Miss Mary Mack...Mack...Mack

Oh gosh, a long weekend, warm weather, family and friends. Remembering those that make all of this possible for us.  It was a fun time around here and I hope your holiday weekend was great as well. We had a cookout, ate lots of hot dogs and potato salad, chased ants away, drank some beer, good stuff. We laughed and told silly stories. The usual, special though, because this was the first official cookout of the season.

Really the highlight of the day was the double dutch jumping! Yes, jumping rope! When is the last time you jumped double dutch? I think the last time I did was when my kids were young and we were teaching them how to do it. Yeah, a few years ago! Let me say that this is kind of hard on the knees (and hips and feet) as you get a little older. Not the same as when you are 12 years old. The people you see in this video are ranging in age from 24 to 50. There are sisters and daughters and nieces and even my husband (Ravens shirt). This was several hours and many beers in to the day so be impressed.

As you know, the women in this family are very crafty (I'm talking about the hot glue gun here!). Just give us a project and stay out of the way. One of the daughters or nieces decided we should all make our own Crunk Cups. Just some sort of cup that reflects our individuality that we would use to drink beer from. Bling, lots of bling! Here is a picture, you be the judge. Don't be harsh, I know our talent is hard to take in.

Do we know how to party or what? I know, you want to go outside and jump rope now don't you? Do you remember the Miss Mary Mack jumping rhyme...all dressed in black, black, black?

Many thanks and a bow to my Brother-In-Law, John for this fabulous video. I'm thinking we should send it to Cannes.


Someone Call John Walsh!

Guest Blogger: my daughter, The Bee

(WARNING: this post is Epic in length but totally worth the read)

For several weeks my friends and I have been kicking ass and taking names at Charm City Trivia! We're ranked first at our local - not that I'm bragging. This week my mom and Kirk came with us and as usual we were unstoppable! We won two free rounds of shots for the whole team, a $20 gift card for the restaurant and a trashy Blue Moon beer t-shirt.  A good time was had by all. But that's a story for another day.

After last night's win I decided to keep the party going (since I didn't have work the next day - who doesn't loves holiday weekends??)  One of my friends suggested a dive bar down the street that I had never been to.  I have seen this place from the outside since I was a little girl - it's the back half of a liquor store and its situated nicely between a Goodwill Superstore and a KFC.


I was hesitant but she assured me it would be fun. "They have an arcade bowling game! You'll love it."

I am a sucker for games.

So we went ... my friends Carrie & Will, my husband and myself.  I got out of the car and walked up to the front door to meet Will. Meanwhile Carrie and my husband were hanging back in the lot because my husband found a snakeskin at work that day and couldn't wait to show her ... look I never said we weren't trashy. Let's remember where we were though; it fit.

As we walked up to the front some guy was standing outside smoking and he offered a friendly greeting which I returned and then quickly lost eye contact.  I gave Carrie the stink eye for talking me into going there and she started busting up laughing just knowing what we were in for.

We walked inside and the smell was a bit off-putting. Musty old carpet and 40 years of drinking and smoking that had seeped into the wood paneling on the walls.  It wasn't the greatest but I've seen worse. So we grabbed a seat. Will went up to the bar to order drinks and asked some of the regulars if there was anything on draft or just bottles. The two regulars looked at each other like he was speaking a foreign language. They had no idea what a draft beer was. They thought he meant like Heineken vs. Budweiser; and of course they had no time for some yuppie that wanted a fancy beer. Eventually he got the bartender's attention and ordered two Yeungling bottles to be on the safe side.  The rest of the bar was populated with about half a dozen middle aged men. Alone. Drinking themselves into oblivion. This was not a social bar - it was a strait alcoholic's bar.  There was one guy sitting at a table alone that I was concerned might be unconscious, or worse, but Carrie assured me he was fine. How she knew that without putting a mirror to his mouth is beyond me but I took her word for it.

Then I realized all the shots and Mai Tai's from trivia were hitting my bladder hard.

Me: "How's the bathroom here?"


Carie: "Not bad ... if you don't mind showers curtains!"

Holy shit.  WTF does that mean?!?! Is the door to the bathroom a shower curtain? Am I expected to pee in a bathtub? I mean seriously - this was not going to be good.

