I try not to be rude...

Bitchy: "Mom, I have a question for you."

Me: “Okay, what is it?”

Bitchy: “Well, come here. Sit down and let’s chat.”

Me: “Oh God, what is it? Are you pregnant or something? Haven’t you been taking your “allergy medicine??? Oh My God...”

Bitchy: “MOTHER! NO, it’s not that. I was on your “blog” today, and I went over to that Humor Blogger thingy. It says that you have 213 votes.”

Me: “Do NOT give me a heart attack. Okay, well, that is great! That is a ton of votes!”

Bitchy: “Are you kidding me? Mom, if you have 980 followers, and 213 votes, something is up. Even YOU can do THAT math.”

Me: “Well, maybe the readers don’t think I ‘m that funny. Or maybe they voted for someone else!”

Bitchy: “I thought you said they could vote for as many as they wanted. Didn’t you help me vote for a LOT of people?? Mother? I voted for every person you ever heard of over there, and then some. And anyway, why don’t you just ASK them to vote?”

Me: “Because. Well, I did it once, and to do it again is, well, that’s just rude.”

Bitchy: “Oh, please. Don’t pretend with me. Cheeze-us, I’ll do it for you.

If you love my mother like I do (Don’t tell her I said that!) then why not go over there and vote? It might make her feel a little better about turning FIFTY in a month.

(Pssst. Anytime something from the AARP comes in the mail I put it ON THE FRIDGE. You should hear her scream! It cracks me up every time.)”

There, I’ve done my job. Now let’s go to Starbucks. You and that wad of money are buying.


I'm half Polish, myself.

Overheard in kindergarten today as the teacher TRIED to lead a discussion about heritage. (She fell off her chair and onto the floor laughing...)

I’m half Ireland.

I’m half Spanish.

I’m half Picksburgh.

I think I’m half Florida. That’s where my grandparents live.

Yep. they're brilliant.

**It's a post from the "lost" files. I can't bear to part with them. I'm still working on one more Blogher post - but the family beckons....


Do I smell smoke?

Dear Mom,

When I returned from the BlogHer conference my family KNEW I would have tons of wonderful and embarrassing stories to share with them, but mostly they were proud. Proud, I think, because I have shown them it is never too late to follow your dream.

Bitchy was actually proud of the fact that her mother managed to snag a TON of free make-up, crocs, nutritional food (whatever), flash drives, fake eyelashes, candy, fake nails, lip balm, etc., and laughed when I tried to describe my harrowing cab ride from the hotel to the airport – that cabbie should seriously look into flying planes.

Sassy was not surprised when I told her the story of how we almost set the restaurant on fire when we might have accidentally put the paper menu on top of a well-disguised candle. Who knew it was real? She was proud of the fact that I did not hide in my room, but went to dinner each night with new friends and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

And Tightwad? (Oops, I mean the Blessed One...)He was grinning from ear to ear as I told him my stories of spotting so many fellow bloggers, Paula Deen, Tim Gunn, and the older woman who stood BARE NAKED in the lobby of the Sheraton. (No, it was NOT me.) He laughed out loud when I shared that singer Chris Mann said I reminded him of his best friend’s mother. And you know what? That was the nicest thing he could have said to me.

But, when all was said and done and I lay my head on my pillow, I thought of you. I knew, in my heart, that you were the proudest one of all.

And that did, indeed, make me cry.


In no particular order....

I am NO Ryan or Amy, but here are my own little pics...

This is where you do NOT want to sit if you hate to fly. Make sure you let the person in charge of seats know this BEFORE you board the plane.

This is the propeller we all had to help start by pushing it with ALL OUR MIGHT.
If you're lucky, you'll be sitting by the WINDOW watching it, along with the landing gear, during your flight.

This was the BEST party I attended at BlogHer. It was a small group at Poppy's place in an intimate setting on a goreous rooftop! Notice Jen L? Notice Ms. Fussypants and her ADORABLE assistant?? Notice Poppy and CHRIS MANN? THE CHRIS MANN the incredible SINGER??? (I might or might not have ADORABLE pics of myself with all of these stars.)

If you have won the lottery, you might also attend a dinner party at an amazing restaurant with Literal Dan and his adorable wife, Stiletto Mom, Dee Marie, Jill, Sprite's Keeper, Raising Outdoor Dogs, and Unmitigated.

