Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Among the crazy piles of boxes
And the tape and wrap and bags
I thought about the woman
That I saw was dressed in rags
She was standing on the corner
Midst the traffic and the snow
Holding up a sign that said she had no place to go
And could I give a little
To help this holiday
The sign said she was homeless
And had no job that gave her pay
I doubt the change I gave to her
Helped her out too much
But doing so helped me to see
I had gotten out of touch~
The worry and the hustle
And the rush and all the baking
To pile up all the presents
For my kids as they are waking
On Christmas morning as my kids come flying down the stairs
I want them to remember
All the blessings that are theirs
And so I wrapped and prayed for all of those who are in need
And I promised not to forget
The reason for my deed~
So remember as the hustle and the bustle cloud the reason
To be grateful that we have enough to celebrate this season
Its not about the presents or the stress to which it lends
Its sharing in the spirit with our families and friends.

So Merry, Merry Christmas
To all of you and yours
And may the Beauty of This Season
Come flowing through your doors.

Thanks For Reading

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mourning Coffee

It became a part of our family, sort of by accident a bit over 6 years ago.

When we got married, we got this gift certificate for a pretty large amount to a pretty swanky store, that we pretty much would never have stepped foot in, unless of course we had a pretty penny to spend on things we really didn't NEED. You know?

But we DID have this gift certificate. So we took a little trip to the big city.

Inside this store, we both, I mean, my husband and I, wandered around, looking for something on which we could spend this gift certificate. The things in the store were beautiful~don't get me wrong~but one thing that we both have in common is that we don't spend money on things that we don't NEED. (Well, at least I don't. My husband has been banned from "stopping to pick up milk" due to his recent "impulse" buys, like 12 boxes of light bulbs, or new "funnels" just in case they would ever come in handy, anyway...that's another story)...

So again, this particular store was filled with unnecessary items~pottery, massive candles, hand-crafted sculpture-like-things-that-you-put-on-your-mantle-if-you-have-one, things that I would not likely spend money on...except we had this "fun" money...

We walked slowly around the store...picking up one thing, shaking our heads, "No." Stopping in front of another thing. "How about this?"

"Uuummmm....not so much."

It really wasn't our kind of stuff.

"Can I help you find something?" The hippy-ish clerk asked.

Neither of us had any idea.

"Have you been upstairs? There is a whole other department up there..."


Rich people coffee. Java. Espresso machines. Cappuccino makers. Stirrers. Grinders. Beans. Mugs. Spoons. Mixers. Coffee books. Coffee magazines. Coffee experts in fancy coffee aprons...

Coffee pots.

Not just your average department store brand coffee makers. Not that there was anything wrong with average department store brand coffee makers... I mean, we had a perfectly good, well-functioning, Mr. Coffee at home...

We were happy.

 We had coffee every morning.

It was fine coffee, too.

But these machines were different. They looked different. They were stainless steel trimmed, sleek black and sturdy. Stallions.

Guaranteed to brew the perfect cup o' joe.

We peered over the models.

They were spectacular.

And we had a gift certificate.

Did we need one of these beauties?


Had we ever even discussed the notion of owning one of these masters of coffee makers?


They cost almost as much as two car payments for heaven's sake!!

But here we were...standing face to face with owning one of the best...

What the hell else were we going to buy? A forty pound beeswax candle? A miniature sculpture of "The Thinker?"

We had to spend it on SOMETHING!

So we did. AND we had enough left over to buy the "Burger Bible" cookbook.

This coffee pot had an instruction manual the size of the dictionary. We learned the basics, plugged it in, and pushed start.

And THAT was the beginning of our beautiful relationship with our coffee pot.

The coffee that it produced was better than any I had EVER had. DD, Starbucks, here, there...wherever. This was superior java.

If our guests had it, they all commented. It was GOOD. It was SO GOOD.

I looked forward to it every single morning. The best was when my hubby made it before he left for work and it was waiting for me when I padded into the kitchen, poured, and sat to watch the weather before the kids came trampling down the stairs. It was pre-perked heaven in a cup.

For 6 years.

Then, in the last couple of months, it started taking a little longer than usual to brew.

It would sigh and heave and gurgle sounds that it never made before. still tasted great, but it was certainly showing its signs of aging.


I was so excited to make my coffee and start the holiday traditions: cinnamon buns for the kids, coffee for me while I started baking...

I put the coffee in the filter. I poured the water in. I pushed "on."


I stood there and stared at it for a good 3 minutes.


I gave it a little "love tap."

Still Nothing.

Oh, no.

Oh, no.

Oh, Dear God, NO!!

I pushed the button to "off."

Unplugged it. Plugged it back in.


I was in a state of complete panic.

My husband came in and saw my face.

"What's wrong?"


He came over and gave it a smack on the side.

"I's been like this for a while." He said.

I gave it a smack. Then another.

Then, the life giving "HIIISSSSSSSSS" sound graced my ears as it started brewing.

A collective sigh of relief blended with the percolating sounds of our beloved machine.

But we knew it then.

Its days were numbered.

In the days that followed, we took turns smacking it, shaking it, cussing at it, plugging-UN-plugging-plugging it into different places around the kitchen, trying to set the timer, using hot water, colder it, praying in front of it, cleaning it again, standing in front of it with our ears next to the base of it...hoping for it to brew...

At first it would go after a couple of shakes and smacks...but as the days passed, we had to beat it longer and harder. Shake it to the point of crazy. The kids were waking up to one of us literally beating the crap out of the coffee maker. We knew it was not long before we would have to buy a...



So, we searched high and low...on-line, in stores, in the holiday fliers...for a respectable, yet practical, new maker.

We found one.

It looked like a beauty. Decent price.

Sturdy. Not too many options...12 cup...and RED. (I like that. It looks sharp).

My husband asked before he hit "send" on the order..."You SURE?"

"I'm sure."

"Really sure?"

"Ugh. I guess so."


It was done.

I can't help but feel oddly sentimental about it.

It was, after all, a wedding gift. It was REALLY nice. It made excellent coffee

So for the past few days, we had waited for the new machine to arrive. And, of course, yesterday, our trusty old maker started brewing at the first push of the button...much like the day of a scheduled hair cut, you have a great hair was almost like it knew...I know that sounds crazy. I 'm tearing up...

But this morning...OH!THIS!MORNING!

It would NOT start. I was trying to figure out how to make a DD run in my jammies...My husband was pacing in front of it...he had to leave for was not gonna brew. it was over.

I unplugged it for the final time.

Then the doorbell rang...

It was our new coffee pot. (IT didn't ring the bell, the UPS guy did...)

I took it from him like it was a newborn.

I tore it out of the box and placed it on the counter, where I hope it will remain for many years.

I called my husband. "It's here."

When he got home this evening, we just stood looking at it. He filled it and set the timer.

"I feel like going to bed now, so morning will get here faster." He said. (Love him).

And so it goes. At least, I hope.

Thanks to my Uncle Jim for the inspiration for the title of this...Thanks to the friends-who gave us the gc in the first place-Thanks to the folks at KRUPP'S...It was a hell of a ride.

I love my coffee.

Oh, and we still have the "Burger Bible."

Books are forever, you know.

That is all.

thanks for reading.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The First Day Of Crazy

On The 1st Day of Crazy
The Good Gods sent to me
An Absolutely Flooded Basement...

A Whoopie Pie Debacle
Broken Coffee Pot
Nick Broke His Thumb
Splinters From The Wood
Smashing Christmas Tree
Papers Go To Print

FIVE PRESENTS FOUND(by Tyler, of course)

Forgot My Wallet at My House
Need to Order Oil
Of Course We're Outta Milk


Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Broken Funny Bone

Where do I begin?
With an apology? A thank-you? An excuse?

Buckle up, Crazy Road travelers...this might be a bumpy ride.

First, I will tell all of you that have been wondering if the crazy, funny, nutty situations that make life on Crazy Road so, well, crazy~ are still occurring, that~

YES. Indeed they are.

Its a bit of a long story as to what happened with me, and why I haven't written about our chaotic, hilarious life. But now, as I am writing, the words are piling up in my head and ready to explode right onto this blog...

The fact is, my funny bone broke. And it took the words of a complete stranger, as well as a new friend, to shake me out of my slump.

You see, back in July, I received an email unlike any other.

It was an email from someone that I had never met.

Inviting ME to compete in the Mrs. Maine Pageant.

My initial reaction was a giggle.

ME? In a pageant? Now THAT was hilarious to me. And to my close family and friends who know me all too well~hysterical! How would someone like ME compete with beautiful, smart, talented ladies who were likely familiar with very high heels and false eyelashes?

More giggles just picturing it.

ME in a bathing suit? ME in an evening gown? ME in

And so days went by, and I couldn't get the thought out of my head. Being in the pageant would mean I could talk about Barbara Bush Children's Hospital and The Make-A-Wish foundation, and maybe, just maybe, help out these two charities that are very near and dear to my heart. so, why NOT me?

"PLUS," I thought...

I mean, this is something that is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. The whole issue of the looming 40th birthday has been really getting me down...why not do this thing and really take this opportunity to GLAM up. I USED to be glam. I USED to know what was hip. I USED to read magazines and brush up on eyeliner and highlighting techniques...

NOW I pour over the articles on banishing belly fat and reducing stress and de-puffing under-eye-bags.


So, with the encouragement of the same family and friends that giggled along with me at first, I took the plunge into the pageant world. I vowed I wouldn't stress about it. I promised I would have fun with it and not try to be someone that I was not...


I didn't even realize what was happening.

I poured over pictures of bathing suits and gowns.

My hair has gone from blond to red to brown to red to brown again in an effort to look my best.

I purchased creams and lotions and eyebrow stuff...

