Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fish Heads and Suckers

There are days and moments in our lives that we remember in vivid detail.
We can relive them second by second, with little forgotten.
For these are the defining moments that shape who we are. These are the days that determine what happens next. Our life. Our future.

I strongly dislike camping.

While I can appreciate why most every person that I know and love is a "camper" in some sense, camping is one of those things that I will never pretend to like or give in to because "everyone" is doing it, again.

If you ask my Dad where heaven might be, he will probably list Moosehead Lake as a possibility. He has loved it ever since I can remember. He is a fisherman, an outdoorsman. He goes with his brothers, his friends, whoever might express an interest. Sometimes, he goes alone.

My dad isn't the only one that finds "inner peace" at camp. My friends, family, co-workers, people in line at the grocery store and waiting in the doctors office and anywhere else I go, love camping and talk about it with absolute jubilation.

"The peace. The quiet. The beauty. Nature. Campfire. The lake..."

Nope. Not me. And here is why:

Moosehead Lake. 1979.

Lets go back, Wayne's World Style~

deedle di dit...deedle di dit....

We're here.

"We're all going! Hurray!"

My best friend Julie and her whole family and my whole family were going up to camp together! At 8 years old, it sounded like an amazing adventure. My dad and her dad talked about it for days. We were next door neighbors, and we listened with hushed anticipation as our parents planned and plotted on packing, travel times, what to bring for food, etc...

Julie and I and her sister Kathleen talked about swimming, catching fireflies, eating s'mores, and staying up late. Their older brother John was going too. He was bringing a friend, and by the way, John was my hero. He was the one who, at a moments notice was there to rescue his damsel neighbors(us) from the frogs in our swimming pool. I loved him.

We could not wait. It was like waiting for Christmas. We counted down the days. We made up songs about it...Camping was going to be the best time of our life!

So on the day we were to leave, I helped my mom and dad pack up our old, beat up rusty red pickup. I had my Barbies and my Captain and Tenille album. Julie told me they had a record player "upta camp!"

Our dog Duchess, a beautiful collie, was going too. She was going to ride in the back.

The day was cold and drizzly, but "That's okay," they said, "We're heading North."

And finally, we were off!

With Julies family in the lead, towing the boat, we followed behind. I was so excited.

For about an hour.

"Are we almost there?"

"Not quite," my dad said, "Relax and enjoy the ride."

I remember wondering if we were driving to the moon. It was taking FOREVER! I remember when we finally stopped at a rest stop somewhere in the middle of Northern Nowhere.

The sky was a dark, blue-ish grey. We couldn't get any more North, so where was the sun?

We piled back into our caravan and ventured off the "highway."

Suddenly, the road turned to gravel.

The trees loomed tall and thick lining the trail. It was dark, and it had started to rain.

We bumped along.

My excitement waned.

The truck bumped along, bumped along, my dad was unfazed.

For what seemed like hours, I sang John Denver and Donna Summer songs to myself, and tried to conjure up my dreams of frolicking in a sparkling lake with my best friends and family.

Big Bump. Bigger Bump!

I saw my dad glance in the mirror.

I think he said a naughty word. We pulled over.

Remember, we had no cell phones...no way to call ahead to Julies family to tell them to stop, because Duchess had fallen out of the truck!


My parents climbed out of the truck and ran back a bit to find our beloved pet. If me memory serves correctly, I blacked out a little bit, but they carried her back to the truck. She was muddy and cold, and I think she hurt her leg, but was nonetheless going to be okay. I was shaking.

Where in the world was this Godforsaken place?

I think my dad took a couple of wrong roads, I had visions of us stranded for years and years in the woods. Living like pioneers. No schools. No record players. No ice cream. I think I cried.

My dad never wavered. For this was his domain.

And finally, We made it!

I felt like we had travelled for days! Julies family greeted us like we hadn't seen them in years. I was so relieved!

Julie took me by the hand to give me the tour of the camp. This was the camp that I had heard them talking about my whole life! I couldn't wait to see this gem in the forest.

Lets just say it was a diamond in the rough. VERY rough.

It was tiny. And dark. And tiny. Where would we all sleep? Why did it smell like beer and smoke?


"Oh," said Julie, "We get to go in the OUTHOUSE!"

the what?

"C'mon! I'll show you!"

This was not good.

I remember looking at my mom, who seemed perfectly happy chatting with Julie's mom and aunt...

Was this a joke?

I saw the "bathroom." It was miles away from the camp that would be my home for the next 3 days.

My tummy felt sick.

Duchess limped up beside me.

My dad and Julies dad un-hooked the boat and put it into the lake.

The sun was still not shining.

I remember hearing the women-folk saying, "you're not going out now, are you...look at the sky...it's gonna..."


And it rained. And rained. And rained.

We all jammed into the camp. No campfire tonight! Oh, well, there was always tomorrow, right?

I remember making it through the night. Praying that I wouldn't have an "accident." I mean, John was right there, after all! But I was NOT going to risk my little life and venture out into the wild just to pee.

I did not sleep. I listened to the grown ups talking and laughing. The wind was blowing wildly. I heard the cheep.peep.cheeping. of what Had to be bats in the loft.
The scratching of what MUST have been a family of man-eating bears trying to get into the cabin full of potential dinner: us.

When the light of day creeped into the small window, I felt renewed! I had survived!!

I went to get my mom, b'cause I now could not hold it any longer. We sprinted down the dusty path to the "lavatory."

It was everything I imagined. An outhouse. Need I say more?

Okay, on with the day.

The men-folk were itching to get out on the lake. Which, by the way, looked more like the ocean than the peaceful lake that I imagined.

Our dads chatted and loaded up the boat, and the women waved goodbye from the shore.

Little did I know that could have been the last time I saw my dad!

The winds picked up, the sky grew black again.

The kids thought it was so cool that there were 7 foot waves in the lake!


Okay. I went along with it. Plus, Julie and I had the same bathing suit from the Sears catalogue...how cool was THAT?

The rest went into the water with crazy enthusiasm.

All I could feel was the slithery, mushy bottom of the murky abyss under my feet. And SOMETHING bumped my leg. I went screaming out of that water.

"Krissy!!!Come back!"

Not a chance.

The girls came out of the water soon after, cold and sandy. They had a blast.

They were crazy.

Then John and his friend emerged.

"What the...???"

What was all over their bodies?


Get them off!!

I passed out.

"They're not dangerous!" John said as he peeled the fatty black slimers off from his legs. Then tossed them at us!

So far, camping sucked.

And where was my dad?

The ladies were starting to look worried. The wind was picking up. It was raining again.

Our dads were in the middle of the lake. In a rickety ship of fools.

We went inside.

Our moms kept looking out the window.

We tried singing songs. Julies cousin played the guitar.

John Denver. Elton John.

We belted out the tunes. The dads weren't back yet.

The day turned to evening.

We ate leftover spaghetti.

Julie made me wear her ridiculous plaid Garanimals pants, so she could wear my pink cloud pants.

Then we heard Duchess barking happily.

We all rushed out of the camp to see the dads motoring in from the depths of the monsoon.

They were smiling.

"It was just a sprinkle! Nothing to worry about!"

And they were thrilled at the "trout" that we could have for dinner!

Say, what?

And I watched as John "gutted" our dinner.

Didn't fish come neatly packaged in little golden fried sticks in a box with a cute little fisherman on it?

The fish heads flopped off the table.

There were hundreds of them.

I was done.

And I faced yet another night in the bat-loft.

I prayed to God to let us survive.

The next morning, we woke up to more bad weather, and by the Grace of God, the parents decided to leave a day early.

I think I went at full speed to pack up...my frizzy afro hair standing on end...still in Julie's plaid pants...LETS GO!!!

I was in the truck faster than lightening, as the rest of the "campers" said their goodbyes.

Bump. Bump. Bump. Duchess was safe in the backseat this time.

Bump. Bump. I didn't care. We were heading home.

Home to my bed. Home to my bathroom, steps away from any room INSIDE. Home to a swimming pool with clear water and hard floor. Home to a driveway. Home to fish-sticks in a box.

I cried out with elation when I saw the paved road.


I never went back again.

My dad still goes every chance he gets. My mom goes, too, once in a while. Not to that camp, but others.

A couple of years ago, I was lured by the promise of my friend Layna's cooking, to "camp" with the girls. In a tent.

Should have stuck to my beliefs.

I love those girls. Julie is still my dearest friend. I still miss Duchess. But I will NEVER. EVER. NOT FOR A MILLION DOLLARS(well, maybe for a million dollars), Go Camping Again.

You can try to convince me.

You can make me feel guilty for not taking my kids.

