Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009, (don't let the door hit you in the ass). usual.

Daddio is playing a gig tonight. He refers to the place as a "Biker Bar". That means his blushing bride (moi') won't be there with him. No, I'll be curled up in a ball on the davenport (Grandma Soph's silly word for couch) reading a good book or watching a chick flick . Probably not the whole thing, I tend to start to drift off after the opening credits. A really annoying consequence of my early awakening each morning.

I'll miss Daddio loads, we've celebrated 35 New Years' Eves together....(even if many of those nights have found us not in a liplock at midnight, but instead sawing logs in perfect harmony. They were wonderful none the less).

I'm always sad to see a year end...even if I thought it to have been a horrible year.

That stupid song Auld Lang Syne never fails to make me teary eyed.

And Dick Clark creeps me out. I think he's traded his blood for Formaldehyde.

I wish my offspring were little and tucked into their beds at nine, safe and sound.

Or celebrating next to me.

Sparkling grape juice, confetti poppers and beautiful children bid adieu to 1999 and hello to 2000. your cup half empty or half full?

What will you be thinking tonight at the stroke of midnight?


And while I really hate surprises and being out of control I'll decide to be content for another year to sit in my little boat and ride the white water rapids that are my life. I'll wear my life jacket (faith) and I'll use my paddle (hope & perseverance ) and I'll take every morsel and moment of sunshine (love, laughter & friendship) that touches my nose and warms my toes and try to live in the moment.

PS. I hope Daddio doesn't get picked up by any chicks that look like this.....

Why would he when he has this.....

at home waiting for him????

Happy New Year!!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Misinterpretation proves costly…..

“I think your son is drinking the mouthwash” Daddio said to me.

“WHAT” I shriek in reply.

I think the sentence “I think someone (namely, your son) is drinking the mouthwash” wouldn’t normally bring about a physical sick adrenalin rush type pit in your stomach feeling…unless you work with juvenile addicts who sometimes drink the mouthwash.

“He’s using too much, he’s going to burn his mouth” he clarified.

“Lay off the mouthwash Bub, you’re using too much” Daddio later tells his son.

“I’m not using that much Dad” he shoots back with an eye roll.

My men folk have a unique way of communicating…they don’t, really.

They mostly grunt at each other, push each other around by the shoulders; and they make smart cracks about me.

“That stuff (is like) acid” Daddio says to the drinker.

“Yeah, (mom buys the) cheap stuff” he replies.

“Water( it) down, (and) use less” Daddio advises.

“I only (use it) once a day (and that’s what the directions say, and I’m not using more than a capful)” the kid tells Daddio, “(it’s just really crappy stuff), cheap and crappy”.

From this exchange I understand that Daddio is worried that the kid is going to burn his mouth by using too much of the cheap mouthwash…and I get that the kid thinks that Daddio wants him to water it down so that he doesn’t use as much.

In my defense, I did buy cheap….did you ever price mouthwash?

$7.00 for a medium sized bottle of Listerine compared to $1.99 (on sale at 10 for $10.00) for the store brand. I usually don’t buy mouthwash, why should I?

I'm even thinking about forgoing the toothpaste too.

We have baking soda and water.

And we have toothbrushes.

And there are a few candy canes left on the tree…who needs mouthwash and toothpaste?

I offer to locate a piece of gum to help with the sewer breath.

When I fish one out of the bottom of my purse it is partially open and dotted with some purse lint.

“Pick it off” I say “You know the five year second rule”.

“Ewwwww, it’s hard and it tastes like perfume” the kid says.

“Shut up and chew and lay off that mouthwash” I warn.

There was a present waiting for Daddio next to the coffee pot this morning.

Complete with a burgandy bow on the top.

“I didn’t expect him to buy another bottle, I was just worried that he would burn his mouth if he used too much”. Daddio explained to me.

Later, the exchange between father and son will probably go something like this….

“Grunt” says Daddio

Oh, grunt” the kid will reply.

“You paid WHAT for that mouthwash” I’ll screech when I find out he paid nearly a gold bullion for the jumbo sized bottle.

“Reimburse the kid” Daddio will interject as he tousles his son’s hair.

A shoulder bump and a chest thump and they'll both walk away, smiling.

Misinterpretation proves costly…..for me.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Don't peek.......

It is the 24th of December and Daddio and his daughter went shopping for me yesterday.

"Stay out of my room" my darling daughter instructed.

This is the absolute worst possible thing anyone can say to a person suffering from my affliction.

PS...No, I didn't snoop. Not yet anyway.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Emoting through art.....

Being a stay at home (mostly) mom as my babies were growing up has been a joy of my life. I can remember standing in the smoking lounge at school (wow...a public high school that not only allows its students to smoke on campus, but provides them with a lounge in which to do it. Those crazy 70's ;-) and talking about how I wanted to have two children, one of each, of course.

And  I wanted a career too.

I wanted it all.

Or so I thought. ( I really had no idea what "all " was exactly, but I envisioned myself in a red power suit, snakeskin briefcase, and a baby on my hip.)

Bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan.

Well that didn't work out so great...many were the times that I resented leaving my babies to go to work for even one hour.

I wanted to be home....I needed to be home....I had to go home (this was especially true the first day back to work after the birth of The Sweet Prince Buttercup. I suffered a great embarrassment, when I heard a stranger's baby wailing and my milk let down. With wet spots, the size of fifty cent pieces (and spreading by the nanosecond) on the front of my shirt, I ran to the receptionist's desk, leaned over for some privacy and before I could utter the words "I gotta go" one of the spots grew so heavy it started to leak and the leak had no place to fall but onto the back of her hand...."ewwwww" she said as she wiped her hand on her pants.."I'll cancel the rest of your clients.")

This was confirmation that I shouldn't be this far from my child.

I was out the door and home in minutes.

I've always been a homebody.

Ask my mother. I hated school and skipped every chance I got. Even in kindergarten. Even now, I can remember the feeling I had having to leave the security of my home and my mom.

School sucked.

They say what goes around comes around and so with the karma of the universe working against me it makes perfect sense that I would have a similar experience with my own children.

The Sweet Prince Buttercup hated school, but he really didn't hate school. He hated the academic part. And Goog didn't hate school at all, in fact, she loved school. Every part.

Well my "come around" came around and manifested itself in my baby #3.

If I thought I hated leaving my mother...I hadn't seen anything yet.

He would wail at night when I put him to bed..."I don't wanna go" and "Please let me stay home with you".

"Please mama, please mama, please mama, PLEEEEEEASE"

Daddio and I would tiptoe around in the morning hoping for a bit of calm before the daily storm.

"I hate school. I don't wanna go. I'm not gonna go. You can't make me. I won't go."

"I'll miss you too bad" he would cry and scream every single morning.

Each year when I bring out the Christmas decorations my heartstrings tug a bit when I pull out the first Christmas ornament Bear made in school.

Art imitating life.

What can I say? The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ohhhhhhh' Tannenbaum (take 2)

I'm a bit embarrassed to say that Daddio and I waited tooooo long to get our Christmas tree. Normally we get the tree the weekend before our oldest son's b-day (Dec 17th)...for some reason we waited a bit longer this year.

Sunday we stopped at Lowes on the way home from church. Lowes had 6 (SIX!!!) Christmas trees left in stock.

Obviously we didn't have many to choose from and of course, same as every year Daddio and I had a difference of opinion about which one we wanted. He likes the tall, skinny ones with the short needles. I love the fat ones with the long needles...taaaamato, toooomato.

Daddio caved (once I started wailing and threw myself on the cement floor) and we got the long needled guy.

It wasn't as fat as I would have liked...but the tree was awesome considering that it was one of so few.

Before any of you make any snap judgements about the lameness of the Koby family Christmas tree...allow me to add one last detail.

The price.

We got this little beauty for a mere $7.49

CHA-CHING and Merry Christmas to us....poooo-pooo-peee-doooo!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Three hen tales in one….

Tale #1

Helping Shu Shu over the hump.....

“Not so great” was the answer my sister gave me when I called her two days ago to check in and asked her “how’s life”.

“My pooch got hit by a car and died yesterday” she said with a choke.

This is the second dog she’s lost to a mauling by a car.

And she was totally crazy nuts about this pup.

I asked her if she wanted company later that evening. She answered that that would be a good thing.

So we planned a hen with the girls.

And when we got there.....

This guy was so happy to see us he gave us lots of decaf and snacks. He was greiving too and when he asked if I thought he should get his little family a new dog I flat out said "No...not right now. Wait until it's warm out, a dog will be easier to train in the spring."

My sister just yelled "NO, NO, NO!!!"

For the moment he made a good call and stopped talking about a new dog.

I was hoping while I was there I could help to take away some of my sister's sadness.

I wanted to do this.....

But I worried that doing that may set off some waterworks.

So instead I did stuff like this….

And she laughed and snorted and probably shed a few tears, but they weren’t of the sad variety.

I wanted to give her one of these....

to remind her that there is always a rainbow after a storm.

When we left she seemed better. A lot like her old self.

She thanked us for taking her mind off of things.

Tale #2

Breezy and the Magpie.....

I watched, mesmerized as she plucked bead after bead out of her little box and placed them on the stretchy cord. I was jealous that she so easily chose the perfect color, the perfect shape. I was even more envious that she didn't have to squint or look through some ridiculous looking $2.50 drug store glasses to see them.

She didn't use a beading board for measure...or any tools other than her nimble fingers.

A true artist.

Before long it was crystal clear that she'd created a masterpiece (in this aunties' eyes anyway). One that hung so precisely it looked machine created.

She took note of my interest...(it's not like I was commenting every few seconds or salivating or anything like that).

And handed it to me when she was done...."You can have it Aunt Beth", she said with a beautiful smile.

"Magpie" her other auntie whispered to me.

Breezy...before any of us knew how talent filled she really is.

The necklace, decorating the Magpie's neck.

