Monday, January 31, 2011

Other Than That Mrs. Lincoln, How Was the Play?

So, that happened. That horrible, sad, heartbreaking moment in which my best furry friend died in my husband's arms and, not surprisingly, the whole weekend was in jeopardy of sucking sweaty donkey balls.

 But, then, one of my best girlfriends in the world made the trip from Town of Our Alma Mater to Petticoat Junction to watch her niece’s play basketball against the Petticoat Junction Pirates and I got to spend some time with her and her lovely family and suddenly all was right with the world. Well, all was better with the world, at any rate.

And, while I can’t say that I haven’t had my weepy moments, like, say; when I enter the house after some time away and my heart immediately expects to hear the sound of Gilligan’s bell even though my mind is well aware that it isn’t going to happen and my heart is crushed all over again by my mind’s cruel realization, yeah, moments like that; I can say that I am doing better than I ever would have expected.

In addition to getting to see my friend, Jules at Friday night’s basketball game, I also got to spend some time with her at the weekend volleyball tournament in Neighboring City because her daughters were playing, as was The Teenager. And, while the tournament schedule was wacky, forcing us to run hither and yon to make games in gyms spread from one end of the city to the next, we still managed a little quality time together although, not nearly enough. As is ALWAYS the case when we see one another. But, still, it soothed my achy heart.

Then, in even more good news, The Teenager’s team played well enough to win the Championship of the consolation side of the tournament bracket which is what I’m calling it since “consolation” sounds so much better than “losers” bracket. Either way, they played, they won some, they lost some and, most importantly, The Teenager had a good time with her new teammates who are turning out to be some really nice girls.

In conclusion, I can think of far worse ways to spend the days immediately after one’s cat of seventeen years passes away.

Thank goodness for friends, is what I’m trying to say.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rainbow Bridge

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill, is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.

Where the friends of man and woman do run, when their time on the earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next, is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.

On this golden land, they wait and they play, till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness, for here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.

Their limbs are restored, their health renewed, their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care, until one day they start, and sniff at the air.

All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back, then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met; together again, both person and pet.

So they run to each other, these friends from long past, the time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart, has turned into joy once more in each heart.

They embrace with a love that will last forever, and then, side by side, they cross over… together.

Rest in peace, my Gilly Monster. I'll see you on the bridge.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Open Up and Say Ahhhh

Hugh finally got the appliance meant to correct his TMJ. It's rather like a retainer; it fits in his mouth, hooking around his back teeth and, it causes a slight lisp to his speech, just like braces have been known to do which is ironic considering the fact that Hugh dodged that particular bullet in Junior High and was thus spared the many indignities associated with modern orthodontics.

Rest assured, I'm making up for lost time, with literally hours of teasing him about how sexy he will look in his headgear if the retainer doesn't work out.

Oddly enough, this does not amuse him.

He's kind of a kill-joy, truth be told.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Now I Know Where Stephen King Gets His Inspiration

Last Friday I was up at 5:00 to take the Man-Cub to the school to catch the bus for the school ski trip. Usually, the Cub is the first one downstairs in the morning so he takes responsibility for feeding the cat and the dog. Being that it was 5:00 in the morning and the cat was still sleeping in his bed in the living room; the Cub skipped the morning feeding, assuming that I would handle it when I got home.

After dropping the Cub off at the school, however, I went upstairs and took a nice long shower, planning to feed the cat when I was finished. Once out of the shower I then went about the steps in my morning routine. After a bit, however, I began to hear the faint sounds of the cat meowing at the foot of the stairs.

Before I had a chance to finish, I realized that the meowing sound was getting louder and I assumed that meant that Gilly was really, really ready for his breakfast so, I hurried a bit to finish my primping.

A few minutes later the meowing wasn’t just louder it was closer, like, right outside the bathroom door which of course made no sense considering the fact that the cat can no longer climb the stairs.

Or so we thought.

I don’t suppose I have to tell you that I whipped that bathroom door open in a hurry. Gilly was, indeed, in our bedroom and he was pissed.

Hugh, despite being in a deep sleep courtesy of the doctor-prescribed happy pills, awakened immediately, shot straight up in bed and said “Is that the cat?!” To which the cat replied in the positive with an ear-splitting “Meoooowwww, fuckers! ‘Tis I, your poor mistreated and underfed cat! Feed me now or I will drag my decrepit ass back up those stairs later tonight and steal your breath while you are sleeping”.

Or, he meowed piteously while glaring at us both in a most accusatory manner, either way; the cat got fed immediately.

