Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No Cake Wreck Here!

In an earlier post I mentioned the site called Cake Wrecks. They post pictures of cake decorations gone horribly wrong - sort of like the type of things I bake. I admit that I'm not a baker. Not even close. I can screw up the type of cookies that you pull out of the package and break apart then bake!

My kidlet just had a birthday and I wanted her to have a cool cake. I knew better than to try and make one myself and the store bought ones (ones that cost less than an arm and a leg that is) were just plain boring. I have a wonderful niece who is attending cooking school so I decided to hit her up for some cake decorating SHAZAM! The girl did not disappoint. Not in the least.

Let me back up a little and give a little base story. My kidlet wants to be a blues guitarist. She's had 4 lessons and thinks that she's going to be on stage any day now. You've gotta love that kind of ambition. Anyhoo...she's got a really cool electric guitar that is her prized possession. She'd sleep with the thing if it weren't so rigid! All of our conversations revolve around music, going to hear music, learning music, lyrics to music, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Led Zeppelin and multiple blues artists. She's music obsessed! I figured the best kind of cake for her would be a guitar cake. And since I'm a big dreamer, I figured a life sized cake that was like her guitar would be the perfect thing to have.
That's where my wonder niece comes into the story. Since she's attending a fancy schmanzy cooking school, I asked her if she could try to make the cake for me. She seemed to think it would be just fine so I waited in anticipation to see what she came up with. She made the best darn guitar cake I've ever seen! It was awesome! My kidlet was super happy with the results.

We took my junior rocker out to hear her favorite musician and we brought the cake with us. People ooh'ed and aah'ed over it. Some of them took pictures. The band guys thought it was cool. But best of all, my little rocker thought it was super cool and she felt like a queen for the night. And that's what it was all about to begin with. It's amazing how something as simple as a cake can make you feel so darn great.

Happy birthday kidlet, and thanks a lot to my super chef niece.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Breaker 1-9, this is the Bumblebee. Come Back.

 Back in the late 70s, CB radios were all the rage. Kids nowadays probably don't even know what a CB radio is. For those of you who don't know, it's a radio you put in your car that has a hand held microphone that has a little button on the side of it that you push when you want to talk. You had to have a special antenna on your car so the signal would be broadcast. Truckers used to use them to notify one another of traffic snarls and warn speeders to where the highway patrol officers were hiding. Movies like "Smokey and the Bandit" made the devices even more popular.

CBs were around before there were cell phones. In their day, they were really sophisticated. It was important to have a good "handle" - that's the name you gave yourself for identification rather than using your real name. In the movie mentioned above, "Smokey" was the name for the police. When listening to your radio if you heard a warning that smokey was at mile marker 114, you knew to watch your speed when you got around that particular stretch of the highway.

I was 11 or 12 when my Dad got a CB. I thought it was so cool. He used to play tennis and I'd sit in the car talking on the radio the whole time. I had what I thought was a great handle. Mine was "Bumblebee." I had a friend about the same age and his handle was "Even Stephen" and we'd burn up the airwaves talking. It would go something like this:

Me: Breaker 1-9. How about you Even Stephen? You got your ears on?
Stephen: Roger Bumblebee. Jump to 1-5 (that meant go to a different channel so we didn't clog up the main one).
Me: Roger that

Then we'd proceed to yak until we ran out of stuff to say. We thought we were so cool. I'm sure we annoyed all the legitimate conversationalists with our childish banter but at the time we were oblivious of that. We just knew that we were super cool because we knew all the CB jargon and could talk ninety to nothing on that thing.

My Dad had a friend who had a super cool CB in his car. What made it super cool was that instead of having a hand held microphone, he had one that was just like a telephone receiver. It was so....James Bond-ish! It made him look like he had a real telephone in his car! And only spies and government men had those! Some people went overboard with their antenna systems. They might have multiple CBs in the car and having all those antennas on the top made them look super legit (in their minds).
(The picture you see is an actual car I found in Google images. I highlighted the antennas so you could see how many were on the car. Crazy, isn't it?)

In the early 80s, cell phones came into being so the CB slowly faded away for the most part. I sort of miss them because it was always interesting to listen to the jargon and hear what the truckers were up to. Of course, the cell phones today do everything but wipe your hiney and that's pretty cool too, but there aren't any special terms to use like "smokey" and "taking pictures" (that's the use of radar guns to catch speeders), and 10-98 which I think means you're going off the air if I remember correctly.

The only cool codes I know now are the ones Mr. Wonderful uses in his police work. And unfortunately, the main one I remember is 10-96. Which means a crazy person. That's me.
10-96 for sure! Well, I guess this 10-96 is 10-98. Over and out!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm Lazy Today

I am having a terrible case of the "I don't want tos". I don't want to work, I don't want to keep house, I don't want to cook. I don't want to............
I'd like to go out on the town and have some fun but I don't want to fish through my closet for clothes that don't fit so I won't look nice. I don't want to buy new clothes because it's my own fault that they're too tight because I had a month of madness where all I wanted to eat was cheese and ice cream and drink beer. And then I didn't want to work out to get smaller again.

