Friday, December 30, 2011

The Dutchess of Notadamnthing shares a Royal Review....

Daddio and I were spoiled rotten by our children this Christmas.

They gifted us with their presence and with a shit load of presents... it was awesome (and a bit embarrassing)...

I mean when the kids each get a couple of gifts and Daddio and I are nearly buried alive in packages..on a level or two it didn't feel right..

ohhh, eff dat crap, it felt utterly amazing.

Since becoming a Mrs. Goog has been telling me about the finer things in life, like really expensive sheets.

I feel about sheets like I feel about wrapping paper... total waste of flow.

Like a plastic store sack that is good enough to carry your cans and a loaf of bread so is a utility cotton cover for your mattress.

Daddio and I inherited some standard sized sheets (and some mismatched pillow cases) from Marmie when she moved.

And then at some point we were forced to purchase a set or two to go on our waterbed when we turned cool and bought one.

(Three pregnancies sleeping on a water bed, both a blessing and a curse... easy to sleep on my stomach, impossible to get out of)...

speaking of impossible to get out of, that king sized water bed was continually being filled not only with water but with children who woke scared in the middle of the night and slept-walked from the comfort of their own beds/cribs to climb in nice and cozy next to mom and dad..when we added the dog and cat to the mix Daddio was forced to cry "uncle" and the kids were told it was them or us...

in other words, Sir Daddio made a declaration that from here to forth no more rotten little fish outta water like sleep mates were to adorn our sleeping quarters...

A new (Queen sized, of course) bed was purchased and our offspring were offered a sleep mat on the floor to which they could flock should they be fearful of gargoyles or mean spirited ghosts and such in the middle of the night

(Evidence that the big guy does have a heart of gold)

And so forth and so on we've happily existed with sheets (two sets) one from some cheap retail chain and the other from IKEA... (a great buy at 20 bucks a set).

For 29 years of marriage that could and very well may be some kind of record.

Speaking of records, my poor kids suffered with cheap sheets too.

You do the Calculus... if given the choice between $125.00 Nike basketball shoes or a set of sheets... just sayin.

So this Christmas Daddio and I were gifted our very first ever really decent set of sheets.

I washed them, and was beyond delighted that there seemed to be an unusually large proportion of good quality material (the better to stretch my dear over the entire side of the mattress and make it's way down to fit generously yet securely around the bottom corners)...

Later when we climbed into bed Daddio and I had a moment to stretch down into the sheets and see if we could feel a difference...

We agreed the sheets felt thicker than we're used to... (and a bit colder)

They felt heavy, but a good heavy.

"They feel like hotel sheets!!!" Daddio exclaimed.

Minus the bed bugs...

(And that right there folks is how the other half lives...)

Queen Elzbieta, signing off... toodles

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dear Salvation Army...

What the hell was up this year?

I mean, where in the hell were all your bell ringers...?

I totally am compelled to shove at least a folded buck into each and every red bucket I see when I walk out of a store..

And for some reason there were not many red buckets out this year.

Filling each bucket I see adds up to quite a nice amount (from ME alone) for the Salvation Army.

I walk in and out of a lot of stores each holiday season.

Salvation Army bell ringers earn minimum wage (maybe less) and sometimes they are volunteers..

Trouble's grandmother worked as a volunteer ringer on one of the coldest days Michigan has ever known (last year).

It seems like they get the most cheerful, humble people to ring the bell.

I'm not gonna lie, from the bell ringer I expect a payback of some sort when I toss in my folded dollar.. in addition to the back pat I give myself I want something from them..

a "thank you"

a "Merry Christmas"

a "God bless you"...

something, anything to acknowledge my gift.

And I've never been disappointed, until this season.

They sent a dud to the store I frequent most.

Not just a dud, the man they sent to my local Kroger had no angel on his shoulder... he had a boulder sized chip.

And a cell phone

and a texting problem

complete with what appeared to be a personality defect.

