Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sons of Anarchy VS the Flowerdy Purse




I was sitting in the ER at the hospital waiting to hear about my friend who had a pretty good bump on her head and was getting looked at. The parking Lot was full of all kinds of motorcycles. The lounge had groups of bikers in and out. Some of them were  "Bikers for Christ" wearing a vest or a shirt with the logo on the back. Some of them were in what you would expect. Lots of boots, denim vests with the sleeves cut off and giant patches with the club name on the back,  bandannas on their heads, kinda like Sons of Anarchy, only more worn out more "real" less Hollywood. There were a few women,  mostly sitting together comforting each other but not staying long,  not hanging out like the guys. Sitting in a chair across from me all alone was a unshaven crew cut fellow, next to the phone chargers with his plugged in. He was wearing a "Prospect" patch.

As I understand it ( and don't quote me on this it may be much more involved but since I'm not in a Biker Club and not well acquainted with the politics and rules except for what I have heard or seen on TV a  "Prospect" is usually someone who is in the process of becoming a member, kind of like the go to for the club. He hasn't "earned" his membership yet. So in other words he does all the stuff nobody else wants to do.

Now let me digress for a moment. I have not had tons of encounters with bikers. And most of the ones I have met were "retired" and had regular jobs. Really sweet intelligent guys who were a lot more Hello Angel than Hells Angels if you know what I mean. I'm sure there are some really bad, bad ones. But I have been lucky enough to not encounter any.

 I did meet one when my car got a flat tire and a biker stopped and changed it for me and then made sure I got to the tire place to get it repaired. He asked for my phone number and I told him I had a boyfriend and he said "OK call me if you get tired  of him." winked and rode away like a knight in dirty leathers. So I guess I have a secret fondness for them because of that one big fella and his being a gentleman.

Well I'm sitting there biker watching trying to figure out whats happened and the Prospect catches my eye. We smile at each other and I ask if I can plug my phone into the public hospital charger next to him and he says sure. I put it on the rack and then this happens.

Prospect:" That's sure a big purse."

Me: "It sure is. ( Its actually not as big as most of my friends but you know to the untrained eye it probably looks like a suitcase.) You wanna borrow it?"

Prospect: "Ha no I gotta bike bag to keep all my tools, I got everything in there you need. I'm a prospect so if someone needs it I gotta have it, tools, nuts and bolts, superglue, even socks." ( He was proud of this which I thought showed a go getter attitude on his part.)

Me:" You sure you don't wanna borrow it, the flowers would bring out your feminine side."

Prospect: Laughs,  "No Ma am I better not carry a flowerdy bag."

So we sat in the uncomfortable plastic seats of the hospital and shared a moment.

Just two people, charging our phones, people watching , and hoping our somebodies were OK.

Me with my flowerdy purse, him with his biker bag.

Hospitals, the great equalizer....












Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Searching for "The Best Dog in the World." from 2005




Tuesday July 5, 2006


I am a 43 year old woman with a 5 year old son who has the energy level of the EverReady Bunny.

He gets sick of trying to explain to me how to play rescue heroes, hot lava jumping, and placating him with book readings in all the different voices which is not satisfying him either.
He is bored playing alone and has started asking me for a baby which i am not too enthusiastic about most of the time.

So I got the idea ( mostly because of my own fond remembrances of my past with dogs while growing up)  to possibly find him a dog. I approach the subject with my husband who wants to remind me that we had an agreement to wait til the oldest cat in the world has passed on to get a dog. I bring up the fact that she is now in her eleventy millionth year of life and senile their is no sign that she will be passing on soon. so if we wait our boy may well be into college before he gets a dog.

This conversation is taking place in the car where our boy mentions he wants a brother to play with so could we PLEASE get married again and have a baby? It makes sense in a way at least in his little mind because that's the usual procession of things. My husband looks at me with his mouth and lips pursed trying not to spit diet Coke out of his nose as i try to explain it all to the fellow in the back seat but finally give up and whisper to husband "Its about the dog...'

So I enlist the help of my best girl who is a HUGE dog lover and we begin with the help of the boy to wear Dad out, or down as you will.

Its a short trip, but he finally relents and offers up the terms of the deal which may be renegotiated at any time according to him.

1. No Yappers or dogs under 30 pounds. No taco bell dogs, or teacup or anything that's under 30 pounds because they are just to small, like a bug.

2. No dogs that are notorious for snapping, escaping, or higher energy than our boy as if that's possible.

3. No breeds that are high strung or runners that will be really clever back yard jail breakers and run away like a beagle, or a hound.

4. No gold miners, no chain saws, no unhousebroken or so smart they can use the cell phone to call in a order of steaks to be delivered.

5. No car chasers, cat harassers, or that pull your arm out of socket during walks.

6. No dogs who think that the midnight bark from Lady and the Tramp should last 24 hours a day simply because someone the next block over started it.

My dreams of a teeny ball of fluff in my designer bag are out the window....

Queen of starting over #More than the gym





Oh the pool how she beckoned. 90 plus degrees outside and that cool blue water, cutting though it,
doing laps like Diana Nyad in the ocean. It was so refreshing to dive in. But the vision of a calm lap pool is gone. Its more like kid Olympics. Marco Polo, diving under water for dropped toys, trying to balance on the water board, more playing, playing, playing.  Cannon Balls, splashing, lots of fresh air, lots of sunshine. I was so exhausted I could barely keep my head up to get undressed for bed that night.

So I'm learning Fitness can be more than the gym.

It can be putting on dance music and boogie buttin around the house like a wild monkey hula dancer til I can barely breath.

It can be swimming with a bunch of crazy kids having a great time like your 11 again.

It can be fixing that flat tire on my bike Gypsy and getting her roadworthy so I can ride next week.

It can be so much more you just have to keep yourself open.

Because its all about getting moving, and staying moving, and honoring what it brings out.

Sometimes it brings out all the anger and I swing those ropes til my arms can't lift them again.

Sometimes its frustration at things I can't control but I CAN control and focus on stepping up and stepping down, stepping up and stepping down, during my Cross Fit.

Sometimes its a workout where I just don't have any energy left and I just sit in the car on the way home and cry because I'm so exhausted and all the sadness I have bottled up comes out.

Sometimes its that quiet smile and satisfaction at having done something. that I
did it JUST FOR ME.




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Queen of starting over " A broken scale and a new me."




When I started training with Stephanie,  I wanted to only weigh in on one scale and since I had one at home I just told her what it said. That was about 7 weeks ago. I had weighed in on Mondays but two weeks ago the scale was not working and I have not fixed it.

 My friend Jeannie used to say "Leave the scales to the fishes and think about how you feel and how your clothes fit." I want to believe that's what I was doing but I could just be in denial that I wanted to look at some freakin number and get depressed because it had not budged in a couple of weeks.

Conor had a Dr. Appt. this Monday I took him to,  and since I was there I just hopped on the scale in the office.
I was floored. I have lost 12 pounds in 7 weeks and so has Conor. I could not believe it. Especially since it was afternoon and I can drink a glass of water and gain three pounds.

I knew I was seeing results because I had 2 pair of jeans I had not been able to get on and could button and zip them both. Now one pair I could wear if I wanted to just stand or prop against a wall all day since they were so tight it took me back to the days of my  Calvin Klein's, when I would lay flat on the bed and use a pair of pliers to zip them up.  They'd be so tight and I thought I looked as good as a Cosmopolitan Cover girl but probably looked like a hooker after I put on all that make up, a disco shirt with no bra ( yes back in those days I had a perky little rack and rarely wore a bra )  and those 6 inch high boots. But the other pair I could actually wear and feel like a normal person not a big haired Disco Queen.

Since Monday I thought about how some places they measure weight by " stones" and wondered just how big would a stone that weighed that much be? Well today I got my answer because I worked out with a medicine ball that weighed you guessed it, 12 pounds.

While I held that ball I was so happy,  my spirit was so full just knowing that I could  lay it aside when I was finished and it was off my hands and I didnt have to carry it,  and then a bible verse came to me.

