Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is it just me......?????

Look at those spindly limbs.... a striking resemblance no???

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A whole lotta nuttin......

I totally (truly) am having the time of my life with this blog. If you like to write (or even talk really) a blog is a wonderful outlet. It is a tad self indulgent to think that people will want to read the crap that you have to say. And it's a bit of a dreamy fantasy to think that they will love reading your blog so much that they will place you on their favorite list and click on it from time to time to see if you've written anything new.  

And it could be an outright sign of some type of mental illness to imagine that they may look forward to reading you so much that you become a part of their day, like brushing their teeth.

Of course not all blogs are just a person's thoughts. Many help guide a person's interest. Maybe you always wanted to learn to shear a sheep, process the wool and knit a scarf?

Or learn taxidermy. This could come in handy if you happen to happen upon a wee squirrel that misjudged its leap from one branch to another and met with a premature demise. You might look at the little corpse and think the tiny fawn colored body would look great sitting lifelike above your fireplace?

Maybe you want to learn to cook with tofu. I mean, who doesn't love tofu? (puke) But what exactly do you do with it? I'm sure there are blogs to help you learn.

There are some blogs that are so cleaver and funny that they become famous. Take the one about the crazy, witty old dad. "Shit My Dad Says" it's a hilarious bit of reading and has a ton of followers. All the entries are something off the wall the author's dad says. The old man talks like a foul mouthed foul mouthed sailor. I blush sometimes when I read a snippet. 

For what it's worth, I honestly (seriously) could start a blog called "Crazy Azz Crap That Daddio says". I promise it would be equally hilarious. He doesn't swear much, but a lot of the stuff he says is equally unbalanced and totally "huh, WHAT...WOW" (how exactly does that man's mind work?)

Interesting stuff....

There are lots of mommy blogs out there too....quite a lot of poop talk. And always interesting and informative subject matter like how to get junior to take a nap.

My philosophy of using some Chloroform and a roll of duct tape would hardly garner me a ton of readers, I don't think. Who knows though, we are talkin the internet here.

There are blogs about blogging. And since I'm a "wet behind the ears" newborn in the blogging world I often turn to them for advice. They write about twittering (tweeting)? The say things about feeds (feeding?), it's mostly way too over my head to follow.

I fantasize though about doing all that stuff and maybe someday, someday I could appear on Oprah (like Dooce or Nienie) and talk about my blog.

I file that daydream next to the one where I'm a size two natural blonde supermodel who answers to the name Mrs. Elvis Aaron Presley. (Okay, there are still sightings and even though he would be well into his 80's by now...he is freakin Elvis!!!).

I don't have the balls to put my blog "out there" like many of the sites tell you to do. If you want your readership to grow you need to network...use social sites and advertise.

I have a Facebook thingy..but I don't have any pictures or much else on there. I started it mostly to spy on the kids. Then I couldn't quite figure out how it worked and so it just sits there and takes up space in cyber land.

So after thinking and thinking of ways to increase my readership...(if I do, in fact, really want to increase my readership) I decided to order some cards that advertise my blog.

Cute little business cards that I could hand out to people I want to invite to read my blog...but wait, I thought to myself.....if you ask a lot of people you know to visit your blog then you are going to have to be careful what you write. Careful that you don't spill too many beans or step on any toes.

I would hate to have my Dad read something I wrote about penises or have my Uncle John discover the horrible and very embarrassing truth about my cursing habit.

So cross out inviting people I know.

That leaves strangers....

 I'm sure I wouldn't feel comfortable stopping strangers and handing them a card...weird, even by my standards.

So I decided to drop my cards off where ever...places like stuffed in the middle of a library book (thanks work friends for that suggestion) or a magazine at the gyno's office, or on a seat at the airport. Or a table at Panera...everywhere and anywhere.

Not all who wander are lost and I can't wait to see who happens upon this blog.

Would you care to help? Send me an email at kobyismyname at aol dot com and I will send you a couple to scatter about.

Merci.... xoxoxox

Monday, March 29, 2010

How can something so pretty smell so bad???

Daddio said the above phrase the first time he changed one of Googie's diapers.

He's right of course....pretty and stink don't go together, even in the same sentence.

Shopping at Kroger my favorite ever grocery store (okay I hate all grocery stores, but especially this one where I weekly pull stale bread and rotten meat off the shelves and bring it up front to the Service Desk and complain...they don't much like me at Kroger, but the store is very close and so I guess we're stuck with each other)  anyway....I spotted some lovely paper towels. I'm not shy to admit that I'm one of those odd balls that sort through the shelves of paper towels looking for ones that match my motif.

Its almost as nice as being told you have beautiful children when someone notices and says "look at those cute paper towels".

I was happily moseying down the paper product aisle at Kroger's with that grocery gaze* on my face. When I rounded the corner this is what I saw on the end cap...

Fireworks went off in my brain, and like when I first saw the mini grocery cart a few posts back, I'm quite sure I heard trumpets.

These freakin paper towels were to die for. The blues were soft and muted and the corals vibrant. The pattern large and whimsical...

And....they were cheap at twice the price*.

Well folks I'm sad to report that while the paper towels did indeed look lovely hanging in my kitchen there was a small problem.

The cute paper towels smelled. They smelled bad. Skanky bony stinky*.

 They smelled like a cross between Fritos and dirty feet. Or maybe dirty feet and smoke.

They probably didn't smell as bad as a mosh pit...but still, stink is stink.

