Craft Break

I've been in and out of the blogosphere for a few days and it's because I have a big craft show coming up this weekend. I'm drowning in fabric and I burned my elbow with the stupid hot glue gun yesterday! Well, anyway, I'll try to stop by here and there but I'll be back for sure on Monday. Wish me luck?


Tamps and Hoops

Today I have a guest blogger for your reading enjoyment. The guest is my daughter "The Bee" and she wrote a post last year that was actually a compilation of emails that were going around one Monday morning following a week long stay at the beach by a couple of my sisters. This post came to my mind because "Lynn" is the same sister who is now moving "Down The Farm". Let me just add that this sister "Lynn" is 47 years old. 

To keep ourselves awake and motivated at work, my family sometimes has an impromptu chat room in the form of e-mail chains. They are often insightful and always hilarious. I had to share with readers of The Bee, a snippet from the conversation today. Please excuse punctuation/spelling/grammar - this was not intended to be published.

A little warning for the boys - this is about some delicate female-issues, you may want to just stop now.

A little background for those of you still with us - when I say "my family" I really mean the women in the family. I come from a fairly large family with LOTS of sisters and daughters. A male birth has been so rare that we celebrate it with a ritual sacrifice. Not goats or chickens or anything - pretty much just pastry. Come to think of it, we pretty much celebrate everything with a ritual sacrifice. We're hard-core like that. Anyway, this past weekend two of the sisters ("Lynn" and "Louise") went on a little vacation to the beach and there were some issues with tampons.

**Buggys made an excellent point - you should know that "Lynn" is not some stupid teenager. She is in fact a grown woman with stupid teenagers of her own.

Lynn says:

Okay, here goes......and this does not go on anyone's blog......Last week down the beach I had to use them. Haven't ever used them much before and it was horrible. With the first couple I was scared to cough, and having just been sick, that was an issue, so every time I coughed I held myself hoping it didn't just rocket fire out. Then I decided I needed to use super plus. So I bought new one's. However after the first one of those, which were a little different, when I pulled it out I realized that I had left the cardboard on the tampon itself. Now it was a little unraveled due to the absorption of bodily fluids, hopefully it is all out of that area by the time I go for my yearly. I have to say they are a dangerous product and should be used by only experienced personnel!

Louise says:

I took Frank off of the email for the rest of this story! Lynn was a riot, the tampon issue was hysterical and luckily nothing rocket fired out of "the area". The first day she was quite concerned (as one might assume, having never really used tampons before). Hoofing it back and forth to the truck to get to a bathroom to make "the change" gets to be quite time consuming (and hot and exhausting). So, in her infinite wisdom, Lynn became a pro the second day. There was going to be none of that walking back and forth, sweating, losing a good parking spot, etc. So, she decided to change her tampon in the parking lot at the truck. Granted, it was ingenious, and she did quite well and came well prepared. She had JR's truck all week, so she opened both doors, hiked the right leg up on the truck, took out and put back in a new one ... INGENIOUS! She came prepared with bags, wipes, tweezers (for cardboard parts if necessary), five extra bathing suits, a sign saying "take a picture it will last longer", etc. She was a PRO after only one day. OK, there were really no tweezers, extra baby-hoots or a sign .. but it made the story sound better.

Now ... on Thursday, the waves were a bit big... fun, but bigger and rougher than normal. Lynn was sporting a pair of sterling silver hoops that JR had gotten her and wore them every day. By the way Lynn, they enhanced the look everyday, kudos! We got in the water and it wasn't but seconds later when a wave smacked her in the head and one of the earrings fell out. Upset she was ( I would be too). Michelle and I looked up on shore just to see if it had washed up, it hadn't. Next day, there she was sporting the earrings, where was it you ask .... I'll tell you. She took her bathing suit off that night (after mind you, the rest of the day on the beach and an hour and a 1/2 ride home to JR's
house), it fell out of her crotch! Now, how could ya not feel that one? Well, I guess coming from the woman who stuck the cardboard up there, you could understand why!

All was well in the world of Lynn by Friday, no tampons, earrings were in ... BUT the water was too damn rough to even get in.


