Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Family That Plays Together, Stays Together

My parents just left for the trek back to Mayberry and we miss them, already.

I'm happy to say that; Finnigan sort of pulled his shit together during their stay and the hissing was less intense as each day went on. Guinness was a complete doll during the visit, going so far as to snuggle up to my mom on the couch for a cat nap; he's clearly the more social of the two.

Mom and Dad brought their dog along and he and Rowdie spent three days chasing each other around the yard, lounging on the chaise loungers (as one does), and curled up next to each other in the shade. At one point, my nephew brought his dog over and all three dogs engaged in pretty much those same activities.

My nephew's dog, Dooley, (the product of a back-road rescue my nephew made several months ago) is a little doll, although; I think they missed the mark when they named him, because, anyone can see that he is totally a Chewbacca.

The weather during the week was extremely hot and more than a bit humid and I almost felt guilty for making my parents sit in the blazing hot sun for four hours during the Man-Cub's baseball games. Granted, the games were one of the primary reason for their visit, but, still; it was so hot. And, my parents aren't exactly spring chickens (no offense, parents).

We did manage to cool off a bit on the porch Thursday night. I also managed to polish off almost an entire bottle of Pinot Grigio, by myself, but, that is neither here nor there.

During that Porch Night, I also managed the grill by myself as Hugh was attending a meeting, and, I'm proud to say; I only burned the shit out of two brats. Two out of twenty ain't too shabby.

While I was incinerzating those two brats, the kids were playing volleyball on the front lawn, Mom was visiting with Jana and my friend Angie, Dad was engaged in a deep sports discussion with Not the Boyfriend, and, all was right with the world.

Unfortunately, the next day I had a slight (and totally mysterious) case of food poisoning. Or, it could have been a small stomach bug, you know, since no one else seemed to feel ill. Yeah, that's what it was; a slight stomach virus. Totally.

Friday, June 29, 2012


I just unfriended my first person on Facebook. The person in question had inundated me with pleas to vote for her organization in some contest, and, when I say inundated, I mean; she sent me twelve requests today, alone. And, it's only 3:00.

Anyway, she was someone I knew socially through Old Job, I rarely see her in public, and, we aren't close, so, it wasn't a hard decision.

Actually, I felt a wicked sort of pleasure in hitting that delete button.

I wonder what that says about me...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Hostess With the Mostess. Or, Not.

My parents are in town for a few days and I am enjoying their company. Last night, we went to the Man-Cub's baseball game. Today, they are planning to drive to Neighboring City to see my nephew, The Rebel Without a Pause, in his new home. Later this evening, we are having a BBQ/Porch Night here, and, tomorrow, we will sit through yet another baseball game.

Do we know how to show our company a good time or what?

In addition to the stellar line-up of fun activities, we made sure to welcome my parents into our home by having Finnigan engage in a hissing fit at the very sight of my father. That wasn't embarrassing at all.

Thank goodness they are family and are therefor required to love us by default. I mean, really.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NOT a List of Pet Peeves

As you may know; I am a mostly-optomistic person. I tend to focus on the positive, to work through the negative, and, to give my energy to the things that bring me joy and comfort. That said; since I wrote a post focused on the things that irritate the hell out of me a while back, today I am going to list a few things that just warm the cockles of my heart.

Before I do that, though; what, exactly, is a cockle? It sounds...pervy. And, decidedly male. I'm just sayin'.

Annyywaayy... on to the non-pet peeves, now.

- Customer Service people who actually provide service, with a smile. Say what you will about Chik-fil-A's Christian ethics, but; I challenge you to find another establishment that employs such genuinely polite and pleasant servers. Seriously.

- Good Deeders. This includes the kids who open doors for other people, the man who gives up his seat on the bus for an older person, the woman who reaches for an object on the highest grocery shelf for the person who can't reach it, himself, etc. I always feel a refreshed sense of hope for our world when I witness the act of a Good Deeder.

- The first cup of coffee of the day; especially when I can enjoy it on the front porch.

