Sunday, May 16, 2010

Born to be wild.......


A couple weeks ago I decided to embrace my 56 years and accompany my husband on his motorcycle for a Sunday "putt" as he calls it. Normally I decline saying I have things I need to do....clean the oven, vacuum behind the refrigerator, name all the squirrels in the yard, but this time I was ready to roll. It delighted me to answer my grown daughters' phone call with, "I'm going with your father to see the wildflowers on his bike, don't know when we'll be back". To hear, "be careful" tickled me! That it's ME dabbling in risky behavior is too gratifying.Of course my husband is extremely careful and wouldn't risk even one dimple on my soft doughy rear end. I got all my gear on...leather jacket(nope, old Eddie Bauer), gloves, boots, helmet, and my blue calico pillow to lean against. A look of utter disbelief and horror registered on my husbands' face. "What?" This could be a deal breaker... evidently calico pillows are unacceptable adornment...really?! He got out a hacksaw and altered the existing backrest made for an anorexic, not a full grown woman with her own unique back padding (I know because I had just glimpsed it in a department store dressing room and stared in disbelief at the unfamiliar architecture of my own flesh. These things happen when you refuse to have full length mirrors in the house. I would be happy if the only reflective surface was the one on the toaster!) My husband is so happy I'm riding with him, certainly now that I appear to have nothing left in direct opposition to the biker code. He gets on and fires it up, I step on the foot rest and swing my other leg over....OMG!.....just as we take off I get the worst charlie horse in my right buttocks. I don't breath for the first 3 miles, so when he asks,"how are you doing back there?", all he can hear is something like, "your mama!" And I wonder what would happen if I let my leg dangle, how fast would the asphalt chew up my boot, I imagine it would be less painful than this cramp! Hey, maybe it would sand off that ugly enlarged bone( okay, it's a bunion) Thankfully the pain eases and I admire the scenery, the abundance of wildflowers, and the sweet smell of lupin in the air. I feel young again, happy to be alive! We pull off the road after a couple of hours at an old cafe out in the country. Lots of bikes in the dusty dirt parking lot, the place looks like it should be condemned (guaranteed to have the best burgers).There are no table clothes, no menu, no screens on the windows, no vacuum apparently, and definitely no dental plan. A sign above the bar says, Helping Ugly People Get Laid Since 1955. The food is mouthwatering good, lots of happy faces with bad helmet hair. After a few mouthfuls...maybe it was the beer...I decide every sentence should be peppered with a "hell yea" or a "shit no!", it is a biker bar after all....that is until my husband refers to me as his "bitch" do I see the error of my ways. We head back home, give the biker wave to all our fellow travelers .....the weather is fine, I'm fine, Jim's fine, and all is well!................