On top of that, he didn't give a shit...

My Kroger store has an entrance that is attached to the exit... an open area (where the carts are stored) separate the two...

so each and every time I walked in, I could see him.

Often times he'd be standing with his back to the bucket, punching little buttons on his phone.

Some days I'd see him sitting on a shelf, hiding behind the crane machine, fiddling with his phone.

Other days, I'd see his bucket... but no sign of him.

I'd look for him and I'd find him sitting on the curb smokin a smoke, doing what else? hitting buttons.

The one and only time I shoved in my share he didn't even move a facial muscle.

or open his mouth... (of course his fingers were a movin across the key board of his phone...)

One day when following a wobbly old woman out of Kroger's, a bill clutched between her weathered, bony fingers, she paused, then struggled to get it into the small, cross shaped opening into the red bucket, I was stopped behind her and forced to watch her work in order to donate.

The Bell Ringer thoughtfully moved his phone to his other hand... and helped her shove it in.

He then went right back to his cell phone texting conversation... or maybe it was an intense game of Angry Birds...what-evvvvv-er

"HEY bout a "THANKS" and a "MERRY CHRISTMAS" for this lady...???"

some crazy person (me) yelled.

He mumbled something and tucked himself back into the spot behind the crane machine.

I would love to be privvy to the knowledge of what the Salvation Army's take was from that one particular bucket spot...

I am 100% positive they suffered a loss from previous years.

In this case, that loss had NOTHING to do with a poor economy and everything to do with a poor hiring and follow up process...

Dear Salvation Army...please send us a good one next year, needy people are counting on you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

While visions of sugar plums danced in her head....

If I had a nickel for every time I had some hair brained idea that started as a nugget of gold in my heart and blossomed into a hair brained plan that tried really hard to live up to my expectations.. yet managed to fall flat on its face and melt like butter on a scalding hot sidewalk I'd probably be having a secretary typing this blog for me...

and a butler to tie my shoes,

and a personal chef,

and someone to hand feed me (peeled) purple grapes...

I'd be that damn filthy rich.

One of those nuggets had me daydreaming about the loveables doing some type of giving back random act of kindness this holiday season.

They had a few bucks in a stash they'd earned by doing a recycling project.

Not really enough to make a dent in my fantasy project.

But,  (if their fearless leader had enough ballzs) we could borrow from the general fund and pay it back later with a bake sale or some other low paying big-ass project.

(She (me) was stupid enough to gather those borrowed funds)

I spouted my poetry laden, watercolor, misty eyed game plan to the thugs and they grunted their approval..

Ohhhh, this was going to be simply lovely... I could feel it in my bones.

With a hundred bucks burning a hole in my pocket I drove to the big box Meijer store in our town.

I spoke with the manager and told him that a gang of thugs group of teens, a group of staff and I would be there around lunch time to scope out his customers and choose a few at random to receive gifts cards (in ten dollar increments) to spend in his store.

"No one has done anything like that here, I don't think" he said with a big grin.

Back at the Mill we gathered the posse and armed them with poinsettia decorated papers proclaiming the receiver "A recipient of a random act of kindness" which were to be given, with the gift cards and a small explanation to the people of their choosing.

I'd asked the cashier that sold me the gift cards to ring the gift cards up separately so that they'd all carry a taped on the back receipt, proving they'd were authentic and had been paid for... (hot damn, I sure was thinking straight).

The lovables were instructed to case the joint and find someone they deemed "worthy" to be surprised and delighted and totally blown away by their random act of kindness.

I know now I should have held some kind of pre-screening effort.

"Gift cards in aisle 9... free to the first 10 or so people who smile and act pleasantly surprised and grateful by these young people's actions."

Yes, in hind site, I shuda known betta....

I didn't count on my loveables scaring people.

When three of them (all different shades of chocolate) ran up to an old white haired (Pillsbury flour colored) woman, she clutched her handbag and looked for an escape route.