I wouldn't go as far as to say I'm sloppy at home but I'm not fond of dusting furniture or sweeping floors. Usually I'll have to get bitten by a rouge dust bunny before I'll notice that I need to clean a little. My cats will chase the little buggers around which embarrasses me a little. I have one of those vacuum cleaners that has the clear dust bin and it's scary how quickly that sucker will fill up with junk.

Mr. Wonderful has a thing about trash cans that have trash in them. He doesn't like them. I on the other hand, do not notice until they're starting to spill over. Luckily, my youngest kidlet is in charge of emptying them, so they don't usually get to that point.

I don't like to file paperwork either. I have papers in neat little piles and once in a blue moon I'll have to file them or else there will be an avalanche. I don't know why I don't just go ahead and file them when I'm through reading them, but I don't.  My brother's wife has this same affliction and one time he decided to play a trick on her. They had a party and he asked everyone attending to save up their junk mail for a month or so. Then, the night of the party, he had everyone bring what they had saved up. Every one's piles got stacked throughout the house and we all waited to see how long it would take my sis-in-law to notice. The night was practically over with before she realized that there was junk mail everywhere! It would be the same situation if that had happened at my house.

I can live with the chaos for a good while until suddenly, I'll go into a rage and start tossing stuff and cleaning like my life depended on it. Usually I'll get about 1/2 way finished before I get distracted and move on to something else. Thank gosh for my ADD! Otherwise, I'd have a house that was so clean, it'd feel like a museum and no one would feel comfortable in it. I can't have that happening.

Maybe I should just start wearing ankle guards to ward off the biting dust bunnies, get a St. Bernard in case there's an avalanche and just deal with it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I don't want to say goodbye!!!

Parents all over the place are taking their kids to school for the first day and some of those parents will be blubbering idiots once the kid gets out of the car. I am one such parent. I have a senior in high school which causes me to blubber because my baby is growing up too fast and soon she'll leave the nest. My other baby is starting middle school and I blubber over her because she's growing up too fast and I'm worried about her in the bigger school. She's so sweet and kind and I'm afraid she'll get trampled by all of the big kids.

When my kidlets started kindergarten, I walked them to their classes and put on a brave face and told them how much fun they'd have. Then as soon as I left the school campus and began the lonely long walk home, I dissolved into a big snotty crumpled mess of emotions. At that time I was a stay at home mom so if the babies needed anything, I could drive my car like a bat out of h-e-double-hockey-sticks up to the school to rescue them. Now I work so I can't do that. Heck, I'm having trouble figuring out what to do with my youngest after school lets out! That's really frustrating!

I'm playing mind games with myself right now. I'm remembering back to when I was starting a new school. I got through it just fine. I didn't get run over by big kids, I didn't get lost in the school so badly that I couldn't find my classes, I navigated the lunch room and didn't why am I so worried? I'm literally sick at my stomach. Unfortunately, these are not the days where doctors dole out "mother's little helpers" just because mother is stressed over her kidlets starting school. I wish it were.

I guess I'll do like millions of other mothers do on the first day of school; I'll gnash my teeth and pull my hair and go into a bathroom stall 26 times in one day to cry. And at the end of the day when my stomach ulcer is fully formed and I only have 3 strands of hair left, I'll collect my children from school and ask them how their day went. And they'll probably be happy as little clams and tell me what fun they had, and how good their lunch was, and how they helped a little kid find their class. And I'll weep again, but this time with joy in my heart.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

Ghost shows seem to be all the rage these days. Everyone wants in on the action. I love watching the shows even though they spook me. I've always been sort of spooky.

For as long as I can remember, I have "seen" people that weren't there. I always catch people out of the corner of my eye but when I turn my head they're not there. And I'm not just talking about shadows either. I actually see people. Sometimes it's unsettling if I'm already feeling a bit spooked. My hair sort of seems to stand on end and I feel like I'm being watched. Other times I just shrug it off as if I were passing someone on the street.

When I was a young girl my grandfather passed away. My mother was totally devastated because she was absolutely nuts about him. I don't remember all of the details except that she was really, really  sad. It's hard to see your parent devastated. It's such a helpless feeling. Anyway, the evening after the funeral, I was sleeping in my bed when I was awakened by something. I looked over at a corner in my room and there stood my grandfather.  At first I was frightened, but in my head I heard him tell me not to be afraid. I instantly felt a calmness wash over me. Even though I was young, I knew for a fact that I was not having a dream.  He told me to be sure to take good care of my Mom. Shortly after that he was just...gone.