Monday, December 7, 2009

Merry Musings


It's raining! I'm so glad I don't have to water!.....my plants are looking starved for REAL nourishment and so am I, maybe the dry spell is over. But alas, just so you know, I'm crawling my way into some serious Christmas spirit. I hung our impossibly tangled white Icicle lights (whose stupid idea was it to put them away like that!?....oh....never mind) off the gutters along the second story catwalk on our otherwise unadorned, modestly un-blinged abode. I realized AFTER I swung myself out and around the corner of our second story window.... trying to gain a foothold on the too narrow pine needle strewn ledge... that I was wearing my good 'NYDJ Tummy Tuck Jeans'! (Don't judge me) You know what I'm talkin about....'made for real women with real curves'. It says so right inside the waistband...in perky red thread.....exactly where I deposit my secret Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints (just in time for the holidays) saturated curvaceous self. "Dammit", I say in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice, "if I fall off this roof and do a face plant onto the hood of the Highlander parked below, it's gonna get ugly!" An instant visual comes to mind....flashing lights, the youthful pudgy faced, slightly balding, ex-Cookie Crock box boy, turned EMT, cutting off my impossible to replace, cotton spandex, muffin loving, sell my body for (okay okay...maybe my slimmer, more disciplined, twin sisters' body...shhhh...don't tell her, kay?) favorite pair of pants in order to re-set my broken limbs. And then he sees the label...NYDJ TUMMY TUCK JEANS and oh how I wish I'd worn better underwear, less useful more pretty. Mental note to self... "Do Not Lose Balance,old grasshopper!" It takes what seems like hours to untangle and hang a foot of Christmas cheer. I see Jim below with his string of lights....he's already covered the bushes on one side of the driveway...."oh so what, the view up here is worth it, yea... that's right!" It's a crisp blustery day, with promising gray watery clouds casting interesting shapes and shadows on the foothills nearby. "So what if I shred the knees of my pants on the rough asphalt...this is f#@*ing festive!" I stand up to advance further down the ledge when I realize there is what looks like a crab attached to the outside of our living room window....."Holy Crap!"... what is that crustacean doing up here!? Whaaaa?....then the realization hits me, that's no arthropod!..... that's a too big for it's own good, sad bastard spider. Half tucked in under the window frame... the other half exposing what looks like a beige speckled, nickel sized shell, sprouting thick hairy legs, and culminating in what can only be described as small, glossy black, club feet. What surprises me more is my lack of hysteria....honestly....I hardly recognize myself! Maybe the aversion training in Arizona has paid off...huh? I yell to Jim, "take a look!", he's down the driveway but can still make it out. "Geeez knock it down! I'll hand up the broom"... bwa ha ha ha, there isn't enough room up here for the two of us I reckon........and the line "two men enter one man leave" comes to mind. I even see myself as sort of a bad ass Tina Turner. I realize, I'm not even close to jumping off the roof! I happily.....okay, I might look over my shoulder a couple times... finish stringing the lights in earnest til it's done. Later, around midnight when I take Mocha out for one last whiz around the yard, I admire the sparkling lights from the street and think...."Damn, those folks are festive!" and if I look really close I can just make out a crab-like shadow closing in on an unsuspecting moth caught in an elaborate web reflecting the snow white light of my Christmas labors. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

"I've been gone for awhile now...."

I've been away for awhile...well, all summer actually. The last few months have been challenging, a death in the family and a trip to Payson Arizona to take care of my 87 year old mother who wrestles with dementia. My stepfather suffered a heart attack in early august and is recovering from surgery in a rehab facility. My twin sister and I are here to "take over" so to speak, which if you knew us, is sort of scary and confusing, especially to the aged! Yesterday we made my mother laugh so hard she wet her pants twice in one day, a record both of us are proud of! We watch DVD's regularly....harmless, sweet, Tom Hanks happy ending movies, on a T.V. so old all the actresses have the same coral colored lipstick, and at volumes so loud all the neighbors know our bedtime. Last night my sister was watching "Sleepless In Seattle " with my mother, for the umpteenth time, and spotted a rather large, brown, woolly mammoth, crawling across the wall in the dining room. She screamed for me(in the bedroom) to bring the hand-vac or a baseball bat.....what ever would be less damaging to the drywall....to "kill the mother fu*ker"! She only used the F word twice, and when trying her patience, told me to "shut up!" after reassuring me several times that IT WASN'T bigger than a bread box. She managed to do the deed, quite nicely, with the latest issue of Time magazine, smearing John McCain's face with a variation of gooey brown spider guts. My mother watched amused from the couch, and said, " I raise bigger ones in the Cadillac!" I've never seen a spider that large inside a house before!....it's legs were unbelievably long, I swear it had knuckles! The body ALONE was bigger than the green olives I was swallowing whole and chasing with a tumbler of Pinot Grigio.I'm thinking flame thrower.......
Payson is an interesting place....all the cashiers call me "honey"(I'm 54yrs. old) either because they're all over the age of 70 or because they've seen me driving around in a borrowed SUV with a licence plate that reads COWBOY. I've learned that it's better not to make eye contact with ANYONE waiting in line with me at Safeway, the hardware store, or the pharmacy. There is an eagerness, by the local townsfolk( 95% seniors) to share their personal medical histories....tales of fungal toenails, unexpected heart attacks, and constipations only a Paul Bunyon sized plumber's helper could remedy.
We take my mother to visit my stepfather everyday in the rehab center. The staff there is wonderful and very caring...of coarse my stepfather can't wait to get out! When I left today I passed the recreation room and heard an old man singing, rather loudly, It's Now Or Never", accompanied by an old fellow playing a saw...... and I thought.... yep, that's about it in a nut shell... While my mom visited her husband, my sister and I wandered over to our favorite new restaurant..... it has the nicest little bar.... it serves Blue Moon beer on tap with an orange slice! For about 45 minutes we schmooze the bartender and leave a big tip in hopes that tomorrow, he'll see "COWBOY" pull up into the parking lot, and have two 'cold ones' waiting for us. In the meantime we're here enjoying my mother's, sometimes scattered, lucid moments and hoping this all has a happy ending or at least enough Tom Hanks to make it sweeter.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