Now please tell me if I'm not right in my thinking here, isn't a paper towel one of those things that should be somewhat sanitary? 

I can see you nodding your head. So you can understand me when I say that that's what really made the stink all the more wrong

 I didn't think to say anything about the stink to Daddio, it didn't take long for him to mentioned it.

"Those paper towels sat in the stockroom where someone was smoking" he complained with a wrinkled nose and a big frown.

Imagining the enormity of the Kroger stockroom I begged to differ...maybe if they sat, open for a month in a Martini bar, but they didn't get that stench from the stockroom.

When the next couple of paper towels I used didn't smell I thought...maybe Daddio was right, maybe only the outside ones smelled bad, and it probably was from the stockroom.

Time told the smelly truth, the paper towels stunk through and through, but you had to get them wet to smell the fermenting aroma.

I feel jipstanged*.

And Jack Johnsoned*!!!!!

Kroger, I may have to sever ties with you this time.

It seems you don't value me as a customer.

You screwed with my paper towels and you screwed me out of a buck thirty five x's two.

I'm scared I may go McGuckin* on you, it's only a matter of time.

Don't do it.

Urban Dictionary

Grocery gaze: The mindless stare people tend to have when grocery shopping resulting in a shopping cart collision..causing injury or harm to another unsuspecting person.

Cheap at twice the price: so inexpensive, that if the price were doubled, it would still be considered cheap.

Skanky bony stinky: Someone or something who is dirty, skanky, and foul.

Jipstanged : To be ripped off for an item purchased. To not receive the item you expected. To be swindled out of your hard earned cash.

Jack Johnsoned: Equivalent of "getting jacked". Being cheated out of something or duped.

Goin McGuckin: Koby family street slang (the term, coined by my sister Susan derives directly from the name of a crazy-crazed neighborhood boy who went postal (Sean Penn style) over every and any little thing. It was not uncommon for McGuckin to come over the fence wielding a dangerous hand fashioned weapon in reaction to something as simple as a cocked eyebrow...scary!

 No one wants to see any one go McGuckin.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What a difference a day makes....

This past Thursday my doctor did his annual look see into my colon. It's an incredibly embarrassing thing to have to talk to a man who sticks crap up your butt and fiddles with your hemorrhoids.

Too up close and personal for my taste.

At work a couple of us had a good laugh at my expense... my co-workers saying things like "I know why a man might want to be a gynecologist.....but who in their right mind would want to look at hairy asses and bulging, pulsating hemorrhoids all day long"...yeah, I wondered, who?

The day before the procedure I was instructed to follow a clear liquid diet.

The morning found me pouting and feeling pretty sorry for myself when I had to skip the creamer and have my coffee black.


The sickly sweet lime Jello and bland chicken broth I was eating to sustain myself had gotten real old by my lunch hour. And I was beyond miserable when the time came to start drinking the salty thick liquid that in minutes I knew would be careening through my innards and demanding to leave just as quickly.

I ended up using my Lamaze breathing to get the last bit of that salt pork syrup down by telling myself over and over again....tomorrow, by this time tomorrow, it will all be over.

Tomorrow tomorrow I luv ya're always a day away.

Friday morning with all that behind me I was enjoying a cup of coffee (with milk :-) when the phone rang. It was Trouble (Googie's boyfriend). He hemmed and hawed a bit and finally blurted out that he needed my help in getting him some time alone with Googie's dad. He needed to talk with him about something important.

"Do you know where I'm goin with this? " he boldly asked.

"Why yes, I think I do" I answered.

Daddio was certain to give his blessing and I knew Googie would answer yes.

"When are you gonna do this" I asked.

"Tomorrow night" he said.

"Tomorrow? " I repeated.

It's hard to believe that this day is really here.

Trouble is a really awesome guy and we couldn't be happier.

I'm soooo excited for her....(even if I was secretly hoping that she may want to be one of those old maid types and live with me forever).

By this time tomorrow her getting married will no longer be an "off in the distant future" kinda thing.

Tomorrow..... tomorrow!!!!

Come what may.  :-)

Friday, March 26, 2010

I like my pretty boy not too pretty.....

Skipping about the internet this morning I stumbled upon an interesting article talking about a funny challenge reality star George Weisgerber (I Love New York 2 and I Love Money) took. 

This high maintenance pretty boy challenged himself to go without grooming for 14 days (P to the U).

Daddio is the cleanest man I've ever known. I don't mean known as in the biblical sense, cause if that were the case Daddio is the only clean man (or unclean man, or just plain man man) I've ever known.

Anyway, I like clean men (man) and I cannot lie...having the nose of a bloodhound it helps to have a mate who likes it too.

I'm more than greatful for his appreciation of body cleanliness. I shudder when I hear girlfriends talk of having to bribe their husbands to take a shower.

Daddio is not what you'd call a pretty boy...I mean he is pretty, but he doesn't really know it. He always looks like he smells nice, and he does. He gets that way with a bar of Dial soap and some hot water. No fancy, pearlized, peach colored body washes for him.

He shaves mostly every day, yet he still has a five o' clock shadow that crops up on his face every afternoon. I kind of like that little bit of rough, some "corporate thug" goin on.

He's never once worn cologne or aftershave or any other smelly foo-foo (as my grandpa used to call it).

And he wouldn't spritz himself if you paid him.

Daddio's sons are pretty boys. They, like Daddio, keep their nails short and clean. And they both like showers so much they sometimes take up to three in one day.