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh."
Ezekiel 36:26

And I AM starting to feel new.

My friendship with Stephanie is a blessing to me, I believe her when she tells me that I can do something I didn't think I could.

 I am better able to cope with all the stress I have had since my Dad got so sick. Today I threw those giant ropes more times than she asked for and it FELT GOOD to get it OUT.

I get to work out with my son and ITS FUN even though he could run laps around me,  he just hangs out and does what I'm doing and teases me how he's going to out do me and i don't care I'm just glad he's there.

I never knew.

I never knew it could be like this.

My new heart and spirit, welcome, please stay...




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pool Watching 07/23/2009

So today was hot. Hotter than a firecracker, hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, hotter than hell. I don't really think so about the last one but I'm sayin it anyway.

Me and Conor went to the public pool today. Not to many people at first, but its interesting to people watch there. I am amazed at what people wear to the pool. A lady had on a t-shirt, a pair of sweat pants with the legs rolled up, and a skirt over it, oh and a bandanna on her head. She was a normal skin color not a albino. Has she not been listening to Al Gore? Doesn't she know the Earth has a fever and its REALLY warm so she does not need to dress like that?

And the guy in long sleeves and jeans with all of his kids. He was MEXICAN I have to say this, why is it always the Hispanic people wearing long sleeves to the pool? Its a P-O-O-L you will be wet, you can wear sunscreen, you already have color, lots of color. I could understand if you were a vampire pale kid like mine. He is covered in sunscreen and neoprene from neck to knee his SPF makes him look like Frosty the snowman only skinny its so full of Zinc Oxide. ( You know the white stuff lifeguards wore on their noses when you were a kid?)

Oh wait you might not know that if you were born after about 1987 or so. That was the birth of REAL SPF because all of those who had been laying out with the Iodine/Baby oil mixture on silver blankets or floating on pool rafts for hours on end, were suddenly being treated for Melanoma.
What we wanted to look like

See we didn't have the luxury of laying in a nice cool tanning bed that just cooks you in 10 minutes, 4 times a week. We did it the hard way. It took hours of tanning for us.

We could sing the jingle from the TV commercial "Bain De Soliel for the San Tropez Tan," because we all wanted to look like that bronze, exotic, sexy...But no it was a job. There was prep. Stacks of magazines, huge glasses of water, beach towels on top of aluminium lawn chairs because you didn't want the ants to get on your oily skin and stick to you and the radio. You had to have the radio. Because about every fifth song you had to roll your basted like a turkey in oil body over so you could be "even",  the KXXY DJ would say "Time to turn over all your tanners out there." It was like a sport. If you didn't have a pool you just doused yourself in the garden hose re oiled and started again. We even got competitive about it.

"What are you doing today?"
"Laying out."
"Oh really me too."
"Oh where?"
"At my house."
"Oh I'm going to my boyfriends."
"Oh well we are going to lay on aluminium foil."
"Well we have these special silver blankets we got at the store so you get burned evenly."
"Well we are going to lay out on the roof so we are closer to the sun and everything."

We were always trying to one up each other. Whoever had a sunburn scab on your nose was the winner. If it was a cloudy day on your weekend you were panicked because you were missing a lay out day. One time I burned my butt so bad I could not sit down for two days. I had to lay on my stomach the whole time. I peeled like the strings off of celery. But after all the peeling I was really dark and tan.

I learned my lesson finally. I was 24 and got such a bad sunburn after house sitting for a friend who had a pool that it left a scar and I was so freaked out.

So I totally went the other way. I never went out in the sun at all. I was so pale my friends nicknamed me the mushroom. I was constantly searching for the strongest SPF. I was like a junkie looking for the best high. I'd go in the store, "OOH look SPF 30, oh no wait this ones 55, AND its thick like candle wax, surely nothing can get through that!" I truly looked like a Bedouin until the sun went down. Everyone else looked pretty and tan. I looked like a frozen chicken. But its a HEALTHY white my sweet pasty friend would say. She was even worse than me. Covered in freckles and pasty too. We were the pair.

Finally after the evolutionary process of skin care I enjoyed a trip to Florida where I played and played outside and didn't burn once. I actually was outside without wearing so many clothes it looked like a Bourka. Its damn inconvenient to swim in a Bourka.





Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Beautiful California

I went to California to check on my dad who is in the hospital there. He is not doing so well. Still on a ventilator.
In a rehab center in a bed he cannot leave, unable to speak, but still bright in his mind. We had to make some decisions about his care he and I so this was a serious trip.

 It has been 30 years since I put my feet on the ground there or admired the gold and green hills and wildflowers that grow everywhere. As we crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge I thought of the first time I had seen it and how amazed I was at its immensity.  At the beautiful, brightly painted houses one on top of the other along the streets, the tallest trees, the thickness of the green of the Golden Gate Park and the people. Lots and lots of people. There was a music Festival wrapping up  and many of them were milling about along the street. I smiled so many of them looked like the people did the first time I came in 1974, funny how things roll back around. Headbands,  long skirts,  sandals, it looked like a clip of Woodstock.

My cousin Karen who is like my Dads sister was driving our rental car, and my 81 year old Aunt Margaret was chatting from the back seat and though I was supposed to be navigating with the Garmin ( that my Dad calls "Bitching Betty")  I could not take my eyes off of the ocean. The Sunday Sailboats and all the people lining the bridge taking pictures and doing tourist things. And the beautiful beautiful water.

I had never seen the ocean til I made my first trip to California to see my Dad when I was 13 and I made him take me to the beach the day after I got there I wanted to see it so bad. It was huge, it was wild crashing on the pebbled beach and it was cold. So cold. There were rocks and it was grey and misty and nothing like what I had imagined. When I put my bare feet in they instantly became numb but I didn't care it was THE OCEAN...

I had so many firsts those summers with my Dad. My first time in California, my first time to visit a museum, eat in a french restaurant where he ordered for me,  Escargot,  and I loved it and didn't even care that it was snails. Trips to Napa to ride horses and visit the wineries, the rows of grapes stretching out forever. Riding the ferry back and forth and feeding the seagulls, ordering me a dressed up tomato juice and we clicked our glasses just like I was a grown up.

Visiting China Town and walking around Ghiradelli Square where he told me he liked to come and watch all the pretty girls sit outside at lunchtime. Going to the Pier and watching the seals and just walking downtown and marveling at the houses they called the painted ladies, telling me stories about Haight Ashbury and what it was like. We squeezed a lot of life into the short times we got to be together.

The last time I was there I was 23. When he picked me up from the Airport we drove to his  place which was the bottom of a 4 story house and he was good friends with the people who owned the house and when we arrived they
had a little party and my Dad opened a bottle of Dom Perignon the kind with the beautiful flowers on the front of the bottle  and we all toasted together. We went for a lot of walks in the hills around the house with the dogs and I talked about what I wanted to do with my life. He asked me if I ever thought about maybe moving there. It was the only time he ever asked me if I wanted to leave Oklahoma. He said he could help me find a job if I wanted to think about it. I said maybe. But I think we both knew I would not do it. My Dad was there and I loved him. But I just could not think of leaving Oklahoma.

Now I think about how brave he was to just go to California when he was young and make a life. He's been there for more than 30 years. So when he got ready to retire I asked him "Do you want to come to Oklahoma? I would help you find a place to live.." But I knew what his answer would be without him answering really. Because I knew that my Dad would never leave California,  where you can smell the Eucalyptus in the air, and see the lights of the city on the water at night, where all your friends and memories and life is.

It was awkward because of the bed but I leaned over and laid my head on his chest and listened to his heart. He held the back of my head and stroked my arm and I said" I love you Daddy". And even though I didn't say it I think he knows that I bless his life and where he is.

We all just do the best we can.

In beautiful California.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Queen of starting over August 2014 #Stuffingisforturkeys




Life does not always goes as planned. If you don't know that by the time your fiftyish then your living in a bubble.

