Saturday, February 25, 2012

Puppy Love.

Last night as I was perusing through my Facebook site, I saw some pretty devastating news: my BFF's dog, Casey, died.  Casey has been a part of her life for 15 years and she was heartbroken.  It made me think about how close we all become to our pets.  There's this way about them that allows these four-legged creatures to become family members--which is exactly what Casey was.

I've never been a die-hard animal lover, so I won't begin now.  The pets I grew up with never attached to me, nor I with them.  They did, however, provide some pretty funny moments that I'll never forget.  One of our first dogs we had was Ty-heen  (I have no idea if I'm spelling this name right, so I'm writing out the pronunciation--and no, we didn't name the dog).  We were living in Green Bay and it was my turn to take her out for a walk around the house to go pee.  I was only 7 years old, and was quite small.  Ty-heen was a Basenji and very strong.  I remember it was freezing out, snow all around, when Ty-heen decided to run.  I planted my feet on the snow and just hung on to the leash.  She decided to do laps around the house, with me being pulled like a water skier.  As I flew past the sliding glass door, my family was in fits of laughter.

Then there was Sadie the 1st--old faithful yellow lab.  Loved Sadie.  We had her when we lived in Wisconsin, with the woods and the Yellow River in our back yard.  Sadie had the run of the land--never on a leash or anything like that.  Didn't need it out there in the middle of nowhere.  And it was quite humorous when she decided to corner a skunk into our garage--enough said about that adventure.  It smelled forever.

I can't forget about Pepper--although I would like to.  I never liked Pepper.  She was this black poodle, who was a pain in the ass.  Not a fan.  But there was that one day, when I was hating on my sisters, and good ole' Pepper decided to crap in their bed.  Pepper was pretty smart too because she then pulled the covers over her poo.  It wasn't discovered until they jumped on in and the brown covered their toes.  Their screams were hilarious!  I grew a new respect for Pepper that day, and will admit I was sad when she became sick and had to be put down.  That was a sad drive to Marshfield in our brown paneled station wagon.  Especially since the vet's office was on Pepper Street--something we hadn't noticed until that day.  Funny the things I remember.

When I moved out to Colorado in my early 20s, I went to the Denver Dumb Friends League and fell in love with a little dog.  She was a mutt, and I named her Sadie the 2nd.  What a pain in the ass she was.  Mostly because I had no real idea on how to train a dog.  She destroyed furniture, killed birds--was just a mess.  Nothing like her namesake, so eventually she had to go.

And then there was the day I was at the Aurora Mall, and saw this cute little Brittany.  My parents had one named KoKo--short for Kokopelli--and thought they'd make great friends.  After the purchase I named her Antigone Sophocles, calling her Tiggy for short.  Oh my good god almighty.  Tiggy was the most horrific animal ever.  She barked non-stop, ate my shoes, thought throw pillows were her toys to destroy.  I would come home to something new ruined every single day.  I'd have to go to work with one shoe donning bite marks.  She was Satan.  So like any good daughter, I gifted Tiggy to my parents.  She showed up on their front porch one evening, with me singing her praises.  And then the phone calls began.  They threatened to give her back to me on a daily basis.  I think the turning point for them was when Tiggy decided to eat their dry wall--literally began chewing off the walls of their home.  Yeah, not good.  She had to go.

When I lived in Green Valley, I was jogging one morning (notice it reads one morning--hasn't happened since...) and this little, cute Shih Tzu comes running over to me.  Poor thing had no collar and was shaking furiously.  I had no choice but to bring her home.  The kids fell in love, even though I said not to.  No one reported a missing dog, and there wasn't a chip in her.  Day three of having her, I can't remember what the kids were calling her, was when I saw the MISSING DOG sign on my way home from work.  I remember thinking "Oh crap," because the kids little hearts would break.  But I had to.  I called the owner, who was over in 2 seconds.  The dog went nuts upon seeing her owner, and that was proof enough for us.  Consoling the kids was another story.  So the trip to the Denver Dumb Friends League had to be made--which is how I came across Buddy Love.