The Sweet Prince Buttercup has a baby face that is easy to keep clean shaven. Poor Bear wakes up every day with a full beard, which irritates him to no end. He spends lots of time littering the bathroom counter with small sharp shards of coarse reddish brown hair. He likes to change up his look, and daily he gets to choose to carve that facial hair into something GQ worthy and he usually does.

Unlike Daddio both my boys wear earrings and necklaces and they use perfumed deodorants that go by the names Smooth Blast, Fierce and Sporty.

And neither of my pretty boys would dream of leaving the house without a spray of some kind of delicious scent.

Daddio calls them Cupcakes. Or girly boys.

And he says that Googie, his only daughter, is the only real true "son" he's got.

Googie is a girly girl (in every sense of the phrase), so in Daddio's mind that declaration is the equivalent of a good ol' one two punch right in their pretty boy kissers.

The boys don't care...they laugh.

And say things like "you should try it some time old man..the chicks dig this kind of stuff".

This chick wouldn't know what to do if Daddio suddenly went metrosexual.

I like my clean caveman just the way he is.

And men that are prettier than their women give me the heebie-jeebies.

My "pretties" all gussied up and smellin like they look.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

When dispair for the world grows in me......I think of Wendell Berry

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

One of my very favorite poems.

I save a copy on my overcrowded fridge front at home where despair for my own private world and that of my children’s' often finds me wide eyed and terrified in the middle of the night.
I force myself to come into the presence of still water, and the peace of the wild things.
What a lullaby.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My achy breaky heart....

I wrote before about Daddio's serious lack of the sympathy gene. He's sympathetic to a (very small) point, but by no stretch of the imagination could anyone ever call him a bleeding heart. Which is what he calls me.

I tease him that I must be a very important person for the cable companies to have devoted an entire movie channel (Lifetime) absolutely chock full of one heart wrenching show after the next just for me.

"You and that bleeding heart crap" he says, shaking his sensible head.

The truth is I think I may have gotten in line twice (or maybe three times) when God was passing out empathy.

I literally squirmed in Daddio's time worn Lazyboy last night when that horrible, horrible judge Simon Cowell (and his evil counterparts) from American Idol went on and on and on and on criticizing those poor singers.

Yeah, some of them were awful (gawd awful)... but still.

When Simon critiqued the one who sang "You're no good" by Linda Ronstadt, he said something along the lines of "Now that was prophetic, don't you think?".

You woulda thought Simon slugged me in the gut. I may have fallen over if I was standing when he said that snarky remark.

It hurt.

I shut my eyes in a hurry because I knew that perky little singer's eyes were welling with tears and it would make my heart ache.

I put my fingers in my ears and even sang myself.. "lalalalalalalalalalalalala" when he went for the jugular on the next one, a baby faced modern day David Cassidy lookalike.

I'm even worse with my kids.

When they hurt...I'm near death.

Daddio refers to me as a true Corsican Brother. An old Cheech and Chong movie about a set of twin brothers separated at birth. When they reunite it becomes apparent that they feel each others pain. Poke Cheech's charachter in the eye and Chong's charachter screams in pain and reaches for his own eye.

Hilarious...unless you relate.

Bear got hurt* a couple of days ago. It's his own fault and deep down I know that. In my heart it doesn't make my (or his) hurt any less though.

Bear has a hard time making his mind up on things (okay, he's a lazy azz procrastinator on occasion)...almost every year since he's been a freshman in high school the kid will decide in the 13th (25th???) hour that he wants to play a certain sport...could be Track, Football, Baseball (sometimes it's all three).

Most of the time the coaches have let him join the teams late...maybe they allow it because he's a pretty good athlete, or he's a nice kid.

Whatever...he usually gets in.

The kicker is that sometimes Bear gets on the team and for one reason or another he decides that he doesn't want to be there anymore and he quits.

Now if Daddio informs him that quitting is not a possibility (because Daddio's boys aren't quitters) then he becomes uninterested and it shows.

This is his Senior year and most all his friends are playing baseball on the school team. I'm not sure if he wasn't sure he wanted to play?...Or if he saw many of his buds were going to be playing and wanted to be a part of the socialization?...Or if he realized that this is it the last time he will ever wear a Rams uniform???

I'm not sure.

He's hard to figure out.

And he's a bit ornery sometimes.

Bear hates a parental shakedown, a Spanish Inquisition of any type.

"Would you like steak sauce with your chicken?"  I could innocently inquire

"Why do you have to ask me all these questions?" he would reply " you're always asking me questions!"

"Leave him alone" Daddio (probably)would butt in.

The bottom line is he wasn't allowed to be on the team.

Daddio says that this is a good life lesson.

He who hesitates and all that crap.

I know the road to manhood is long and hard....(believe me , you should see my feet, they are killin me.)

(* Bear did not once express to me that he was hurt, this is my take on things and my blog and I am allowed to write anything (within reason of course) that I want to write...however, I wish to ask those of you who may know my sensitive darling man/child that you not discuss this post with him or any of his friends or coaches. It would embarrass him to death, and with me certainly feeling that pain coupled with the one inflicted upon my scrawny neck by his big ol hairy knuckled hands, in response to the pain brought about by his mother's betrayal of his innermost feelings (which of course I happen to be privy to, in my own mind at least) I would be dead too. I would very much appreciate it if you did not breath one word, not one. Merci).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In memory of......