You can entice me with the promises of s'more-stuffed-roasted banana boats, and all the chips-and-dip that I want...

But you can never make me go.

Much like my husband will NOT eat olives.

Or if you hate peas or mustard or scrambled eggs because it made you sick as a kid...

I don't like camping.

It's just a part of who I am.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, April 26, 2010

The Power of a Poochie

I surrender.

I am tossing up the white flag.

I am not going to fight the truth anymore.

My children have gained complete control of my life. I no longer have the strength to fight it.

They have outwitted, outsmarted, and outplayed me.

They have lodged a well planned attack of psychological warfare in order to get away with~well, pretty much everything over the last 48 hours.

The weekend started out okay...I was looking forward to a nice long one, with everyone, including Nick, at home. We really had no specific plans...and that was fine with me!

On Friday night, after trying desperately to find something for dinner that everyone liked, I made the call to go out. It is something we rarely do, knowing full well the potential for disaster.

We traipsed into the restaurant, really the only one in town, and were greeted pleasantly(I love that) even though I surmised that every waitress watching us follow the hostess to our table prayed silently that we were not being led to her section.

The first booth would prove too small for the 5 of us..."Could we sit at this table?"

Of Course!

"Will you need booster seats?"

"No.Yes." My husband and I answered simultaneously.

Our waitress, I'll call her "Sue," stood smiling at us, never indicating a shred of frustration.

"I guess for Tyler."

"I want one, too!" Kiki whined.

"You really don't need one. You're tall enough." I explained.

"I'm show-it?" Ty looked dejected.

"You are growing every day! Lets see if they have chocolate milk!"

Sue brought a booster seat, Kiki pouted.

Now, here is Kiki's secret weapon: She doesn't just pout. She can summon full-fledged crocodile tears instantly. I have never seen anything like it. Her voice wavers with the shake of a soap opera actress. Like she's going to have a break down, but holds her composure and valiantly attempts to be strong. I gets me every time.

Sue brought another booster seat. Tears vanished. Kiki wins. (Thanks, Sue).

"Can you bwing colowing books?"

"Can I get gum?"

By the way, Nick's eye had now swollen to the point that it was hard to look at,(see prior post), much less hard for him to hold open, and he was trying to push his millionth loose tooth out with his tongue, he said he couldn't help it. He just sat quietly, looking a bit weird, the silent victim of this motley crew.

"Wine for you, Mum?" Sue asked, smiling sympathetically. Sue was a mum, too.

"Please." I answered without hesitation.

"White or red?"


Our dinner went smoothly: hot dogs cut, taken out of the roll, ketchup replaced, Tyler flirting with every female that passed our table, multiple trips to the rest rooms, one spilled glass of wine(my fault), fights over the coloring books, gumballs from the machine bouncing across the floor, they were the "reward," you know. Dinner out. I was beat.

By Saturday Poor Nicks eye was worse. Icing, Benadryl...nothing was making it better. He looked like Rocky. Now there was a blistering rash on top of the swelling. Lovely. All he really felt like doing was playing his Nintendo...he knows he is only supposed to have it for an hour every day, but he really couldn't do much else, and it was the last days of vacation...I wasn't about to have him out doing yard work or folding clothes...after all, he looked awful. Nintendo would be played ALL day. Nick wins.

Ty and Kiki are masters at knowing when I am distracted, and I was watching over the eye situation like a hawk...

"Can we go outside?" They asked in sweet, harmonic unison.

"Yes. Just stay in the front with Daddy."

"Okay!" They skipped off, Kiki in her crazy knee socks that she insisted on wearing, and Ty with his shoes on the wrong feet. He insists he likes them like that.

Insisting. That is one of their strongest suits. I could argue with Kiki for an hour about why striped knee socks and crocks weren't the best look, but she would insist that it's "adorable," and really, it is. Kiki wins.

Tyler will struggle for 20 minutes to put his own shoes on. He adamantly refuses help, and ultimately, end up with them on the wrong feet. I could argue with him to let me help him, but, in order to avoid his two-legged tantrums, I back away. Tyler wins.

This past Saturday was particularly beautiful. Since Chris was home, I was able to take Casey for a walk. I consider Casey one of my children, and firmly believe he needs one on one time with mommy, just like the rest. The walks are perfectly timed at 25 minutes, everyone wins.

I should have known that 25 minutes is EXACTLY enough time for at least ONE of my children to destroy something.

I came up the driveway, happily out of breath from keeping up with a happier dog, and then saw the devastation.

You see, Tyler LOVES "boy" things. Twains and twucks, wace-caws and dirt. When any two are combined, Tyler is in absolute rug-rat heaven. And there is plenty of dirt in my front flower planter. At least, there WAS. Now it had turned into Tyler's demolition derby, and my once even flower bed was now a mountainous, messy field full of constwuction vehicles and twains. Dirt was EVERYWHERE! Over the steps, down the front walk, in piles on the stone walls of the planter itself.

And Tyler in his mismatched sneakers and brand new sweatshirt was COVERED.

He looked thrilled until he saw me.

"Are you happy at me? Or mad?" He asked.

"TYLER!!!!!What did you doooooo?!?!?!??"

"I was gonna build a bwidge! But you came home too fast." He said, trying to cry, but not as successfully as his sister. "I'm saw-wee."

"No Tyler. You are NOT sorry. You are sorry I caught you!"

I knew I was over-reacting a bit, but c'mon! I now had to clean THIS mess AND clean the inside of the house AND do laundry AND worry about the EYE. UGHGHGHGHGHGH.

Tyler went about his business, and hopped on his scooter with Kiki.

Later in the afternoon, I went to the grocery store. Feeling pretty proud that I got out of there for less than $100 for once, I was looking forward to going home to my now clean house, and the calming scent of the dryer drying my LAST load of laundry.

The house was pretty quiet...I could hear Kiki playing dolls with Stacy in her room, Nick was still buried in his Nintendo...Chris was still out working in the yard.




"I'm SAW-WEEEE!" I heard from upstairs. I dropped the bags and ran, two steps at a time, to the room that was unmistakably his favorite. The Bathroom.

Why is it his favorite? Because it has two sinks that he can fill by putting washcloths over the drain. Because it flushes. Because he can open drawers and find toothpaste and hair gel and Vaseline to use as "paint" on the mirrors. And because he has discovered that he can "wash" his trucks and trains in the toilet.

Mother !@#$@#.

He was soaked. The floor was soaked. But doggone it, his vehicles were clean. They had to be! I had spent an hour before scrubbing the toilets, tubs and sinks.

"Tyler! You know better!"

He did. And went to his room without another word, as I fished out 27 mini-trains, trucks and various excavators from the toilet bowl. Gross.

As I sat on the floor in front of the clean-again toilet. Tyler appeared in the doorway.

Darn it, he is cute.

He slowly approached me.

"Are you happy at me, yet?"

"Yes, Tyler. I am happy at you. But DON'T DO THIS AGAIN!"

Then he pulled out his weapon of mass destruction.


The poochie is a kiss that Tyler invented and named. He gently took my face in his hands and kissed my nose.

"There. THAT makes you happy. Huh, Mama?"

"Yes Tyler, Poochies make me very happy."

Off he went. Tyler wins.

The last in this sequence of events is the one that I finally realized just how smart and calculating this mini team of bandits were.

You see, they use tactics that I like to refer to as, "MacGiver-ing." Meaning, they build gadgets out of household things to get a hold of items that may very well be out of their reach. For example, Kiki often uses here headbands as lassos to hook my hand mirror, or lipstick, or necklaces from my "hiding" places. Nothing is out of her reach now.

The other day I walked in and she was standing on an ottoman, with a long hook made from Tyler's train tracks, trying to get the remote control that had slipped down behind the t.v.! Clever!

They have now become accustomed to stacking stools upon each other in order to get into the DVD cabinet. They know that THIS is a NO-NO.

I was fixing dinner and Kiki came into the kitchen...

"Mom, You are so beautiful."

"Well thank you! That is so nice to say!"

"Dinner smells DEEEEE-licous!"

"Sheesh, Kenz...that's good! If we all eat a good dinner, I have a surpr..."

Thud. Clackclackclackclackclack.

"Wats!" Tyler exclaimed.

I appeared at the top of the stairs to find Tyler sitting in a pile of DVDs.

"KEEEEEEEK! You were supposta distwack her!"

OOOOOOHHHHHH! NOW I get it. They are like a mini Bonnie and Clyde!

"What are you doing!?"

"I wanted to watch Thomas!"

"SO you sent your sister up to distract me?"


"We're sorry."

Kiki started crying. The gig was up.