I can remember that moment as if it were yesterday, not 40 years ago. I feel privileged to have had my Pop come to me. I'm not sure why he picked me but I'm glad he did. And you can bet that I'll be sure to take good care of my Mom.

I've lost some very good friends and family members over the years and have begged some of them to come "see" me but none of them have. Only my Pop. It's going to be really hard when I start losing people that I'm extremely close to because I don't know if they'll come to see me like Pop did. That permanence of them being gone will hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm not looking forward to it.

All I can do is live my life to the fullest, hope for the best and enjoy everyone around me as much as I can. Then, when I'm gone maybe I'll visit you out of the blue and you'll get to have the same experience I did. I was really cool.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Roast at My House, Beans at Sandy's

I used to love, love, love going to my aunt's house. Her house was always loud and it seemed like there was always something fun going on. She and her kids lived in a house and then various apartments that were always a whole different world than the home I grew up in. That's not to say that we didn't have fun at my house. We did. But it was just different at my aunt's. Maybe it's because she had bunk beds or maybe it was because she lived in an apartment or maybe it was just because I was at some place different than home.

One thing I know for sure was the food we ate while there was always a treat. When we went to her house, we got to eat beans. Sometimes at every meal. In my memory bank, I remember always having good old pinto beans. Lots of them. I think that sometimes, pinto beans WERE the meal but I didn't care. I thought it was great.

I think my cousins liked coming to my house because we had roast all of the time. My Mom could make a wonderful roast - my mouth is watering just thinking about it. In retrospect, I don't think they got roast very often. Like I said, we lived in different worlds. Isn't it funny how it works out that way? I had the good fortune to grow up privileged, but when I got to visit relatives in less privileged areas, it seemed like a real treat.

I guess the main point is that it doesn't matter where you are, when you're with good friends and family fun will be had by all. And if you're lucky, there might be a pot of beans involved.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sprinklers Tickle Me and Other Things Do, Too.

I think I do weird stuff. For example, I love to watch lawn sprinklers. I don't care if they're the stationary kind or the kind that jumps across the lawn and rat-a-tats back to it's original position, or the kind that just sits there and sprays as far as the water pressure will make it spray. I just like watching the water droplets fall. I can watch a sprinkler for hours. It makes me feel peaceful.

I like to pick out as many colors around me as I can see after a rain. The colors are more vivid. I can see 30 different shades of green by looking at the trees and grass. I see multiple colors in the sky - blue, purple, gold, pink, white. It's a great way to center yourself and calm down because looking for alll the different colors forces you to slow down and focus. Try it some time. You'll see what I mean.

If a storm is approaching, I don't run for cover like the weather forecasters suggest. I head outside and watch the colors of the sky change and watch the trees whip side to side, and smell the ozone in the air. Storms make me excited, too. It's like the electricity in the air and barometric pressure make my body react. I'd be a great storm chaser. Except that I'm not very patient.

When I was in my 30s, I thought I wanted to work in physical therapy doing wound care. I was a tech and worked with a therapist who trusted me to help her with wound care. I loved to dig and cut and pick at wounds to make them heal faster. It sounds gross, but burns were particularly interesting. It was cruial to get off all of the dead skin to avoid infection and help the wound heal. I would have been a great surgeon. Except that I couldn't pass all of the science classes.

I like to do wierd art and I usually have about 5 projects going on at any given time. In the winter, hanging out with my beloved manchild in his shop, I noticed that there were lots of dirt dauber nests. Yankees call them mud daubers I think. Here's how it works: The flying insect works up a good wad of spit and works it into the dirt creating mud. It then takes it to it's desired nest spot and creates an intricate honeycomb type structure and that's where it lays it's eggs. I guess they're kind of stupid because lots of times they forget about them and their precious babies dry up and fail to thrive. That's where I come in. I remove the nest from it's location and using a very high tech tool (the concrete floor), I scrape open both ends of the nest, remove the crusty babies and make the whole structure about 1" thick. What's left is a lacy, honeycomb structure made of very fine dirt (minus the dauber spit). Then I put the structures in a shadowbox and hang it on the wall. Sounds gross but looks really cool.
Another favorite art project involves taking glass heads - sort of like the foamy kind you put wigs on excet it's glass, and I make flower arrangements in floral foam and mount the foam on the head. It's a flower arrangement head! See?

Because I'm a bit cash strapped I make cheap art for the walls. In the bathroom, I got photos of items you'd commonly see in a bathroom and I make pictures of them. A whole collage of ordinary items becomes art!  I'm going to do the same thing in the laundry room and dining room. I'll try to remember to post pictures when I do because you're gonna be totally amazed at my awesome creativity (cheapness). In fact, I'm headed to the store today for frames. Get ready.

