Sunday, December 6, 2015

Meeses, Mices, Whatever..I'm Traumatized.

Okay, if you're a familiar acquaintance with my blogs, you will know two things; one, I have no problem with whacking opossums to death (refer to my post, Opossums REALLY Do Play Dead!) and two, I have a plethora of unreasonable yet contradictory fears. So, with this stated, why do I suffer such wild and unabashed terror when it comes to itty, bitty balls of fur otherwise known as mice?

Perhaps because they're extremely fast, they have beady little eyes, they can chew electrical wiring and at night...this is the kicker, one can hear them scratching and eating through the walls of your house. Yes, this describes why I am terrified of mice; they're ruthless and they're coming for me while I sleep.

I have a long and sordid history with these little bastards. Like the birds in Alfred Hitchcock's movie with the same title, they seek me out. I can be minding my own business, enjoying a bag of popcorn at an amusement park when one will run directly across my open toe'd sandals. I'll be talking to my art teacher in her classroom as a mouse chases us up on a ladder. I'll be the only one out of a group of ten who gets toe-nibbled at an outdoor cafe by one of these nasty rodents. SERIOUSLY?!

Since my husband's sudden illness in September, I've been responsible for a lot of the outdoor and maintenance work for the house. I'm not complaining, it has to be done and I can't afford a handyman. I just have to take it on the chin right now. HOWEVER, while sitting on the back porch, lo and behold a damn mouse ran past me! NO, NO NO!!! Filling in concrete cracks for the winter is one thing but baiting and catching MICE?! Holy HELL!

Years ago, when I was married to my ex-husband, we had a mouse in the house (nice rhyme). We set the standard snap trap under the kitchen sink with peanut butter as bait and in the middle of the night we heard it "go off" for a better term. I, of course, sent my husband to dispose of the dead critter; however, unfortunately it wasn't dead. We had stunned it. As much as I hate mice, I felt horrible and my ex-husband felt the same. We sat awake listening to that little thing struggle for hours, neither of us having the courage to put it out of its misery until it eventually died on its own. Oh the guilt we suffered. Traumatic event number one.

Moving forward to my marriage with Eric. Before we adopted the boys, we were all cozy in bed - he was watching TV and I was snuggling on his chest. Out of the corner of my eye I saw IT! The mouse stopped mid dash when I jumped up. Yes indeed, there it was. Why on Earth, my dear friends and blog readers, would a mouse join my husband and I upstairs in our bedroom? Why not stay in the kitchen where all the good stuff was, right? Because I AM the attraction. Of course I screamed like a Banshee. I beat on poor Eric. I told him not to leave my side. What did my dearest do? He laughed at me as the mouse ran directly beneath our bed. Then Eric told me to stay put because he was going to the drugstore to get some mousetraps. HE WAS GOING TO LEAVE ME WITH A MOUSE BENEATH MY BED! I continued to scream. I wailed. I threatened Eric with divorce, all to no avail. He left me hiding beneath my sheets quivering like the coward that I am. I'm guessing that the mouse ran all over me jumping up and down having a little bounce house party while Eric was gone that half hour. I decided that once Eric returned from the store I would not speak to him for the next week. How DARE he leave me alone with my biggest fear, MICKEY MOUSE! DAMMIT. He set the traps, I thanked him and kissed him good night. Traumatic event number two.

After we adopted the kiddos, yet again I was assaulted by the presence of another mouse but this time in my kitchen. The boys were off from school, Eric was at work and I was sitting at my kitchen table drinking some coffee. Again, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the fast, but unmistakable movement of a mouse running along my baseboards. I jumped up and down. I paced. I fretted. "Oh shoot", I said outloud. "Who's going to protect mama from this awful mouse?" Without missing a beat, my oldest son, William said, "I will!" and disappeared upstairs. William has always taken the role of protector and I smiled at this. I wasn't sure what he was up to but I was still too busy worrying about the mouse. A few moments later, he came downstairs wearing a protective mask (he was probably 8 at the time), with a Star Wars Lightsaber (just in case) and then with precise accuracy set up his spy laser beams in the kitchen. If the mouse crossed the lasers, an alarm would go off alerting me and I was to steer clear of the kitchen. What a clever guy! It wouldn't kill the critter but it was supposed to make me feel safe. I never told him it made me more nervous; however, he was my hero that day. Sort of traumatic experience number three.

Current day. I AM HANDYWOMAN...yay me? So the mice in our neighborhood are looking for refuge from the cold. I have several in my backyard one of which ran up and into one of my eaves. This is NOT good for a homeowner. So traps are set. Since I've had such awful experiences with those "snap traps" I decided to go with similar ones but the kind that I don't have to see what's happened to the victim. I simply place the peanut butter in the back door, push a button, and if said victim falls for the ruse, he dies within the enclosure and I don't have to look at it. No guilt. Done deal. I went to check yesterday to see if the traps had been activated. They indicated "yes" but it appeared my dogs licked the peanut butter out and had set them off. Darn it! I brought them in the house, started rinsing them out and put the peanut butter in the wrong way. D'uh! Then I proceeded to open and close the traps to rinse out the peanut butter again. One was acting funny. I was investigating. It looked odd. That clump of peanut butter was stuck on something..I went to reach my finger in and... Oh dear GOD in HEAVEN! As opposed to a "Flat Stanley" it was a "FLAT MICKEY"!  Traumatic experience number...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I Broke My Promise

Parents, good parents, do their best to do what they say they're going to do. When they make a promise to their child or children they try to stick to their word no matter how difficult the situation. In my case, I haven't been a bad parent but I've broken a solemn promise and I'm devastated not only for myself but for what it's done to my son. We will never recover from this hurt. I have grieved these past ten days and will continue doing so for the rest of my life.

Eleven years ago, Eric and I stood before a family court judge and promised to raise Austynn as our "Forever Son" despite whatever hardships or obstacles the future might bring. Last Friday, when the residential treatment facility requested that I pick him up, I declined.

Why? Why would I refuse to pick up Austynn after I had told him once that nothing he could do would provoke me into giving him up? Why after years of violent outbursts, firestarting, lying, stealing, destroying our home...why now? Because this time he forced me to choose between him or the welfare of my husband. This time he provoked Eric, still recovering from two massive cardiac arrests and barely home from rehabilitation, to escalate into a screaming rage - a rage so awful that Eric's speech began to slur. Did Austynn stop when he saw what he was doing? No. He tried to make his father angrier. At that awful, ugly moment I realized it was time for Austynn to go for everyone's sake. His older brother, always protective and seeing what was happening to his dad, wanted to hurt Austynn and I, at that moment, shouted the words no mother should ever verbalize regardless of the situation, "I HATE YOU!"