I cleaned up the mess. Put the stacked benches back. Wordlessly,(I find thats most effective) I went back to making dinner.

I turned around to footsteps.

It was Tyler.

I bent down to his open arms...



Life is normal again, Nick and I spent Sunday morning in the E.R...turns out he has poison ivy on top of the black-fly bite...the meds seem to be helping, Chris and I are back to work, Kiki is off to school, and Tyler...well, Tyler is playing happily in...my planter dirt.

I wish for every mistake I have ever made, or will make in the future, I could fix with a poochie. Or soap opera tears. Or a big, fat, swollen, blistering eyeball.

In any case, they know what they're doing. Good for them. But, I am gathering strength, and I am onto their game plan...

Bring it on, kiddos. Mommy is making a comeback.

Thanks for reading.


Friday, April 23, 2010

A Tale Of A TweenAge Nutcracker

Here we go.

He would turn himself inside out if he knew I was writing about this, but sometimes I find myself in situations where I really wish I was a guy...

Like now, living with a "tween" who, on a daily basis, gets taller, a bit moodier, more handsome, a little more awkward, and has questions and behaviors that I just have to shake my head at...

He, is my son Nick...goofy, messy, intelligent, sometimes dense~but always loving, kind-hearted, wonderful Nick.

And he is getting older.


Let me go back a few days when his dad called me and told me he was going out of town and wouldn't be around for Lacrosse practice, and, could I POSSIBLY get him and the other two hooligans to practice?


And further more, ahem, Nick needed...



Oh, come on.

Well, he did, and since he was going out of town, could I get one for him?


I really had no choice since they would be doing "cup checks" at the next practice!

BARBARIC! What is this? HAZING!?!?

"No." His father explained. "Its just something they do. They need to be protected."


"So can you get one?"


So I skulked into Olympia Sports the next day, praying for a lady sales-person, well-versed in "cups" to help me select the perfect one.

Not a chance.

This very young boy, who looked just as embarrased as I was, approached as I was standing in front of the "supporter" selection.

"Can I help you?" He asked, sounding very much like Peter Brady when "It Was Time To Change." (BTDUB...I am a HUUUUGE Brady Bunch buff...ask me anything)!

"Well, yes, son, you can tell me which of these thingys I need for my kid."

"What size is his waist?"


"I have no idea...what does that have to do with it?"

"Thats how the sizing works." HE looked annoyed with ME!

"OOOOOHHH! THATS a relief! I thought I had to know the size of something ELSE!"
I felt an amazing sense of calm wash down over me. See...if I was a GUY I would have know this little factoid!

I settled on the size, a mouthguard(also on the list) and a package of sour gummy worms. (I deserved a treat)!

I left the store triumphantly, bag in hand...another first. And let me tell you, these things are NOTHING like I thought! And what a relief that was!

So, onto yesterdays events...

My day was going to be hectic, no doubt.

I had appointments scheduled for work, Hubby had to work(thought he was off), and I had to get the boys to practice for 5:30~and in-between the regular life stuff, like eating and trying to breathe.

At 7am, Nick came rambling down the stairs:


Nicks eye was swollen like Quazi-Moto!

He couldn't open it, it was puffy and red, and a trip to the doctors was certainly going to be scheduled in somewhere.

Shift. Modify. Adapt.(Learned that from TINA).

Called the Doc..."Could you get him here at 10:45?"

I really had no choice.


Well, long story short, I made it to my appointments, hubby was able to get Nick to the doctors appointment...and it turned out to be some sort of bite...should get better in a couple of days...Benadryl and ice...No Problem. Put it on the list.

I picked Nick up and went to the store to pick up the Benadryl and snacks for later, since his buddy was sleeping over.

We were unloading the cart, and I could not get that kid to help! He just stood there staring at the magazines.


No response.

"Nick! Some help please!"

He barely shook off his reverie, and started to slowly put the groceries on the belt...

Then I saw what had his unwavering attention:


Splashed across every magazine...Heidi Montag, Kim Kardashian...all such women of natural beauty...


"I was NOT looking at that! I was looking at the Wolverine movie!"


"Its okay, Nick. Don't worry!"

I didn't mean to embarass him. Crap.

"Lets go to MacDonalds." I suggested.


Scene forgotten. Maybe he would order a chicken nugget happy meal just so he could get the toy...OKAY, probably not...just wishing a bit...

The day went on normally for me...work-kids-work-dinner-practice-kids...I got the two boys loaded up and set off to pick up the third.

Now I had three "tweens" for the 40 minute trip to practice.

They were loud. Funny. Talking about Pokemon and music and holding their breath when we passed cemeteries...And then one shouted:

"Hey Nick! Got your CUP?"

And simultaneously all started knocking on their new "protection."

They thought it was hilarious.

I wanted to crawl into the glove compartment.

"You guys. Stop."

They didn't hear me and now were trying to keep up with the beats of Justin Beiber.


Sometimes I wish I were a guy.

This kept up all the way to practice. I didn't say another word.

They had a whole conversation about these new pieces of equipment...I tried not to listen, I really didn't want to know...

But I guess I have to learn about all of this.

It was so much easier when I just had to pick out the right Bakugan figure, or decide which Happy Meal to order for him, or believe that he absolutely was looking at Wolverine stuff...

Times they are a changin.'

Here we go.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Frog Days Of Summer

Most people would say that summer is their favorite season. Warm, sunny days spent at the beach, or pool, or camping, or whatever your vacationing heart desires.

I like those things, too.(well, minus the camping)

What I am not fond of are the creatures that appear in the warm season:

The slithery, creepy crawleys, the bugs, ants and skunks, etcetera.

But worst of all:


Yes, that's right.

I am white-face-making, heart-pounding, knee-knocking terrified of frogs.

You are surely saying to yourself: "That is ridiculous! They are so cute! What about Kermit?"....blah.blah.blah. I've heard it all before.

My fear comes from my mom, and a terrible story from her childhood. I don't blame her for her hatred of the green little slimers...but it was passed along to me, and now each spring I dread hearing them...for I know that means the invasion is imminent.

I have grown accustomed to scooping them out of my pool each morning. With the net extended as FAR as it will go, I walk around the edges peering into the water, knowing, expecting at least one to shoot from under a raft, or one to dart out with those u.g.l.y frogger leggers, trying to escape.


They do not stand a chance. I scoop them out and catapult them with all of my might over the fence. And I do it with shaking fear every time. Every morning. From June to September.

The Frog Wars.

So it was at the end of last summer when after a beautiful day at the beach with my kids. It was the first time I took all of the kids, including a friend for Nick. It was excellent. My mom and dad and sister, and me with my tribe of bandits.

We got home late in the day, and we were all feeling that sweet exhaustion from spending the day by the ocean, in the breezy sunshine, eating food that was bad for us, but oh.so.good.

I was ready for a quiet evening, maybe a glass of wine and a little t.v. before hitting the hay...

yeah. right.

After the kids went to bed, I was about to hop in the shower when I heard this flapping noise.





What the...?

Then I saw a shadow swoop overhead...

A raptor? A pterodactyl?


It was a gigantic moth/locust!(I still don't know how to classify it) but it clearly was in the wrong place...

He knew it.

I knew it.

It was on.

There was no way to get to my pool net, I would have to be clever...I looked around and saw the plunger and one of the kids buckets that they used for tub-time.

Like a Ban chi I lifted the plunger...I wasn't going to kill the darn thing...I was as big as my head! That would have left a mess that even I couldn't clean.

He swooped off, down the dark hallway. I prayed that he would not fly into the kids rooms, as it was their peaceful sleep that would ensure my quiet "me" time...

Prayers unanswered, he flapped right into Nicks room.

Nick was just dozing off, when his crazy mama burst in and threw on the light!

"What are you doing?"

"Quiet. I'm gonna need your help. Theres a moth in here and I need to trap it!" I whispered in hushed desperation.

Then the beast made an appearance and flew right up to the ceiling light.


Nick buried his head under the covers. He was no help. "Tell me when you get it!" I heard his muffled yell...

I carefully stood on the end of Nicks bed, reached up with the bucket and GOT HIM!!

Now what?

The bucket didn't have a lid...He could fly right out!

I searched the room for the answer.


After much prompting from me, Nick reluctantly got out of bed to get it for me.

With the end of the plunger I tapped on the end of the bucket until I heard the raptor-saurus plunk into the bottom.

With the swiftness of a warrior I slammed the frisbee on top of the trap and made my way down the pitch black hallway to the kitchen, where I kicked open(well, now thats just being dramatic) opened the back door an tossed the bucket onto the back lawn.

Brushing my hands together in victory, I went up for that shower.

