Friday, June 29, 2007

The Red Headed Step-Child That I Am

On Wednesday, I posted this. And, I'd like to thank each and every one of you for reveling in my shame with me. I'm am relieved to know that I am now not alone.

While I was blogging and might I add, minding my own business, the husband thought it would be charming to add to my pain, so he turned on the satellite TV. Somehow, he landed on The Military Channel, to which we all know I do not especially heart. [Um. Boring, people.] So, my brain was already buzzing with a wee little bit of the conditional reaction of trying not to convulse into implosion while having to regurgitate that memory on the computer. This alone was difficult enough. Add in a mix of the Military Channel assaulting my ears as I was trying to type about unclean, unshaven betty's, well, let's just say the world could not have been my friend at that very instant.

I heard all sorts of bombs and guns. I heard jets and planes. I heard men and women. I heard lots and lots of things about war. I also heard this, ". . .the world is going to die. . . " and it was so X-Box 360-like that I stopped typing for a moment to glance at the TV to see if the husband was watching or playing. And though I tried, I could not help but mutter the same words in the same voice. It had to be done. I was overly compelled and not by my own hand either. The Military Channel made me do it.

The husband stopped. He looked at me as if I had just killed his cat. He very flatly said, "what." So, as proud as I could and in my best X-Box 360 voice I boomed, ". . .the world is going to die. . . " And smiled as pretty as I knew how with a couple of blinks to my eyelids.

The husband shook his head, "I don't know how your father didn't beat you as a child."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Because God Has a Sense of Humor - Just Look at Ostriches

Ah. As promised (in a previous post) I have a subject to blog about. Here it be:

My last trip to the great white north triggered what I suppose to be a repressed memory. I wish it hadn't. I wish it had stayed happily buried beneath the pretty flowers, puppy dogs, couture hand bags, butterflies, the husband, stiletto shoes, kittens, sugar and a little devilish spice. But it didn't. It surfaced like Nessie does every 2 million years.

And, now, my pain is yours. Apparently, I like to revel in my own shame and you're coming with me. So, I freely give it to you now.

I must start by mentioning, when I was a teenager, my sole source of income was generated by babysitting. Lots and lots of babysitting. I started when I was 11-years-old and it continued well into my 20's when I subsequently ran out of patience and could no longer be trusted to watch other people's spawn. When I was a wee teenager; however, I absolutely loved earning money in this manner. It was easy and fun. I mean, I used to run major water fight productions in the homes before the kids were packed into bed. Then I would spend the next 3-hours cleaning up said mess before the parental units arrived home. You can't get much more fun that that, right? Or we made cookies, which come to find out, children love to do. We also went places (when I could drive), painted, sailed, read, discovered, hiked, created, built, puzzled, playdoe'd and plundered. All in the name of fun, of course.

Which means, I was in high-demand. I had my regular clients on a weekly basis and sometimes they fought over who got "the babysitter". If no one won, I'd take on multiple families. That was a good time! I can't implement myself here with more stories of the water-fighting kind, but I will say, when you are the product of your father who bought out an entire city of their whip cream - in the middle of August - in order to have a neighborhood whip cream fight, well, I certainly can't be blamed now can I? Nope, I sure can't. [Don't try to deny either it, dad! I was there. And then told years later (because I thought you were always innocent and Godlike) that you schemed right along with the other 2.]

Anyhow, in being in such demand, somehow my reputation preceded me in places I didn't know existed, for example, other families. So, I was recommended out of my comfy little circle of babysitting love. Where I'd find myself in places of alien children - those who cried screamed for 6 hours straight; where I thought their lungs would be barfed out at any minute or, in the very least, their brains would explod from crying screeching for 6 hours straight. This alien baby never stopped its yelling. Never. I came to find the child at 4-years-of-earthly-age had never. had. a. babysitter. before. I'm sorry? WHAT?! The kid almost sent me into my own aneurysm and I didn't know the husband yet at my delicate and fragile 13-years of age. I never went back.

Then, there was this alien-nation family. They lived in a small ranch house. It was white with green shutters and a white picket fence. Utopian to some. This in and of itself is not worth mentioning, because people mostly live in houses or in the very least, indoors. The point is that I don't even remember the kid. No. This is what I remember. . . .

I am 13-years old.

I put the kid down for a nap. And in being the fact that at this point in time, the planet was pre-satellite dish service, there wasn't much on TV unless you had cable. In fact, TV's didn't even have remotes. This house had no cable. It was summer. I may have had huge water fights in-house, but I never left the house while the child slept. Not even to see the garden. So, I needed to entertain myself. I was not a nosy teenager, in fact, I didn't really care about the inner-workings of other people, but if there was art, I was inclined.