I'd like to say that I experiment with cooking, too but I don't. When I don't feel like cooking, I think of myself as a mad scientist. I pretend that I'm rearranging molecules of stuff into something really tasty. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. As a young girl I tried to help my mom by cooking dinner. I had a can of lima beans and didn't know how to spice things up so I added cinnamon. That was an epic failure. I still get kidded about it to this day. But hey, I tried.

I like using power tools and attempting to build things. Most things I build are not at all useable. One leg of a table might be shorter than the other. I wouldn't dare sit in a chair I built. Basically, all I really do is cut wood and drill holes and attach things together but nothing ever really works. The thought just dawned on me that maybe all I really like doing is using the power tools. Yeah, that's it! I did make one thing that worked out pretty well. A home addition led to an upstairs room that I wanted to make really unique. I didn't want a traditional handrail so I borrowed my brother's welder, found a metal supply shop, bought a really cool piece of metal and made my own handrail. You'll probably never ever see another handrail like it. My brother ended up giving me the welder because I had so much fun with it. One of these days, I'm going to make a big iron sculpture for my yard. It's going to be epic. I could be a really great sculptor if I had the time. And metal. And patience.

But WAIT! This isn't about art projects, it's about weird stuff I like. Let's see, where was I? I like doing really horrible-on-purpose Photoshop pictures. It thrills me to no end to make a picture that looks so fake, there's no mistaking it that it's fake. Sort of like the old timey space alien movies. I get a kick out of that. See how cheesy this looks?

One of my favorite bloggers likes to sing like Ethel Merman. I like to sing like I'm really on stage. I pour my whole heart and soul into it. I even use props to make it seem like I have a microphone. After I finish the song, I have a private dialogue in my head where my fans compliment me. I bet I would have been a great singer if I could carry a tune or had a good voice.

I like to call people by the wrong names. Or better yet, I like to make up names for them. I have a friend Pam. I call her Pamelina. I have a friend named Anita. I call her Anita Bonita. And Becky? She's Becky beaucoup. If someone is introduced to me as "Steve"; I call him Stan on purpose. It's just what I do. Everyone has a name other than the one they were given at birth. It's fun to watch them look confused. It's fun I tell you. Stan

I like being different. Anyone can be normal and like normal things. What makes me special is that I make things like dirt dauber nest art, and call "Steves" - "Stan", and add cinnamon to lima beans. I like to think that my friends like me because they never know what I'm going to do, or call them, or build, or make, or sing. I'm just plain weird old me. And that suits me just fine.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Growing Up Printing A, Bs & Cs

I grew up around my family-owned printing company. From the time I was a teeny little rug rat until the time the company closed about 8 years ago I spent time there. I loved going to the office because the minute I walked in the front door, I was immersed in the smell of ink and the alcohol used to clean parts on the printing presses. The clatter of the machines didn't bother me one bit. It was comforting.

The company had large printing machines that used huge rolls of paper. When the paper would get down to a certain level, the operators would remove that roll and insert another one. The "empty" rolls still had quite a bit of paper left on them so I always took them to school to use for art projects and stuff. I always felt super special/cool because I could contribute lots of paper rolls. Another cool thing about the spent rolls was that they used to have wooden cores in the middle and cool things could be done with them, too. The guys that used to work in the print shop used to call the wooden cores "a**holes".  I got a kick out of thait because 1) they said the word "a**hole" and 2) because when I wanted some to play with, I could ask for them and say the word "a**hole" to a grown man and not get into trouble! That was a big deal to a little kid. I wonder who came up with that term for them? I think it was sheer genius.

When I was really young, one of the pressmen told me a story about a man (not sure who the employee was - he was just described as "a man") who accidentally got his hand caught in one of the rollers on the press and it yanked the skin right off of his hand. Supposedly, the hand was around the shop somewhere, floating in a jar of alcohol. I always wanted to find it and look at it but it was elusive and never turned up in my 40 years of going there.

My Dad had a parrot named Governor who was really loud so he ended up putting Governor's cage in the press room. That dang bird could scream his heart out and no one would object. It was funny to walk in the front door of the office and hear printing presses clacking, then hear a really loud parrot yelling over all of the noise. I think Governor was in hog um parrot heaven back there. He was probably high all of the time because of the strength of the alcohol fumes! He was also probably yelling because he wanted someone to show him the skin glove and no one would.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I swore I'd never do it, but I just couldn't help myself!

When I started my blog, I swore to myself that I would not post any recipes for great Aunt Gig's pickled beets or baby shower punch (yuck!) or anything like it. I would only write goofy stories because after all, I am very goofy. But with the relentless Texas heat weighing on me I guess my brain cooked a little and I am breaking my promise.  