I don't know where my son is now. I tried, one night in my grief, to reach out and contact him but my call wasn't returned. I wanted to tell Austynn that I didn't hate him. That I adored him from the moment I laid eyes on his beautiful coke bottle, magnified blue eyes. That I wanted to snuggle him every time he asked for a hug and I was sorry I wouldn't but I was frightened since the day he hurt me so badly last spring. That he'll always be my "forever son". That I loved him, I've always loved him, I'll never stop loving him.

I've been told, by the few friends and family who've known about this, that I made the right decision. Perhaps - however, somewhere out there is a brokenhearted 17 year old who thinks another family, in a long list of families, threw him away. I carry this burden alone because Eric has forgotten why I initially made this decision. This lovely man with whom I once discussed every detail of my day is suddenly not "here" for me to cry to. Instead, I find myself in the dens of neighbors weeping inconsolably or driving to unknown destinations to avoid distressing this man I love.

Yesterday, in the final light of the day, I pulled the last of the screws and nails out of Austynn's walls. It's now empty save but his bed which is awaiting my niece's visit for Thanksgiving. My oldest son offered to help but no, it was my job, my mess, my terrible tragedy to clean up..and really, I'll never be able to truly make amends for this disaster no matter how much I try to patch up the room. The holes will always be there... just below the surface.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Opossums REALLY Do Play Dead

My dear friends and blog readers, this blog may be silly but it's entirely accurate. I'm not exaggerating as I've been known to do; however, this IS a real life, swear on my living mother's soul (God bless my dear, nutty mother), a true tale of the most freakish sort. And, as I'm about to impart it, though I admit to having tossed down a few ales and now am feeling somewhat toasty, it will be told with all the seriousness I can reasonably muster throughout my continued giggling.

And so I begin...

I am an animal lover. Let me shout this from the mountain tops, I LOVE ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL except opossums. These ugly, nasty, rat-like creatures with snouts and horrifyingly long rat-like tails are comparable to Roald Dahl's despicable villains, the "Vermicious Knids" from the book, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. There isn't a more evil name I can possibly conjure up for these fanged demons.

Why do I despise these ugly little bastards? There's always a reason and the reason is between me and the one that almost mauled my face the night I was taking out the trash. Did I know mama opossum was sorting through my parents garbage hoping to feed her four babies sitting directly above me on the brick wall? Of course not. I wasn't planning on making a coat out of her babies' pelts for goodness sake! I would have preferred to have missed the entire introduction but no, I was traumatized for life. So, since that fateful night many years ago, I am now indifferent to the lives of these beasts which will hopefully explain the recent brutal actions I'm preparing to admit to the world.

On a recent trip to Southern California, I was staying with my sisters and nieces for a big birthday celebration. While my sisters and mom were out for the day, I heard the unmistakable horrified squeal of one of my nieces. As it happened, their two large guard dogs had caught and "apparently" killed an opossum and left it in the yard for us to find and dispose of. Lovely. Well, since I was a guest, I suggested to my 22 year old goddaughter to scoop it up and throw it away before the dogs decided to eat it for lunch (I wasn't going to do it because it wasn't my idea of a quality vacation experience).

She was "grossed out" - as I certainly would have been - but went dutifully for a large shovel to remove said nasty, dead thing. Well, as she pushed the shovel under it, the damn dead thing's tail twitched! I can say with all sincerity that our two bodies have never jumped so high, quickly, in unison or made that sort of high pitched scream EVER in our lifetime. Dear God in HEAVEN! Now the question was, was that some sort of post mortem shudder or was the little creep playing mind games with us? I thought that opossums "playing dead" was all a hoax. I didn't think they seriously did that sort of business.

"Oh my God, Breezy! What do we do?"

Well, I being the serious lover of these monsters that I am, I said the first plausible thing that came to mind, "You're going to have to whack it, Molly and make sure it's dead. You don't want the dogs coming back and finishing the job and getting sick, right?"

"I can't whack it! You do it!"

"Naw, it's your critter. You do it."

"I can't do it! Pleeeease Breezy!!"

Don't judge me my friends but for the first time in my life the idea of whacking an animal sounded sorta, well...GOOD! "Okay."

"You will?" Molly sounded both surprised and somewhat shocked.

"Yep, hand me the shovel." And with three mighty blows applied directly to the head, I felt I had finished what the dogs had started. That little bastard was not "playing" any more. Vindication was mine.

After the commotion, I suggested that Molly place a large terracotta pot over it while we waited for Animal Control to come and get it. As she did this, the corner of the pot, which was cracked and exposed the tail, MOVED! THE TAIL MOVED! THE MONSTER WAS ALIVE! We screamed, we jumped up and down, we discussed the number of whacks, the severity of my blows, the impossibility of the situation and smart ass 19 year old other niece who had quietly walked out to smoke a cigarette and witness the latter half of the ballyhoo says quite matter of factly, "You know, it's against the law in California to hurt or kill any animals on your property without the proper permit. You're going to be seriously fined once they figure out it was you and not the dogs."

Good grief! Just as I'm processing this information, a huge hulk of an Animal Control woman stalks up to the back gate. She's carrying a cage and looks impressive as Hell. The lady points to the pot, "Is this where the little guy is?" Molly and I nod our heads and say we're not sure if the dogs actually killed it or not. I stood protectively behind my mother's house gate just in case it was alive and remembered the wild redhead wielding the shovel. Elizabeth, the smart ass, continued smoking looking on in curiosity. The three Bryant girls waited with baited breath as the woman lifted the pot and DAMMIT! that demon came right for me! If it hadn't been for the lightning reflexes of Madam Control Officer catching it by the tail, my face would have had its second close call mauling incident. Two too many in a lifetime if you ask me.

"Ma'am," I managed, "how does it look? Did the dogs hurt it at all?"

"No. It looks fine to me."

Molly asked incredulously, "I saw them really go after its head. There's no blood or bruising?" With that question, I could see smart ass smirking through her smoke.

"Nope, not even a bruise. I'll relocate it and find a nice safe home for her."

HER?! How ironic? Of course it was a her. Bitch wouldn't DIE! They'll haunt me forever.

The slam of the house gate broke my morbid thoughts along with Molly's final comment, "Gosh Auntie Breezy, you really suck at whacking opossums."

Apparently it's an acquired skill. No judging my friends, no judging.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Oh my, I think I'm going to blow!

There are days when I feel like the slightest thing, the smallest inconvenience will set me off like a stick of dynamite.  Today was that day.  What was the match which ignited the explosion? Austynn, my sixteen year old autistic son waived his milk glass at me requesting more.

I lost it. I raged. Both my sons were sitting at the breakfast table at 6:07am MST and I literally went ballistic. NO ONE demands a glass of milk FROM ME! I'm not their cook and chief bottle washer! How dare he?! He can get off his lazy, self-serving ass and get his own glass of water if that's what he wants because after all, we're too broke for an additional glass of milk and he KNOWS this. Oh, and don't you DARE leave your dirty glass in the sink, MISTER! Place it in the dishwasher!! Did he just give me the "look"? Oh dear GOD IN HEAVEN! He DID just give me the "look".  I was holding a five pound bag of dry dog food which I was ready to hurl at his head but the only thing restraining me was that it was open and still relatively full. I knew I would be the one spending my morning cleaning it up. Ah the hormones of a 48 year old peri-menopausal, bi-polar woman under an incredible amount of stress.