My Dads very ill and lives in California and I just made a trip there to see him. A fast one. The kind where you are up at 4:00 all feet on the floor and asleep by ten, and the next day start again. Exhausting, emotionally draining, frustrating and having to make all kinds of decisions that you never even knew about.

I was not alone. I had my ROCK of a cousin Karen Vaughn Scherff and my sweet little Auntie Margaret Charleton with me.

I will say this about being in crisis mode. I used my Argus Life and would have 3000 steps in (sometimes before one P.M.)  running the halls of the rehab/clinic, and also the days I flew in and out of California. I could just hear Trainer/Stephanie in my head telling me to keep moving especially when I felt like the top of my head was about to blow off from all the crazy...

My Dads friends were kind enough to bring us some fruit, cheese, smoked fish and good bread to the hotel so we could eat healthy and the hotel had a morning buffet where I resisted the waffles and ate hard boiled eggs or cottage cheese and fruit instead for breakfast.

Lunch and dinner I was able to indulge my love for seafood and still eat decently avoiding rich sauces and opting instead for fish prepared in a healthy way with seasonal veggies.

At night I stretched and did some yoga before bed ( I called it Wallerin ans in I'm gonna lay in the floor and Waller don't pay me any mind folks."  and also tried to stretch a little during the day to keep from becoming sore and miserable.

Did I "fall off the wagon"?

I prefer to call it showing myself some grace...

 I did indulge myself in a piece of beautiful lemon and blueberry cake which I shared with my Auntie. I also just had to try the IN and OUT burger just to see what the fuss was about. Burger good. But McDonald's fries are still better.

All in all for a person whose addicted to food and, "Stuffs her feelings" I felt like it all went pretty well.

Dealing with all this is the new normal for me. And I can do it....

It boils down to this, feelings don't kill you, keep moving, healthy food is good, and a little bit of sweet is OK.










Monday, August 4, 2014

California Here I come



My Dad and my Mom got married very young. Had me right out of the gate. And then D-I-V-O-R-C-E.

He went to Korea. She went back to Oklahoma.

His family is very close knit and were heart sick when my parents divorced. His parents made a trip all the way from South Dakota to Oklahoma just to see me. I didn't know who they were but I was a sweet friendly little five year old so I sat on their laps and talked to them, I have pictures of myself a little tow headed girl on the couch with them...

When my Dad came back from the war he wanted to see me. But my Mom was getting ready to get married and making a new life a new start and a new family. So my Dad honored that and went on to live his life after getting out of the Army.

He was in Denver a little while but then moved to Sausalito, California. He built a life for himself there. He was a bartender for years and grew to love the people and place where he lived.

I was 12 and by this time my mother was divorced and that guy was well,  lets say he wasn't cut out to be a husband or father. My mom was dating some so when the phone rang and this mans voice asked for my mom I was being nosy and said "Who is this please?". I was caught off guard by this man telling me "Suzie, I'm your Dad."

They made arrangements for me to go to fly out to meet him.

I got off the plane and was surprised.

He was tall and slim. I called this his cowboy phase. He was wearing a denim jacket, a cowboy hat jeans and boots.
He had curly blondish hair, and looking in his face I saw

guess who....It was me.

Then he took me to the Cat and the Fiddle where I had my first French Dip Sandwich and then into the hills where he lived with some roommates in a beautiful house down the street from where Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe had lived.
We walked down to a lake where I threw sticks for the dogs into the water. We went to see Jaws and then to Muir beach I saw and felt the ocean for the first time I was so surprised it was freezing but he wouldn't let me and  his dog Moki get in the water because we had just seen the shark movie.  He took me to see the giant Redwoods, China Town, Giradhelli Square. We ate Lobster, and Crab, and Escargot ( which he confessed later were snails in garlic butter and I loved) and Duck a L'Orange which was not so good.

The entire time I kept looking at him listening to him and drinking in this life he had that was SO DIFFERENT from mine.

As I got older my Dad and I fought to get closer. I was really mature and could take care of myself so that part was easy. But me being a teenager was not. Because most of the time I talked and acted like I was a thirty year old. Like the time I confronted him about some of the partying and I learned to just take the dogs and leave and go down to the boat slips beneath his house because all the drinking and people were too much for me. I just wasn't used to that free wheeling California bachelor lifestyle.  And he wasn't used to having a kid. He was just a big kid himself.  So we both were struggling.

Over the years my Dad and I have worked it out. I didnt boss him except at my house where he'd reply "Yes Dear" and roll his eyes dramatically. He turned out to be the best grandfather you could ever ever ask for. He and my son have a relationship that is the stuff of a great novel. The only fly in the ointment is my Dads health has declined over the years AND he lives all the way in California.

My Dads routine surgery landed him in the ICU, hooked up to a vent. He has recently been moved to a rehab center where he is still on the ventilator. He cant talk at all. So myself, his niece Karen and sister Margaret are going to rally round his bedside. The Minnesota family. The South Dakota family. The Oklahoma family. And the rich wealth of California family. The ones he has picked over the years that loved and stood by him through thick and thin.

I don't know what the future holds. I don't know if I'll ever hear him laughingly call and say "This is the Geezer checking in." on my answering machine. I have had to have some tough conversations with my son who prays fervantly for his Grandfathers recovery and we share a box of kleenex and hold each other.

But what I do know is this.

 Family is the people who love you when you feel unlovable, who keep calling you back when you leave, and stand up for you when you cannot stand up alone. Who forgive and love and prove in so many ways that you are valuable and important.

And, Amen....







Togetherness and the new normal #Queenofstartingover Week 4



Well week four rolled around before you know it.

I can actually move better. I feel a little stronger. I'm starting to crave healthy foods and accept healthy habits like portion control and cutting out  most refined carbs and candy.

I also am trying to drink a gallon of water every day. I thought it was crazy when my friend mentioned it but I also noticed two of my friends who are fitness competitors do it and talked about how good they felt. I don't know if its just wanting it to be true but I actually feel less tired and achy since I started. I have yet to drink an entire gallon mostly only 3/4 of the way through but its enough to feel a difference.

One thing that I love is that my son Conor wants to go workout with me. And Ms. Stephanie doesn't mind she likes him.


It just looks easy
We both did the treadmill to get our heart rate up and he did the weightlifting with me. But he kept drifting over to the machines...


Of course he's fascinated with the machines and has to try them out. His comment after this one was "Dang it just looks easy..."


Conor attacking me after the Planking...
I was doing crunches. He was doing planks. Ms. Stephanie says "OK Conor you have to hold your plank til your Mom finishes her crunches."

Now I can do some crunches. Believe it or not I am the crunch Queen. So I decided I'd stretch those crunches out as looooong as I could.


 Me: Hey Conor are you OK?
Conor: Yep Yep but this is hard.
Me: ( on crunch 25) Are you tired yet?
Conor: Yep I'm tired Mom just hurry up.
Me: Oh no this feels so great I'm going to do I don't know 25 more.
Conor: Mom, Mom, MOM!!!!!
Me: OK


I loved getting to spend the time with him doing something good for us, that helps to make us healthy better people. And having a teen its hard to find something that doesn't bore him.

Bonding over healthy stuff with your kid.

Yep its my new normal.

P.S. I fit back into a pair of jeans I have not been able to wear for a couple of months. WOOHOO!
                                                                             




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

10 Funniest Workout Videos #TheQueenofstartingover







I may have been in all these classes at one time in my life. Especially the forward roll class with the two hot guys....



But this is week three of training with Steph.  And its going well.  I have been sore but its a good sore, the kind where your body says "OH THANK GOD MY SHIT STILL WORKS..."



I dont wake up unable to move but I know those muscles are remembering what they are supposed to do. And it feels really good.



I do have a dream. Todays dream is to get myself back in shape enough to ride my bike with my kid by the time the weather cools off some. Small goals are what I'm working towards because its so much more than the number on the scale for me. Its my relationship with my kid, my husband, and food.



I have been trying to watch my food but Im an emotional eater and this has been a roller coaster week of dealing with my Dad and his health problems, trying to make sure he's getting the care he needs, and doing it all from 11 states away. So I'm not being to hard on myself for those Margaritas Saturday night even though they were hard on me the next day.