Tale #3

The supporting cast.....

Every hen has a few core elements...they are always (but not limited to) rich conversation, tearful hysterical laughter, name calling, sinful indulgence in tooo many pieces of chocolate and tooo many handfuls of Lays potato chips to name a few.

The true richness and value of a hen rests heavily on its attendees..they are always (but not limited to) a good audience, a non professional, yet wonderful masseuse, a hard worker or two, a few snoozers, one or two odd ball children, a much loved couple and a delightful new honorary family member.

Masseuse/Non slacker

A slacker....who some of you may recognize.

Odd ball kid #1
(Notice the silver platform tennies)

Odd ball kid #2
 (He's recently changed his middle name from Richard to (sic) Omdais)

One (sweet and kind) very much loved couple.
(Thanks for the ride and all the other nice things you do for me!!!)

A delightful new honorary family member.

All of this and a phone call from Marmie who was checking on her chickadees.....makes for a wonderful evening...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

T'd off at getting T'd up.....

I've spent countless hours as a spectator in the stands, on the bleachers, at the sideline watching my boys play sports.

I've had moments of such intense pride that I thought my brains would shoot out of the top of my head, fireworks style.

Brain splatter that sparkled and sizzled and popped. In yellow and red and purple and blue.

I've also had seconds (that felt like hours) and minutes (that felt like whole days) when those fools have embarrassed the holy crap out of me as I sat in the bleachers trapped like a deer in the headlights.

Last night was one such night.

Now, I know I have an over active imagination and that in reality I'm totally making this worse that it probably really was...but still.

I wanted to slip through the slots in the bleachers and fall to the ground where I could slither out the back, unnoticed.

It was early in the fourth quarter, and my ball player was not on game. He'd been displaying signs of frustration and frankly this mama was getting worried.

The kid can be a loose cannon.

When the cannon was in the fourth grade Daddio had to become a coach...not so much because of his undying love of the game or his desire to be near our child. No, Daddio had to become a coach so that he would be on the court and therefore be within striking distance of this little madman.

Daddio could squeeze his neck or pinch his ear and bring him back to reality when he began to unravel.

When he was just about ready to blow...which he did every chance he got.

"WE SUCK" he would scream at his teammates when they were losing games.

"WE ALL REALLY SUCK" he would yell at the little angels sitting, saucer eyed on the bench waiting to be put in the game.

"YOU'RE CRAZY" and "YOU NEED GLASSES!!" he would bellow at the refs when they called a foul on him.

I could have written a book "Tales of a Fourth Grade Poor Sport".

Last night early in the fourth quarter the cannon shot.

A foul was called and it was on him.

His third.

I could see the fire starting to shoot out of his eyes.

I could see the look of disgust on his face.

And in slow motion I could see his mouth open.

I didn't need to hear the words that came out...they turned the air blue.

And the ref made a sign that looked like this.....

And a hush came over the gym.

And all the other mothers looked at me.

With questions....

"How could she raise such a heathen?"
"Where did he learn language like that?"

And statements....

"That is why some animals eat their young"
"That kid needs some medication"
"He has a working mother, you know"

The other team got to shoot 4 baskets. And then had possession of the ball.

By some stroke of luck the shooter missed all four shots. And they turned the ball over.

When my kid came to the other end of the court I caught him looking at me, he looked embarrassed and sad....I smiled back at him, there wasn't much else I could do.

 "Fluck it", I told Daddio when we got into the car "its just a high school basketball game".

"You talkin to me?"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

She is woman......

“If I have to

I can do anything

I am strong (strong)

I am invincible (invincible)

I am woman” I Am Woman…Helen Reddy

My poooor poor poor baby girl. Yesterday she woke up with a sore throat, a gravely voice that sounded as deep as her hairy brother's, and a pounding headache.

A few hours later she confirmed that her throat was on fire and she felt like crap.

She did great onstage for the matinee and I realized the kid truly is an actress. No one could tell she was sick...cept me.

When I returned to the theater for the later show she was curled up on the couch and looked like death warmed over. She had a heat buddy (a feed corn filled fabric bag that is heated in the microwave and used much like a heating pad) balled up under her shirt and tucked into the top of her baggy yoga pants.

The kid had looked up at me with pitiful eyes; eyes that were red rimmed and bagged underneath.

“Mom” she said wheezing “can you go to the store and get me some supplies?…Aunt Flow decided to curse me further today.”

When I returned from the store I found her to have been hit a third time….she’d eaten so many sugar free cough drops (containing a sugar substitute) that her stomach was threatening to blow up.

So severe was that noxious gas swirling around her tummy that she wondered (aloud) if she’d be able to stand.

As I worked on one of her cast mate’s hair we talked about being sick and how when you’re “mom” you have no choice but to carry on and take care of business.

I’ve found this to be true of most women, moms and non moms too.

I rubbed her back and said a silent little prayer for her strength.

The kid performed her evening show and, once again she was awesome (if I may say so myself).

She is WOMAN (albeit a mini one) hear her roar.