Dear friends and blog readers, before you call social services, relax. I've already tried. There's no such gift. This family is God's practical joke until one of us goes insane, dies of heart failure or determines a practical way out by suicide. Last Thursday, Austynn came home in another rage from school. Ironically, Eric and I had a lovely meeting earlier at home with our personal therapists.

"How are things going?"

"Fine. We're hanging in there; however, we have a feeling the honeymoon period is about to end soon.."

You see, a couple of months ago, Austynn finally did what we were expecting he'd do when he got to this lovely adolescent age - he physically attacked me. The reason(s)? He's angry, he's sixteen, he has PTSD from his pre-adoption years, he's never been able to accept personal responsibility and finally everything - and I mean everything - wrong in his life IS MY FAULT. It's my fault that he goes to a special developmental school for cognitive disabilities. It's my fault that I signed a waiver allowing permission for staff to physically restrain him if he becomes aggressive (which he has). It's my fault that his glasses were broken during his last altercation in class. And the list goes on.

His battle with me was over something so silly that I as I look back on it now I shudder to think how it could have gone had the incident been over something major - but with my son, once escalated, everything is major.

The incident which I'm referring to was over a low score on his bus ride home. His culmination of scores from both school and his bus ride determine whether or not he gets an hour of PlayStation or Game Boy time as a reward in the evening. I realize this sounds strict but since he has severe discipline issues we need a reward system in place which will mean something to him. Well, that afternoon, he was caught shoving trash in the bus seats and had been suspected of doing so for some time; however, this particular afternoon he'd actually been caught. His score reflected it and therefore, he lost his one hour of electronics. He still had TV and other privileges. What I believe really annoyed him was that the bus driver told me personally which embarrassed Austynn. So, his anger escalated from the moment he entered the house. I was alone with him. My other son was told to stay out of the melee and keep the dogs safe in his room.

One of the house rules has always been to keep their stereos from hitting a certain decibel level. Once Austy got up to his bedroom, he decided to test the limits. Without a door - removed due to several fire incidents - he turned up the sound level well past our family's guidelines. From below the stairwell, I noted in a voice far louder than his stereo to, "Please turn your stereo lower". With that request, he turned it up a notch. He knew dad was gone. He knew he was bigger and stronger and he wanted to see how far he could push the rules.  Again, from the bottom the stairwell and in a much louder voice, "Austynn, if you don't turn your stereo down, you know the rules. You're going to lose your stereo. Now, PLEASE TURN IT DOWN!" He turned it louder.

This was it, my defining moment. I knew what I had to do. I was shaking. I had to stay calm and follow through even though I could get seriously hurt by a boy I spent the past eleven years raising as my own.

I walked calmly into his room. He started screaming for me to leave. He was so close to my face, I could feel his spit. I started to unplug his speakers. More screaming. I said nothing. Inside I was horrified. I wanted to let it go, let him win this battle. No, he knew he was wrong and this had to be enforced. I managed to get the big speaker unplugged and as I picked it up, he jammed it into my stomach. I felt the sting of it dig into my waist. I told him calmly not to touch me. He continued screaming. As I started to take the first speaker out of the room he grabbed it from me. At this point everything became a blur. A cord hit my leg, blood was streaming somewhere on my body, more screaming. He pushed me full force against his closet taking the door off its hinges. I told him if he laid hands on me again that I would call 911. I went towards his dresser where the main stereo console was to unplug it. As I did this, he bent me over his dresser, pushed my right arm over my back and started twisted it up. Now the screaming - I realized - was my own. I felt my bones starting to give way under his weight. I screamed for my older son to get out of the house, take the dogs and call 911. I was begging Austynn to let go of my arm before he cracked it. At some point I left the house. I didn't look back. I sat in my car with the dogs and hyperventilated between tears of rage and disbelief. Austynn was taken away by the police. He was placed in a residential treatment facility for over two months. He came home about three weeks ago. I live in constant fear of Austynn having a another bad day.

Another stress. My house is literally a wreck. The home builders sold us a piece of junk. This additional anxiety is tearing me apart and I want to scream one moment and cry the next.  This once lovely neighborhood, this group of people, has been torn apart over this issue.  We've been separated into the "have" and "have nots". The folks who had either the wherewithal or the knowledge of what to do with these sorts of problems got them fixed and those of us who were first time home buyers and trusted we bought a quality house didn't know the questions to ask or have the bankroll necessary to repair the shoddy workmanship to begin with. Let me explain.

This house was going to be our retirement investment.  Now, 8 years later, there are so many things wrong with it - determined to be the home builders fault, that we'll be spending thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars making repairs to it. When I've spoken to my neighbors, many of whom have had their houses properly repaired, their response is, "complete the warranty form and submit it". Great. From what I understand, I have to submit a check for a ridiculous amount of money to have an inspector come out to see if my claim is even admissible. AND, laughable as all of this is, I've been told that this process can take upwards to a year and a half AFTER my warranty expires anyway.  Some weeks I don't have $20 to fill my gas tank much less $500 to submit an arbitrary claim which may never be accepted. No, no thank you.

So, I'm furious. Not only by these big corporations who build half-ass, shoddy American Nightmares but by the people who tell me not to go public with this heart wrenching story because if I do - dear God in Heaven - THEY may have a hard time selling THEIR houses. When I considered taking this story to the media, I considered this angle and my first thought WAS my neighbors. They can sell their homes by ensuring that they have signed affidavits assuring that their homes are BETTER than when they were first built. No, instead I've been told I would just cause more trouble for them. To Hell with the fact that so many other owners, like Eric and myself, will never afford to fix the damages or sell. We're young families struggling to get by. So thank you friends for your support. Even if I don't get anything out of my fight with the home builder, hopefully I'll keep another unsuspecting family from buying a new home from this horrible company.

There are other things going on in my life. Things so ultimately personal that I've shared them with only a few close friends. I'm not ready to go "there" yet. Maybe in a few months, perhaps never. The grief and humiliation is still too raw. Just know my friends that I'm surviving. Some how, I'm getting through it.

Hang on, Bri. Help is on the way.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mama, mama, many roads I have traveled...

My roads traveled have been many; far greater than ever imagined. I'm only 48 years old. I suspect I have at least a few more years ahead of me. I tease my husband, Eric on a daily basis that when my "Life Journal" is complete; a cloth-bound book filled with magazine clippings, famous quotes, candid pictures and miscellaneous thoughts - when this tome is lovingly tied closed with a ribbon, I will very poignantly take my last breath and say, "Adieu my love".  Of course, I've never been accused of being overly dramatic so I'll try not to upset my dearest too much by announcing it ahead of time.