I ventured around the corner to the restrooms - on the way I passed an old shopping cart in the hall. How or why that was there I will never know. I found the bathrooms. One marked MEN and one marked BITCHES. Sweet. But - at least it was an actual door. This was a good sign and I began to think that maybe Carrie was exaggerating. As I opened the door I knew I was wrong. The smell of a dead body smacked me in the face. Where I found the strength to continue on I will never know; maybe my bladder is really just that weak. As I looked around the "bathroom" I discovered what Carrie was talking about. I came face to face with two stalls - no doors - just shower curtains. And not just any shower curtains - fancy shower curtains (exactly like the picture below.) They clearly spared no expense. Although, I'm pretty certain it was one shower curtain cut in half and split between the two stalls.

Using the actual toilet was it's own adventure. The shower curtains are not on any kind of rod - they are nailed to the molding over the stall. So you can't even slide it out of the way you just have to plow through. Then once I got in position I realized that the shower curtain is hung less than an inch away from the edge of the toilet seat. So while you're sitting/squatting there, not only your knees but your FACE is rubbing up against the curtain. God knows what has touch that thing. Honestly - if someone else was to walk into the bathroom while you're on the toilet they would totally see the outline of a person with two knees sticking out the sides.

Seriously - whats the point?? The only thing this shower curtain is doing is helping the spread of herpes.

I peed and wiped and ran the hell out of there. I didn't even stop to look at the sink to wash my hands. I was surely cleaner not even touching the faucet. When I get back to the table I got some Purell from Carrie and asked if we could leave. She couldn't stop laughing and the guys were just clueless. They assumed I was over-reacting and continued to concentrate on their Keno.

I dragged everyone outside for a "cigarette break" which was really just and excuse to tell them my horror story and breathe some fresh air. I demanded that we call John Walsh from America's Most Wanted because we could easily solve about 10 murders on the spot. The DNA evidence was all over my face!

There were a few more awkward moments involving 10 homeless guys in the woods and a midget but I don't want to blow your mind so I'll spare you.

I left as soon as possible and could not get in the shower quick enough when I got home.

I texted Carrie that night and told her I had self-diagnosed syphilis. Carrie replied "Not bad. At least it's curable!"


Beat The Clock - Man Game

My husband has a new toy. Oh, no, wait, I'm sorry. My husband has a new "tool". I gave it to him for Christmas thinking it would make his life a little easier now that he is working in a new area. What I didn't realize was how much fun he would have with it. Actually Buggy girl enjoys it almost as much as her Poppy does but for different reasons.

The "tool" is a GPS unit. An electronic device that will get you where you need to go in an efficient manner. Doesn't sound like that much fun, right? I didn't think so either. Now let me tell you that my husband is a human GPS but only in the state of Maryland. He needs the electronic GPS because he drives in DC and Virginia for work. Since Christmas though, he uses that GPS every time we get in the car! I don't know if he is having senility problems or he's testing himself or what. He has even started taking slightly different routes to routine destinations. A little variety maybe?

My husband calls me every day on his way home from work. Yeah, he loves me and all that but it's really that he sits in traffic a lot and he wants someone to complain to while he does it. Every day I ask him what his ETA is and he announces the time on the GPS, he also informs me that he is certain to 'shave a few minutes off of that time'. Seems simple to me; drive faster = get there quicker. No, it's a man thing; cut down your drive time = personal  achievment. Unhuh!

I want to let you all know that he beat his personal best time today on the way home by 4.5 minutes! YES! The parade will be held on Saturday if you're interested.

This GPS thing provides hours of entertainment for the whole family. What a buy that was, no kidding. A couple of weeks ago we were driving to my nieces house in Pennsylvania, drive time about 2 hours. Of course my husband was happily trying to shave minutes and Buggy girl wanted in on the fun. She got to hold the GPS unit while she sat in back in her car seat. Husband had the volume turned up so he could hear the directions. Buggy was also directing Poppy and doing a great job, "turn on the red road on your side Pop". Then Buggy noticed that the GPS was directing her to all of the McDonald's, Subways and Dunkin Donuts in the MD/PA area!  She really needed some french fries and a chocolate donut at least 37 times between here and there.

