Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Woe is me....

I had so many stories to tell you, but a stomach bug derailed my plans.

So yeah Thanksgiving is sooo last week...but if you don't mind I'd like to share a few tidbits with you.

Thanksgiving day at my sister (who doesn't read this blog) 's house was a lot of fun.

In typical Susan fashion she set one of the most beautiful tables I've ever seen.  (This picture honestly does it no justice)

Susan's lovely table

When I walked into the room and saw the festive table it triggered all sorts of horrible childhood memories.

Memories of that little hootchie out-doing me.

It took me right back to grandma's house and Barbie dolls.

And Susan's Barbie mansion.

Which really was all that and more.

Susan would con our grandmother out of a couple of her fancy-dancy paper towels to make matching bedspreads and curtains.

And sometimes grandma even let her have two different patterns, so she could do more than one bedroom.

On the walls of Susan's Barbie mansion were miniature replicas of famous art work...she'd cut pictures out of catalogs and magazines.

Then fashion frames out of toothpicks to outline them.

Which she either painted or colored to compliment the picture it held.

My Barbie house was a bit of a hot mess.

And so we didn't spend much time there.

Instead we visited Susan at her Barbie's mansion.

Where green with envy, I'll admit, I didn't play very nice.

My jealousy manifested itself by coming out in aggressive Barbie play.

My Barbies were the mean girls.

They'd visit Susan and her dolls and wreck havoc on her lovely home.

For instance, after a night of heavy partying my Barbie would crash at Susan's mansion and in a drunkin stupor she'd pee the bed.

Soaking and destroying Susan's lovely bedspread.

Sometimes my Barbie and her boyfriend Banana Head (some Brillo-pad textured yellow-headed GI Joe knockoff) would get into a knock-down drag-out fist fight at her mansion and tear the place up.

It got to the point that Susan didn't invite me and my Barbies to play at her Barbie mansion.

And I found out a couple of years ago that since that time Susan had been holding a grudge.

It all came out when she refused to allow me to play Barbies with her young daughter.

"Aunt Beth doesn't like to play Barbies" she carefully explained....then hissed in a low voice so that only I could hear "she's a FREAK".

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day 2010

2010...it still kills me to write (or type) that on things.

I'm truly shocked at the passage of time.

Just yesterday while eating lunch one of my co-workers talked about being born in 1986.

Yikes...in 1986 I was 27 years old.

It's 2010 which means I've been occupying space on this planet for 51 years.

And so in 51 years one can gather lots of things to be thankful for.

I won't bore you with a list.

Suffice it to say that a set of beloved parents, awesome siblings, a loving and good man for my husband and three of the most wonderful children that ever lived do top my list.

Having a nice job, one that I love also has me feeling full of thankfulness, most days anyway.

A couple of four legged pains in the ass.

And a sturdy roof over my head.

I'm thankful that my 28 year old food processor still  helps me churn out the pumpkin rolls year after year.

And that Googie now wants to help me make them.

Well, maybe not help, but she is starting to watch me while I work my kitchen magic..that in itself is huge people..HUGE.

Every single Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, the kids could find me at the kitchen counter, apron splattered with egg yokes and powdered sugar making pumpkin rolls (and a huge ass mess).

In my kitchen the under the counter radio played a cassette of Christmas songs.

The cassette was a cheap one that held about four songs per side.

I only liked one side and played it over and over and over while I baked.

Nat King Cole's A Christmas Song was the first song on the cassette and my favorite.

When I would hear the school bus come down the street I would hit rewind and wait about 30 seconds to hit the play button...

Just as the first bars began the door would fly open...

"Ohhh man, moms at it again" The Sweet Prince Buttercup would holler.

And as each child came home I would do the same thing.

So it became a tradition.

Until last year when I lost the cassette.

Which I couldn't have used anyway since I have a new under the counter unit that plays CD's instead.

Yesterday as I worked I listened to another cheap Christmas CD from my collection... sadly it just wasn't the same.

Googie and Trouble sat at the breakfast bar and called out ingredients to me as I baked.

I love traditions and I love that my kids love tradition.

Thanksgiving day 2010 I obviously have tons to be thankful for.

Before dawn I found myself with an ear to ear smile when I saw this sitting next to the coffee pot this morning...Trouble promised to make me a new day before Thanksgiving traditional Christmas Song CD (just exactly like the lost cassette)...and he delivered (just like I knew he would).

