Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There's a New Sheriff in Town

. . And, --We're gettin' New Carpet!

How do these two sentences relate? Well, just wait a minute, and I'll tell you.

First of all --
Can we afford it, you ask?
Define afford.

Listen --
everybody else in America has spent money they don't have! --- Why can't we be American too?!

And besides - we didn't actually have to
pay for the carpet, ---we charged it.

One thing that did help in the money department was our smart pursuit of a little store credit. We just went back to Lowes though because they have an installation price going on that is $60 less than what we recently paid. When Hubby and I asked the clerk to credit the difference -- TeenClerk said to Hubby, 'Are you sure you want me to write up the whole order again, just for sixty bucks?' (Ahhh! Run little boy, run!!) I was afraid Hubby would grab those below the buttcrack hip-hop jeans and pull them straight over TeenClerk's head until SWAT arrived! --Instead (and I was so proud of Hubby!) --all he said was, 'Yes, --I'm sure.' (Though he did sound a bit like The Terminator.)

Of course you know the real question isn't can we 'afford' new carpet - but rather, ---can we afford not to get new carpet.
The stuff we have now is so worn out I prefer to call it carpet powder. If we had differently colored carpet throughout the house, I could sweep-up and make some of those pretty sand art bottles as mementos. As it is the powder just gets in our lungs, cereal, and underpants. It's kind of like a day at the beach, except there is no fun or sun involved.
The getting of new carpet of course meant, we needed to have 'the talk' with the children. You know, --the one that suggests the civilized new lifestyle we would be embarking on . . . now that we were going to have real carpet, --like what real people have. Or to put it in words they could understand, 'like what you see on MTV cribs.'
I cannot tell you how big of a surprise this new lifestyle talk was to the boys! I guess it's because they've been living in a bubble I like to call 'Our-Home-Is-Our-Castle-and-We-Can-Eat-Burp-Fart-Spill-and-Bleed' wherever we want.
And interestingly, that's been Hubby's philosophy up to now, as well.
Two weeks ago he'd a'just assumed drag a bobcat carcass across the living room floor, and tell me it was fine because he'd 'drained it outside first.' 

Last Friday he crawled out of some sewer or grease tank repair job somewhere, took the jeans he'd had on outside to the hose, and then laid them carefully across our family room floor to dry.
(Right? I mean where else would you put soiled-wet jeans to dry?)
One year for my birthday everyone got to eat banana splits, chocolate cake, and root beer floats cuddled on the floor in the TV room. I wasn't home or anything, --but still it was a birthday to remember.

Now back to that 'There's A New Sheriff In Town' business. --Well, that new Sheriff is going to be Hubby!
Sooo many days, so many hours, so many sleepless nights, --have I worried and talked and pleaded about not eating upstairs, not bringing muddy shoes into the house, or not playing with the Slip'n'Slide in the living room. And now, finally, finally, my dreams are all going to come true! And I will never have to utter another word!
~'Cause when Hubby coughs up something as big as new carpet money, nobody, and I mean NOBODY dares to spill again~
In fact I guarantee a new era has begun. I dare the kids, --or anyone, --to lay their baseball bat down, shake out their shoes, or carry markers around our house now.
When I was in charge of scrubbing spots or directing soda traffic, did anybody care? No. No one heard a word I said.
But now with Hubby in charge of his 'precious?' --Well, let's just say they're going to miss me.

And so it is with pearly smile and happy giggles that I pass the baton. It was a long haul - but somebody had to do it. Now that my services will not be needed anymore, what will I do with the spare time? Oh, let's just say I'll think of something, somehow.
And when I think of it? I promise not to make a mess while I do it.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Camp Eureka (!)


I've finally figured out what I've been doing wrong all this time.
The secret to camping is staying
in civilization -- not away from it!
What have I been thinking??

It's like now that I've tasted Belgian, I can't go back to

We did Carpinteria last weekend, --where usually you have to fight like immigrant gold miners for land --

this time we did it different. We took our time, settled for leftovers, and planted ourselves way out of the inner circle . . setting up camp in a remote patch of parking lot grass - facing railroad tracks, an AmPm, and a podiatrist's office.

Sounds sad, right?
But no, it wasn't! Not at all!

Every time my girlfriend and I had seen enough blue darts, or smelled enough teen spirit, --we'd just up and walk across the lawn, right to downtown Carpinteria! Heck she even considered getting a
pedi while we were there, --but I stopped her. 'You can't get a pedi, when you're camping, silly!' I reminded her. So we settled for facials and antique shopping.