I FINALLY sat down for that long-waited for quiet time.

I glanced over by the front door...Now what WAS THAT?

It looked like a little pile of poop!

Casey was already sleeping, and he NEVER has accidents.

I walked over to get a closer look.

What do YOU think it was?


The terror that I felt at that moment was unlike anything I have ever felt. I nearly passed out.

I could deal with them at a pool-net distance...BUT IN MY HOUSE!!!

I ran around up the other stairs, knowing full well he could hop.hop.hop. up the stairs, into my living room, bedroom...oh.my.GOD!

I grabbed the Swiffer and stood at the top of the stairs. Staring at it. Willing it to self-implode.

"Casey!" I whispered..."Get it! Get it!"

But Casey was dog-snoring already...I was alone in the battle.

I didn't want to startle the little bastard. I didn't want it to move. What the hell was I going to do? Call the cops? Wake up Nick to help? Sh!@.Sh^&.Double Sh%$.

Thankfully, the front door was open, so that I could push the screen door open, if I could reach it...




I grabbed a broom.

Now I was propped by one leg on the stairs, the other in a near split against the wall.

With the broom I pushed the frog toward the door. There was little time! I think I even closed my eyes when, with the Swiffer like a sword in fencing, forced the door open, just long enough to push the frog out with the broom.

The door slammed closed.

The frog sat right there. Looking back at me.

I locked the door.

Another battle won. Another chance for a peaceful moment, literally, out the door.

I slumped into that chair again. Nerves on fire. Heart pounding. I chugged my wine.

I recounted the events to my husband who had been out protecting the city of Augusta.
He is used to these stories now. He laughed a little and told me that the frog was still sitting there when he got home.

Summer is coming again. It makes me a little edgy. Let the battles begin!

And yes, I like Kermit.

Hope this made you smile...

Thanks For Reading!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sounds Like Life To Me

I was talking with my friend Lisa last night, and we were talking a bit about this blog, and she asked, "Aren't you afraid you will run out of things to write about?"


As I watched the Tea Party unfold...

It was one of those "dumb" days yesterday, you know, one where you can't get out of your own way...

I shot hair conditioner directly into my eye.

I knocked my toothbrush into the toilet, and fished it out with shish-kebob skewers...

And I single handed-ly(or footetd-ly)? collapsed a long standing stone planter, by simply stepping on it, and sent a large amount of rocks, dirt, and debris onto my mothers driveway. (Diet not working)?

I did it gracefully, though.

So at the end of the day, work was done, dishes were done, laundry was, well, clean, I entered the living room to "hang out" with Kiki and Tyler, who were in the midst of a very, very intense Tea Party.

Who was there?

Well of course Stacy, Kikis imaginary friend. Her mom now owns a restaurant, and Stacy will be staying with us until Friday. Kiki is insistent that Stacy is copying her, because she has braids in her hair now, too. (I have had the song "Stacys Mom in my head for weeks, now).

Tyler said that Joe was NOT here, because he drank too much chocolate milk and had to go to the hospital for shots. (hmmmmm).

Tyler talks about his "teacher" a lot. Sometimes he says his teacher is "Uncle Won,"(Ron), But lately he says his teacher is "Mrs. May-How-en."

"Mrs. May-Howen?"

"NO MUM...MAY-HOW-EN!...You know-like a TOOT-TOOT...HOW-EN?"

"OOOOHHHH! Horn!?" I asked, finally getting it.

"Yes! Sheesh!" He exclaims, smacking his head like I should've had a V-8.

Anyway, Mrs. Mayhorn was at the tea party, along with the little plastic dragons he has been obsessed with since seeing the movie.

Unfortunately, there are only two teacups in the tea set, there were more at one point, but now we have to share.

Kiki brought my cup to me.

"Be careful. It's grape juice." She directs.

"I thought it was tea." I said.

"Mama. You would never let a kid make hot tea, would you? This is just pretend."


"Yeah Mama," Tyler chimed in, "Whats wong with you?"

Yikes. So I drank my pretend grape juice, and ate my pretend cake.

"Can you hurry Mum? I need to feed the others. THEY ARE STARVING!"

I did hurry. "Sorry." I passed my cup and plate back to her.

"You didn't eat it!"

"Yes I did! It was delicious!"

She was so convincing. I "ate" it again.

Tyler had now moved on and was playing with his dragons, making them spit fire and fly around.

"You just hit Stacy!" Kiki shrieked!

Then a fire truck went by, and Ty completely lost all attention to Kikis very important event.

"Did you see that?...A laddah twuck!"


"I don't want anymore. I'm full."

"Fine." Kiki huffed. "You're an arse."

"WHAT DID YOU SAY?" I was jolted out of my own daydream...


"Mackenzie! That is NOT nice! And where did you hear that word?"



"Oh, Reeeeeaaaaaallllyyyyy."

I was going to call my mom and joke about the new word of the day, but I figured she was probably out trying to clean up the gigantic pile of dirt and rock and debris I left in her driveway. (Sorry, Mom).

And so the cute little tea party ended, and I chuckled to myself at the thought of ever not having something to write about.

I think there is a song that says, "Sounds like life, to me..."

I have hundreds of stories to tell...more kids, birds, frogs, traffic stories, stories about the nutty cast of characters in my life every day...and if I can find a bit of humor every day, I'll keep sharing it with you.

Hope this made you smile~

Thanks for Reading.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Casey Casey Moose Macaroni

This one may need to be read twice...
I'm not sure I can write about the events of this particular day in a way that makes sense. But I'll give it a try...

Here it goes...

WAIT! Before you continue, I want to warn you of some implied foul-language.

There. Continue...

My life took another turn for the crazy when 2 things happened, almost simultaneously:

Nick started playing sports.

And we got another dog: Also named Casey.

I'll start with the Casey issue.

One day my husband called with that tone that I have come to recognize as the "I have some KIND of bad/weird news...I'm gonna tell you, then hang up so you can think about it before you make any decisions/judgements, etc..."

Usually its, "there's an overtime shift open...will you be okay if I work another 32 hours straight?" He is a cop, and overtime is a part of the job. We are both blessed to have steady careers with benefits and what-not, but being alone with the kids (2 still in diapers) all the time can take its toll. I could handle it, though, for I AM ONE TOUGH MAMA.

Anyway, this particular call was a bit different. I could tell it was well rehearsed when he started to tell me about this man who had called the police department to see if they needed a partially trained, full-bred German Shepherd "puppy." The department couldn't take her, so...could we?

Chris had grown up with a German Shepherd, and I had always known his intention of having one again someday. But when Chris married me, he also married my enormous love dog, Casey. A massive, but overly-affectionate Golden Retriever. Another dog was not on my radar.

But he went on to plead his case:

As he was working nights, he would feel more comfortable knowing there would be more of a "guard dog" here to protect us. This particular dog was full-bred, with all of her papers, shots, credentials...you name it. And she wasn't going to cost a thing. The owner realized she was going to need more activity, and just couldn't give her the life she needed.

We talked about it for a couple of days, and, you guessed it...I agreed.

On the day Chris was going to bring her home, he told me, in THAT tone...

"By the way...Her name is...Casey."


We were going to have two dogs named Casey?

Of course we were. Why the hell not? It made perfect sense here at 1.4.5. Crazy.

And so it was.

Chris came home that night with our new addition.

"New Casey" was a lithe, jumping, nipping, barking "puppy" who was already taller than me when she (frequently) jumped up for some love. She was very affectionate for a "guard dog."

Like a newborn, she kept me up most of the night, with her constant need to pee, or to cuddle, or whatever it was that she needed. "Old Casey" was as irritated as I had ever seen him. Not jealous, just annoyed.

Anyway, days went on, and New Casey was doing well, but it was getting to be too much for me, I felt like "octomom." And I had to get Nick to soccer practice for heaven's sake!

I was getting pretty good about making dinners at the beginning of the week, and freezing them. (Very "Good Housekeeping," I know). That day, I had taken out a gorgeous homemade macaroni and cheese, and set it on the counter to thaw.

I got Nick to and from practice, lickety-split. I was like a machine: loading and un-loading the babies...it was going to be fine. Both dogs fed, "Casey! Casey! Come and eat!" sent both dogs thundering through the house. The sounds of the kids, the dogs, the phone, the ringing in my ears, all made for a normal day.

What wasn't a normal sound that day was Nick, my even-keeled, never-ruffled son, screaming from the top of the stairs~

"MAAAAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAAA!!!! Look out the window!!!!!!!"


Trotting down our backyard was a moose! Not a baby moose looking for his mama. Not a little lady moose.

A big-ass, huge, gigantic PaPa moose with a rack that spanned across the horizon.

