Rico and I went to NYC for an adult getaway to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend. It was fun weekend of sight seeing, shopping and eating at restaurants where I didn’t have to cut anyone’s meat nor take anyone to the bathroom to poop.
Any meal where I don’t have to take anyone to poop is a good meal. I have pretty low expectations at this point. Really low expectations. At this point if I can eat at McDonald’s without kids it becomes a 5 star dining experience. No joke.
So anyway, we arrive in the Big Apple and get a taxi to our swanky hotel and I have to tell the Pakistani cab driver three different times our address. The man speaks marginal English and I speak expert Southernese and it becomes quite the cultural exchange. Rico starts a conversation with him (which he does with EVERYONE) about where he is from, when he came to America and if he came over in a boat. Why he asks everyone about the whole boat thing is beyond me. I think he believes immigrants are incapable of buying airline tickets and can only get here stowing away on a boat. I mean, really, even Al Qaeda can get on Expedia. We finally get to the hotel in a ride I can only describe as “life changing” as people in Pakistan apparently don’t have laws for driving and the horn honking was so frequent I developed a tic.
The woman at the desk of our nice hotel was very helpful. We couldn’t do express check-in as we had reward vouchers and were too stupid to figure out how to accomplish that on the speedy check-in computer. So Rico is explaining our situation and the first thing she asks is “Where part of the South are you visiting from?” which is code for “Do people really speak like that? I thought that was just in the movies?”.
We tell her we are from Kentucky and she immediately starts laughing and ask if we eat a lot of Bar-B-Que.
”Why yes we do, ma’am” and then Rico begins to tell her how often we do Bar-B-Que and at times even Bar-B-Que whole rolls of bologna infused with jalopenos. It’s the “poor mans steak,” he says.
Lord, I was about to DIE!!
The night of my friends birthday party I had a stern talking to with Rico.
”Don’t say anything stupid. Don’t talk politics. Don’t talk about the economy. Don’t slap me on the butt in front of everyone. Just don’t open your mouth. I will tell everyone you have laryngitis. Just nod when spoken to and smile a lot. O.K?”
He promises to be on his best behavior and I feel confident that we will make it thru the evening without looking like the Clampett’s.
Dinner is at a fabulous restaurant in the West Village. We are seated in a private room with 15 of her closest friends who are from either NYC or LA. It is a warm, intimate environment and her friends are friendly and gracious.
My first feelings of apprehension are when I realize Todd and I aren’t seated together. I mean, he is close enough where I can hear what he’s saying but not close enough I can kick him under the table. Sweat starts tricking down my back.
“Please be good”, I plead.
The night goes well for the most part. There were only a few instances where I felt like he was acting like the guy from Sling Blade. We were clearly out of our league as her friends were hedge fund managers, a Today show correspondent, very successful business owners, physicians, etc.
There were even some Louboutins in the house.
I only overheard Rico make one major guffaw when one of the guest passed around her beautiful engagement ring which was the size of a Cadbury egg and he he nudged her husband and said, “Where you get something like that? I bet it’s a CZ!!”
Swear on my kids eyes. I about died right in my chair.
On a serious note, it was a great night. Despite our differences, we were warmly welcomed by her lovely friends and by the city itself.
I LOVE NYC!
Even though most of you will not believe this, I graduated 20 years ago.
Yes, 20 years ago.
As in, 1990. The year of the Milli Vanilli scandal, the Simpsons and Seinfeld television debut, the freeing of Nelson Mandela and the start of the Persian Gulf War.
I turned 18. My parents bought me a brand new car, a white Dodge Shadow, that was then dubbed by my friends as “A Freak of Nature”…cause there is no such thing as a white shadow.
It was a time of tanning beds, tight rolled jeans, sequined prom dresses and Aqua Net hair spray.
Now, if there was one thing I was focused on in high school, it would be the whole hair situation. Lord knows I wasn’t worried about my SAT’s or college admission applications but the big hair thing…well, that was important. Hello?
And so the majority of my high school years were filled with hot rollers, a can of Aqua Net and a blow dryer…cause only maximum hair height could only be achieved with the aid of a dryer.
I never made senior superlatives, but 20 years later, they regretted that crap and bestowed upon me the accolade I should have recieved back in the day….”Biggest Hair.”
Yes people, read it and weep!
I had the biggest hair in high school and it has been confirmed 20 years later by my peers.
To reward me for all my effort and their lack of acknowledgement then, they bestowed upon me the most fitting prize, a can of Aqua Net Hair Spray.
I know you be jealous.
Derby week in Kentucky is a fabulous time. Everyone is trying to figure out which horse they’re betting on, which hat they’re wearing, whose Derby party they’re attending and making sure they have all the ingredients for a Mint Julep.