You know what I learned about working out this week? Dont wear my workout pants without underwear. Cause theres no way to hide pulling your drawers outta your butt at the gym.



#Queenofstartingover :)








Shit my kid says



So Conor and I went to a movie and afterwards he wanted to go look around at the mall.

Conor: Hey can we go to Hot Topic I want to see if they have a scarf.

Me: You mean the one Brad Pitt has on in World War Z?

Conor: Yeah.

Me: I don't think they are going to have a Perry Ellis scarf in Hot Topic but OK. Did you bring your money?

Conor: No you know I'm saving for a computer I'm not wasting my money on stuff out here.

Me: REALLY? So we are just going to waste mine?

Conor: UM I guess I should have phrased that better...



Conor: We need to start drinking real milk again not Almond Milk kids need the nutrition real milk offers.

( I had actually done allot of research before switching to Almond milk for our family for health reasons)

Me: You get calcium, protein, and vitamins from Almond Milk just like dairy.

Conor: But it doesn't have as much. And I need to lose weight and get fit.

Me: You also don't get the lactose or the carbs which are NOT great for you. So what about that?

Conor: Well then can we have the vanilla kind I don't like the way it tastes.

Me: Is that what this is all about?

Later we go to meet my trainer and I laugh and tell her about our conversation and as she invites Conor to work out the next day with us. I show him a magazine with a roided out guy on the cover. I say" You work out with us you will look just like him you said you wanted to get fit."

Conor says "Oh he probably got that way from Steroids and protein."

Stephanie says "You could get all muscly without steroids."

Conor: "How?'

Stephanie: "Drinking Almond Milk."

Conor: "MOMMMMM!"




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I'm the Queen of Starting Over Week One







So here I am.

Hanging out with my friend Stephanie Tolson.

Getting measured,  getting my body fat measured ( sweet baby Jesus I can't even believe it! Get this thing away from me!) writing down that stupid number that shouldn't but can be so defeating when you look at it.

In a gym.

Doing ball squats.

Doing standing push ups.

Riding the stationary bike.

Short of breath, sweaty, but with my eye on the tiger.

Cause I'm the Queen of starting over.

I'm sharing this for a lot of reasons. I'm sharing it because since I was 12 I was obsessed with being skinny.

I have gained and lost enough pounds to probably equal a small army.

I starved, took pills, worked out obsessively, and dieted.


OH the diets....Cabbage diet, Dolly Parton Diet, Oprah's diets, Potato Diet, Atkins Diet, The Zone, all kinds of Doctor diets, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil. Dr. Feelgood. OK not Dr. Feelgood...

Eat for your blood type, eat right for the season, eat like the Bedouins, eat like Moses.

The Mediterranean diet, the regional diet, the South Beach diet.

I have danced with Richard Simmons, joined several gyms, Zumba-ed, Boombahed, worked out at home, Jazzercised in and out of the water. I have logged enough miles on a treadmill and stationary bike I could have circled the United States.

Ive been everything from a size 7 at my smallest to a size 26 at my highest and spent a fortune on clothes.

I have never felt like I was the right size. Even one summer when I was 18  and I got strep from starving myself and got down to 115 pounds for about ten minutes. I did know what it was like to have a flat stomach and get attention in a bikini to be Blondie and tan but never felt like I measured up. Not the way I thought I should.


I never had thigh gap, I never had those elevated collar bones, I never had those legs where you could see the knees and shin bones when you crossed them.


I have struggled so much especially the last ten years. I have been up and down ( mostly up actually) worked out with several different trainers all of them good at what they do incorporating dancing and boxing and working my ass off,  keeping their game face on as I leaned over a trash bag gagging.

I got fit. I lost 45 pounds. I got strong. I could ride my bike for hours and enjoy it even though it was hard.

But at some point I always fall off the wagon.

My trainer retired to have a baby so I just quit. I just gave up and surrendered to that voice in my head that made all the excuses. Its too hot,  its too cold, I'm too busy....I'm too tired.

I put the pounds back on and gave up.


But the other day I was thinking about how I missed riding my bike and being outside and feeling GOOD  and heard this song and it was like a bolt out of the blue, heres what she said...

 "The Queen of Starting Over" by Beverley Knight

"In every life a little rain must fall, there ain't nothing perfect, don't put yourself on hold, the earth is turning and it will turn again, I can tell you cause it happened to me child the world don't end,

I'm the Queen of starting over

you can put the crown on me

right on me

right here

I'm the Queen of starting over

take your life where you want it to be

AND MAKE IT HAPPEN"...."


Sometimes things just come together you know?

My good friend Stephanie Tolson at Evolution Fitness told me she would be my personal trainer and get me back on track.

So here I am me and a heart filled with hope, and determination in my back pocket, starting over.

So if you'd like to follow my journey I'll be posting them as "The Queen of Starting Over".

Peace out...




































Sunday, June 1, 2014

Everybody does it. *warning body functions*




My poor friend. She ended up in the ER. She had horrible back pain and cramping and felt like she was going to die. After they did some tests they figured out she was full of poop. Now we all knew she was full of it hypothetically speaking but to actually, really , be full of it to that point was awful. So every day she posted something about poop on her facebook wall. She said yesterday she and a lady talked about poop for ten minutes.

You know Dr. Oz talks about poop all the time too on his show. He says it should look like a S. So I guess if that's your initial you can have monogrammed poop. I think everyone at some point should be a little obsessed with body functions. You know we just take the whole poopin and peein thing for granted.

 I have another friend who talks about pee allot. She admitted on Dr. Oz that she pees in the shower. One time she went in the bathroom and sat on the edge of the tub to rinse her feet and accidentally peed her pants. Then she had to take an entire shower all over again. I always heard if you stuck someones hand in warm water they'd pee. But they had to be asleep.

But go figure it would happen to my pal Minivan Momma, Heather Smith Davis. ( She has all these funny books talking about it, one of my favorites is called TMI Mom Oversharing My Life )

I DO NOT take those body functions for granted.

Right after I gave birth to my son I couldn't pee.

No matter what I did. I tried the warm shower, I tried thinking of waterfalls, I wiggled and squirmed and still nothing. I cried, begged and pleaded with my body. NADA.

I was in the hospital for 4 days because I couldn't pee. Let me tell you having a cath taken out and put back in every day was torture. Everything was WORKING I just couldn't get it out. I called my church friend Suzanne and asked her to have everyone pray for me to pee so I could go home. I thought maybe divine intervention would help. Finally Sunday morning after they pulled the tube out I went in the bathroom and sat there and just imagined what it felt like when you have drank allot of beer and you need to pee.

 I was meditating on peeing like a Buddhist monk trying to levitate. I tranced out and was concentrating so hard on nothing but peeing I didn't even hear the phone ring in my room.  I swear the toilet may have raised off the ground a few inches.

And all of a sudden SWEET VICTORY! It was just a teeny bit but it was something. After a little bit of time I went again and the nurse came in took a look and said "Yep you peed you get to go home!"

I found out later while I was in the bathroom my friend Suzanne had called to tell me she was out at the fence line of her pasture looking at her cows and praying for me to pee and all of a sudden ole Bossy just peed like crazy right in front of her and she said " GOD let Suz pee just like that!"  Coincidence? I think not.

So when you give birth they start you on these stool softeners right away. Because when you push something the size of a watermelon out of a place the size of a coffee cup it kinda traumatizes you innards. And let me tell you all that stuff you use for peein and poopin is right there in the same place so its ALL tender for a long while.

Conor was a week old and our friend Carol was hanging out with him so we could just get out of the house and run to Target real quick. We go in grab some stuff and I have to pee so I run on in and wouldn't you know after a week of nothin I have to go. Like number 2.  I'm mortified. I know that this is going to be like Jack Bauer on 24 and I'm going to be beat all to hell and a mess before its over but how do you stop a train?