He was trotting, no, galloping, RIGHT TOWARD THE KITCHEN DOOR!!!

This is when all hell broke loose.

I started screaming at Nick: "Get the...PHONE...Get the...camera...Call...Bup! (my dad)Call...Holy Sh*%!!!!...Oh My #$$%..."

Poor Nick was white as a ghost, and had no idea what action to take.

"What do you want me to...?"

"Je#$% Ch##$%! Get the cam..the phone..the...phamera!"

The moose was coming right up to the door.

Did he smell the heavenly mac and cheese? Was my cooking so tempting that it brought beasts out of the forests? (Just kidding)

I grabbed the camera, I don't know why...I guess I figured no one would believe the close proximity of this larger than life creature standing at my kitchen door. I also had the phone speed dial my parents, was holding onto a screeching Tyler, yelling incoherently into the camera and phone at the same time...OCTOMOM.

He stood there for minutes(seemed like an hour)and just stared into what must have looked like a rated "R" Calgon commercial: kids screaming, dogs barking, mama cussing like a proverbial sailor, trying madly to get him on film.

He must have moose-chuckled to himself...I swear he shook his rack at me, rolled his eyes and turned and walked very non-chalantly around the pool, down the side of the house, and onto our front yard, here he stood majestically for quite a few minutes. He looked like the moose in front of Len Libby, or any other moose statue that stands guard of countless businesses here in Maine.

We watched from the big window as cars slammed on their breaks...surely there would be more to film!

He stayed for a while. Right there on our front lawn, watching the traffic go by, with an occasional glance back at the crazy family watching him. Nick, Kiki, Tyler, Casey and Cas...Oh-Oh.

Where was New Casey?

Well, the moose finally took off for the woods across the street...stopped traffic for a bit while he crossed...and I turned off the camera. (which, by the way filmed, roller-coaster style, blurry, but with the horrific-mommy-cussing, kids screaming, dogs barking loud and clear...it really is funny, now. Someday I just might share that "video" with you).

So now, where, again, was New Casey?

She obviously had grown bored with the shenanigans of the moose craziness, and had settled down in the kitchen with my.beautiful.wonderful.macaroni.and.cheese.

And so again started the naughty words.

I really wanted to make it work with Casey and Casey. I would have lived on in the nuttiness of having two large dogs named Casey, but fate stepped in, and a wonderful family nearby adopted her. She lives happily a couple of blocks away, and we see her often on our walks.

We have never seen that moose again. I don't blame him for not returning.

I do have a video that documents the events of the day, in the style that has become normal for the gang at 1.4.5 Crazy Road.

P.S. After reviewing the tapes...I penalized myself and took a time-out...I am now very aware every time a bad word slips...And apologize quickly to my children...

Hope this made you laugh a little...

Thanks for reading~


Monday, April 19, 2010

Ode To The Road

Asked most with dismay.
To move back to where?
To what town? Where's JAY?

"Its where I grew up.
My family is there.
I want to be near them.
My home. THATS WHERE!"

So we sold our cute little house near the city,
And moved to our "new" house
On a day less than pretty.

I had made my decision, and forged with it ahead
Repairs? We can do it!
I had nothing to dread.

So the kitchen was ancient?
So what? Who cares?
And the bathroom was indeed
in need of repairs.

The walls were painted in greenish/grays
The floors downstairs had seen better days.

I really believe there were ghosts in the lights
They were old. And they flickered.
They gave me the frights.

There were cracks in the windows
the front steps were uneven
then the furnace was shot
I almost stopped believin'

We moved in the fall
And in late December
I was feeling lousy.
Sick. Tired. I so well remember~

The day that I "lost my cookies,"(barfed)
I drove home to get rest,
After I took a "positive" test.(In Wal-Mart)

We couldn't believe it it!
Another baby! No Way!
Kiki was just 4 months!
"It Happens," they say...

And so started a chapter,
season after season
fate takes us on journeys, we know...
for a reason.

For Tyler was coming~
How lucky were we?
There was an extra bedroom!
When before we had three!

But Tyler came early.
His lungs were diseased.
I swore I would do

If He let Tyler live
I promised I would
Never ask for more~
Everything I would give.

And so back and forth from Portland to Jay
With close family and friends
By our side all the way

When the septic flooded our family room
Lisa and Andrew rescued us from doom

And my mom and dad and sister, too
Were right there every day
(You'll never know how much I love you)

You know Tyler made it
I give thanks and pray
And we all live happily.
In my hometown of Jay.

The repairs I envisioned,
Well, we still need.
tiles are falling off, basement leaks...
Do It Yourself books we read

The bathroom walls still need a fresh coat of paint
The color of old apricots
Just might make you faint

Theres a window still cracked
The light fixtures haunted
But I wouldn't trade it~
I have all I've ever wanted

My children healthy
My family close by
So what if my fridge is about to die?

I can live with it all
As long as we're together
The only thing I need changed
Are my counter tops:

Life here is crazy, by now, this you see.
With kids, work, and life stuff,
I'm sure you'd agree...

If I worried about dumb things
I just might explode~
So I just count my blessings
1-4-5 Crazy Road

Thanks For Reading~



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rage In A Cage

Once upon a time I was a single, working mommy.

I felt every emotion known to the human race after my divorce, including fear, anger, sadness, frustration, loneliness, worry, guilt...you name it.

I also felt other things: happiness, relief, excitement, and an amazing feeling of total and complete love for my beautiful son, Nicholas.

When any one or more of these emotions were combined, some crazy things happened.

Anger + Insanity = New Home Construction
Fear + Loneliness = Some, lets say, poor choices in "dating."(that is ALL I'll say about THAT).

Combine guilt with my immense love for Nick and the desire to make him as happy as possible, and I went though a very intense phase when I spoiled him rotten.

We had ice-cream sundays for dinner, he had every "Toy Story" character, movie, bedroom accessory, that they cranked out. I gave into almost every request my beloved 3 year old made. With his curly blond hair and big blue eyes, he was impossible to refuse.

Little did I know, I was embarking on the part of my life that I would do the most learning about myself.

What I wanted, and what I DID NOT WANT.

What I liked and disliked.

That Nicks happiness and well-being came first.

That's why I agreed to KEEP THE BIRD.

At the time I worked for Portland Radio Group. I am so fortunate to have worked there~ Not only did I love working in radio, but the people that I worked with were like family. They were there for me through the rough times, and the good times, through the building of my house, and more. They were my rock when I needed them to be, and they loved Nick, too.(love you guys)!

One day, a dear friend asked if I would "pet sit" for her parakeet.

Sure! I thought, that would thrill Nick, and how bad could a cute little birdie be?

uh huh.

The bird arrived in his cage and we placed it in the sunny, newly painted den. I thought it was a cute addition, and for a nano-second, considered purchasing one of our own.


As soon as my friend left(for a week) that bird made known his feelings.

Or, feeling: HATRED. of.me.

I could almost see it in his beady little eyes. The disdain he felt for being abandoned. The irritated, squealing shriek that only an angry bird(or drowning turkey)can make.

I tried soothing it. I tried singing. I put some seeds in his cage.(Carefully, I had no idea how scared I would be of it). And he knew it.

Nick thought it was fantastic.
And so I decided to make the best of it.

That bird hated me all.night.long. With his terrifying squawking, he made noise through the night, until I could no longer take it.

I went downstairs at the crack of dawn, bleary-eyed from sleep deprivation, and found that he had shredded the newspaper liner into zillions of pieces and scattered the seeds and feathers all over the floor.

This was not going well.

He had seemed to calm down at that point. I mean, what else could he destroy?

I knew that I would have to somehow replace the liner, and water dripper thingy, that he had seemingly mistaken for a birdie toilet. Oh, God.

I gently opened the door to the cage, and he CAME FLYING OUT so fast I almost fell over myself, running away from it, tripping over myself, the kitchen table, knocking over the lamp, screaming the whole time.

(Sshhhh...listen...you can hear me using those naughty words...)

He sort of sputtered up to the top of my kitchen cabinets. I thought they had some sort of procedure so that they couldn't fly! Guess I was wrong...

Nick slept peacefully through the chaos to this point. When I heard him coming downstairs, I screamed at him to "STAY AWAY!" Who knew what this demonic creature was capable of?

Nick, to me, is like Forrest Gump. And I mean that in the most loving way. He has a brilliant mind, is really good at everything without really trying, and barely ever gets ruffled at his mothers antics. Bless his heart.

He just sat on the bottom step and watched the debacle unfold.

How was I going to get him back into his cage?

He answered that for me. By SWOOPING down at break neck speed and landing on my shoulder!

