Wednesday, December 7, 2011

World War Flu

It hit without warning
From nowhere it came
Into our life
Some "bug" with no name
It first struck poor Tyler
From the backseat I heard,
"Mom, I've a tummy ache!"
And then, not a word.
I tried to hurry, really I did!
But he couldn't make it.
My poor, poor sick kid.
All over the backseat.
The window. The door.
We hurried him inside.
On the stairs. On the floor.
Disgusting. Gross. Oh, What a mess!
My poor little baby boy.
In Gastric Distress.
Hour by hour.
Up all night.
We were defenseless.
No strength to fight
The next day he seemed
like he felt a bit better,
But Mama and Daddy were
under the Weather
While Tyler slept away the day
The "bug" decided to have it's way
With Daddy, the tough guy, never sick, you see~
"Ugh. Now MY stomach is bothering me!"
As I looked at his face, a pale shade of green,
I knew it was over.
You know what I mean?
I raced to get towels. A bucket or can.
Something to help out my now sick, sick man.
He would never make it
Up two flights of stairs
Then I heard what sounded like fighting grizzly bears.
I came 'round the corner, ready to gag,
To find my poor husband
Wretching into a DOG FOOD BAG.
"Oh, My Goodness! Honey! Oh, My!"
Then I laughed so hard I started to cry.
A Dog Food Bag!
"Its the first thing I saw." He said as he~
Explained how he had tried to spare me
The gruesome, yucky task of cleaning
The effects of this "bug" that wasn't weaning.
When he crawled back into bed, I knew.
We were in for
The next day it hit Ty again.
He wouldn't eat or play~
The doctor said he would be fine
In another day
And so he was, but then that night
I knew MY belly wasn't right
"Oh, no. Oh, Please."
But prayers don't work
To keep away this buggy jerk.
So I camped out on the bathroom floor
With chills and aches down to the core.
"Mommy, Mommy! You okay?"
"Nope. I'm not. Sorry to say."
Then all day I laid in bed,
No work, No food, just full of dread.
For there is just too much to do!
I don't have TIME
So Mr. Gastric-Ent-Whatever,
I'm done with all your tricks:
Just get on in your MAC TRUCK,
and take your ton-of-bricks~
That you used to take us down
4 whole days ago,
I'm using everything I've got
To fight you off, you know.
Lysol. Bleach. and 409.
My house will sparkle clean.
And you are SURE not welcome back,
You are awful, nasty and mean.
Now we are a little tired,
A little achey still
But World War Flu is over
And It didn't break our will!
So sorry if this grossed you out,
But this is part of life,
And now I hope that my wonderful
can FORGIVE his giggling wife!


Thanks For Reading!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Pass, The Grass, The Stranger With Class

Danielle Peart~This one's for you!

It's time to buckle up again, Crazy Road Travelers. This one gets a little twisty.
So, just yesterday, I got a note from a very special young lady, Danielle, reprimanding me, in a sense, for not updating the blog. And it does bother me, when I don't have anything REALLY good to write about. I mean, crazy things are always happening, but it's really just more of the same:

-My hilarious kids and the things they say...
-Encounters with wild(and not so wild)life on a daily basis...i.e. a head-on collision with mating dragon flies with my brand new car, coming across a dead chicken in the middle of the road while I was running, baby frogs, etc...
-The fruitcakes I run into in local retail establishments

etc, etc, etc...

I even asked my son if he could think of something funny that I could write about. He is always laughing at something I've done...

But even HE shook his head no, and went back to his nano-pod-dsd-esp thing.

So what happened today hit me like a TON OF BRICKS.

This story really starts last May.

I was on my way home from Farmington on Route 133.

Of course, I found myself in back of this little jerk-car, going no faster than 20 mph.

Not that I was in a major rush, but after traveling halfway home in back of her, and a line of cars in back of me, I had pretty much had it. As soon as the opportunity presented itself, I pulled around to pass.

And I NEVER pass cars unless it is absolutely crucial.

