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Cat Lady

After purchasing our first home, I decided to surprise my husband with a kitten.

Now, the first thing I want to make clear to all of you is that I don't hate animals. I just have a strong aversion to those four-legged animals (and the three-legged ones, as I recently witnessed) that don't have, well, proper etiquette.

Come on, you know what I am talking about. Contrary to the cute snuggly bears we see in the television commercial, neither cats nor dogs use Charmin. And I know many dog lovers that will encourage their pets to run outside and "make duty," to only then encourage Fido to jump up into their bed to snuggle close for a long night's sleep. And I guess they are not afraid of bed bugs either.

OK, back to my idea of getting a cute little kitty. To this day, I do not know how I got there, all I know is that one afternoon I awoke and found myself at the local Humane Society.

I approached the desk where several ladies were busy at work.

"Can I help you?" A pleasant young woman asked.

"Why, yes, I am here to buy a cat," I said.

Silence ensued. I blinked back at her, and then thinking I was somehow not making myself clear, I added, "You know a kitten, really. Preferably one that is already, well... trained."

More silence.

I now had the complete attention of the entire front desk staff.

The largest of the three, her name tag read, "Supervisor," glared at me and said, "Honey, I don't know where you think you are, but this is the Humane Society and you don't "buy" an animal here, you adopt one."

It was immediately apparent that I'd made a mistake. And sensing my opportunity to score big points with my hubby slipping away I knew I had to act fast.

I quickly donned my, "I just love animals and it doesn't matter where they poop or pee" mask and said, "Of course, of course! What I meant to say was adopt, adopt as in make a special part of our family, to have and to hold, blather, blather, blather. All the while, I was thinking, "Show me the damn cats."

I must have sounded sincere enough, as an animal nurse came around the desk to take me to the place where they kept the cats. I looked around and the eager little kitties were meowing for my attention.

I stuck my finger into one cage and said, "Here kitty kitty." The darn thing flew up to the cage and hissed at me raising its paw to strike.

Certain that was not the cat for me, I quickly backed off and went to the next cage where there was a small butter colored kitten just staring at me.

"This is the one I want," I declared.

The cat-nurse opened the cage to remove the kitten and offered her to me.

"Oh no, I don't need to hold him or her, just WRAP it up" I replied.

Cat-nurse looked at me with surprise, "You don't want to hold it?" she asked incredulously.

"No, I am good," I replied. "Besides, this sweater is dry-cleaning only. But do you think you have a box I can use?"

The cat-nurse glaring now said, "You do know that having a pet is a big responsibility and not everyone is cut out for it. You may very well have this cat for fifteen years?"

Fifteen years, I silently cried! Did I know what I was getting into?

Fifteen years seemed like a lifetime of pet ownership. And what about the whole, "Cats have nine lives" deal. Had she included all nine lives?

But then I regained my sanity and quickly began to factor in how I was constantly losing things and besides, our new driveway was super sloped, all risk factors that cat-nurse knew nothing about.

"No,I'm good, I'll take it" I replied.

Cat-nurse ushered me into a small private office where she had about twenty pages of paper work for me to complete.

I remember thinking, "Hello cat people, for crying out loud, this is a CAT we are negotiating over here. Do you really need my social security number?"

But I silently completed all the forms and stood up, ready for my new charge.

I walked back up front where cat-supervisor lady stood waiting for me. She said my total charges would be $80.00 and I would be able to pick my new kitten up tomorrow after 3pm.

Yeah, believe it or not, they had decided that I fit a certain type of profile and needed a 24 hour "cooling off" period, before they'd be comfortable in releasing the pet to me.

Twenty-four hours, ha, I cried, they were crazy if they thought I'd change my mind in 24 hours. I knew it would take at least 48 hours for buyer's remorse to set in!