Perfecting her cartwheel, age 4.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My beautiful beautiful beautiful beautifulllllll boy....

"Mom, whatcha doin" he says when I answer the phone.

"Nuthin, whatdda ya need? I reply..

"I need a haircut, we have a Christmas party Friday night and my hair looks like hell" he says.

"Come on over, I can do it right now" I tell him.

When I hang up the phone I do a little dance. Daddio looks at me kind of weird like.

"Oh man" I say, "my kid needs a hair cut" I twirl around the kitchen as I talk.

I'm giddy waiting for him to come.

I get my haircutting things ready and when he gets there I take my good ol time doing the job.

There aren't many times you can get away with mauling your adult son...while giving a hair cut is one of those times.

I touch his cheeks, multiple times.

I lift his chin and force him to peer into my eyes (I tell him he needs to look me straight in the eye so I can make sure his sideburns are even... teee-heee).

"Hold still, and let me get all this hair off of you" I say as I clean his neck with my fingers.

"MOM, stop it....I can feel you sniffin my neck, cut it out"  he yells and swats at me.

"I wasn't sniffin your neck" I lie.

(I needed a fix real's been a long time.)

The kid with the good smellin neck and the woman who worships the ground he walks on.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It is hard....

to really truly hate winter when it can be so utterly beautiful.

Note (Prayer) to my (our) Heavenly Father..."Dear Lord please can you hold off on sending any of this stuff to the lovely state of Michigan until the 24th of December? And please Sir, could you make it be after the hour of 9pm on that date so that I know my loved ones are safe and sound and cozy in their homes and not driving down some crazy freeway with a bunch of people drunk from Christmas parties? That would be wonderful. Thanks in advance....xoxoxxoxoxo

Saturday, December 5, 2009

When things runneth over......

Opening night for Googie’s show Seussical the Musical last night. She’s been doing theater for so long that I just assumed she didn’t get stage fright anymore. Watching her in and out of the bathroom all day long told me otherwise. (Sorry kid...nuthin is sacred when it comes to mom's blog).

I was frustrated that I could do nothing to help her.

My rapid fire line of questioning doesn’t usually sit real well with her on a regular day, so today, the day of opening night I try really hard not to do it.

Anything to make today easier. And her trips to the bathroom, less.

Yesterday was Trouble’s 21st birthday and Googie wanted very much to make it nice for him. She went to his house and homemade him some wonderful cinnamon/walnut/brown sugar pinwheels in the morning.

She brought a couple home..and I have to say, I was quite impressed.

Not only cute, the kid can bake too.

She’s had a few mishaps in the kitchen. Once she doubled the amount of sugar in the crust of a pie…Trouble and his parents ate it and proclaimed it “ really sweet, but very good”.

(And their noses didn't even grow a centimeter ;-)

She’s getting to be such a good baker that her dad has dropped her nickname (Ellie Mae Clampett). He gave it to her after sampling one of her made from scratch muffins that could have doubled as a hockey puck.

The day went quickly and when we were 15 minutes from leaving I asked her to come and lay down on my bed for a couple of minutes.

I put on the fan to drown out the sounds of the house, and turned off the light.

I rubbed her tiny back and shoulders. I massaged her legs and small arms.

I told her not to talk, just be still and let the stress go.

She said it helped.

I was happy that no one was sitting next to me while I watched her sing and dance.

I found myself spilling over into the seat next to me…and the seat next to that one.

My pride swelled so large and so did my heart.

I truly, seriously almost burst.

This is not how she looks in the show...this was just a silly picture she sent to me the other day with the message "Gertrude McFuzz loves you".

Friday, December 4, 2009

Whip it good.....A "report" no consumer can afford to miss. :-)

In order to help our budget, I've been trying a couple of new things to save some money…you know, every little bit counts.

We’ve got a kid in college, one just married and still frequenting the Bank of Mom & Dad, and a teen in his senior year of high school.

We also support two dogs, one scrawny over eater and one big boned Chihuahua who is currently recovering from a $150.00 case of the sniffles.

Translation: We are broke as hell.

And we need to find places to save money.

A former name brand only girl I now find myself choosing brands like Kroger, Meijer, Red White and Blue, and Value brand..….

I never really considered myself a name brand snob or anything like that; I think I bought name brand because that is what my mother did. And because I grew up eating these things and I figured since I could count on them to be consistantly good they were worth the extra flow.

Del Monte had the best beans and Campbell’s, the best soup.

And don’t even get me started on how amazingly delicious Bird’s Eye frozen corn is.

So since I’ve gone “thrifty” I’ve made a few discoveries.

I’ll share them with you. This information could save you some time (and spare you a stomach ache).

Vegetables…(according to a cute television commercial from Meijers) are vegetables.

Corn is corn and beans are beans.

I guess in theory there isn’t much anyone can do to mess that up…and while that should be true, I've discovered that it sometimes isn't.

I’ve also taken note that there is a huge price difference between a can of no brand green beans and Del Monte green beans…but price my friends is not the only difference.