Oh and left next to my new CD was a dessert plate with a forgotten blue-ish green blob sitting next to an orange tulip, I plucked it off and dropped it into the garbage.

The Divine Miss M (the love of Bear's young life) most certainly left it there.

She chews lots of gum and she giggles a lot too.

Seems Bear has picked a girl just like the girl that married his dear old dad.

Happy Thanksgiving Day....may your blessings be many.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

on being Jamaican.....

My sister Susan calls me a Jamaican.

With all due respect, she is basing her assessment of the appropriate-ness of this nickname on a skit from Saturday Night Live.

On this particular Saturday Night Live skit the Jamaicans are portrayed as an abnormally hard working bunch.

They've lots of jobs and are always thinking of ways to make a buck.

Not to get rich, but more to make ends meet.

Although I guess if one got rich on the way there would be no complaints.

Bear, my youngest son takes after me in that way.

He's not one to sit idly by and go broke, or without.

So he does what he's got to do...he tinks up big tings as a way to make "it" work.

A few years back he decided that he wanted to buy a new game system using his birthday money, the plan had a fatal flaw, he didn't get enough money in his birthday cards for that large a purchase.

If you'd been able to observe him in the days following his birthday you would have totally seen the wheels turning in his head as he tried desperately to figure out a solution to his deh pon di gully side.

Bobbaat! if that little sucka didn't think up the most crawful plan.

He'd buy up all the old games his friends wanted to get rid of, paying the same low cash price that the video game store was paying.

He then took the used games to the video store himself and turned them in for store credit which was much more generous than the cash offering.

He had enough to then buy the system and a new game....

 To di worl!!!!!

In other words...poooo poooo p freakin do...

For his real and official job Bear is employed at McDonald's where he claims he's getting lots of pimples and not a ton of cash per hour.

I think it does him good to see how the other half lives...

An honest way to make a buck, however, he's determined that this will not be his life's work.

 But for the time being it will do.

Bear has lots of aspirations and most of them require more flow than he can make in a reasonable amount of time working at MickyD's.

Things like buying his lovely girlfriend a hot meal on Saturday nights.

Or keeping a cheap gym membership going.

I had the usual mixture of pride and "what in the hell do you think you are doing now...?" feeling when I saw this sitting on the laundry room shelf...

Far be it for me to live a luu, so I left it there and filled it as I stumbled upon loose change left in pockets and found in the bottom of the washing machine.

And memba mi tell yu...dis kid gonna make it mon.

Key to Jamaican slang expressions used in this moving essay.... ;-)
Deh pon di gully side A difficult (usually economic) situation
Bombaat! Expression of awe
Crawful Outrageously good
To di worl!!!!! Expression of approval
Live a luu Spoil the plan
Memba mi tell yu Listen up, take note

PS... I missed you, and if you are reading this I thank you for coming back.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Street cred...

Yesterday, bittersweet. One of my very favorite loveables of all time got terminated.

Set free, at least from our juvenile system.

I asked about his "last meal" and he said he wanted fried ice-cream.

Or mud cake with gummy worms.

I made the cake in the morning and before lunch ran out to get him a card and a little something.

This kid is one who worries me in lots of ways. Just this week he jumped out of a moving car and butted into a domestic issue going on in the parking lot.

The loveable, 5 feet 2 inches of pure bad-ass-ness went after a big grown man who had his finger wagging and his loud voice yelling in a woman's face.

"You don't just run up on things like that" I warn.

 "You don't know what that guy could have had in his pocket" another staff member says.

"And that guy doesn't know what I might have in mine" he replies.

I hug him at least three times before he leaves for court.

"I hope to never, ever see you again here" I say as he walks out the door.

"I'll visit as a free man, okay?" he responds.

Later, we make enchiladas in class.

It's Ground Hog's Week Month Year Day here at Day Treatment.

Today we have a few onlookers, they are new to our department.

They are commenting amongst themselves about the subjects being discussed.

I tell them that they should be around when we make pounded chicken breasts where the talk ALWAYS turns to how "I want them to beat their meat" (arrghhh..flippin idiots).

This day the loveables are hard at work wrapping/rolling tortillas.

Meat filled, bean filled, cheese only.