-Tradition. This includes holiday events that take place each year, my annual trip to Mayberry for Stampede, pictures taken in the front yard on the first day of each new school year, planting the garden each spring, decorating the house as each season blends into the next, and, knowing that, whenever I go home; I will still feel like I belong there.

- Spending time with my family, both my nuclear unit and our extended group of grandparents, aunts, uncles, neices, nephews, cousins, and siblings. Family is of utmost importance.

- Friends. I could write a book about the importance of friendships in my life and it still wouldn't be enough to fully convey how much I value those relationships. Not by a mile.

- Ginger kitties. I can't imagine having a home that lacks the presence of an orange tabby cat; I just can't.

- The word serendipity, and, the fact that the Man-Cub cannot say it without smiling. He just can't. It's sort of awesome.

- Positive people. In much the same way that negativity attracts negativity, I find that positive people are naturally drawn to other positive people, and; that positivity creates- and nurtures- positivity between those people. Think of it like a battery charger.

- Good books, trash television, fine wine, dark chocolate, fresh-baked bread, musicals, sunshine, and the smell of sheets dried in an open breeze.

I feel better just writing this list.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ice Cream is Socially Acceptable

My woman's club hosted an ice cream social this evening, on the patio of a local garden center. At one point, a few drops of rain fell on the party and not one person made a move to escape the moisture, indeed, we all welcomed it; our state is on fire and we are in dire need of the rain.

Do you hear that, Mother Nature? We would like a downpour, please.

Anyway, the ice cream social was a mixer for new members as well as an occasion for old members to visit and get reacquainted. The Teenager went with me, in her capacity of ASTRA Communications Chair, and; was happy to see that the daughter of one of my friends was also in attendance. The girls spent the evening catching up and giggling over things that teenagers giggle over.

I got to catch up with one of my friends who isn't able to make meetings as often as she would like due to her new work schedule, which was nice (catching up, I mean, not her new work schedule; I'm sure that sucks).

I also got cornered by the current District Governor, who was instrumental in getting our ASTRA club established; she was full of wonderful things to say about our group, which made me feel pretty special.

All in all, it was a nice way to spend a summer evening.

I mean, you can't go wrong with ice cream; am I right?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Longest Day, Ever, Says I

Following my semi-annual trip to the dentist this afternoon; I arrived back at the store to find a that I was the lucky recipient of a surprise inspection from one of our dealers. It was the first time that I have had to handle such a thing and I found the whole process to be nerve wracking and stomach-ache inducing. Then, I got to spend two hours in the concession stand at the Man-Cub's baseball game, where, in an act of total defiance, I did not stir neon orange "cheese" for nachos.

Enough was enough, said I.

Now, I am eating my way through a bag of Twizzlers while nursing a throbbing headache.

I really hope tomorrow is a better day, but; I have some concerns.

Time to stock up on wine and chocolate, says I.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In Which the Man-Cub Discovers the Pits

Friday night, the Man-Cub opted not to go boating with us. If you know the Cub, you are wondering what in the world could have kept him from the lake, and, I'll tell you; he had a tummy ache.

A tummy ache caused by eating his weight in cherries while cherry-picking with Jana and the rest of the kids earlier in the day.

Now, my momma always told me that I would get a tummy ache if I ate too many cherries; I just never found the magical number that would push me over the edge from pleasantly stuffed to over-full. The Man-Cub can now say that he found that limit, tripped right over it, and, lived to tell the tale.

We missed him on the boat, of course, but; his run-in with the runs has diminished his desire to eat more cherries, which, means more for the rest of us, and, that's ok by me.

Also, I totally owe my momma an apology for doubting her warning, so; sorry, Mom!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

In Search Of: The Cat Collar Edition

Someone please tell me how a kitten can lose his collar when he:

A)  Never leaves the house.
B)  Tends to keep his exploring to the main floor of the house, and
C)  Is under almost constant supervision.