Well of course, In a complete "just-my-luck" moment, the little bee-atch sped up, forcing me to speed up to get by her. Going down hill. As the speed limit changed.


The blue lights came on.


I watched in my mirror as he spun around.

(I am not going to say what I really want to say about this, and some of you reading this can already assume what I really want to say about this, but I'm not going to say it. I'm going to think it REALLY hard).

I mean, come on. A soccer mom in an SUV, and he turned on me like he had just spotted one of the ten most wanted. (I had to say that). I had already properly pulled over.

So, being a cop's wife, I remembered all of the stories he has told me about the mouthy, disrespectful people that he has dealt with. As pissed as I was, I knew not to say anything. Not to try to plead my case. Just be polite, and him my license, registration and insurance, and wait. And wait. And f&*^%ing wait.

When he came back to my window, he actually sounded a bit sorry, as he explained he was aware I was making a safe pass, and that we were on a decline, and that my record was squeaky clean. Then handed me a ticket. Something to the tune of $215.


I was shaking mad. Now I had to go home and explain to my husband how I got nailed with a ticket. But I planned on fighting it. I had my ducks in a row for this one.

I'll skip the part about telling my wasn't pretty...and not because he was mad at me...and some of you reading this know why he was especially mad. But anyway...

Shortly after I got home, Chris had left to run some errands...the phone rang.

On the caller i.d: JAY POLICE DEPARTMENT.


I answered and here is what I heard:

"This is (insert officers name here). I just issued you a summons for..."

Yes. I remember. It was fifteen minutes ago....

"Well," he continued, "the gentleman who was in back of you today came into the station and filled out a statement. He said that the vehicle you were attempting to pass was going well under the speed limit and..."

And he basically stated word for word what had happened.

"Who was it?" I asked, absolutely stunned.

"It was some Fed-Ex driver. So go ahead and rip up that ticket." He told me.

"Are you kidding me? Are you serious?" This kind of thing happens in insurance commercials, or on "Touched by an Angel" re-runs. NOT to this kid.

A stranger doing something completely unwarranted for the good of someone else.


Now, I could have blogged about this, I guess, back when it happened. But life got in the way, and as months passed, I really didn't think about it too much, except for when I see people flying by my house at ridiculous rates of speed, or when I see people driving like maniacs and passing 7 cars at a time on a turn, and wonder...

If I actually saw what this mysterious Fed-Ex driver saw, would I go way out of my way to find the local Police Station and fill out a statement?

You know what? I just might.

Now, fast forward, Wayne's World style to the present day.

This morning I had a meeting in Farmington, Maine.

Just minutes from my home, I traveled Route 133 to my destination.

A new HYDROPONICS store.

I know, I know. But they really do show people how to grow indoor gardens!

It's the wave of the future!

So ironically, my first appointment with this new business was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but was re-scheduled for today...

At 11am, I had just started learning about cloning female plants and flood and drain systems, when the door opened.

"I have some stuff here out want it in or out?" The Fed-Ex guy asked.

He started chatting with the owner of the store for a minute...and I flashed back to that day in May..."some Fed-Ex guy came in and filled out a statement..." What were the chances....?

"Excuse me," I interrupted..."Is Farmington your usual territory?"

He looked at me and turned totally red. (Awwww).
"Ah, well, actually, no. I only work here one Friday every month."

"Oh." I said.

"I know this sounds crazy, but are you familiar with Route 133?" I pressed.

"Yeah? I'm from Auburn, so I take it back from here to Jay..." He looked like he was starting to put together the pieces.

I think he realized it before I even asked.

"Are you the Fed-Ex guy that went to the Jay Police Station and gave a state..."

"I AM!!!I AM!" He cried.


Now we were both practically dancing around this poor growers business, like we were the ones who just, well, took part of the harvest!

The store owner was even excited.

This was such an unbelievable meeting! Never in a million years did I expect to EVER meet the person who went out of his way to help me, a perfect stranger.

He went on to say he always wondered what happened, if I got a ticket, if his random act of kindness helped at all...