"Down The Farm"

I've told you about my sisters before, I have a bunch of them. One of my sisters is relocating from suburban York, PA to a farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. No really, a farm. God's country. All you see as you drive through this area is corn fields and trees, a shimmery strip of black top. She has a pig. She will be working from home (lucky beotch) in an office on the second floor of the farm house. My sister has never lived on a farm. In fact, she isn't good with animals, never kept a pet longer than 6 months. She kills marigolds. I'm expecting lots of blog material from that direction.

My niece has decided to go along rather than stay in PA. She's going to try it out, see how it goes. This is a city girl. One who enjoys Starbucks, dry cleaners and concrete. She has difficulties living with a cat. Eeeeuuuww, is one of her most used words. Yes, Mike, it is a word. 

Last weekend, my niece Jess, sent me a message on FB. She was "down the farm" and was looking out the kitchen window. She saw LT, (sisters husband, born and raised in God's country) throwing a wrench at something on the ground. She decided to go out and investigate. The object of the attack was a six foot long black snake with "huge fangs" that was staring up at her! The snake had bitten LT and so, LT quietly decapitated the critter. What is it with the men in our family, quietly suffering such dramatic injuries?

Jess was freaking and rightly so in my book. I don't do snakes. NO. I don't even like looking at pictures of snakes. A black snake isn't harmful you say? Phshaw! Harmless snake is an oxymoron.

Jess was doubting that she would ever again feel safe walking out in the yard after dark and wondering how to deal with such lurking dangers. She was turning to me for a solution as we share a very healthy, crippling fear of these slithering devils. So Jess, I say always carry a flashlight and maybe wear some tall boots if you have to walk through the danger zone at night. Maybe hip waders would be a wise choice.

 BUY A TASER!       

You might look like a moron but I say let 'em laugh honey. At least you'll be safe.


Midnight Mystery

The other day I was reading Linda's post about her extreme, 3 a.m., bloody nose. I was aghast at the lack of sympathy or sensitivity shown by her husband! How dare he crack an eye, mumble a pseudo sympathetic "ok honey?" and roll over. Where is the love? Men! It put me in mind of something that happened in my own bedroom several years ago and it made me laugh out loud. Sorry Linda, I'm not laughing at your distress, much.

Let me say first that I take my sleep very seriously. If sleeping were an Olympic event, I would have gold medals lining my walls.  I need sleep and I enjoy my slumber. My husband is one of those obnoxious early risers, you know the sort, up and at 'em, don't want to waste the whole day! This at 7 a.m. on a Saturday. It's like living with the Al-Quedha or something. My husband is kind and thoughtful. He is also wary of waking me unnecessarily. It is rumored that I will lash out like a trapped animal at such times (ridiculous).

So, we went to bed at our usual time, the alarm was set for whatever ungodly time we had to get up for work and all was right with the world. Kiss, kiss, love you, snuggle, lights out. At this time we had a large, orange tabby cat and she was in her place, sharing my pillow.  Sometime during the night Kitty was feeling restless or she heard a fly buzzing or something and leaped out of the bed by way of the launching pad that is my husband's face. Those back claws dug in and gave her really good traction! There was shock and surprise and pain and blood and a very pissed off man and he made not a sound. He did, however, chase the cat out and close the bedroom door. He cleaned his face up as best he could and came back to bed.

The next morning he woke me up as the alarm went off for the fifth time (I never hear the alarm...ever) and I opened my eyes to see my husband who looked like he just barely survived the Nazi invasion! WTF? He didn't look like that when we went to bed! Where the hell have you been all night? What in the world have you been doing. That is not a stubbed toe that you might get in the middle of the night. Dried crusty blood was all over the sheets and pillow case. There were crumpled bloody tissues in the bathroom! Twilight Zone stuff! So he told me the story of what "my cat" had done to him while I slept soundly. Oh, my poor Honey! Hey, thanks for not waking me.

Let me tell you, if that had been me acting as the unwitting launching pad it would be a whole different scenario! The whole neighborhood would have been awake as I screamed and the ambulance came flashing and honking down the street! Gawd love him.

Oh, Kitty was banned from our bedroom for quite some time after that incident. She wasn't happy about it but my husband took perverse pleasure in slamming that door just before she slid in every night.