And surprisingly, taste isn’t what I’m referring to either… I’ve found that almost every single can of name brand (namely, Del Monte) green beans contains at least one stem and many times TWO or more hard, fibrous green bean stems.

I’m thinking that possibly the Del Monte’s Quality Control Department’s staff is imported from Bangladesh… earning approximately $0.13 per hour in U.S. funds.

I probably shouldn’t be sayin that the lovely people from Bangladesh (who stuff our cans and check to make sure a feral cat hasn't fallen into the bean sorting machine) don’t care about what kind of crap they allow to take up space with the green beans…but, really when you think about it, the 13 cents an hour probably has them adopting a “Who gives a shit what these American creeps eat?” attitude.

And who could blame them?

Next up, tuna…. It used to be the off brand had bits and pieces of, um, well I’m not exactly sure what the bits and pieces are. But, they are black and look disgusting.

I also found that a 7 oz can usually contained 6.5 ozs of stinky water.

And the other .5 ozs left in the can was waterlogged and tasteless.

Things have changed on the tuna front…now, it’s the name brand tuna (Starkist) that is filled with the unappetizing bits of black stuff.

The Kroger/ Meijer brand tuna is delicious....and all white.

To go with that delicious tuna one would need to purchase some kind of salad dressing to mix it with.

Recently I decided to try some “Real Mayo” from Kroger. Much cheaper than my beloved Hellmans.

Total waste of money….

Remember the wintergreen paste that you ate by the finger full when you were in Kindergarten art class?

Minus the delightful minty wintergreen flavor and you have yourself a lil sample of Kroger brand Real Mayo.

At the same time I bought a jar of Kroger “Classis Whip” to replace Daddio’s Miracle Whip.

The Classic Whip isn’t much better than the Real Mayo. It has a tangy sickly sweet flavor that would probably be palatable if it weren’t for the texture.

Nickelodeon Slime minus the green.

I’d like to add that I’ve not eaten Nickelodeon Slime…but if I did I am certain it would taste just like Kroger’s Classic Whip.


Since these products do come with a money back guarantee and I’ll be making a trip back to Kroger.

“Reason for return?” asks the nice, friendly (okay, a girl can dream, can't she) Kroger clerk.

“Not suitable for human consumption” The Chump (that would be me) who bought this off brand crap would answer.

“Any suggestions as to how we could improve this product?” K clerk

“A bit of wintergreen flavoring may help”. I will offer.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bark at the moon.......

Watch your step's another full moon. And all the crazies are sure to be out.

 I, as evidenced by the photo above, will be spending most of my time indoors doing domestic chores.

A woman's work never really is done, is it?

And some have the unmitigated gall to wonder why we are so moody.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Random firings amidst my grey matter......

1. Why am I the only one that can let the dogs out?

2. Why, when I have the misfortune of thinking of certain songs, do they set up camp in my head? This crap will be jockeying for space with the other bazillion random thoughts that pop in and out of my noggin for days and days and days and days and days and days and days to come….one such example.

The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid he was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine

The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid he was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine

The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid he was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine

(The above lyrics are truly in this song, in the exact order I posted them…the song originally recorded by WAR used to drive my dad nuts. I remember being in the car with him and listening to that song “Man, I could be a millionaire songwriter right now kids” he would say “I could write a song just as good” and then he would sing some cheesy made up lyrics.

“I am a truck driver from nine to five
  I am a truck driver from nine to five
  I am a truck driver from nine to five
  I drive a truck from nine to five”


3. Why do I always pick the wrong lane/line? I contemplate which I think will be the fastest. Weighing issues like, who is behind the wheel, or the shopping cart? How fast do you think they can place all their groceries on the belt? Or their banking in the canister? Who is behind the glass or the cash register? If the person is sportin a tallywacker (he guys, no offense meant…I’m just sayin) be he old, young or somewhere in-between…forget it, I move on down the line or lane…still, I am always wrong. I manage always to be in the slowest line no matter which lane/line I choose.

4. I think I’m going to waste some of my precious time writing a letter to the drug companies that manufacture all the medicine that I take/use for my colitis…”Why do all the drugs have to contain the word “ASS”? Is this some kind of joke? Don’t you think those of us using this crap for our asses know it is for our ass?

“I need to refill my ASSacol, or my CanASSa. Should I start back up on my ASSacort? (I hate being in line at the pharm and having to use all these ASS words...especially if the clerk is sportin a.....,  nevermind, you get the picture.)

The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
The Cisco Kid was a friend of mine
He drink whiskey, Poncho drink the wine
He drink whiskey, Poncho drink the wine

( I’ve moved on to a different part of the song…things may be lookin up).

Have a stupendous day!!!! And feel free to use this space to add some ramblings of your own.

A random picture to go with this post. (In case Al ever wonders, really wonders WHY I hate having my picture taken.)

I always look a little weird in my pictures...there is a famous quote in our family, it comes from my grandfather Ed,

My grandmother looking at a picture of herself "Jesus Christ, I look like I'm a 100 years old"

Her darling husband in response "Pictures don't lie Soph".