Aren't Scary Mommy and Barefoot Foodie the most gorgeous women ever? And what do you know, they are not scary AT ALL.

If you've died and gone to heaven, this MIGHT be the view out your window.

Or THIS might be another view out your window on the TWO MIILIONTH FLOOR. (or 24th.)

Do NOT go to this restaurant unless some amazing people gave you $700 to use at the conference. (And use it I did - on the best steak I EVER had...)

It's official: Money DOES buy happiness. (Can you spot Maggie, Meg, Sprite, Anymommy, Amy, Sandi, Jess, Ann, and Anna??? Braja was there - but she was on the phone at the time...)

I guess this unicorn was on the guest list at the Mom/Pop party.

I brought home a COUPLE of items. This MIGHT have been the swag that accidently took out the pilot of above-mentioned flight. I can't help it he was behind me. I thought I was the last one to board. (Maybe he hadn't read HIS itinerary...)

Tomorrow I will fill in the blanks, provide some dirt, and let you know about giving away this stuff. Bitchy and Sassy could not POSSIBLY want all of it.

Thank you again, everyone. This was one of the best times of my life. Well, besides my wedding. And maybe the birth of my children. Wait, the actual BIRTHS weren't picnics, now that I think about it....


It might be time to buy the Wal-Mart reading glasses...

This is a blanket apology to all of those involved in the series of unfortunate events this morning between the Sheraton Hotel and US Airways Flight 1966.

To Carolyn and Darcy who I rudely left standing in the lobby of the Sheraton as I screamed in shock when I looked closer at my itinerary: I’m sorry if I uttered words totally unbecoming of a first grade teacher, but my heart stopped beating when I realized I had 45 minutes to make it to take off.

To Stiletto (far right) for leaving you without even the HINT of a note - I am so sorry, I ran so fast that I didn't even have time to retrieve the LIBRARY book I left on my nightstand. And, to the next occupant of that particular room- it's a juicy one.

To the ladies that I shoved out of the revolving door and knocked over with my THOUSAND POUND suitcases as I flew in a blind PANIC to any taxi that would have me – I apologize. It wasn’t me. It was, uh well, Marinka. Yeah. That’s who it was.

To the taxi driver that FLEW to the airport as I sat in the back seat SOBBING, and moaning something about being a stupid, stupid, stupid, old stupid woman – I’m sorry. Oh, and about kissing you on the LIPS when we arrived at O’Hare at the speed of light in 2.5 minutes? I totally meant it. Sorry I may have forgotten my FREE mints. (Thank you Nokia. ha. )

To the kind, very TALKATIVE gentleman who handled my bags and gave me my boarding passes? I am sorry I left so abrupty as you were regaling me with tales of YOUR first grade experience. I’m sure the little girl who moved away and broke your heart never forgot you either, and the rest of the story about your teacher I didn’t catch as I rudely ran toward my gate in panic. Sorry, dude. I'm sure she was fabulous - right???

To the pilot of our FLIGHT who unfortunately was walking BEHIND me as I boarded the plane- I am sorry I hit you in the knee with my FIFTY POUND swag bag. (Psst, girls, I’ve got make-up GALORE…) I’m sure you didn’t need that knee to fly us safely home, right? Right.

Oh, and to the fitness trainer from my hometown of Smythe, Oregon who had promised to start training me tomorrow after the conference? Yeah, um, let’s make it Tuesday. I will still be recovering from RUNNING FOR MY LIFE through O’Hare International. (Whoever said chubby old ladies with bad knees can’t run obviously never saw one close to missing a flight home to her unsupervised teen daughters.)

Oh, and the reason I misread my flight departure time and thought it said 1:40 instead of the real 11:40?? I am totally blaming the lack of sleep.

And when I say lack of sleep I really mean...lack of sleep. (thanks, Poppy.)

And a BIG PS to this story. To the two baggage handlers that helped me find my luggage in Smith, Oregon this evening when I finally arrived home? I can't believe how you've grown. It was just YESTERDAY that you were both in my fifth grade class.

That was the icing on the cake.


Powerful words...

I’ve decided that, after 6 years into the teenage girl thing, I have found words that can shake a teenager to the core.