Now, if you will excuse me; I'm off for round two of searching for Guinness's missing collar. I would make a joke about putting a bell on that darn cat but, yeah, the bell is already on the freaking collar.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The End of a Perfect Day

We finally took the boat out for the first time last night; joining Jana & Co. at the State Park located just down the road from Petticoat Junction. Since we all had to work, it was four o'clock before we got on the road, and, the lake was practically deserted by the time our convoy pulled in to the dock. That meant five hours of peace with nothing but the ducks and dragonflies to  keep us company, so, no one was complaining. Plus, with the recent heat wave, the water remained warm well into the evening, giving us plenty of time for entertainment.

Naturally, the kids had an especially good time; riding the tube, wake boarding, knee boarding and hanging out on their choice of boats while teasing each other about the cute boy whose family had joined our group when their own boat experienced a malfunction...

...well, the girls did that; Darren and the Man-Cub didn't find the new addition interesting at all. Shocker.

Since the girls seemed so hot and bothered, Hugh did the polite thing and gave them an opportunity to cool off...

They may not have appreciated the gesture, I'm afraid.

Since the kids seemed like they were having so much fun, Jana and I decided to get in on the action, jumping on the tube and dragging the mother of the above-mentioned teen aged boy with us; her name is Pam and she turned out to be a fun person to ride the tube with. Also, she had no problem teasing Jana for the massive cleavage she sprouted when she donned a life vest two sizes too small for her, which, totally made her my kind of gal.

Unfortunately, since we were on the tube, there are no pictures of that massive cleavage so, you'll just have to take my word for it. Also, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Jana is still having trouble breathing, today. How in the world the women of the olden days wore those corsets is totally beyond me.

And I am totally digressing.

So, the kids had a good time....

...and the menfolk seemed to enjoy pulling us all around the lake fifteen million times (I think it has something to do with the hope of flipping us all off our tubes/skis/wake boards/knee boards, etc.). Jana, Pam, and I obviously enjoyed hanging out together, and; the mosquito population that came out just as we were pulling off the lake got a tasty meal, which, note to self: Pack bug spray for tonight's excursion.

That's right; we are going to do it all over again; providing the Man-Cub doesn't have a baseball game, that is (waiting to hear from the coach).

I can think of worse ways to spend the evening.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Swimming in the Gene Pool

My mom recently returned from a two-week long trip to Arizona. She went on the journey with five of her sisters, ending up at the home of the sixth.

Yes; that add up to seven.

Seven sisters growing up in the same home, sharing the same clothing, and, arguing over bathroom rights and whose turn it was to take out the trash (I'm guessing).

I had two sisters and have a hard time imagining the chaos generated by three times that amount of estrogen in the air, but; I also tend to think that they must have had an awful lot of fun back in the day, and; clearly, they still do...

I know I had fun looking at the pictures that my mom took during the visit; mostly because I am fascinated by the resemblance between the sisters and my late grandmother. And, by the resemblances between the sisters, themselves. And, you know, by the resemblances between the sisters and my sisters, cousins, and, myself, which, for the record; I appear to resemble my aunt Constance more than my own mother.

Is there something you want to tell me, Mom?


Although, my older sister really does look an awful lot like my aunt Patricia these days...

Genes; what a wacky phenomenon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's a Conspiracy

I am about to confess to a particularly heinous crime against parenthood; are you ready for it? Ok, here goes...

...I am not exactly the world's most supportive sports parent.

Some of you may be shocked by that admission, shaking your heads and quietly defending my parenting practices in your heads (Hi,Mom!) while others may merely be rolling their eyes while thinking to themselves; "You don't say" (hi, Dad!), but, there it is.

Last night's baseball game provides a pretty good example of my short-comings in this regard:

The drive to the game took an hour and twenty minutes, through the Canyon of Doom, with the constant threat of a car-sick kid hovering over my head. Once we arrived at the baseball field, we were greeted by one of my favorite Baseball Mom-slash-Ladies Who Porch, who; informed me that the 10 Run Rule would be in force due to the relative awesomeness of the team we were about to play. Further, the team had smoked the other team from Petticoat Junction; dropping them in the third inning when the 20 Run Rule kicked into effect, and; the other Petticoat Junction team is supposedly "stacked" and has a better record than our team (by one whole win, whoop-whoop).