While they wrap they exchange small talk.

They are saying things they don't think we (the adults) understand.

So when one of them starts talking marijuana slang I wag my finger at them.

"She knows what we are talking about" another says with a smirk.

"No she don't" another one says.

"Do you think I came down with yesterday's rain?" I ask them.

"I want to grow marijuana" one of the loveables says "legally, like for sale."

"I'm going to name my store Wacky Tobacky" he continues.

"Wow" says the chef under his breath so only those very close to him hear "now that's original".

"Why is it exactly that each generation thinks they discovered, developed, masterminded EVERYTHING...????" I answer just as quietly.

As the job grows monotonous they start rolling the tortillas like they're rolling a joint.

They think they're very slick and that none of the staff is noticing what they're doing.

Finally, I have enough.

"Hey" I say as one of them finished smugly (joint) rolling his tortilla and laid it into the pan " you forgot to lick it".

And I demonstrate.

"Obviously...I am not as dumb as I look" I add.

Street cred(ibility) carries an incredible amount of weight when dealing with this know-it-all, been-there, no-body's as cool as me thug crowd.

                          * I'm not going to be posting for a week or so... I'm off to Hawaii ;-)

EDITED TO ADD....(if only in my dreams)

        Please do come back. 


Monday, November 15, 2010

Novermber 15, 2010

Dear Diary...

Yesterday was Googie's 23rd birthday. I won't bore you with writing things like "where in the hell did 23 years go?" suffice it to say that it warp sped by.

Onward then...

On Friday, which was opening night for her and Trouble's show (*1) The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, I decided to make her some birthday cupcakes to take and share with the cast ( just like I used to do when she was 6, and since I'm pining for those days gone by, it made perfect sense to do so).

Earlier in the day I found myself in the cake decorating supply store asking the clerk for a bit of help..

"I'd like to purchase some really spaw-ka-lee glitter for my little girl's birthday cupcakes" I said.

"and I also need some sugar hearts,

and some pink frosting."

When I mentioned, in my annoying clerk chatter way, that I was getting all these wonderful goodies to make some squeal worthy cupcakes for my little girl's birthday, she responded "awwww, how old is your little girl going to be?"

"She's turning 23" I said.

The clerk didn't know if she should laugh or not...


Googie loved the small cakes and squeal she did.

The next morning I made her heart shaped pancakes, a birthday tradition at our place.

And she requested spaghetti for dinner.

But they don't make heart shaped pasta, so I just made regular.

While Googie and Trouble were away performing at their matinee I invited her future in laws to join us for dinner and cake and I took to preparing the palace for guests.

In an effort to not talk my own head off while cleaning I turned on the radio and tuned it to a country station.

And dammit it all to hell if that freakin Carrie Underwood didn't come on and sing this song...

(*2) ( — September 23, 2010 — Music video by Carrie Underwood performing Mama's Song. (C) 2010 19 Recordings Limited, under exclusive license to Arista Nashville).

So after I finished mopping the placemat sized pools of alligator tears that spilled onto the kitchen table as I listened to that song (and thought for the zillionth time that Trouble is gooooood, sooooo good, and he treats my little girl just like a real man should)..I decided I needed a diversion.

And I got one on my mom's website...

Rachel Ray's recipe for Late Night Bacon...(ohhh, and the comments sooooo gooood).

(Mom click on the link below ;-)


*)The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee was theeee funniest show I've ever seen. Googie and Trouble were awesome and hilarious. I highly recommend that you see this show if you are in the area. If you are, you know how to contact me (and I hope you do).

*2) I found it very interesting that the date listed on this YouTube video was September 23rd, which is the date Googie is getting married next year...hmmmmmm.

 I just love it when stuff like that happens.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

As sure as the sun shines....

This post is a themed writing project challenge taken from Jenny Matlock over at off on my tangent.

Jenny says we can use UP to 100 words to tell our story. It can be fact or fiction. Jenny posts a few words, a prompt that we work from. This weeks prompt is in bold itallics.

Sunshine isn’t really tangible, or is it?

How could I not wish forever for something that I knew with every ounce of my being that I needed?

Like water and food.

But mostly like love.

And because I wished for it, longed for it actually, didn’t mean that I didn’t appreciate what I already had.

A bookend, a soul mate, a dot for my i.