Dear Lady

I am thinking of writing a letter of regret to my cleaning lady. I want her to know how much I regret her not coming to my house any longer. I regret that I ever complained about her putting the towels away while they were slightly damp. I now fully appreciate the "crisp" fold marks that method provides and after a while, you hardly notice the musty smell. I regret ever entertaining the thought that her new hair cut looked like a mullet- for that I am truly sorry. I feel like the broom on the Swifter commercial, "baby come back"... What I didn't know back then was that it is impossible to clean my house, complete 12 loads of laundry, change all the beds and still be in a good mood AND not light your wig on fire. I am sorry that towards the end of her time with us, I started to time her visits, thinking she wasn't putting in the time. And about the time I ran my finger over the top of the baby grand, bitterly complaining about the dust, I was outta line. We have a new cleaning lady now. She is far less competent than our old. In fact, this one is borderline lazy. Believe it or not, my daughter came home one afternoon and found her sleeping! And she helps herself to all our "good food". I had to have my son hide the Cameo cookies from her in the freezer. She is guilty of many transgressions, but the one that is most grating is that she never completely empties the dish washer, leaving us with "perpetual riders" AND if this doesn't top it all- she has attitude! Yeah, it is as if she is somewhat resentful that she has to do HER job! I mean, it is not like she doesn't get paid for it. Er... does she? Some would consider the love and respect of their family as a sort of currency.
Our new cleaning lady well, she somewhat resembles me. " Baby come back, you can blame it all on me. I was wrong, and I just can't live without you!


What price are you willing to pay?

I saw one of those snipe signs the other day advertising "photo facials" for a bargain. Earlier that morning I had been cleaning out a cabinet and found a Starbucks gift card. Dancing around in happiness I thought, "damn, found money, it must be my lucky day"! So, I was on my way into Starbucks, (yes, this was before I got the new pot) and I saw this sign advertising facials. I'd been thinking about getting a "renue" facial for awhile, but had decided it was too expensive. For some reason, I needed to keep reminding myself that getting expensive facials was the old me. In my new world I go to CVS and get some scrubbing bubbles. Living with this constant struggle between the old me and the new is exhausting and sometimes I lose control... I called anyhow, couldn't resist. The lady that answered told me their location was right around the corner . When I still couldn't place it, she said, "Oh, we are inside the weight loss clinic". My first thought was really? There is a weight loss clinic in my neighborhood? She went on to tell me about the "med spa" options for facials and the price was three times lower than what my dermatologist charges. It was so low in fact, I actually ask, "what'd you guys do, steal it"? Without missing a beat, she replied, "the guy who owns the lasers really wants to help all the poor people (unemployed, I am thinking) age more he makes it affordable". "He wants to get the word out on the streets, that there is hope for people like you; people like you that used to blow your nose at Med Spa's, opting instead for high priced plastic surgeons and such, we are for the people". Not a bad deal and I was sucked right into her spiel, after all, she understood me. So, I am thinking about it. Really, what is holding me back is the weight clinic deal. If I go in there, are they going to automatically say, "oh, you are here for the weight deal, strip to your panties and step on the scale"? I see myself sucking it in and protesting, "no..... really, I am here for a facial sand blasting". Then they will give me a blank stare and try to offer me some two for one deal, lose weight while you lose those stubborn wrinkles. That will just get me in an even worse mood and I will probably say something a little caustic and there will be looks exchanged between staff members thinking, "Ahhh, nothing worse than an angry, fat woman " and blah, blah, blah. And since they are right in my neighborhood, I will have to worry about running into those skinny little bizniche-nurses at Publix and risk them looking over the items in my cart. "I see, do you really think those Cameo cookies are necessary" and "those 100 calorie chips, you do realize it is only 100 calories if you eat a single bag"? Do I really want to risk ruining my Publix experience for a cheap facial? Publix, if you don't know by now, has quickly usurped most other activities in my life and become the hi-light of my afternoon. Will the risk of having beautiful skin for a bargain compensate for the potential trouble? I'm not sure. I am still mulling it over. But in the mean time, tomorrow when I set off for my morning walk with my brand new sexy little fluorescent green Nano, I may just walk past that office and peek in the windows...

The perfect cup of Joe!