So, to put it bluntly; we would probably wrap up the evening in record time, which, would be sort of awesome considering the whole "driving an hour and twenty minutes back to Petticoat Junction, through the Canyon of Doom, with the threat of car sickness hovering over my head, plus the added worry of not being able to see the wildlife on the road due to the challenge of driving straight into the setting sun" thing.

And, that's clearly where the first crack in my "supportive parenting" appeared, because; I was happy.

I know. Terrible.

The second, and most obvious, crack appeared not long after.

We were nineteen runs behind entering the fourth inning, with the promise of the 20 Run Rule kicking in, provided we didn't manage to score any runs during our at-bat. This meant that there was still plenty of good daylight left in which to grab ice cream before the drive home, and; that there would be less possibility of one of us accidentally totalling our car on a deer while making that drive.

Spirits were high amongst the mothers who had made the trip (I am not alone in my weakness) until I jokingly remarked that it would sure be funny if the boys were to rally, thus ruining our chance at the 20 Run Rule.

Yes. I did; I jinxed us.

The Man-Cub started it off with a solid hit to center field and the Game Was ON. Seven runs later, it became quite clear that we would not be partaking of the 20 Run Rule, and, here is where the above-mentioned crack turns into a yawning CANYON OF SHAME, because; we totally started to root for the other team.

Not even kidding.

And, I'm not proud of my short-comings in this regard, but, the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one, so; My name is Chelle and I am a terrible sports-parent. If there is a twelve-step program out there, please feel free to tell me. I might take advantage of it. Or, I might not, since, the other mothers and I discussed the situation and arrived at the conclusion that the boys had planned, all along, to play poorly before making a dramatic come-back, just to screw with us.

The fact that they still lost by ten runs is totally irrelevant.

So, no ice cream for them.

They're just lucky that no one hit a deer on the way home.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hi, Monday. Yes, I still Hate You

We had a lazy weekend here at Casa de Chelle. Well, after Friday night's marathon baseball game, that is, and on that topic; three hours for a youth league baseball game, really? I can only hope that tonight's game is at least an hour shorter, given that it is taking place an hour's drive away and we all know how I feel about driving in the dark. Actually, this drive will be even worse, given the high number of deer that cross this particular stretch of the local highway, the curves and turns of the canyon we are forced to traverse, and, the fact that I am going it alone as Hugh will be attending to his cadets at a night shoot.


But, back to the weekend.

I spent the best part of Saturday cleaning house, weeding the garden, and, refereeing "games" between the cats; games that look eerily similar to cat fights, but, who am I to judge? And, while I can think of far more entertaining ways to spend a summer Saturday; it's really nice to have a clean house, and, the radishes and lettuce from the garden were a nice addition to our dinner salad.

The cat fights "play dates" between the cats, I could have done without, thank you very much.

Sunday was almost lazier than Saturday. We celebrated Father's Day by going to see Snow White and the Huntsman which ended up being fairly entertaining, with a solid thumbs-up from three-out-of-four of my family members (The Teenager expressed her opinion that the movie was "boring". I think her assessment had less to do with the movie and more to do with the fact that she was exhausted from three days of volleyball camp, so; I'm willing to forgive her).

Today, we are back to the grind and beginning a week that looks to be quite busy on paper. According to my schedule, we have three baseball games (including tonight's trek through the Canyon of Doom), two meetings of my woman's club, the usual work-related stuff, and, Hugh wants to try to have the boat ready to take to the lake this weekend.

It's going to be hectic, is what I'm thinking.

On the other hand, if I have a weekend on the lake to look forward to; I can probably get through anything. Even the drive through the Canyon of Doom.

I hope.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Baseball or Cats?