**Side note: Eric, my funeral wishes are written down and located in the closet under my jewelry box.  Yellow roses, not red and definitely not carnations! Carnations are CHEAP for Pete's sake.  If anyone makes a stupid speech please cut them off mid sentence because I hate, hate, HATE stupid speeches and so does everyone else with half a brain. And finally, if you know who from you know where has the nerve to show her ugly, nasty spiteful ass at my service please kick her ugly, nasty spiteful ass right back to...well, know what to do, babe. Thanks.

Now where was I?  Oh yes, I hate big, dramatic spectacles being made over me and yes, so many roads I have traveled...

I suppose I'm stuck on this metaphor of "roads traveled" because I've literally just closed the door on a part of my life which I hope never to see again.  The mid-life crisis stage which so many 40-somethings moan over but which I believed would never happen to me. It did, dammit. It happened with a crash. I hate to admit being wrong but darn - I was terribly, terribly wrong.  I was too caught up with feeling sorry for myself to even notice it was happening.  Before I knew it, I was in intensive outpatient therapy recovering with ten other men and women suffering from various stages of drug dependency, depression and/or attempted suicide. One incredible lesson here; it's extremely awkward being the only extrovert in a room full of introverts. No one liked my hugs! Why it that?

So much went into my 40's and yet they're not quite over. I'm still slathering on Oil of Olay by the gallon. I'm actually considering buying stock in the anti-aging cream. The more I buy of the stuff, the more women I see squinting over their bi-focals trying to read the fine print on the bottles (as if losing our eyesight isn't bad enough, the bastards have to print the information in size 3 font to make us feel that much more decrepit and in need of it).

The 40's has also been a road of self discovery; a chance to branch out on my own and find out just how amazing a woman I happen to be. You see, my dear friends and blog readers, since the age of 15, I've been part of a duo. I've always had a man beside me. Even during my separation from my ex, I immediately became engaged to my current husband, Eric (how brazen)! I've never been alone. These past few years Eric has given me an amazing gift - he's allowed me the space needed to figure out who I am as an individual. Having Eric in my life has never been in question. He's the air I breathe, the ground beneath my feet, the hand which keeps me steady. What he's given me was the ability to leave home when  necessary and seek out the time to discover who I am. Because of this, I've found that I'm funny, emotional, somewhat unstable and extremely outspoken AND I like who I've become.When he's with me, I'm part of Eric and Bri - part of an amazing relationship. I'm still all the things mentioned above but I'm also his wife, lover, friend of nearly 30 years and mother of our two adopted sons.

Cowardly Lion - Wizard of Oz
Since my self-discovery tour, I've attempted stand up comedy (the catch word is "attempted".)  I've also made a cross country trip with a friend and discovered that the northern dairy farmers believed we were a lovely lesbian couple. Now THAT was funny! These last few years I've come into my own - meaning, I won't take nonsense from people anymore. I don't have to. I realize that life is too short to put up with rude and nasty people. I've had 48 years of crap served to me on a hot plate and I hate the way it smells. I'm done with it and I'll throw it right back in their faces with some of my own tossed in for good measure. I won't be bullied and I won't stand by and watch others get bullied either. I'm fed up with the bigger and the stronger and the richer and the better looking folks breaking the rules. I'm fighting back now. I will say something and I'll say it loudly. The Wizard of Oz has finally pinned on that elusive medal of courage to my tie-dye shirt and it feels so good. Bring on the 50's! Well, not quite yet...I still need more Oil of Olay.

Dorothy: Your Majesty, if you were king, you wouldn't be afraid of anything? 
Cowardly Lion: Not nobody! Not nohow!
Tin Woodsman: Not even a rhinoceros?
Cowardly Lion: Imposerous! 
Dorothy: How about a hippopotamus? 
Cowardly Lion: Why, I'd thrash him from top to bottomus!  
Dorothy: Supposing you met an elephant?
Cowardly Lion: I'd wrap him up in cellophane! 
Scarecrow: What if it were a brontosaurus?
Cowardly Lion: I'd show him who was king of the forest!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Public Displays of Affection: My Husband's Naughty Little Addiction

Oh the infamous PDA or in other words, Public Display of Affection, something my husband considers as normal as blowing his nose - which if anyone personally knows my dearest - this sound has been known to signal the mating season of the Emperor Penguins. What, my dear friends and blog readers ask, is so terrible about this? Nothing IF it's as simple as holding hands or sweet kisses on the cheek both I concur are endearing signs of love and mutual admiration. HOWEVER, my darling does not stop at these reserved displays of tenderness, no - no he does not.

I own the fact that I'm a strange bird. Most women would crave the attention my spouse slathers upon me. Not I. I hate any sort of romantic attention. It's true. I get extremely uncomfortable and yet I married the world's most romantic man. How's that for irony? While we were dating, during our first December together, he gave me increasingly expensive gifts for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas culminating with a ruby ring on Christmas Eve. If this wasn't personally traumatic enough, the evening was spent with his entire family watching me unwrap the ring which was wrapped within a box within a box within a box...well, you get the picture. By the time I found the ring, Eric's father ended the moment by bellowing, "Well Bri, whacha' think?!" I ran out of the room mortified and in tears. Sigh.

I've also admitted in past blogs that my husband and I hardly exchange cross words yet one of our loudest arguments was in the engagement ring store. All I wanted was a small diamond ring with a gold wedding band but Eric demanded that I have at least a full carat and an obnoxious wedding ring encrusted with diamonds. The sales clerk, of course, sided with my husband. It must have had something to do with her commission. Idiot. That awful woman learned some choice words from a former Marine's girlfriend and to never, EVER side with the groom.

Other PDAs, which after twenty years, my dear husband has yet to comprehend are unacceptable to me, his loving, yet increasingly impatient wife:

  • Butt rubbing, stroking, grabbing, bumping or humping of ANY SORT in ANY PUBLIC AREA EVER! This is just NOT COOL.
  • Tongue twisting. Yuck. I think this is gross even in the darkness of movie theaters. It even sounds nasty. What makes my guy think strangers want to see him do this to his wife? We're two reasonably unattractive people. Why would anyone want to see us swap spit?  It's just wrong on so many levels (besides're know what I'm sayin', babes?).
  • Dancing "The Nasty" or "The White Man's Overbite". To save me the awkward description, I'll let you, my readers, use your imaginations. When Eric and I were kids, it was funny. In fact, it's how we met. Now that we're hitting the mid-way point of our lives it's an ugly thing to behold AND might I add, participate in. Let's just stop while we still have a bit of dignity, okay my love?
  • "The Slide".  This is the hand which forgets that it's attached to a brain and slides beneath the nearest piece of my clothing regardless of where I happen to be or who's sitting directly in front of me. Ah me, so many moments in church when "The Slide" suddenly found its way beneath my skirt with our children beside me or a restaurant having my left breast touched while chatting with friends. The self-control I've had to exhibit over the years to avoid screaming or jumping at such violations of my personal space. Oh, Dear God in Heaven!