Today, I was on a mission. My quest- to find a new coffee pot and a new Ipod. We haven't had a working coffee pot in our home for months now. For awhile, it was OK, as I was on a hot tea kick. I'd read somewhere that green tea and black tea was good for you, and I thought why not? I mean, I was already on a health kick, drinking red wine on a real regular basis, why not add tea to the equation? The problem with me and tea is this- I get so blasted sick of it! But in the past five years I have had at least eight new coffee pots, yeah- not a real great track record. I have had an expensive Italian capoo maker, and one of those pots where the water is always ready, a stainless steel really cool looking pot, several french presses and some other "faceless" brands. I knew I was looking for this new magic genie to work with pods. One of the things about my last twelve pots that made me so bitter was having to clean out the grinds. I don't know how the rest of you feel about that, but it quickly developed into the task I dreaded most in life! I tried to trick myself and do it the night before, but then I'd just end my day in a bad mood, if by chance I wasn't already. Yes. Most definitely. The new pot was not to grind ANYTHING. With the pods, I pictured myself waltzing into the kitchen, opening the hatch and simply lifting out the spent pod and tossing it into the trash- easy does it. I am all about simplifying my existence, and if my carbon footprint gets a little bigger in the process, I am sorry, I really am. But know this, I do know where the line is and I wouldn't think of stepping over it OR on those adorable little sea turtles and I always slow down for manatee crossings. Furthermore, and for the record I never thought it was a good idea to name our boat, Manatee Killer... So back to my coffee mission, two of my sisters have the Senseo coffee pot and having stayed with both of them recently on two different coasts, I decided to give it a try. But, the reason I was at first reluctant to bite on the Senseo pod was we'd already owned that piece of crap coffee pot- long before my sisters made it so popular. It was one of the worst pots we'd tried to date, leaking all over the counter-top, more times than not. By the time we'd given up on it, we were more than ready to drop kick it right out past our empty recycle container to the trash! But because my always well intentioned sisters both took the time to educate me on the Senseo's odd particularities, I realized the error of my way. You have to make the coffee in a particular order, using the exact right pod holder, seat a perfectly balanced pod and finally click your heels together while uttering the Hail Mary, preferably in Spanish and presto, just like that- you have an outstanding cup of coffee! There was one small problem I encountered on my way to seeking coffee perfection... Target stopped carrying the brand and Kmart had never heard of it. Just about ready to give up, I remembered my favorite store of all, Bed, Bath and Beyond..enter the land of every gadget ever shown on late night TV! On this trip my hubby was waiting in the car, so I didn't have time to do the usual, and load my cart full of Ginsu knifes, oxy cleans and steam mops. Today I was gonna get that coffee pot! I had already pictured myself getting up Sunday morning, ahhhh.. the Times and a hot steaming mug of Joe, my toes were curling in anticipation! Starting Sunday morning, Starbucks stock was gonna be taking another dip, thanks to my new pot. Well, as it turns out, BB&B didn't have the Senso either. Ha, probably because the only two people here on earth that didn't open their back door and heave it out were my two sissy's! I did find a new coffee pot though, and it has to be a winner. The coffee pods that are sold with it come in tons of different flavors, but the one that caught my eye and helped make my purchase decision was the one called "Donut Shop"! OMG! Was that marketing genius or what? Who could turn this down? Mentally,I was quickly painting a new picture of my Sunday morning bliss and now Krispy Kreme was involved. Good thing I bought my new Ipod too. Now mornings spent with the "donut shop" will be guilt free. I will just put those head phones on and march off that donut!

"Heads up"!

Recently, I attended an event where the guest speaker told the audience, we needed to "lean into" this recession. He then went on to re-use this bugger phrase multiple times during his ten minute-too long speech. I looked around and people were nodding their heads, some were even taking his annoying blurb literally and actually leaning in their seats. I quickly straightened up in my seat, lest anyone think I was buying into this "leaning" business. But what it reminded me of was all the most annoying phrases I used to use and be subjected to in the corporate world.
"Wow, your email really lit a fire under me". Really? And here I thought that fire was coming from your panty hose. OR, "going forward" we'll be able to "pick the low hanging fruit". Fruit? OK, because last time I looked we were trying to build houses and while I worked with some fruits, they were not for the picking! How about "heads up people"? While it was true, most us did have our heads down on the conference table, why bother us? We were quite comfortable, after all, business was booming! But considering "our current economic situation" maybe that is a "moot point", or as one especially attractive, young sales agent used to say in group meetings, "that's a mute point". If only life in corporate world were that easy, we'd all be hitting the "mute" button more often than the "easy" button! I guess every industry has their own unique colloquialism with some worse than others... Now that I have joined the world of blog, I find myself typing words like, "gonna, hafta, gotta and getta" . But my personal favorite is, " Ima ass and your an ass". No disrespect intended here, but you gotta admit it to yourself, people in general well... are asses. Of course, present company is excluded. But the common man on the street? What an ass!
Come on, admit it. How many times have you been in the car and you have muttered the word ass? It just works and makes you feel complete. Of course there are some situations that require more horse power and you are inclined to add that perfect verb or noun to fully explain how you are really feeling and to make sure others understand just how serious the situation really is. Adding "wipe, breath, face or "for brains" is often all it takes. Hopefully, the few blog followers that I have won't be offended with this content, I mean it is not as if I dropped the fbomb or anything. But I just want to be sure that
“at the end of the day we’ll all be reading from the same sheet of music.” After all, "it is what it is"!