They are not “Get to your room!”, they are not, “You are in big trouble!”, and they are not “You are grounded!”

They are... “Hello, Verizon?”

Yep, that’s right. With one quick call, the phone is dead. It’s the new miracle cure for disrespectfulness. Try it, I guarantee it works! (And, if you're lucky, the operator who takes your call has teenage children of her own, and she'll do it for FREE!!! Yeah. no charge...)

(My head hurts, my back hurts, my eyes are red and my knees are swollen. I'm having the time of my life here in Chicago...more later...)


There is some good in the world, Mr. Frodo

Yes, I am at here at the Windy city attending the BlogHer conference. I must have arrived safely (the flights were SO smooth and incredible.) Just please don't try to explain how those planes get up in the air. It will totally ruin my whole magic fairy dust from Santa theory.

Jen from The spin Cycle and I met up at the airport and took the El (several colors, mind you) into Chicago. We didn't have the common sense to realize we would be lugging ALL of our luggage through terminals, up steps, down steps and through tunnels. We laughed the whole way here, and it ended up taking a cab after ALL when we ended up emerging from the underground a BIT too far from the hotel.

Before I make my way to the breakfast and conference festivities, I HAVE to say something.

When Sandi and I arrived in our rooms, she handed me two things. FIRST, she gave me an adorable picture book, "The Elephant In the Room." Being a teacher, I immediately started reading the book. She wanted me to PUT IT DOWN and open the card. (She was so excited and couldn't).

I opened the envelope, card and out popped a WAD of MONEY!!!!!!!!!

seven hundred dollars. SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!!

She told me that this was sent to her, bit by bit, from my friends.

To all of you incredible, generous, kind hearted, incredible, wonderful people. I thank you.

I cried for twenty minutes. Just so you know.


This makes me smile...

I saw this last night over at Hit 40's place. (She's a doll.) It gives me the chills and makes me smile EVERY TIME I see it.

It lifted me.

I hope it does you....

We are OUT of milk, people.

If you are lucky, your doctor will schedule your mammogram the day BEFORE you leave for the BlogHer conference in Chicago.

If you are REALLY lucky, the technician who is “handling” your case is the PARENT of one of your students from last year. And while she is adjusting your, um, gifts, you might engage in a little discussion about school.

Kind of puts the parent/teacher conference in a new light. Usually I like to be dressed.

(And OUCH, I might add. Those HURT! No matter how much squeezing you do, those puppies are empty.)


Any requests???

Okay, so it’s true. Day after tomorrow I am heading to BlogHer. Now, remember that I teach FIRST GRADE, so let me tell you all what that is - It’s a great conference that allows bloggers from ALL OVER THE COUNTRY to get together, meet, shmooze, learn some stuff, laugh, have a couple of soda's and kick some, um, well you know.

I am excited and nervous at the same time. Honestly, I am just a short, chunky teacher who has a fairly good sense of humor. I shop at Wal-Mart, Target and occasionally the Goodwill.

In two days I will be getting on an airplane (or two) and flying to Chicago, thanks to these two friends. Am I excited? Yes. Am I a nervous wreck? Yes. Do I hate to fly? Yes. Do I have any decent clothes to wear? No.

I am very, very excited to meet all the people that I have been visiting for the past year and to meet the people who have been coming here. (I'm still shocked and quite honored, frankly.)

I'm gonna try not to freak out about the fact that I SHOULD lose at least 25 pounds, and that I won't be wearing Ann Taylor clothing or stiletto heals. I'm an old retired gymnast who's had two carpal tunnel surgeries, knee surgery and frankly need two BRAND NEW KNEES. That's why I wear sneakers, people. Any other shoes and I can't walk the next day.

I am, however, very thankful that I have this opportunity to go, and will be wearing a BIG FAT smile and at least my clothes will be clean. I may not be the most fashionable, but I will be me. Just plain me.

I have two requests: first, does anyone want to ride share from the airport on Thursday? I'll be arriving around noon. I would prefer it if you were not a terrorist, crazed lunatic, axe murderer or rapist. Otherwise, we're good.

Second, I am going to try to take as many pictures as I can and blog away. What would you like to see? WHO would you like to see? Where should I go? What in Chicago costs NO MONEY? Who has the best pizza? What is the best party? Somebody stop me......