"NOOOO, I don't want anything" wild eyed, she cried, as the boys attempted to give her a card.

As this same scenario happened again and again I felt the wind leaving my sails...

(It's okay Marmie,  I know you just put your hand to your mouth and said "ohhhh noooo" shaking your head)

The people who did receive the gifts had to be patient and had to have been gifted with really good ears to hear the kids projectile vomit- whisper their giving speech...

"hereyougoweraisedthismoneyatourschoolandweboughtgiftcardsandwechooseyou.... (a small breath)


I'd asked one of the staff to bring a camera to record the momentous occasion of the implementation of my most recent grandioso idea.

He couldn't figure out how to turn it on.

And when he did, he wasn't fast enough to capture the kids delivering the cards (diarrhea attack style) to the lucky gifted.

Or the people took one look at our motley crew and declined to be caught in a photo op with our gang.

Ohhh, the disappointment welled in me like a Great Lake...

And I was mad at all the stupid people, the ones who it appeared couldn't see past the color of the skin of my loveables or ignore their thugwear.. the ones who couldn't pause for a moment and hear what they were trying to say, the shoppers who rudely shook their heads no as they put up their hand to wave us off...


Stupid plan ruining bastards.

How could they not see past the clothes and the piercings and the tattoos and the swaggers to see the hearts behind the hands that offered the cards...?

In my planning I never gave that a thought.

When the second to the last card was given away we got the recipient of my dreams..

well, she didn't do a cartwheel or sob with sheer joy or anything like that... but she did get teary eyed and say "ohh my goodness, this is sooo nice, no one ever gives me anything, let me hug you, here let me hug you all"....

Back at school I was worried about rehashing what had just happened, but I felt it necessary...

"What did you guys think about our random act of kindness event? I asked and waited for the egg to be cracked on my head or the pie to be thrown in my face.

"THAT WAS AWESOME" one of my loveables said...

"We need to do that again" another one added...

Maybe I'm rubbing off on them after all... their brains had turned to sugar plums.

The event surely wasn't the Norman Rockwell'esque event of my heart led imagination, however, I felt the stirrings of a nugget that could very well morph into next year's plan.

So this is Christmas...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gubmuh hab…… (read it backwards)

For the first time in years I'm not all bah-humbug-gy this Christmas season.

It feels wonderful..

even though,

I'm finding I don't have enough hours in a day to do the things I want to do... (like make shitloads of delicious cookies to delight and impress my family and friends).

I'm finding that I don't have enough money in the bank to do the things I want to do... (like giving strangers in Meijer gift cards as random acts of kindness).

I'm finding that I don't have the chops to be belting Oh Little Town of Bethlehem... (that matters not, I still do it).

I'd normally rather suffer through a root canal sans Novocain than decorate for Christmas, this year, the pain could be equated with putting your mini pad on adhesive side up...(which is pretty bad, but not nearly as bad as the dental surgery).

This year, I've not been such a sourpuss.

And it feels like a weight lifted.

The Sweet Prince Buttercup had a wonderful birthday (and I snuck a neck sniff while I gave him a birthday trim...yee-haw, I was so slick he never felt the need to throw an arm back to get me off him tee-hee)

Trouble and Googie stumbled upon a $50.00 bill in the grocery store parking lot and took it inside and gave it to the manager, leaving their contact info in case no one came back for it, while the three of us were out shopping later that evening the phone rang, a stranger thanking Trouble for his honesty. The money blew out of a card her young son had opened (a gift from his grandfather), they didn't notice and later discovered it missing, retraced their steps and were reunited with their loot... (now dat shit makes a mama proud)...

and while digging through a lifetime's accumulation of Christmas stuff a discovery of this nature (an 18 year old picture of Bear loving on Santa Clause)... makes all the work and stress worth every minute of all the work and stress....

He's holding his hand...awww

OMG... 6 days until Christmas, and only 5 of them are shopping days... I'm screwed.

(What are you doing reading this blog...don't you have some shopping to be doing too...?)