No NO-Neck Monsters


I didn't raise two no-neck monsters.... they turned out better than average, excellent in fact! Because of that, my summer has gone all pear shaped. There's no one around except me, Big Daddy, an old foolish dog, and one obese cat... whose a bit of a slob. This is our first summer without the offspring and I'm feeling nostalgic for the past...or at least someone else to pick on. For many years, as a family, we drove the 1,000 miles up to my in-laws cabin in the northwest. I would pack the car with a staggering assortment of child friendly snacks (not the usual, edible food stuffs) the crap with a shelf life of at least 50 years, predominantly the color orange, and smelling like the underarms of an old polyester shirt. I purchased dot to dot puzzles, books, and the newest travel games, whose impossibly small pieces were hopelessly lost while trying to tear the package open with your teeth (child friendly scissors are only useful to small fingers, single sheets of paper, and mature adults). Of coarse all these items were discarded or eaten before we reached the first gas station. But, get this...I'm no fool... or a stranger to every parenting book published (one of my favorites being, " Get Out Of My Life!.. but first can you take me to the mall!?")....I know my way around an "I message" and can successfully con my way into any childs' bedroom for at least 10 minutes..... positive reinforcement was always my preferred modus operandi. There are of coarse situations, that... honestly, no parenting book fully appreciates or offers any REAL constructive solutions for......like barreling down the highway with two kids in the backseat who have "eye spied" the last cow an hour earlier and are aching for some physical contact. You could feel that innocent energy turning toward the dark side.... at any moment, orange stained fingers, would try to play "type writer" on the bony ribcage of the other backseat inhabitant. That's when two crisp fifty dollar bills would appear.......I know what you're thinking... but seriously, twenties weren't enough or even worth the risk! I would wave them around slowly, so that both pairs of eyes( glazed over by too many carbohydrates) could lock on, and take in the enormous power I held in my hand. Manna, so to speak, an unexpected source of help or gratification! (The alternative was to pull over at the next truck stop and sell the little ones to the highest bidder). After terms were negotiated, all I had to do.... to nip any foolishness.... was to flash a fifty and pretend to stuff it down my bra! Any commotion coming from the back seat would instantly transform itself to..."Why, sister would you care for a chip?" and the reply," Yes, please...generosity is such an admirable trait in a young man". And so it would go, snark free until we reached our lake destination, and then it was business as usual. I normally spent my time relaxing on a raft outside the range of the super soakers and a few strokes ahead of my son, who took an inordinate amount of pleasure, calculating how far he would have to leap off the dock, to soak me and the book I was pretending to read (those swim lessons were SO not a good idea!). We spent a small fortune on ice cream cones at the rustic (dump) market across the road, which had a socialist manifesto of sorts, in big red block lettering above the front door. We once purchased a box of cereal with a "sell by" date of 1985, five years too late. There was always a feral looking momma cat, and a litter of kittens, in a cardboard box out back........"MOM, you don't even have to pay us the fifty bucks,pleeeeease, they're soooo cute!" The market always smelled like cat piss, old Twinkies, and the garlic bait the local fisherman swore by. For some insane reasoning we were willing to take our chances with the ice cream, although Grandma (who smoked two packs of Virginia Slims a day, rendering her taste buds useless) found earwigs in her maple nut ice cream cone once. We told ourselves it was bug infested only because no one else ever ordered it.... except Grandma once a year. We would spend two glorious weeks at the lake and then make the long journey back home...... tanned, relaxed, and ready to do business!