I took over watching traffic because everyone else in the car seemed to be pretty busy.


Le' Bags

Hopefully you have noticed the slideshow over on the left sidebar. Shown are some photos of the handbags I have been making and displaying for sale. Recently I decided to lower the selling price to a low-low $40.00 each! Every one of these bags is handmade and unique. No two are ever the same even if I have used the same fabric, which I seldom do.

I can tell you truthfully that I am very fussy about the bags I carry. They MUST be functional above all else. These fit me perfectly. They function and they are really attractive. The whole package. 

I'm a fabric addict and to me, something created from a beautiful piece of fabric is a work of art. Very much like a Vera Bradley bag which these have been compared to.

Just click on the "Shop Buggys" over at the top of the left sidebar and have a look at what I have in stock. I am sewing every day so stop back frequently if you don't see what you are looking for. If you have a suggestion for a color or combination of colors just let me know.

These bags are selling really well for me in person but not getting much as far as online orders. I'm guessing that the pictures are not as good or clear as they need to be. Does anyone have a suggestion for my photography? I try to take pictures on sunny days but I think I need more than that. Any help is appreciated.


The Devil Wears L'Eggs

You read that correctly...I said L'Eggs. Pantyhose, specifically, control top because if you are of a particular age (and shape)  then you need all the help the retailers can offer. Now I know that the younger set has disdained wearing pantyhose in favor of bare legs and comfort. I get it. I'm all for the comfort. If you are in my age bracket, you were raised to understand that when you dress for an office, a wedding, a funeral, etc, in something besides a sun dress then you WILL wear pantyhose to cover your legs. Read along young girls...I am your future.

In order to go bare (legged) it seems to me that you should have those legs in fair shape. They would be somewhat toned and not Arctic white. You don't want to have any shaving nicks on the shin, no softball scars on your knees and oh, that scar from the cool bunk beds with metal rails that your kids really had to have? No. Don't pass this list of criteria? Me either. Read on.

So you are going to an event, let's say your son's scholarship awards luncheon. Important stuff, worth a new fabulous dress that fits like a glove. One that your sister, the seamstress, kindly designed and made for you. Pics will be included. Well, it fits beautifully if you include a pair of control top pantyhose and the High Powered - High Waisted Power Spanx! Beauty is pain girls. 

You shower, you powder, you primp and your hair is just perfect. It's a lovely day, sunshiny and 82 degrees which means that upstairs in your bedroom it's about 87 degrees and the air is not working. Ok, that fan is on high, all is well. Husband is shaving and you commence the countdown to liftoff. Bra - on. Pantyhose.......damn it! Get the hand lotion because you have a rough spot on your hands and you got a snag already. Ok, leg gathered and insert foot...damn it! Get the ped egg and smooth that #@?&* callus on your heel. Now stand in front of the fan because you're having a hot flash and it's physically impossible to put pantyhose on a sweaty leg. I tried it once in 1984, in July, in my car! Bad day.

Homeland Security should use this instead of waterboarding, much more effective. Those terrorist would be crying like a baby!

One leg in and pulled up and onto the second! Gather in the hands and.....damn it! You can't bend your other leg up high enough to get it in! OMG, cramp in the foot! Sweating again, Jesus H., time to chill in front of the fan. Worse than childbirth. Now your husband comes to help you bend that leg and shove it, oh so gently, into your carefully gathered handfull of sheer leg covering. Rest. A glass of wine at this point would be Nirvana. More fan time.

The Spanx. This must be like stuffing sausage casing by hand. Gather, pull and tug. Rest. Fan. Pull and tug. No slouching once the High Powered Spanx are in place because the waist band (just under the bra) might roll and that would be ugly. At this point you thank God for Super AquaNet because with any lesser product, your hair would be in shambles. Husband zips you in and off you go, sucking on an oxygen bottle.

In the car, no seat belt (are you joking) no slouching, as straight as possible. Jump out of the car upon arrival. Accept all compliments on your appearance in an offhand manner. This is my sister, Lorrie (aka June cleaver) she hates attention so please don't mention that I posted her picture for all the world to see.