I was like a terrified pirate as I did my best not to pee my pants and scream bloody murder. I put my hand near him and felt his creepy little bird toes wrap around my finger. Oh.jeez!

I placed him "gingerly" inside the cage and slammed and locked that tiny gate. I felt like I had captured a wanted criminal and thrown him into a cell!

I still hadn't changed the liner, or the water, or the seed casings.

The cute, freshly painted room looked like a bird-war had taken place.

What was I going to do? I was going to push on. That's what.

Over the week, night after night, morning after morning, the same episode played out.

I learned to let him out so that I could disinfect his cage, re-paper and feed him.
I learned not to scream every time he dive-bombed me from the kitchen.
I learned that I did not like birds.

And guess what? Nick asked if we could keep the little nuisance!
And guess what? With heavy hesitation, dark circles from lack of sleep, seeds in my hair, I said YES.

I didn't tell him this, but my friend had offered to let us keep him, as she was going to be traveling more, and that it would actually be a favor to her.

This is one of those, "hind site is always twenty-twenty" moments.

As the days went on, my dislike for the bird, now un-affectionately named "Parry," grew. Nick said he loved him, but wasn't old enough to clean the twice-daily mess, or rescue him from his frequent escape missions to the top of the cabinets.

Now the house smelled of bird. Others that visited said they couldn't smell it, but I could. The vacuum cleaner went on strike from over-use. And that bird despised me, as much as I tried to make nice.

After weeks of sleepless nights and bird-poop cleaning, I had had enough. And Nick had lost interest, too.

On the day of his last escape, I tried reasoning with it.

"You know, I am the ONLY one who takes care you. I clean up after you. I feed you. I rescue you. What do you want from me?!?!?!"

He tweeted some nasty response, And I was done.

Now, before I continue, I want you to know that I would NEVER hurt an animal, and any story that I tell has a (relatively) happy ending.

I glanced quickly out the window and saw that the predicted rain was holding off, and if that @@#$%%$# bird really hated being in my home that much, well then, he was free to go.

I opened the door.

He flew out.

Good Riddance. Ungrateful, noisy, disgusting, smelly, sputtering, angry little jerk!

I looked out the window. He really couldn't "fly," per say. Just momentary bouts of "air" then down.

I watched him, he was blue, by the way, hop-fly-hop across my little back yard.

I wished him the best, and enjoyed the quiet that I hadn't experienced in the weeks that he lived here.

Then Nick came down from his nap.
In his under-roo underwear and his bed-head mop-top, he looked up asked, "Where's Parry?"


"Nick, Parry needed some fresh air." It had started to rain.

"Mama. You need to go gettim." He said matter-of-factly.

I knew he was probably right.


Where was he? He could NOT have gone too far, but I could not see him.

I went outside, in the rain, and heard that familiar, nasty tweet. He was under the deck.


I scooched down and tried to coax him out. "C'mon, birdie. I'm sorry."
He was not coming.

After a few minutes, he made a bee-line for me. As fast as I had ever seen him, he raced for the edge of the yard. I tried unsuccessfully to catch him, but he clearly had had enough of me, too. He wanted outta there. It was like my first marriage, minus the dive-bombing.

I realized that even if I did catch him, I wasn't going to be able to get him back to the house without a fight.

I ran back in, grabbed my flip-flops and the bird cage, and ran back out to trap it.

He had made it into the "woods." The land was under development, so it consisted of stumps, razor sharp, thorny, bushes, rocks and mud. It was raining even harder as I Macgivered my way behind the bird, the bain of my existence, as Nick yelled encouragement from the deck, in only his underwear. Now it was pouring rain. I had lost a flip-flop, was scratched by the pucka-brush, and had surely traipsed through poison ivy. What a scene. He would fly. Stop. Fly. Stop. I was never going to get him! And if I did, I had visions of turning on my oven and...Oh, stop. I would NEVER!

After nearly an hour of "cat and mouse" I got him to hop on a stick and I finally was able to get him into the cage.
I have never cussed so much in my life.

I walked, triumphantly, exhausted, bloodied, soaked, back to the house.

By then, Nick had again moved on, and I was left with just rage in a cage.

I called my friend Kurt, who is a wonderfully staunch animal lover, who knew the plight of Parry, and had said that he would happily take him from me, as soon as was warranted. It was warranted now.

It was like my first marriage. You really want it to work. You put yourself through hell as long as you can stand it. You try to change your feelings, but, in the end, it really is best for everyone if you just agree to split.

Here's what I learned:

I'll do anything to make my son happy.

I am obsessed with a clean smelling, vacuumed house.

I don't like camping. Wait, that's another story.

And I don't like birds. It is what it is.

P.S. Parry went on to live happily with Kurt and his other birds. I suffered a hellacious case of poison ivy. Karma, I'm sure.


Thanks for reading.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Turkey Day

I've mentioned a bit about the wacky things that happen with the free-range small animal farm that has seemingly formed in my backyard here at 145 Crazy Road.

I was going to write about some of the antics that have occurred in the past few days here, with Kiki And Ty and their imaginary friends, Stacy and Joe, or Nick's new found "attitude," or the ridiculous occurrence at Rite-Aid last night.

But, in light of the FANTASTIC APRIL SNOW STORM, I decided to recall for you a day last summer. A day that will live on in infamy in the memories of me, my pool net, my kids, my dog, and probably in the minds of the turkey family that has become a mainstay here at the range.

It was one of those summer days that you wake up to glorious sun, warm air, nothing much to do, and the hope of a relaxing day. (knowing all the while that its really not realistic).

"As I stepped out...into the bright sunlight..." Just kidding...

The kids were all up, the pool was momentarily free of pollen, bugs, frogs, moles...you know...nice and clear.

From the kitchen Kiki and Nick were watching the adorable(well, I use that description lightly, turkeys are, after all, U.G.L.Y.)family of turkeys crossing our back lawn. There was a BIG MAMA, a BIGGER DADDY, and about 12 baby turkeys, that each morning made their way, in a line, across the yard.

Enter Tyler and Casey...

"Mama. I'm gonna let Casey out."

"NO! TYLER! Wait!!!!

Too late. Ty opened the back door and Casey shot out at lightening speed, bounding straight for the panicked flock!

Turkeys can fly. Did you know that?

Turkeys and feathers and dog hair were suddenly flying spastically through the air, the dog was barking madly, really just wanting to play, as turkeys disappeared into the trees.

Except for one.

The littlest turkey barely cleared the pool fence and went dive-bombing right.into.the.pool.

Turkeys can't swim. Did you know that?

Now all of the kids gathered at the window screaming~

My rescuing instincts kicked in, and I sprinted out to the pool.

He was flailing about, terrified, making this noise that I could never even begin to describe. He was going down.

"Not on my watch."

I grabbed my net, adjusted the pole(in record time. I hate that thing, I always get my fingers stuck) and set about my mission.

As this was occurring, the family of turkeys started to gather, one by one, and lined up at the pool fence, watching me. clucking. screeching. All 13 of them.

No pressure there!

Dog still barking, kids still yelling, turkey family still clucking, baby turkey splashing, I had no choice but to go in after the bugger.

Still in my p.j.s, I waded in, talking to it, hoping that it understood I was there to help him out.

He was not co-operating, so I pushed the net as far as I could, swam in, and GOT HIM!

I tried to keep him and the net and myself above water, not too easy. I think I was crying, too!

Wet baby turkeys are really heavy, did you know that?

I mustered my strength and lifted that baby clucker right to the edge, where he sputtered a bit, and like it never happened jumped the fence to safety, to his family that was waiting desperately for him.


I didn't even get out of the pool as I watched the grateful flockers waddle off, in their line, across the lawn and into the woods that they came from. I was in shock from the drama.

I got out of the pool to cheering kids, an exhausted and confused dog, and a cold cup of coffee.

My nerves were shot.

Goodbye relaxing day.

Goodbye clean pool.(now a fine layer of turkey dust covered the once pristine water).

Goodbye hot coffee.

Hello, typical craziness.

Again, though, in the face of this lunacy, I did learn a few things:

That families, even yucky-looking turkey families, stick together in the face of disaster. That pool water is sub-zero before 8am. That my "Mommy Instincts" will kick in, no matter what. And that my Thanksgiving dinners would, from now on, consist of TOFURKEY.

The family(I mean, I GUESS its the same one) continued to come back every day. And every day those once teeny, cute, baby turkeys grew into monstrous, vulture looking creatures. I am pretty sure the one I saved was the one that had no problem coming right up to the window to eat the fallen birdseed, while the kids watched in scared delight. I think he knew that he was safe at 145 Crazy Road.