It has been pouring rain here in the Bluegrass since Friday but for a few minutes on Saturday afternoon, the sun broke through and we all got to sing “My Old Kentucky Home” with a little sun on our faces.
This Derby has been bittersweet for me in that severe flooding has occurred in Kentucky as well as in Tennessee.
Many people have died. People are stranded due to flooded highways and interstates. Homes have been evacuated.
Kinda puts things into perspective.
My husband has been out since early this morning….working claims, helping people move furniture out of flooded basements and tonight, helping a good friend salvage his belongings before his house is taken over by the Green River.
The water is so high they had to canoe to his house.
Things can be replaced. Houses can be rebuilt.
People can not.
I pray tonight that all these guys are safe…especially mine.
Soon I will be attending my 10, 15 20 year high school reunion.
Holy Ritz Cracker.
Where did the years go?
Twenty years ago, my life was rather simple.
The only stressors in my life were:
1. What dress to wear to prom?
2. Which tanning bed would get me the best tan in time for prom?
3. Who I was going out with Friday and Saturday night?
4. How to tell my parents I had crashed yet another car.
5. Which college to attend based not on their academic accolades but which had the best social life.
Important stuff people!!
But looking back over the last 20 years and viewing 18 years olds these days, I can see I really was stupid. After marrying, divorcing, marrying again, having two beautiful daughters, living with a debilitating illness and just simply growing up, I wish I could have talked to my stupid self 20 years ago.
This is what I would have said…
1. Basking in the sun with baby oil and iodine sounds like a fabulous idea, especially when you lay out on the roof to maximize it’s effect while skipping school, but 20 years from now you will find freckles, age spots, wrinkles and that huge skin cancer on your back. It will cost you a fortune to remove the age spots and freckles, the wrinkles will not make you look sophisticated, and Botox/Restylene is expensive. Skin cancer can kill you. Please wear sunscreen everyday.
2. The really hot guys who really have no direction in life at 25 will also have no direction in life at 45. If his only ambition is to install car stereo’s in his momma’s garage, he’s not for you. Stay away from him and all the others like him unless you are prepared to support them for the rest of your life. They will bleed you financially and emotionally the rest of your life.
3. Most of the cool kids in high school that picked on the quiet nerds? Those nerds end up signing their paychecks. I bet Bill Gates loves going to his high school reunion. Those kids that were quiet and studious just learned early that being different is cool. You should try to have their self esteem.
4. Some of those quiet kids in school that no one understood were different because their home life was horrible and they needed you to reach out to them but you were to selfish to realize that. Realize that you are not the center of the universe. Realize that everyone is not as fortunate as you.
5. Being a cheerleader or a beauty queen never really gets you anywhere in life. No one will ever ask you in a job interview if you can do a back handspring. This I promise.
6. Studying and working hard gets you everywhere. There are no shortcuts in life. You may read the Cliff Notes but you still don’t know the whole story.
7. You may not know at 18 what you want to do for the rest of your life and that’s OK…you may not know until you’re 38 or 48 or 58. Sometimes you may never know. The important thing is you know who you are and what you stand for.
8. Not everyone can be doctors or lawyers and that doesn’t make you any lesser than a person. Blue collar workers are the backbone of our country. Not everyone can be great but you can be great at what you do.
9. Pick a career that makes you happy and fulfills you, no matter what the pay. If you enjoy what you do, the money will come.
10. You, yourself are enough. You don’t need someone else to make you happy. If you can’t be happy with yourself, you can’t be happy with someone else.
11. You can’t fix someone else’s problems, so don’t waste your time.
12. Always take time for yourself. Learn to enjoy time alone. Be happy in your solitude. You can be your best company.
13. Always take time for your girlfriends. Don’t flake out on them when a new guy comes along. Don’t forget about them when you get busy with your new baby. You need them and they need you. They will be there for you when your whole world falls apart and you will need them to help you pick up the pieces.
14. Tell the truth, even when it isn’t in your best interest. Even when it means everyone else thinks your crazy…or a bitch…or stupid. You will sleep well at night knowing you did the right thing.
14. Keep your word. Do what you say and mean it.
15. Before you marry you should experience three situations with your significant other:
A. You both should take care of each other during a bout with the stomach virus. Nothing brings out the worse in people than diarrhea and vomiting.
B. Go on vacation and work through a difficult situation like losing your luggage. Knowing how your partner handles the simple stresses in life will give you an idea how he/she will handle your relationship.
C. Let them meet your entire extended family, even the ones that you don’t claim.
16. Learn to laugh at yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously. It really does look funny when you fall down the steps. Laugh and laugh hard.Life is too short to be a stick in the mud.