Uber Boot

I was ready to sign up for Boot Camp. I started one earlier in the year and then got side tracked with my trip to Hollywood with HGTV (I know, but it does make me sound more interesting!).

I saw the sign for this "camp", yeah I know, camp is a misnomer. Trust me, "I know camp-and you sir, are no camp."

But I had finally convinced myself that the swishing sound behind me was more than a mere stalker, it was my ass.

Having made procrastination an art form, it still took me several weeks to make my move. And as my luck would have it, I had already missed the first class.

I made it to the second class bright and early Thursday morning. Before I even arrived, I had already decided that the typical "camper" profile would be just like me, over thirty and under sixty, and out of shape.

Ha, out of shape is a nice way of saying, "Hun-nay, you big gurl," as they say in the Asian nail salons (another story).

But undeterred I donned a new white zippy, thinking white will make me look more athletic than the usual black.
I cautiously entered the gym and stopped a group of women sort of congregating together, and that should have been my first clue!
They all seemed to know each other. Duh...turns out they'd all done the 7:00am- 8:15am kick box class, their idea of a warm up.

I had warmed up too... ate three frozen Cameo cookies, cutting back as I didn't want to risk filling up.

Still I was feeling a little nervous and scanned the group for someone that appeared to be closest to my ability level...still scanning...

A whistle blew just above my right ear. For a moment I wasn't sure I'd ever hear again.

Startled, I twirled around. The guy with the whistle was about 6'2", 200 pound African American and other than the whistle he wasn't wearing much else.

OK, settle down, he had on shorts, but it took me awhile to get there, as he'd taken off his shirt. All I will say is, I don't know much about muscles and such, but he had some and than some.

He yelled for us all to line up and start doing jumping jacks.

I was like, really? Aren't we going take roll and get to know each other?

Evidently not. I started to do the first jumping jacks I'd done in over a decade. Yeah, I know but- how in the world can you do jumping jacks and not spill your wine all over yourself?

And for something that looks so easy, they sure are hard. Try clapping your hands together above your head, while attempting to keep your breasts from knocking out your neighbor .

My arms stopped going all the way up after about ten. Then Mister Drill Sergeant roared for us to drop to the floor and give him twenty.

Twenty what, I thought while groaning in despair, "Hey pal, how about if I slap you ten and you forget you ever saw me"?

After doing only three "girlie" push-ups I found myself watching the instructor and then only moving when he was looking my way!

To say I was looking for a way out was an understatement.

And, I almost had it.

Next thing I know we are running out the front door of the gym and he is hollering, "Get in formation, ladies."

Ha, ladies. We may have all been girls, but we were no ladies at that point.

It was then that I knew I had to get out and get out quick!

Right across the parking lot was a Starbucks. If I could make it there, I'd be safe. Free to mingle with my own sweat-free type. I could cocoon myself in one of their over-stuffed crushed velvet chairs and hide behind a New York Times.

Yeah, the thought of a Venti, non-fat, 3 splenda cappo would do the trick.

Make me forget about those jumping jacks and give me a chance to fix my now broken bra strap. Plus that location would offer me the added benefit of watching the other suckers that hadn't given up as they dropped to their death.

My escape plan was complete and I was now fully ready for its execution.

But just as I turned to break free from the pack of now rabid women, Mr. Drill Sergeant put his bead on me. He jogged over to the spot I was getting ready to vacate and said, "I know you think this is really hard now, but just wait- in six weeks you will be amazed at what you can do."

It was hard for me to even pretend to smile because there was no moisture left in my mouth, and I was heaving so hard.

But I thought to myself, Seriously?

The best I can hope for in six weeks is that my friends and family will still be grieving for the loss of yours truly.

Yeah, they will all be whispering to each other,"If only she hadn't tried to do so much so soon." Rest in Peace.

Lite Bites make me angry!