I'm sitting there, and I start sweating, like a marathon runner. Oh Sweet baby Jesus its hurtin. Then someone comes in and is in the stall next to me. I really really want to groan and bang my head into the door but I instead start trying to think of something else and that line from Alien pops into my head, you know the one "In space no one can hear you scream?' Only I would have changed it to "In pain in the public bathroom and you can't scream." Well maybe it was the hormones but I started to laugh. But I had to do it silently so I didn't traumatize this person. So there I am, silently laughing, pushing, sweating, and feeling like I'm giving birth again.

Finally that person left. And I hear the door and Larry says "Uh Honey are you OK?" And I say "Uh yeah I'll be out in a minute." After what felt like an eternity I finally managed to get it all over with. That was a relief like I have never known. Almost as big a relief as having a baby. ALMOST.

As I washed my hands I looked at myself in the mirror. My ponytail was falling down, with frizzies all over and hair was strung everywhere like I'd been riding in a convertible. My face was red and puffy and sweaty, I had mascara all under my eyes, I was literally a hot mess. I had sweat stains under my arms and I needed a shower. I splashed my face and tried to smooth my ponytail back up.

When I came out I saw Larry. He was sitting in a lawn chair with a book. He had made himself at home. He looked startled when he saw me what I looked like but being a good husband he just smiled, and talking really sweet like you do to a dog that might bite he said, "You OK?"

Me: "Yeah but it was bad, I know I was in there for awhile we better get home."

Larry: "Uh honey you were in there for a hour."

Me: "Well I need some peas. Lots of frozen peas."

Larry: "Cause that will help you poop?"

Me :"No because I'm going to take them home and sit on them."

And I meant it....

Now I understand why as my friend puts it "Old people talk about poop all the time."

Lesson learned.




Monday, May 19, 2014

Headin to a Weddin



Conor and Larry have a tribe of folks they hang out with that all have become framily  through a mutual love of martial arts.

Recently two of our good friends Unkie Brian and Miss Amber asked us to come be a part of their special wedding celebration. We were thrilled and when the Friday evening came around we headed out as a family to what would turn into a cross between a Americas Funniest Home videos and a crash course in the Catholic faith.

We arrived at this intimate beautiful modern church. As we walk in strategically placed front and center in a built in sculpture made of carved wood, with small river rocks surrounding it is a large blue glass seashell full of water.

Conor: "Whats that?"

Me: "Holy Water."

Conor; "Can I have your cup and straw?"

Me: "What? WHY?"

Conor: "I want to take some Holy Water and see if it boils like in the movies."

Me: "No get away from there its holy water don't be sacrilegious!"

At this point a little boy tears from his father, runs by and throws a handful of pebbles in to the font of holy water while exclaiming "Its a fish tank!"

I grab Larry and Conor ( who is looking longingly at the seashell)  to go sit down thinking maybe we will be safer from social faux pas inside the sanctuary.

We go in and sit down and quietly talk to Jeff and Kayla who are behind us. Even as quiet as we are we are still getting the eyeball from a lot of older folks like when you acted bad as a kid someplace public and your mom would give you THAT LOOK you know the one?  Where you arm hair started to shrivel and burn a little?  And then there are shushings and SSSSSSSSS coming from around us.

I just shut up and turn around sinking a bit in the bench.

Then two of our other friends come in and immediately the lady whose very chatty and cheerful AND LOUD begins talking  to our friends behind us about her new Age Healing practice, and Larry hugs our other friend who says "What a beautiful space its so open it would make a great Dojo." Which makes me laugh and their is more church police eye and SSSSSSing going on and I'm thinking to myself  "We are like the loud country cousins who don't get out much to these people."

THE OUTSIDERS.....

Finally it gets very quiet and the priest comes to the entry with his fancy Vestments on and trailing right behind him is a little guy in HIS robe carrying a huge cross.

At this moment Conor leans over and says in a loud whisper "WHAT THE HECK? IS THAT A CHILD PRIEST? They make kids be priests here?"

I say "No Alter boy alter boy priest helper."

Next Brian and his groomsmen come in,  its only about 5 steps from the entry to the alter and line up.

After that the Bridesmaids come and they do that step stop step stop thing for five steps.

Conor says "Why do they have to walk that way that looks crazy , the guys didn't have to do that is it just a girl thing I don't get it." I shake my head I don't know why....

We all do the Lords Prayer and I'm the only one who goes all the way to the end and am beet red and my friend Will leans over pats my arm and says "You just learned it better than everyone else." and winks at me which makes me want to laugh.

Then the priest picks up the bible and holding it in front of his face walks around the alter area several times. Conor asks "Why is he doing that isn't his arms going to get tired?" By now I'm as bewildered as him and don't even try to answer just shake my head.

Finally Brian and Amber are married and as we all walk out Conor can't stop himself and has to go stick his finger in the holy water, and then I say "Save it you might need it for a vampire."

All I can think of is Thank you sweet baby Jesus we didn't get thrown out of the wedding!






Saturday, May 3, 2014

FREE HUGS

Memorial Walkers take advantage of free hugs sign




I have seen it many times the saying "Be kind for everyone you meet may be fighting a battle you know nothing about."

After hearing it about a zillion times it becomes pat and cliche and you kind of don't really pay that much attention to it.  However being in the people business, touching people, seeing some of them at least once a month, its developed a radar of sorts a tickling feeling that something may not be going well.

I have had clients  fall apart and cry, spill their guts about all sorts of things, and I have held them and the box of Kleenex, just listening and trying to share some love where I can I use my special "HUG" power to encourage them and empathize and give them some validation so they don't feel so alone.  Maybe they just need a I'm tired gimme some energy quick hug, or I 'm glad someone listened, or even happy hugs,  I'm excited something fabulous happened lets be happy type. But there are some that are harder to read the quiet ones.

And its the quiet ones that get me.

She's quiet. She's pretty and happy and just glides along always smiling, always friendly. She always looks beautiful and pulled together and will share a funny story and make me laugh. Yesterday was no different. But I had a feeling. So when I got her in a quiet place I asked what was wrong and she shared with me that she was having some pretty serious health issues.

She was sad and scared and said "I wish I could just have a normal problem like a hangover." And then she laughed but was dabbing her eyes at the same time.  I was knocked over. You'd never know to look at her. And she never acts like anything is wrong. How do you fix it, how do you help this young girl that you care about so much?

 I hugged her. I shut my eyes and I gathered her up into me as close to my heart as I could and I hugged her.

Not one of those sideways shoulder to shoulder lean in hugs.

This was a I am gonna feel your heart beat, feel you breathe, squoosh you like a kid with a teddy bear, like a quarterback  carries a football,  like a fireman running out of a burning building with a baby in their arms, like a mom who wants to make you feel safe,

like its gonna be OK,

like for

just one minute,

your enveloped,

covered,

carried,

and loved.

Because that's what a hug can say that words cannot.


So step out of your comfort zone today and hug somebody. You may get treated like your trying to steal their wallet which has happened to me HA! But usually they are pleasantly surprised and will hug you back. And the power of hug is that love can flow right back into you....






Sunday, April 20, 2014

Musn't Forget






This week has been one of highs and lows. As I watched a special on the Boston Marathon bombing it brought back memories of OKC and the Murrah Building. It was one of those events that you don't forget where you were, who you were with, and how it affected you and those around you.

I didn't go down to the Murrah building til after they had stopped searching for survivors. When I did go I just looked at it, sat on the curb and sobbed for a long while. The Immensity of the act and the destruction , horror, death, and damage. All I could think was how could someone sit and PLAN out an act such as this knowing it would hurt so many innocent people? How could someone be so EVIL?

The one thing that has stayed with me through both of these events and others like them is this.

The bad guys WANTED to create EVIL.

But instead they created something else.

They created heroes.

People who ran TO the mayhem and chaos without thinking of themselves to help, to comfort, to save.

To restore and create HUMANITY.

To run into the fray of good against evil , light against dark, to restore the balance.

Because in the big scheme of things my belief is even STRONGER that there are more of us good guys than them bad ones.

That we will always turn that situation back around on them and come together more united than ever.

