Thursday, September 11, 2014


I am leaving the country for 10 days.  I'm excited and I'm nervous and....I morbidly feel like I need to have my "what ifs" instructions right out there front and center in case something happens. (I know...nothing's going to happen). 

First, you need to stop and go


for my basic last wishes. 
One of my (many) quirks is that I am constantly refining my funeral arrangements.  (don't judge.  If you lived here in the South and saw some of the atrocities that occur during funerals, you'd have an issue too).

Well, recently, there has been a rash of really, really corny poems and such in the paper (I know these are probably all heartfelt, sincere tributes to wonderful people and I am GOING TO HELL because I make fun of them, but they're really awful) anyway, I say to Annette that to add to my instructions (above) that she should stomp to death anyone who tries to submit a ridiculous poem about me when I shuck off this mortal coil. (And yeah, here I’m assuming that anyone WOULD…)

Anyway, in lieu of hackneyed poems, Annette has provided some wonderful haikus and one dirty limerick.  Please ensure they are read aloud at my funeral…by Annette if possible, but you know, she could have kicked it with me ala Thelma & Louise.  (BTW, you won't understand ANY of these if you don't go read that first link)

Sassy, taunting one    

Full of good tales and laughs  

Quick!  Search her nightstand


Beulah Land, she says

For me is the land of hot

Sweaty studs: Jackson



There was a hot chick from Tutwiler

Who liked for her man to defile 'er

Her lips - red and shiny

Quite active, her hiney

When she went, she was wearin' a smiler

Tell me those don’t bring a tear to your eye! Sniffle.  I am so blessed with friends you get me.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Can't fix stupid...

I have never really been much of a car person.  As long as it was reliable, comfortable and not too hard on gas mileage, I have been fine with whatever I was driving.  If I also did not mortify the neighbors with whatever vehicle I had or embarrass the child so much that she would have me drop her off 2 blocks away from where I was taking her...that was a plus. (This was a real issue with a car Jeff was a beat-to-shit Altima with 385,000 miles on it that smoked and backfired.  Its rear quarter panel was held on primarily with dirt and I think a wasp's nest.  The kiddo HATED when he picked her up from after-school care.  She called the Altima "Dad's junkyard.")

That being said...a few years ago, we purchased a car that I am actually proud to drive:

We did not buy it because it was prettiful and all zoomy-zoom looking.  We got it because it was a fantastic deal (divorcing couple...she was all "getting rid of anything he gave her")  But I admit, I have come to love this car.  I notice people admiring it.  I actually keep it washed and looking nice (I've always kept my vehicle mechanically maintained...the exterior.....not so much.)

So anyway, last week something bad happened.  I don't want to get into it too much...I hit a puppy on my way to work.  I know. I know.  I hate it too.
It was absolutley not my fault.  Some redneck asshole who lives in a trailer not 7 feet from a very busy, curvy road lets all eleventy-eight of his dogs just run loose.  There are dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes...I had noticed a litter of about 6 puppies over the last few weeks had apparently gotten to the really active stage.  Anyway, two of these puppies ran out into the road as I was rounding a curve...and I got the second one.
Just made me sick to my stomach.
I stopped, got out...checked the poor thing...and noticed I had car parts laying in the road.
Namely, my vent cover by my fog light.  The fog light itself was busted and dangling from its cable.

Now, I'm not trying to be insensitive.  The puppy was the worst part of this whole thing...even though I think it's pretty inevitable that at least half of that litter is destined to the same end.  Their so-called "owner" is some white-trash, pediphile-looking loser I've occassionally seen getting his mail or sitting on the chewed up sofa that sits out on the rotting wooden front "porch" that he built onto his trailer.  He obviously lets whatever breed with whatever and the curve on Morrisville road control the population somewhat through attrition.  These kind of people make me sick.  They absolutely do not deserve pets. (Yes, I made a call later that day to Animal Control Dept...should have done it a week earlier).

At work, I took a closer look at the damage...unplugged the dangling flood light assembly and tossed it and the vent cover in the back seat & went inside to search for a replacement fog light assembly.

A $78 charge on my credit card later, and my new fog light assembly began its journey to my house.  Since then...I've been having to live with this:


Which I haaaaaate.  I know I'm a little OCD.  It shouldn't bother me so much...that little Exclamation mark ! in a triangle.
It. Is. Driving. Me. CRAZY.  Also?

I'm used to my car giving me little bursts of information.  Over on the left of the dashboard, I have a message box.  I can see what kind of gas mileage I'm getting (instanteneous or average)...I can see my Distance to Empty (DTE) tells me when I need an oil change.  Unless.  Unless something has happened to turn the exclamation mark on.  Then, the only message you get (and you cannot change, and you cannot turn off) is WHY you have an exclamation mark.
In this case: 


Yeah.  Something's wrong with my bulb's position. I know that, Volvo!  I know that rolling around in the backseat is the incorrect position for the bulb.  Gah!  What I DON'T know right now is how many more miles I can go before I run out of gas...which is something you USED to tell me.