Friday, June 27, 2008

"I'll see your crap and raise you an Oh sh*t"

You know the words written on your car mirror that say....objects in your rear view mirror are closer than they appear?! Well, nothing says "hi, how are ya!?" quite like the sound of metal crunching on metal. In my defence it was a sweltering day, the temperature was in the triple digits...Calcutta hot... I'm pretty sure I may have been semi-conscious...in a heat induced coma. All I wanted to do was take the dog for a walk at the beach to cool off. I opened the car door and immediately regretted it, the intense heat singed my eyebrows and melted my mascara. I got the car started and James Brown's "It's A Man's World" came blasting out of the speakers ....I nearly gained lucidity.. (I hate it when I don't turn down the radio before I exit the car!)Anyway, I'm frantically flipping switches, opening vents, rolling down windows, trying to steer with totally inadequate fingernails,...knowing full well the skin on my fingers will fuse to the leather of the steering wheel if flesh makes contact....and my driveway is steep and narrow, did I mention that!?....I back down it a hundred times a day....no problem. I look in the mirror as I start my decent and I see that writing..."objects are closer"... and I think.."well they aren't today cuz I just got a little breezy momentum going". The truck parked at the bottom,evidently within my turning radius, about 5 feet from my driveway, spoiled my hasty getaway. I hit it like a heat seeking missile...it wasn't suppose to be there! I put a big dent in my car bumper and scratched up the neighbors truck fender. Said neighbor came out to see what happened, of coarse I apologized, but he just kept saying, "Oh sh*t! I pointed out, that in reality( something I wasn't bothering with at the time) his damage was more "Oh crap" and mine was "Oh sh*t.... ahem.... you know how guys are about their trucks, it's staggering..none the less I did do damage ....I'm waiting for an estimate on his scratches.... meanwhile I've managed to pop out the dented bumper and buff out some of the other offending evidence before my husband notices....before he reminds me about that little saying in the mirror.....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Blown Away


There should be a law against using a leaf blower before 10:00am, especially when you consider all that debris, blasted with a high decibel dirty wind, is headed for a new home... namely your own freshly SWEPT front yard. Isn't that why God made long handled poles with brushes on the business end!?...ahem... so that hopelessly lazy neighbors in rump sprung, ragged black elastic pants, Mickey Mouse T-shirts, green Croc's, and a bumper sticker that reads "peace begins at home".... could get some much needed exercise and QUIETLY straighten up the place? Besides..... that "I just slept for 10 hours" rested, satisfied, goggled face, is particularly annoying if you really want to know the truth. Don't they know that some people are sleep deprived and have family members up in the last frontier called Alaska, dodging bears, wolves, and mooses?! Young daughters, driving impossibly small autos, stopping to take photos of friendly grizzlies near the highway?... or husbands, on motorcycles, crashing into the tailgates of lunatic Texans braking unexpectedly to take their 300th snapshot of a Bear's butt!!? Geez people, where is your humanity, your compassion, your fashion sense, or in the name of all that's holy... your fuse box!? Having criminal thoughts against your neighbors is not a good beginning to your day. I wonder... is that pond deep enough to accommodate more than 2 pink flamingos or do I just throw the whole lot, body and blower, in the Green waste can and take my chances? Usually a six pack of Bud is enough to encourage the garbage guys to take a little bit more....I'm thinking a case of imported might do the trick...

Monday, June 2, 2008

What A Dog!


Our dog, Mocha, flew a kite last Saturday....and not just any kite either...a Spiderman kite with a very long glossy baby blue tail. Of coarse she wasn't aware that she was doing something brilliant, although I like to think she knows she's capable of setting the bar higher for the rest of the hounds in the neighborhood. She was trotting along, on her steady eleven year old legs, looking for bushy-tailed rodents when my husband decided it was high time Mocha learned how to fly a kite. She proved to be a much better student than me, she takes direction better,doesn't give up, and doesn't care how foolish she looks trying. We fastened the string under her collar and she took off across the hill, she kept it up for at least five minutes...it was really something! Mind you, I can't prove it... but my husbands cell phone sports a photo of her doing exactly that...honest! Sometimes Mocha simply amazes me...I'd be bragging about it, but she's very humble..like most Mutts are. Next week end ...maybe roller skating....

My Favorite Photo

My Favorite Photo
I'm the twin troll on the right
I was born a twin, although I was the first one to appear, so maybe that makes me the normal one. Anyway, my mother was fond of Toni perms in the 50's and thought our straight blond hair could reap the benefits of that products curly promises......questionable! The hair solution was so nasty all the windows and doors had to be opened, any food product left out on a counter had a slight mystery flavor, the cat stayed outside for a week. And the end result...well, my twin and I refer to that period as the "duelling Bozo's"

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