They will not defeat us.

And that my friends is what we MUSN'T FORGET....

Light for Dark

Happy Easter


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What is love?



Its April first.

 April fools day.

 Also the day I tell my 2 fur babies

Happy Birthday.


Lilli is first because she came first. My friend had a mama cat have 11

kittens in her garage. It was during a crazy Thunderstorm with 80 mile

Lilli the Kat 18=93

per hour winds. Deb went into her garage the next day to get her

wheelbarrow and there was this nest of kittens on a pile of tarps in the

corner.

When they were old enough we went out and

got them and bathed them to get the fleas off. With me all the while

saying, "I'm just bathing not taking I don't want another animal and

don't try to make me either." Deb just laughed and handed me another

furry little waif out of the laundry basket. I scrubbed her teeny little

body, ( it was smaller than a Barbie) and then rubbed her with the

towel and herself all the while purring like a freight train.


As I looked her over i looked into her HUGE green eyes and saw those big ole Yoda ears and said "Your so bitty."

She promptly reached out and put both her paws on each side of my chin and pulled me forward.

I tucked her up to my face and she gave my chin a nibble and that was it. I was a goner. She came to live

with me. She is a creature of habit. She stays upstairs mostly in her "room" but about nine PM she meows til I go

up and go to bed. She then comes in and gently side chews my arm it doesn't hurt) and then gives it a bath.

Afterwards she lays on top of me and purrs really loud while i gently give her a good head scratch. Shes a funny

girl, she would roll over and show her belly but if you ever tried to touch it she would go nuts. If you played with

her you better wear an oven mitt on your hand because she might get crazy. She does not do those things now but

she still comes in and lays on top whoever is in bed. She's and equal opportunity lover.

Cali the Cattle Dog 13 = 65
Cali the Cattle dog. My kindergarten empty nest dog.

When Conor went to kindergarten I was lonely. So Larry

agreed I could have a dog. I blogged about looking for

the perfect dog. It was an adventure that ranged from

Slaughterville to Midwest City.  We looked for quite

awhile before we found her but she was a perfect fit.

 She is so smart.

We could tell her "Find the boy" and she would go

search for Conor til he opened the closet door or

came out from under the bed or jumped out of the

closet where she would wag her propeller tail around and around and kiss him like he'd been gone for ages. She

loves fetch and howling at the Noon siren on Saturday.

She has a terrible love leak which means she must be petted belly rubbed and doted on frequently. Shes so smart.

 She will poke you incessantly with her nose and then lead you to what she needs whether its the back door  or her

water bowl. She taught the Yorkie how to help her catch the squirrels in the back yard.

My babies are getting old. They don't play like they did. They have lots of grey fur. They sleep a lot more.

But to me these are the best years. I look at the grey fur on the face, I smile at the snoring, I make soft warm

places for them to lay. I give them medicine and stroke their sweet faces and hold them gently and try to give them

back the love and joy and comfort they have given me. Thank you my babies. Thank you for answering the

question, "What is love."


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Zipping by the face of Danger





This is my son making sure the zip line works.

Notice my Father In Law doesnt even move in the "ZIP ATTACK".

This is what I call hanging on in the face of danger, even when you are only 6 inches from the ground.

Wish I could have seen this in real life:)












Sunday, March 16, 2014

Today its five things.

THE MOST INCREDIBLE BABY ON THE PLANET







I used to fit your little noggin under my chin and now your 14 and so big.

I have some stuff I wanted to tell you cause I'm your Mom and everything and maybe you won't pay much attention now but you might later.

1. Be an open person.

This old world has allot to offer and sometimes what we see as a "NO" to what we want right now  is really a "Yes" to something down the road we didn't even know about. Open your heart and mind to try to find the YES, even if it hurts some, because living in NO is awfully lonely....

2. Think carefully about what you choose to keep.

This doesn't mean just stuff. Of course stuff is awesome sometimes. Especially old stuff like your Old Old Grandpas pocketknife, or your first Valentine. But I'm talking about people. Your very first friends were your cousins , you have gone from wallering together on a pallet in the floor to sharing those moments of "our parents are so dumb..."
Your life's only going to get bigger and more exciting. Keep some room in there to share it with the ones who you said were your "Bess Frangs" when you were three.

3. Be silly. LAUGH WELL AND OFTEN. Find joy in letting go.

When you were two and learning to swim and dive you flopped and floundered and each time we'd laugh and clap and instead of being mad you were filled with encouragement and happiness and you'd get right back up and keep going holding onto us for dear life. But soon you just let go and started swimming everywhere and having a terrific time.  You can't move forward without letting go of something. I know your brave, keep trying. And embrace yourself, all of you, keep in mind a belly flop off the diving board can be just as satisfying as a perfect Swan so enjoy it all!

4. Know thyself. Some people fill their life with so much "Busy" time because they are not comfortable with who they are. Their is something satisfying about being able to sit in a cafe, taking your time to enjoy your meal, and then  people watch over the top of your book and not have to worry about anybody else. You will learn to savor those times when you can do something you love every day.  Have dance parties in your underwear, take up the entire couch, and not share the remote. Alone does not have to mean lonely. You are your own best friend stay in touch.

5. Love is where you come from and who you are created to be.

Its all around you. From the dogs head on your knee to your grandmothers lap.
Sometimes you have to be brave and do things for love that other people will not understand. Do it anyway. You will have people who come into your life who are terribly hard to love. Love them anyway. Love is going to be elusive sometimes. Keep looking. Because its worth it. And so are you. Your worthy of all the love in the world.

And I want you to know, just like the Dolly Parton song, I will always love you...

No matter what, NO MATTER WHAT <3




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

READ YA'll

I come from a long line of bookworms. Both my parents and my mothers parents, my Aunties, a couple of my cousins, all of us love to read.

My mom SWEARS that I memorized my books when I was little and could recite them back by rote. I prefer to believe that I had super brain and could read at three.

Books have always been my friends. We moved allot while I was growing up. SO when I was in a new place and didn't know any of the kids I'd grab a book. You would find me curled up someplace on a bed, on the porch steps, in a tree, sprawled in the tub.

Louisa May Alcott taught me what it was like to have sisters.

Nancy Drew took me on may adventures and helped me pay attention to details that made me a great solver of "mysteries" in my time. ( Yep don't watch a mystery with me because I almost always know who done it before the end.)

We had Scholastic Book Club and even though we didn't have much money my Mom always let me buy some books. Runaway Pony Runaway Dog The Incredible Journey, and Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, And the Yearling. I loved all those animals they taught me about loyalty and friendship.

The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder taught me history of our country, and the way of life on the frontier. But it also showed me the bonds of courage, perseverance, love, and family. Ma, Pa, Laura and Mary, Carrie and the dog Jack whiled away many Saturday Afternoons. And I never got tired of looking at the Illustrations the one that I remember most is the two little girls looking out the back of the covered wagon while their little dog trotted along beneath....

When I got into Jr. High it was Go Ask Alice, My Darling My Hamburger, Mrs. Mike that I borrowed from my friends. I actually picked reading as an elective. The teacher Mrs. Johnson said "Suzie, you read great why are you in my class?" I said "Because I love to read, tell me what to read." So I read the Classics, The Call of the Wild, A tale of two Cities, Jane Eyre, some Science Fiction , Fahrenheit 451, the Illustrated Man, This Perfect Day. A little Romance, Wuthering Heights and Love Story.

I loved the school library and would hang out and talk to the Librarian. I was good at looking things up, I could use the card catalogue and knew the Dewey Decimal System ( but I don't remember it now unfortunately I wander the library now like a lost kid trying to find what I'm looking for squinting to read the numbers.) but every week I'd go in and talk to the Librarian about what I had read and she'd have two or three books for me. To Kill a Mockingbird made me fall in love with Harper Lee and  I read Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, those books took me out of my chaotic life and into adventures and places where I was brave and strong and could wield a sword and fight evil instead of being a insecure, emotional, and lonely kid.