17. Regrets are a waste of time.
18. Real love is fireworks. If you don’t feel it, it’s not right. Don’t let anyone tell you different and don’t settle.
19. Don’t let fear hold you back.
20. Stop using all that hairspray. You’re really destroying the ozone layer at break neck speed and big hair really doesn’t flatter you anyway.
But most of all, I’ve learned that love, family, friends and health are the cake of your life. The rest are just icing.
And my cake taste great.
Last week, a couple of my girlfriends and I decided to take the kids to the condo for a few days of fun and sun on the beach. It should have been a pleasant, joyful time for us all.
It was not.
The kids were wild…they bickered..they drove us absolutely nuts.
After four days, we packed our stuff and came home.
Now mind you, the ride home wasn’t much better. The kids were wild…they bickered…they drove us absolutely nuts AND our fuses were shot.
Traffic through Montgomery, Alabama was horrid and we tried to allude a 3 hour traffic jam by taking a side road. The problem was everyone else had the same idea. People were tired, in a hurry, and generally pissed off.
While going through a green light, a Lincoln Navigator barrelled through the turning lane, illegally going through the light and cutting in front of me, missing my vehicle by inches.
Needless to say, I was pissed and I blared the horn.
Well, ”Miss Thang” decided to jump out of her SUV and proceed to call me everything but a dirty white girl.
Words were exchanged..most of them not so nice…and then she told me to get “my white ass” out of my vehicle.
Oh, yes…she did.
As my friend,who weighs 98 pounds soaking wet, gets out of the car to “get my back”, I loudly asked for her to “GET MY GUN!”
And magically, ”Miss Thang” got her ass back in the vehicle and left.
I may talk slow and with a drawl. My hair may be big and blond. I may carry a fabulous purse.
You may outweigh me by 100 pounds.
BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE…I CAN SHOOT YOUR WEAVE OFF IF NECESSARY.
Lately my posts have been infrequent. My mother had back surgery 5 weeks ago and has suffered a mysterious complication that has also affected three other women who had neurosurgery the same day at the same hospital. No one knows what exactly is wrong with my mother but she has suffered greatly these past weeks and I have been busy helping her as much as I can.
Also, as some you may know, I suffer from Crohn’s Disease and Sjogrens Syndrome and have taken a leave from work since the first of May. I had hoped to be back and at ‘em by now but that is not the case. I have had to resign from my job due to my illness. It has been a huge decision for me as I have always worked. Since the age of 14, I have known nothing else. My new role as a “housewife and stay at home” mother has been a huge adjustment for me emotionally. I’ve always prided myself on being an independent working women and then suddenly, I’m not. I know things happen for a reason and it will be fine but I’m scared of my new role. The plus side is that I have gotten to spend some quality time with my girls this summer and we have both enjoyed that immensely.
I will get back writing more as I feel myself coming out of this lull. I appreciate all who have emailed,wondering where I’ve been and if things are alright.
My friend Katie invited us to her parents farm for a cookout over the 4th of July. It was there that they shared with me the greatest summertime drink I’ve had in a long time. I thought it only fitting that I share the love with all of you…
2 pounds blackberries (you may substitute lemons, raspberries, cherries, etc. If using lemons, use zest only)
1 quart clear grain alcohol, such as vodka or rum
6 cups of purified water
2 1/2 cups cane or granulated sugar
Place blackberries and liquor in a tightly sealed jar or bottle large enough to accommodate at least a quart of liquid.
Place container in a cool, dar and dry place for at least 3 to 5 days. Shake the jar at least twice a day. If using lemons, the zest will turn white when flavoring is done. Strain the fruit from the liquid through a fine sieve or coffee filter; discard the fruit and set aside flavored liquor.
Place 6 cups of purified water in a saucepan over low heat, and add sugar. Heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and syrup is clear.
Cool syrup to room temperature and mix with liquor. Strain the sweetened liquor through several changes of coffee filters, and store in tightly sealed bottles in the refrigerator. Chill and enjoy. Makes about 2 1/2 quarts.
Today, I had my 15 minutes of fame as I was the featured blogger for SITS. If you’re not familiar with the gals at The Secret’s in the Sauce, you’re missing out on a fabulous group of women.
Since I was Queen for the Day and Emo Mom at the same time, I had to wear my tiara and fingerless gloves at the same time. It’s not a look I recommend as few people can pull it off. I think I did a pretty good job. My tiara only fell off a few times. Once while I was mopping the kitchen floor and the other while I was pulling laundry out of the dryer.
Ray Ray is going to camp tomorrow morning and we have to meet the other campers bright and early at 7 a.m. Since she has been such a turd this week and most of her responses to me have been the standard “GRRRRR”, I have decided to carry over my Queen Emo attire for one more day. I shall be dropping her off in front of all her friends in my Emo gloves and tiara. Maybe her being a turd is hereditary?