In a couple of days I'm having surgery. Not serious stuff but I'll be in the hospital overnight
and coming home rather woozy and out of it. I'd like to take this opportunity to inform my loved one, my dearest, that I have rigged a PDA Alarm System so that if any of the above mentioned transgressions should occur without my knowledge or consent EVEN AT HOME, you will suffer my wrath upon my return to reality. Just sayin', Mr. Potts, just sayin'...

P.S. I love you.


Monday, March 9, 2015

It's time for my annual "Well Woman" appointment. I can't be more thrilled.

Dear God in Heaven!  No matter how the name has been changed to comfort me over the years, there is no solace in what lies before me today; the dreaded annual OBGYN appointment.  Call it what you may, the "Well Woman Exam" or the "Healthy Female Physical"? WHATEVAH! It IS what it IS; an indignity and an intrusion of my most private, personal space. I would much prefer a root canal than what's scheduled to occur this afternoon.

Before I receive feedback on why these visits are critical for detecting serious health issues, please refrain - I GET IT; however, I'm allowed to detest the process in general. Just as men are permitted to squirm at the "turn your head and cough" test, we gals are free to abhor the sentence "this may be a wee bit uncomfortable" especially when the extremely cold and painful speculum is clamped into our vaginas.

Also, here's a few thoughts I'll place squarely on the examination table which I'm sure many women have considered but would probably never discuss on the Internet. I'm a blissfully free thinker.

I'm a blissfully FREE THINKER!

I believe it's extremely awkward when my doctor attempts idle chit chat while looking deeply into my lady parts. Normally, I'm not even on a first name basis with my gynaecologist so therefore I have no interest in discussing what I'm making for dinner or what my kids do for fun. Also, the moment my children are brought up, I get extremely tense. Imagine then, if you will, the increased pain that the before mentioned speculum then produces. Lovely. My thought is, NO TALKING. Just take the damn swab sample, get that horrible metal contraption out from between my legs and restore my dignity as soon as feasibly possible. Oh, and absolutely no eye contact afterwards. Thank you.

The breast check? Just no. My husband does it if not once a day, at least several times. If I have a lump, he'll be the first one to know, trust me. During one memorable appointment, an amazingly wise doctor, while giving me the boobie check said, "My, don't you have enormous breasts". Really? I never knew. Amazing she'd earned a doctorate with observations like this.

The privacy factor in these offices is always a slam dunk. No sooner am I standing bare ass naked, than they knock quickly, open the door despite my panicked, "NOT YET!" and watch as I scramble to mask myself with a paper towel just large enough to cover one breast. Outstanding.

The mammogram.  I have big girls. There's a plus and a negative to this situation. The negative is that I have to get this darn test more often than "average" sized ladies. Because there's more "ounce to the bounce" I'm more susceptible to breast cancer. On a positive a note, if I were for instance "mosquito bite" sized, the test in itself would be agony.  Being large breasted, my boobs are laid like pancakes on a plate and squished this a'way and a'that. Kind of like, well..kinky sex. Come on, don't squirm. I say it like it is.

So, I'm off to the most agonizing appointment of the year. Dear friends and blog readers, I ask that you wish for me a quiet doctor, more than the usual amount of privacy and for Pete's sake, a paper towel large enough to cover all my private parts just in case.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hell Hath No Fury Like The Rambling Lunatic Housewife

Hold on to your seats and swallow your coffee my dear friends and blog readers because I have yet another confession to make...I am NOT a natural redhead.  I was born brunette yet throughout my life I've tried many different lovely and unique shades; however, red - my red - seems to suit my sassy sensibilities.  And yes, as shocking as it may seem to many of you, I do need a little "upkeep" from time to time.  To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure if I've crossed over to that horrific period whereas I may actually now be (GASP) grey.

The reason for this awkward admission is that even though I'm not a natural "ginger" I seem to posses a characteristic normally associated with redheads in particular...a fiery temper.

I could, for argument sake, say that my storminess is an inherited quality which comes from a long line of intense Baxter women with a history of passionate personalities.  It's an "Irish Thing" and of course, that's an absolute blessing to be sure.  We are a tough and noble people. My mother was the oldest of six daughters, eight Baxter children in total. To this day, I have no idea how many first cousins there are in this clan and God only knows how many second cousins and now third cousins are currently being hatched.  Good grief, in essence, my grandparents produced their own sovereign nation. 

What I do know are the temper tantrums of my grandmother (nanny), AND her daughters (my aunts), AND my mother, AND my sisters, AND my nieces (my sister's daughters) AND of course...Oh dear Lord...myself.   Where do I begin?

To be fair, I will not share publicly any of the stories of the ladies above save perhaps two.  The first was between my mother and father.  You see, my mom and dad shared a love story for the ages which is why I believe I can tell it now and not offend my mother. My dad passed away over ten years ago and my mother continues to live on through his memory. I think she'd laugh at this story.

My parents never fought; however, they did bicker which when thinking back on it always brings a smile to my face. The things they rankered about were insignificant issues like how long mom would keep us waiting or the way my dad drove when someone upset him. Nothing major just minor annoyances but enough to have them curse back and forth at one another. Most days I would hear them laughing or catch a glimpse of mom rubbing dad's shoulders; sweet private moments between two people in love.

I was a sophomore in high school when "The FIGHT to end ALL FIGHTS" happened. My parents had gone out, went to a movie - and whether this is true or not is still up for debate - apparently my dad flirted with another woman in front of my mom. UH OH! This was when my mother's "red" roots came blasting through.  I can't imagine the drive home being a pleasant one for my pop.  I had just come home from a dance and strangely my dad's car was parked in the driveway with remnants of popcorn both inside and outside the vehicle.  Hmm?  Odd.  My dad drove a Porsche.  He would never leave it outside or messy.  Then, another strange situation was before me. My father, a man of self-control (well, sometimes), was snoring in the middle of the family room floor (he'd never intentionally be on the floor due to his weight and because he couldn't get himself back up on his own). I poked him, "Dad?"


"Are you okay?"

"Your mother locked me out of the bedroom."

"Um, oh.  Do you need me to get the spare keys?"  

"To Hell with it."

That was it. My parents were filing for divorce. I was certain of it. I was going to have to choose between them or worse, be shuffled back and forth every week.  My only solace was that hopefully my weeks would be offset with my dreaded sister, Kathleen.  

As it so happened, my parents didn't divorce.  They celebrated close to 40 years of marriage together. What did occur that fateful evening was that my pop got a swift punch in the belly while holding a bag of popcorn by a very jealous but loving wife. Afterwards, they came home, she locked herself in the bedroom, he poured himself a strong drink and passed out on the family room floor. I'm not sure who eventually helped him up but I'm guessing it was the lady with the iron fist.