Tonight is going to be a big night! Going to the Enzian Theater for the opening night party of the International Film Fest. Yeah, I will be leaving the warm security of my house, my cozy, new friend, the house that I have recently become so attached to. I will have to take off my favorite zippy and wear something respectable for a change. You know, the other day I went prom dress shopping with my fabulous daughter, we left around 2pm and I turned to her and said, "Wow, everything looks so bright out here"...Lately when I leave the house it is closer to dusk and then it is just a quick trip to see my friends at Publix. Now, before all of you get worried, or for those of you that are saying to yourselves, "I just knew it!, she has really lost it". Fear not. This is just the new me, entering the next phase of my life. I'll have you know I have given up the sedation of Boggle on line for Mafia Wars, where I get much more exposure to the real world! I am making more money per minute on Mafia Wars than I ever made in real life and I can do all this from the privacy of my own home. OK, now back to this evening. For those of you that have never been, the Enzian is a must. It is this artsy, Winter Parky theater that has a great outdoor bar and runs less than mainstream films. The first film I saw here was subtitled and in my little narrow minded way, that bugged me. I mean, I have to work while I watch? The only work I was up for was working on that pitcher of Amber Bok and sampling the little tasty morsels we'd ordered- "a lite bite". Lite bites always get me in a bad mood. I just know a lite bite will not do it for me. I want the "big bite" menu, but that is so just not p.c. today. I know our waiter was thinking, "yeah, you look like you've been ordering off the big bite menu, time for you to gear down"...
Anyhow, we will be seeing the opening of Jennifer Aniston's new film called Management and the after party is some famous chef off some reality show (ha, who would do that?) and area celebrity chefs cooking up a storm. I just hope they offer some good wines. Seriously, I remember one time when I was on a diet, I only got up in the morning so that I wouldn't miss a meal, Now, I get up in the morning because it gets me one step closer to "wine" hour that evening. Does that mean I am turning into...gasp....a wine-o? Worry not, this is only a phase!


The Ped Egg Experience

Recently I found myself out shopping with my sister. She was looking for new bedding for her room. So, we made the usual stops, TJMax's, Tuesday Morning, etc. She kept complaining, "let's just go to Dillard's". Dillard's! I exclaimed, "nobody goes to Dillard's for bedding". "They don't, she countered, why not"? "Well, Dillard's is just so middle of the road, trust me, you will pay a fortune and only get middle America". "And you my sissy, are not middle America, not while you are with me". "No... with me, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel America, so get used to it". While we were at Tuesday Morning we got yelled out. I was on my hands and knees digging for a second set of sheets to match the 620 thread count Italian blend sheets we'd finally settled on when I hear this bored, nasal voice coming from the register, "Please don't open the sheet packages". I looked up at my sister, now frozen in place, with her hand half way into a package, when she replied, "well how are we going to know if we like the sheets, if we can't feel them"? The cashier had by now put down the bag of Frito's she was working on and after wiping her hands on her sizable jeans she wiggled her fingers towards us, as if to say, "hand them over". "We can open them much better than you can, we do a better job and it will be..well better". In that split second, my sister pulled her hand out of the package she'd recently invaded and turned to me and said, "let's go, I am all done with Tuesday Morning". I slowly pulled myself up and looked at my sister and she had this look and right then I knew it was over for the Italian sheets- Chow baby! Off to the next stop, Bed Bath and Beyond your wildest imagination. There we not only found the sheets, pillows and euro inserts but, I also found the Ped-Egg. Who knew the ped egg doesn't take batteries? Not me. My sister told me, "Oooo, you have to have a ped-egg". I was thinking, for $10 bucks, nah. I'd rather spend my $10 bucks on two days of Chi Lattes at 4bucks, but she insisted. So now I have a ped-egg. The experience of using the ped egg is well, just so "manual". There are no batteries, you just shovel the egg back and forth- scraping your hoofs. It claims to be so gentle, it can't pop a balloon. Two seconds into my egg experience, I cut my finger. I should have bought the Sham-Wow.


Make new friends...

I am thinking about going to the gym... Whenever I post this on my FBook page, I will always get a few comments back from friends that wish me well, but know in their hearts, it ain't gonna happen! This morning I woke up and once the fog cleared, I thought I should go to the gym, I mean reallly go to the gym. But then I realized I had slept in my "gym" clothes, so what would I wear? Not that I don't have numerous pairs of black UCF t's and black sweats, I just happened to be wearing my favorite pair and I don't feel nearly as good in the others. Also, my favorite zippy was in the washer. I think that if the zippy had been available, I may have been able to go this morning, but it was just not gonna happen. I thought about that for a while and decided it might use up more energy washing what I was wearing, than it would to even go to the gym. I can actually picture myself walking into the gym, recognizing that smell, the noises. Yeah, I'd feel right at home on the elliptical, right next to that cute college co-ed and the lady that has asthma so bad, she really shouldn't be working out. I mean, I am totally sympathetic with her condition, but the grunting is so distracting to me. Here I am cussing like a sailor, internally of course. Thinking how the fbomb are you going to get through the next 20 minutes, blah, blah, blah and than there is this dawning recognition of someone grunting, like every 4 seconds... Sometimes when I am thinking about going to the gym, but instead go to Publix, I see the grunter- fast walking down the street, she is obviously walking to the gym. I have actually slowed my car down and opened my sunroof to see if I could hear the grunts. Bazaar, maybe. But I have this one sided relationship with her, "oh, there's my little grunter friend". She, for whatever reason does not acknowledge me. But I think of her as a friend, my grunting, gym friend. I have other friends that I see in Publix too, as that has become my big trip of the day now, when I am not thinking about going to the gym. Weird, if I think about going to Publix, I always seem to make it. It doesn't matter what I am wearing. My friends at Publix do not judge. Instead they welcome me in with the smell of freshly baked breads, sometimes, if you time it just right, you can sample a mini meal at their "Publix Apron" station. I was worried for a while that the economy may ruin this little treat, but so far, so good! For those of you that have jobs and can't make it to Publix while they are sampling, let me just say, it is better then the samples at Sam's. At Publix, they actually create a bite sized meal on a little plate and then they have all the ingredients right there for you to purchase- now tell me that is not a good friend! Yes, I'd have to say, in the friends department, unemployment has been good to me!