Sunday, November 29, 2009


My name is Beth and I am an addict....

This has to be a sin.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Giving back, my boy makes me proud

When my (grown and almost grown) children were young we used to have lots of fun doing random acts of kindness. One of our favorite random a of k was to pay for a couple of the cars behind us at the two dollar car wash. The kids got the biggest charge out of parking near enough so they could see how excited the people got when they were told they were given a free car wash by a stranger.

Another favorite was to surprise a (couple of) Salvation Army bell ringer(s) with a cup of hot chocolate (usually from McDonalds) on a frigid night or we would treat the wheel chaired Veteran, collecting funds outside our bank in the sweltering heat, to a nice MickyD's iced tea.

The recipients of our random act(s) of kindness expressed such surprise, so much gratitude that the kids and I were on a natural high for hours.

They loved doing that. And so did I.

I know that I have three very big hearted children, but my big ol hairy Baby boy (he's 18) told me something yesterday (Thanksgiving morning) that just about made me bust my buttons.

"Mom" he said "the other night when I went to Kroger to turn in all my change" (this boy works pt time on the weekends refereeing rec basketball and has been saving his pay and all of the change he can manage to find, steal from his sister or the clothes dryer to buy his darling girl friend a birthday gift).

"It had turned pretty cold" he continued” and I saw one of those bell ringers outside the door."

“I went and got him a hot chocolate Mom, just like we used to do."

"You bought the ringer a hot chocolate?" I said, slack jawed "with your own money?"

"Yeah" he answered.

I've had many, many prideful moments with my children. Watching my boys play sports or my daughter sing on stage. Hearing nice things from their teachers on conference night. Why I've even felt a strange sense of pride when they are all spiffed up and I think to in the hell did I help to create something so damned cute???

But let me tell you....when your (too many times "all about me") teen does something like this....that sense of pride, well something like that can only be described as euphoric rapture.

It really was an out of body experience. I hope you get to go there sometime too.

Thanks for listening....

I absolutely heart this boy.....*sigh*

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rough & Toothless bakes a cake.....

My kitchen classroom is filled with juvenile offenders. They have mouths dirtier than gas station toilets. They try to out-thug each other by telling stories about the first time they smoked weed (usually about age 8 or so) or what happened the first time they stayed a weekend at JDF (Juvenile Detention Center) and had to prove “who” they were…fighting for a “position” in the pods (the community area where their individual cells are contained).

I fight with them constantly about the cussing. I won’t tolerate it. And trying to explain to a 6’1” juvenile criminal missing all of his front teeth and carrying around a bullet, lodged somewhere in his neck, that he can not, and will not, swear or talk about how he smoked crack once with his grandma, while in my kitchen.

All I can say is that there are days my job drains me of all my energy.

And my optimism.

Hectic and stressful, and many days are just plain freakin odd.

And scary too.

I often find myself thinking, “Why don’t you just bang yourself in the head with a rolling pin” that may get their attention. Or at the very would put me out of my misery.

Some days though, I know I’m in the right place.

And I know exactly why I am where I am…and I don’t even glance at the rolling pin.

Yesterday was one such day.

The (loveable) thugs and I worked on potato dishes and desserts for our Thanksgiving feast.

I hand picked a group of teens, including “RT” (Rough & Toothless, the one with the bullet) to make cakes.

I could tell by the way his hands shook while holding the egg that I handed him that he’d never cracked one before. I don’t like to call them out on things like that, it embarrasses them. So I joke with the group…”I know most of you have thrown eggs at houses or cracked them over someone’s head… but if you’ve not cracked an egg to cook with before, I want you to watch how it’s done.”

“ Hear me when I say…I   do   not   want   any   egg   shells   in   our   food.”

I demonstrate how to do it and they follow my lead. So proud, when they do it right.

I fight disgust too every day at my job…disgust at the unfairness of life.

I think of my own three children, and see them, a couple of neighbor kids, and me making chocolate chip cookies. How they would take turns cracking eggs and using the mixer. Then lick the beaters and wait for the hot cookies. When they were done we would eat them and watch movies.

Then I look at what is before me… a roomful of almost fully grown men (and women) who have never cracked an egg. Used a mixer. Had a mom express how proud she is of them.

No time for that when you’re smoking crack with grandma.

Or dodging bullets.

Or fighting for respect at JDF.

No time to learn to bake a cake.

Not all of them have shit for parents…but the ones that do, I gather more tightly under my wing.

Rough & Toothless loved making the cake. He hung on my every instruction. And it appears he may be a natural.

It was a hoot watching him fit the oven mitts over his large paws and I stifled a giggle when I taught him how to test for doneness using a toothpick. He jabbed it in and jerked it out like he got an electrical shock.

“Do it like this” I said “slowly, that way you can see if any of the batter sticks to the toothpick”

When one of the cakes, baking in a glass pan, was taking longer time to bake Rough & Toothless sat and watched.