Not surprisingly, he hasn’t been back up the stairs since. Granted, his food dish has not since been allowed to go empty but that’s just a coincidence.

It’s not like we are actually worried about him stealing our breath in our sleep or anything.

well, mostly.

                                          Go ahead, go to's ok...really....don't mind me....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Which the Universe Smites Me for My Hubris

I have the plague and I blame The Teenager. Sure, it’s probably not her fault but it feels better to have someone to blame.

It also feels better to drink hot Thera-Flu and to sit in a steaming bathtub so, that is what I’m going to do.

I hope you’re happy, Universe.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sounds Fishy To Me

Last night, Hugh gave me the nicest compliment that I have heard in a long time; he said that the dinner I made for him was good enough to be served in a fancy restaurant. For the record, the dish I prepared was an Asian infused salmon steak on a bed of bok choy which sounds fancy as all hell, I know but, in reality, was a snap to prepare. It was apparently quite tasty, too although; I wouldn’t know because I would rather lick the scum off the sides of an aquarium than eat fish.

Well, maybe not. The two would actually be pretty similar, I’m thinking.

Anyway, Hugh loved the dish and I now have a go-to recipe for impressing the fish-lovers in our lives.

Speaking of fish, The Teenager has come down with a nasty cold. What? How does The Teenager’s cold have anything to do with fish? It’s simple, really; The Teenager is a Pisces.

Ba, dum, dum, thank you, thankyouverymuch, I’ll be here all week.

So, yes, The Teenager is in misery with a sore throat, cough, sinus congestion, fever and headache. She powered through volleyball practice yesterday despite feeling like dookey and she made it through school today because she had a test in second period and because she didn’t want to take a chance on missing anything in her classes, possibly jeopardizing her standing on the honor roll. I know, I have no idea who this child is, either but; I think I like her.

I’m hoping the rest of us manage to dodge the illness bullet but I am not overly optimistic, in fact, if I were a betting woman, I would lay odds on Hugh succumbing first, followed by the Man-Cub. I personally have no intention of getting sick (she said, flipping the Universe the Bird) because I am the glue that holds this family together (obviously) and we are coming up on a very busy weekend, involving much traveling for sporting events; Hugh will be attending an out-of-town wrestling tournament so, I will shoulder the responsibility of getting the kids where they need to go and illness clearly doesn’t factor into that equation.

Neither does cooking, so; Hugh probably shouldn’t get his hopes up for any more restaurant-quality dinners, me thinks.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Swear to God, It Has Nothing To Do With Me Smacking Him in the Face

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here but, Hugh was recently diagnosed with TMJ which, as I understand it, is a condition in which the discs hinging the jaw become compromised, leading to agonizing pain, the inability to completely bite down and to one’s normally sunny disposition being replaced by that of a very angry weasel.

I’m guessing.

About the weasel thing.

Oh, it's an educated guess but, I digress.

Anyway, the treatment for this condition includes the patient wearing a device in the mouth until the disc realigns or heals or does whatever it is that the disc is supposed to do, hell, I didn’t even know that jaws had discs so, what do I know? And, again, I digress.

Because the appliance has to be custom-made for each patient, Hugh has had a slight wait, during which time his doctor has prescribed some mild painkillers. Now, I say they are mild because, according to Hugh, they don’t work at all. In fact, he’s never been in such pain. It is excrutiating! And, my suggestions for additional ways to combat the pain-hot compresses, Tylenol, etc.-have been met with utter disdain as well as the proclamation that I am not being helpful! Because I know nothing about pain, and, really, how could I? It's not like I have ever had occasion to experience such a painful situation.

Because natural childbirth didn’t hurt at all.

And, say it with me, I digress.

Anywaaayy…after much complaining about how the pain was interfering with his sleep, the doctor finally prescribed a pain killer/sedative combo that completely knocked Hugh on his ass which, spared me having to do so and was, thus, a Godsend.

Hugh has gotten two solid nights of decent sleep under his belt, is in slightly less pain and has rediscovered his sunny disposition. Well, as sunny as it gets, anyway.

Now, if the good doctor could prescribe something to help us swallow the cost of all this (over $2000 so far, none of it covered by insurance), life would be good.

Or, at least better.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Choose Your Battles Wisely

Hugh and I are having a fundamental disagreement over how to punish the Man-Cub for a recent transgression involving his PSP, a classroom and a certain rule barring said PSP from said classroom.

I'm of the mind to let it go with a stern lecture which, as you can probably imagine, has already been administered.

Hugh, on the other hand, feels that the Cub should be barred from attending tomorrow's school ski trip.