Just another day in the life here...

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanks for reading.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Mice, Mice, Baby.

Some of you reading this are aware of my ongoing issues regarding wildlife, and the valiant rescues that have been executed by me and my trusty pool net.

Right here at 145 Crazy Road, I have been forced to face my fears of small animals, ie: birds, frogs, baby turkeys, bugs(the infamous water bug, pictures to follow)and many, many, more. I've had an enormous moose walk right up to my backdoor and owls fly by in broad daylight(while watching Harry Potter, no less).

The most recent incident(s) have been with mice.

Now, until I am face-to-face with any rodent, frog, bug, etc..., I am unaware of my deep-seeded fear of them, or, I have simply forgotten about how terrified I am of such creatures in their absence.

For instance, a few months ago, while Kiki was learning rhyming words in pre-k, I came up with a little fictional story about a mouse living in our house. Here is a little excerpt from that story:

they were playing together
and heard a noise
they stopped to listen, put down their toys~
"ssshhh!" Whispered Nick...
"Nobody speak!"
They tiptoed downstairs
all listening still
to the noises that came from under the sill
They looked at the wall and discovered a hole
hidden behind their dad's fishing pole!
they could still hear the noise...
"I think its a mouse!" Kiki said to the boys.
"A mouse in our house?" Tyler laughed and giggled.
Then out of the hole a little mouse wiggled...

Cute, huh?

Now the story goes onto describe this cute little mouse, and the kids go about building a mouse house for her in the shed. The whole family comes to love her and they take care of her and her baby mice that come along later in the story...

The kids loved this, and at the time, it was PURE fiction.

So it was an ironic twist that a month or two after writing this story that I came home one afternoon to a "kid less" house. I took off my shoes and was prepared to take advantage of a quiet moment with a magazine and a cup of tea.(It was really too early for wine).

I thougggghhht I saw something scurry by the front door. You know, when your heart skips a little, and you shake it off, hoping that it reeaaaallly didn't happen?

Then my Dad brought Tyler home, the magazine went back to its position down the side of the couch cushion, and life was noisy again.(and that's okay with me).

I sat down with Tyler and was about to....well I can't remember what...because at that moment...that damned little mouse ran right across the floor!

EEEEEEEEKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!Just like on a Tom & Jerry cartoon, I jumped up Tom Cruise style onto the couch, nearly bouncing a now shrieking Tyler onto the floor.

Now he is crying, I am screaming, and unsure what to do. I grabbed a shovel that was just outside the front door, and the big pot that happened to be at the top of the stairs for reasons that again, I can't remember.

What I was going to do with the shovel, I wasn't sure. I wasn't going to kill it! I guess I was going to either trap it, or shovel it out the front door. But where had it gone?

I called my husband, but could only manage to get out breathless, crazy screams. He could barely hear me on his cell phone, and must have thought there was an ax murderer in the house. He wasn't responding the way I needed him to, and in my state of sheer panic, hung up and called my dad. I wasn't any more articulate with him, either, and when I tried to calm down, I saw the mouse go racing across the floor and under the heater near the front door. I dropped the phone with my dad still on the other end.

Then, I saw Nick coming up the driveway. Tyler went racing out, screaming about the mouse, and as I stood there with the door open, shovel ready, the mouse came out and tried to escape, just as Tyler was coming in! FOILED! The screams continued, and the mouse disappeared somewhere behind the couch. My neighbors must've thought the worst.

My mom and dad came speeding up the driveway, surely expecting to witness a crime in progress...with me standing at the top of the hill, pale, shaking, and shovel clutched in my white-knuckled hands.

MM-o-u-s-e! Was all I could manage. Surprisingly, my mother, from whom I inherited my un-Godly fear of frogs)went in like a General leading her troops fearlessly into battle. At that point, I realized I was handling the situation very poorly. Is this how Tyler would respond to situations like this as an adult? He would never find a wife...Oh, Lord!

I re-entered the house with a new attitude. After all, I KNEW that it was more scared of me, and my shovel, and my Dad with the pool net, and Tyler, who now was referencing the story, and how much he wanted to see the mouse so we could build her the house in the shed! AAAWWWW.

I need to wrap this up and say later, in the wee hours of the night, the mouse fell prey to the ingenious trap built by my husband, the cheese,(albeit "cheap" cheese, as Mackenzie called it)and Casey, our playful Golden Retriever, who I'm certain did NOT mean the mouse any harm.

A few days ago, I noticed Casey tossing something about on the front lawn...I thought it was his beloved tennis ball, but as I got closer, I realized it was...a mouse. I shooed Casey away, and saw that the mouse was still alive. The kids came running over, as I directed Nick to put the dog inside, so that I could gently move the injured mouse to safety. What was happening to me?

I moved it to the edge of the lawn, and hoped for the best.

I checked the next day, and he was not where I left him. I think that little mouse made it.

You see? I'm not so heartless that I won't realize what an idiot I am and help out when necessary. I'm no Snow White, but I hold my own when it comes to the creatures that inhabit my property. Me and my net, and my spaghetti pot.

My poor kids think I am a lunatic.

And now I wonder...what will happen if that mouse turns up in my living room again?

Knowing me...I am sure...I will scream.

And so goes the cycle of crazy.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Happy Holiday Shopping? Ho-Oh-NO!

Twas the week before Christmas
I still had to shop
My hubby was working, you know, he's a cop.
The kids in fine spirits, they had just watched "ELF"
"This is going to be fun." I thought to myself.

So off we went, Me, Mackenzie and Ty,
To lunch first, then shopping, with plenty to buy!
I said a prayer to the Mommy Gods:
So cute in the backseat~I knew that they would.

Okay, enough poetry.

I had this vision in my head that day, as I'm sure we've all had, of that perfect, Christ-massy day that would be remembered fondly for years to come.

I'll remember this, alright.

We went first to McDonald's~ it was packed. We found a seat in the corner~ perfect. I was proud as people commented on my cute kids. They did look adorable~ we sat down and were almost through our lunch when Tyler stood up and announced loudly:


And he proceeded to pass the loudest, longest, I have to say, most perfectly timed, gas, okay, fart, that I have ever heard.

Before I could even respond, he turned around to the folks behind him and asked, in perfect Buddy The Elf fashion,

"Did you HEAR that?!"

Luckily, they thought it was mildly amusing, and once again, though I shouldn't have, I laughed. I mean, it was perfectly timed! Of course, I did reprimand him, but it fell on deaf ears, as he and Mackenzie were in an absolute fit of laughter over it.

So we packed up and without fail, the words I knew were on the way...
"MAMA! I have to go pee."

So we all packed into the ladies room. I went in with Tyler, and Mackenzie went beside us.

"MAAAAMAAAA!" It was Mackenzie.
"What, honey?" I said, trying to get Tyler zipped up.

"I didn't wipe enough last time and there's poop on my underwear!"


"Hold on."

"This is what happens when you don't help me wipe, Mama!" She reprimanded me from her stall.

I squeezed Tyler through the line of waiting ladies and in to assist Mackenzie.

"You need to make sure I'm clean as a whistle."

"I know. I will."

I left McDonald's that day with lessons learned.

Onto the grocery store.

The kids had no idea of my nerves. And I had moved on.

The aisles were crowded, but now entertained by Mackenzie and Tyler's lively renditions of "Yellow Submarine" and other Beatles tunes. They were greeting strangers and begging for Lucky Charms and Oreos. Momentarily, there was normalcy.

Then I spotted him. A very little man with a very odd looking hat.

"Look Mama, an elf!"
Of, course.

There was really no turning back. Why did he have to wear that hat, anyway?

Onto the meat section, where I was trying to figure out what type of roast would make the best "pulled pork."

Now, I must intervene and mention that this summer, Tyler had to have extensive dental work, due to lack of enamel on his top teeth. Since then, we are very mindful of the amount of sugar they eat, and especially Tyler, not to eat too much, or his new teeth would have to be fixed again.

Enter, the butcher.

"Can I help you?"

How nice.

"I was wondering what type of..."

I could see Tyler studying the man as he spoke, and before I could stop him, Tyler asked him:

"Did candy WOO-IN YOUR TEEF, TOO?"

I jokingly told the butcher that the kid wasn't even mine...that I found him and was looking for his real mother...

HaHa? Not so much.

I don't even remember what I bought that day. I got them out of there as fast as I could.

Needless to say, I did not make it to Wal-Mart. I hurried home, the kids giggling in the backseat, once again, oblivious to what had occurred.

Recalling this to my husband over the phone, it was another one of those stories that I realized in re-telling it, it was pretty funny.

I will continue to take my kids to lunch, and to the stores, and to wherever I need to go.