I loved Buddy Love.  He was a 100 pound chocolate lab who loved me.  He was protective and sweet. He thought he was a lap dog--sitting on my lap as though he were one of the kids.  But he was lonely, so we went on back and found Sissy--another chocolate lab mix, who was cute and filled with energy.  Too much energy, turns out, and was a nightmare to contend with.  After building a dog run for the two of them, Sissy decided to break out.  She had terrible separation anxiety, along with claustrophobia, and we were afraid she'd eventually hurt herself.  The dog literally broke through a steel locked fence.  Sissy needed the farm life, where she could run free.  We found her a new owner that owned property--no enclosed space for her.   Buddy was still in need of a partner and a friend of mine had a yellow lab that was having puppies.  So the kids and I went and picked one out.  I named him Lewey (after Louis Vuitton--I was in that stage with the bags), and he became mine.   There was the time when Lewey, who was a blonde in every sense of the word, decided to jump out of a speeding car to try to catch a rabbit.  Luckily he didn't get too severely hurt, although the poor thing was quite banged up.  Buddy and Lewey were inseparable, and with the divorce even though it broke my heart, I couldn't separate them.  The kids were upset, but it wouldn't be fair.  These dogs loved each other and needed to be together.  Besides, they were both HUGE and wouldn't be okay in apartment living.

Seeing the sadness in the kids' eyes, I adopted Cooper at a PetSmart adoption day.  He was the cutest little black and white terrier (breed should really be called terror, that would be a bit more accurate).  He was great when we picked him out--listening to the commands and acting all cute.  Yeah, quite the act. Cooper became my son's dog, and he was supposed to be the trainer of him.  But you can't train stupid. Damn dog would get carsick and puke all over the car.  It was disgusting.  We couldn't take him anywhere.  And then there was the inevitable turning point when Cooper decided to get out of his kennel one night and into Brandon's paint markers.  Granted it wasn't the dog's fault, but still.  I woke up to the sounds of my son's yelling and ran into his bedroom.  The ENTIRE carpet was covered in paint, as was the dog.  The blinds on his window were chewed to the core, the white of his fur was now purple and pink and blue and green.  I wanted to kill them both.  After marching the dog to the Denver Dumb Friends League, I received the $1500.00 bill to repair the damages.  Yeah.  Not a good day.  I sure can pick them!

I went pet free for quite sometime after the Cooper Calamity, until I met and married my husband.  We were setting up house and talked about having a dog.  He wanted a German Shepard--I said HELL NO!  I'm terrified of those dogs.  He found a Dutch Shepard from a breeder--there's only about 1000 of this type of breed in the US.  I was a bit skeptical, because the breed still looks a bit scary to me.  But I agreed to go and meet this 6 month old puppy that he found.  His name was Gator.  The moment I met Gator, I will admit, I fell in love just a bit.  He looked intimidating, but was so gentle.  Plus he actually listened.  He didn't pull on the leash when we walked him.  I take zero credit when it comes to how well-behaved our Gates is.  He's a trained dog, and I love it.  There's none of the chewing on our stuff or the eating of the walls.  He doesn't crap in the house, and has never peed in it either.  He sleeps in his kennel and eats twice a day.  I didn't know this type of well-behaved, well-manner creature existed.  Our little baby Gates does have his own idiosyncrasies, which I find absolutely adorable.  For instance, he snores.  Really snores.  Between Gates and my husband, I personally get no sleep!  He sits on the corners before crossing the street and I (yes, I) taught him how to give me his paw.

Last night when I heard about Casey, my heart sunk a bit for Christine.  She's had her baby for 15 years.  And although there's times when Casey's driven her crazy, she loved that dog like none other.  I let my baby Gates onto our bed last night (a rarity for him) and hugged him just a bit harder.  Gates has been in our lives for 2 years, and I can't imagine losing him.  He's made his way into our family--I even call him Gator Frederick Collins, Jr. when he's in trouble.  He knows when he hears his full name he'd better just stop whatever it is he's doing or else.  I hope, I pray, that our family is so lucky to have another 13 years with our baby.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Delayed Start.