This is a recipe I found for iced coffee. Seeing as how it's a steamy 300 degrees outside, I needed a refreshing drink that was different from the usual iced tea, iced water, soda pop, or (gasp) even cold beer which is my all time favorite beverage so here goes.


  • 1 pound Ground Coffee (good, Rich Roast)
  • 8 quarts Cold Water
  • Half-and-half (healthy Splash Per Serving)
  • Sugar
  • Or: Sweetened Condensed Milk (2-3 Tablespoons Per Serving)
  • Note: Can Use Skim Milk, 2% Milk, Whole Milk, Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners, Syrups...adapt To Your Liking! But the real deal is the best. You can save calories by not eating 34 chocolate chip cookies with your iced coffee.

Preparation Instructions

In a large container, mix ground coffee with water. Cover it and allow it to sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight (if you can wait that long).
Line a fine mesh strainer preferably with cheesecloth (but paper towels will do in a pinch) and set over a pitcher or other container. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Once the liquid has passed through, you can take a spoon and squish the remaining liquid gold out. Discard the grounds. They look really gross. 
Place coffee liquid in the fridge and allow to cool. If you don't, when you pour it over ice, it'll get diluted. 
To make iced coffee, pack a glass full of ice cubes. Fill glass 2/3 full with coffee liquid. Add a healthy splash of half-and-half. Add 1-15 tablespoons of sugar depending on how sweet you like it. (You can use sweetened condensed milk in place of the sugar for a slightly different taste) and stir to combine. Taste and adjust half-and-half and/or sugar or sweetened condensed milk as needed.
Then, sit back and enjoy. You'll be hooked. I promise!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Isn't it amazing that a scent can bring back memories from long ago? I can close my eyes and smell certain scents and be transported back in time to events that may have happened 20 years ago. That's so cool.

From the time I was in the 3rd grade until I finished the 5th grade, the school where I went always baked rolls to go with whatever lunch they were cooking. The smell was irresistible. It'd make your mouth water and even if you didn't think you were hungry, once you got a whiff of those rolls, your stomach would start growling. I think the lunch ladies did that just to make us kids suffer through the hour or so leading up to lunch time. It's funny, I can't remember how they tasted, I only remember how they smelled. They smelled like heaven.

I also remember being in class and hearing the drone of a lawnmower. The fresh cut grass smelled so good. And the drone of the mower tended to put me into a stupor. It was almost like I had a Pavlovian response to the sound. Droning mower = nap time. To this day, if I hear someone mowing their yard, I tend to get sleepy. But I don't want to take a nap because I want to go outside and smell the cut grass. It's such a fresh, clean smell.

The sound of rain and the smell of it makes me feel an assortment of  emotions. I feel excited because rains = storms (sometimes), and storms excite me. I feel peaceful because the pitter patter of the raindrops remind me of renewal. It's like all of the grit and grime and worries of the day just melt away with the drops of rain. Colors are more vivid and the plants perk up. It's like the area took a bath.

Besides natural smells, there are some man made ones that remind me of things. My favorite perfume reminds me of my aunt because it's the kind she always wore. Pot roast makes me think of my Mom. Motorcycle exhaust makes me think of my brothers and of my riding days. Hand cleaner/de-greaser reminds me of my friend "The President" because that's how his auto shop smelled. It might sound strange, but Pine-Sol makes me think of my brother in law. His house always smells like the stuff. I used to hate the way it smelled but now I like it. I use it in my house. Sometimes, I even fill up a big bowl of water and add some and leave it sitting out so my house will smell like it.

Some smart scientists have proven that scents are strongly linked to memories. Heck, they didn't have to go to college for years and years to get a high dollar education to tell me that. I already knew. I bet you already knew it, too.

Hoorah for wet grass and baking rolls and Pine-Sol. My nose is having a great time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Living With The Law

Life around my house is always interesting. Partly I guess because Mr. Wonderful is used to dealing with criminals (he's a cop) and he carries a really big gun and all kinds of other cop stuff. On any given day the kitchen table chair has a ballistics vest hanging off of it. There's always a pistol nearby. And usually something larger than that, too. During the romantic wine and roses days at the beginning of our marriage, I had to get used to snuggling up in bed and right above my head, see a gun rack with a very large rifle resting in it. That was a little bizarre at first.

I know that I said I was used to guns and critter shooting from my childhood but that might have been a bit of an editorial stretch. My brothers and cousins shot critters and my aunt who lived across the pond was never without her trusty 22 rifle but I wasn't the one doing the shooting. I knew gun safety (somewhat) and I knew they were loud because I could hear the boys from a 1/2 mile off blasting something with their shotguns, but I didn't actually cozy up to a 12 gauge or AK or anything like that.