He’s usually the first one out the door.

Class had been over for ten minutes and he was still waiting for it to be done.

“You go ahead and go” I told him. “I will stay and get your cake out. I promise I won’t let it burn”

Once more he checked it for doneness. Closed the oven. Pried off the mitts.

“Thanks Ma” he said as he left the kitchen “I’ll see you tomorrow”.

Some days I can’t believe I call my work a “job”.

Thanks for listening......

Frosting on RT's cake.

I had to bring the cake home with me...sadly, RT skipped school today :-(

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shedding my skin.......

"I'm a bitch, I'm a bitch, Oh the bitch is back"...Elton John

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed about a week ago and ever since then I've been feeling the incessant poke of a wild hair up my ass.

I should probably take a trip to the pharmacy for some IcyHot. It might help with the muscle I've been on too.

I don't like being this ugly. This surly. This crabby.

I'm filled with rage and aggravation every time I get behind the wheel.

And everyone in my path is either an asshole or a maniac.

Today, pulling into a store parking lot on a work related errand, my equally irritable coworker started to beat on the horn with both fists when someone (we couldn't see a head over the seat) driving an old silver Buick took at least 90 seconds to pull into a parking space.

After my coworker squealed the tires around the sloooooo driver I noticed what appeared to be nun garb on a teeny tiny woman driver.

"Oh my God" I said "You were beeping at a nun, you ass".

"That's not a nun" she snapped back.

"She's wearing a habit" I said.

"It's fake" she replied.

"What's fake? I asked.

"The nun. The nun is fake" she answered in her typical know it all tone.

"You can buy those things anywhere" she continued.

I think to myself..."Why would someone fake being a nun? Why would someone think someone would fake being a nun? Why would someone buy a habit to wear to the grocery store?....Why oh why oh why am I so surrounded by rambling idiots????

"A fake nun...oooookay" I say, with an overdramatic eyeroll.

Standing in a wayyy too long line at the store waiting to be checked out I have myself a little fantasy.

Once, just once, I would love to take leave of my senses long enough to start screaming at the people in line in front of me...I want to scream bloody murder...things like,

"HEY!!! Any check writers here?? Hows about we dig that ol check book out from the bowels of our overstuffed handbags and take a crack at getting started so we don't hold up this line any more than that bimbo slow poke cashier is already doing right now."

To the person behind me whose cart keeps bumping my ankles....

While I'm back back backin my butt up I'm gonna yell....

"BACK...BACK....GET BACK...GET BACK...BACK OFF...BACK OFF YOU FREAK...back off....give me some personal space here. If you or your rabid kid hits me with the cart ONE MORE TIME I'm going to pull the hairs out of both your noses one... at.... a.... time!!!!!"

I giggle to myself as I look around and think of how stinking funny it would be to blow a gasket like that....

Just the thought of the virtual breakdown has me feeling better.

Sometimes when I feel like this I wish my body had a zipper and I could just unzip myself and step out of this skin.

Walk away.

Start fresh.

Leave the ugliness of my mood behind.

When I leave the store I suddenly feel a bit better...

That is until we see the fake nun again...this time she is hobbling on her fake cane making her way to the Buick.

"Hurry up" my crabby coworker says, talking to me. "We don't want to get behind her again".

"Just so you know" I say to my coworker "there is no stop, drop, and roll in Hell".

Thanks for listening......

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Twenty two years ago right this very minute an angel came down to earth to live in my house. She has brightened and blessed my every single day since....

Dear Blue Sky…

When I prayed to God for the perfect daughter, I asked that she be beautiful on the outside, with eyes the color of cornflowers, and a smile that could light up any room, and I asked Him to add the most infectious laugh to go with that smile.

I asked Him to make her even more beautiful on the inside.

I asked that she always be kind and gentle and have a place in her heart for those less fortunate.

That she be tolerant and accepting of those who are different.

That she be the kind of person who never hesitates or is afraid to speak her mind or live her convictions.

That she be tireless in her quest for knowledge and allowed to delight in her every discovery.

I prayed that God would make her friendly and likeable and easy to talk to, and give her the gift of compassion and understanding, and also give her a steel determination in all places and times when she needs strength of character.

I prayed that she would be a leader, with vision and clarity.

That he give her a deep faith and a wicked sense of humor, and make her a loyal and true friend.

I asked that she have a determination to succeed and preserver in everything she does.

I hoped God would give her the voice of an angel and a small stubborn streak…with all these things in place one would have the most perfect of daughters, priceless beyond measure.

You sweet Julienne are living proof that God answers prayers.

She colored this for me a few months ago while at work at the church nursery.

With eyes the color of cornflowers. And chocolate frosting on her nose.

My beautiful birthday girl.....Happy birthday, love of my life!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dancing in Africa...

Many characteristics, physical and otherwise jump generations. Receding hairlines, chiseled jaw lines, overbites and even chutzpa…

Or maybe I should say especially chutzpa.

I admire those who possess it naturally and otherwise.