The picture, above, is not my husband and this is the best representation I could find. I didn't take a picture of his night time war wounds because I wasn't a blogger then. Now, however....well you know.


Memories of The Bullfrog Song

I heard a song the other day that instantly brought back a very clear memory. From back in the 1970's when my best friend and I were just about 15. I'm hoping she reads this sometime today and I know it will bring a big smile to her face.

".....the bullfrog jumped from bank to banky, just because he had nothing better for to do...."

Back then, my family went camping nearly every weekend during the summer. Mom, Dad, four daughters plus a couple of extra kids. My parents were beasts, I don't know how they lived through it all. The pop-up camper hitched to the back of the land cruiser station wagon. Oh yeah, off to the deep wilderness, you know, the campgrounds with olympic pools and paddle boats and wild squirrels all about. Our favorite campground was Granite Hills just outside of Gettysburg, PA. It was not far away with plenty to do and we went there often enough that we had made some friends. 

This particular time I believe we were there for at least a week. My Dad was not with us during the week, so it was Mom and the kids (including extras). My friend, Kathy and I were hanging out, no doubt on the lookout for some cool boys. Oh, did we hit the jackpot on this day! Sunshine and halter tops and we were revelling in every bit of our barely 15 year old, hormonal, coolness. On this beautiful sunshiny day we met, nay, attracted us a couple of very cool older guys. They were every bit of 18-19 and, wait, they were musicians! Be still my heart.

They were toting around their accoustic guitars and chewing on their picks. So smooth, so sophisticated, so irresistable. They had made a pilgrimage (to the next town) and met Jim Croce's wife after he passed to pay their respects. Wow! We did the little dance, hey there, hey, your name, blahgitty, blah, blah. All the time our hearts were just a-racing. They had their own car and everything, probably a rusty Ford Fairlane or something but whatever. They sang for us, oh yes. They sang to us, *swoon*. The next afternoon they asked if we wanted to take a ride into Gettysburg to get some beer. OMG! Thinking quickly, looking at one another, we have to go, can't resist this adventure, Mom will NEVER agree to this so I guess....."Of course, we'll go!"
As it turned out, that day being Sunday, all the liquor stores were closed, phew. We weren't drinkers, don't know how we would have handled that. We were gone for quite some time though and, apparently, Mom noticed we were no where to be found. I still don't know how she moved with that much stealth but the instant our feet stepped out of that car she had us by the hair and dragged us back to the campsite. So busted and yeah, soooo worth it. 

She loosened up later and even fed them dinner, the musician thing apparently works pretty well on Moms too! Also very good manners and repeated apologies...Ma'am.


I Need To Leave Town

I need to leave town for a few weeks. Anyone have room for a guest for maybe, mmm, 7 or 8 weeks? I don't need much space and I'm good at cleaning up after myself. I'm very low maintenance, I just need a little space for my laptop.

The next 7 weeks are going to be bank breaking time around here! Actually the bank is broke before I even start. This time of year is always fun but a little challenging, around here anyway. Between today and June 20th, I have been invited to or need to provide for:

(Sung to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas)

5 Bir-irthdays
4 House Warming Parties
3 Graduations
2 Mother's Day

And a First Holy Communion

Busy much? No kidding. It's like Christmas in May. The parties will be fun but I'm thinking it would be easier to just dump all my friends and family (except for you guys!). I could probably tour Europe for less than I'll be laying out over the next few weeks. 

Anyone have any brilliant ideas? $5 Arch cards all around? What? That's thoughtful.


I Lost The Dutch People!

Last month I wrote about how my daughter met her future husband online. I mentioned in that post that there are differences in how Europeans live vs. Americans. There are also many misconceptions. Basically we are all just people, parents, raising our kids the best we can, going to work, caring for our home.

On the Saturday preceding the wedding, the Dutch people arrived at BWI airport which is 20 minutes from my house. Jen and Edo left the house to go and meet them. Arriving for a 2 week stay at my home were Edo's mom Coby, his sister Kim, his uncle Ilja and a friend of the family Garret. Everyone could speak English quite well except Garret. He had about 5 words of English. No, we had never met any of them and yes, they were all staying at our house for 2 weeks.