Last night I spent a couple of hours with some friends at the funeral home. The little old white haired lady sleeping peacefully in the casket belonged to one of my high school friends. She was mother to my friend and his siblings, five of them total, I think.

Only the grown baby, a girl walked around puffy-eyed and sniffling. Tissue in hand she’d dab at her leaking eyes every so often. The others seemed to be okay with things. Or they just hid it well.

My friend gathered with me and a gang of us from school. We shot the bull, told a few funny stories, and I for one was happy no tears were shed.

I’m not good with that. It makes me very nervous when people cry. My own mother always seems to know just what to do when someone starts with the waterworks. She draws the poor suffering soul up into arms and gathers them close. “It’s okay honey” she says patting their shoulders “shhhhh, let it out, let it all out”. This is all it usually takes and within seconds the subject of her warm embrace gives in fully to their emotion.

Me, I want to say “ohhhh no, please don’t cry, please don’t, don’t cry, please”. I don’t say that, I just pretend I’m my mother and try to comfort like I think she would.

I don’t remember ever having laid eyes on the woman in the casket before walking in the door to the funeral home last night. And I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I didn’t go up to her and kneel at the little bench beneath the casket and say a prayer and take a closer look.

I’m happy when I go to funeral homes with my sister, she kneels, folds her hands and while she makes no sounds her lips move as she prays. I can’t tell you what a comfort it is to have her lead me. When I’m kneeling my mind often starts to wander, is there something stuck to the bottom of my shoe? I hope it’s nothing stupid like a sheet of dirty tissue or a blob of neon green bubble gum. It is especially uncomfortable to me to be so up close and personal with the person laying still in front of me. Like a creepy voyeurs’ my eyes are places they shouldn’t be, like gawking at the person’s tightly sewn lips. Or their swollen hands.

I’m so thankful when my sister finally does the sign of the cross and we get up and move away.

My friend talked about how hard the last several months have been with his sick mother. He said that one of his sisters’ went to the rehab center to visit every single day for lunch. And that he and the others took turns having dinner with their mom.  To me that said a lot for the kind of people they are.

He pointed to some books sitting on a table near us. The books were all over the funeral home. Most all had the same jacket. Photo scrapbooks his mother had made for each of her children, her grandchildren and even the great grandchildren. He showed us his book. It was meticulously put together. Each child from newborn to just recently. Her precise handwriting adding details to each photo. He said his mother gifted the grandchildren with their books on the occasion of their weddings.

A loving mother and some good kids. Some good kids and a loving mother.

My kids will miss me when I’m gone, I know this to be true. I sure hope when it happens (when I die young of old age) that they can mill about a funeral home surrounded by good friends. I hope they tell funny stories and pour over old pictures.

It seems to take some of the burden off.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Mystery Of The Sneaky Censorship At Marmie’s Library…..

Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Or a good book?

I love both and have spent more time than I care to admit trying to remember the name of the first mystery book that ever held my attention. It was read to my 3rd grade class by our teacher. I can’t remember her name either, only that she wore pearls, and smelled nice. The same pearls and the same fragrance everyday. I never minded when she leaned over my desk, trying for all she was worth to help me understand a simple math problem. Her perfume and the smell of peppermint on her breath made it quite pleasurable, and because I was no math wizard she spent lots of time at my desk, delighting my olfactory.

While I hated most every other part of organized education, I loved Reading Time. Every day after lunch, our belly’s full and a bit sleepy, we students would put our heads down on our desk, faces turned toward teacher and we'd listen while she read. She used different voices for all the characters and it was almost as fun as being at the movies.

The book may have been called “The Little White Schoolhouse Mystery” or “The Little White Farmhouse Mystery" ?????

I’m still looking.

My family is full of readers. My Marmie especially devours books. She literally pulls one up to her face, buries her nose, and in what seems like only a matter of a couple of hours you’ll hear her sigh loudly as she removes her big reading glasses and closes the back cover. As if she’s just finished a delectable lobster dinner and is wiping the last bit of dripped melted butter off her chin, "Mmmmm" she'll softly say "now that was good”.

Since she’s retired and sticks to a budget Marmie borrows her books rather than buy them. She borrows arm loads of books at a time. Yesterday she mentioned to me that someone is censoring the books she reads. The borrowed library books have words crossed out. The words being crossed out aren’t what are generally considered really filthy cuss words... words like f.u.c.k or c.u.n.t.

Instead, someone is crossing out words they obviously consider blasphemous, words like goddamit, and Jesus Christ.

Marmie usually chooses her piles of books from the “New” shelf at the library and the last 10 or so books she’s borrowed have been censored. Someone is reading these books, every page, censorship ready pen in hand. The whole word is not blackened out, just a few lines through the middle, enough of it shows through so she can read what is supposed to be there.

Even still….Marnie is furious and has every right to be.

It is illegal to censor books in a public library in the United States of America where we greatly value our freedom of speech, in any form.

Author’s make word choices and those choices should be respected.

If you don’t like what someone writes, don’t read it.

As a parent I can understand and appreciate having a right to censor what my children read, but this censorship is taking place at a public library, a public library folks in the adult section….

Marmie is a super sleuth who loves a good mystery. I hope this Jerry Farwell wannabe, the reading missionary with the censoring pen is discovered or outed soon. I can tell Marmie is anxious to turn her full attention back to all those wonderful lobster dinners just waiting to be devoured.

Marmie so engrossed in her novel she forgot that she forgot to put on her bathing suit top...

Friday, March 19, 2010

How is everything?