Thanks for visiting... ho ho ho

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oreo's + orange juice .....

Last night just as I was beginning to doze off I started talking to Daddio about the past.

"I was in the tub pounding a bag of Oreo cookies and a glass of OJ...remember?"

"It was 6am... remember?"

He chuckles at the memory.

"What time did we leave...? Do you remember...?"

"Around noon...right?"

"Do you remember the first thing you saw...?

"His eyes" he said, remembering.

"So big and blue..."

"Me too, that's my memory too..."

"That was the happiest day of my life"....

"Mine too".....

Happy birthday Sweet Prince Buttercup.....

PS... I can't wait for the day that you finally truly understand how having you changed our lives, made them purposeful and magical.

On days like today I only remember the blessing of you.... ( I promise never to talk about the time I was pulled into Sister Geraldine's office because you'd given out an entire bag of rubber bands to all your male classmates who then, from their balcony seats, used them to pelt and ping the patrons of The Detroit Symphony Orchestra during your field trip there... I also won't talk about the time you took off and walked over to Aunt Mickey's house after another field trip, gaining the notoriety of being the only student your teacher ever "lost" in her 26 year teaching career.." Nope, today will be all about the magic of you... (and not the million crazy ass things you've done over the years which now provide tear wiping cackle fests for us all...)

PSS....You still have the prettiest blue eyes ever.

And I am sooooo incredibly grateful for the gift of you.

PSSS... oh yes, I did play in Paint and draw blue hearts around his eyes... I do love him (you) THAT much.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Season's greetings.....

I was sitting at a table in our work cafeteria talking on the phone with a coworker yesterday.

The conversation was centering around a new client whose case she was now working.

As we talked I saw a group of people walk in thru the door and toward me.

One was waving.

At first I couldn't see who it was.

And when I finally recognized who the waver was I screamed, threw down the phone, and ran across the room and into a hug, big bear fashion.

Two of my very favorite loveable thugs of ALL TIME had come to visit their school "mama"...

and boy-oh-boy was this work mama ever in need of a surprise such as this.

In typical teen boy style they'd both grown nearly a foot taller (and broader too) .

Both had good life reports to deliver, which always makes a mom feel a bit of job satisfaction,

and pride.

"I passed all my subjects, but I got a "D" in Algebra" one said.

"That's passing, right?" I said (forever okay with okay).

"Do your best" I said "it's the best you can do"....

"Yer not gonna like what I am about to tell you" he continued and hung his head.

"I'm dating someone from our old class, someone I used to hang with..."

Ooooooh no, I didn't say... not her

She'd gotten him into so much trouble, the only real trouble he'd ever gotten in while in our program.

She'd snuck him into a corner in a darkened room and offered up a 2-10 (to crack the code simply reference the alphabet)...

He declined.

How do I know this...?

he told me while we fried chicken and talked about his write up

I gave him my best Dr Laura (and Marmie) impression...

"You want to think really hard about who you lay down with" I said "you don't want a crack pot nut job as the mother of your potential children, do you...?"

"That girl is not the greatest news, ya know"

"You will be connected to the mother of your children for all your born days, you get that, right...?"

"Choose wisely son..."

Yep, that was the one... (dammit).

"I remember what you said about her" my loveable thug said.

"I sure don't know everything" I said, a bit ashamed "even if I try to pretend like I do"...

"You are such a good, good boy" I said "I want only the best for you, always...understand?"

He promised that he did.

And then hugged me about seven more times.

An early Christmas gift, fo sure.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mazel tov......

Yesterday The day before yesterday Two days ago on the radio someone mentioned that there are 13 (shopping) days (left) until Christmas...

hoooo-hoooo- hoooo-ly shit, yer kiddin right...???

I wouldn't be so unprepared if  I'd remembered that this year Christmas falls on the 25th....

Which truly is thirteen days from today...