My thought on the matter is this: the Cub knows he screwed up. He knows he wasn't supposed to take the game to school let alone play it in a classroom when he should have been reading the assigned text. He also readily admits that he was wrong not to tell us about the teacher confiscating his PSP, and he realizes how embarrassing it is for parents to get a call from the Principal. He's genuinely sorry for the error in judgment.

Hugh's thought on the matter is this: yes, the Cub knows he screwed up. He knew he screwed up the minute the PSP was taken away last TUESDAY which was three, count 'em, three days ago. Three days in which the Cub could have told us about it instead of letting the Principal make that call. On Tuesday, he could have forgiven the mistake; three days later he is not so inclined to do so.

To which I point out that, yes, he failed to tell us. Yes, he was wrong to take the game to school, to use it in class, to not tell us the day it was confiscated, yes; wrong on so many levels, but, let's be honest; this is a first offense; we've never been called to the office for something the Cub has done (unlike the numerous trips that we made into the office say, during The Teenager's Middle School years) and it isn't even that major of an offense.

Indeed, not even the Principal was interested in barring the Cub from the ski trip; that particular punishment going to the kids who have served In-School Suspensions, had numerous detentions and regular suspensions and who narrowly escaped tarring and feathering due to their own misdeeds.

The Cub, on the other hand is not a trouble maker. He's not one to lie or to bully other students. The child gets awesome grades which don't exactly come easy for him and he is willing to write letters of apology to both the classroom teacher and his Principal.

He has never punched a girl in the stomach in P.E., has never attempted to strangle a classmate with the straps of his own backpack nor has he ever been caught in the baseball dugout with alcohol and cigarettes, all of which have happened to students at his school.

So, his PSP was confiscated by a teacher and he was scared to tell us for fear that we might overreact. So, we had to hear it from the Principal. So what?

I guess what I am trying to say is that this? Is NOT THE MOUNTAIN I CHOOSE TO DIE ON, HUGH.

Besides, we already paid for the ski trip.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Soup, Again?!!

Although I didn't make any New Years resolutions this year, I did vow to cook more often for my family and, so far, it is going swimmingly unless, that is, you are my teen aged daughter who is under the mistaken impression that I make too much soup.

As if.

The only soup I have made was butternut squash and I didn't even make her eat it; I froze most of it in individual-sized portions to eat on days that I am too busy to cook (or, for the inevitable moment when I totally burn out on all this cooking for ingrates).

Oh, wait, I take that back; I also made a beef and barley stew for dinner the other night. My god! Two kinds of soup in one week! She's right, I do cook too much soup; I must refrain from doing so again. Instead, I shall fill our menu with such choice goodies as tater tots and frozen pizzas, you know, the things she likes.

Or not.

Anyway, all of this is a long-winded way of pointing out the fact that my daughter is just as ungrateful as her father for the meals I place on the table before them (anyone care to revisit the whole "Chicken, again?! Debacle of 2010? No?).

And, let's not forget the Man-Cub, who refuses to eat anything red, yellow, green or leafy unless it is smothered with Ranch dressing and he is actively plugging his nose and squeezing his eyes shut while eating it.

And I wanted to cook more often, why?

Sunday, January 16, 2011


So, how is Gilligan doing? Thanks for asking! He's doing great. You know, for an 84 year old cat. In fact, if I didn't know he was 84, I wouldn't peg him for a day over 80. Seriously.

He's back to using his litter box, eats like food is going out of style and has taken up a few of his old habits, napping on the rug in the kitchen being one.

In fact, napping has become his favorite pastime so much so that; we purchased two comfy beds for his use. He's quite fond of the one in the living room and, since he is no longer able to climb the stairs to our room at night, has taken to sleeping in it, instead of at the foot of our bed.

The vet has upgraded his condition from acute renal failure to mere chronic renal failure which, if I understand it correctly, will eventually lead to the same outcome although in a much slower manner and, I can live with that; a cat dying of old age is one thing, a cat dying from an illness that we could have treated would be quite another.

So, that's where we are with the Gilly Monster.

Then, there is Rowdie.

Whom, it should be noted, has been quite patient with us given the fact that all our attention has gone to the cat, lately. In fact, despite a recent tendency toward deep, grumbling sighs of disgust when we baby-talk the cat or when Hugh reclines on the couch with the cat on his chest , he has, for the most part, bucked up under the pressure of being the less-attended-to pet.

Doesn't he look mistreated?