I'm not embarrassed to admit that I like to complain a lot. Call it a case of chronic indignation if you like cause that really truly is what it is.

I think my points are valid, honest I do.

I don't like to be screwed, taken advantage of or made to look like a fool...who does?

Some people don't sweat what could be called "the small stuff"...and that's fine, to each his own.

I'll sweat enough for the lot of us.

Like at Micky D's when they put onions on my cheeseburger, when I specifically and politely ask for onion free...should I just shut up and eat it?

Daddio says yes, shut up and eat it.

That man could be served a dog turd on a bun and when the waitress came by to inquire as to its enjoyable palatability, Daddio (mouth full) would smile and mutter "fine, it was fine".

"Couldn't I at least just mention the fact that the turd was a bit overdone" I might beg Daddio.

"Just shut up and eat yours, you need the protein." would more than likely be his answer.

I'm not mean or belittling or condescending when I complain, I just want things to be as they were promised, or advertised.

My actions sometimes embarrass my family greatly. And it deep down hurt once when after a big ordeal small incident at a Michael's Crafts store where I was forced to march down an aisle and dramatically rip a sign off of a display because Ms Cashier couldn't find the sale item listed in her store circular and therefore it was not on sale and I must be totally off my rocker to be so insistent that the something I was purchasing was cheaper than it was ringing up. She didn't have to say cheapskate.... her loud sigh and over the top eye roll said it loud and clear.

Stomping back to the front of the line, whipping past the 35 customer backup in line behind me, I threw the sign down on the counter....

"Here, right here, see,     like    I     said    six    times    these   items    are    on    sale."

She begrudgingly took the three cents off of each bead, all 100 of them.

I turned and bent to be eye level with my very embarrassed children and said " I'm very sorry that I had to do this, but sometimes you just have to prove your point, it is not how much money I is the principal of the matter".

"It's okay mom" Sweet Prince Buttercup said "were used to this, you do this crap everywhere we go".

I've gotten calls recently from my darling daughter. She's been doing a lot of shopping lately and has had her "I ain't takin no shit" attitude tested. She has told many a victory tale. I am pleased as pie that she is passing this essential life skill with flying colors.

A chip off the ol' block.

I can't say the same for my sons...I am more than 100% positive, that on a regular basis, they eat rabbit pellets and dog turds without complaint.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is it just me....????

Or is there a striking resemblance?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Goddaughter is famous....(well, sorta)

When I called my Goddaughter (she is also my cousin) the other day to ask how her recent round of cancer treatments had gone, she responded with "WONDERFUL, I FEEL GREAT"

"Have you talked to my dad lately? Lately as in the last- few- days lately?" She asked.

I told her I hadn't and she proceeded to tell me that the most wonderful thing happened to her.

She told of writing a letter to President Obama and of getting a hand written, SIGNED response.

When I screamed into the phone she said, "Ohhh wait, it gets better".

"The White House called me!!!....ME!!! THE WHITE HOUSE CALLED ME!!!!! she could barely contain her excitement.

"OH MY GOD!!!" I could barely contain MY excitement....

"WAIT.....WAIT, it gets better!!!!!

She went on to tell me that someone from the Washington Post came to her Monroe home and treated her family to dinner. They wanted her to know how much the President had appreciated her letter and to let her know that they planned to run her story in their paper as early as this week.

This young woman is a true inspiration to me. She's had some really big mountains to climb during her short stint here on this earth...and in spite of her numerous uphill battles she's managed to hold on to her positive outlook and unique, wicked sense of humor.

PS....Someone called a well known "reporter" at the Detroit Free Press and asked her if she was interested in covering this story...that reporter hopped right on it and the rest as they say, is history.

Read all about IT below....

PS....They did manage to forget one little detail in the story...her middle name, Elizabeth (after me).

I wonder if it's too late to call the Washington Post and get that tidbit added???? ;-)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lenten hedges........

As a good Catholic I was taught that we were to make sacrifices during Lent. Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. The Lenten season lasts for 40 days.

Years ago when I was a Hershey addict I'd make the huge sacrifice of giving it up every year. Giving up Hershey chocolate was no small feat for me.This Intervention candidate chocoholic had it hidden in stashes all over the house.

Every once in a while a miniature family member would stumble upon one of my hiding spots. They would stomp, loot in hand, into the room where I was lounging and announce "I found one of mom's stashes" face would flame, not so much embarrassed as pissed. Wow, I'd think those little bastards kids are on to me.

Daddio didn't understand how chocolate chip cookies or chocolate ice cream were on my okay to eat list, even Oreo's made the cut...."I thought you gave up chocolate?" He would ask.

"NOOOO...I gave up Hershey's chocolate." He didn't get it.

"So, it would be okay for a recovering alcoholic to drink beer because beer is not vodka?" He'd pester on.

A "shut up and worry about your own soul." usually closed his piehole.

For 40 long (and very miserable) days I abstained from eating Hershey's anything. Around 11:30 pm on the Saturday night before Easter Sunday I'd start watching the clock and at the stroke of midnight I'd slip my shaking hand into a bag of Hershey kisses and eat till I was sick.

In the morning, still hung-over, I'd raid the kid's baskets looking for more.

I gave up Hersheys for quite a few years until the kids suggested that maybe I should sacrifice even more.

They wanted me to give up yelling and swearing at other drivers. I obliged them and turned into a driving doormat. Suffering the indignity of being tailgated and worse and having to just smile and take it.