My vase was bigger and heavier!
The other story, well - her name will be withheld because she's a very close relation. Let's just say for the record she likes to throw entire plates of food when she's angry.  I fondly remember trying to scrape off dried spaghetti from her wall once before a party. Yes, fury runs deep in my family. All I can say is - I hope the fellow had time to duck.

Now it's my turn.  As I begin, I shudder to think that this information just may terrify a few of you.  My authentic color should be RED. Ah me, it's true. I'm evil incarnate. You see, yes, I do share the standard Baxter temper tantrums. I've been known to throw things.  My ex-husband would testify that he was on the receiving end of a lead crystal vase hurled at a violent velocity directly towards his head.  Now, if you knew the story, you might understand and even perhaps sympathize with me.  Also, I'm still pissed off that I hurled it not because it might have killed him (sorry, Jeff) but because it was a beautiful vase.  Damn, I hate being impulsive.  I can also get physical like my punching mamacita. My ex-husband's gonads could also testify to this (again, if the situation were presented, I'm certain my actions would be justified).  BUT, in addition to these awful behaviors, I can manipulate revenge so vile that it produces in me the greatest of satisfaction. This, in itself, is why I consider myself La Diabla (Spanish translation: a female Devil).
This behaivor began when I was very young and sharing a bedroom with my before mentioned sister, Kathleen. We're now dear friends but in our childhood our mother could not have placed two more ill suited siblings together in one small room. In other words, we HATED each other. Kathy would say the cruelest things and, because of this, I would go out of my way to outsmart her at every opportunity. For instance, if she asked me to borrow something it was fine but when I asked her she'd say "no" along with a scathing "pig" or "heifer" comment. She was hurtful. So, I started "borrowing" to make her angry. Once our older siblings moved away, she demanded a lock for her door to keep me out of her things. No problem. I found the key, made a copy and every day I continued going into her room.  I didn't always "borrow" her things, not usually. By this time I had gained an enormous amount of weight.  I'd become that "heifer".  Instead, I would go into her closet and switch a black shoe with a blue shoe. I would angle her journal just a wee bit off inside her desk drawer. A piece of naughty lingerie would be turned inside out. How odd that must have been for her. I relished every minute of it.

My behavior didn't improve when I moved out.  My ex-husband also suffered from some of my awful mental warfare. He was an avid reader. How many books did I destroy? Sheesh! I'm almost ashamed to admit this because I too love a good book. Don't hate me my friends, just remember that it was a tumultuous relationship on soooo many levels. Well, when my ex really annoyed me I would take one of his books, open it to the middle and rip a page right down the center. YES! I DID THIS! I'm so bad. Sigh.

And finally, I'm sure you're all wondering what I've done to my dear current husband, Eric.  What horrible fate has my monstrous temper bestowed upon him? Outside of throwing a comb at him while sitting in a car (he refused to go and have his blood drawn. He downright REFUSED! No one REFUSES me ANYTHING DAMMIT!), we've only had maybe two fights in our twenty years together. The last one I simply drove off and went to a friend's house to spend the night and the first was actually laughable. We had a disagreement about one of the boys. I got angry (what else is knew?), went downstairs in a rage and decided to look up and book the most expensive spa weekend package in Denver.  THAT would teach HIM to disagree with ME!  A few moments later, Eric showed up at my door and said, "Sweetheart, why don't you look up spa packages for the weekend and get away.  I'll take care of the boys.  You deserve it.  I love you".  My eyes welled up in tears and I bawled like a baby!  I couldn't even have a proper temper tantrum without Eric ruining it for me! DAMMIT! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

It's my birthday and when I blow out my candle on my blueberry pancake...

Me and Mike the IHOP Waiter (Cool Dude!)
So today is "THE DAY" - my birthday.  It's not some monumental age such as 30 which my husband still reminds me of my embarassing behavior.  Yes, my dear friends and blog readers, I'm horrified to say I reacted rather badly.  I literally retreated into the Southern California mountains that particular weekend and refused calls from everyone.  I wept elephant tears lamenting my lost youth. Oh my, such drama!  Not much has changed as far as my "dramatic" qualities over the past 18 years; however, the ongoing birthdays haven't been as challenging (thank goodness).

My 40th year was an exciting one.  My mother prepared me well for it.  She repeatedly told me throughout her own 40-somethings that they were the "best years of her life" and once I reached them I completely understood what she meant.  I'm no longer tied to conformity.  I don't care what people think of me.  I say what I damn well want to say, do what I want to do, wear what's comfortable, shake my bootie and have never looked or felt better in my life.  But yes - these years have seen dark days too.  Days so dark I couldn't see my own hand in front of my face.  Times when sleep, permanent sleep, seemed like the only reasonable solution to a life with such incredible challenges.

Today, as I blew out my imaginary candle on my gross blueberry breakfast pancake, I figured a few things out.  Here they are...

First, Michael, my waiter here at IHOP, is a sweetheart, it's his first day and I'm his first table EVAH. Poor dude.  No one should have me as their first customer.  I'm a serious pain in the ass.  I'll be sure to leave him a nice tip.

Last night, as I looked into the beautiful blue eyes of my husband, whom I've loved for almost my entire life, I realized what a ridiculous decision my suicide attempt was last year.  Most nights, I struggle to even turn off the lights because I don't want to stop looking at him.  Why on earth would I consider losing a moment with Eric regardless of what lies ahead?  Whatever happens, we'll be together; probably laughing, perhaps crying and most certainly exchanging some serious curse words but that's okay because we'll be with one another.  I adore you, Eric.  Thank you.  I'll never attempt that bone-head maneuver again.

Another thing I've concluded is that I live in a fantastically beautiful state.  Colorado is my home.  No where else takes my breath away quite like this place.  I feel safe even in areas my girlfriend calls the "nastiest" parts of town.  I laugh because I think, "Hell, I used to live in these types of areas in LA". No.  I may be from SoCal but my heart was born in the Rocky Mountains.

It's been a tough road with my boys.  It's still a tough one and Lord only knows where this road will take us yet there have been moments where I've seen so much progress.  Yes, Austynn is almost a foot taller than I am and his anger at sixteen is usually directed towards me.  Honestly, he frightens me. Earlier this week, I was afraid to be home alone with him (due to some contraband found in his room) so I asked his older brother and Eric to come home early.  I can defend myself - to a point - but Austynn is now capable of hurting me.  Fortunately, everything stayed calm but it could have gone either way. Eric and I choose our battles carefully with Austynn just like we did with William when he was this age and we survived William.

William came from rampaging our garage with an axe, threatening our neighbor and hurting us with hateful words to a loving, gentle young man.  He may still be afraid of facing the world but now he comes to me asking for advice on how to defend middle school kids from hoards of bullies, sits with stunned birds until they're capable of flying away from possible predators and comes up to stray dogs - walking door-to-door if necessary - searching for their owners.  I'm so proud to be his mother. Whatever he chooses to be in life, I rest in the knowledge that he's a good, kind soul.  I love you so much, William.