Mr. Wonderful, my brave, strong supercop changed all that pretty quickly. One of our dates consisted of lessons in shooting a HUGE, MEAN, LOUD, POWERFUL, SCARY rifle. I was scared witless. See the picture of me sitting there holding that rifle like I do it every day? Nah. That was pretty early on in my lessons. Notice how I managed to show off my fresh manicure, while trying to look nonchalant leaning up against a tree with spiders and snakes and bugs OH MY? Nope. I was quaking.

My first attempt at shooting the rifle pictured above was pretty funny now that I think back on it. My beloved superfuzz set the gun up with about 75,000 rounds of ammo or so it seemed, and he had me hold it up to my shoulder and get used to handling it. That took a few minutes because I was scared that the thing was going to start firing when I wasn't ready. I finally made it over that hump then the actual shooting part of the lesson began. I am not exaggerating when I say that it took me about 10 tries before I could ever pull the trigger! I'd get the rifle up to my shoulder, tilt my head and line up the sights, put my finger in the trigger area and then start shaking like a leaf. I was so afraid that the shot would knock me off of my feet, I couldn't get around to finding out! I tried deep breathing, and visualization, and chanting, and yoga but I was still scared. We're talking major hiney cringes!

I have to give my man credit; he never laughed at me or got impatient. He let me take 10 (or 500) tries before I pulled the trigger and he was there to catch me if I fell. WHICH I DIDN'T. I'm sure he got a kick out my delight when we walked to the target and I saw what a huge hole I made. I can't say that I immediately hoisted the gun and fired off another 74,999 rounds in rapid succession. I continued to start and stop and start and stop before firing but eventually I mastered it. Now, I looooooove that gun. I even out-shot (is that a word?) Mr. Man! And he is an excellent marksman! Of course, I did a major victory dance and sang a song (for 2 1/2 days) about how I hit the can from 100 yards away and he didn't and I did it on the first shot. I like to have my picture taken with the gun, too. It's pretty. So am I. I'm even prettier when I'm holding it. Doncha think? You'd better say yes! Just kidding.

Mr. Superfuzz and I have even shown some of our family members what fun holding a really big, scary, powerful (UNLOADED) gun can be. See?


I like the one of my sis in law and my brother. I think that her stance shows exactly what she'd like to do with him sometimes. I don't blame her a bit. I had to grow up with the guy!
And, aren't I good mom by letting my darling daughters play with weapons? They actually thought it was pretty cool that they got to pose for pictures with them. It's not the typical every day kind of portrait most people have in their photo albums that's for sure.

I guess Mr. Wonderful is beginning to wear off on us some. We hold guns. Some of us fire them. In the woods. Where there are bugs and spiders. But some of us still have good manicures, even if we ARE in the woods shooting guns. You can't take the city out of the girl. No way.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Wrecked Sylvia's Car

When you grow up on a farm, you learn to do things at a younger age than most kids. You learn about life and death, sickness and the consequences of it and practical things like running tractors, fixing things, making fires, killing critters, shooting guns and driving cars or trucks.

I remember driving my Mom’s Ford Maverick down to the creek to bring blankets and food to my brothers and Mr. Wonderful. I thought they would probably die if they didn’t have enough blankets and stuff. It didn’t matter that I had a major crush on Mr. Wonderful - I had to save those boys lives!

By the time I was about 13, I could drive a car just fine. At about that age my parents moved us to the city. Well, that might be an overstatement - we moved to a town that had about 36,000 residents. My brothers were 3 and 4 years older than me so they were the local wildcats and you know what I did for them? When they got to swilling too much beer I became their chauffeur. I’d be hanging out with my girlfriends, roaming around the Gibson’s parking lot and a brother would cruise by and decide that it might be a good idea if I drove him and his friends around. I’d scoot the seat way up to the steering wheel and adjust the mirror and off we’d go.

I was a good driver. I had all kids of friends who’d employ my driving skills and this is where the story begins. I had a friend named Sylvia and her parents gave her a brand spankin’ new Chevy Z-28. It was one sweet ride, let me tall ya’. She would have me drive a whole gaggle of us around town all the time and everything was going fine until the night I hit a patch of ice.

I have to back up a little bit and let you know that at the time, I was grounded at home and got the bright idea to sneak out of the house shortly before midnight. Sylvia was waiting for me outside and I made my escape right into the driver’s seat of her car. We were having a good old time cruising around town and we even managed to pick up a couple of boys to share the good times with us. Things were going great and then disaster struck. I stopped at a stop sign and when I took off, I hit a patch of ice. I wasn’t experienced at driving on ice and in a moment of sheer stupidity, instead of taking my foot off the gas, I floored it. We swerved left to right and right to left and before we knew it, we were bouncing through someone’s yard, across their driveway and I plowed right into their detached garage! In 20 seconds or so, I managed to crash Sylvia’s car, a garage and the car inside of the garage!