I became a wimp and a puss, in other words a wuss.

In place of my usual "you dirty rotten tailgatin sonofabitcheeeeeeeep" I said instead "have a blessed day."

Of course when I'd slip up every once in a while and holler and cuss at a pedestrian or two, or a dummy on a bike, the kids would remind me of my sacrifice.

" aren't supposed to swear at people" they'd say "remember you gave it up for Lent."

'That guy's on a bike, he's not in a car. Assholes People on bikes or walking don't count", I'd rationalize.

I'm attempting to give up gossiping this year. I've decided that if it is something that I would say to someone's face, then it really isn't gossiping and so I'm doing my normal amount of sharing my strong opinions and facts about others with others.

Watching my family sacrifice this Lent has been tough, they've given up some of their favorite things.  I felt some of Googie's pain this morning when I went for some milk.

She gave up pop for Lent and taped to a bottle of Vernors, one of her favorite kinds, was this note...

Googie, a bit of advice. Next year when you decide to give up "pop" it would be helpfull to you to be a bit more specific.

Monday, March 15, 2010


"We say that a girl with her doll anticipates the mother. It is more true, perhaps, that most mothers are still but children with playthings." 
~ F. H. Bradley

When I was five or six I got a Thumbelina doll for Christmas. I'd been begging for her for months. She was a sweet pint sized doll, with golden hair and rosebud lips, and I loved her like no other.

Later, I begged for and got a new doll.

She had golden hair and rosebud lips too.

I took her everywhere with me.

Just like my other doll, this one was nice to sleep with.

"Most mothers are still but children with playthings."

I'm beyond blessed to have a doll like this...I love her like no other.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Foaming at the mouth.....

I woke up this morning somewhat tense and in the foulest of foul moods. It took a couple of minutes for me to realize that I was stressing over a dream.

In the dream I was talking to a woman on the phone, it appeared from our conversation that she was from the bank. By the things she was saying I took it that she was going over each and every one of our check/debit card transactions.

One by one she listed where we'd shopped and what we spent.

As she continued, I figured she may be instead from a debt solutions place. She commented on our every purchase.

Line by line she read and reacted.

I didn't feel any rationalization was due when she started picking on large purchase(s) from Perfumania.

Or the one from Victoria's Secret.

I hated being treated like an errant child.

I was starting to get real pissed off until she said "Ummm, here is a $364.00 purchase made at the Rockwood Bar and Grill".


"And how long ago was that" I snapped.

"Two days ago" she answered.

"How could someone spend $364.00 at the Rockwood Bar and Grill?" I continued.

I was starting to get a bit indignant, I just knew this was some kind of stupid bank mistake.

"It was spent on a gambling machine" she quiped "and staff tips".

My chest tightened, my face flushed.....

I was going to kill that freakin man...that idiot. The inconsiderate, selfish clod. How dare he!!! He was gonna pay for this one. And big.

Daddio gambling at the Rockwood Bar and Grill!!! Maybe he bought himself a couple of lap dances too while he was there.

(Pooooor pooooor poor Daddio. He doesn't gamble, nor use his debit card for anything other than an occasional gallon or two of gas or a set of guitar strings. There is no Rockwood Bar and Grill. And according to Daddio himself, who swears on all that is holy, that he's never ever paid anyone to squat on his lap and least he doesn't ever remember ever doing something as vile and rotten as that.)

I'll be spending today making things up to him...I growled and tried to bite him when he leaned in to give me a good morning smooch.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hen tales.....

We have the most delicious parties my sisters and me. When our kids were small we'd have our once a week "Hens". It was a way to stay connected to each other; it got us out of the house for a couple of hours which refreshed us for another week of motherhood. They were as necessary to our survival as food and water.

In case you may be wondering..."What exactly is a hen?"

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, ( and in later hens) one or two odd ball children, a much loved couple and a delightful new honorary family member.

In the beginning the rules were crystal clear....

No (rotten azz) men.
No (rotten azz) kids.

Our hens have evolved over the years to sometimes include children...(even hairy ones that pee standing up). This is especially true of birthday hens. The more the merrier is the motto.

Last night's (birthday) hen had us talking about the strange phenomenon that occurs when a person sees another person pull out a tube of Chap Stick (Carmax, Lip Balm)...unless you've survived a Michigan winter you have no true understanding how absolutely dire it is to have some kind of something to smear on your lips. That something needs to be within arms reach at all times...

One quick notice of that familiar yellow jarred Carmax in someone else's hand and in a span of mere seconds my lips go from simply hanging out on my face to being noticeably tight, parched, dehydrated, dried out, dried up, scorched, searing, burning blobs of puffed tissue that need some moisture. And fast! 

Don't look to your tongue to provide any hydration during one of these episodes. Your tongue, usually supple and moist, feels dried and tumbleweed.

Well, desperate times call for desperate measures....and if a desperate search to the bottom of one's pigpen purse doesn't turn up a mini jar of Vaseline or a tube of Carmex that person could become desperate enough to ask a total stranger for squirt or a dab or a dribble...anything to put out the lip fire.

I've been there.

This same phenomenon occurs with hand lotion...once when Googie was in the fifth grade she noticed a classmate moisturizing her hands. Googie's pint sized, instantly dry as a bone paws ached for a cure. She got up all her nerve and asked for a squirt.

The mean girl denied her request.

No, she couldn't spare a smidgen.

Googie's hands would have cried if she'd had any liquid left in them at all.