These seem to be the only topics that I have to write about, lately. Unfortunately, there is nothing new to report on the cat, and, the Man-Cub's team lost their game this evening, so; nothing too exciting, here.

Although, the Cub did get to pitch and, that's new. He did ok, too. He didn't like it, but he did it.

He didn't like it because; the pitching mound is 90' from home plate this year, as opposed to 70', last year, and; there is a huge difference in 20' (yeah, like, 20', duh). Thankfully, the coach pulled him after one inning and he was able to go back to second base, where he is happiest.

For my, part; I was in the concession stand, stirring neon-orange "cheese" and trying to keep the cooler stocked with purple Gatorade. As an aside; kids love purple Gatorade. Also; the concession stand is not my favorite place.

In other sports-related news; The Teenager is currently at volleyball camp in Neighboring City. I dropped her off yesterday and haven't heard a peep out of her; I can only assume this means that she is doing well.  We will collect her again on Sunday, just in time for Father's Day.

And, this brings to a close the most boring post I have ever written. Watching paint dry would have been more scintillating.

Le sigh.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Holding His Own

Guinness is slowly, but, surely, becoming acclimated to our household. He's been spending more time in the general population and has become a bit less skittish around the Man-Cub and me. He's not quite sure what to make of The Teenager and actively fears Hugh, but; I'm hoping time will solve both of those issues.

Recently, he has adopted one of the recliners as his own, a turn of events which appears to displease Finnigan, immensely. On the occasion that Finn dares to breach the serenity of Guinn's throne, an intense battle ensues....

...and, despite his smaller size; Guinn manages to hold his own quite well.  Once the battle is over, there is usually a lick-fest that serves as a make-up session and they are back to being warily tolerant of one another.

It is equal parts adorable and nerve-wracking. Also, I am not entirely certain that Guinness is as old as his paperwork would have us believe; he just seems so small in comparison to Finn. Now, granted, Finn is a brute, but, still; I would expect them to be at least a bit more evenly-sized.

Anyway, we are exactly one week into our guardianship of him and I feel fairly confident that we are on the road to him fully embracing his place in the family.

You know, until he meets Rowdie, anyway.

What is this "dog" creature of which you speak?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm Not a Jinx, After All

The Man-Cub's baseball team won their game tonight, by a score of 10-12. This brings their record to 2-2 and proves that my presence at a game does not actually interfere with their ability to win; what a relief that is.

In his four at-bats; the Cub made it on base three times (his first at-bat resulted in an infield pop-up that was caught by the first baseman), and, he crossed home plate twice. Not too shabby for the youngest kid on the team.

Base hit....

Stealing second....

Rounding third....

Crossing home plate...

Not too shabby, at all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

While I was away on my Girls' weekend (did I mention that I was on a Girls' weekend? With, like, the best girlfriends in the world? Yes? Alrighty, then...); exciting things were happening on the home front. For starters, The Teenager had her first, ever, job interview.

I felt a bit guilty for not being around to provide moral support, but; Reese and I tried to make up for it by mock-interviewing her the night before we left. We also made her put on the business suit that she planned to interview in so that we could inspect her look; an important thing to consider since the job for which she was interviewing was at a retail clothing store.

The outfit was perfect, of course.

And, from what I understand; the interview went well. The Teenager should hear back before the end of the week, so; fingers crossed.

Then, while The Girls and I were hiking around a lake, solving the world's problems, the Man-Cub's baseball team was busy winning their game. I was a bit sad to have missed it, but; those problems weren't going to solve themselves, now, were they?

The most exciting thing that happened when I was gone, though, had to be the attempts my family made at socializing a new kitten into our household. See, last week, when the Man-Cub and I were at the big box pet store; we happened to meet (and sort of fall in love with) a nine-month old kitten.

I can't imagine why...

And, yes; I do realize that I might just have a weakness for the gingers. I can't help it. Anyway, Hugh brought the new kitten home the day before I left for the cabin. This is the first time we have had a kitten that was more than six weeks old join our family and it has been a learning experience, to put it mildly. Not to worry; Finnigan seems to love him and, I have high hopes that he will learn to love Finnigan... eventually.