(Lola just emailed me with this GREAT stuff ...)
Oh, and can someone keep an eye on the kids? I'm not sure I trust 'em......

(Yikes, One more thing - if I forgot you on my blogroll- please email me or remind me. I'm a tad forgetful...)


Next time don't wake your sister...

Dear Bitchy,

Thanks for waking me up last night at MIDNIGHT to tell me that Sassy was sneaking out of the house to meet some boys in the backyard.

Can’t you just leave her alone? Did anyone wake me up and tell me when YOU snuck out of the house??? (And if I recall correctly, that was the night you got your first kiss. sigh. good times.)

I would never have found out about THAT if one of the girls hadn’t snitched to another girl who in turn told her MOTHER who was my BEST FRIEND. Yeah. That was a fun phone call.

Now, leave me alone and just let me sleep in ignorant bliss like every other parent in the world. Jesus. There are just some things I don’t need to know.

(Frankly, I’m too exhausted to be grounding anyone right now…and you should know by now we parents pick and choose our battles. This is one I’m not picking.)

Love you more than you know,



The Makeover...

It was would be remiss of me not to take some time today to thank Nap Warden for my makeover.

Our first attempt at working together in April was postponed when I was going through a tiny personal crisis.

I contacted her recently to beg her to try again, and she was incredible gracious, helpful, thoughtful, creative and just plain fabulous.

She paid close attention to what I liked, and like a fairy godmother used her wand and wove her magic.

Thank you, Nap. I feel like a new woman.

(Pssst. Go visit DaGoddess today. She has amazing shots up. p.s.)

(Oh, and another thing, I have to COMPLETELY re-do my blogroll ONE at a time on another page. I'll be working on this over the weekend. If I have forgotten you previously, please let me know!!! You know I don't like to be rude. p.s.s.)


Are my eyes deceiving me?

Pssst. Guess who emailed me? GUESS??? No, it wasn’t Steve King. (Although I am NOT giving up hope that if I keep mentioning him he will somehow stumble upon my blog and immediately become a stalker. Surely he googles himself like the rest of us.)

It was Phillip Done. PHIL DONE!!! You know, the author of the book I CANNOT stop RAVING about! (32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny, in case you forgot.) The one I have purchased EIGHT copies of because I keep GIVING it away.

When I saw his name in my email inbox I could NOT BELIEVE IT!!!

And it was really him, not some assistant, minion, or the president of his fan club; however I think that I have successfully proved that THAT particular job could be mine for the taking.

So, he was very, very nice and explained that he was in EUROPE and wanted to say he was glad I loved his book, blah, blah, blah, and that although he was OUT of his comp copies of the new book, he would be happy to send me his MANUSCRIPT from it. We played a bit of email tag, and he was so cool and great, and wonderful! He also asked if I would like him to come to SMITH COLLEGE and SPEAK to the student teachers next year while he is nearby at a conference!! And he gave me his cell number. And home number. And his first born. (I turned THAT one down. I have enough trouble as it is…)

Oh. My. God.

Somebody pinch me.

King Me...

(I'm going to repost a couple of my funnies from last year. They make me laugh...)

Today during sharing…

Sally: "My mom is getting surgery in her mouth today."
Me: "Oh why...what is she having done?"
Sally: "She's getting a king."
Me: "Um, do you mean a crown?"
Sally: Oh yeah...a crown."

Quote of the day: "Sometimes I make soap tea .... but it doesn't taste so good."


It didn't feel quite right...

Note to Self: When buying a bra at Target with the cool gift card you won on a contest over at Melissa’s, make sure you check the tag.

Yeah. I’m a 49-year-old woman who’s been wearing a nursing bra for two days.

And trust me: I’m not nursing.


I need a laugh today...

So, the post i originally put up last night is way too dark right now. I need a laugh, so I am bringing back to life our dog's last mini-vacation. I can' t bear the thought of losing these deleted posts. Sue me.

I spent most of Saturday (about 12 hours of it) traveling with Sassy to an indoor field hockey tournament in Smith, Oregon. Tightwad and The Golden Boy stayed home with the dogs. Rover is an older Dalmatian mix we rescued from the SPCA when Sassy (who was four at the time) dropped her on her head. We were CONVINCED that she had injured her, and felt so guilty we took her home. We adopted Junior from that same SPCA several years ago for no good reason.