I'm on a delayed start this morning--and not just for my school district due to the snow.  Instead of getting up at 5:15 am, I hit the alarm until 5:30 am.  I forced my body out of the bed and to 24 Hour Fitness.  It was quite the process.  Even now, home from the gym, I can't seem to get motivated.  Thank god we're on a delayed start because I can't seem to get my butt moving!

It's taken me 20 minutes to peruse through the Yahoo! news, sip on some coffee, and I have yet to take off my sneakers.  Just a bit delayed.

It's funny how on days like today, when I can't seem to get moving, everything is in slow motion.  I know my usual 10 minute shower will take more like 20; my hair will not get to the "it'll do" state in the normal time; the make-up will get applied in labor-intensive strokes.  Ugh.  Just one of those days.

Alright, time for me to get moving--which means at least ten minutes to get my bootie off this couch.  Have a great day everyone!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Book Club Beauty

Three months ago I started attending a local book club, and I must say I love it!  The ladies there are fun, intelligent, and we have a great time.  Every meeting there are new ladies to interact with, and a few "old faithfuls"--I'm slowly becoming one of those.  At the last meeting I realized the beauty of this book club isn't the discussion about the book or even the company--rather, it's the coming together to support one another.  To get away from the everyday and find ourselves--our true selves.   We get to leave all of our daily roles in the car, every month for a few hours.  And I must say, it's nice.

I grew up with a very competitive relationship with my sisters.  Whether it was about boys, school, work, sports--didn't matter.  We were always competing for the top spot in my parents' eyes.  And while this type of upbringing does form very strong and independent women, there's an ingredient that was missing--and still is.  There's always been a lack of support, of cheering on, of being happy for the other's success.   It's always felt as though by one being successful, it somehow diminished the success of the other.  Sad, but true.  And it's not just in my family.  No, I see it all the time.  Makes me wonder why can't women be truly supportive of the other without feeling less of person, of a woman?

Which brings me back to the last book club meeting, when a newbie arrived and shared her story.  She had brought with her some amazing chocolates, and I, being a concerned citizen and good Samaritan, offered to be the taste-tester.  To say they were delicious is an underestimate.  They were exquisite:  mouth-watering, perfectly textured, beautifully crafted and delivered.  Thinking about them now is making me crave another one of the dark chocolate and coconut ones.  Or the salted carmel one.   Yum!  Anyway, she recently lost her government job and started doing something she loves--making chocolates.    The women in the book club started figuring out business strategies, ideas, and anything they could to help this lady launch her business.  It was amazing to see such a coming of souls to encourage the other.

I was a part of this support structure, and I must say, it warmed my spirit.  It made me realize the importance of women supporting women.  Even if it's just a small group, sitting in someone's basement, disguised as a book club.  I have a feeling great friends are going to be made.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Taxi Cab--Five Bucks A Ride.

There is nothing worse than getting a phone call that a loved one has been injured or killed due to a car/motorcycle accident.  I got one of those phone calls many years ago, when my ex's brother Jason was in a motorcycle accident.  I had just talked to him that week--he was living in RI and was planning on coming out to CO before he headed off into the military.  I was in the midst of a divorce with his brother, but Jason didn't care.  We were close regardless--always had been.  He was more of a brother to me than my own brother.  I remember when I heard the news I kept saying, "But I just talked to him!  He's coming out here!"  I didn't want to know he was in a coma.  I didn't want to know that he died.  But he did.  Just a kid in his 20s.

When my son turned the inevitable 16, and was able to obtain his Driver's License, he was extremely excited.  I, on the other hand, was not.  The worry that transpires the moment he leaves until his arrival time is ridiculous.  I panic.  I worry.  I fear the ringing phone.  What if is a constant in my head.  His safety is my utmost concern--and it's something I have relatively no control of.  Makes me crazy.  When he was given his car he knew in order to keep it there'd be some rules.  The basics include paying for his own gas, own insurance, and any maintenance and/or repairs.  And he's done a great job with that.