Once (because of our dirty hair I'm sure), someone pushed a twenty dollar bill into my pocket. But really, what was so bad about that?

And after the boys did the morning camp dishes Saturday, I moseyed over to the vegan bakery and grabbed myself a cookie and juice. The daily paper was in, --so I sat for a spell. It's funny 'cause ( . . and this makes me laugh), ---the kids were like '
how come Mommy gets a vegan cookie, and we don't?! ' and Hubby's like, ' . . and if Mommy had a creme brulee, would you want that, too?! --now go fetch water from the well!' Sheesh. Kids, uh? They're always afraid they might get gyp'ed out of some sort of treat, you know?

At night the Singles Bar near our bumper did get a
little routy. But all we had to do was holler--

---Hey! Keep it down over there! --We're trying to camp here!---

--and they'd pipe right down.

Oh, and was our campfire glorious! We used crates from behind the Vons on the other side of Pep Boys. They lit up like dynamite! The heat was great, --but really, we didn't need all the extra light, --what with the store signs, and traffic, and all.

Extra bonus! -- the kids slept outside this weekend! And you know what that meant for Hubby and me! I mean, we found ourselves aaalooonne in the motorhome for like, the first time ever!
--So Yup. . . I was free to decide what bed he would sleep in after I choose the full.

All in all we just had a great time. And I didn't experience any of those pesky problems like I usually do.
Well, that's not com
pletely true. We did have a heck of a time squeezing the 18th century armoire I picked up, --in with the sleeping bags.

But hey, you know? They wouldn't call it 'camping' if it was all just a walk in the park, --right?!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Skinny

How I know I'm On A Diet:

Vultures follow me.

Hubby goes from four nightly scoops of ice cream to three, out of courtesy.

Kid lunches are sent with bites in their sandwich.

I wear strawberry chapstick just so I can nibble on my lips for nourishment.

In and Out continues to unkindly ask if I want fries with my lettuce burger.

The children are looking tasty.

Cleaning the kitchen counter at night, I pop loose a dry sticky Fruity Pepple from the male-morning-breakfast-feasts, and put it in my mouth instead of the trash.

Bursts of speech to hide stomach growls, are mistaken for turrets.

Circulation has come back to my legs, when wearing jeans.

White flour is my friend, white flour is not my friend, white flour is my friend, white flour is not my friend . . . .

I have one honkin' smore camping, instead of five.

I squeeze through doorways with no lubrication.

My two least favorite words are "south" and "beach"

I pose for family photos instead of hiring stand-ins.

I pee a nutritious, fruit red and vegetable green.

People mistake me for someone who cares.

and finally

When the dog barks, I long to hunt with her in a pack.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Dog's Life

Well now I've seen it all.

Today in the news I saw pictures of poodles made over (at great expense to their poodle pride, I'm sure) for a Groom Expo contest. There was a 'Panda' poodle, 'Buffalo' poodle, 'Camel', 'Rooster', and 'Peacock' poodle.

Naturally, the Peacock poodle was the winner. Her groomers secret? Scissors, food dye, and Elmer's glue . . (--plus I imagine, not a single date in three years).

Though the 'Camel' groomed poodle's owner, enthusiastically belly danced through the entire Expo -- it still only earned him second place. (
Well my belly dances too -- but I wouldn't have the audacity to seek a doggy reward for it!)

Yes it is true, that when our youngest came along--the fourth of four boys--I choose to keep him long haired well-into the seventh grade.
And well yes, this may have given him a
small identity complex -- I never, never, shaved girl'y designs into his head of hair or made him wear peacock feathers in front of judges.

And so, as not to be confused --These poodles have it
much worse than any of my children, --and I really mean that. No matter what they say.

Our dog? --well, we should have named her Lucky, with the life
she's had.
For starters, she was a pound rescue. So that was the first thing that went well for her. And from there it's been a straight line to living high on the hog. (
~ High on the Hog? Sounds politically incorrect in petspeak, no?---)

In fact, --I recently found out
the first thing Dog and Hubby did last summer when the kids and I were gone for a night, -- was make a beeline for the master bedroom bed! Now of course the rules are no animals on the bed. But there they sat, --eating, watching movies, and catching a good nights sleep.
I can only imagine the grins they had on their little rule-breakin' mugs that night.

Though I've never let the dog on the bed with me, --I
still take good care of her.