And art I did indeed find. On their wall in their hallway were 6 black and white photographs. I started to study them. I wasn't understanding what these photographs were supposed to represent. I thought maybe they were some odd mutation of The Rorschach Ink Blots. Black & white photographs. Ambiguous photographs. I was 13 and now I was curious. I kept moving down the line. Each one looked the same, but had subtle differences. I was still utterly confused. I kept studying each one with the hopes of a clue as to what these photographs were. I was going to arrive at incredible insights from these pictures, I just knew it. I was going to be astounded. And, then I arrived at the last picture and it wasn't butterflies, lovers holding hands, puppies or flowers. Nope. It was none of those perfect pretty things.

The pictures were of the lady giving birth to the sleeping child in the next room. Giving. Birth. Black and white photographs of this woman's betty - giving birth. Pictures of crowning and emerging were flat in my face from a woman I had barely met and said "hello" to. I saw her entire world laid out before my very fragile infantile eyes in black and white. And just like that, I found myself in the dark-side trying to figure how to get out.

I was freaked out. Not even remotely fascinated. It was as if I saw Satan himself eating a babies brain. I wanted to spork my eyes. But thank the Gods That Be that my own mind bleached itself over time. That is . . . until, 2 weeks ago. Oh why, oh why couldn't my rememory stay repressed? Being older and far more wiser, I understand that this was their house, her kinker, their baby and what they consider to be their art. But I'm all the more traumatized by it. Couldn't they have a least warned my neophyte 13-year-old brain? Or put the pictures in their own bedroom - where I would dare not wander? And not the public hallway?

Maybe it's the reason I find myself not jumping to the starting line to have a baby today. The damage has been done. It'll take years more to figure out how much.

Obviously, I need to start drinking more. Bam-ah-lam.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One Two Punch

The husband just got done working a 5-day graveyard stretch. I always wonder what kind of a night he had while working when I wake up and find these:

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Listen Here, You Trendy Little Monkey

I went to my friends baby shower today. It was a nice day. It was a nice shower. It was for a nice baby on the way who will be a boy once he decides it is time to exit the mama.

Aside from my friend, I knew no one else, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, every single one of them knew the husband. You see, my friend works with the husband as do most of her friends, so I found myself in more than one conversation about how "Everybody Loves The Husband"! I am used to this. I also enjoy this. It's great to know that your husband is loved by friends and strangers alike. It really is a nice feeling. They also mentioned how much he talks about moi, so it gives me even more warm fuzzies to know that I am as important to him as he is to me. It should be that way. And I'm all the more lucky for it. I know this.

Anyhow, not to dismiss the love of the husband, but to get back on track, I understand that I'm at a baby shower where baby talk will commence forthwith. Immediately. I don't have a baby. I've never had a baby. Unless you count the times I've borrowed a baby from others that paid me to watch theirs. I have extensive experience in this area including paid summer trips to the great lobster state to babysit three children and their friends for over a period of 4 summers. Sometimes the count of such children & friends would reach a total of 16. Sixteen wee leetol one's running around wrecking havoc at some point or another. With a number like that, and in most states, I would have been considered a teacher of some sorts or old mother hubbard who lived in a shoe. . . . Um. . . . Okay. Whatever. I don't have a baby and can't be held accountable for not knowing nursery rhymes. Okay?

Anyway, the point is that I was mostly surrounded by those who already have babies. Some recently, some about ready to and some years ago. I love this! I love hearing baby stories sans the birthing legends. You can keep those to yourselves (this reminds me of a previous life experience, but we'll save that for another blog entry for another time). All this to say, this doesn't mean I want a baby. Just because I love baby stories, does not necessarily entice me to having a baby of my very own to share with the husband. At least not now. Trust me, I seriously comprehend that I. am. not. getting. any. younger. I mean, duh.

But the thing is (and the point to this whole post), is that I never really know what to say to a complete stranger (per say they are a stranger to me because I've just met them within the last 15 minutes of my life) who then proceeds to ask me when the husband and I are going to have a baby ourselves? And just like that, I'm silenced into my own little world of make believe where things are pretty and soft; where I gently rock myself back and forth while covering my ears; reminding myself "I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay."