Being proactive parents, the four of us sat down and constructed a Driving Contract for him.  We all wanted to insure his safety and our states of mind.  His contract included not trying to impress others with his car, speeding, keeping up his grades and things of that nature.  There was, of course, the rule about if he were ever to become intoxicated he'd need to call one of us immediately to come and get him--and if he were to ever get into a car or drive himself while under the influence, he'd lose all car ownership until two months after he graduates high school.

After receiving his report card, it came to our attention that he fell a bit below the required GPA to maintain his car and lost his driving privilege for one month.  And then we got a notice saying he was seen driving fast--not a ticket, but still not okay.  And a teacher called me to say he "overheard my son talking about racing."  And with that the rules of the contract are in full-force.  No car for him until April 15th.

Being the stubborn, pain-in-the-ass teenager that my wonderful son is, the first reaction was that of anger and he went into immediate defense mode.  "Fine.  You'll have to drive me to work then.  I don't care, it's you that'll have to pay for gas."  Oh really?  Hmmm.

And so another rule quickly came into the plan.  One that includes this taxi cab mom getting paid for her services.  Five bucks in my hand or the car simply is unable to move.  And he hemmed and he hawed and he had to reach into his pocket--something that kills him.  But it's a necessary lesson.  He needs to learn rules are in place for HIS SAFETY, his emergencies do not equate to mine, and if he wants to keep his car he needs his job--and getting there is his responsibility, not mine or anyone else's.

This week was tough for him.  But I can already see this change.  This morning as I took him to work, his demeanor had changed.  He chatted it up as I drove him, showing me pictures of some awesome cars that rolled into the Safeway yesterday when he worked.  With ease, and believe me my son does not part with his money with ease, he paid for his ride to work--thanking me as he exited the car.

Although there are times when I want to fold, and although it's so much easier to just let him drive himself to work, these lessons need to be taught.  And it's moments like this, these tiny somewhat insignificant moments, that I know I'll never forget.  He's maturing right in front of my eyes--growing into a young man that I hope and pray will learn to stay within those boundaries that protect him when he's on the road.  I don't ever want to get another phone call informing me my loved one was in a wreck.  I want my son to know driving is a privilege, not a right.  And he'll get it--someday.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney--Reality Check People.

Being in the mountains on the night Whitney Houston died was surreal--surreal in the manner that the only communication was seeing what happened on the news.  Remember those days?  The days before Facebook, texting, and instant messaging?  Up in the boondocks, with no cell phone service or Internet access, it's just like being in those days.  So other than the "Oh my god," between myself and my mom and the "Should've had her on my Death Poll," from my husband, nothing more was said.

Which is actually kind of cool because I was able to think about her life and my own actual thoughts without the flood of emotions from others, forming something anything but mine.  I knew the moment I got home, Facebook would be flooded with Whitney sorrow and songs, so decided to jot my own thoughts down before I logged in.

Whitney.  She was an icon in the 80s and into the 90s.  I loved her!  At fifteen I was in a pageant--yes, scary.  I was a WI Finalist for Teen something or another.  I cannot even tell you how many girls sang "I Believe the Children Are the Future..." I didn't.  I tried writing and delivering a speech, which I completely bombed.  But the experience was cool.  I remember getting to see her perform at the Providence Civic Center when I was a senior in high school.  She rocked it.  I'll never forget how stunning she was in that long, sparkly, emerald green dress.  That voice that could move mountains.  Two years later, when she sang at the Super Bowl--1991--I was brought to tears.  Perhaps it was because it was the first time I had experienced a war in my lifetime and the patriotism our country was experiencing was a bit overwhelming.  Or perhaps it was because she had one of the voices that did that--could bring an audience to tears.

And then she met Bobby Brown and made the choices of an idiot.  She decided that drugs came before her family, before her daughter.  I stopped loving her, and her music.  She was no longer the idol, the beauty, the singer with this god-given talent.  And it pissed me off.