I stopped seeing the humor in my days.

On Thanksgiving, for instance, my beloved coffee pot @#$% the proverbial bed. Because I am a fiend about my coffee, not just any coffee pot will do. Because its Christmas, my finances are tied up in Santa's sack(get your minds outta the gutter folks, I mean toys)...and the new pot will just have to wait. So, in the meantime, my husband and I take turns literally beating the broken KRUPP'S coffee pot until it brews my liquid lifeblood.

That's funny.

But I didn't write about it. I will, though. I have a lot of "ground" to make up...

Our Christmas tree came crashing down in the middle of our living room the other night. Among shattered ornaments and tangles lights, the real me would have laughed at the situation and written about the fact that I heard the tree creaking and thought there was a squirrel or mouse a la Clark Griswold, and my husband and I were staring at the tree waiting for it to jump out at us as the tree came smashing down...

Thats funny.

But all I could do was cry and think about all the work I put into that tree and the sentimental value it had...

My husband said..."Well, its gonna make a good story for your blog..." And I barely heard his words.

A couple of weeks ago, I was trying on gowns for the pageant. As I stood in  front of the mirror, and the downright lovely lady fussed over the straps and the trains and the sparkles and the boobs...All I could think of belly fat. My stress. My worry about being judged.

This was not funny.

Last week, I met with a couple of ladies to go over my "pageant stuff." My paperwork. My bathing suit. My plan for the interview.

I answered the questions in a way that I thought was "pageant" like...

And here is my first "THANK YOU:"

During the practice interview, she stopped me mid-sentence.

She said, "You are not that funny. Everyone told me that you were funny and I am just not seeing it."

I was so taken back by her statement! After all, the one word that I am pretty sure people think of when they think of me is: funny.

What had happened? Where had I gone wrong? Had I evolved into an un-funny person?

You know what?

I had.

Shame on me.

I think I convinced myself that to compete in a pageant like this, I had to become very dignified. Very serious.

Very Not Me.

So thank you, beautiful stranger. I hope to re-meet you soon so I can introduce you to someone I like very

The other night, as I was peering into my magnifying mirror looking at my wrinkles and zits and other deformities with my ever-critical eye, my husband came into the bathroom...

"Stop doing that!" He said..."You are beautiful."

"Easy for you to say. You don't have one-single-wrinkle or and you never get zits!"

He said, "Maybe you should stop layering all those products on and just use soap."


And I looked at my side of the vanity and really saw what I had missed for months.

I have every anti-aging eye cream, scar-reducing serum, self-tanners, stuff to make my hair better, thicker, longer, lighter, darker, skin-primer, face luminator, Clearasil, line erasers, eye-lash plumpers, lip sticks, glosses, balms and name it...if it is on a Rite-Aid shelf...I own it.


And I am pretty sure I look the same as I did before.

He was so right. Again.

Yesterday, my new friend Kayt said, "When are you gonna blog again? We miss your funny, crazy life!"

You know what, Kayt?

So do I.

And lucky me, it's been right here waiting for me. Right in front of my ridiculously eye-shadowed eyes.

Thank you, Kayt.

So...onto my apologies...

To my husband. I know I have been impossible.

To the followers of Crazy Road...

Sorry...temporarily lost my funny-mojo.

I am right here...

And so, I will be in the Mrs. Maine Pageant in February. I will do my best to represent all of the "MRS. MAINES" out there who are busy mothers, wives, workers, bill-paying, grocery getting, dinner-making, tear-wiping-bedtime-story-telling-appointment keepers-taxi driving-Christmas shopping-beautiful-talented-successful ladies out there.

I will proudly wear the heels and the gowns and the bathing suits(oh.yes.i.will) and the eyelashes. My hair will be shiny and big and my "girls" will likely be taped up to resemble the boobs(yes, I said boobs, because its funny)of days gone by...

But underneath it all, I PROMISE, will be crazy, funny me.

And THAT is perfectly fine.

I am thrilled that you are still reading this. I might have thought you would have given up on it. I forgot how much I love to write about my wonderful life...I admit...I almost forgot my password to get into my own website! But of course, it came to me. Its really my own description of the real me.

Thank goodness..

I am soon-to-be-forty.

I am proud of my life and my accomplishments.

I have laugh lines~From years of laughing so much and so hard at myself, with friends and family, at funny movies with my husband, at my kids, my sister, my friends, Lisa, Julie...

I have a belly that has made room for my three beautiful babies, and is a bit stretched out because of that. In light of what I have in my kids...I'll take the stretch.

I have stress about my job as an advertising executive, and ad deadlines, and sales numbers...but I have a great job~I work with fantastic people, I have a perfect schedule...I am so lucky.

I am blessed with healthy, happy kids. An amazing, supportive husband. A great family. Amazing friends.

And a healed funny bone.

Stay tuned...I am back, baby!!

Thanks for reading...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Real Runner

People say I'm crazy.

I won't deny I have my moments of crazy. I embrace it now. I can't fight crazy any more than I can fight being short, or my fear of frogs.

What seems crazy to others, and what is crazy to me, are sometimes two different things.

Crazy to me was the thought of ever being a "runner." I've done my fair share of treadmills, and aerobics, and hundreds of different videos, ab crunchers and whatever was the new "it" gadget...but I never could get my arms (or legs) around RUNNING.

Here's another thing about me. I am naturally lazy.

Not so much in my life, as a mom, a wife, an advertising exec, grocery getter, tear wiper, dinner maker, bill payer, candy-land-ref, and all that...

But with excercise.

i no likey.

I know its a must. I have read every magazine, watched every TV show...I KNOW I have to exercise if I want to be fit and healthy.

I know.

I know.

I know.

So last year I started walking...every day, a little further, a little faster. I grew to look forward and actually liked my walks. I took Casey, my beloved Golden Retriever. And seeing the absolute joy he got from the walks made it all the better.

I even got some of those massive make-your-but-look-cute-if you-walk-in-these Sketchers. I have never had a pair of shoes that came with a DVD that shows you how to walk in them, but sure enough, in a few days I was walking on air and feeling better and better.

Miles and Miles later, at the end of the summer, I heard about a family in my town that have two young children, Brooke and Josh, who have been diagnosed with A-T. Brooke is in my daughters class, Josh is in third grade. There would be a 5K in October to raise money for research for this terrible disease that currently has no cure..What could I do to help?

I could run, that's what.

So I started running.

I hated it.

It hurt my legs. It hurt my hips. It hurt my back. It hurt my arms. It hurt my ta-tas. I think it hurt my ears. It hurt first.

But I did it. I set the goal that I would run that race without stopping. 3 Miles. I knew it would not kill me.


At times I felt like it would. I started 1/4 mile by 1/4 mile. Soon I was running that 3 miles...and I had my trusty little pedometer thinger to prove it. My heart pounded. I believe that I perspired more than I ever have.

But doggone it. I was running.

And so October arrived. I was ready to race.

The night before, I was nervous. I wasn't sure why, I knew I could do it. I wasn't out to win...I just wanted to finish. I didn't know the route of the race, but I was pretty sure it wouldn't be too hard...right?

That night, my belly was doing that know what I'm talking about...that "ohnopleaseletmemakeit" feeling that you get if you have...well...intestinal distress...the runs.


The morning of the race...I felt better. I was excited. Ready to go...

I popped some Imodium and hit the road.

I picked up my friends and drove down to the church parking lot...It was "brisk" to say the least, but the energy of the runners and huge turnout to support the family was utterly amazing. Music was blaring, people were laughing and warming up...I got my "number."

It was 40.


I told my friend not to worry about running with me. I knew she was a "real" runner, and her pace was sure to be faster, and I didn't want to worry about keeping up. I just wanted to run the whole race with no stopping.

Just about as quickly as we started, I lost her in the pack.

About a 1/2 mile into it, I found my pace, which was clearly slower than most. But I didn't care. I was doing this for so many other reasons. I was doing it for myself. I was doing it for Brooke and Josh. I had set a goal, and here I was...running.

I kept up for a while, but at the first turn, was the first "hill." Remember, I live in the "Western Mountains." Its pretty much ALL hills. I watched as the "real runners" went up and over, and lost them.

Thankfully, there were wonderful volunteers along the route to direct us...cheering us on...lights and sirens from the local Police who had all volunteered their time to direct the was awesome.

But the effing hills.

I was huffing and puffing and sweating.

This was not the fun part.

Then, at about the top of yet another hill, there was a mini water station...where Brooke and Josh were there handing out cups, and saying "thank you" to each runner...with tears in my eyes I picked up my pace. Would these kids ever run? They will if I can help it.

Down a hill and around a corner, there was a man walking, cheering and supporting the racers.

"It's All Down Hill From Hee-Yah!"

"It is??" I panted. "Thank GOD!!!" I almost turned around and kissed him.

Down hill I could do.

Another Corner...

The police officer directed me up another hill...

"Really?" I squeaked..."But a guy just said it was..."


Son of a...!

At the top of that hill, I realized I was alone.

Alone with my burning quads, my sore very un-lady-like sweat...and lost?

I had lost sight of my friend's swinging pony-tail, in a not-so-nice part of town...

I knew I had to be close to the end...but I was not sure. I think I was hallucinating. I was singing to myself.

On a road I knew would somehow get me to the end...

Where the $%#@ was I?
Where the $#%^ was everyone?

Only I could get lost in my own hometown and lose sight of 30 people running in a pack in bright, matching tee shirts...

Then I saw this person...not sure if it was a man or a woman...handing out little cups at a table on the side of the road...

"Yessssss." I was on the right trail!

I took a cup and drank it...feeling very marathony and athletic...

"Holy #$%^!" I thought out loud..."I hope that wasn't some sort of drug or something!"