She claims to have never spoken another word to the girl who left her chapped and burning.

And some 11 years later she still holds a grudge.

We laughed at the uniformity of our human experience... all of us agreed dry hands, chapped lips, and mean girls suck.

Later, in the living room, (just as he knew they would when he snuggled up to her knees) Aunt Mick's hands found their way onto Bear's sore shoulders and he melted into one of her famous backrubs.

You know there is this strange phenomenon that occurs when we see someone getting a back rub......

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I cleaned my glasses....

This is what I used....

God's joy moves from unmarked box to unmarked box,
from cell to cell. As rainwater, down into flower bed.
As roses, up from ground.
Now it looks like a plate of rice and fish,
now a cliff covered with vines,
now a horse being saddled.
It hides within these,
till one day it cracks them open

("Unmarked Boxes" ~ Rumi)

I'm hoping to see things better now.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Only when I have to......

The scowling, tattooed man beckons “Come, come, come, come, come on….” his hand frantically motions me toward him.

When I hesitate, his gestures become more wild. “This way, this way” he yells pointing.

I timidly inch my way toward his pointing. I’m so scared of falling off the edge, I creep along.

When I finally reach the place he wants me to be he stops yelling.

He frowns, then shakes his head.

His bony, dirty finger points again, this time to a sign.

I read, then obey.

I feel a small jolt and begin to move forward.

The place I move into is dark and noisy.

And it smells bad.

I get the feeling I’m going to get hit from behind. I cringe and brace myself.

There is sloshing.

And whipping.

And finally a swooshing sound.

My eyebrows begin to lift toward the roof.

So do my windshield wipers. Up, up, up they go, vibrating and hitting the glass.

The roof above my head threatens to be torn off.

When a second tattooed angry looking man bangs hard on my trunk I slam the gear shift to D, punch the gas, squeal the tires, and get the holy hell outta there.

Car washes scare the shit out of me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pining for Kanas....

Daddio and I were invited to a friend’s 40th birthday party, which took place last night. He had a gig and wasn’t able to make it (not that he'd have gone if he had absolutely nothing else in this world to do but trim his toenails, but this way he did have a credible out).

Mere seconds into my arrival to the party site I had a strong yearning to pull out a pen and a notebook, Harriet the Spy style.

Everywhere I looked, notebook worthy characters held up walls and leaned against bar stools holding pool cues or half empty beer bottles.

Too many notes and not enough napkins. So I took off my Harriet cap and slipped into David Letterman mode.

My Top Ten ...Reasons Why  You/Your Look Inspires spontaneous hysterical snickering List didn’t get off the ground (I was scared my pointing and laughing was gonna earn me an ass kickin)

 So I moved on...

To a Glamour’s Don’t and Don‘t Ever list.

1. Waist length silver hair. (This Don’t counts as two if you’re a man)

2. Basketball shorts and dress shirts. (buddy, where is your tie? Duh)

3. Sunglasses after dark. (Hard to read your poker hand in a dark bar)

4. In your face cleavage. (Holy crap... is that cleavage or is she nursing bald twins?)

5. Age spotted, wrinkled décolletés decorated with ornate rhinestone crosses. (Just plain ewwww)

6. Harold hitting on Maude. ( “huh?” click here)

And a Do……

1. It is perfectly acceptable to pretend you’re a lesbian in order to avoid  and ward off “The Pickup Artist”.

The whole evening was like an episode of The Twilight Zone.

Strange and a bit scary.

When my overactive imagination took me to a place where I felt like a working extra on That 70’s Show or Pulp Fiction….I made like Dorothy Gale and clicked my ruby red heels three times…

“There’s no place like home” I later told Daddio.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I love a bath.....

Many a day I get a song, usually just a snippet of a song, stuck in my head.

Sometimes it's pure hanging by your toenails would be.

Cisco Kid was a friend of mine, a perfect example.

Most times I can't for the life of me figure out what song it is that is playing (only part way) in my brain.

Where did I hear it? What is the title? What are the rest of the words?

I've gone so far as to tell Googie that I'm getting a notebook and writing down the lyrics that swirl in my noggin...surely they will connect, in all their unorganized and scattered beauty, and provide me with a message.

A message from the universe?

From God?

Just for the record (in case my message hunch is correct) I don't think that I've ever done anything rotten enough for God to sentence me to a couple of days long "Cisco Kid " mind take over.

Sometimes it really does feel like some kind of horrible punishment.

Other times, the lyrics and melodies that I hum and sing out loud in the car are like a cheap therapy.

For days its been these words.....

"My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me...."

That's all I could remember.

Finally, I Googled them.

I was embarrassed when Amazing grace popped up.

"My chains are gone, I've been set free", talk about a tranqualizer.

Oliver Wendell Homes says, "Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body."

This little doozie ... is a soul jacuzzi.

And this one .... a soul waterfall.

Music and baths...what amazing gifts.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's all relative.....

This tiny ladybug, maybe I should call her a babybug was making the rounds of my kitchen counter a few days ago. I normally kill anything that walks on my counters, but she was so damn cute, I just let her be.

She was the smallest ladybug I'd ever seen, and I delighted in watching her explore. When she climbed aboard a penny I ran for my camera.

I thought I'd post the picture on my Picture a Day blog . The ironic relativity of this little itty bitty bug being dwarfed even further by this little money had me thinking I wanted to use this picture somewhere else.

