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...