For now, we are segregating the two and working on bringing the baby out of his shell. Since his temperament is already quite reminiscent of Gilligan, I think we will do just fine once we work out the kinks.

And, I think that about covers the Back on the Ranch segment of today's post. You are welcome.

Oh, and his name is Guinness.

The kitten; I mean. His name is Guinness.

Like the beer, not the record books.For some reason, Hugh would like me to make that clear, in case you think that we would name a cat after a book or something stupid like that (yes, this is my life).

And,once again, you're welcome.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Girls' Weekend 2012

I don't even know where to begin; how do I capture the magic of this weekend? How do I adequately describe the freedom associated with spending forty-eight hours with people who know me inside and out? How to explain the rare gift of being with people who share so much of my history and with whom I want to share the remainder of my life? I mean, that sounds (not that there is anything wrong with that), and, also; not completely accurate.

Of course I want these women in my life for the duration, I mean, how could I not? How many friends do you have who will-upon discovering a stranger's giant pair of panties in the bed you just shared-tease you without mercy simply because the undies were on your side and you weigh like a buck-o-five so; they couldn't possibly be yours? Not very many, I'm guessing.

And, how many friends do you have who-upon being teased with a stranger's giant pair of panties (that she just unwittingly slept with)-will joke right back, even going so far as to agree to wear the panties as a romper, providing someone sew on a pair of straps; preferably sequined? I bet that list is even shorter than the first list.

How many friends do you have that will nod their heads in sympathy when incontinence threatens to strike during bouts of belly laughter? Ok, probably more than a few, but; how many of them will still insist on making you laugh until you almost pee your pants just because laughter is awesome and, eh; what's a little pee between friends?

Hopefully, you have at least a couple. And, maybe some adult diapers.( I'm just sayin').

How many friends do you have who can-in the space of an hour-long walk-manage to provide better therapy than you might get from a professional? And, how many of them can do it while swigging strawberry margaritas and laughing like a pack of wild hyennas while trying, desperately, not to pee?

God, I hope you have a ton, because; therapy is expensive, alcohol is cheap and friends like that are priceless.

I know.

I know because, I got to spend forty-eight hours with four of the best friends that I will ever have and, today, almost twenty-four hours after I said my last goodbye; I still feel lightened by their presence.

It's like the best kind of hangover, imaginable and; I can't wait to do it again. And, again. And, again. And, again. Because, if loving them is wrong; then I don't want to be right. Well, you know what I mean. At least, I hope you do.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Let the Right One In

My second year in college was a sad and lonely time for me. I was living in a studio apartment, off campus, with only my cat to keep me company. Despite the fact that I had an on again/off again boyfriend, the majority of my social activities revolved around entertaining the local constabulary during their frequent visits to my building, courtesy of my very loud and physically abusive (to each other) upstairs neighbors.

Several months earlier, my best friend, at the time, had abandoned her boyfriend to sail across the pond with an English Jaguar salesman that she had met at the local bar; leaving me to deal with the aftermath of a broken-hearted jock, who, just wanted to know "WHYYYY?!" (at 2:00 a.m. every Saturday), a slew of used furniture, and, instructions not to let her sister, an aerobics instructor with thighs and biceps larger than those of the jock, claim any of her possessions while she was gone.

It was pretty clear that I was missing out on the things that make college memorable.

Cut to a cold and wintry night, shortly after Christmas break, when; there was a knock at my door.

I hesitated to open it, fully expecting to find a cop wielding a noise complaint, a drunken, weepy football player, or, an irate aerobics instructor, hopped up on steroids and demanding the return of her family's antique coffee table.

I found, instead; four girls wielding a gallon of ice cream, a can of whipped cream, and, a bottle of Kahlua.

"Hi. Do you have a blender?"

 I did.

That was twenty-four years ago.

We are having Kahlua shakes again this weekend.