I have not been practicing my faith.  I've mentioned in the past that I'm Catholic.  I am; however, extremely spiritual.  I believe in humanity.  I hold firm that people, in general, are good and that we - as human beings - are all connected.  Eric and I share this same core value.  We may not have much financially and probably, because of this ideal, will always struggle.  What little we have, we tend to give.  Our opinion is that we can't take "it" with us.  We have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and money (sometimes just barely) to pay the bills.  We're okay BUT there's always someone less fortunate.  We have a spare room.  If someone needs it, there's a reason we have it.

We've raised our boys with these same values. If there's an elderly person, pregnant woman or physically challenged individual, they've been taught to stand up immediately and offer up their seat. They've seen their father go hungry because he's given away his lunch countless times to the homeless around his workplace. Our family has taken in strangers around our table because they're cold and hungry. We never question - we trust. We've taught William and Austynn to treat every human being who enters our home with the same level of respect, whether they're wealthy or poor. To quote George Bernard Shaw, "There are no third class carriages in Heaven".  Eric and I may not approve of guns or war but we thank every Veteran who has served our nation and for the sacrifices they've made. We do not criticize any President on any public forum where foreign countries can mock our country. We live in a Democracy.  We have the ability and right to vote.  If we're very unhappy, we march and make our voices heard.  We're not complacent. We discuss politics with the boys.  We ask their opinion and we NEVER discount their thoughts but we will debate them.  If the boys choose not to believe in God, they are now old enough to make their own decisions.  They've been to church with us.  They know what we believe.  All we want for them is that they know the difference between what is morally right and wrong. That they always help those who can't help themselves; the weak, the undefended, animals, children, the elderly and the voiceless.  NO ONE is considered "a stray".  My children know this better than anyone because the system told Eric and I once that our boys were "unadoptable". Some days, some dark, ugly days when I worry about throwing away baseball bats in my neighbor's trash for fear of my own safety I think, "yes, adoption was a bad decision". Then, I recall the laughter around the dinner table, or how once Austynn waited, holding a door open for 10 minutes while an 80 year old woman hobbled through or when William rifles my hair after a long day because that's how he tells me he loves me.  No, there are no strays. Everyone deserves to be helped. We'll make it through this and Austynn will turn out fine eventually. He has a very good heart even under all of his sixteen year old angst.

And finally, I've learned that I'm funny.  Yep, I'm owning it.  I may not ever get hired for a gig but I concede that I have some friggin serious cajones for a chick of 48.  I had nerve enough to go into a local community theater and give my one-woman show proposal to a stage manager and so okay, I got turned down but next week, I'll go to another theater and try it all over again.  And - while I was waiting for this manager - I had five construction workers and the receptionist rolling in laughter because I was going on about something completely off the wall.  I made them happy and that, after all, is what I'm supposed to do, right?  Make people laugh? And, when I was at the optometrist yesterday with my crazy kid, I was throwing out one liners left and right and the doctor says to me, "You should be a comedian"!  Funny, and so...I AM.

Happy Birthday, Bri Potts.


Monday, February 2, 2015

D'Oh! That was stupid!

Those stupid, ridiculous know the ones I'm referring to my dear friends and blog readers; those bursts of higher intelligence when the earth stops on its axis for a split second and you think to yourself, "Did I seriously just do that? What an idiot!"  And of course there's the bigger, looming question, "Oh dear God, did anyone see me do it!?"

We're all guilty of the occasional gaff and even allowed a critical lapse of judgement every once in awhile; however, I've discovered that some people don't get caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar.  I find this unfair. This blog is dedicated to those people who, like myself, always seem to have crumbs, not only on our faces, but bits and pieces of cookies stuck in our teeth as we're vehemently denying any involvement in the notorious cookie jar heist.


D'Oh!  That was stupid!

My son Austynn is currently sixteen years old.  He, God bless him, is a notorious liar. Not only is he an exceedingly bad fibber, but when the proof is glaringly obvious (as in the cookie jar analogy above), he still refuses to accept responsibility for his actions. One example is that he's brilliant but terrifying.  He loves electricity to the point of becoming an adolescent Dr. Frankenstein.  He is NOT allowed to have anything battery operated.  If so he's been known to disassemble it, strip the wiring and create sparks...OOOH FIRE!

Electric Glow Ball
Two years ago, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, Eric and I were jolted out of our bedroom by the smell of electricity and smoke.  Keep in mind that Austynn has no battery operated toys and NO DOOR. These have been removed after the last fire he started with a battery he found outside. My husband and I started yelling at the boys, "Who's done what?!"  They protested their innocence.  We started checking the walls for heat worrying about the wiring and then I walked past Austynn's room and IT hit me; the unmistakable smell of burnt carpet and electricity. I followed my nose to his closet and there it was, traces of what had been a stomped out carpet fire. I found remnants of burned tissues, a couple of pennies, a paper clip and his electric glow ball.  D'oh! REDRUM (Murder spelled backwards)! His response, "I DIDN'T DO IT!"  No, I suppose the dog did in his incredible canine capacity. It was all I could do not to commit maternal homicide.

Another Austynn classic.  This one happened just last week which is actually quite amazing that I'm typing this historical account and not sitting in some jail cell or tied up in a straitjacket tonight.

All four members of my household, including myself, wear glasses. Austynn practically wears coke bottle lenses, in other words, he's blind as a bat without them.  When the kids first came to live with us, it was standard procedure during their temper tantrums to throw, break or crack their glasses to get their point across that they were angry.  Now that they're older, my husband and I feel that they should be well past this stage in their lives.  In fact, their glasses aren't cheap, little boy glasses any longer.  No. They're very expensive.  Austynn has had his glasses replaced and repaired already once this year.  We're now waiting for our tax return money so we can get our annual eye exams and glass frames taken care of.  What did my not so little sixteen year old do last week?  Yes. It was a temper tantrum to end ALL TEMPER TANTRUMS.  His reasoning was that it was better to completely demolish his non-replaceable glasses than to whack the kid in line because he was teasing him (and per his teacher, the kid in question was NOT saying a word).  When Eric almost had them in somewhat wearable condition, Austynn took them apart deciding they were unacceptable and ruined them beyond recognition.  Yes, he seriously did that.   Ugh!      

On a sillier note, I will never recover from the humiliation of almost crashing head on into a neighbor at the outrageously dangerous speed of 5mph while turning into my own driveway.  How does one do such a foolish thing?  Vanity, my friends.  I was admiring my home's Christmas lights and not looking at the car passing directly in front of me. Oh the shame!  