Life On The Farm #3

I really need to spend some time at my sister's, it's a laugh a minute...well, for me it is! So my neice, Jess, has planted her vegetable garden and we'll see how well she does with that. She planted asparagus (yuck) I can't even see wasting good dirt for that stuff but also lima beans (yum). They have acquired 1 pig named, yes, Bacon, 2 cows, Bessie and Buttercup and a new horse, "A Horse With No Name", love that song. She is thinking of calling the horse Edward (Cullen). Now I remind you, these people have never been animal lovers particularly. They get pets and very shortly things go wrong and they give said pets away. Ok, granted these animals are not supposed to be pets, except for the horse, but they have named them. It will be a traumatic day when "Bacon" is transformed into strips and links!

Yesterday, early around 8:00 am, my niece was jolted out of a sound sleep by her mother screaming her name from downstairs. Jess ran down still in her pajamas to find that the cows had escaped the electric fenced pen. Obviously my sister wasn't planning to take care of the escapees so it fell to Jess by default. Why is it this stuff always happens when the more able and familiar folks are at work?

Jess grabbed some carrots out of the fridge and took off outside, in the rain, in her pajamas, to corral the wayward ones. The escapees were headed down the lane towards the house down the way (that's farm talk). According to Jess cows run really fast, like they are wearing PF Flyers, lightening on hooves! Off she went huffing and dripping with her carrots dangling enticingly in her hand. The cows? Not impressed with the lame carrot offering.

Jess got wet, she got muddy, she got winded, but she didn't get any cows. She came back to the house and they called, you got it, Josh! The saviour of cows and septic tanks. Josh came along and put some fresh feed in the cow pen with the gate opened and shortly the cows were inside. Ok, that's probably because Jess chased them down the lane and had them all worn out and hungry by the time Josh arrived.

They might be rethinking that solar powered electric fence. Apparently it isn't so effective on those cloudy, rainy days.


The Important Stuff

We are having to deal with some tough things around here right now. Nothing we can't handle but not pleasant either. Well, my Buggy girl came to stay over on Saturday and 5 minutes with her is enough to put a smile in my heart and remind me that the important things are pretty simple.

We picked her up on Saturday afternoon and the moment I saw her she cracked a huge smile and ran in for a hug. She announced to me with a giant grin on her face that, "Guess what Grandmom, I get to sleep at your house tonight!". She never wants to do anything much, come home, play with her friend next door, bake cookies. That's about what we did on Saturday. It was perfect.

Bright and early on Sunday morning, she was crawling in the bed next to me. We snuggled for a bit and she asked if it was time to get up. My body said "NO!" I asked her to look at the clock and tell me the time and she announced in a loud voice (just in case Poppy was not awake yet) "it's 7-1-0". I tried to squeak out a little extra time and told her we could get up when the clock said 7-3-0. She proceeded to bombard me with loud chatter for the next 7 minutes so I gave up. I gave her a squeeze and got out of bed. At that point she decided to get all stealth and insist that I not make any noise because "Poppy is sleeping!". She rushed me down the stairs.I have tried over the past six years to convince her that Grandmom needs a period of "wake up time". The coffee, the eye rubbing, etc. need to be accomplished. I turned on the cartoons and went to make the coffee. As those very first drops of liquid adrenaline started dripping into the coffee pot, she asked if I was awake yet, in a hushed voice. I looked at that face, expectant, hopeful, too cute for words. "Grandmom, do you want to play a game with me?"

Well, needless to say, at 7:32 on Sunday morning I was playing a very loud and giggly game of Wii, Super Mario and loving every second of it. We played until about 9:00 when Poppy finally came downstairs and we stopped to make breakfast. Is there anything better?

 Sometime over the weekend, Buggy saw some bits of fabric on my sewing table from a new handbag I was working on. This fabric really turned her on and she asked me if I would make her a dress with these two different fabrics. She was insistent that I use both of them. Well, you know the minute I dropped her off at home I was on my way to the fabric store to see if they still had this fabric in stock. Well, I scored and so did Buggy! I wouldn't have thought to use this fabric for clothing for a 6 year old but I think it turned out to be pretty adorable. Just a little halter dress. What do you think?