A certain full-blown doggy bladder infection, comes to mind.
I don't remember exactly how it was we suspected an infection. . . But it was the vet who eventually clued us in completely.
Either way, it became my job to get a urine specimen. I don't even like collecting my
own urine specimens. Worse yet is carrying it around til someone takes it off your hands. And why must it feel warm? Do I really have to know that about my urine?
Anyhow. I started where anyone would start. I had a good heart to heart with Dog. I told her I knew how she must be feeling, heck we were both women, --and that I wouldn't wish a bladder infection on my worst enemy . . . and that we were going to get help for her. Her only job would be to just let me know when she needed to go potty, and I would lay a pie tin down for her, ---and, if she wouldn't mind, -- just leave her little sample right in it. I would take it all from there.

only time I recognized the vaguest resemblance of comprehension cross her doggy face was when I finished with the words, 'Alright, --let's go!'
She was all about the '
let's go!' . . . but I felt like the rest had gone in one ear and out the other.

And so began the strange dance of Dog, and pie tin laying Doggy Mommy.

The vet told me the secret was to--when I saw the dog go outside--nonchalantly follow her around with my pie tin hidden. When I saw her begin a squat, I was to speedy, like a ball-a-fire, slip that cold tin, right under her business.

Well, you can imagine what a shock that was to her! (~~ '
What the . . ?')
In fact, Dog became rather antsy about my whole need to follow her
every time she wanted to take a backyard stroll. Plus, she had never seen her mild-mannered master jump into such a devilishly fast-paced-dash, whenever she meant to leave a deposit.
Eventually Dog would try to lose me, --similar to if she were the FBI, and I the KGB. And when I'd catch up she'd act like, '
Um, nope! Just smellin' the roses here, sister. No call for your squirrel'y behavior and frosty disc!'

Oy, did we have a time of it.

And I
know I hurt our relationship. She may never understand why I needed to push cold foil against her privates every time she tried to 'unwind'.
And you
know with a bladder infection, she was trying to ~unwind~ like, every ten minutes!
-- and sure enough, every ten minutes there I was standing right beside her, whistling dixie, and avoiding eye contact.
I became so fast on the draw, it's a wonder I didn't dislocate a shoulder!

Eventually I confiscated the smallest dropper full of doggy pee, known to man. Somehow, miraculously, it was enough. Though it seems to me I would have gotten the same amount of tinkle if I'd just let her do her thing, sponged the area dry, and wrung it out in my tin.

I wouldn't even want to
think about bladder infections in a pet hamster or parakeet. I mean really, shoot me now.

Stalking aside, I'm still confident I remain a more humane dog owner than those thick-headed poodle whittlers.
I gotta say, if the TV executives are that hard up for material -- I've got a fantastic idea for a Realty TV Show.

Think celebrities, pets, and pie tins.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

what's the BIG deal --


Today is Epiphany Day.
Did you know that?
Today the Catholics celebrate the Wise Men coming to see the Baby Jesus.
That's cool.

Actually for us in our home,
every day is an epiphany day. Just - over smaller stuff.

I really do have to drive slow or I'll get a ticket!" (son)
I guess I really didn't hear, again, what you said!" (hubby)
I really can't take a piece of roast beef off the dinner table!" (dog)

Well I bet you didn't know this, but Hubby isn't the only man I'm close to. There's another man, and I see him every week without fail. He even knows how much I weigh!
Hubby doesn't even know that. (And if Hubby knows what's good for him, he will never take a stab at it when I'm in earshot.)

My other manpal is Sal. He runs the front desk at the local Weight Watchers. Sal's my buddy, my confidant, my inspiration.
Though I haven't been inspired to do anything for the last year, except stay away from his wife. She runs the meetings and you
don't want to weigh-in when she's doin' the weighing. I'd rather stick needles in my eyes. She's tough. Tough, tough, tough.

Soooo, I wait 'til a stroke past meeting time beginnings, before I saunter in. Well, it's more of a slither really. I guess a secret spy kind of pathway dash, hide behind columns, anonymous entry.
Why, you ask?
Oh believe me sister,
no one is going to see me in public on weigh-in mornings.

Not that you'd recognize me anyhow.
I'm a shadow of myself. A mere sunglassed impostor of Bliss.
By that I mean I have taken off, or unloaded, every single thing from my person that can possibly be unloaded. You wouldn't know me if you saw me.
And each week I go a step further.

In my first weigh-ins I had on jeans, sweaters, jewelry . . .
. . . and it's all gone slowly down-weight-from-there.

Not the flesh though. The flesh hasn't gone anywhere. Just the decorations.