As for updates on my (somewhat) less furry children; The Teenager is deep in the thick of team volleyball, having attended two practices as well as an all-day clinic geared toward certification in volleyball refereeing and score keeping. For the record, she was not at all thrilled about spending an entire Saturday in a drafty classroom but, much like the dog, she bucked up under the pressure.

The Man-Cub had his first basketball game yesterday and he did great! For never having played the game, he showed a natural affinity for the sport which comes as a surprise to no one, most especially my father who is no doubt nodding his head as he reads this whilst thinking to himself, "But of course".

Anyway, my limited knowledge of the sport entitles me to report that the child is playing the position of point guard, he is really good at not telegraphing his passes and he really, really needs to work on his shooting, specifically on using the backboard to sink his shots.

There, I sound almost authoritative on the subject.

In household news, thanks to the recent cold-snap, a couple of snow storms and Hugh's crazy-ass refereeing schedule, our home is still adorned with outdoor Christmas lights. Last year, the lights didn't come down until March; who wants to lay odds on them coming down right around tax-time, this year?

In other household news, I made the best pot of butternut squash soup last night, using two of the squashes that I managed to grow in my garden last summer. This pot was, hands down, the best pot of butternut soup that I have ever made, no doubt owing to the fact that I fought tooth and nail against squash bugs all summer long just to harvest those bastards.

In a similar vein, is it spring, yet? Because I would really like to get back into my garden. And, you know, to sit in the sunshine. And, enjoy a Porch Night which, this year, will be better than ever thanks to the DVD projector that Hugh bought me for Christmas; I'm thinking Porch MOVIE Night.

Plus, the porch is going to look ever so pretty this summer; the Christmas lights adding a certain ambiance, and all.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's a Vicious Cycle

Today is my tenth day without sugar. Not coincidentally, it was also the fourth day in a row that I have managed to get out of bed when the alarm went off, to make it through the day without a nap and to dodge an afternoon headache. Obviously, sugar is my own personal Kryptonite, exposure to which leaves me a tired, lethargic, cranky mess minus any super powers, whatsoever. Therefore, cupcakes will get kicked to the curb for the duration.

Ooh, speaking of cupcakes, The Teenager turns fifteen next month. Fifteen. The though of that alone gives me a permanent feeling of nausea which makes craving sugar the least of my issues even if cupcakes are on the menu which, they probably are.


Maybe I should just schedule time for afternoon naps right now.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Hate It When That Happens

While sitting in the drive-through at the bank this week, I accidentally jammed my thumb against the steering wheel, tearing the nail halfway across at the quick and causing a not-very-nice word to escape from my lips and into the speaker of the teller's window.

Luckily, the only person there to hear it was my favorite teller who also let a not-very-nice word fly when describing how the recent cold temperatures had frozen his water pipes, causing them to burst all over his garage. We exchanged some more pleasantries and a few more not-very-nice words and I was on my way to...

...a convenience store where I purchased a pair of nail clippers and a tube of Super Glue with which to salvage my thumbnail. That purchase was the most queerly random combination of items purchased by a customer in that store that day, judging by the expression on the check-out girl's face.

Then, I drove to my womens' club meeting where I sat in the parking lot for ten minutes attempting to fix the damage to my nail, no dice.

The pain caused by the attempt forced me to let loose yet another not-very-nice word, this time in front of several of the more conservative women from the club. Unfortunately, their pipes appear to be in good working order and they did not reciprocate with any not-very-nice words of their own, rather; they looked at me as though I had farted in public.

I hate it when that happens.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dear South, Realllly Sorry About That Cold Front

A recent snowstorm has the southern states socked in pretty hard and I can't help but feel somewhat responsible for that what with all the whining I did about there being no snow this year. Responsible because; I am all powerful and can conjure up blizzards with the power of my mind, obviously.

Anyway, so sorry for Snowpocalypse, southern friends! I hope you dig out soon.

In the meantime, we finally got a little snowstorm of our own, immediately followed by temperatures that rival the Ice Age. Just what I wanted! Not.

On the bright side, I am wearing the cutest snow boots you ever did see.

In news not related to the weather (how refreshing!), the kids went back to school yesterday. Yes, yesterday, as in ten days into the New Year because our school calendar is fucked.

Yeah, I said it, fucked.

These kids are out of school more often than they are in school. Back in my day (hold on a second while I grab my fur loin cloth and club), we started school after Labor Day, took two weeks off for Christmas Break (and it was actually called Christmas break back then), one week off for Spring Break and we were dismissed for the summer a few days before Memorial Day. Also, Christmas Break spanned the week of Christmas and the week after and we returned to school on like, the 2nd or thereabouts.