I will spare this person's mortification and not share her name yet her story lives on in the Marriage Hall of Fame; a testament to her husband's love and good humor.  *Linda (for the sake of the story), was having an awful day.  She was parked downtown in a "Pay n' Park" lot and had misplaced her pay ticket.  By the time she found it, the sun had gone down, there were no lights and she was completely unfamiliar with that area.  Unfortunately, Linda had made the fatal mistake of going out the "Entrance" where there were spikes preventing cars from going in the wrong way.  Obviously, in the dark, she didn't see them and blew out her front two tires.  There was no one onsite to help her and this was long before the days of cell phones.  In her panic, God bless her, she had that moment - or lack thereof - when the earth stopped on its axis and all reasoning left her.  Yes, she did the unthinkable.  She drove on and blew out the back two tires as well.  Sobbing in disbelief, she wandered into a local restaurant, called her husband and whispered her secret shame into the receiver. *Hal showed up twenty minutes later with four new tires in his pick-up truck, a hug for his devastated wife and dinner so she'd have something to eat while he replaced the tires. In answer to your question my friends, yes, they're still very happily married.

Speaking of marriages, my first.  Exactly.  What was I thinking there?  Need I say more?

I've mentioned in many of my blogs that I can become somewhat manic when it comes to housework. There are things that I just can't leave alone.  For instance, for the past three months there's been an unsightly grease stain trapped between my oven door and the inner glass panel.  It's been driving me CRAZY.  So, after several requests to my dear husband to take care of it, I couldn't stand looking at it another minute.  How hard could it be?  Just a few screws and voila, right? Absolutely. It popped right open!  I wiped it off - but then, this was the dicey wasn't as easy to slide the glass back in.  What the heck?  I didn't need any help...I could do this.  Suddenly, the glass panel hit the side of the oven door and then - POP, CRASH, EXPLODE!  GOD DAMMIT!  I just wanted to clean the stupid grease stain!  Now I broke the friggin oven!  SHIT!

Why is it that after I drink 6 or more shots of Tequila I believe a plate of greasy, fried appetisers at Denny's actually sounds like a good idea?

And finally, running down the stairs with a plate full of dishes to escape my chattering son - even though while typing this, seems completely reasonable - is a broken ankle in triplicate waiting to happen.

Wow, this stuff was really stupid!  Pardon me, while I shake off the cookie crumbs and why is it they always land all over my chest?  WAIT!  Don't answer that.  D'oh!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The weird things I ponder throughout my day...

Mr. Andy Rooney
For those of you who may remember the late Andy Rooney on the TV news program, 60 Minutes, he was an amazing writer and storyteller. I'm not old enough to have followed his early career but what I do recollect were his end of show segments called, "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney". Even as a young girl, he never failed to amuse, entertain and yes - even sometimes shock me - with what he could "grumble" about each week.  I ADORED him.  In fact, I believe I owe much of my satiric writing style to him (though I would never presume to be even remotely as talented as he was and of course, there's always my grammatical nightmares...Oh dear GOD in Heaven!)

There's a reason I'm mentioning Mr. Rooney and that's because his essays were about the most mundane things and yet we all - or at least I would anyway - shake my head in complete agreement with what he had to say.

YES, YES, I hate airline seat belts too!  The silver buckle thing-a-ma-gig cuts into my waistline most uncomfortably. And you're right, Andy!  Why are those stupid tray tables at such an odd angle? There's no way to balance my soda and read a book when there's air turbulence!  This man's a genius...

So today, as I ponder the frivolous and mundane (nothing unusual for me), the great Andy Rooney comes to mind.  Thank you, sir.  I dedicate this blog to you, however silly it may turn out.  Either way, I'm certain you'll find it "grumble" worthy.


Once upon a daylight dreary, while I pondered, gross and weary
Over a many weird and curious number of disgusting chores,
While I grunted, nearly panting, suddenly there was a flashing,
As if my mind were ranting, ranting o'er the dirty floors.
"Tis a crazy thought" I said, "ranting o'er the dirty floors -
Only this, and nothing more."

Yep, that's me; manic to a "T".  And, really, my dear friends and blog readers, what precisely does, To a "T" mean anyway?  I don't know.  I get so hung up on the strangest things that I have lists for my lists.  Then, I lose my lists!  Dammit!  I hate it when that happens!

Here's a few odd things.  Now I know I've mentioned hag hairs before, in fact, probably more than a crazy, hormonal, peri-menopausal woman should but I'm obsessed with them. For those of you whose heads are buried under rocks, do not know, happen to be or have been a crazy, hormonal peri-menopausal woman - hag hairs are those horrifying thick hairs which pop out haphazardly on a woman's face usually on the neck, chin, or upper lip. My particular issue with these little bastards is that they'll pop out for instance...OVERNIGHT! What's up with that? I'll be spot free when I go to bed yet it never fails that the ONE morning I don't check will be the day a long, black monster will materialize directly beneath my chin. Lovely! So attractive, Bri!

Why do I always have pen caps but no pens?  When I do happen across a pen, it's from an exotic hotel in a city I've never been to.  Now please, my husband does NOT take business trips. No sense going down that naughty path, people! Tsk, tsk!

This isn't intended to sound cruel; however, my boys don't have friends.  What they do have is Aspergers which is a form of social autism. They keep pretty much to themselves. I WISH they had friends and it truly breaks my heart that they don't so here's the caveat...where are all these socks that I don't buy coming from? My oldest kiddo has graduated and my youngest doesn't have gym class. SO who is throwing their socks into my laundry?  Should I leave some sort of note asking for soap money?  Curious.

I know I'm not alone in this other particular mystery.  I've seen strangers on the street with the same clothing malady but personally, I'm tired of it.  Those baffling little holes which appear on shirts without explanation. My only guess, it's the House Troll and he's getting on my last nerve.  Just today, for instance, as I was pondering another silly thought over my PB&J sandwich, I noticed a hole in my shirt right above my belly button.  Do you know how disconcerting this was? First of all, it's one of my favorite shirts and secondly, no one wants to see their belly button with peanut butter smeared all over their face.  Besides, just last year I had to bury - yes, bury - one of my all time favorite tie-dyes due to this issue.  I wore that tie-dye until it was in shreds and indecent but I didn't care.  It was out spite - damn Troll!

And finally, as I wipe clean every shred of holiday left in this house (is it evident that I'm not a fan of Christmas?), why is it that in December I find shreds of Easter basket grass not from last season but from many Easter baskets long ago?  Add insult to injury, come this 4th of July, I'll probably find bits and pieces of noble fir needles from my Christmas Tree under my dining room carpet.  I'm a meticulous neat freak to the point of mania and Q-tips.  How in the HELL does this happen? It's a conspiracy.

"Tis a crazy thought" I said, "ranting o'er the dirty floors -
Only this, and nothing more."

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Here I go again...

2015, another year...  To be honest with you, my dear friends and blog readers, I'm terrified for what's ahead.  Last year was far from stellar.  I made many mistakes and lost a lot of friends and family along the way. For those of you I may have hurt, I'm truly sorry.

I've attached a very personal video below.  I hesitated quite a while over some of the pictures; however, I left nothing out.  If you personally know me or have been reading my blogs over the years, I think you'll understand why I struggled with it. To a MUCH better year everyone...CHEERS!