But which in real reality (a doctor I know likes to use that phrase..tee-hee) means that I only have 12 shopping days left, unless I want to be in the mall with thousands of clueless, desperate men on Christmas Eve buying woman's cologne for everyone...(nah)

I get pretty stressed out this time of year, it used to be because we were really broke and I wanted to give the kids a wonderful Christmas, now I get stressed because we are really broke and I want to give the kids a wonderful Christmas...

If I'm being truthful that's not what my holiday freak out is really all about...

the truth may be that I am the worst ever gift giver, it is sooo not my love language.

Or even my first language.

In fact, the language of gift giving is downright foreign to me.

So all this pathetic in the gift giving department has my panties in an uproar and constantly trying to crawl up my azz...

The stress is morphing itself into a bitchy old monster who has taken up residence in my heart and soul...  she's not moved all her things in yet, but she's taken over like she owns the place.

I'm finding myself lashing out at innocent people (mostly cashiers and customer service reps)

and it makes me really not like myself very much these days.

I've made a conscious effort to do better...

and I was..

until yesterday.

I was in the drive thru at Comerica (a cheezy bank with numerous branches in Michigan) , I asked the teller waiting on me if she could give me their branch phone number..

"I'm afraid you'll have to call the 1-800 banking number, I don't have the number" said Mrs Teller

"Oooooo-kay" said ticking time bomb me

I dialed on my cell phone and went through seven or so minutes of prompts where I landed in lala land listening to the Comerica greeting telling me how valued I was as a customer, and how much they hated making me wait for help, but as much as they hated having me wait (because they are horrendously understaffed) they really appreciate my business and (of course) at this time of day (which is any time of day) they have an unusually high volume of calls and you will be taken care of in the order of which you were received (and all that bull crap jazz...)




after listening patiently for too many minutes I again tried to get the teller to give me the top secret information...

"I've been on hold waiting for the seriously don't know the phone number to your own branch...?" asked getting really hot under the collar me

"umm, nope" Mrs Teller said (with a smile, of course) "since we don't have secretaries anymore they don't allow us to give out the number"

"Well geeze..." I, simmering on slow burn, snapped and crackled and popped then said "are "they" scared that someone may need help from a manager?  have a question? need a little help? know could someone be in the mood to foster some type of decent client/customer/banking rep bond?

A real reality relationship with their banker? ...."

...... Oh the grinch-i-ness in my soul really spilled out.

And my teeth bared and I growled and frothed, spit and sputtered.

When I paused to take a breath I felt a bit better...

and I felt my heart (boom, boom, boom) begin to swell and a clarity took over.

I had ideas for gifts...

lots of gifts...

mostly for me...

a personal fire extinguisher (human spontaneous combustion is a real concern)
a shock collar
a muzzle
an economy sized bottle of tranquilizers
a weed card
a new Bible
a coupon for an 18 hour massage

Happy shopping... you only have 11 days left to shop, unless you can find something quality (and on your list) at Rite Aid or 7-11 and then you have 12 11 shopping left.

Hooooo-hooooo-hooo-ly shit.....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bible soup for the soul....

I've been feeling a tad under the weather lately.

Dizziness and an upset stomach seem to be the symptom(s) du jour...

So I stand up from a crouching position (don't ask) and the room spins like I've had about 14 rum and cokes.

I've been thinking brain tumor,

and the nausea fits right in.

It could also be the beginning of kidney failure...

I take lots of powerful meds for my bloody poo issues.

My thoughts have been working overtime trying to figure out what is wrong with me.

I've been moping around carrying bucketfuls of worries and fears and anxiety (and a shitload of Google'd possible/probable maladies ) for what seems like weeks.

Daddio isn't used to that kind of me... I'm usually clue-less-ly carefree and happy go lucky dippy....

lately I'm more of a wet blanket, the sky is surely falling, kind of sea-hag-y, hormonal, feel super sorry for myelf kinda gal.