Today was also a big day for Rico because he thought all this hullabaloo was totally about him. He has gotten a really big head with all the comments about his redneck plumbing skillz. It has gotten so bad I am seriously having thoughts of smothering him in his sleep but then am afraid that I will have some kind of horrendous plumbing problem and will need him. So ladies, please refrain from the comments that praise all his redneck ACME duct tape engineering. It goes straight to his head and it’s big enough already. I think he’s considering starting his own blog and if he does, God help us all. I will be moving.
Anyhoo, thanks to all the great people who stopped by my little blog today. I am in the process of reading every comment and am trying to visit each and everyone of your blogs!
Yesterday I spent the day drinking two quarts of Gatorade mixed with two bottles of Miralax. On top of that, I threw in four Dulcolax tablets just for the hell of it.
You can imagine how that ended.
We can send a man to the moon but we can’t invent a better way to prep the bowel for a colonoscopy.
Needless to say, I didn’t leave the house.
My partner in crime, Farm Chick sent me this article to make sure I stayed safe.
TAIPEI (Reuters) – A Taiwanese man became a sitting target for a snake, which bit his penis as sat on the toilet at his rural home, local media reported on Monday.
“As soon as he sat down, he suddenly felt a knife-like pain and reacted instinctively by standing up,” the China Times said. “When he looked down, he saw the big snake.”
The 51-year-old man, from Nantou County, was under medical care with minor injuries, a director at Puli Christian Hospital said.
“As soon as he has passed the risk of infection, he can go,” the director, who declined to be named, said. “A snake’s mouth isn’t always clean.”
Local television images showed the black and yellow reptile, reportedly a species of rat snake, being uncoiled and plucked slowly from the toilet bowl.
Snakes regularly enter rural homes in Taiwan and other sub-tropical regions of Asia.
(Reporting by Ralph Jennings; Editing by Nick Macfie and Miral Fahmy)
Seriously, like I’m not paranoid enough about snakes? I spent the next 12 hours sitting on the toilet, constantly looking in the bowl for some poisonous snake to crawl up my pipes…
Thank you Farm Chick for making my day just a little more pleasant.
Several months ago, Rico and I, along with Farm Chick and SAM purchased an old vacant building on our town square. Like a lot of small towns, businesses have slowly been dying out to strip malls and trendy store fronts along new roads. Long gone are the days of spending a leisurely afternoon on the town square going from store to store, ending the day with a treat from the local Corner Drug Store ice cream fountain. Those were the days….
We purchased this building on blind faith. We had no idea what we were going to do with it. Ideas came and went. Most were interesting but few would pay for the building itself and all the repairs that needed to be done. Luckily, we met a wonderful group of people who were already in the restaurant business in an adjoining county that were interested in expanding.
A deal was struck, handshakes were made and the work began. Lots of work.
Rico and SAM did an amazing job. I can’t begin to explain the work that these guys have put into this project while still maintaining full time jobs and other projects. I am so proud of them.
I am also thankful of the kindness of family and friends who have supported us. From helping out with the kids, helping out at the building, or to just stopping by to see how things were going.
Tonight we had a private dinner at the restaurant before the grand opening to celebrate with family and friends. Miguel and Roy did a fabulous job. The food was delicious. The service was fantastic. The atmosphere was invigorating.
Tonight I am grateful for opportunity, family, good friends and lots of great Mexican food.
A day to wear your Sunday best.
A day where God puts you to the ultimate test, making you sit in church with a 2 year old whacked out on sugar while you try not to cuss under your breath.
It’s the Olympics of motherhood.
(Hold toddler, hold hymnal, rib Rico for playing brick breaker on the Blackberry, try not to laugh at friend for snarky comment out of side of her mouth, try not to let too much boobs hang out of dress, try to sing without offending other worshipers, write check for tithe while watching kid outta one eye, listen to sermon all at the same time while looking calm, cool and collected.)
I’m sitting on the back pew, the most appropriate place for a hussy like myself.
My mother in law is sitting across the aisle creating a perfect runway for my 2 year old.
Joy, He has Risen.
While Ella is hotlappin’ the aisle and I am trying to act all “mother of the year” during the ”meet and greet” portion, my MIL informs me that Ella doesn’t have on any panties.
Yes, people, I took my baby to church on Easter Sunday with no panties.
I spent the next 45 minutes praying with great intestinal fortitude that she would not pull her dress up and display her poochie poochie to the whole congregation.
I am a believer in miracles, as Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, as God created the world in 7 days and as Christ arose on the third day….
and my miracle was delivered to me, in the back pew of a small Presbyterian church.
Thank you God for miracles, no matter how small.