Last night as I saw her death splashed all over the news, I could only shake my head.  Newscaster after newscaster spoke of the tragedy, the sorrow, the shock of her death.  Really?  Come on, people--are you in need of a reality check?

It's like the guy who's been smoking for 20 years, who's shocked when he is told he has lung cancer; the alcoholic who is shocked that their liver is failing; the sex addict who cannot believe he has HIV.  I mean, really.

She was a druggie, a junkie, a waste of an unbelievable talent.  She chose drugs over her daughter--her own daughter wasn't as important as her next fix.  And there's shock over her death?  The only thing shocking is that she lived to 48.

So I'm not shocked over her death, but I am saddened for her family and for her.  I hope that with the loss of young celebrities, people that choose drugs and alcohol realize that no one is invincible.  No amount of money, no amount of friends, no huge mansion on the hill is going to save your body when it's abused.  Perhaps looking at the reality of her death--seeing it for what it really was, will allow people to think twice before trying crack, smoking a joint, shooting up heroin.

She died because she was a drug addict.  No frills, no whistles.  And now her daughter has to grow up without a mother--not that hers was ever really there anyway.  With that Rest In Peace, Whitney--and I hope that one day your daughter will be able to live in peace.  Sad day.

Enough said.

Monopoly Mayhem.

Yesterday, my husband and I decided to head on up to my parents’ condo—to get away, spend some time with the parentals, and just relax a bit.  They are part of a TimeShare in Dillon and get the opportunity to use it every year.  And while they have had it forever, the kids, Kent and I have never been able to get away to go. 

We packed our suitcases for the one-night stay, took Gator to the Doggie Kennel, and started making our way up the mountain.  At first I was nervous because it was snowing in Denver when we left.  There’s nothing scarier to me than driving up the mountain with slick roads.  I mentioned this to Kent who said to me, “Relax, it’ll be fine.”  I gently reminded him of our trip up to Vail, and while it was awesome, the drive up was horrid.  The tractor-trailers flipped on the side of the road terrified me.

Luckily the snow stopped before we even hit the highway.  There was actually very little snow at all—even on the foothills.  The ride up was uneventful, which is perfect for me.  I love being in the car with my honey—just being able to fantasize about winning the 325 million dollar PowerBall and silly conversations like that.  We did stop to get gas, and yes I did buy a few tickets. 

We arrived in Dillon around 1pm, giving us three hours before we’d meet up with the parentals.  Both of us were hungry, so we headed over to The Dam Brewery and got our grub on.  Next we hit up the outlets, and Kent spoiled me quite a bit—although one of the things I got is for my birthday.  With still 30 minutes to spare, we went to Old Faithful—Starbucks, of course.  The very first time we met was over coffee.  I love getting coffee with my husband.  Just brings me back to when we met.

And then we got lost.  My dad’s directions sucked.  I tried calling them both on their cell phones, but their’s are the 1990 version of what a cell phone once was.  I’m talking analogue and all.  Ridiculous.  I next called my sister, who’s been up here a few times with the parentals.  Being the Queen of Directions, I figured she could lead me in the right direction—which she could if she was in the car, but knew no names of streets or how to figure out where the hell we were.

Finally, my dad calls and tries to lead us into where their condo is and, after several failed attempts, we finally arrived.  Both of my parents were laughing at us—perhaps due to my dad’s telling us the road’s name didn’t change (which it did) or the color of the place was gray (it was yellow—was gray several years back, but had been painted).  Nice.  They helped us grab our bags and we settled on in.

Being with my parents is like being in an amusement park.  I love just hanging out with them because they make me laugh my ass off.  We sat there laughing and talking before deciding to go grab a bite to eat.  We chose Jersey’s Boys—an Italian eatery in Dillon.  After dinner is when the ride began.