About an hour after leaving for the airport, Jen and Edo flew in the front door panic stricken. Jen was in tears, "Mom, I lost the Dutch people".  "You..wha...how?" "They were picking up their rental car and we got separated and we couldn't find them. What do we do now?" I told them to skidaddle back to the rental car area and search the place. Obviously they had to be there, right? Wrong.

Shortly thereafter the phone rang, it was Coby calling from a gas station about 5 miles away from our house! We went to fetch them and called the lame search party back home. So we had our big meet and greet in the parking lot of a Texaco station. Hugs and laughter all around. Coby said she just felt like she should drive in this direction and she did. Pasadena, Maryland, America and she damn near tripped over the house! Astounding.

We made coffee and began talking, laughing and becoming friends. It wasn't hard at all, these people were simply an extension of our family immediately.

This was mid March of 2003. That month, the weather was perfect, it was sunny and unseasonably warm. We spent a lot of time on the deck. My husband and I had to work during that first week of their stay and so we missed out on the sightseeing trips to DC, Annapolis, Baltimore, sigh. 

All of the Dutch people smoke, as I do and when the weather is cool or rainy, the smoking happens in the garage. On Monday morning I got ready for work, running a little late, and grabbed my coffee and went flying out into the garage to get in my car. I was greeted by 3 of the dutch folks having a morning cigarette (they roll their own) and Garret was standing there in his under drawers! Teeny briefs! In my garage! I just met this person! There were good mornings all around as I tried to decide where to look. I jumped in my car and burned rubber. Obviously I was the only one feeling any discomfort.

Right at this time, my next door neighbors were having a paver patio put in. The weather was great so the landscapers were making hay. There was a crew of probably 4 guys working over there. Since the weather was so warm and sunny, young, blonde, sister Kim decided to take advantage and do a little sunbathing. In her bra and panties. Like a bathing suit, right? Garret too, was out there in the underoos enjoying the warmth. The crew next door must have had difficulties because there weren't a lot of pavers laid that week.

Trust me here, it's a little disconcerting to walk out onto your back deck and try and converse with a near stranger who is all but nude. Who also speaks virtually no English! I kept waiting for the police to show up at my door and arrest somebody! Hmmm, maybe that's why the neighbors won't let their kids play with Buggy girl? Nahhh.

Anyway, we all became friends, the wedding was fabulous and we had great fun for every minute of that 2 weeks. A year later we went to Amsterdam to visit their family and that, folks, is a story for another day.


The Dream

The illusive desire to get in shape. Not really to get in shape more like to already be in shape. If only we could twitch our noses and magically attain those buns of steel. Oh the dream. My buns are not steel or even aluminum, they are more like....memory foam. I don't see them turning to steel while I sleep. The only metal parts on my body are my fillings.

Oh, sure, I have exercise equipment. It's all piled in the basement growing cobwebs. I shudder to think how much money I have put out for such equipment over the years. Right now I have a home gym (huge thing) an elliptical trainer and a stepper thing (I forgot what it's called). None of these items is even good for piling other useless crap on!

I looked on Craig's List this morning to see what's listed in the "Dream of Getting in Shape Category" and I found a long list of useless crap that people are trying to sell:

Nordic Trac ProMmmm, hurts the arthritic knees

Abe Machine Exer Flex - Abe Lincoln? He's dead.

Weight Bench- I have plenty of weight thank you.

Exercise Equipment - Multiple, already have that.

See Why Your Neighbors Are Getting Into Shape (Our Secret) - Telling secrets!

Super Sundah SS40 Used Tanning Bed - I could do that.

The Food Lovers Fat Loss System - Sounds like me.

Bowflex Extreme Ab Attachment - Eeewww, hard!

Ab Lounge Sport - Lounge in my pj's? Maybe.

Bowflex Brand New Still In Box - I would get tangled in this thing.

Susan Lucci Pilates Chair Susan Lucci is in shape.

P90X Extreme Home Fitness DVD Set - Extreme again-eewww no.

Total Gym Home Gym- Have it.

Red Bull Energy Drink 2 x 12 - Drink this before and have a donut after.

How many dust collectors do you own? Do you use any of it? Once you are convinced that this is really not happening (2 weeks) do you sell it, give it, trade it or hang laundry from it?