This person could have been some LOONY passing out meth-juice or crack!

Was I going to die?

I kept running.

Then I saw another police lights least I think they were....maybe I was swirling...

The sun was bright...The officers directing me...

"You're almost there!!!"

"I am? I am!"

Its a good thing. I had to pee.

Now I could see runners in front of me. Now I could hear a few behind me.

I caught a glimpse of the crowd at the end.

I could hear them cheering for runners as they finished.

I was going to be one of them.

Then I saw my three beautiful children cheering for me...beaming with pride..."Go MAMA!"

My parents were there cheering for me as I neared the finish...

My friends that had finished were cheering...

"Great Job!!"

I ran in holding the hands of my two little rascals...Someone snapped a picture...Someone yelled out my time of finish...people were patting me on the back...

I did it.

And I didn't poop my pants, or overdose on that cup of drugs...

I did it.

I became a runner.

I did it for those kids. I did it for my kids. I did it for crazy me.

"Beautiful are the feet that carry good news." The priest quoted before the race started.

That carried me through. And every day since that race. I have run.

I will continue to run, and have set new goals. Crazy goals? Maybe. But the thought of running at all used to be me.

It still hurts.

I still don't love it. But I can do it and support causes that are near and dear to me. And that is the reason I run.

Hope with Every Step raised over $55,000 for research in A-T.

I am honored that I could help.

And really, really proud of myself.

Thanks For Reading.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Name Game


School is back in full session! That means crazy mornings, lunch packing, bus meetings, soccer practice pick-ups, Open-Houses, school picture reminders on the fridge, two-times-the-laundry, and lots and lots of stories!

This is Tylers first year of Pre-K, and, unlike Mackenzie, Tyler starts telling me the minute-by-minute details of his days the second he steps off the bus.

In his funny, animated way, he tells me the excitement of eating breakfast and lunch with his new friends, making play-dough, drinking from the watah fountain and his absolute favorite~RECESS!!

We've been asking about his friends, but until late last week, he really couldn't tell us any of the names of his new little buddies...

When we visited the school for the open-house, I noticed some of the cute names on the tags hanging on the cubbies...names have changed so much! Names I would never have thought of for my own children, but really interesting, unique names for both boys and girls. Some are whimsical, some are tough, some are spelled in letter combinations that may prove to be difficult to remember when addressing birthday invitations or valentine cards, but really, really different titles to the adorable little wee-ones that are just entering the world of learning.

So yesterday, as Ty was telling me of the drama that occurred in the line waiting, waiting for that precious water-from-da-fountain, I was stopped short when he started mentioning names...

"And so we were waiting in line, and "Mikey" got white in fwunt of VIPAH..."

"Wait. Who?"

"VIPAH....and den he hit huah on da showdah..."

"Ty. Hold up. VIPAH?"

"Yes. VIPAH."

"Is VIPAH a girl or a boy?"

"She's a guwal."


"Yes MAMA!"



By now he was frustrated with both me and my mother who could not control her laughter at this scene.

"Do you think there is really a child named Viper?" I asked...

"I don't know," she replied..."He is pretty sure."

"Tyler. Come back."

He had already started on his twain twacks.

"What?" He wanted nothing to do with this conversation anymore.

"Are you sure her name is VIPER?"


"And she is a girl?"

"Yes. Vip-Ah."

Then he came over to me, put both hands on my face and said,


So I repeated, "VIIII,"


And I repeated back to his very serious face, "Puh."

"VIP-UH." He was certain. Absolutely sure.

I was trying not to be surprised. There ARE some really different names...maybe "Viper" is a family name? Or a nick-name?

The rest of the afternoon went on, dinner was chaotic, more laundry, forgot that library books had to be returned, ran out of milk, work report still had to be done...but I could not get the name out of my head.

When bedtime arrived, Ty was getting into bed...I asked again, "Tyler. Viper?"

And then Mackenzie appeared in the door. "Mom! It IS VIPER!"

"How do you know? Is she on the bus with you?"

"No. I just know." She explained. "I have been hearing you ask Tyler a hundredtwentymilliontimes!"

"Have you met her?"

"Mom. Her name is Viper. Believe me."

Really? Really? I had to find out.

I called my friend Julie...She didn't know...

I hopped on facebook and was DE-Lighted to see his teacher online...I couldn't resist asking...

"Do you have a girl in your class named "VIPER?"

Her response:


"No. Its not VIPER. But he is close."

I knew it.


When I told Ty this morning that his friends name was _IPER, he laughed and laughed...He gave himself a "V-8" smack and said, "OOOHHHH. I thought it was VIPUH this whooooole time!"

I look forward to hearing all about his stories...his new friends...his water-fountain line dramas...his playground antics...everything...and if he ends up with friends named VIPER or Reptilly or Cobra, as long as they're good friends, that is fine with me.

God Bless the teachers. Hope you have a great year!

Thanks for Reading~

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Curse of Queen Frostine

I had a nightmare the other night.

The cast of Crazy Road was engaged in Family Court.

"What brings this Family to my courtroom?" Asked the judge.

"Candy Land, Your Honor," I replied. "The game of Candy Land has forced our family into pieces. We fight. We yell. We burn parts of the game in the furnace...Our once close-knit, loving family has fallen to the Curse of Queen Frostine."

"I see." The judge commented, shaking his head in sadness. "I hate to see this happen to good families...but, it happens all too often...I have no choice but to...."


What would a judge have decided?

Okay. I really didn't have a dream. But let me tell you, I believe we have been cursed.

It all started last Christmas...

The kids got CandyLand and Chutes & Ladders.

These games have been around since I was a little kid, but man, they are re-vamped today! All glossy and bright and colorful...but the premise is the same. Designed to teach kids counting, colors, patience, good sportsmanship, and yaddah bladdah gaga, these games are likely in thousands of homes all over the world. I believe in teaching children all of the aforementioned skills. I REALLY do. I just don't think they are meant for the buggers here at Crazy Road.

The second that the kids opened Candy Land, my life changed. OUR lives changed. Because counting and colors did not register with my kids. The GUMDROP PASS and MR. MINT and hot little LOLLIE became the focus. Not only that, but the cards were everywhere, and the poor yellow game piece was constantly found stuffed into the cushions or between books because neither of the kids wanted him.

The anguished cries of the poor soul that landed on "sticky licorice"(so they lose a turn) or the loser who AAAAALMOST made it to King Kandy but at the last draw picks Gramma Nut made me more and more stressed. I took the game away and hid it in my closet. I thought they would forget about it, but they did not.

Day after day they would ask for it. Standing in my closet, peering up at it as if it were the only toy they owned and were being kept away from any shred of happiness or joy...the "joy" that only the Journey to CandyLand could bring them.

I folded. But with strict rules and guidelines: No Fighting. No fits. No cheating when "shoveling" the cards. Queen Frostine would be "shoveled" into the pile right along with the double "purps" and the single "stupid" greens. I would see to it, that her card would be drawn fair and square.

Well, lo-and-behold, they did not follow the rules. Fighting ensued, crying, kicking fits prevailed, and I ended up putting the entire game(except for the little gingerbread man game pieces) into the furnace.


Was that irrational? Probably. Was it detrimental to their development? Possibly. BUT...Did it buy me some peace and quiet for a while? OH YEAH BABY. No regrets.

But you know...Tyler asked about Candy Land almost every day...for a good 7 months. And you know something else?


I bought Tyler ANOTHER brand-spanking-new Candy Land game for his birthday in August. August 9th, to be exact. I thought foolishly that the loss of the first game would remind him and Kiki that they need to play nicely together. That being a good sport and congratulating the winner, and being "happy" for whomever picked the glorious "Queen Frostine" card would be hugely beneficial to them.

uum. no.

In fact, it got worse.

Tyler would throw a fit(and I mean F.I.T.) if he didn't draw "a special person" card, meaning Frosty, NannaNuts, Minty or who-ever...he didn't even care that drawing the said cards resulted in him being sent backwards...The word "cwap" was uttered every time a "color" card was drawn. He simply does not get it yet.

Then Kiki was overheard "manipulating" the "shoveling" process and actually "counting cards" to ensure that she was the prize picker of special people a little "rain man."

It was so out of hand...

I have regulated Tyler to playing alone.

I have sent Keek to her room for "cheating." I mean, COME ON! Its freaking CANDY LAND!

So last night was the ultimate breakdown of every system I have tried to enforce.

Trying to overcome the stress of my workday and make dinner and mentally check off items from my to-do list...the screams kept coming from the living room...I squeaked my usual empty threats...eventually walking in to find my daughter strategically "placing" the Queen Frostine card in the pile.

"Kiki! Give me the cards. I will shuffle them." I demanded.

While they continued to bicker, I slid the QUEEN right out of  the pile, calmly walked out of the room, opened the trash can and dropped her in.

"See You in Hell, Frosty." I (really) said.

It wasn't until after dinner that they realized the card was missing.

"MAMA! I can't find her! I know she is here..."

They both searched. I felt a tiny bit bad, but I smiled and said, "She left. She knew that she was causing you two to fight and cry and she felt it best to go."

Sinister. I know.

But they bought it for a few minutes!

Until Chris came in...

"Daddy! Daddy! Queen Frostine left!!!!We can't find her anywhere!!!"

Chris came around the corner where I was still grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

"They're freaking out trying to find that card." He said.

"I know. I threw it in the trash."

This is where things get ugly.

HE actually got mad at ME! I had envisioned a HIGH-FIVE or a "Nice Job" from him, but....

"You can't do that! That won't teach them anything!" And my wonderful husband opened the trash and started looking for the card, now buried under the hamburg package and taco trimmings.

"Are you kidding me?!>!"