Of course I was curious about S-E-X and when I babysat for this Hip young couple and had put the kids to bed I'd sneak into the bookcase and read Everything you wanted to know about Sex *but were afraid to ask, and Our Bodies Ourselves. When I would tell my friends about what I read we would all giggle and laugh and could not BELIEVE that stuff. It said to get naked take a mirror and look at your WHAT? And we would roll over holding our sides and thinking those people must be nuts.

When I got into High School I discovered a writer named Stephen King who opened up a whole new avenue of stories. I spent many nights deliciously scared and sad when it was over but could not wait for the next horrible tale! When I did my Senior Oral book Report in English the room was dead silent as I told the story of the town of Salem's Lot and the vampires who invaded.  It was only supposed to be a hour but the teacher let me tell the rest of the story the next day and everyone sat like they were watching a play. That awakened in me a longing to be a good story teller to hold a audience in thrall, under a spell of attention because of a good story, that's powerful.

As I grew older I became interested in Biographies. I read about the Presidents, Abe Lincoln, Jack Kennedy, I grew to love the art of Frida Kahlo, Picasso, the Impressionists from the beautiful coffee table books I would check out and pore over. Who needs TV when you can look at art?

Of course I married a man who loves to read and had a boy who I read to even when I was pregnant. You will always find us with either a book, a magazine, or reading on our space age Kindle or I-pad.

But I can tell you this. Reading has made me a person, or great imagine and curiosity, a lover of a good story, classic, or modern, and a believer in the magic of becoming someone else. No matter where you  are, no matter whether man, woman, or child.

You can go places and do things, see people and great countries, even other planets, and never leave your chair.

So turn of the TV, step away from the computer, make yourself a drink, crack a book, and have an adventure....
















Monday, February 24, 2014

i love the 80s

GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN

It was the best of times it was the worst of times.

It was a helluva time in the 80's.

That girl next to me? She was my best wingman. I know its not PC to say wingman but I don't really care so MEH.

We have some great stories.

We had watched the movie "Risky Business" while getting ready to go out for the evening. We were being silly, I had the bathroom sign I had nabbed from some bar and we all took turns getting our picture made with our sunglasses on in honor of Tom Cruise and his Ray Bans.

So me and "Wingman" ( I will keep her real name out of it since she's all grown up  and everything and probably will kill me for this story ) are in the car getting ready to get out and go into Russells which was a pretty happenin place in the day. I say "Here wear your sunglasses into the bar lets pretend like your blind and see what happens." She was such a good sport and pretty much let me talk her into anything so she stuck them on and we walked in the lobby and stopped at the door to the club. There was this big guy, foreign,  new, working the door. We will call him BFNG to keep the convo straight.

BFNG: Hi ladies I need to see your driver liscense please.

Me: Um well I'm the only one who can drive so I'll give you mine.

BFNG: Wheres hers?

Me: Um Seriously? She DOES NOT DRIVE. I point at the glasses and mouth "can't see"

Wingman is keeping such a straight face it looks like she's deaf too. I'm the one having a hard time not laughing my butt off.

BFNG looks like he just ate something bad. He's all "Oh hey just go on in and have a great time how about some free drinks?  He hands me a wad of free drink tickets and awkwardly pats Wingman on the back as we go in.

We go in and walk to a corner where he can't see us and die laughing.

I say" Oh my God you should have seen his face!"

She says "I DID !"

Which makes us laugh even more. Our favorite waitress comes over and when we tell her about it she comments with "He's pretty but not much upstairs I guess!"

I requested "I wear my sunglasses at night  and we dedicated it to the BFNG and when he heard it we waved at him from the dance floor, Wingman still had her glasses on in fact wore them all night like she was a movie star...

As we were leaving and walked past BFNG I said "Do you like jokes, I have a good one." He says "Sure." So Wingman takes her glasses off and says "See you later." and winks at him.

Poor BFNG. Hornswoggled by two wild and crazy American Chicks.










Monday, February 17, 2014

Red Dirt Sweetie: The good old days

Red Dirt Sweetie: The good old days

The good old days

 Some people would call me a Fogey, a Fuddy Duddy, a Luddite.

I Just  prefer "Old School" for some things.

Like making a Dr. Appointments.

Or picking up medicine.

Like today....

Conor,  the boy who can deconstruct the indestructible  ( why don't they have a 6.99 a month replacement plan like on your I-Phone I don't understand. )  had gone through yet another pair of glasses in a year and it was time.

I don't like going to the Mall or big chain eyeglass stores. I prefer to go to the Doctor close to my house.
He has a Office/ boutique in this hip Strip nestled in with trendy Pubs and art galleries and I like to try on the 20 pairs of designer, non gender specific,  mod hipster frames ( that cost  eleventy hundred dollars and  I can't possibly afford even with insurance) while I wait for my appointment.

We have been there before so I'm thinking piece o cake,  I'll just call and get us both appointments for Monday. They have everything on file from last time already it will be easy peasy.

I called last Wednesday to  make the appointments.  Dolly, the technician, tells me the Computer crashed last year and they lost a lot of information so would I mind giving her our Eye Care Insurance info.?   I read everything off of the card  and make sure the appointment time is on my calender.

 I check my voicemail on Friday night and there is a call,

"Hi Mrs. Kelley its Dolly with Dr. X office calling to remind you about your appointments on Monday please call and confirm your appointment at blah blah time our number is 123-1234 thank you."

OK since I made the appointment and you just called and REMINDED me of the appointment why do I need to call you and tell you I got your reminder call  about the appointment that you were confirming with the call that you just made?  That's 3 phone calls for our appointments, (My Dentist does that too and I don't get it. I work off of appointments we call and confirm but don't usually ask you to call us back unless there is a question.) But I think well,  maybe they are super busy and I call and leave a message

"Yes we are coming see you then."

 Monday morning I get a voicemail its Dolly from Dr. X.

 "Mrs. Kelley you are not showing up on the eye care plan you gave us can you check and make sure we got your husbands birth date correct?"

I call and give them his birth date and his group number again and nope its not showing up.

"Mrs. Kelley you can just file your insurance for reimbursement."

"Oh how much would that be?"

"99.00 each for your exams."

"Well let me keep trying to figure this out."

  Conor has to get his brain eyes examined AND have glasses which is a big expense so I call Larry back.

 "Are we still on a vision care plan because its not showing us on this one."

 "Yep its right here on my check stub , I can try to call HR but I don't know if anybody is there, because when the pipe broke it was in the basement and that's,"

"Where the HR office is." I sigh and finish that sentence.


 "Yep. But let me try to call them."

Meanwhile I'm at the CVS Drive through  trying to pick up a prescription. Because when somebody says they can out multi task me I say



I hand the tech the two scrips  through the window and he says "Can I see your Driver License I have to punch it in the computer.
"
So I hand it to him and he says  "Will you be coming back for these?"

I'm thinking to myself "Well I'm in the drive through so Captain Obvious I would like them now." I can feel my Queen of Snarky wanting to rear her nasty head at this poor guy so I don't open my mouth I nod and he says "Give me 20 minutes." and hands me back my license.


I go park in a spot in the back looking at a tree thinking , well at least I don't have to look at garbage cans while I wait, and I get a text from Larry telling me we have a new Eye Care Insurance plan and giving me all the info to call Dr. X with.

"Hi Dolly its me ( I feel like we are buddies now I have talked to her so many times ) I have some new info."

"You spoke to my associate let me get her for you."

"Hello Mrs. Kelley this is Dolly."

"Hi I just found out that we have a different plan so here's the info for you to look us up. Blah Blah Blah."

"Oh with that plan I have to have his birthday and the last four numbers of his Social Security to look it up."

"OK its blah blah blahgitty blah."

"Ive tried that twice  Mrs. Kelley sometimes they get one little number or letter off so can you just give me his Social Security number?"

I don't like to admit this but I can barely remember MY OWN number. So I tell her I have to call her back with that and I send Larry a text  "They want your Social Security number, your blood type, and what you had for breakfast." I wanted to add cheek swab and photo I.D. but I was afraid he would get annoyed.