I am so glad I opened that door.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A Serendipitous Turn of Events

I was joined by ten lovely ladies on the porch, last night. We spent several hours catching up on each other's hectic lives, snacking on yummy treats (raspberry/whipped cream brownie bites to die for), sipping drinks, and enjoying the early summer evening.

I personally polished off the better part of a bottle of pinot grigio during the evening and must assume that my math was somehow faulty when figuring my snack-to-alcohol ratio, because; when the president of the baseball association called toward the end of the evening and asked me to run the concession stand at tonight's baseball game, I happily agreed despite how much we all know I dislike working with neon-orange "cheese" and stale tortilla chips.

Alcohol was clearly to blame for the brilliancy in that decision.

It's all good, though, because we got a text from the coach this morning and the game has been cancelled due to the other team not having enough players; a phenomenon that we are noticing a lot this season. As an aside, what is up with people who sign their kids up for activities they know they will not be able to participate in 100%? Do they not understand that this affects other people's children? I mean, seriously, people; get your shit together.

Also, coming soon: Pet Peeves Part II!

Damn, way to get distracted, Chelle; back to happy thoughts...

...Oooh, here's one!

Earlier in the day, while waiting in the drive-through lane at the bank in Hooterville, I spied something interesting outside of a junk (excuse me; Junque) shop across the street; it appeared to be a tea cart, which; was something that I had been wanting for the porch for quite some time. Once I finished my banking, I parked at the shop and hopped out for a closer look. What I discovered was an antique (I'm pretty sure) tea cart with a price tag that clearly indicated that the owner of the junk (excuse me; Junque) shop had no idea how to price antiques. I got it for a steal, is what I'm saying. And, it looks great on the porch.

Although I'm no expert, I am convinced that the cart is at least a hundred years old. The glass has probably been replaced but everything else appears to be original, including the wheels and casters. The detail on the cart is amazing and there is no damage; save for a slight bend in one of the top rails, which, I think, gives it character.

I am beyond happy with the purchase. Hugh was almost as delighted, as I'm sure you can imagine. In his defense, however; Hugh has no idea of the concept of serendipity, for; it was surely serendipity that took me to the bank drive-through lane at the precise moment that the tea cart was wheeled out of the junk (excuse me; Junque) shop for display on the street.

It was meant to be, is what I'm saying.

Also, you have no idea just how many wine glasses I can fit on this thing; it's almost scandalous. Which, fits right in with the Porch Night theme.

See? Serendipity.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Holy Cramping Uterus, Batman!

Dear Ms.Uterus,

Hi! It’s me, your host body! I’m just checking in with you about a few things and, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way but, what the hell is wrong with you? What is up with the horrendous cramping this month? Can I not have a decent night’s sleep, free from grinding, blinding, tooth-gnashing pain?

What the hell, Uterus? Have I not been good to you? Do I not shine the spotlight on you on an annual basis? And, ok, being swabbed with a giant Q-Tip may not be your idea of heaven, but, honestly, do you really think that I enjoy it? I do NOT! But, I do it! I do it for YOU! To ensure your health and well-being. What. Is. With. The Hate?

Ok, sure, asking you to stretch to fifty times your regular size while incubating a human was a lot to ask (um…twice), but, honestly, don’t you think that Ms. Vagina had it far worse? And, do you hear her complaining? I didn’t think so. And, look! The Twin Peaks didn’t exactly come out of that ordeal unscathed, either, yet, they continue about their daily chores with nary a sigh. And, ok, so they are starting to fall down on the job a little, but; that is a problem for another day and we are talking about you right now.

So! Here’s the deal, I am willing to concede to one day of cramping each month. In exchange, I will continue my annual pilgrimage to the lady doctor for your checkup. I am confident that you will see reason and will, therefore, agree to these terms. However, on the odd chance that you disagree; I will have no choice but to serve you with a notice of eviction and, the next time you see the Lady Doctor will be, well, the LAST time you see the Lady Doctor. I don’t want to do it, really, I don’t but, I think you need to seriously assess the motivation behind your campaign of torment against me.

aka: Your Host body.