Now and days, the kids start before Labor Day and then get approximately eight hundred days off for teacher in-services and minor holidays before finally seeing summer vacation sometime in June. Don't even get me started on Early Release Wednesdays because, the fuck is that all about? And, this year, Winter Break (Scrooges, I say!) started two days before Christmas and ended, as I've said, yesterday. Oh, and the kids will be out for a day next week a well.

So, if we actually had a Snowpocalypse of our own this winter, there would be no days available to the district to use as Snow Days, we would just have to tie the kids to a rope to make their way through the blizzard to the schoolhouse, Little House on the Prairie style.

Not that I am in any way, shape or form asking for that, Mother Nature! I'm not. I swear.

Please don't smite us with a blizzard.

And, once again, I'm reallly sorry about the weather, southern friends.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Call of Nature

We finally got a little bit of snow last night, enough for the Man-Cub to build this season's first snowman and, it was, how shall I say?...Unique.

Much like everything else the child does, I suppose.

Anyway, there was not enough snow to build a snow cave which was what he really wanted to accomplish today so, rather than shelter, he had to settle for shock value or, as he termed it "Potty humor", get it, Mom? Potty Humor, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Ohhh, I slay myself!"

I don't know where he gets it from.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Jury Is In

Or, more accurately, the jury is out.

Out as in, I don’t have to report for jury duty tomorrow because the trial I was scheduled for was cancelled. This marks the third time that I have been called for jury duty and the third time that I have been relieved of that duty due to trial cancellation. At this rate, I am never going to get a chance to test my theory about the probability of being excused from duty due to statements I make about every defendant being guilty merely by virtue of the fact they were charged with a crime.

And, our justice system dodges a bullet.

On a completely unrelated topic, The Teenager made dinner for us tonight. This makes three times this week that she has taken the dinner reigns; Monday she cooked Chinese pot-stickers, fried rice and spring rolls, Tuesday night she made spaghetti and meatballs and, tonight, I taught her to cook meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy. I’m quite proud of her efforts and am looking forward to teaching her to cook many more dishes, starting with lasagna on Saturday.

Now, if I could just teach her to clean the kitchen while she cooks, I will have quite the little homemaker on my hands; twelve out of twelve jurors would agree.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Everyone Should Start the New Year Off With a Liberal Application of Liquid Nitrogen

Yesterday, I went to the dermatologist to have a suspicious new mole inspected but, as it turned out, the suspicious mole wasn't a mole at all; it was a Seborrheic Keratoses which sounds like a fatal condition but is really just some weird growth that my body decided to produce in an effort to make me worry about the possibility of skin cancer. Thanks, body!

The treatment for a Seborrheic Keratoses is removal by freezing which meant that I got to pay $188 for the good doctor to aim a canister of liquid nitrogen at my ribcage for twenty seconds. Now, I just have to wait for the thing to succumb to frostbite, turn black and fall off. My body is a science experiment!

When I asked the good doctor what caused the growth and if I should expect a recurrence, she assured me not to worry; they generally appear in middle age, are harmless and, as I had just experienced; can be easily removed  (for $188).

I left the clinic in a daze and it took me several minutes to wrap my head around everything the doctor had told me, mostly because I was processing the part where a medical professional now considers me MIDDLE AGED.

Nothing like a shot of liquid nitrogen right to the heart, doctor!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Careful What You Ask For

"It’s too warm; it doesn’t feel like winter, I can’t wear my cute coats, waaaaa…."

Karma has bitch-slapped me in the face with temperatures hovering around 12 degrees. Oh, I’m definitely wearing those cute coats now. And long underwear. You know what wearing multiple layers underneath skinny jeans does to your already too large ass? It’s not pretty.

Also not a pretty sight: my neighbor just came out her front door wearing nothing but a coat and her underwear. There is a lot I will do for my dog but, standing outside in my skivvies and a parka while he attends to the call of nature is not one of them. Oh, wait, she just picked a wedgie. Said wedgie appears to be a pair of tiny shorts so; she’s not just wearing underwear after all.

Ok, my ass has grown recently but at least it isn’t eating my apparel. Yet.

On that note, I’ve made a plan to start running again. Actually, I’m going to start by walking and work my way up to running rather than starting off with the running and injuring myself like I always do. So, I may have gained some wisdom along with the fat; fat ain't all bad, I guess.

Also, an extra layer of fat is necessary when combating the effects of frigid winter temperatures.

This is an excellent reason to start bitching about the cold, thus creating a void into which Karma will step with a heat wave. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works, anyway.