Ever play Monopoly with your family?  Every family has its own uniqueness when playing this game, and my family is no exception.  It begins with the piece that is chosen before the dice is ever tossed.  I am the shoe—I love shoes.  No brainer there.  Even when I chose the shoe, heads nod and there’s a slight chuckle of “duh.”  Kent is the dog—a fitting choice being he even dreams of Gates.  I’ll never forget the night when he sat up in the bed, still asleep, looked over at me and stated, “Guys like me have dogs like Gator; I’m just cool like that,” and then rolled over to continue where his snoring left off.  My mom is the iron—and let me tell you, I grew up with this woman ironing every friggin’ Sunday.  She’d spend hours ironing—I never understood the obsession.  The basket was always a never-ending ordeal.  I seriously don’t think the woman ever got to the bottom of the basket.  And finally my dad was the car—you know, the instrument used to run people over.  Yeah, that would be him.

The game began with the banker who one would think was drunk.  After watching her exchanging her money with the bank’s money, and seeing the difficulty in counting monies back, I had to immediately take over.  My mother somehow got drunk on her Ginger Ale and was unable to contain herself.  She bought property after property until she literally had like $10 left.  I shook my head in disbelief—seriously who plays like this?  My hubby had jack for property and my dad was like the vulture that preys on the weak—sitting quietly and just waiting to make his move.  Humpf.

Kent was the first to bow out—which was no surprise being he landed in jail at least 5 or 6 times throughout the game.  I was the next to fold, with my corner of Boardwalk and Park Place quickly going to my father.  My hotels meant zero, being no one landed on them UNTIL they had to be sold to the vulture.  Damn bastard.  My mom had come back—winning a huge jackpot when landing on Free Parking.  Her property was soaring, owning an entire street with houses building. 

And then, by some messed up twist of fate, my dad had maneuvered his way in for the kill.  It was bullshit.  Calling himself the “Master of Monopoly” he quietly destroyed the board and ended up winning the game—as usual.

I have never won Monopoly.  Ever.  And I don’t think I ever will. *sigh*  Must run in the family, as my mom has never won either.  

But with that aside, there’s nothing like spending time with family—laughing, talking, and just having a good time.   When it comes to having a great family, I definitely have won.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What the Wax?

When I was in my early 20s, I never experienced getting waxed--anywhere.  I remember my BFF, Christine, going to get her eyebrows waxed and it just looked so painful.  I was thankful to have little eyebrows that have always been low maintenance.

After I had my kids, the hormones in my body must've switched gears and the mustache I was able to grow could compete with my husband's.  Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but still--it was bad.  So I began going to get the lip wax--each time cringing just a bit.  The plucking part was always the worst for me.  My eyes would water, regardless of how little the pain really was.

When money was tight, I remember going out and buying a "Do It Yourself" waxing nightmare.  The only thing I was able to do was to rip not only the hair from my face, but also skin.  I had made the wax too hot, and actually burned skin off of my face.  So, while I had no hair donning my lip, I did have scabs for about three weeks.  Real attractive.

Then there was the time when I had the great idea of these tape like strips--it's like the waxing ordeal, but no microwaving the wax was involved.  Only problem was, was once again the user error.  How I screwed that up is beyond me, but I managed to leave strays hairs all over the place--looking quite the fool.  So I stopped everything for awhile.

When my son grew a bit older and asked me why I had a mustache, I knew it was time to get back to the salon.  That wasn't a good day for me.  The waxing lady was almost in awe of my lip hair, and I was immensely embarrassed.  I'm not sure how she convinced me, but she did to get an eyebrow wax.  When I left the place, with my lip hair free, I looked like an idiot from the nose up.  These minute lines above my eyes were just horrific.  I couldn't believe she made me look like one of those Latino girls who draw on their eyebrows.  How the HELL was I going to show up to work looking like this?  But I did, fixing my hair in a manner to cover up half my face--anything to not see my eyebrows.

Then one day, as I was chatting it up with the ladies, the talk of the Brazilian wax became the topic of the day.  Several of the girls had gotten this delight, and spent much of the morning trying to convince me it was a "must do"--perhaps a must do form of torture, but I didn't know that yet...  I was nervous as I showed up at the Aveda salon--literally sweating like a mad person, palms sweaty, fidgety as all get up.  The waxing chick started chatting it up, as she was applying the wax.  Just another day in paradise for her, I'm sure.  Ummm, yeah.  The rest I'll keep to myself--but there was a bit of cursing, grabbing of the table, and a "Just leave it, I'm done" in the middle of my visit.  People actually pay for this torture--un-friggin'-believable.  I couldn't go back there--not after that disaster.