Yesterday about 5:30 p.m. Junior escaped captivity and roamed the neighborhood freely eating what was later determined to be soft pretzels and crap. We live on a VERY busy street. Let's just say, for argument's sake, that we live at 123 Main Street. When Sassy and I returned home from said field hockey tournament, we were informed by Tightwad that Junior was missing!! They had been combing the neighborhood and the land near and far for the *@$* dog. (We have tons of cornfields and open fields that belong to Oregon State behind our house- it's quite gorgeous to have it right here in town, even if the street in front of our house is quite busy.)

We were despondent ALL night and this morning when Junior never came home. He's often escaped to run through the cornfields and wreak havoc in the neighborhood- but ALWAYS comes home. Yeah, he usually smells like um, uh poop, but he gets his bath, a little scolding and then tons of love.

After putting my private investigator skills to good use (Remember one of my old jobs???) I received a call from the Animal Hospital that a dog that fit OUR dog's description was brought in last night (about 6:45) by the POLICE. They found him on a busy street. "What street? " you might ask.

The girl at the Animal Hospital said that the officers picked him up at 123 Main Street. AT OUR HOUSE. In the FRONT YARD. Jesus. Don't they know that's our dog? And Tightwad - didn't the flashing red lights (neighbor was watching) wake you up from your nap????? Didn't you hear the officer KNOCKING at the front door? Oh wait, you were out eating Chinese at the time.

Yeah, well, you owe me 15 bucks. That's how much I need to spring him.

Was he the boogeyman?

I have a haunting memory that occasionally creeps into my thoughts and reminds me how fear can haunt a child’s dreams. When we lived at 6833 Lemon Road in McLean, Virginia, we had in our neighborhood a man that would roam the streets. I never knew what his real name was, but we all called him “The Weasel.” He dressed in dark clothes, a trench coat clutched tightly around his small, skinny frame. I don’t recall his face; I just have an image of him walking with his head down, a worn fedora on his head and his coat held tightly against him. It is seared into my soul.

We were told by our moms to stay away from him – but no other explanation was ever given. When we saw him, we would RUN like the wind to hide in the back yard, or in our garages, convinced he would steal us away if he could catch us.

It was at night when I was trying to sleep in the cozy canopy bed my father made me that I would truly fear the weasel. I was convinced that he was lurking in the dark corners of my room and I wouldn’t allow myself to fall asleep.

When I couldn’t take it any longer, I would crawl out of bed, slide across the floor and sneak into my sister’s room. If I was very careful, I could sneak into her bed without her even knowing. . (Fortunately for ME she is partially deaf, and wouldn’t always hear my clumsy attempts.) I was awakened many mornings by her hitting me with her pillow and yelling at me to “I said stay OUT of my room!!!”

I amassed a number of fears those early days, as do many, many children of that age. I was afraid of snakes, going over bridges, being in the dark, sleeping in my own room, lightning, thunder, the Easter Bunny and my closet.

I can’t recall the precise moment I left those fears of youth behind and slipped on that dangerous cloak of invincibility. You know that cloak, don’t you? We’ve all worn it for a time. It renders us fearless during those tumultuous and painful years of adolescence. We try it on when we are perhaps twelve or thirteen, and we grow into it- until finally it fits like a glove.

We wear it when we hop on our bikes and zoom across town, and when we finally earn those car keys and carry the lives of our friends and ourselves in our hands.

As we grow older, a different kind of fear seems to slowly edge into our soul. The fear that every parent, sibling or friend tries to keep buried inside – the fear of unexpected pain and tragedy when something happens to someone we love. It starts as a seed when you watch your child play with their toys, or when they learn to ride a bike and cross the street. You know they will have a scrape or a bruise, and it hurts to see them in pain.

That fear grows as they do, and when instead of a bike you hand them the keys to your car, then you know what real fear is. It’s what we feel when they have donned their cloak, the invincibility cloak. Only by now WE know it doesn’t work.

And that knowledge that grips my heart when I hand over the keys to the car? I swallow it like a bitter pill, and pray that she will be delivered back to me, safe and sound.