We actually started yelling at each other a little. We NEVER yell. Really. We don't.

Then he proceeded into the living room, before I knew what he was going to do...he bellowed,
"You know what you made Mama do? You made her so mad she threw away Queen Frostine!"


Questioning little faces.

My family was disintegrating right before my very onion-teary eyes.

I was Rockin' Mad.

Mad at Chris. Mad at the kids. Really pissed off at Milton Bradley. Chris was mad at me, Nick was just confused...Tyler still thought the Queen has left the building...

What was happening?

We had been cursed.

We barely got through dinner. Everyone was pouting. Our tacos were the only things making noise. Uncomfortable dinner silence. Nothing worse.

All of the kids went about their business after dinner. Tyler seemed to accept the loss of the beloved card, and saw that he could still play the game without her. Chris and I forgot our little spat and moved on...Poor Nick just went to his room to do whatever he does for hours in there...and Kiki? Well, she went to her room, too.

I was finishing up the dishes and she came around the corner.

"Look, Mama. Look what I  made."

And she handed me a little picture, perfectly colored and framed...about the size of a...

"Who is this?" I asked. The picture was of a girl with crazy yellow first I thought it was a VOO-DOO picture of me.

"It's Queen Frostine! I made it so we can learn our lesson! Can you help me cut it out?"

Oh. Lord.

I knelt down to hug her, and Tyler came in, Over-The-Moon at his very creative big sisters offering.

She cut that hand-made-Candy-Land-Queen-Frostine out...

And they lived happily ever after.

Lessons were learned by all of us.

Am I sorry I acted in the heat of the moment? Nope.

But I promise, I won't burn another board game...

But don't make me play Monopoly. I might throw THAT one right into the street. But I still am the Connect Four Master.


Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stacy and Joe: An Update

Its been a while since I've written about Stacy and Joe.

If you missed some of the very first blogs, you might not know who Stacy and Joe are.

They are very important members of our family here at Crazy Road.

Stacy is Mackenzie's friend who stays with us frequently because her mother owns a restaurant and travels between here and California. She wears purple nail polish and picks her nose. She also has her ears "peeched."  She and Kiki talk on the phone all of the time. Stacy left us for a while in July because she apparently told Kiki that I wasn't fun.

Anyway, Stacy has a sister...
Her name is Iffy.

Not Tiffany. Not Effy.


Iffy has been around quite a bit lately, too, and has introduced my 5 year old to the concept of World travel.

The other night, we were doing our whole crazy bedtime routine, when we heard Kiki clanging around in her messy, messy bedroom...

She showed up in the doorway to Tyler's room and announced that she had taken her money out of her piggy bank, and was ready to go to Paris.

"Paris?" Chris and I both questioned aloud in unison.

"Yes. Paris." Kiki declared, as if this were an everyday occurrence.

I had just gotten used to the idea of her traveling to her ballet school, which happens to be in California! Every day, she puts on her "high heels," grabs her purse and tromps down the driveway to "California." She will run around exclaiming how late she is going to be and how angry her ballet teacher will be if she shows up late!

So, back to her Paris trip...

She had on her "traveling shoes" which, again, thanks to my friend Julie, are those plastic dress up heels that come in Halloween-y costumes...her big purse, and her "Tiana" nightgown. And she had snuck my lip gloss.

"What are you going to Paris for?" I asked.

"OOHHH, ya know, I'm going to the zoo, and shopping for Tyler's school clothes."

"Do you have enough money?"

"Yes. I have a coin."

"A coin? Just one?"


"How are you going to eat? Where are you going to stay?"

"In the brick hotel. The one that Arack Obama stayed in."

"Right." I still can't believe she talks about the Obamas like they are our next door neighbors.

"I don't think you'll have enough money. Not with just one coin."

She looked at me like I was nuts.

"Its-A-Magic-Coin" she sing-songed.

"How are you going to get there?"

"Iffy is picking me up in her purple and pink boogie-car."

"Her what?"

"Her BOOGIE car."


"We are stopping in North Navornia to pick up Lola."

"North Where?"

"NA-VORN-YA." She was clearly getting frustrated with all of these questions on her itinerary..

"Who is Lo-?"

I then realized that the conversation had just sucked me in so far that I was asking questions as if all of this were really happening. And I am pretty sure I kept a straight face through the whole thing...

Then Tyler chimed in from under the covers.

"Joe got killed by a dragon today."

"Oh, no! He did?"

"Yup. And I saved him!"

"Wait. You saved him?"


And he jumped out of bed and started jumping around like he had a sword or a dragon slaying tool of some sort...and making these swooshing noises..."Like this!"

"Where did all this happen?"

"In the forest wight outside ow-ah yahd."

"So, is he okay?"

"Yes. But Beyontay got killed instead."

Beyontay. Beonte. bee-on-tay. Is Joe's older brother. Joe is Tyler's buddy. Beonte is somewhat of a bully, but he lives in New Jersey, so unless he is at camp, we don't see him around as much as we see Joe.

Joe has finally stopped stealing from Tyler's toy box, and all of them, Kiki, Stacy, Iffy, Tyler and Joe all get along swimmingly here. They eat breakfast together, they play "How to Train A Dragon" together, they have much fun.

And in case you haven't figured this out...they are not even real..

Kiki isn't REALLY going to Paris in a Boogie Car.

Tyler isn't slaying dragons in the woods.

But their imaginations are so incredible, and the details are so, well, detailed, that I sometimes think that Iffy and Stacy and Joe and Beonte are really here.

I mean, just this morning I made extra pancakes for them...

Lately Kiki likes to have sleepovers in Tyler's room. She sleeps on the "Crouton"(the futon) and they laugh and talk about their adventures and sing crazy, made up songs about North Navornia and usually the word "poop" makes it in there and they both end up in a fit of giggles...its magical....

The kids will be starting school again soon...and sooner than I probably know, Stacy and Joe might not be around anymore...I'm gonna miss 'em.

Every moment is a moment.

Now I am going to see if North Navornia exists on a map somewhere. Maybe I'll just Google...

Thanks For Reading.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

And The Mother of the Year Award Goes To...

WELL...Certainly NOT ME!!

Oh, Yeah.

I'm back, baby. So sit back, and get ready for more from CRAZY ROAD~

This particular story is written per the encouragement of my wonderful son, Nick.

Not only is he smart, handsome, athletic, kind, funny, generous and understanding...he is also FORGIVING...because living with a crazy Mama like me can't be easy...

So I'll start by saying, I am not a big Hockey Fan...

However, it is the sport Nick has chosen as his "number one."

I did not grow up around hockey. Therefore, I do not understand it. I will go so far to say that I don't even like watching it.

But, Nick likes it, and along with other circumstances, Nick is INVOLVED in hockey.

It is a time consuming, expensive sport that requires lots of dedication, lots of travel, and LOTS of moo-lah.

That being said, I want to make sure that~

A) HE REALLY LIKES PLAYING. Not just likes his buddies that play, or the social part, or the cool uniform...


B)He plays to the best of his ability. I don't need him to be the star, but I want him to always do his best.

Which brings me to his game this week.

He has been playing for about 7 years now.

His dad is really an amazing player(I'll give him that), and has coached Nicks teams since he was a toddler. It really is a must, since it's tricky for me to travel out of town with the little ones, and try to get them to sit in a freezing cold rink in the middle of summer(or winter, for that matter, but that's just me...)

So I haven't been to too many summer hockey games.

I try to like it...I REAAAAALLLLLY do. But going to a hockey game when it is 90 degrees outside somehow feels...I don't know...OFF.

But his dad couldn't make this particular game, and I would never let it happen that at least one of us weren't there for him...I mean, hockey isn't my favorite sport, but my children, and their happiness, are my LIFE! So off  we, my mom, my niece and Nick...on a hot summer

If you didn't know this already, ice rinks "steam" up in the dead of summer, making it almost impossible to see through the "boards." So, in order to watch the game, we had to go pretty high up on the bleachers, to see over the glass. (This will be a good part of my excuse for what you are about to read...)

The teams came out...our team was clearly out-manned. The other team looked like they might have been fact, I think I saw their center driving the truck that passed me on the way in...not sure...


Like I said, the team came out...I noticed some really good skaters...and some really, unfortunately wobbly skaters...and some just looked like they were napping right there on the ice...

I pointed out Nick to my mom and niece...Hmmm, I thought...Was he feeling well? He looked tired, and SA-LOW.

I will NEVER be a screaming parent at sporting events. I will cheer encouragement. I just miiiight point out a bad call by a ref/ump/whatever. But I will never yell at my child during a game. You see, I am certainly not a participant of sports. I fear confrontation and the thought of losing a game, even Connect Four, makes me queasy. So I will never criticize an athlete.


He plays like the kid that I watched PAINFULLY through the entire game.

What was he doing out there?

Our poor goaley was getting peppered...shot-after-shot...the score went from 3 to 5 to 8 to ZIP before they stopped counting goals. We had no defense!


I was so frustrated watching my kid.

Years of practice. Schedule manipulating. Dinners at 4 or 8. Practices in snowstorms. MUNEEEEEEEEEE.
Parents arguing. And for WHAT?

A kid who clearly, even from an icy distance, did not want to be there. A kid that did not "show up" for his team.

After the game mercifully came to an end, the fans from our side tromped out to the lobby, to wait for our "Bears."

I even mentioned to another mom that I was frustrated that my son really didn't play well...he sure didn't give it his best.

Then Nick came out, smiling as usual.

"Jeez, you feel sick or something?" I asked.

"No! I feel fine!"

"Well what the heck happened out there?"

"What do you mean? You don't think I played well?"

"Honestly? No! I don't! I watched you dope up and down the ice and let your goalie get slaughtered..."