One who understands me like no other.

Sunshine isn’t tangible, or is it?


The early November sunshine cast golden rays through the window and landed softly on an answered prayer,

my newborn baby girl.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pa pa pa PAY DAY......(ohhh yeah)

Dr Phil says that when we repeat a behavior (good or bad) we usually do it because we are expecting (and getting) a "pay-off" of some kind.

We have a relatively new loveable at work. He's been getting into and causing some trouble. He likes to sleep through class coming to lunch with odd lines and spots of redness all over his sour-puss face.

Sleep face..like bed-head, hard to miss.

Eyes down, he grunt-mumbles "thanks" or something that resembles that when I pass him the plate holding some lunch.

I make it my job, my mission, to figure out some way to figure him out.

Sometimes, their issues are too deep, too troubling, too much for a soft hearted motherly type to understand, let alone "fix".

I know I'm not there to fix them, I don't have credentials to do so ...but for some reason, I can't keep my fixing to myself.

Yesterday his Probation Officer gave it to him right before my class.

When the PO's talk, the loveables listen.

Usually with respect, and instant obedience.

Until they walk into our class kitchen.

Where their language, body and otherwise, tells the tale of their frustrations.

Yesterday, Sleepy, the red-faced loveable was in such a mood.

I told him in my motherly "I am the boss in here" fashion that maybe he should work by himself today.

That some alone time would do two things, allow him time to think, and take innocent bystanders out of the line of his "crabby-ass crossfire."

I felt a crumb being tossed my way when I thought I saw the sides of his mouth turn up.

Just a smidgen.

The "ass" remark had hit the target.

I gave him a wet cloth and the unclear (to a teen) direction to "clean the place".

I lingered in the kitchen for a bit and chatted with him while he worked.

Without trying to shove any religion down his throat I told him about a friend of mine who cleans for a living.

"You can't imagine the talks I have with God while I scrub toilets" she tells me.

Humbling work, I guess.

When I tell the loveable this I get another crumb.

"Wow" I say when I realize that I'm yakking his little red ear off  "I told you that I was going to give you some time to yourself and  I've sat in here and talked non-stop like a fool for 20 minutes".

"Yer alright" he says as he washes the stove using some old fashioned elbow grease.

I praise his work and ask him if I can take him to my house to clean?

Another crumb.

"We all want success for you" I say to him "do you  understand that?"

"Yep" he mumbles, scrubbing a stubborn spot.

I tell him a story I heard once on Oprah...(I think) a story about two wolves.

I don't remember it verbatim, so I wing it.

A grandfather often told his grandson a story about two wolves. Two very different wolves that live inside of him. "One was angry and mean and ready to fight all the time. Filled with rage, this wolf.  The other, the exact opposite. A mighty and powerful wolf too, but soft and accepting. This wolf saw good and rightness in the world and in himself." the grandfather told his young grandson.

"They fight ALL the time" grandfather said.

"Horrible fights. They will fight till one of them dies" grandfather continues.

"Which one do you think will win?" asked the young boy.

"The one that I FEED" answered the grandfather "the one that I feed, will win".

He continued scrubbing, then stopped and looked up at me.

He looked me right square in the eye and he smiled.

A really, really big genuine ear to ear smile.

"Ahhh, I get it" he said.


This day, my pay-off makes me rich beyond measure.

Image of two wolves borrowed from this website...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy....

Did you know that?

If I had a buck for every time I had a wild idea, or a not so wild idea, that was vetoed, laughed at, dismissed or otherwise shot to the ground by a no good, evil little voice spewing negatives,

the one who's only job is to make me doubt,

and second guess myself.

If I had a buck for every time I was tempted to listen, I'd be one rich ass woman.

Do you have one of those?

A voice that whispers how wrong you are?

How ill prepared?

Not enough of this or that?

I put up a pretty good fight with the little voice that has tried, on occasion, to run my life.

Some of the young people in my life...?

Not so much.

They listen,

really listen to that voice.

The one that tells them that they will fail.

That "it's" a dumb idea.

That they will never amount to anything.

That life will always be tough.

And hard.

And not worth it.

Is it just life experience that teaches us that that voice lies?

Or maybe it's life experience that tells us it doesn't?

Either way I wish so hard I could find a way to shut the nonproductive voice down.