Sisterly Lessons

Things I learned from my sister this weekend. (She was in town for our 30th high school reunion. And when I say 30th, I really mean 10th. Or 32nd.)

1. When you find a wooden lemon/lime reamer at the Goodwill for 26 cents, you HAVE to have it. Apparently it’s a must have for every kitchen. Who knew? (Yes, I laughed out LOUD when she said reamer. I couldn’t help it.)

2. When cleaning bottles your brother gave you from an old digging site, use warm water and a small amount of uncooked rice. Shake it for a few minutes and VOILA! Clean bottles! (Well, cleaner, anyway.)

3. When going to yard sales, thrift stores AND the Goodwill, always take along your tape measure and a magnifying glass. Just in case. (And plenty of hand-sanitizer. I’m just sayin’.)

Oh, and the most important thing I’ve learned from her?

4. When that cruel hand of fate reaches down and rips your world apart and breaks your heart, you have to live. Let’s see, how did she put it?

“You know the sun comes up in the morning. You have to push aside the blankets and just get out of bed.”

And that is what she does. She handles grief like a pro, and not long after his funeral, she said this.

“D. I can’t change what happened, and I can’t bring him back. I know in my heart that I will see him again and I have to just put on foot in front of the other and keep living.”

Now, these several years later when we get together we laugh, we shop, we compare our tiny heart tattoos, we eat sour dough bread and Brie cheese, and we sit quietly thinking about our dear one. We talk about him and re-live the events of that fateful night often.

In our own way, it’s how we are keeping him alive.

Even if it’s only in our hearts.


Wait, am I in the right house?

Dear Sassy,

Has it finally happened? Have I officially LOST MY MIND, or did I actually see you and Bitchy talking and laughing this morning as if NOTHING HAPPENED?

Wasn’t it just two days ago that you had your sister on the ground BY THE THROAT and were strangling her to death?

Weren’t you screaming at each other and calling each other names that you know The Golden Boy, the dogs and your PARENTS should never ever hear you utter?

Am I the only one that was traumatized by this recent WWF smack down??

Frankly, this is why mother’s have those weekly meeting at the Wine and Spirit Shoppe. Which reminds me, I’m a little low on my “prescription.”


Blog, Shmog....

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my blog.

Do I look one today? Have I aged well?

I’ve been searching for something profound to say on this day, as I watched this milestone get closer and closer.

The first thing I have to say is a HUGE thank you. I am very, very humbled.

Thank you for your loyalty, your support, your friendship, your laughter, your stories and your love. It has moved me more than I can say, and I really DO feel lifted by every comment and email I receive. (I read them all- and it irritates every one in my house…)

What have I learned? Here’s my list.

1. Always check your pics before putting them on your post. Sometimes things hang out that shouldn’t hang out. (OR have Scope check them first. He’s a doctor.)

2. Never use real names for ANYONE –not your sister, your brother, your friends, or children in your neighborhood, school, class or sports team. Never. Trust me.

3. If you are going to tell the bloggy word that your brother pooped his pants in second grade, you might want to check with him first. (Although it DOES serve him right for the whole "selling peeks into the bathroom keyhole" incident.)

4. Always think before commenting. Sometimes something I might think is funny might be taken the wrong way. (It was never intentional, and sometimes my humor gets the best of me. Please forgive me.)

5. If you make a mistake fess up, own it, learn from it and move forward.

Now, I would also love to give something to you. I don’t know if anyone CARES or not, but here is my little bit of advice to people who are blogging. (Take it or leave it.)

1. When posting, make it short. I have a very short attention span, and cannot POSSIBLY be the only one out there. (Oh, unless you’re Steve King in disguise, then WRITE AWAY. Right, Irish???)

2. Try to use a font that we can see. If it is too small and I have to search for Tightwad’s reading glasses, I move on.

3. Make me laugh.

4. Make me cry.

5. Make me say “HEY, that happened to ME!”

6. Link your name to your "profile" so we can respond to your comments! (Like I say in my classroom AND at home, "HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT?")

7. Be good to your friends, and shout them out when you can. They deserve it!!! (I try to shout out as much as i can. I'll do more. Honestly. )

That’s all I got.

Now, perhaps a gift from you? I would love for you to let me know, in a comment, what you enjoy when you come here.