You need to understand that when I am in a roomful of women who have, who had, about to have or who desperately want a baby I. am. blasphemous. for saying in the most quiet, civilized, affable and thoughtful voice I know, "I . . . I . . . . don't know if we are going to have a baby. . . ." [holy thunder from God Himself] it is at that point when a collective, "haaaauhmph!" hits you with full force upside your head. Everyone covers their mouths in horror followed by dead silence. And then 100 questions follow as to why, who will take care of you when you are old and decrepit, what makes you not want children, how on earth can you not want babies, where do you come from that you wouldn't want a baby, etc., etc., etc. . . . It is as if the Venus just fell out of alignment with the rest of the planets and is making a course right for our heavenly earth. This is the reaction I usually receive. I can count on it. Which means this type of social interaction can be a bit unnerving for me. It's like I just took a spork and stabbed myself in my left eye in front of the entire group while it continues leaking down my face pooling at my cleverly designer stilettoed feet. I become an instant leper. So, while I like, appreciate and cherish baby showers, I always get a tiny bit nervous when having to face the [group] piper.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Deciphering Penguin Screams Like A Damn Fool

me: how was your ride?
the husband: I got to potty-train. . .
me: ???
me: . . . . you have to potty-train? Huh? *what if this weren't a hypothetical question*
the husband: I got to potty-train. . .
me: you have to potty-train? Whut. . . . ? *[blink, blink] if confusion is the first step to knowledge, I must be a genius* (Larry Leissner)
the husband: I! Got! Stuck! By! A! Train!
me: oh.
the husband: yeah. You and your bad hearing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I Used to Be Angry Every Day, Then Every Other Day, Now Only Every Third Or Fourth Day. . . Today Is The Day I Am Angry.

I'd like to start out by mentioning [once again] the husband has the uncanny ability to be right most of the time. So, for the past year, let it be known that the husband was once again uncannily correct.

The husband and I have decided to build a fence, in our Longhorn city, around the entire yard - not just the back as is our current situation. The husband has mentioned wanting to "fortress our home" to me more than once throughout the year we have lived here. He wanted a fence. He wanted to keep people out. He wanted safety. He wanted quiet. He wanted seclusion. I objected. Strongly objected, if you will. I wanted beauty. I wanted openness. I wanted a friendly place where all were welcomed. I wanted a pretty yard that everyone could enjoy including us. I have spent a lot of time in our front yard trying to make pretty this spring and summer. The husband, on occasion, has joined me in this effort. The front yard was turning around nicely, so much so, that the former owners of our house left us a note to tell us that they "love what we are doing to the yard!" Yes, with an exclamation point! Which we all know means something more than just something if you put an exclamation point at the end.

The point is that our front yard does look decent and if given a few years it will look fabulous, if I do say so myself. I've always wanted a yard with gardens and lots and lots of flowers as well as shiny pretty things. I was on my way to attaining that dream . . . .

Now want an 8-foot fence. Immediately. With crushed glass and barbed wire decorating the top ever so nicely. I want it to look nasty and in turn make our house look like a prison yard. I. Don't. Care. I want it as high and as deathly as humanely possible.

You see, some b*st*rd low-life cretin stole my hanging planters off of my double-shepherds hook not even 10-yards from our front door sometime between Monday and today. I only had them for two-weeks before they were swiped. They were beautiful with pink, red and white impatients adorning the wire English baskets. Each of the planters were worth just over $50.00. (Yeah. I paid a lot of money for those flowers & baskets, I wanted the front door to look nice.) So the thief made off pretty well. They weren't light either since they were big and weighed between 15-20 pounds each. I hope the sniveling-weenie pulled a muscle in each their fingers. Or the wet-smelly dirt spilled all over their vehicles and it won't come up. Or the plants died during transfer. Or they got worms. Karma has it's way of coming around and we all know you don't mess with karma. Just ask, Earl Hickey.

Yeah. I'm bitter. And not too pleased. I want a fence. I seriously cannot believe that someone drove up in our circle drive and stole our flowers. Who does that? And why? And, why us? Do you know how many people have yard art in their lawns, but ours was the only one hit? Why? For God's sake, they're flowers. Go grow your own. The husband is surprised that I am surprised, but I so firmly believe in "do unto others as you would have done unto you" that I think the world is a genuinely good place. Or has good intentions. But as I am becoming old and decrepit I am finding that it may be I who is warped. People aren't always good. And many only care about themselves. It's a sad state of affairs when someone steals your flowers.

Shame on you, you sniveling-snot-nosed-cold-hearted-rat-coward-ugly-jerk-face-piece-of-poo- weenie! In the end it is you who has to face the Reaper.