I went on...

He was pissed.

He argued...

I should have stopped. But he argued that he thought he played well, considering the other team was so much more experienced...

Our conversation continued.

It really should have stopped. Given that I really am not an expert in  the game, and the only time I ever tried to play was during a parent-player game...and let's just say I screamed like a baby the whole time I was on  the ice. Nobody would skate near me...I was like a Ban-Shee with a pink hockey helmet.

I made a comment about watching number ** "zombie out" when Nick interrupted...

"Uh, Mum?"


 "I'm number 12."

I slammed on the brakes.


"I'm number 12. Not **."

I almost drove off the road.

You mean I watched the wrong KID?

THE ENTIRE GAME?!??$$?@?#???


"I thought you were number **! You've ALWAYS been number **!"

"Not in summer hockey. You watched the wrong dude."

Not only had I just spent the better part of the afternoon watching a game I clearly don't understand, in a freezing, foggy ice arena...but I didn't even see my kid play!

"Do you still think I had a bad game?" He was actually laughing.

"I am soooooo sorrrrrrrrrrrrryyyy...."

My son is so forgiving of me. Thank Goodness.

It is a moment I'll never forget.

I know he won't forget least until he gets that new DS game that I promised him...

So, I won't be getting the Mother of the Year Award yet again...But...I learned more valuable lessons on parenting.

Sometimes its tough balancing, work, school, sports...

Its okay to make some mistakes...We HAVE to! But find a laugh in it, learn a bit from it...and move on.

And remember to make sure you know what number your kid has on his sport jersey. You wouldn't want to miss anything...

Thanks For Reading...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Laughter Through Tears

"Hey, Grampa."

I still talk to him, even though its been 6 years since he passed away.

I usually find myself talking to him when I see a Cardinal in my backyard. Or when I find myself turning the furnace down during the day, even during the coldest of days. Or when I'm at the Credit Union and I decide to withdraw ONLY what I need, not twenty bucks more. Or when I see the surplus of Anti-Freeze that is in our garage...

I talk to his picture and ask him for help...I think of him whenever I'm putting gas in my car, wondering if I had gone a couple of miles down the road, would it have been cheaper?

My Grandfather passed away very unexpectedly 6 years ago. He was getting ready for church, and just like that, he was gone.

I got the call that hot Saturday afternoon, and remember every second about the moments and days that followed.

It was chaotic~my parents were vacationing out west somewhere~My Grandmother and Uncle and Sister and Cousins and I were trying like mad to contact my Mom. Arrangements had to be made. I remember HATING the word "arrangements." Arrangements for the services. Arrangements for the luncheon. Flower arrangements.


I think they are put in place so that people who would normally be falling apart are forced to think somewhat straight and focus on details, so as not to think about the loss.

I remember being at the florist and when the lady asked me what I wanted the ribbon to say, I replied:

"How about...'THIS SUCKS.'

That's what I felt. That is what I wanted on the ribbon.

She looked at me, confused and sad. I felt a little bad for her, but I felt worse for me.

I settled on some lovely message and moved on.

I am writing this with some very special people in mind, and because~

It has been on my mind, since every year at this time, my whole family remembers him.

AND, knowing many of my friends are experiencing loss right now, I wanted to share some funny moments that occurred during my own time of sadness. One of my favorite quotes is from the movie "Steel Magnolias~"

"Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion."

Like I mentioned, my Mom and Dad were away when my Grampa, Tony Luciano, passed away. No one saw it coming~and my Sis and Cousins and I were there to make necessary arrangements~

So obviously, we were all exhausted. It's the kind of exhaustion that you can't even really explain. Not really sleepy tired, but more like numb.

And I had a headache that got worse by the second. Stress does it to me every time.

So at one point, I finally found some Tylenol in someones house~my Mom's, Julie's, my Sister's...who knows? But I remember taking 3...or 4?


My sister and I were driving to Augusta to find a dress for my Grammy~for the services.

I was driving...I didn't feel great...and I was feeling so incredibly headache was gone! Thank Goodness!

I suddenly realized that I was getting so sleepy! Like I could not keep my eyes open ANY longer. I said to my sister, "Kate...what is WRONG with me? I am so tired all of a sudden!"

We were both thinking, "it's just all catching up..."

"At least my headache is gone...I finally took some Tylenol..."

She got a strange look on her face..."WHAT Tylenol?"

"It was on the counter..."


"Oh My God! I took, like, FOUR!"

I just about drove off the road. She was laughing...I felt like I had just sucked down 10 Margaritas...

That was one of those moments that we look back on now and laugh...

That afternoon, we FINALLY got in touch with my Mom and Dad, and ARRANGEMENTS were being made to fly them home, and pick them up from the airport.

The closest and quickest flight would only get them to Manchester, New Hampshire. About 3 hours away from us...and there were complications. I can't remember ALL of the complications, but they were there. Complications that complicated every complicated travel plan we came up with. They were with friends. Their cars were in Portland...We needed two vehicles to get to them...Their flight wasn't getting in until midnight...And so on...and so on...

So it was decided that I would drive down to Portland with my wonderful, down-to-earth cousin Bryan. We would pick up the car in Portland, and continue on to Manchester to pick up my parents and their 4 friends(or was it 6)?


Thank goodness for cell phones...Bryan and I actually had a good time talking and catching up, crying together, but laughing together, too. Grampa left us with so much to remember.

I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for the "Largest-Most-Caffeinated-Whatever" they had to counter the Tylenol PM that left me hungover but still headache-less..

But THAT caused ANOTHER problem...

Oh, yeah.

By the time we reached the state line, I had to PEE.

Not just a little.


Damned coffee.

I called Bryan who was now following me in the other car.

"Bryan. I have GOT to STOP SOMEWHEEEEEEERE!!!!!"

But the highway stretched on forever. And we were on a schedule.

How we didn't get pulled over is beyond me...I guess Grampa had already started looking out for us.

I was sweating bullets by the time we flew through the toll booth in New Hampshire.

There was nothing I could do.

I pulled into the commuter lot, Dukes of Hazard style, with my poor, kind of shy cousin right behind me.

I peed my pants.

I could not have cared less. Bryan is still traumatized to this day.

My two different colored flip-flops were soaked.


Thankfully, there was a blanket or something that I finagled a big diaper out of and went on my way.

That's how I showed up to pick up my parents at the airport.

In a diaper and two wet flip-flops. One blue. One orange. THAT I remember.

It was the best thing that could have happened.

It was funny.

And we all needed to laugh.

Another situation occurring at the very same time was the fact that I had just met Chris. I had only known him for two weeks at the time, but he was right there for me and my family. Through it all. I knew I was going to marry him when I finally broke down and cried, and he just held me and didn't say a word. He took my son and niece for walks around the block when "arrangements" were being made. He held my hand tight in church before I did a reading. I said yes right away when he asked me to marry him soon after~I knew Grampa would approve.

We still miss him. Tony Luciano.

But boy, he left his family with so much!

Wonderful, funny memories. An un-matched work-ethic. An eye for a "bargain." The importance of saving money. Patriotism. Love of Family.

In the days that followed we learned so much about him. About his childhood. About his love of baseball. About the War. His friends. His family. That he saved every pair of shoes he had ever owned and stuffed them in a hall closet. And so, so much more.

We already knew how much he loved us. We know he knew how much we loved him. And still do.

It's easier now to recall. It does get easier.

The beauty of it all is that we, as a family, grew even closer. We got back together with friends and family we hadn't seen in years. We realized how wonderful our friends and community were.

We learned again how important it is to say, "I love you." And show it.

So, if you ever question whether or not to buy in bulk...just do it. Do it because Tony would have.

Especially Anti-Freeze.

Look for the lowest gas prices.

Root for your home team.

Sing "The Star Spangled Banner" with your hand on your heart.

Save your never know.

And laugh when something is funny. It's okay.

Love to you all that are grieving.

And Thanks, Grampa.

Friday, July 16, 2010

SSSSScared Out Of My Shorts


Dignified is not a word that I, or anyone else that knows me, use as an adjective to describe~me. (I know that this is not grammatically correct, but I am still traumatized). Just know that I have no problem sharing some of the details, as humiliating as they may be, because without these said details, I could not paint the entire picture of what life is really like here at Crazy Road. Read on~

This story is NOT for the weak of heart.

RB~you might want to get the 'depends.'

BOY, It's been one hot summer so far, hasn't it? I mean we have been in this heat wave for weeks now!

I'm NOT complaining~But with this heat has come some slightly unwelcome issues. Like the fact that my hair has not responded to product. It's unruly. And I am constantly shiny. Not the pretty, dewy shiny like the babettes in the Victoria's Secret catalogue, either. I'm talking downright sweaty. I know. I paint a gorgeous picture, right?

Also, we are trying unsuccessfully to keep our pool free of the yuckies.

Another issue has been the on-set of some creepy-crawly critters that even I have not seen here at the 'Road.

Yes, we have birds.

Yes, we have those squeeeby ear-pinchy thingers that seem to be everywhere.

And yes, the frogs are back in town.

Hence, the beginning of the actual story.

It happened yesterday.

I went out as usual to check on the status of the pool.

Frogs? Check.

Dog hair clumps? Check.

Any flip-flops or goggles at the bottom? Nope. Check and check.

There was still that NAGGING pile of whatever at the bottom and I decided that I was going after it. Clothes and all.

We have this vaccum-ish device that attaches to a garden hose and literally blows up leaves and stuff from the bottom of pools. It's a pain to set up, but if you really work it, it does the job.

So I hooked up the hose and the net and the handle and got right into the pool.

I got a few net-fulls and called it good.

I got out of the pool, obviously soaked.