Anticipation....It's Makin' Me Wait

Remember when you were a kid and Christmas was like, The. Most. Exciting. Thing. Ever? And, how you counted down the days until the 25th of December, possibly marking large x's on a calendar or adding loops to a paper chain or something fun like that? And, how, on the 24th, you had trouble sleeping because you were so anxious for Christmas day to just arrive, already?


I'm having that kind of week, except, instead of anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of The Girls. Specifically, the arrival of Reese, whom I will be picking up at the airport on Thursday. Then, Friday morning, she and I are driving several hours south to meet up with the rest of The Girls for a weekend that will be more fun than ten Christmases rolled up in one, and; we don't even need Santa.

No offense to the Big Guy.

This will be the first time in a number of years that we will (almost) all be together under one roof (James is unable to make the trip) and we have a lot of catching up to do as well as a lot of new memories to create.

Since we are staying at a secluded cabin in the woods; conversations will no doubt feature references to bear attacks, serial killers, rabid squirrels, and the Donner Party and; will increase in hilarity in correlation to the amount of alcohol consumed (A lot.) (Of alcohol; I mean) (Like, obviously.) Those new conversations will then be added to our existing Vault of Awesome Conversations, to be trotted out for review numerous times over the next fifty years (God willing) along with such classics as the "Reese Has a Hitler Mustache" conversation, the "What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" conversation and the on-going debate over whether or not I should have just caved in and slept with Danny Gallagher back in college and, whoa! How awesome (or not) would that have been.

In addition to the talking (and talking and talking and talking), rumor has it that a popular actor will be in the general area, filming his latest movie, so; star-stalking is definitely on the agenda. Unfortunately, none of us are particularly well-versed in the art of The Stalk, so, jail time is a real possibility, but! Not to worry; we have one of the husbands on call in the event that we require bail money. Or, more alcohol; the shortage of alcohol being the larger threat, me thinks.

Of course, in order to soak up all that alcohol, one needs food, so; I have already prepared and frozen two large pans of chicken enchiladas and a pan of cheesy bean dip for dinner on Saturday night. Jules is making her famous lasagna for Friday night's dinner and Phoebe and Tee are hauling lunch and breakfast items up with them. Reese and I will make a quick stop at Sam's Club for enough snacks to feed a small nation and, it goes without saying that we are all contributing something to the bar.

The plans, as you see, are well under way. Which, when you think about it; is really just our grown-up way of adding links to our paper chain.

I can't speak for the other girls, but; I'm also marking large x's on the calendar.

Four days to go...

And I. Am. So. EXCITED.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

The Man-Cub's first baseball game of the season took place last night. Although the boys lost by several runs, they appeared to be having fun and they played together really well, two things that I consider impressive simply because this is the first year that the Cub has played at this age level; he and one other teammate are the only two 13 year olds amongst a team of 14 and 15 year olds.

The difference between 13 and 14, by the way? HUGE. Like, HUGE. See exhibit A:

The Cub and his friend, Clay, are teeny in comparison to the majority of the team, but, that didn't hinder their ability to play the game, in fact; the Cub hit three base hits, made a play at second that caused the crowd to cheer, and, he stole from first, sliding into second in such a dramatic fashion as to bring the crowd to its' feet. Well, it brought me to my feet but mainly because his feet actually touched the back of his head-scorpion style-and; I was a bit concerned about a spinal injury (Spoiler alert: He's fine!).

Clay, for his part, did an awesome job in his capacity of catcher, a position that he has absolutely no experience with. His mom and I had a few occasions to clasp hands in the time honored reaction of worried moms the world over but; he never got hurt.

So, the game was a success despite the score.

I do, however, need to remember to bring Cracker Jacks to the next game because, two and a half hours in the broiling sun without sustenance was just brutal.

I know; First World problems, right?

I don't know a lot about baseball but I'm pretty sure you are supposed to use the glove, son.