A new waxing-only studio opened up right up the street from me, so I decided I'd try this place out.  After all, it'd be convenient, if nothing else.  There was a free coupon in the mail for an eyebrow wax, and I'm all about the savings.  After the pencil disaster, I hadn't gotten an eyebrow wax and thought, "What the heck?  It's free."  I showed up, gave the girl my coupon and relived my eyebrow disaster with her.  She listened and I got the best lip and eyebrow wax ever.  Except it cost me $45.00--that's with the tip.  Ridiculous, right?  But she was good, so I made another appointment and another.  Each month going back.  During month two the girl started really trying to up-sell me--focusing on my crotch.  Every time she'd give me the eyebrow/lip combo, she'd mention waxing in the nether-area.  So I had to stop going there--it was too weird and SO overpriced.

My friend, Tina, who gets the waxing done religiously recommended this place down in the DTC--and let me tell you, the place is awesome.  Not only is my new waxing chick awesome--but there's no need to up-sell, and tipping is NOT allowed.  Cool right?  And the pricing is stellar.  Only $22 for both.  Every four weeks, that's where you'll find me--talking it up with waxing chick, eyes still watering, and oh-so-thankful I no longer have to do the "Do It Yourself" waxing at home.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ahhh. Snow Day How I Love Thee.

There's nothing like a nice, long, relaxing weekend.  I love them.  Especially when not expected.  This Friday I was thrilled to get dumped on with 19 inches of snow.  It was a beautiful moment.  Hands down--there's nothing like the phone call saying my school will be closed due to snow!  =)

On Friday, my children and I sat around with our munchies, watched movie after movie, and never got out of our jammies.  Love days like that!  The only time I made my way outside was to take my son to go sledding/snowboarding with one of his buddies and to snowplow the driveway (twice).

On snow days the coffee tastes better and the snuggle under the blankie is just more cozy.  There are no worries, no arguing, and no annoyances to contend with.  It's perfect.

This snow day I didn't answer any emails; I didn't grade any papers; I didn't do anything but relax.  (Except for snowplowing the driveway, which I did twice.)  My husband, on the other hand, did have to make his way into work.  Unfortunately, there are no snow plows that come down our street, so he had to get picked up in the "Command Vehicle".  I felt a little bad watching him have to go into work.  Not bad enough to clean, cook, make the bed or any of that crap.  But inside there was a moment of, "Awww, poor thing."  Granted it was a short-lived moment, but present never the less...

And I did throw a chuck-roast into the crockpot, and I did get the laundry done, and I DID snowplow the driveway twice--which was something I never want to experience again.

Snowplowing is crap.  Seriously.  I spent a good 45 minutes the first go around--thinking I'd impress my husband with my skills.  The friggin' thing did not throw the snow properly and I ended up having to go over the driveway several times.  It's not as easy as my husband makes it look either.  I had to tug on the snowplow, push this beast through 19 inches of snow--it wasn't fun.

When my husband called around 3, to let me know he'd get to come home earlier than first expected, I was really thrilled!  He'd be home to have dinner with us, see my snowplowed driveway, and get to relax a bit before our weekend extravaganza.  So I popped open the garage door, just to make sure my piece of art was still together.  Yeah.  It appeared that I hadn't even touched the driveway at all.  It was recovered with snow--the entire driveway.  Not wanting my husband to have to come home and have to do it all again after working all day, I threw back on my jacket and gloves and hat and boots, and headed back out.

45 minutes later it was snowplowed, but now there was a 5 inch layer of ice.  So I grabbed the ice-pick-chopper-thingy and started beating the hell out of the ice.  I was lifting huge sheets of snow/ice blocks from the driveway.  Ridiculous.  I was panting, practically having heart palpitations, when I finally completed the damn driveway.  Just thinking about it again makes me tired.  Good thing my feet are up.