So soaked that my shorts were doing that sagging, almost falling off thing that, why I have no idea, is the trend with some guys nowadays. I had to hold them up.

No matter, really. I was heading right in anyway.

I walked over to the "hose house" to crank in the hose. After all, I wouldn't want anyone tripping on it! Sheesh!

As I was cranking the hose, I felt it kind of stop...I couldn't really see it, but I could tell where it was probably caught.

I reached into the opening to jiggle the hose free...I've done it before...

I can barely type right now...

I grabbed the hose and felt something move...

I pulled my arm out along with AAAAAA SNAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKE!!!!!

^%$$ &%&*%

It actually started to COIL up my arm!!!

I started screaming and flinging my arm and jumping around and flung that thing as far as I could fling...not sure how far because I just ran-jumped-sprung-like-tigger-as-fast-as-a-person-who-just-grabbed-a-snake-moves in the WAAAY other direction.


And I jumped right out of my shorts in the process.

I was (and still am) so completely traumatized by this, I can barely write about it without my toes curling up.

I totally lost it.

I don't believe anyone saw me. Thank goodness my kids were in the house engrossed in something loud.

I used to wonder if I could scream. You know? REALLY scream. Like the girls that scream in the Friday the 13th movies? When you try, it just doesn't sound as loud and well, screamy.

Let me tell you~

I can scream.

And run.

I don't know why I ran...I'm sure that snake was probably just as startled as I was...

Thank goodness I got my bearings and realized I had no pants on before I ran all the way around the house.

But even if I hadn't...I really didn't care.

Holy #$%^.

There really is no moral to this story.

Only now you are more aware that snakes are in places where you might not's HOT for goodness sake. Check your hoses with a long stick, or metal rod, or whatever you have lying around.

If you live within a 20 mile radius of 145 Crazy Road...I'm fine. A little shaky. But fine.

So, I'll now add snakes to list of critters that bother me.

If anyone needs a good screamer~have your people call my people.

God Bless Crazy Road.

Now, where's my wine?

Thanks For Reading.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's A Small World, After All...

This may be one of those stories that you need to read, and re-read, and maybe read again.

I HAD to write about this because, although it might not be "HAHA FUNNY," It's something that happens to me more and more often...

When the universe, and the strangeness of it all, rears up and smacks you right in the fanny. Or, wherever you need to be smacked to get the idea...

So here I go...

Last week I had to stop up to my mom's house to pick up some things that I had left the day before...sunscreen, a pan, my flip-flops...items that weren't going to ruin my day if I didn't have them, but I had a quick chance to run over there, so I did. My parents, just in case you didn't know this, live in the same house I grew up in, a couple of blocks away from Crazy Road...

My best friend, Julie(Hi, Jul) still lives next door to them(!)
(She and her family live in the house that SHE grew up in...I's cozy)

Anyway, I darted into my Mom's, grabbed my loot and ran back out...

Julie was standing in her driveway...Naturally, I walked up to say hi. (Even though we talked on the phone earlier...we talk every day...we have since we were little kids...)

She was on the phone, talking with her hubby about buying an air conditioner.

"Okay. Yup. Great. No, go ahead and get the ten...Okay. Okay. Yup. Okay. Love you too..."


So we picked up from our earlier conversation...we had gone to the beach the day before, and still were hashing over the funny moments...


And this is where is got weird.

She had that very confused look on her face.

"Um...I really have no idea...Who is this again? I am? I really...I am standing with SOMEONE who might be able to help you..."

And she handed me the phone...

She still had that look of someone who might have landed in a foreign country with no idea how they got there...or something...


"Hi. This is 'Kim' from 'SoAndSuch Kennel,' I need to reach Jim Smith. There has been a little incident with his dog." (names changed, of course).

Okay. Follow closely...

Jim Smith is my former brother-in-law. Still a great friend of my family...but this lady had not called me, or my sister, or my parents...she called MY friend...ACCIDENTALLY, and I just HAPPENED to be right there!!!!!!!

"This is the number that 'Tina'(Jim' fiance, whom I have not met) left for an emergency number. Do you know how I can reach Jim or Tina?"

"Gosh...I can give you MY sister's number. She will know how to reach them..."

Now, Julie would not have been the right contact, she doesn't even know the whooooolllle call was a very fortunate coincidence.

The dog is fine, by the way.

Then, this past weekend, ANOTHER chance meeting occurred...

A couple of weeks ago, Jodi, one of the owners of Turner Publishing (and my friend) sent me a message to call "Patti." Patti is a friend of Jodi's who wanted to talk about advertising in our papers.

After a bit of phone tag, I finally spoke with Patti, and set up a meeting for next week. Nice.

So this past weekend, I grabbed the opportunity to go out to dinner with a couple of "girls" that I wouldn't ordinarily be able to see outside of work...with a little re-arranging, used to be so easy...I met up with Jodi and Tami for an impromptu dinner.

We were having a great time chatting and laughing when Jodi got a surprised look on her face~

"Hey! It's Patti!

Well, THAT's cool!

Patti walked over, Jodi introduced us...

"Hey! Isn't this something else?!"

"Love when this happens!"

"Oh!" Patti said. "Let me introduce you to my husband...'Eddie~'


Patti continued...

"You might know him by "Frenchie~he used to be on the rad...."

"OH MY GOODNESSSSSS!" I almost jumped off the chair...


Now everyone looked confused. And I MIIIIGHT have been a bit, um, hyper, after having a fantastic margarita...

"You are SUE's nephew!" I said to Eddie.

He looked stunned.

"I am Sue's niece! Uncle Mike is my mom's brother!!!!"(Sue married Mike)

I had always heard about "Frenchie" and his funny stories, but had not "met" him since my Aunt and Uncle's wedding more than 30 years ago.

My Aunt Sue is his Aunt, too, but on her side...Get it? My first cousins Scott and Bryan are HIS first cousins, too, on different sides.

Get it?

AND he's Patti's husband.

I might not care. But I LOVE stuff like this. Like the sandwich incident at the trade show. Like a million other times when you are in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time, and the Universe just lines everything up. And smacks you in the fanny.

It's how I met my husband...I'll get to that sooner or later.

Open your eyes. Listen to people. Talk to strangers.(well, not in dark alleys...or anything). The Universe is always waiting for a good smack.

Thanks For Reading.

Here's A Quickie

"Now that my feet are clean, I can lick 'em!"

Yes. Of course.

That was a quote from one of, and I'm not going to specify which one, my kids. Last night. After showers.


How do I respond to that? Sometimes I am just at a loss for words.

But I had to ask...

"Why do you want to lick your feet?"

"Because it makes (siblings) laugh."

"Oh. You know you really shouldn't lick your feet."

"Why? It's funny!"

"I suppose...but there are other ways to be funny, you know."

"Like what? What could be funnier than licking your own feet?"

Okay. It was Mackenzie. My beautiful, delicate, lovely little baby girl..

Forget it. It's true. That IS funny.

That is all for this one.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 2, 2010

How To Fling Your Froggie

They're back.

I knew it was going to happen sooner than later.

In fact, I am actually relieved. I hate the feelings of anticipation and anxiety, about something I'm not 100% sure will even happen. It's like the saying, "Worry is a wasted emotion." I have been psyching myself up for a few weeks now, but they have not come.

Finally. The froggies are back in the pool. Let the games begin.

So, like every summer so far here at Crazy Road, I, the fearless creature-catcher, am embarking on a 2 month, ongoing, nerve-wracking, heart-pounding, sweaty-handed battle with the Froggie Army.

And I do mean ARMY.

Because there are not just a few slimy slippies darting around...there.are.twenty...five...maybe thirty. And just when I think I have flung the last of 'em high and far over the fence, another shoots out from under a float. And my heart thunders once again. For there is really no rest for a frog-fearer like myself.

My husband asked the other day...why I don't actually SWIM in the pool. I SIT by it...I walk around it...I occasionally stick my feet in...but he's right. I rarely, if ever, swim.

I no longer view the pool as a summer oasis of refreshing fun, but rather a WAR ZONE. A battle-field, if you will.

This morning, although later than in past years, I armed myself with my trusty pool net, and waged what might just be, the trickiest, toughest fight yet.

It was rather cool this morning, I brought my coffee out, Casey excitedly trotting beside me...he knew they were there. He could smell 'em. At least, I think he could...I heard them before I saw them...splishy..little...blurbles...little effers.

I put my coffee down.

I took a deep, shaky breath.

I picked up the net. I did the Sign of the Cross and took my position at the side of the deep-end.

There's one. Two. Five at first count.

I quickly flip the inner-tube. Six!Seven! A-HA! I knew it!

I walk gingerly over to the other side.


Little bastards.

Two more in the skimmer.(My most difficult area to maneuver...I have to force them out against the current so that I can chase them down with the net. I leave that for last).

I form my plan of action. For I have learned not to go forth without a plan. And I am pretty sure they are expecting me.

You know that scene in "The Little Mermaid," when the cartoon froggies are swirling around together, singing?

That is what I believe they are doing, dancing around the bottom of my pool together, ribitting a mocking song about me...

I hate them.

They are certainly not fond of me.

I can hear the faint tune of Phil Collins in the back of my head..."I can hear it coming in the edge of night..." That is my battle hymn.





I re-group.

They've gained strength over the spring. They are ready.



Got him!

I level the net and shot-put him careening over the fence.

Casey barks and gallops across to chase him...he is thrilled!

I watch the little shooter squap away. Casey won't hurt him. He just wants to play a little bit. hee.hee.

This continues for another 1/2 hour. These little suckers are quick!

But I hit my stride and one by one, about 15 ribbiters took the flight of a lifetime.

