good at the wedding. Ah, youth, you fickle bitch.

Also, that rehearsal dinner-and the party that went with it-have become fodder for many a story told around the dinner table at holidays which, in party-speak, means it was almost as successful as the marriage has been.