Is it the funny stories from school? Is it the letters to my frustrating, argumentative, spoiled, terrible, wonderful, amazing and talented children whom I love more than words can say?

Perhaps it's the crazy memories and thoughts I share from my childhood? Anyway....

If nothing else, I would just love to know that you were here today.

(And a funny story wouldn’t hurt.)


My trip toward respectable.

Dear Mother,

Adding murder to trashy romance novels does NOT make it respectable.



(Yeah, well, if adding VAMPIRE to romance equals profitable, surely mystery plus romance can equal respectable. It's the new math. )


BItchy + Sassy = A Dangerous Mix

Dear Bitchy and Sassy,

Well, you two SURE had me fooled. All those late night visits to Starbucks, all that laughing, sharing clothes, and going here and there had me COMPLETELY fooled.

But last night when you had that KNOCK DOWN DRAG-OUT fight in the living room???? Yeah, THAT was an eye-opener.

When The Golden Boy came running out to the deck CRYING to tell me that you were KILLING each other it almost gave me a heart attack. (I felt like Sanford clutching my heart- I’m coming mom!! I’m COMING!!!)

Sassy, strangling your sister in the living room with our two LARGE dogs barking, your brother screaming and your DAD flying up the stairs to beat the *$@# out of someone does nothing for your argument that you are a mature young lady who deserves her own car. (Oh, and good luck with THAT. As soon as your father gets a job, the first thing we’re buying is FOOD.)

And Bitchy, thank GOD my personal mission of getting you housing has FINALLY paid off. My only wish is that they would let you move in TOMORROW.

Now, you two get in the living room and clean up the blood, straighten all the furniture, pick up the broken glass and then sit in a room TOGETHER with no phones and no computer until I recover. Pack some food- it might be awhile.

(Is it only July 8? It’s gonna be a long *@$& summer. I mean hot. It's gonna be a long hot summer.)


He didn't stand a chance...

I just spent a couple of days visiting my little brother. Although he’s now 45 years old, he will always be our little “garcon.”

He’s the youngest of three – the son my parents were thrilled to finally conceive. We were living in the south of France, while my father served as a JAG officer. When he was born, the nurse in attendance announced to my mother (who spoke not a WORD of French) “C'est un garçon ! Un grand garçon!” Which I’m pretty sure means “big boy!” For years to follow my older sister and I would relentlessly tease “garcon” by insisting that the French “gendarmerie” were going to come for him when he was 21 to take him back to France.

This is the brother who also sold “peeks” into the bathroom keyhole when my sister and I were taking baths in our teens. He always received more money when my sister was the star. (She was more “blessed” than I.)

This is the brother who tried to teach our large white rabbit “Snowflake” to climb a tree when he was in kindergarten. Unfortunately for the rabbit, he didn’t give up.

This is the brother who put his arm through a glass door during a fourth of July party not long after Snowflake’s Memorial Service.

This is the brother who buried his father’s ANTIQUE TOOLS (that he’d inherited from HIS father) in our quite expansive back yard. Many were not recovered. In fact, I don’t think they found ANY of them.

This is the brother that would hide his poopy underwear in the closet so that our mother wouldn’t know he was pooping his pants in second grade. Unfortunately, the smell almost KILLED her one day when she attempted to clean said closet. It took a fifth of vodka to revive her.

This is the boy who would catch tons of fish in the backyard canal when we lived in Florida, and release them into our pool. (Along with the snakes, baby snapping turtles and objects we have YET to name.)

This is also the young man who lost his father when he was 14, and his mother when he was 21.

Brother - I am so very sorry that K. and I were not there to guide you through your grief. I was wallowing in my own sorrow and trying to find my way back after being cast adrift on that lonely sea of heartbreak. I didn’t even realize that I was not the only boat out there.

I love you more than words can say – and I hope you take comfort in the fact that mom and dad are surely proud of the man you have become. K. and I are very proud.

You are an incredible man, and yet when I look at you, you know who I see.

The boy who killed Snowflake.


Do not pet the snakes...

To the person or persons who have discovered my secret raspberry gardens along the bike path behind my house:

When I wrote that piece in the newspaper last summer describing their location, and I stated that there were enough black raspberries for everyone…I LIED!! There are obviously NOT enough to go around, and I would rather you all go find your own secret raspberry patches.