By the way~this is not done easily by me. I have been terrified of frogs and/or toads(is there really a difference?) my whole life. If you have not read "Frog Days of Summer, please refer. My heart literally pounds harder than ever during these battles, and I sweat and curse and scream at them...I banish my kids to the house, but they appear in the window...noses pressed against the glass...they have no idea what their crazy Viking of a Mama is doing. If you have seen the movie, "How to Train A Dragon," I am like Stoic, the Viking leader, and someday, my children will continue the fight. I want them to learn. For it won't be long before they will wield the very same pool net that I clutch in my hands. Every.Stinkin'.Day.

I wipe the sweat from my brow.

I swill the last of my java.

I head for the dreaded skimmer.

I lift the lid (so nerve-wracking).

Now there are THREE?!?

Jesus. Did they have a froggie baby while I was clearing out the rest?

I have discovered that using one of the kids sand shovels is a quicker way to push them out of the swirling skimmah. It's still not easy. They know their fate. And Frogs Fight To The Finish.

The trick part is shovelling them out while holding onto the pool net.

I can't put it down, for that would waste precious seconds. Skimmer frogs are dis-oriented when they are forced from the confines of the swirl...sort of like when we were kids and hopped off the merry-go-round on the playground.

You have to move quickly and take advantage of them in their state of dizziness.

Two go easily.

Scoop. FLING!
Scoop. FLING!

That leaves ONE.

(The drum-part of the song is playing in my head now).

I let him shoot around for a second while I make one more trip around. I see no more.

I grip the shovel.

I look into the froggie eyes.

I am breathless.

"OUT!" I scream like a ban-shee.

He shoots out.
He tries to floogie down to the bottom.
I adjust the length of the pole.
I swoop him from behind.
IN THE NET!!!!!!!!


Casey is a happy-frog-chasin' dog.

The kids are cheering!

I smile and shake my head. Another good fight. I don't like ya, froggies. But I do respect you.

Sianara Froggers.

See you little crap-weasels tomorrow.


Thanks For Reading.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


No, not the show.

In fact, I never even saw the show Lost. Never. Ever.

I mean lost like lost. Like I hope someone comes out looking for me soon lost. All. Day. Long.

The day started out fine...I was running a bit late, but was looking forward to meeting with one of my advertising clients that I had not seen in a while. It was perfect timing, as my meeting was to be followed by another meeting with a new advertiser, who happened to be located right around the corner from her. They are both located in Litchfield, Maine. Litchfield is further away in my "territory," per say, and I don't travel to the town very often. Hence, I am not as familiar as I am in other towns, but am pretty confident in my inner "GPS."

So as I was leaving Petal Pushers Garden Place, (for all of you gardeners, this place is AMAZING)! I asked Lynn, the owner, for directions to my next appointment. She pointed out that it was right down the road...easy to find. And she was right!

My next meeting went perfectly, and I was pretty happy about my morning. I was ahead of schedule, and had to go Lisbon, which SHOULD have been a snap to get to, from where I was...



Remember what it was like BEFORE "GPS?" When we relied on maps or the help of a store clerk or street walker to point us in the right direction? Remember that feeling of...Right????Left????Straight???? You might be a person who has never taken a wrong turn(literally or figuratively) but let me just say that I have(literally and figuratively). But usually, when I do make a wrong turn, I can backtrack quickly and get to where I need to be.

Not today.

No effing way.

I am going to let you know right now that if you think I have a bit of a potty mouth, you had better believe that words came out of my mouth today that I surprised myself. I am not going to print them, but instead interject with #$^%&&*! when necessary. Also know that throughout most of my journey, the words were in my head, if not flying out yelling at my imaginary passenger.

So from the second appointment, I went left. Confidently left. I was sure that was the way I got there. It was pretty soon, however, that I noticed the road and houses on it did not look familiar. It was when I passed this little miniature lighthouse that I knew I had made a mistake. I had gone so far at this point that I knew I was doomed. Then I saw the sign that I had entered Bowdoin.


I checked the Turner Publishing coverage map. It was right on my seat, and really, don't remember the last time I opened up a real paper map. If I was in Bowdoin, I had a 50/50 shot at ending up in Lisbon. IF and only IF I was heading West.

As I passed a "EAST RT. 10something or other."


Then "Welcome to Richmond."

The complete OPPOSITE direction than I need to be in.

Mo#$%^ F&*^%$.

And wouldn't you know that suddenly the huge iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts kicked in. And I don't mean that I was feeling energized.

Yes. I had to peeeeeeee!!!!!!

AND the air conditioner decided to take a break today. Fan-freaking-tastic.

I was on an endless road. No cell service.

But at least I was heading to Gardiner, a little town I am very familiar with, and, trying to look on the bright side, knew I could get to Lisbon from there. I stopped at Dunkin Donuts, again, and ran as fast as you have ever seen a woman in heels run into the ladies room. (I know this might be TMI, but, if you're gonna keep reading this blog, I'm gonna keep sharing. With no apologies. Because, well, it's my blog)! Anyway, I barely made it. Thankfully, (Bryan) I didn't have to pull over.

So it was off to Lisbon...even though I had literally made a huge, un-necessary circle, I felt okay! The sun was coming out, it was breezy, I had made it to the ladies room, and I was on my way!

I called my work-wife, Joy and happily reported that I was on the right track. LaLaLa!!!

But was I?

Why was I seeing signs for the TURNPIKE? I did not want to be on the turnpike! How did I get there!

Holy $%^&. I was on the turnpike!

Getting lost once in a day is one thing...but, TWICE?!?!

God give me strength if I was heading North...

Then I saw the sign that I could go SOUTH. I definitely wanted South. FFFFEEEEEEE-UUUUU.

At least I could get to Lewiston.


Not on my plan for the day, but at this point, I had no other choice!

I was determined to get to....


Then I actually saw an exit for LISBON!

It may be new a new exit...I'm not sure. I had never used the turnpike to get to Lisbon, so I just may have never looked for it. OR...maybe its a new thing?

I still don't know, but if it said Lisbon, I was going to take it!

I felt like Clark Griswold..."Look kids, Big Ben...Parliament...I can't get left..."

And the sunny, breezy relief that I felt AN HOUR before in Gardiner had now turned into a shaky, low-blood-sugar stupor. I was sweating and cursing the as^%ole air conditioner and contemplating using my empty iced coffee cup for another reason...

Then, at the end of the LONGEST exit road EVER, I came to a fork.

If I remember correctly, left went to Lisbon, right to Sabattus. OR something like that. I was so hot and hungry, maybe I wasn't thinking straight. I went left.

Nothing looked familiar, even at that point.

I came to an intersection that I saw an old general store...maybe it was open for business...maybe not, but I couldn't risk it. It looked pretty deserted. A little scary.

And no road signs. Anywhere. Where in hell was I?

I took another left. At this point, I had been on the road for two hours. I think I became a little delirious.

Then I saw this:


And just like that, I was on a dirt road. W.t.f.

I drove on. Stubbornly thinking that this couldn't go on forever! Corner after corner, but NOTHING BUT DIRT.

I finally got a signal on my phone.
I called the office.

"I'm lost."

Now, I may be known as a bit of a "clown." And maybe even a little "dramatic."

So, naturally, Duane thought I was kidding around.

"Nope. Really. Lost." #$%^ ^&*    $%^^&%%.

"Where are you?" He asked. Now concerned.

"Um, Duane? I. Don't. Even. Know." Its like when you say you lost your keys or shoes and someone asks you, "Where did you lose them?"

I couldn't give him any info...I told him the name of the last road I was on, but wasn't sure of what town that was in...I actually felt worse for him! He tried to help, but I told him I was going to turn WAAAAY around and just head back to the unknown town on the unknown road. At this point, I was thinking I had crossed the border into CANADA and would be screwed because my driver's license is still MIA.

$%^^&  ^^%$!

I had to pee again.

I turned back, and finally made it to the first intersection.

Okay. The moment of truth.

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..."

I literally parked my car and  "looked down one as far as I could,"(Robert Frost, if you're wondering. Thanks, Mrs. Nickless).

I know I had gone left before, so, even though it didn't SEEM that-right-would-be-right-I-went-right.

That's right.

When I saw the sign for Rt. 196 I think a tear of joy sprang to my eye. Oh, wait. No. That was rain coming in my window. Plus, I think I was dehydrated, so there would be no tears. But I was pretty effing thrilled.

I almost expected to be escorted in by the Sheriff of something...I had lost communication with ground control at Turner Publishing Headquarters...


I was so happy I made it to my customer's parking lot I jumped out of the truck and started telling my harrowing story to the poor ladies that had come to pick up their dry-cleaning. They had  NO idea what to make of this wild-eyed crazy lady that was breathless with excitement at just being in a familiar Laundromat parking lot in Lisbon, Maine!


I was back, baby!

So that's it. The story of my day.

I made it to all of my appointments, got a good deal accomplished, and learned a ton about "off-roading."

What A Day!

Hope yours was better.

It must have been.

"Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood
And Sorry I could not travel both
And Be One Traveller long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the under growth~"

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is one of my favorites. We had to memorize it during my Junior year at Jay High School. Mrs. Dobie Nickless was one of the best teachers I ever had. I thought of this poem as I thought back on my day and my life, and how true each line is. Literally and Figuratively.

Thanks for Reading.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Thanks, Dad

Usually I write my blogs at the spur of the moment. When something funny happens, when my kids say or do something hilarious, or if a certain memory is on my mind.

I have written about some crazy incidents, I've touched on some sensitive subjects. I have written a few little poems.

But I have been pondering what to write for Father's Day for a while now.

I could go on and on about how much I love and admire my dad. But that is not really what you all want to read about, right? And I know HE knows how his whole family feels about him, and how grateful we are every single day for EVERYTHING he does, and the selfless, generous manner in which he does it.