Chutzpa has a number of definitions, but for the sake of this story I am using my own, which include, gall, nerve, "balls”….

I’ve been called quirky, never brave or overly adventurous.

And while I’ve been called full of something, sadly, it had nothing to do with chutzpa.

Chutzpa, as a characteristic, seems to have played leapfrog over my back and landed right on top of the teeny tiny shoulders of my darling daughter.

“Bigger than my body gives me credit for” sings John Mayer.

Song lyrics fitting for the little 4 foot 11 inch spitfire that shares my DNA….but not my mousy ways.

I am in awe of this kid…and her very strange and interesting list of life goals.

She is graduating college in a few short months…and while I’m sure it’s been a long road for her, she has, most times, made it look almost effortless.

At the dinner table the other night she had a question for me…

“Uh, is there, uh, do you think, umm, will there be some kind of Graduating From College gift?”

“Sure” I said “what do you want?”

“I was thinking” she answered “that I would like Rosetta Stone”.

(Rosetta Stone is a Language Learning Program)

“Rosetta Stone…why?” I queried.

“Swahili mom” she said “I need it”.

SWAHILI???…Why not a nice watch?” I asked.

“I can test out of my language requirement for my Masters and it will help me to release my inner African” she said.

Chutzpa….some of us have it.

Hey Googie, a message for you…..

Mimi Tumaini Wewe Cheza (I Hope You Dance…in Swahili)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Mystery of the Missing Undergarment…..

Yesterday, in the middle of the diarrhea attack I call my morning routine I lost my bra.

I remember it hanging from my middle finger and I remember putting it somewhere.

As I searched I tried to remain calm....It certainly wasn’t as bad as losing a pair of dirty underwear, or forgetting if you remembered to flush the toilet….but still.

I searched and searched for that bra. I opened cupboards and drawers and even the refrigerator.

I screamed at Daddio and the kids…”Has ANYONE seen my bra?” and “PleEEEEEEEESE, help me find my bra”.

Part of the embarrassment of losing the thing is that my Over The Shoulder Bolder Holder is not in the greatest shape.

By that I mean it is rather old and a tad dingy.

I have a few other bras…but most of those aren’t utility.

I suppose I could have worn one of them, but the only thing I could think of as I was rummaging through my lingerie drawer was “what if I should have a heart attack at work and the EMS guys have to slice my shirt and everyone standing around watching the heroic life saving effort sees me wearing a Fredericks of Hollywood issue black lace super-duper push up enhancement number, complete with fringe and silver studs???

How embarrassing would that be?

They’d never think of me the same.

I’m sure most women have lots of bras. I don’t.

Just like shoes and purses…you only need one of each color. Anything more, in my opinion, is wasteful.

Speaking of waste...I wasting a lot of time in search of that bra. And kept coming up empty handed.

My over active imagination went to work...with my luck a neighbor would pick today to come over and borrow a can of refried beans and come across my mislaid bra…”Who in this house is still wearing a training bra?” would probably be their first thought.

My biggest worry was that I wouldn’t ever find it and that later Bear or Trouble (Googie’s boyfriend) would stumble upon it.

I could envision it dangling from the cookie jar…or the back door handle.

God forbid, they would accidentally put their hand on it.


Eventually, due to the fact that I was beginning to run very late to work I was forced to stop looking and wear an old white rag I found in the bottom of my drawer.

The uncomfortable fit had me thinking about my missing brassiere all day long.

Being a creature of habit, I walked in the door after work and over to hang my coat…there, (right THERE all the time) on the coat peg was old faithful…hanging in all her dingy glory.

Smack-dab out in the open for the whole world to see.

I got momentarily sick to my stomach as I imagined all who may have come into contact with her (and their reaction) while we were apart.

No use crying over spilled milk, I guess.

This unfortunate ugly incident has forced me to make a decision I need to buy myself a couple of new bras…I do have an image to uphold.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Love heightens (only some of) the senses.....

As mothers we see our children as the most beautiful, the most talented, and the most wonderful.

I think God made it that way so that we become the mothers that he designed us to be.

You’ve heard the expression “a face only a mother could love.”

This phenomenon becomes acutely clear when you are introduced by a very proud mother to her newborn child.

She pulls back the receiving blanket and reveals a cherub that looks just like Uncle Fester.

“WOW” you quickly say…"now that’s a baby”.

You hope your startled look didn’t give away your true feelings.

The same holds true with our four legged children.

We are blinded by our love.

We suffer from anosmia.

“That dog smells like crap” the kids tell me.

“I don’t smell a thing” I say, nuzzling my pooch’s mane.

My sister, is a very good aunt, who loves my kids. She even once told our mother that my newborn oldest son had heart shaped nostrils. (He truly does, but Grandma thought Auntie was so blinded by love she was seeing things in hearts.)

She also loves my dogs. She scoops them up and lets them lick her hand. She always comments on their nice personalities and their round brown eyes….

I have some super cute Halloween pictures of my beautiful pups that I want to show her.....

“Now that’s a couple of dogs” she is certain to say.