And replace it with one that says "trust yourself".

"Everything will be alright"

"Even if it is not the right decision, you will be okay"

"You'll make it through"

"You'll land on your feet"

"Keep fighting, don't give up, dance as fast as you can, pray, hope, believe.


That is what life is all about....living.

And of course that includes making mistakes.

Which won't kill you.

Thank you for listening...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

But, I don't really like dogs...

This post is a themed writing project challenge taken from Jenny Matlock over at off on my tangent.

Jenny says we can use UP to 100 words to tell our story. It can be fact or fiction. Jenny posts a few words, a prompt that we work from. This weeks prompt is in bold itallics.

It was the 11th Anniversary of...

my oldest turning 7 when she came. At first she fit in the palm of my hand, later in a fanny pack I wore when I cleaned house. An effort to keep from stepping on her while she followed me around. She'd curl up and sleep in that pack like the baby she was and I felt needed once again. A ball of fawn colored fur, Tootsie Roll eyes, white feet no bigger than an inch on a ruler, my four-legged baby. A Chihuahua, Jersey Girl. Otherwise known as...the perfect cure for a heart soon suffering Empty Nest Syndrome

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Three hundred twenty four...

days until Googie and Trouble's big day.

7,776 hours from now I see her getting her toes painted, and her eyebrows perfected.

Some petal pink polish for her rosebud lips.

466,560 minutes from now I can see her slipping into the perfect dress, walking down a long aisle on her handsome dad's arm.

Dancing a first dance.

It just dawned on me that I have a mere 27,993,600 seconds left to find some kind of super duper strengthening material.

They just don't make umbilical cords like they used to....

The most devoted (who would ever want to leave her?) mother in the whole wide world holding the sweetest (don't go) little girl there ever was.

*In case you were wondering...This post right here, and others just like it, is the exact reason my sister Susan Marie refuses to read this blog. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

I seem to have misplaced...

the last 10 months....you too?

Here it is November 1st, 8 weeks from Christmas and 9 weeks from 2011...just a few days ago I had the satisfaction of not having to cross off and initial 2009 on the check I wrote at Meijers.

Where did this year go?

I'm not the only one suffering from what the hell day, month, year is it...?

I called The Sweet Prince Buttercup on Friday to check in.

Just as I was hanging up I said to him "Ohhh, wait a minute, before I let you go is there something.... anything that you want to say to me today?"

"Uhhhh, ummmmmmm" he stammered.

"It isn't your birthday..is it?"

(It's kinda reassuring to know I'm not the only one going senile.)

I reminded him that we celebrated my birthday over a month ago.

"Is it your anniversary then?"

(He's a good kid who sometimes needs a bit of prompting.)

For our anniversary we went on a trip.

Just Daddio and I and the open road..it was incredibly romantic.

We hit every thrift store within miles of our home looking for a black suit Daddio could wear as his Jake Blue's (Blues Brothers) costume.

"I don't think I could take the stink anyway" he eventually admitted after we'd searched every stinky store in the area and came up empty handed.

(Every store we visited had me aching to disappear and take a look around.

I knew I couldn't do any real shopping with you know who with me...

He once even accused me of buying back my own donations...)

Then on to a dreamy dinner.

Old Chicago Pizza, my choice.. I love pizza almost as much as I love Daddio and the kids.

Daddio wanted to order it well done...(yuck)

So we did...

It was burned.

Even the waitress was skeptical as she sat it on the table... "wow" she said "now that's a well done pizza"..

Daddio and I agreed, the first piece was pretty okay

Then we both almost choked on the pepperoni dust.

The pizza made it to morning on the counter..

The ultimate test that proved it was garbage.

All weekend long I suffered a horrible headache.

Brain tumor?


I was near Googling "flattering black dress" for my own funeral when I suddenly remembered getting blasted from behind by a lady with a very powerful sneeze last week at church.

Probably just a virus.

My weekend in a nutshell.

Oh, that and I finally got an answer to one of my age old questions...

What the hell kind of crazy ass people dress up their pets????

Those with no tiny people around, that's who.

Princess Ruby and Christmas Carole Jersey waiting
patiently for the holiday games to begin.

Edited to add: I wanted to make sure that I told you how much I appreciated the very sweet happy anniversary comments, I really did appreciate them..you are all too kind. xoxo