Well, I feel better getting all of that off my chest.  Hopefully, I haven't come across as some kind of a materialistic, puppy-killing neurotic.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Unsolved mysteries

How? Does? This? Happen?
Today, I made a crockpot meal that I have been planning all week.  I saw the recipe in some article about "20 meals for $150 at Costco" or something like that.  On Monday, put some frozen chicken in a ziplock bag and put it in the meat drawer to thaw.  Last night I realized that I had to do something with that chicken or throw it away.  I mentioned doing the crock pot thing to Jeff...who reminded me that he's been anxiously looking forward to 50 cent corn dog day at Sonic for two weeks. (I know, it's the little things in life)
Since I didn't want to waste the perfectly good ingredients I had already purchased for this endeavor, I loaded up all the ingredients and my crock pot and brought everything into work. I whipped it all up, set the crock pot to going and produced lunch for myself and my cohorts.  It was very well received even in an office diminished of personnel, what with the upcoming holiday and all.  After all was said and done,  I had about a serving left.  I scrounged through the cabinets to find something to put that single serving into so that I could clean up my crock pot to take it home.
In the office kitchen cabinets there was exactly:
ONE container
ONE container lid.
They were both square.  Here they are:

These two items do not fit each other.  At all. See the rounded corners of the lid?  See how the container has sort of ledge at each corner?
How, in the name of all things good and kind, did this happen?
I can only assume that these items ended up in the kitchen because someone brought left-overs from home and then didn't take their container home...but they didn't bring anything in with this combination.  So how did the one lid and the one container get here separately?

Also, APPARENTLY, some vagrant, raised by wolves (in a barn) made his way past the guard station at the gate of the government facility I work at, got down here to the site and broke into the office.  I say this because surely, SURELY none of the people I work with would have dumped their tea in the sink and left their nasy, bloated, squishy lemon wedges for some other poor soul to CLEAN UP AFTER THEM?

Act like you've got some raisin', people.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I thought the kiddo might be getting a little homesick by decided to send her a little something from home:

Because the thing is?  There is NOTHING in our house that doesn't have animal hair on it.  Jeff opened up his wallet the other know how cartoons would show moths flying out of a character's wallet to show how broke they were?  Well, Jeff opened his up and about half a dozen Simba hairs Foofed out.
Inspiration actually came because Rosie is shedding her undercoat right now in CLUMPS.  I thought it would be funny to send a sampling from all the beasts & tell the daughter that she could put some pet hair on her stuff if she was feeling lonely.  I already had an offering from Rosie...I just snuck behind each of the rest of them and was all "Pluck!"  The cats were like, "WTH? Insane human. Geez!" Simba was just his normal, happy Golden Retriever grinning self.  Libby (chiweenie) thought I was trying to skin her alive, because she's just like that.

I thought the whole idea was funny and original.

Kiddo called when she got it and was all, "Okay, that was seriously, disturbing as well as disgusting."

But she did take a picture and post it on Instagram.  I think deep down she was touched.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Very bad, no good week

This has not been one of my favorite weeks.  The hubs and I are adjusting to our new normal since the chickadee has left the nest.
(Interesting side note, I texted "What's up, chickadee?" to a friend the other day, and autocorrect changed it to "Wax your chickadee."  Like, what the crap, autocorrect?  Who waxes a chickadee?  Is that a euphamism that I don't understand because I'm old? Is chickadee waxing a thing?  PETA will not be pleased.)

Anyway, the week started with some heavy duty house work.  With the flurry of activity to get the kiddo packed and moved, we'd left a little to be desired on the home front. 

Nothing like finding evidence that certain appendages that have pranced around in a litter box have also been on surfaces that come in contact with your toaster strudel.

You know, I've read studies about how children raised in environments that are too sterile don't develop the immunities they need.  At least I can rest assured that when I sent my kid out into the was with PLENTY of built up immunities.

Then Robin Williams committed suicide.
Damn it!  That really sucked.

And then today, I was at work for 5 and a half hours before I even noticed:

Yes, I had my dress on backwards.

It's only Wednesday.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The ties that bind

I'm getting ready to change offices. Actually, my whole office is about to move to a new building. We've been steadily working on pruning down all of the stuff that we're not taking with us, throwing away things we don't need to move, etc.
In cleaning out my credenza, I found this:

It's a 6 year old's version of a pop-up book.  The front and back look like a house (our house) and inside are all of the people and animals who live in it.

Yeah, still blurring out the kiddo's name, even though she's an adult now.  I'm still amazed at the detail she used to give how she really tried to capture the patterns of the cats' fur. And she made sure to show that one of her hermit crabs lived in a shell with a flower painted on it.