But now I can't find a bloody thing more to get off of my body before I weigh-in! I mean, the last 10 weeks I haven't even worn
underwear! There's nothing left, unless I want to get arrested. (~Hey, there's Bliss. Why isn't she wearing any clothes?~)

I leave home my hairclips, earrings, wedding rings, retainer. I don't swallow after brushing my teeth. I don't wear mascara. I stop to use a public restroom on the way there. I have bridge work, but I can't figure how to get it out of my mouth. I exhale before stepping on the scale, I blow my nose, I check for ticks. I don't even use big words.
There is nothing left.
Not a single thing left of Bliss.

Hence the epiphany!
The only thing Bliss has left, is Bliss. In abundance.

I have to lose weight.

Though it's true I've had this epiphany a few hundred times before. When you Epiphanate on Epiphany Day -- there's no fighting it. The Epiphany wins.

So tomorrow is D-Day. Dart Day.
(You know,
from my car to the door . . from the door to my car.)

But every week will get better, I'm sure.
I've just gotta face the music (--before I decide to lose my hearing too. How much does hearing weigh, anyhow?).

Never mind that.

I'm giving it the old effort again, and gonna drop a few. I'm not making any huge promises, but I know at least Sal is gonna be happy for me. He's really run out of niceties to say, --since I don't know, --last June?

And I don't need any smart remarks from the peanut gallery the next couple of weeks. Rome wasn't built in one day, you know.

And it wasn't lost in one either.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Computer Genius

The kids are playing computer and video games for far too many hours.

So what else is new? The sun rose this morning as well.

Oh Man.
These habits
always get whipped up again after Christmas and birthdays. Somebody acquires a new game--and wham! The eye-stinging marathons begin. Really, I don't know how their brains don't just fall out of their heads.

Here's my
biggest problem though. Upon again entering a room bursting with male zombie'd game players in full blown fixation, I notice this one, bigger, older guy sitting in the middle of them all and playing as passionately as anyone.

Oh, no.

He has joined the enemy.

Worse yet, when I was looking the other way those sneaky teens got him his own account and character in the gangs latest poison, --World of Warcraft. ~(to a woman's mind they might as well call it 'I Love to Fight and Hurt Others Boy What A Good Time'). (Listen, I'm glad men have the guts to put up arms when we, the softer-gender need protection. But really?
World of Warcraft?!)

And, (
I almost cry as I tell you this) the character my StudMuffin chooses to be, in some sort of disastrous twist of sick, is a kind of busty looking cavewoman girl, with super attack prowess's. Even Hubby's sons were a little grossed out by this. But at the risk of being grossed out by their dad, or accepting him fully into the fold so as to gain extended playing rights--they choose acceptance.

Double worse yet, --say Hubby's real name is 'Bert' . . well his W.O.W. name is 'Ber
Way bad for my (humble, mild, saintly) sex-drive.

If I hear one more reference or call-out to '
Bertina!' -- 'Come quick!' --I think I might puke.
How am I supposed to have romantic feelings for a man I hear shout back to that '
Yup, I'm right behind you!'

My only hope now is to get Hubby pit-bull-jaw locked onto some
other distraction before he 'levels' (or in other words makes an even more indispensable Bertina).

No little fancy pants fur-girdled 'Bertina', or way-leveled teenager son is going to get between me and my Hubby's rational thinking.

Let me assure World of Warcraft, ---Momma don't play small.

In a succession of three notes, lowered on string, attached to a pole, --from a distant vantage point so as to not raise any suspicions, I slowly lower directly into Hubby's line-of-sight note #1.

Bertina, by the way, Is Now On 'Her' Third Hour of Screen Time!'
Wife'amoma Is About To Kill 'Bertina' '
and finally
I Think I saw Your New Wrench Laying in the Front Yard Grass.'

(Clearly vague language chosen for the first two notes, was too cryptic. But number three, that was speakin' Bertina's language.)

To the boys surprise the masterful Bertina is suddenly sent directly to 'sleep mode,' as Hubby stretches his arms and announces --

Okay guys, lets get outside for a bit. Do some yard work or something.'

You'da thought he'd asked them to line up for a masculine group bubble bath followed by mall hopping, --the whining and thrashing was so loud and high pitched. Even the dog pawed at her ears and joined in the howling.

Fifteen minutes later sunk into a big easy chair, sipping tea, and looking out the front window while watching the family scour the yard for trinkets, I smile easily to myself.
Genius, thy name is woman.
And woman, thou art genius.