Hello Lover!


Cruise with me baby!

We were off to the Bahamas! Crap. Time for a bathing suit, the old one just wouldn't work in the Caribbean. Nah, the little elastic that was guaranteed to make you look 10 pounds thinner, just wasn't doing its' trick any longer. I guess there was an expiration date I'd missed in the fine print, Warning: the ten pound deal is only guaranteed for one year OR twenty pounds, which ever comes first. No comment. So, I get the new suit, it looks really cute over the new black cover-up. However, looking ten pounds thinner does have a price. Actually, it was an even toss-up with the price I paid for the suit and the cruise ticket. But we all know that looking ten pounds thinner is priceless, so back off! As I see it, the only problem with this whole, "look ten pounds thinner" deal is, ten pound is just not enough. I really needed the, "Oprah Winfrey special" the one that removes all body fat and changes your hair color. Ten pounds, I mean, really! I have found that you can actually look "ten pounds thinner" if you simply remove the Cheetos from your pockets!
So we leave for Port Canaveral and I look at my husband and I say, "you know how to get there, right"? He replies, "yes, I know how to get there". 1.5 hours later, I say to him, "that is really weird that it is taking us so long, because it is only an hour drive". Note to self, don't leave home without your GPS. We finally arrive at the Port and now we are getting happy. Which in itself it unusual for our family. We consistently are in a bad mood for the first 12 hours of any vacation we have ever taken together. Don't ask me why and I am sure we are completely unique in this, but we fight like cats and dogs just getting to where we are going. Could it be because we leave our house with our hair on fire and cell phones attached to our ears each time? For my husband, getting away from his business is nearly impossible.
And now, because of the unfortunate incident of my husband claiming to know where he was going and the hair fire...we are told when we drive into the port that we have 20 minutes to park and CARRY on our luggage, which is fine with me, as I don't want that bathing suit out of my sight! By the time we actually get to check in we are all breathing heavy. And because of the whole driving incident, I have now been self appointed as "lady in charge" and I carry all our documentation up to the counter. The lady checks in my son and daughter and takes my husband and my documents which by the way are birth certificates, not passports and she starts to shake her head..."this won't do at all", she says and she points at me, "this is a hospital certificate, not a real birth certificate and your husbands is the same, however, since he was born in a Navel hospital, he is OK". "You, on the other hand, cannot leave the country". OK, go easy, breath...things start to spin and I saw our boat leaving without us, "are you sure," I ask. I mean, not for nothing, but I have been living off that same birth certificate for a whole lotta, lotta and it has always worked before. "No Mame, the others may move forward and step up to the yellow line, but you may not, you have to go talk to Louise". Now I glance up at the clock and see that the ship really does depart in 15 minutes, and I am starting to really sweat. Not just the running with your luggage kinda sweat, but the, "you just lost a bunch of money and ruined the best chance you had of testing out that new elastic on your suit sort of sweat". Yeah, it was ugly. While I am being ushered over to Louise's line, (reads, "the loser's who didn't get their passport in time" line,) I hear the first lady trying to get my hubby and kids on the boat! My husband puts his foot down and declares, "if she can't go, no one goes". I turned to protest, but it was too late, I was already being pushed towards a big policeman and a lady, whom I assumed was Louise. I heard whispers from the other port workers, "psh...she has to talk to Louise". Louise takes one look at my documentation and she declares, "This is not a a real birth certificate, it is a hospital certificate and only proves you were born". I looked at her and inside my head that little bad voice that always gets me in deeper is saying,"really, because I am thinking that is WHAT I am trying to prove". But instead, I take a deep breath and say in the nice, I don't mean to be any trouble voice, "OK. now I am going to cry". She looked down her glasses at me and said, "honey, crying is not going to help your situation. Can't you call someone to fax you over your real birth certificate"? As I think about this genius suggestion, my mind working fast and furious, wondering who could I call and what does my house look like? I remembered that we left it in a bit of a mess getting out and in that split second, I weighed going on the cruise versus someone seeing the likely orange juice carton left out next to the cracked eggs we left behind. "OK, I will try to call someone", I blurted. Well, as my luck was running- that angle didn't pan out. But by this time I realize that the cop was hanging up the phone and he turned to Louise and said that it was all up to her. Louise, who by the way, looked like someones adorable little grandmother with twinkling blue eyes, leaned over real close to my hair and breathed hotly in my ear, she said, "I am going to let this happen and if you ever breath a word of this to anyone, I will hunt you down and nothing, and I mean nothing will stop me from making this the last cruise you ever take". "Have I made myself clear"? Stunned, I reached up and gave her a huge hug, which she did not appreciate one little bit and said, "Louise, I love you"! So, in the end, we made it on the boat. The cruise was too much fun and the bathing suit, well the elastic trick worked pretty well, up until I had that last Pina Colada, and then, not so much!