Tomorrow my baby boy will play his last high school basketball game. He'll be playing in the Playoffs, but Thursday will be the last home game.
I've dreaded this day for as long as my boys have played ball.

I wondered if I would sit in the stands, tears running down my cheeks hoping no one was looking. I was quite sure that that is how our last game would play out.

My son has had a really hard year, basketball wise. His brother was a high school basketball star and he too was a standout. Their three point shots a family tradition and source of pride.

Until this year.

We all tried to figure out what the hell was up with the kid. Daddio blamed the fact that he didn't practice much over the summer. I blamed the coach. I wanted to jump on his back and sink my buck teeth into top of his balding head (he really is a nice man, but you know how mothers are, right?). My son's girlfriend's father blamed his very own daughter for Bear's surprisingly poor game average. And coach said it was a problem with confidence.

Either way, about 8 games back the coach benched my son. The co-captain of the team was no longer a starter.

He'd been a starter since 3rd grade.

Ouch, this hurt. REALLY REALLY BADLY.

It hurt all of us. During the singing of the National Anthem, I'd sneak a peek at him, while he stood in line waiting for the song to end and the game to begin, I watched for signs of where his heart and his ego stood.

It hurt to think he was embarrassed. Or, disappointed in himself.

When it first happened, I ordered Daddio (if you know Daddio personally, you would know there is no ordering him to do anything) to call the coach and talk with him.

When he refused, I rattled his cage. I poked at him. I ranted and raved.

"Call that asshole and call him NOW!!!" I hissed.

Daddio told our son that if any call was going to be made it should come from the boy himself. That if he was unhappy about his bench warming/non starting position that he needed to call the coach and express his feelings.

This wasn't a small thing Daddio was asking his son to do.

Step up, be a man, take care of your business.

As stupid as this sounds, I cried (seriously cried) for two hours after this conversation. Daddio had gone to rehearsal and the boy had left to visit his girlfriend and when I was all alone I held one of the biggest pity parties of my life.

Never in a million years did I think Bear would make that call. An hour or so later he called to let me know that while his sweetie tanned, in the privacy of his car,  he called his coach and asked "why? and "for how long?" and all the other questions he needed answered.

In my eyes my soft spoken, shy boy became a man that night.

Tomorrow night I'll be so sad to see it come to an end.

But I'll also be so happy that it's over.

I can't believe I made such a big deal out of high school basketball. In the grand scheme of is only high school basketball.

I am so proud of the way my son handled this bump in the road.

With patience, and grace and maturity.

Much better than his mother actually.

I hope he realizes that his life will be filled with things (problems, situations) that feel incredibly large and complicated, but when put into perspective are really quite surmountable and of course never as large as they may appear.

My wishes and hopes and dreams for him go sooooo much deeper than him doing well in basketball.

With that said, I'm still hoping for a three point jumper tomorrow.

Thanks, as always, for listening. xoxoxo

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What's mine is yours....????

My newlywed son called the other day in a foul mood.

He explained that he and his blushing bride had been arguing.

"She used my toothbrush mom" he hollered.

"It was all wet and gross". He ranted.

"Your dad and I shared many a toothbrush" I told him.

I would catch the cat on the counter licking one and I would pitch it. Forget to replace it and we'd be forced to share. Same thing when one would fall into the bathroom trash or into the toilet.

"I found it romantic, in a strange sort of way"  I told my boy.

I could hear him smile.

Pick and choose your battles wisely son.

I posted the above lil story on my moms website yesterday....and it got some funny responses...most of which began with YUCK.

And included gag, puke, GROSS...

One uppity sort (;-) reported, "I won't even share a bathroom with him".

Another said, " My toothbrush doesn't even associate with theirs in the same toothbrush holder."

One wise woman said...."well they do so many other things together, not the least of which is a deep kiss, which is pretty much the same, right?"

I agree.

And I don't get what all the fuss is about?

In my minds eye I'm sitting at my grandmother's kitchen table. A newlywed myself. We somehow got onto the subject of oral sex. I think she'd read a statistic concerning the number of woman who "indulged".


She was on a roll.....



(Ish was the absolute lowest of low, grossest of gross, nastiest of nasty..Ish-puke even worse.... absolutely, positively hor-ri-ble).

"Can you BELIEVE THAT???CAN YOU????" grandma shrieked.

"No, I can't grandma" I dutifully answered.

Well, to each his grandpa used to say.

Poor guy.

Monday, March 1, 2010


It's been a strange existence around our house since Daddio has been laid off.

Sundays are especially hard.

I know it's not right, but I am getting an odd little kick out of hearing him say things to the kids, things like "if you'd pick your damn clothes up off of the floor and get them into the hamper (you know....that hamper right outside your bedroom door??) I would wash them for you, everyday, and I wouldn' t be looking at a full hamper every Sunday night, and I wouldn't be trippin over them when I have to go into your room to turn off the fan you left on".

"Fans use electricity, you know".

"And electricity costs money".

"And...your clothes thrown all over the floor, bunched up next to that running fan could cause a fire"

"I don't want any more plates of food brought into your bedroom".

"It's starting to smell like a Denny's in there".

"No wonder we don't have any glasses, they're all under your bed".

"I not surprised you're sick all the time. It can't be healthy breathing all those dirty uniform fumes".

We drive him nuts every weekend. Underfoot. Laying around. Messing up his clean house and his routine.

"I can't wait for Monday" he now says.

I love those times when Daddio seems to "get me".

He now totally understands why I used to get absolutely giddy every Sunday night.