I probably won't, however, go back to see that butcher.

Lessons learned every day:
That kids remember lines from movies, to help wipe when needed, and Holiday Shopping on the Saturday before Christmas is a Ho-No-No!

Thanks for reading~


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You Are Not Going to Believe This, But...

This one is for Rylee~

We all have someone in our lives that we call first for everything. For me, its my sister Katie.

I know very well that crazy things happen to everyone. Nutty, dumb things are almost a daily occurrence, and I have come to expect it. I'm quite sure every time my number comes up on my sisters phone, she anticipates my out-of-breath description of something that, in her opinion, could only happen...to me.

Such was the case a couple of months ago.

I had started the year off in typical "Kristen" fashion: with a case of SHINGLES. Yes, that's right. SHINGLES. For anyone that has ever experienced this, let me tell you: It hurts. Not "labor" hurt, but when the nurse shows you the line of faces from happy to really, really, sad? Shingles will put you damn near the end. I share almost everything, but I told very few people about this. First of all, "shingles" sounds disgusting. It makes you think of really old men with skin that looks like fish scales. (Well, that's what I think of, anyway). They give you some pretty strong meds for this, as well as those pain killers that you reeeeeeaaaaaallly should only take 1/2 a pill daily. It took a lot out of me, and it was a couple of weeks before I felt normal again.

So on my first day back on the road, I was feeling pretty good. It was a bright, sunny day, and I was on my way home. A little tired, but nonetheless, without pain.

I was driving on Route 133 from Winthrop into Livermore, and there was no one on the road but me. I happened to glance to the left, I thought there were snowmobilers or something racing in the field. I was going kind of fast(sorry) and as I got closer, I could see that they were not snowmobilers, but~

TWO HUGE HORSES RACING DOWN THE ROAD! They merged into the road and suddenly were racing along right beside me!! Was I hallucinating? Was I seeing things in the bright, snowy sunlight?
Had the meds made me crazier than ever? Nope. It was really happening.

So there I was, in the Kentucky Derby of my life, neck and neck, speeding along with these two enormous horses! As we raced, I was screaming at them: "What are you doing?!?" What the?! Holy SH#*!" Among other random things. What the hell do you say to two wild, loose horses, that were clearly having the time of their lives?

This went on for at least 1/2 mile. It felt like twenty.

I finally pulled myself together and slowed down to a stop. They slowed right down with me, and as I came to a stop, so did they! One stayed right beside me, so close that if I had rolled down my window, I could have patted him on the head, to say, "Good Race." The other one stood in front of my 4-Runner. I wasn't going anywhere, and neither were they.

Who do I call?


"Whats your emergency?"

ME:"I just raced two horses down 133 in Livermore, and now they won't let me leave!!!"

911: Pause. "UUMMM. What?"


At this point, I finally saw other cars, and they were stopping, too. Thank GOD. I was saved. And thank GOD, too, that there would be other witnesses! Who would believe this story?

The 911 operator then said he was getting other calls about this...Well, YEAH!

The horses finally looked at each other, I swear they looked at me as if to say..."Thanks for the race, SUCKAH." And they trotted side by side back toward the road that they came from.

I turned around and followed them back. I felt a bond with these two crazy fast horses, who were just breaking free for a moment. I wanted to make sure they were safe. I couldn't help thinking: "Good for them."

I could see there was a young girl running with reigns, or whatever, to bring them back to where they belong.

My heart was still racing. The stress of it was clearly going to bring on the shing-dings again. Who do I call about this? Who is going to believe me?

My sister. That's who.

ME:"Katie! You are not going to believe this..."

Katie: "What did you do now..."

And that is how most of my calls to her start.

I started this blog to share with you the crazy things like this that happen, so you can have some idea of what my sister, husband, friends and family go through, and maybe get a laugh.

I think of those horses everyday, whenever I feel like "breaking free." Its one of those things that make me believe that everything happens for a reason.

I wonder what today will bring~


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's Too Late For Sorry

I'll let you know right off the bat...There may be language used in this blog that may be a leeeeetle bit offensive. Not horrible words, just the occasional mild expletives that sometimes slip from a sometimes frustrated mommy/employee/wife/ex-wifes mouth. (I know that some of you are l-ing-ol at this right now). And expressed at a later date by other members of my family. (a.k.a., the kids).

It happens a lot around here, and I am certain it happens in other households, too...you hear your kids repeating things you MAY have said...either to them, or thinking they were out of earshot when you said it...and where you KNOW its inappropriate, it sounds so funny, you JUST HAVE TO LAUGH.

For example: Last night I sounded the bedtime call from upstairs. I could hear them start their nightly race up the stairs. I heard a door slam, and Tyler came running around the corner. Next around the corner was Kiki, with a nasty look on her face and hands on her hips.
"Whats wrong with you?" I asked.

In her cute Tink pajamas(the ones she wanted to trade in the night before) and two "Dorothy" style braids, she looked adorable. I just stared at her for a second, and she stared back at me, still with hands on hips, and I cracked up laughing.

"I am so mad at him! He is such a little BOTHER!"

Is it bad that I wanted to hear more of her tirade? It was too funny to stop her. The fact that she had absolutely no idea WHY it was so funny made the moment golden to me.

Of course, Tyler apologized, they hugged, and bedtime went on as usual.

Earlier in the day, after Kiki got on the bus, Tyler decided that he wanted to play outside. It was only 8:30 in the morning, and it was chilly~not that it mattered to him~but I was actually in the middle of a work "thing" and had to go in quickly to take care of it.(The trials of trying to balance mommy hood and work...a topic for another day)...

Ty was determined to stay outside with his "constwuction vehicoows" and I was losing my patience.

After a bit of heated debate, he came inside and settled down with his blocks while I spoke with a customer on the phone.

After my phone call, I yelled upstairs to Tyler,

"Ty? I'm sorry for snapping at you outside!"




"I said I am sorry."

Sneeze 3 times.

"Yeah? Well its TOO LATE for sorry!"

Sniiiifffff. (he has a cwappy cold, as he likes to call it).

I just sat with a mixture of emotions. I just said that to him the other night after he dumped dirt from his dump truck all over the living room. I had no idea he even cared at the time. But he certainly heard the words! He sounded JUST LIKE ME. Then I had to laugh.

I went upstairs and gave him a hug.

"I really am sorry, Ty."

"Can I have a cookie?"

I knew I was forgiven.

I gave him a cookie. Yes. I. Did.

They really do hear everything, and doggone it, THAT'S how we turn into our own parents.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Our Imaginary Friends

I finally met her.

The bff of my 4 year old daughter, Mackenzie~her name is Stacy.

Mackenzie, affectionately called "Kiki," has been talking to, planning with, giggling and confiding in Stacy via her "cell phone" for weeks now. (The said cell phone being a square magnet that Kiki keeps in her pocket and beside her bed, in case Stacy calls).

Listening to her conversations, you would have a hard time believing that Stacy REALLY isn't on the other end of the discussion. Kiki laughs and chats, even pauses as though she is listening to every word that Stacy says. Its really quite interesting. More interesting than my real-life conversations.

So, yesterday afternoon, Kiki came running down the stairs..."Stacy is here! Her mom just dropped her off!" I actually stopped what I was doing to go to the door! Of course, there was no car pulling away, but I looked twice, just in case...

Kiki came to me a few minutes later to introduce me. "Mom, I'd like you to meet Stacy. She is going to sleep over! Now we are going to play hide and seek." And off they, I mean, she went.

Stacy had dinner with us(she brought her own waffles) and played with Tyler, too. We learned that she has purple nail polish and picks her nose. Her mom is named Kristen, too, and she has a red car.

We learned a lot about our guest as Kiki was getting ready for bed. Bun and Ruffers(her usual sleep buddies) got the boot to make room for Stacy, who, by the way, snores. She has Barbie pajamas, and Kiki was pissed that she didn't have Barbie pj's, too. (This was now getting to the coo-coo point). I actually started to feel bad that she had Tinkerbell on hers!

While all of this is going on, Tyler brought HIS buddy, Joe into the mix. Joe is short, and steals things, but then loses what he steals. The whole lot of them were having the time of their lives, while I wondered if I had enough Lucky Charms for every ones breakfast!

Fast forward to this morning, when Kiki let us know that Stacy will be staying with us until Saturday. Stacy did NOT go to school with her, because she feared that her real friend Brooke would sit ON her on the bus.

So now as I sit here, writing my first "BLOG," I wonder: Should I offer her lunch?
And for that matter, if Joe is still here, is he the reason I keep misplacing my coffee cup?

Until tomorrow~

Thanks for reading!