Also?  You may notice that her dad has earrings.  That's because he had recently gotten them.  Baby girl had wanted earrings SOOOOOO bad. But she was EXTREMELY terrified of anything even remotely needle-like.  We had taken her twice to get her ears pierced and she backed out.  Finally, she was in the ear-piercing chair, and Jeff said, "What if I do it first, so you see it isn't so bad?"
So that's how she finally got through it.  Jeff and daughter sat side by side, and the lady pierced Jeff's right ear...then Kiddo's right ear. Boy, she did NOT like that sensation at all!  But then her dad was all, "You're not gonna leave me like this with one earring are you??? Come on, I'll do the other one if you'll do the other one."  And so they did.
And she thought it was the coolest thing ever that her DAD had earrings.
We live in and around quite a conservative bunch, but Jeff proudly wore earrings.  And in every picture the Kiddo would draw of the family, her dad always had earrings on. I need to add that her scale was a little off...he really wore very discreet, small hoops usually. The 80's door-knocker look that he's sporting in the picture above was more to make sure everyone could tell she'd drawn him with his earrings than a true representation of how big they were.

And if I had to, in a nutshell, pick a story out to try and describe their relationship (as I see it), it is this story.  Jeff would do anything for the kiddo. Anything at all.  I am sure that he would lay down his life for any number of among them.  But only for his daughter would he get his ears pierced and proudly wear earrings for the rest of his life.  Sometimes the two of them (they are very, very alike) have trouble discussing their feelings for each other.  Jeff, in particular, has a hard time being "mushy".  I know part of it is that he's a man, and part of it is that she's a teen (though rapidly leaving the teen years).  But a huge part of it is just...that's the way they are.

When we took her to move into her dorm yesterday, it finally came time to say our "good-byes". Kiddo had warned us that everyone got one hug...not too long of one either (she's not very touchy-feely). Her best friend came with us and insisted on getting photographic proof that she'd gotten a hug.

Can you tell that she's barely tolerating it?
Then came my turn...which I'm sure you guessed ended with me blubbering and snotty.  After several rounds of "Are you going to be okay?" from everyone, Jeff hugged her and said his goodbye,

Jeff: "I love you, baby."

Kid: "Love you too"

Jeff: "Just remember, I'm leaving a little part of me here."

Kid: "Why? Did you fart into my couch cushions?"

He will cherish that bit of smart-assery for the rest of his life.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Put in perspective...

As you may have heard through my many blog and FB postings and various tweets, my daughter is leaving for college. I have wailed, I have gnashed my teeth, I have done the ugly cry…and yet the day of her departure moves inexorably closer. In about 36 hours we’re going to be loaded up and headed to T-town. Where she will become part of the University of Alabama student body. Which has a headcount of roughly 35,000 students. Tuscaloosa itself has a population of approx. 100,000.

Our hometown has a population of approx. 21,000 and the kiddo’s graduating class was 280. She has accomplished a whole bunch in her short life…graduated 5th in her class…varsity cheerleader…various clubs and honors societies etc., etc. She’s been a pretty good-sized fish in a pretty moderate-sized pond.

And then there’s her family. She was the first grandchild on both sides. She was her Papaw Gary’s ONLY grandchild. She is mine and Jeff’s only child. We live in a 2800 sq ft 4 bedroom, 2 ½ bath home…and she occupies 3 of the bedrooms and a bath by herself (I’m guessing 1250 sq ft).

Sidebar: Here’s how this happened…so she has a bedroom and a bathroom, right? Well, we turned one of the spare bedrooms into her “TV room” so that she could have a place where she could have her friends over and not commandeer the whole living room, but that wasn’t her bedroom. Also…she would go into this room to do her hair and makeup because for some reason, the lighting our bathrooms (there are rows of big, huge bulbs that are back-lit with brass, because it was decorated in the early 90s and I can’t bring myself to undertake a remodel, so here we are) causes the room after a shower to be just shy of the temperature of the hammered down hinges of Hell. So I couldn’t really fault her there. All of her shoes live in the TV room. It is utter chaos. I can’t even look in there without a complete meltdown. I quit letting her invite her friends up there because I just didn’t feel like our liability insurance could cover it. It really isn’t safe to enter without a tether. Then…when she reached the age of 12 and essentially stopped getting any taller, her wardrobe grew…and grew…and grew. She ended up buying a rolling clothes rack, which she moved into the other guest room. I know, I KNOW. Starving orphans in China would love just ONE room to leave in a state of complete disor
der. I’m not justifying…I’m just explaining how she has spread out across so much of the house.

In Douglas Adam’s book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, there’s a thing called the Total Perspective Vortex. It’s a torture mechanism that no one can survive because it shows you your relative importance in the universe. An infinitesimal dot on an infinitesimal dot with a sign that says “You are here” or something. (Invented by a man who’s wife was always telling him to get a sense of perspective.)

I think you are probably getting the drift of my concern.
I'm afraid that we've raised this kiddo to believe that she's the center of the universe.  And really, nothing she's experienced in her life has given her any evidence to the contrary.
Is she going to be alright when she steps into a lecture hall that has the same number of students as she had in her whole senior class?
Of course, in TRatEotU, our hero was not annihalated in the Total Perspective Vortex because it turned out he was actually in an alternate universe built to keep him he WAS, in that universe, the most important thing EVER.
Would not surprise me if this doesn't turn out the same.
(I am her mother.)