Loving and Losing

They say that bad things,happen in three's. I'm not sure of the accuracy of this, but have been left to wonder lately.
So in telling this story, I will have to admit to the fact that I am maybe a bit of a lurk on facebook...
Of course, I am only lurking friends that have by the mere virtue of having granted me "friend" status allowed this to happen. But still, I feel a little "over exposed" telling you in black and white, that really, I am a bit of a voyeur. So, all you "friends" out there, be on your guard. Now, back to the bad things happening in three's... Does it count if the three bad things are totally unrelated? What I mean is that in the recent week, I have seen on two of my "friends" facebook pages that they'd recently lost someone. In both cases it seemed to be a relatively young person and certainly someone that was well loved and would be tremendously missed. As I read some of the stories written about these individuals and as I was drawn into their lives, reveling in the stories of fun, mischief, love and loss, I felt a little uncomfortable leaning so far into this stranger's life. But in reading about each loss, I felt like I too would have been friends with this person and felt a certain loss in knowing that wasn't possible. But what I really recognized in each loss was that the person that had left this earth was loved by so many. In some cases it was by school mates that they had not spoken to in 20 years and in others', people would say, "I just ran into to him last week, I wish I had taken more time". Often you will hear people say that there is a silver lining in everything and that this is especially true in times of loss. Or, how about, "everything happens for a reason". During the time of loss, it is difficult to correlate the actual loss to a silver lining and certainly hard to understand the "reason" we have lost someone we love. Late this afternoon I received a call that someone who is very dear to me tragically lost a parent. There was no silver lining, no reason, it just happened. Earlier this week the losses I read about happened to somebody else and while I felt the pain in each writers post, it was nothing compared to the sadness I feel for my friend. And while I didn't know my friends' parent well, I, too, have been locked in the agony of loss and understand all too well the cloak of darkness it brings. Tonight I will say my prayers and my list of intentions will be a little longer.


No Soup for you!