He calls me and gives me the info and I call back ( this is the fourth call I have made in a hour trying to get this settled I'm truly in need of a stiff drink and thinking I probably should ask this Dolly if she'd like to meet me in the Pub next door to her office for a dirty martini even though they probably don't serve people at 9:30 in the A.M.) she answers sounding chipper as can be, which makes me feel guilty and like I should be even more chirpy because truthfully all I want to do is throw a two year old baby tantrum I'm so SICK of all the back and forth.


"Hello Dolly, ( inside I'm laughing hysterically and wanting to sing that to her and wondering if she would even know what that song  was since she's probably only 19 and has never seen a musical except for GLEE.)  its me again I'm not sure how comfortable I am with this but here's the Social please tell me its on there."

"Oh there it is Mrs. Kelley we have you both down see you at your appointments."

This discourse has taken approximately 20 minutes so I drive back to the drive through at CVS.

"Hi I'm here to pick up prescriptions for Suzanne Kelley."

She goes and picks them up from the basket.

"Do you have your CVS card and drivers license?"

"I don't have my CVS card but,"

 She interrupts with "Whats your phone number I can look it up."

"Its 123-1234, and I just gave you guys my Drivers license."

"I have to punch it in the computer and you have to sign this and this."

She hands me my license, I give her money, she gives me drugs, shuts the window and I drive home.

While I'm driving home I think of when I was a kid and my mom would call and make my appointment with any Doctor. They would look at a book where it was written down when we walked in. My mom would hand them a insurance card and they would check it off on the book and my patient file. I'd see the Dr. and afterwards
we would go to the Pharmacy next door, hand our scrips over, sit down at the Soda fountain counter with the swively stools  and order two sodas and our scrips would be finished before we were.


No 9 phone calls, and a text.

No drivers license twice.

And you got to hang out on a swively stool and have a Pop while you waited.

I miss the good old days...











Monday, February 10, 2014

I hate Valentines Day

So where exactly WAS this guy all those years?

The other day my Mom informed me in my dating life I was "really Picky". I got to thinking about and I guess I did have certain standards when I was in my teens and twenties.

They were:

Single, Cute, Working, Smart, Funny, my age, liked music, books, partying, dancing, had own place.

I had dates, but not a boyfriend. So when I got in my mid twenties I changed my standards a little.

Single, cute, working, smart, funny, music, books, own place.

 I was bored and started taking guitar lessons and ended up dating my guitar teacher for about a year. He was all of those things EXCEPT he was about 35 going on fifty. He was so serious. He was vegetarian and was Whole Foods before it was popular. He lectured me constantly on the importance of a "clean colon " and told me I should have a colonic. I didn't want to look dumb so I looked it up and could not believe someone would actually VOLUNTARILY get one of those *google it, and I was slightly offended about being told I could possibly be full of shit, according to this guy.

If I ate anything he considered unhealthy I would chew gum before I got to his house. I was like a drug addict hiding my chocolate addiction.

Now don't get me wrong he introduced me to some things I might never have tried. He had lived in India and would make Indian food, (good) listen to some smooth jazz ( really good) and give me massages ( super awesome good!) he was so smart there just was not much that he didn't know about which was a huge turn on SOMETIMES.

 But sometimes it was not so fun. Like when I'd be telling him about a beautiful make up trend I'd mastered and how accomplished I felt and he'd say " You do realize women should not wear all that make up?"  It was like talking to someone who'd gone to Berkeley and majored in Women's studies talking down to you from the top of the Empire State building.

Even standing around like this didn't work
 I finally had enough of his "Sometimes I think your dumb" moments when one Valentines date night  he told me my eyelids looked like a butterfly ( and not in a good way) and that he didn't like to see my lipstick on my wine glass. I finally figured out  I was more "Stevie Nicks DIVA Hippie" than hairy armpit, no make up wearing live in a tee pee hippie like he was looking for.

So we broke up -  Happy Valentines Day to nobody....

In my 30s I went though a long dry spell. I couldn't get a boyfriend to save my life. Even relaxing my standards to Single and breathing and only living in your parents basement didn't help much.

I worked with a bunch of women in cosmetics, and all those Valentines Days I watched as the Flowers came, I smiled and nodded and gritted my teeth ( bitter much  um YES)  the talks of where they were going on their date or their weekend, what they were wearing, oh and God help me the MARRIAGE PROPOSALS.

 Every Valentines someone would say with the big eyes and pouty pushed out lips "Please work for me so I can fly to LAS Vegas on his private jet and get married to my boyfriend who looks just like John Mayer, and sings like him, and gave me this ginormous ring and filled my house with roses and bought the entire Godiva chocolate factory for me." EVERY STINKIN YEAR.

Finally I decided that I was just going to say no. I was going to rent a bunch of movies and just stay home since it was my weekend off. I would not have to see all the Valentines SHIT and brou haha that was going on or listen to it I could just have a pity party table for one AT HOME!

My single hot next door neighbor said he'd join me in a show of solidarity because he was sick of "love day" too. That Friday night he came over with two bags of Hershey's Chocolate kisses and three bottles of Champagne. We snuggled in on the couch in sweats and under blankets ( we were not dating because his standards were  he liked boys who looked like Jon Hamm from Mad Men) and proceeded to drink Champagne and eat candy and watch Sunset Boulevard. About an hour into the movie his phone started ringing. This was before cell phones but he lived next door and we could hear it ringing incessantly, answering machine would get it, then it would start all over again. Finally he said "I'm going to go see who it is I'll be right back."

I hear him talking but can't make it out. About twenty minutes later he comes back and he's dressed to the nines and smelling like the Men's Fragrance counter at Foleys probably because that's where we worked. An "old Friend" wanted to take him to dinner. I could see he felt awful about leaving me his work/neighbor wife  but didn't REALLY want to stay home when he could go out with some hot guy for a free fancy meal and maybe some hot smicky smacky afterwards. So I put on my brave face and said "Sure go ahead you look so handsome have a wonderful time." After he left I called Dominoes and ordered pizza. A LARGE PIZZA. When it got there I finished off the bottle of Champagne and 1/2 of the pizza. Then I thought "Well who cares these are the only kisses I will be getting so I'll have some more of these, and another bottle of Champagne."

I heard my friends key in my lock and woke up the next morning with chocolate smeared on my shirt, a coffee cup with Champagne in it by my head, red foil Hershey's wrappers stuck to my cheek, and the Mother Trucker of all hangovers. I looked like a cross between Nora Desmond and someone with the smokey eye look who'd been crying all night. I felt like I'd been run over by a disco bus full of Rockettes who were kicking me in the side of the head every time my heart would beat.  When that morning sun hit me I moaned like Dracula and buried my head under the sofa pillow.

After he shut the door he pulled off the pillow brought me a wet washcloth and  extended a peace offering. Two Excedrin and a liter of Ice Cold Sprite. What an angel of mercy. How could I be mad?

It was not long after that I met this Man who was so nice and funny I felt comfortable enough to tell him my wicked secret. That I hated Valentines Day. I hated how all the girls at work got Daisies ( my favorite)  and candy and jewelry and expected me to drop everything and work for them because I was single so how could I possibly have anything to do on Valentines day. poor poor no date havin girl. I was just going to get some Girl Scout Cookies and go home and watch TV.

He laughed and said 'Well you can never get in anyplace that night anyway so just come over and we can have a bite at my house."
Valentines not Valentines kiss




I came over in jeans and a ponytail. He met me in a  smart suit coat. We went in and he had made this wonderful candlelight  mexician ( my favorite) dinner, there were Daisies in a vase ( my favorite) on the table.  After we ate, he handed me two boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. I laughed and said "You got me cookies for Valentines Day that's so funny!" I opened it up fully expecting thin mints but instead it was some CD's of my favorite music. 
He had given me the best gift of all.

He had listened. He had remembered all my favorites with his "special girl dinner" and I decided I loved him.

So I married him.

And I buy HIM *WINK* Girl Scout cookies every year.