So how was I going to incorporate the funny, the crazy, the slightly unbelievable stories and weave them into a dedication to my dad?

Hahaha...well...let's take a look back...

I have some beautiful memories of my childhood. But, like most, it was my years as a teen that I started wrinkling the smooth fabric that was our life.

I got my permit to drive when I was 16. I learned from "Tib" in Wilton, Maine. I drove a safe little sedan that the driving school had, and by the time the "school" was over and the written tests were passed, I was pretty sure that I was an expert in yielding, keeping my hands at 10 and 2, looking in all the mirrors, and even the dreaded parallel parking. Please. I had it in the bag.

At the time, my parents had two vehicles, and "back then" one of the coolest cars was the "Cougar." As they do today, they had a "nice" car, that my mom usually drives, and a "truck," that is more my dad's vehicle(please see the story, "Sweat Shops/Labor Union"). They had a Mercury Cougar. It was a silver, two door, shiny wheeled beauty, that went reeeeeeally fast. That is what I remember. That was what I had envisioned driving around, "cruising town" in.

My Dad did not envision that.

He wanted me to learn how to drive "a stick." You know what I mean? A standard. My dad had a little grey Dodge Ram at the time. I remember that so clearly. It was KIND of a cool looking little pick-up, it was not the Silver Liner, but it had a red stripe down the side, and really was the perfect size...

He reasoned that it was one of the most basic,valuable skills a person can have. To drive a stick shift meant that in any situation, I would be able to drive whatever vehicle necessary. Did I care about necessity at sixteen? Was I pissed off and a little bitter when he made me go to the high school parking lot to learn how to stop and go and slow down and shift and reverse? Yip. But I did it. And he was proud.

So the day came that he laid out the "final" lesson: STOPPING ON A HILL.

Say, what?

Anyone who drives a stick shift knows that the feeling of stopping and starting on a hill is a weird one. It feels like you will go rolling backwards, out of control, until you floor the gas and "let up" on the clutch just right. It's scary.

Growing up in a small town, by the time you are sixteen, you think you know every street, off-road, dead end there is to know. But I did NOT know about Butter Factory Hill.

It is (or was) or just might as well have been, VERTICAL. Up and Down. Due North. Whatever. It was steep.

"Okay. Stop." He said from the passenger seat.

"Here?!?!No Way!"


"DAD! I can't!"


We were already yelling. I was a wreck. He was sweating. We never yelled at each other. This was not good.

I started to turn around. I think he grabbed the wheel.

I think the yelling turned to screaming.

"I don't need to learn this! I promise to never drive up any hills!" And I meant that.

"Just stop and start! It's just like being flat!"


We sat there in the heat of the summer, engine running. My feet shaking on the pedals. It felt like hours.

He was trying to explain how to let up and push down and shift from was like listening Charlie Brown's teacher drone on and on...I was petrified.

"Just Do It!"

And then I guess I did. I gunned it and left rubber marks and billowing smoke in my wake. I was so absolutely furious at him for making me do that, I went 70 miles an hour all the way home, my cobalt blue lined eyes bawling, my sizzled sun-in-ed hair standing on end due to the down windows and two cans of Aqua Net. Yelling at each other the whole entire way. (By the way, it was the best I ever drove that stick, I was so focused on my sheer anger that I never thought about me feet)! So screaming at each other down the quiet street to our house had neighbors coming to the road to see what the yelling was about! My mother heard us coming up the road and met us in the driveway, still screaming at each other. She refused to let us in the house until we stopped. I think silently, she was mad at him for torturing me like that. She did not ever learn to drive a stick and survived just fine. I was a blithering mess. I'm pretty sure that is the first time I saw my Dad drink a Martini.

But you know what? I learned how to drive a stick. And you know what else? It is one of the best skills to have. Thanks, Dad.

Through my college years, I'm sure I put a few wrinkles on his face. From the very first "Parents Weekend" when I was a Freshman and my folks walked in to my dorm to see a HUGE pair of sneakers, clearly NOT mine, sticking out from under my bed. Now, I had my fair share of boyfriends in college, but these did not belong to one of them. They happened to belong to my dear friend, who happened to be a VERY tall basketball player from New Jersey. He strolled in (doors were always open in Dunn Hall) to retrieve the shoes.

"How y'all doin?" He was so laid back and friendly. I remember the look on my Mom's face.(heehee). But my Dad took it all in stride, shook his (very large) hand and started up a conversation with him like he had known him for years. Through later years at UMAINE, Dan Hillman called my parents Mom and Dad, too.

My Dad taught me to treat everyone as a friend. Even strangers. Thanks, Dad.

It was another episode in college that I vividly remember...

Along with boyfriends came a few heartbreaks. I'll try to make this one quick...

My freshman year I had my first serious boyfriend. He was a football player (some of you know EXACTLY who I am talking about). I was convinced that we were going to be together forever. He was from New York, and through the first summer, we found a way to see each other almost every weekend. (Yes. We both would travel by car, train, boat, bus, you name it to get back and forth from Maine to New York...crazy).

At the end of the summer, he told me that he was not coming back to UMAINE, but would be staying in New York to play for a school close to his home.

That was pretty much the end.

Until my Junior year...when he called to confess his love for me and invite me down to this big, important formal, because I was the love of his life and he couldn't possibly take anyone else! Well! Of Course I Would! I would spend all of my rent on a dress and I would skip a final and I would make it up during May term and I would pay for a bus ticket into the city and I would meet him again after two years!

Well, I am just going to say what the facts were. This cannot be denied or refuted: He may even be reading this, who knows? But he was a huge jerk from the second I arrived. He left me in a bar and had his roommate bring me home. I went to his stupid formal, but didn't even sit with him at his table. When we got back to his room, he told me that his real girlfriend had to go to a funeral or something, that is why he asked me to come down, but she was on her way and I had to leave. I.WAS.IN.NEW.YORK.

He wouldn't even let me use his phone. It was 4am, I was on Long Island. I had to figure out how to get from there to Grand Central. My ticket wasn't until Monday, and it was Saturday. wtf.

I could only think of one person to call.

My Dad.

There was no panic on his end. Just direction. I took a cab to the city. I waited at the station for my bus. I rode the bus from New York to Portland. Where my Dad picked me up. Was he pissed and worried and more pissed and more worried? I am sure he was. But he NEVER said a word. I was pissed at myself and embarrassed and heartbroken. He knew it. I knew he knew it. Thanks, Dad.

There was another day in college that will live on forever in my mind.

The day after my 21st Birthday.

Not the actual birthday.

(WARNING: This is kind of gross)

My parents and my grandparents were making the drive all the way to Orono, Maine, to take me and my roommates out for lunch to celebrate my birthday. The night before had been fun, as 21st birthdays usually are. Did I drink? Yes. Did I drink to much? Yes. Was I sick? Nope. Not really.

Until we got in the car.

I started feeling a little sick on the way to the restaurant. We were all crowded into the backseat, everyone chatting around me. The bright February sun was shining directly into my eyes. I started feeling hot. Shaky. You know what I mean.

We got to the restaurant, all 8 of us...Mom, Dad, Grammy, Grampa, Me, my roommates, my sister...conversation flowed, I felt okay.  As the waiter came to take our drink order, I started to order a ginger-ale...but words were replace by projectile vomit. Sorry. I know. So unbelievably disgusting!

In a crowded restaurant on a Sunday.

My Mother. My Grandfather. My Grandmother! All horrified. The waiter, shocked.

My sister laughing. My roomies unfazed...

My dad? Silent.

"Oh! My! She is so sick! The poor thing! She must have the flu! Food poisoning!" My Mother. My Grandfather. My Grandmother exclaimed as I fled the scene to the ladies room.

I returned to the table to the many diagnoses...Flu? Food Poisoning? I already felt much better. Happy Birthday.

"She doesn't have the flu, Linda." Was all my Dad said.

He always understands. Thanks, Dad.

How about getting THIS call.

"I'm moving to St. John."

"What are you talking about?! Where the hell is St. John?"

This was the initial conversation when I called to tell my parents that I was quitting my job, selling my stuff, and moving to the beautiful island of St. John in the Virgin Islands to tend bar and paint tee-shirts.

This was NOT in the plan. I had recently graduated from college (Yes. I made it through). I had a decent job as a retail sales manager. I was on my own with a cute apartment and new car. The world was in the palm of my hand. Or was it? Was this it forever?

I had this amazing opportunity to move to a different place, meet new people, and live a little irresponsibly for a while. How long? Not sure.

My Mom was in absolute shock. Of course she was! I would have been, too! No one had really ever heard of St. John. I had always lived within driving distance of my family. But I was an adult, and I had made my decision. I was going. To the islands.

Was my Dad shocked? Yes. Worried? Yes.

Supportive? Yes. Absolutely.

Thanks, Dad.

Dad is the one I call when I need to bypass any drama or worry, and just need a resolution.

He has helped many get through life's tough situations. He does it without many words. He just does it.

My sister frequently calls me "the crazy one," and though I point out that at times, she is just as wacky as I am, I will admit, I have probably put my poor parents through more stress than they care to recall. And where my sister is the one I call to tell my crazy stories to, it is my wonderful, quiet, brilliant father, that I have called in the worst, trickiest situations.

We are so lucky, huh Kate?

So Happy Father's Day. To all of you Dads and Grandads and "Step"Dads and Father Figures out there. And to my friends who's Fathers are angels that love and protect from above, prayers and thoughts to you.

P.S. My parents traded the Cougar for a nice, reliable, not so flashy car before I went for my actual license. I got it on the first try with the Chrysler LeBaron. But, I ended up driving the truck more, and still prefer a "stick."

Thanks, Dad.