Seeing as how it was the middle of the night, I did what any stupid 14 year old would do. I backed that beautiful, smashed Z-28 out of the crash site and sped my doomed hiney right on home! I then proceeded to call Mr. Wonderful who just happened to be a paint and auto body man, and beg him to fix the car in roughly 5 hours. He couldn’t.

Sylvia and I decided that she’d tell her parents that someone hit the car in the Gibson’s parking lot and that she didn’t have anything to do with it.

At 6 the next morning, I boarded a bus to go to a swim meet, thinking that I had avoided disaster for sure. You can imagine my surprise when I got home; the look on Mom’s face was enough to let me know that disaster had indeed happened. It seems that Sylvia’s parents didn’t fall for the lame story we had concocted and they got the truth out of her in about 15 seconds flat. They then proceeded to notify my mother of my crime and she proceeded to plan my punishment. When I stepped off of that school bus late in the day, I could tell from the look on Mom’s face that the jig was up. That day was the last time I knew freedom for about 6 months.

Sylvia probably got in trouble, too but I’m not sure about that. You see, once her parents were wise to the whole affair she stopped talking to me. She was really, really mad at me. I can’t say that I blame her, but she could have at least chewed me out before she stopped speaking to me. I tried talking to her but it didn’t do any good. Sadly, our friendship was over. I haven’t spoken to her to this day.
I’ll have you know that I have not had a ice related crash since that horrible night. Heck, I haven’t even had a crash for that matter. I had one tiny little bump into another car but it didn’t even damage the other person’s car and it wasn’t after midnight and I didn’t have any boys in the car.  Oh yeah, I wasn’t driving a Z-28 either.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Slip Slidin' Away....

My youngest daughter and her friend were attempting to beat the heat yesterday and they decided to drag out the good ol' slip n slide. On the TV commercials, the slip n slide looks like you could slide for 10 miles. In reality, even if you get a running start, you're not gonna go far.
The girls had a great time. See?

We set up the tiki torches so we could see because it was after 10:00 PM. Don't you know that 10:00 PM is a great time to slip n slide? Besides, you get cool pictures of girls with flames shooting out of their heads.

And because I'm a sophisticated non grown up city girl, I had to get in on the action, too. I look like I'm ready for Hawaii Five-0!

Life is good at my house. We slip and we slide. And look really cool doing it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Epic Fight

My youngest brother and I got along fairly well as kids. I guess because we were close in age, we had the same kinds of issues to deal with, so we didn't focus as much on bothering one another. You notice I said "as much",  because every once in a while we did have our issues.

One such issue started out as an ordinary trip to the grocery store and it ended up in bloodshed. My little bro was at the grocery store with me and I guess he got a wild hair to start picking at me just for fun. I was chuckling about it until he did it for about the 100th time. Then I warned him that I was starting to get peeved and that he should stop it. I think this egged him on because he increased his efforts. By the time we made it home I was about to blow a gasket. I had warned him and warned him, and yelled at him and still, the dummy kept picking at me. I finally reached the boiling point and before he could even react, I threw down my bag of groceries, and began wailing on him for all I was worth.
I knew that I had better get in as many punches as I possibly could before he could react because he outweighed me by 50 pounds or so, and he was at least 5 inches taller than I was. All it would take would be one punch from him and I would be dead meat. DEAD MEAT. I'm not sure how many times I hit him. Judging by the fury that I was feeling, I think it must have been about 275 times. He managed to get up off of the ground and throw a response punch and with that, I went down. And I started screaming. I screamed like I had just had my arm ripped from my body. I screamed like a little girl. I screamed because I knew that once he grasped what I had just done to him, he would pound me into the earth so far, I'd need a shovel to get out - and I didn't want to die. I wanted my parents to rescue me!

I knew I was a goner. But dang it! He made me so mad and I warned him; and he wouldn't quit; and I hauled off and hit him as hard and as many times as I possibly could to show him a lesson. It turns out that I gave him a slightly bloody nose and a black eye. One for the sisters!!! But he also gave me a black eye. I had to get my Mom to peel my contact lens out of my eye because the force of his punch knocked that sucker onto my cornea so much, it was stuck. (Do you feel sorry for me). As Mom was picking my contact lens out, my Pop was thundering down the hallway towards my little brothers' room - with blood in his eyes and steam coming out of his ears. My Mom rapidly abandoned her brief stint as an eye surgeon and tried to stop Pop from murdering my brother for hitting me.