About an hour after I finished the driveway, my wonderful husband came in through the garage door.  "Did you notice the driveway?"  I was about to say when I stopped in mid-sentence.  "Why are you keeping your coat on?" I asked instead, noticing he wasn't getting ready to relax.  "Gotta clear the driveway," he said looking around for his gloves.  "WHAT!  I did it TWICE today!"  Damn, snow.

I looked back out the garage door and yeah.  Didn't look like I did a thing.  Snow sucks.  So although I tried to have everything done before my baby got home from work, so he could relax, it just didn't work out.  He ended up having to do it TWO times before we hit the sack on Friday night.  Poor thing.

Regardless, oh snow days, how I love thee.  And this snow day reconfirmed that these types of days are MEANT to be spent indoors, relaxing--not outside, not plowing any driveways, not practically having a heart-attack.  So from now on, that's exactly how I'll be spending all of mine.  =)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

High School...Some Things Never Change.

Tonight, as I sat amongst the teenagers during the millionth basketball game I've come to to see my daughter cheer, I realized that when it comes to high school nothing changes.  Absolutely nothing.

There's still the crazy coach that's screaming from the sidelines, hoping his team will do the amazing play he personally designed.  Of course the team can barely do a pick and roll, has absolutely no defense, but the coach is still a-screamin'...

There's the cheerleaders who are trying to stay in-sync, yell loud and proud, and who will unknowingly (or not) shoot glances riddled in hubris toward the crowd.

There's the band--oh, lord please help the band--who just don't have a clue.  They'll still be strumming along to their own tune, have greasy hair (not all, but the kids I saw offense), and just be those band geeks.

There's the teenaged couple in the stands that when you look at them, they make no sense.  And then they start to suck each other's face and you can't help but throw-up just a little bit in your mouth.  Eww.

There's the over-zealous parent who thinks his kid is the next NBA star, when the child can barely make a basket.  I can only pray the kid is able to live up to those unrealistic expectations that are imposed upon him by a parent that is living vicariously through him.

There's the kid on the court that keeps looking up at the stands, searching the crowd, hoping that one of his parents will show up for tonight's game.  "Where are you?" is filling up his eyes as the disappointment sets in.

There's the star on the team, who gets all the accolade, even when he's not making jack tonight.

There's the silly girls in the stands that just want to have fun, dance along with the band, and gawk at all the cute guys.

There's the adolescent boy who praying to hit puberty someday, and stares at all the girls that he dreams will one day stare back his way.

There's the nerds with their book bags spilling over, the jocks with their athletic attitudes, the misfits donned all in black, the teachers trying to keep order or keep score or keep up, the poms girls trying to find the beat of the music, the score keeper pressing numbers, and the ref making another bad, bad call.

There's the lady at the front who collects all the money, the moms running the food stand, and the sports enthusiasts cheering wildly for a team win or lose.  There's the athlete on the sidelines with the cast and the long face, the benchwarmer that's praying to see at least one minute of the game, and the asthmatic trying to catch his breath.  There's the sports trainer wrapping weak ankles, the team's manager filling water bottles, and the mascot jumping around like a madman on crack.

And then there's me.  Sitting high in the stands, just taking it all in.  I loved high school.  I loved being the jock and contemplating plays with my team.  I loved being in the stands cheering like a crazy person.  I loved the adrenaline, the crowd, the pressure.  I loved the music that pumped me up before a game, provided consolation after a loss, the means of celebration following a win.  I loved studying in the gym on the stage or in the stands with my friends.  I loved eating those hot dogs, Snickers, Doritoes, and Mountain Dew.  I loved seeing my mom in the stands cheering me on at every game.  I loved that high school romance that made this teenage girl feel special.  I hated the ref--they never called it right.

And even though there's all these fond memories, I'm so happy to be sitting here, in another stage of my life.  Just able to take it all in and watch another generation get their turn to survive that crazy place called high school.