Oh, and just this morning I saw MAN-EATING daddy long-legged spiders crawling around the bushes; as well as HUGE raspberry-eating poisonous disgusting SNAKES that hide in the bushes. (Scary-looking carnivorous ones that look extremely hungry.)

So next time you feel like picking berries, just walk right on by. But – could you leave me a good recipe for piecrust? I’d greatly appreciate it.

Oh, and a note to the masses – if you are planning on wearing a cute sundress or something that shows your legs to a 30-year high school reunion NEXT WEEKEND, do NOT go berry picking. Odds are great your arms and legs will be scratched to hell before you realize what you’ve done. (Yeah. I’ll be the chunky ex-gymnast with scratches all over body.)


wait a minute.....

My first year in kindergarten I had a little boy in my class who was very bright, and very precocious. At the beginning of the year I give them all kindergarten screenings, and determine who knows their letters, letter sounds, and possibly some words.

Well, Jack whizzed through the letters/ letter sounds, etc. He was obviously far above the other students with his skill level, and anxious to move on to harder things.

I pulled out one of my phonics books, and showed him pictures while asking him to tell me the beginning sound of the picture. Things were going along nicely until we came to a picture of something bizarre, like an old fashioned phone or something.

He looked at it wide-eyed and then looked at me. “What the hell is THAT?”, he asked.

I looked at him, my eyes and mouth WIDE OPEN! “Did you say what I THINK you just said?”

“Yep.” He replied. And he sat there looking at me with his legs and arms crossed waiting for my reply.

“Well. Um. Let’s not say that again in school, okay?”

“Oh, all right. Next picture.”

Frankly, I think he was a plant as part of my kindergarten initiation. Worked well, I must say.


Books "R" Us...

I find it a HUGE compliment that all those people up there are followers. I can't believe that with all the funny, poignant, thoughtful and inspiring blogs out there, that people actually come see me. Well, I am extremely thankful, and still trying to find a way to visit everyone while maintaining my relationship with MY FAMILY. (I'm running out of material since I've started ignoring them.)

I love this meme. I wish I could remember who tagged me, but I will check back and let you know! It's about books, and you all know what a book w*@*% I am. Here's the stuff...

1. I LOVE Stephen King. (If he didn't live in Maine and have a decent wife, I would TOTALLY stalk him.) I have EVERY book he's ever written, and have them in a shrine; I mean bookshelf, in my basement. Stephen King's On Writing is the BEST. I am not kidding. I have even written several chapters of a book that was inspired by his writing. Someday I might share. If I have enough vodka that night. (Odds are good, people. )

2. I often sneak out of the house claiming to go to the Y, and end up in the library. I browse all the new releases, take out my list of TRASHY romance authors I love, and roam the library in peaceful euphoria looking for a late night read. sigh.

3. I have written three children's books, and have sent them out to publishers. A REAL LIFE PUBLISHED author admonished me when I complained on another site that ten publishers have rejected me. It took her 174 rejections to get published. Guess what I'm doing this weekend? Yeah, sending out those d*@$ manuscripts.

4. I DO write a monthly column for our local newspaper, and can't for the LIFE of me believe they keep letting me do it. My kids won't go ANYWHERE with me. They say it's like going around town with Oprah. A white Oprah. I mean a white, poor Oprah. Whatever.

5. I collect Nancy Drew Books. Don't judge me.

6. Because I'm such a crazy reader, I've become addicted to blogs. I just can't stop! Each one I read is different, each one rocks, and I am a maniac. Is there a support group out there? And, more importantly, do they serve alcohol at their meetings?

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I NEVER follow the rules regarding meme’s. It could be a birth defect (I have so many of those...) or a learned behavior, but I somehow manage to skirt around the rules and make them fit the way I want. (No wonder my kids drive me NUTS. Seems they've inherited that gene as well.) Yeah, I get caught (Vodka Murphy) but I always own up, and pay the piper. I'm a big girl.

So, here’s the deal. I am passing this on to my followers. Here are the rules:

1. Do five jumping jacks.

2. Click on the ads of at least five blogs you visit today!

3. Tell me a funny story.

4. Forgive someone.

Have a fantastic weekend, and let’s shake the hand of anyone who has served our country and thank them for keeping us safe. (I miss you, Dad. )