Yesterday that poor man got so frustrated trying to pry my jowls and my pout-y lips off the ground that he ordered me to the exercise bike...

and he suggested that I read the Bible whilst I attempted to peddle my problems away (or kill myself with over exertion..either way, he would get a much needed break from my neurosis(es).

"I've tried to read the Bible" I tell him "I just can't seem to get into it".

"It's too hard to understand, too confusing".

"Too many names and far away places for me to connect....ya know?"

"Just open it up" he suggests "just open it up and start reading"...

I tell him you can't just open it up and start reading, how would I know what is "going on"...

"The Bible is not a novel... it has no beginning and end.."

"Just read...and RIDE" he says.

Well who the hell woulda thunk that that hunk o mine could be called a Preacher man...

After a half hour of peddling for all I was worth ( and sweatin like a pig)

and some good ol open up the Good Book and just read(ing)

I felt like a new woman.

And like I totally could handle what ever it was that may be handed to me.

Faith is a powerful healer.

And a mind clearer...

(when I finally cleared the hypochondriac-dical (no, that is not a real word, but this is my damn blog and I can make up words any time I feel like it...oooo-tay) shit from my brain I got to doing a bit of detective work and figured out that the pharmacy tried to play a switch-er-roo with some of my meds and recently gave me a generic... about a month ago I started on these new pills.. hmmm, around the same time as my brain tumor started...)

PS... as always I am not making fun of people who suffer from terrible things, being sick is one of my greatest fears, writing about it takes some of the fear's power away..and so does Bible reading, I highly recommend it.)

Thanks for listening..and a happy freakin ass Moanday to you all... poo-poo-peeee-do.

Oh, one last thought....

"When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around,
Heaven opens a magic lane.

When all the clouds darken up the skyway,
There's a rainbow highway to be found
Leading from your window pane
To a place behind the sun,
Just a step beyond the rain."

(Seldom used introduction lyrics to the song Somewhere over the rainbow, beautiful, aren't they?...)


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Assuming the worst... (I'm super good at that)

What's that dumb saying about assuming...?

When you assume you make an "ass" out of "u" and "me"... (duh)

My dad has spent the last two days recovering in the hospital, to the untrained eye (and ear) he is the perfect patient, never complaining, polite and friendly.. to those of us who know him well, his suffering is about a 10+ on the discomfort-get me the frick outta here meter.

It was hard to see his large flat feet hanging a foot over the edge of the bed...

And even harder to hear him giving my step mom step by step directions on feeding his beloved dogs over the phone.

While he was in the hospital his basement sprung a leak, his rental property's living room flooded, his brother in law was put on life support, and the old man across the street began hand delivering the mail to his woman...(uh-huh, wink, exactly what I was thinking)...

Ohh, and the cherry on top was my dad being moved from his private room to another room because the room was leaking (yes, Michigan was under siege)..

With all this bullhicky going on at home the last place Bobby Blue Eyes wanted to be was in the hospital laying next to a stranger coughing up a lung every six seconds or so.

Sooo not his comfort zone.

In the meantime, his bookend, my stepmother was home alone and taking care of dogs, and basement leaks and praying for sick brothers, and getting handed her mail from some ancient lothario opportunist...

shit, it was bad, real bad....

I've been keeping tabs on the entire gang (in my usual control freak manner) and seriously, I am pooped and ready for things to get back to normal.

The crack up is that I'm really not doing anything other than worrying myself into an "episode".

And it appears I'm on high alert for anyone else suffering one as well.

My step mom called one evening and asked a very odd question, in her sweet southern drawl she asked "B-aaaath, do you know where your dad is?"

My heart sank..... she really was lost without him.

Using a compassion filled voice I answered back softly "Sweetie, my dad is in the hospital"

She was quiet while she processed my answer...

Then she replied.... "why you DUMMY, I KNOOOOOW where your dad IS!!!! I was wondering if you knew his new room number...."

Ass-out of u and me.....

I got an ass chewing...and believe you me, it felt great.