That's when things went into slow motion. I realized that Pop was going to kill Scott and I didn't want that to happen. I threw the first punch (or hundred of punches), so for all intensive purposes, it was my fault. Of course, Scott knew that he was facing imminent death and that I was in great trouble as well so he started yelling like a little girl, too. We were both crying and pleading for Pop not to kill both of us. We were actually even trying to get each other out of trouble! I have always wondered if Pop got a chuckle out of us pleading for one another's lives. There we were - both of us with black eyes, both of us crying, both of us pleading to save the life of each other. I would have laughed at the situation. Heck, later that evening, I laughed about it. I also laughed because Scott's shiner was bigger and darker than mine. He was amazed at the number of punches I managed to throw before he came to his senses and realized what had just happened. He even complimented me on my pummeling prowess.

All I can say is, don't make me too mad because I beat up a boy once. And I could probably do it again.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Morning of Favorites

This morning I did a few of my favorite things. I slept in - until 7:30! Then I took my sweet time drinking 4 cups of coffee. Then I went outside to the back yard to putz around. I played with the kitty, tried to locate my fishies in the algae-laden pond and came up with about 20 chores to take of. None of which I'll probably get around to.

On my way to the garage, I noticed my watering can collection and decided to take a peek inside to see what was in them. I found 5 itty bitty eggs! I guess at some point I scared the mama bird off because the eggs looked abandoned. How do I know you ask? Because I'm sort of country girl now of course! Actually I saw the eggs about a month ago and there hasn't been a parent bird hanging around since.

After that, I was inspired to go to two of my favorite places - Jack In The Box and Home Depot. For the last 35 years I have enjoyed the wonderful concoction that is a Breakfast Jack. Semi sweet bun, cooked egg, gooey cheese of questionable origin and paper thin ham slices. Heaven in a bun.

Home Depot isn't heaven in a bun but it is heaven on earth. I could spend all day long in there. I like to walk up and down every aisle. Sometimes I don't know what I'm looking at, but the products look cool anyway. I'm always inspired to take on some large project that I'll probably never finish. I have tons and tons of supplies in the garage for projects that I was inspired to do, but didn't. I'm a hopeless case.

On the way home I decided to stop at a park in my neighborhood where for the last 2 years, I've been scoping out some rocks. I love rocks. All sizes, shapes, colors - it doesn't matter. Anyway on my trek to the rocks I noticed that the ground was really dry. Cracks are common in the yucky clay soil we have around here. Most are fairly small but some are hazardous to your health! If you accidentally step into one of the large cracks, you could break your ankle. Or disappear down into it all the way to China. I made it without taking a unexpected trip to China and finally got a good look at the pile of rocks. They were gorgeous! I want them! I don't think I can get them into my little red wagon so I'm going to have to find a way to get them to my house. I haven't worked that out yet but I will. Look at them! Wouldn't you want these babies, too?

I bet Mr. Wonderful could figure it out. He probably has a 13 ton crane somewhere out in the shop. Heck, he's got everything else. I guess I had better make sure that the rocks aren't city owned because I don't want the cops to haul me off to jail for stealing rocks. Or for driving a 13 ton crane through the neighborhood. Wait - I'm married to a cop! Although he's in a different jurisdiction. Yeah, I guess I'll ask first.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Government Cheese, French Onion Soup, Chocolate Bars and Coke

Back in my youth, I lived in a rockin' apartment with my bestie Marilyn. We were more concerned with drinking beer than eating so our kitchen wasn't very well stocked. We kept a small staple of cheap foods on hand which usually consisted of government cheese (compliments of Marilyn's grandma), onions, soda pop and bullion cubes. The government cheese came in 5 pound blocks so it lasted a fair amount of time. Marilyn was hooked on french onion soup, hence the onions and bullion cubes. We ate french onion soup almost every day for dinner. For about 6 months. When we got tired of that, we made the rounds of happy hours that offered free buffets.

Marilyn had a bit of a sweet tooth and for breakfast she enjoyed having a breakfast of champions. It consisted of 2 pound Hershey's chocolate bars and a Coke. The girl was willow thin and all those chocolate bars didn't seem to alter her waistline any. I was a fan of bacon and fried 'taters. I'd eat taters for breakfast, lunch and dinner (when I wasn't eating french onion soup). My waistline wasn't affected that much either. No so today.

Once in a blue moon I'd get inspired to cook a real meal. I could cook when I wanted to. I just didn't want to very much back then. Or now for that matter. My Mom is a fan-tas-tic cook. Actually, I'd consider her a chef. I don't cook for her very much because it's embarrassing to make a mediocre meal for someone who can make one that's 5 star. For our birthdays, Mom makes me and my siblings our favorite meal. Anything we want. It usually takes me about a week to decide on something because there are so many good choices. My teenage daughter is generally home about 5 minutes a day but when my Mom cooks, she's readily available.

A few months ago I decided to make some french onion soup. The scent of that soup brought back many good memories of my wild girl days. And of Marilyn. I think I should have her over for some one day soon. I can't get my hands on any government cheese but I could make sure I have a 2 pound Hershey bar and a Coke on hand. It would be just like the old days.