Open Season on Parents


Yesterday I heard on the radio about a criminal complaint filed in Arkansas just last week. Denise New is being accused of harassment by her 16 year old son! Apparently she read his facebook and discovered some things that disturbed her and so she changed his password and shut him down. I nearly ran my car off the road when I heard this. I'm sure there are details that will come out over time but I'm not certain I care about those details. A KID is bringing criminal complaint against his MOM because she read his facebook and found cause to become very upset. A prosecutor agreed to file the charges! WHAT? Read about it here.

What in the world could be next?

Little Billy Sues Parents For Broccoli Torture 

"Your honor she made me eat it. I didn't want to, I just wanted skittles but she said NO! She made me eat the yucky broccoli! She's so mean to me!" Sobs are heard throughout the court room.

"Your honor, my parents destroyed my life. They let me eat skittles and play video games as much as I wanted. I'm fat and sick and don't have a job and it's all their fault! I deserve this $5M in compensation for what they have done to me." 

"Your honor, she took my car keys away. So not fair. That's MY car, she gave it to me for my birthday. I failed History, that does not give her the right to take MY car away!"

The 14 year olds are sexting? Those parents...why didn't they know?

Shooting at a school? Parents fault, they should have know.

Are you concerned? What if this kid wins the law suit? What sort of precedent does that set?


The Making of a Serial Killer

Have you ever wondered how serial killers are formed? Well, I know and there are a bunch of them brewing right next door to me. No kidding!

Let me tell you about my neighbors.  Well, I don't want to judge but.....ok, you tell me what you think. The people who live right next door to us are  a couple in their early 40's. Stay at home mom and they have 4 children between the ages of 6 and 13. The boys are 6, 11 and 13 and the girl is 7. Mom is home schooling the children.

 Mr. and Mrs. Neighbor have a lovely home with a fully fenced, professionally landscaped backyard. It's an oasis with rocks and lighting, a tiny waterfall and a pond. Beautiful. I could count on one hand the amount of times they go out in their yard. I'm including the kids here. In fact they almost never go anywhere aside from the grocery store and no one comes to visit either. When the kids were a little younger, mom used to make them wear bike helmets if they went out back on the brick patio. A couple of years ago we were all out front chatting and one of the kids had a bottle of bubbles. Mom flipped! The bottle was left over from the year before and she thought they had "expired". She grabbed the bottle and poured it out. I think my mouth dropped to my knees! Soap and water FREAKO!

The kids are not allowed to play with other kids, well, at least not with my Buggy girl or the little girl on the other side of them. They are even afraid (restricted) to talk to them across the fence! This has caused some tears and confusion in my house for sure. If Buggy or the other neighbor knocks on the door, they simply won't answer.

I nearly forgot about the dog. They have a little dog that I have only seen once. Maybe a Jack Russellish type. Well, the dog is paper trained (of course) and never, ever is allowed outside! The other day panic broke out next door because the dog ran out into the fenced backyard. They all flew outside to apprehend the scoundrel and corral him back inside. I haven't figured that one out yet. Maybe she's afraid of a flea or tick stowing away on the dog? Sneaky devils.

With all this would you believe that I saw the boys out back yesterday (I know, a kid sighting!) with pop guns shooting at squirrels? What? That's what I'm saying! I'm keeping a close eye out and if I notice fewer cats in the neighborhood suddenly...I'm so outta here!


My Family - Conversations

I hope your holiday was wonderful and full of good food and family. Mine sure was. The weather was perfect and so we sat outside mostly and nibbled and talked and laughed. You know the silly, food coma induced, conversations? How many times did you hear this yesterday?

Jamie, "I'm so stuffed I feel sick. Ooh, are you going in the house? Bring me back a chocolate egg would you?"

But this?

Jess, "Aunt Don, pass me your lighter please?"

Me, "Ok, but don't put it in your pocket, send it back to me."

Jess, "I just need to light this, do you want me to play Survivor and rub 2 rocks together? Oh my God, I could never play that game, if someone tried to make me poop in a hole in the ground.....that's it, Game Over!"


Happy Easter

I made you some cookies, so please, help yourself and enjoy the holiday!