Having recently achieved the status of a "stay at home mom", I have really tried to start to do the things that "other women", reads, (did not leave their families to fend for themselves for 15 years, while they went out to knock the corporate world dead and earn heaps of money, of which they currently have none) do when faced with 8-10 hours of the day, all alone. I still feel a little creepy in my house-alone during the day. When someone comes to the door, I immediately assume it is the pre-cursor to a home invasion...
So, back to the whole Betty Crocker thing, first off I want to say, I am certain that Betty Crocker was a fictional character, I know this because there is just no way you have time to clean the house, do the laundry AND bake a cake, just when would you have the time- in between all the fabulous re-runs of The Real House Wife's on Bravo?
But I have never been one to rest on my laurels, so try I do... Yesterday I decided to make cauliflower soup. Ask why, and I'd tell you that is an excellent question, but when my cousin sent me the recipe and she said it only looked complicated, but was really easy, I thought, "I'll do it", my first mistake!
Fast forward to me having been in the kitchen for like already way too long and it is time to put the multiple ingredients that have now been chopped, diced, blanched, sauteed and just about anything else you can do to veggies and still call them nutritional into the food processor. Now I have had this food processor for about 10 years and my kids walk in and say, "Wow, Mom, where did that come from"? I'm a little annoyed, but I reply, "It's a food processor you under exposed children, it will take all this crap and puree it for soup". My son added, "you mean so that our dinner is mush"? "Yeah, son, YOUR dinner will be mush" I responded. I proceeded to pour the stuff into the food processor, and I have to say, it was a mess. When I pushed the pulse button, liquid flew up out of the mixer all over the counter and floor, which was already wet and sticky from the club soda that had exploded when I opened it earlier,(another story). My son said, "Umm Mom, I don't think that is how it is supposed to work". I looked up at him over my glasses that had now slipped down my nose and said, " liked you'd know and what are you doing here, aren't you supposed to be renewing your driver's license, so that they don't haul you away"? By now, I am totally regretting this endeavor and Chinese food take out is sounding really good. My daughter, deciding it is time to rescue me comes over and says to me, "there shouldn't be a hole in the center of the food processor, everything is escaping out". I looked at her and attempting a kind tone say, "it is just like a bunt cake honey, they have holes", "Yeah, she replied, I know, but there still shouldn't be a hole in the center and the food isn't even getting mashed up". And another thing, she added, "why is this thing", she pointed to the blade laying on the counter, "not INSIDE of the processor"? I looked down at the counter top and saw the blade-thingy laying there and looked around my kitchen, where I had every stock pot I owned out (3) along with two mixing bowls and numerous other cooking apparatus' and thought, "why do I try so hard"? I moved across the kitchen, my feet making sticking noises on the tile and recovered the blade and calmly poured the mess inside the mixer into yet another large bowl and placed the blade in the processor and thought to myself, there must be something "bad wrong" with me not to have realized the hole wasn't natural- it just wasn't designed to work that way. Now, I will admit that when I first started to pour the ingredients into the food processor, I thought, this is so weird because you have to be really careful to not allow the food to get into the middle hole and I thought to myself, "what faulty design"! So, in the end, we had our cauliflower soup for dinner and it was pretty good, although my son sat there with his bowl and passing his spoon through the soup, asked me, "is there any meat in this stuff"?


dogs are people too...

When I shop at Whole Foods, a couple of things happen; first, I spend way more money than I should, but when I am in there, I also start thinking about what it would be like to "live" like a real typical Whole Foods shopper lives. I figure one of the first things I'd have to do would be stop asking for plastic. Everyone there seems to bring in their own bags and that is cool, I even have a couple of those "recycle" bags, but they are filled with my dry cleaning. Also, Whole Food shoppers definitely seem a lot cooler than I am, so I will have to work on getting a more hip look, oh, I don't know maybe lose the Chanel's and switch to RayBan's? Something else that hits me in Whole Food are the "self help" isles- it is like being in echineacha heaven- something to cure almost anything. So that leads me to admitting that while I am there, I start to think about colon cleansing, monster vitamins, natural sleep aides, well, you get the picture. Well, one fine day while browsing the isles, I stumbled onto the “Pure Omega fish Oils”. They had about 27 different types to pick from, each one promising one benefit after another, who could resist? I was certain that in addition to having shiny hair, I'd also get the benefits of age reversal, increased memory, healthy heart, hell, I may even start yoga! And since I had already put a gallon container of Protein Whey smoothie mix in my cart, I figured, why not make that smoothie extra healthy with some pure omega oil? Once I got home I proceeded over the next two weeks to drink one of those “special” smoothies every morning. I actually thought my hair did look shinier, in fact, I was so impressed, I started making the smoothies for the entire family. We ran out of the omega oil, so I ran back to Whole Foods and re-upped. This smoothie thing was really taking off in my house! I was on the phone one morning and trying to make my smoothie at the same time and I was telling my friend about the oil I added as my special ingredient, she asked me how much I put in and I said, “I really don’t measure, I just pour some in”, but that made me actually look at the label to see if I was- gasp, over pouring. Reading the label I felt my eyes start to blur, it didn't make sense, it read, “The Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in this product provide powerful natural nutrition that supports the overall health of your pet. My pet? I barked (could not resist) and almost gagged.. I was halfway through my second bottle of what I now considered dog food!!
I seriously contemplated tossing not only the balance of the bottle (I did of course) but also my last three weeks of breakfast smoothies, right then and there!
Moral of the story...When at Whole Food, beware..the pet supplies are sometimes housed right next to the people items and if you are not careful you may end up with a bark that is worse than your bite!