So, I leave you now, because I must go grab my front-yard tree hanging basket, my plant stool as well as its potted flowers from underneath my empty shepherds hook and move it to our fenced-in backyard. Come to think of it, I should pull up the shepherds hook too. . . . The low-life petty thieves could be back for more - I guess you just never know.

In the end, it'll be me with the last laugh. And a fence.

To use the words of Joy Turner, "Karma this, you dummy!"

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Useless Information

"The Chinese ideogram for trouble depicts two women living under one roof."

For some reason, this made me laugh out loud with complete understanding. I loved it!

**** From the Book: The Book of Useless Information. An official publication of Ned Botham & The Useless Information Society. Thousands of things you didn't need to know. . . and probably don't.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Hour Part Duex

Today, I woke up with severely swollen bed-head from going straight to sleep after the shower - again - and once more it made me hugely happy.

The husband made me toast with Nutella and coffee for breakfast today and it made me happy.

I received a phone call today that will make our life with our four-legged furry one's easier and it made me happily relieved.

It is slowly raining here today in our Longhorn city, watering our newly sodded backyard, which made me immensely happy.

Today, the husband went grocery shopping with me and it made me absurdly happy.

I made Spicy Tomato & Coriander Soup today and it made me happy.

Today, I learned that coriander is also known as cilantro (the common North America name), which I never knew previously, and it made me quizzically happy.

I learned an easy way to chop herbs is to put them in a mug and snip with a pair of scissors (held vertically) today and it made me happy.

Today, I am finding one of my favorite cookbooks is "400 Best-Ever Soups" and I happily recommend it.

What's your alibi?


P.S. This cookbook contains a complete guide to ingredients and how to use them in each recipe. It gives step-by-step instructions with photographs for each soup, as well as for making your own stocks from vegetables, chicken, beef, fish and shellfish. Instructions on how to make fancy-pants garnishes are also included. At the very bottom of every recipe you find listed the complete nutritional information. Miss America's-Next-Top-Model-Diva-Extraordinaire, the one and only Tyra Banks (& as we all know I'd happily inject her into my very own veins if I could), recommended this cookbook in the "Shape" magazine. Since it's Tyra approved I had to run out and immediately purchase this soup book from Barnes & Noble. I have not been disappointed. Besides, she's not like the sneaky liar at all.

So far, I've made the following soups and have been more than pleasantly surprised as well as supremely happy:

  • Chilled Asparagus Soup
  • Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Soup
  • Tortilla Tomato Soup
  • Spicy Tomato & Coriander Soup
Next up: Curried Celery Soup, Fresh Tomato & Bean Soup as well as Spicy Bean Soup

But doesn't Iced Tomato & Vodka Soup sound spectacular as well? Bloody Mary in a bowl - can't get much better than that! [Just for Ian ('cos he loves vodka not-so-much) . . . ]

Thursday, June 14, 2007

That Look Means You're Lucky I Don't Have Heat Vision

A story from a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . . .

On the recommendation of the sneaky liar, while in South Beach my friends and I sought out The Tides Hotel. The joint is well known for it's signature cocktails - martini's are just one of them. This is why we decided to attend (and what could be a better reason than martini's with Popsicles?) We sought, we found, we ordered . . . . .

However, upon our arrival and being that this hotel is a five-star joint, I decided to cover myself (it's great that you can walk anywhere in your swim gear in South Beach Miami and welcomed with open arms into any place; I absolutely love that, but that doesn't mean you. . . . errr. . . . um . . . . I should). So, I politely put on my workout t-shirt with my workout capri's. I consider it a nice t-shirt. It's from Pearl Izumi; not a battered, sweat filled, hole ridden, smelly cotton shirt you may find me wearing while working in our yard laying 11 pallets of sod. So, in what I assume is a decent shirt, I sit outside waiting for our drinks as well as my friends to join me from their restroom break.

As I wait, I am doing the people watch thing. I am having fun at gazing at the people's walking by, playing beach volleyball, driving in their Bentley's, dancing and basically being beach individuals. I am also sitting in what someone must consider a stylish piece of furniture. It is leather with a rounded top. It's new and fabulous, just like me. Or so I thought. Because as I was sitting there, a group of six well-muscled men walked by. One of these men spotted me sitting alone and turned to his friends, pointed at me while saying loudly enough, "Look dawg. . . Don't she be looking just like the Chucky Cheese mouse?" And he then started laughing uncontrollably.

I sat there for a moment churning this around in my little head and realized that, yes, he was talking about me.

. . . Um. [blink blink] . . .

*crickets chirping*

WHAT? ? ? ! IlookliketheChuckyCheesemouse?!

I've been called many things, for example, a male German Soccer player, but the Cheese Mouse, really? So, um. Ow. Could the earth just open up and swallow me whole or better yet lend a giant stabbing spork? I didn't feel so fabulous. My friends may think I get offended when it comes to me and, well, they're right. I do. I was offended, but too taken aback to react. I can think of all the snarky responses now, but I was completely and utterly silenced into embarrassment by a complete stranger then.

I guess my one iota of saving grace, if there was any at all, was the fact that his friend, who apparently was the leader of the muscle gang, turned and took a slight uninterested look at me and responded, "naw dawg" while continuing on with his casual stroll; minions in tow.

I am so going as a cat this year for Halloween.

Last of the Mohicans

The last photo's of our South Beach trip. . . .

Our Home for 3-Days The Ritz (formally known as di Lido) and our room with a view

Fun at Ola's


Summing it All Up!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Where Has All The Godiva Love Gone

Once more, it's gone to the great white north. It was a last minute deal. Explanation to follow at a later date and time.
I return to my longhorn city (& the husband) tomorrow very. early. in. the. morning. I'll have something genius to say then, I'm sure. Actually, the husband and I have to lay sod in the backyard (come to think of it, maybe I should just stay here). Say good-bye to the mud, the mud puddles, the alligators and the gigantic prehistoric mosquito's as well as having to walk the four-legged's 18,000 times per day. [Yes, in case you are wondering, we still have an actual concrete swimming pool that will remain under the new sod. Jackhammering can only go so far before one begins to feel like Muhammad Ali after 20 years of boxing . . . ]

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Guest Pawsting III: Rub-a-Dub-Dub Two Dogs in the Tub

Dixie here.

Apparently, today is bath day, but not for me or Lola. Only for Chobie and Breagh. At least that's what mama said. I took some pictures of them while they were all wet and unhappy. I thought it was funny, but they called me a doofball and told me to get out. Geesh. Where's the love?

Anyhow, here's their picture of what they normally look like:

Mama and Breagh
King Chobie

I love bath day! Why couldn't I get a bath too? I am the only dog who likes getting washed. I seek out water. I jump in water. I splash the water. I love water! I don't know why Lola, Chobie and Breagh hate it so much. It feels cool and wet. I love the water! I wish it were my bath day.

Mama bought these tools:

The Furminator is supposed to be
an awesome de-furring system. Mama doesn't yet know about that, but we sure like the
smell of the shampoo and conditioner.

And here's them in da bath:

King Chobie again. He's all wet in da face!
See how I was trying to help?

This is Breagh. She hates getting a bath.
She also hates getting her picture taken.

Funny stuff!

You know who'd l'd like to throw in the bath? That Pontius-cat-thing. That's who. Oh. . . . Mama just said that Sir Pontius loves the water. Huh? A cat who loves water?! What thuuu. . . . . She told me that when she's in the bath Pontius jumps in and swims around her! See? I told you that cat is stoopid. Well, maybe not, 'cos he likes the water just like me. One brownie point for the cat. But that's it. He's not getting anymore from me.

Oh yea . . . . Mama just told me that Dad's coming home early today - usually he works evenings, but not today! I love my dad! I get to watch him race his bike tonight. I love that! Gotta go take a nap all this bathing stuff has worn me out. First, I might just chase Pontius and get him all riled up. That's fun too!

~Dixie out.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Hey, Let's Tally That Up Shall We

A few weeks ago in a galaxy far, far away . . . . . The husband decided to be adventurous [again]. Pulling out the Godiva Liqueur, Disaronno and Grand Marnier. . .

me: you should test that first. . . *blehck*
the husband: baby . . . . *innocent until proven guilty*
me: you should. I'm not trying that until you take a sip. *I am a Taurus. Duh.*
the husband: that's just mean. *sad puppy eyes*
me: well, the last concoction you made almost killed us, if you remember
the husband: that is not true. *my wife the drama queen*
the husband: *taking a sip* mmm. that's pretty good. Try it . . . . .
me: are you lying just to see the look on my face *death by sporking*
the husband: just try it. . .
me:*taking a supremely small sip* hey! We're calling that The Thomas! I want the rights! I want the royalties! I'm writing the movie and the book!
the husband: I told you it was good.
me: do you think that chef guy that invented the Cesar salad gets royalties? *early retirement!*