It did, I assured him. It SO did!

We chatted for a few more minutes, re-telling to the now sleepy hydroponics dude the minute by minute account of "The Pass," feeling like we were old war buddies reunited.

What were the chances that I would be in the hydroponics store, at the exact time the good Samaritan delivered to a business that wasn't even his usual area?

"It's cosmic." My boss said when I finished telling him this story.

It absolutely is.

Just this week I watched the movie, "The Adjustment Bureau." (A great movie, BTW).

In a nutshell, it's all about how we are all on a plan, and everything we encounter, everything that happens, every person we meet, is for a reason.

Today just re-affirmed what an amazingly small world it is. And no matter where we are in the universe, it is where we are supposed to be.

I got his name and address.

He's got a gift certificate and a thank you note coming from Crazy Road.

(But no thank-you card. I just won't do that).

So...If you ever think about doing something that just might make a positive difference in someones life, do it.

You never know where it could lead you.

Thanks for Reading.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Not In The Cards

Cardophobia~n. the absolute fear and dislike of greeting cards and/or the selection of these cards. adj~cardophobic: having cardophobia.

I am a cardophobe.

Welcome to my admission...My rant, if you will, about my feelings on the GREETING CARD.

I am blessed to have an amazing, loving, affectionate family. I also have thoughtful, caring friends. These people in my life have an amazing ability to present, on-time, even, the perfect greeting card for every.single.occasion.

These lovely folded notes of love and gratitude find their way into my home, my mailbox, my fireplace mantle, and are lined up almost on a weekly basis, depending on who's birthday it is, who in my family is being celebrated, who might be feeling under the weather, who had their haircut, who needed a "hug across the miles."

My mom and sister are the true culprits for my illness.

My amazing mother has ALWAYS been a card giver. She usually pre-plans her month and has a stack of cards on her shelf in the kitchen, all filled out, some in envelopes, already addressed and stamped, ready to go to the recipient. (Don't even get me started on her uncanny gift-wrapping ability, that just might send me to the e.r.)

Then there is my sister, who can find the MOST perfectly worded, humorous card, sometimes "just for fun," or because "she couldn't resist," and sends it days before the actual event. The pressure that I feel to live up to the card-giving-bar is sometimes insurmountable.

This pressure had led me to, at times, forgoing the card giving altogether. And that led to what my mother says, has ruined the card-buying/giving experience for her. Well, at least when she tries to buy cards for me.

I tried for years to find the perfect cards for my parents, grandparents, sister and friends. On Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthdays, anniversaries, you name it...

After years of buying cards that started...

"For my Mother, On her Birthday..."

"Today and every day..."


So not what I would really say, face to face, to tell the people that I love that...well...I love them! And I appreciate them!

But I would stand in front of the imposing card walls, going cross-eyed from reading hundreds of cards, getting lame from reaching up and bending down, getting more and more frustrated as I would finally find a decent card, but no envelope to fit. Or I realize I bought the same card the year before...Or my sister probably had...And inevitably I would have to pee, or worse, and I am left racing out of the store, irritated, sweating, and...cardless.

I'm not so mushy that I want to represent my feelings with gold, scrolled lettering with a picture of a stream in the forest at sunset...

But not so "insensitive" that I would select a card that tells someone else that THEY are the lucky ones for knowing me, or having me for a child/sister, or tell them that "although I WANTED to give them the perfect gift...blahblahblah...Here's your [bleeping] card..."



People buy these?

And yet, I have stood in mobs of people, on the Saturday before Mother or Father's Day, doing the dance of card selection, almost getting into rumbles with people who go for the same card that I want, watching some people pass through the crowd and reach over, and without even opening the thing, pluck their greeting from the millions of greetings and go on their merry way. You stand in the line of strangers, quietly reading, replacing, reading, replacing...some people sniffing with emotion, others chuckling, moving wordlessly, without direction from anyone, from section to section...feeling the pressure as the person beside you finds "the one," and proudly leaves the group of forlorn searchers...the card-dance

I mean, the whole industry is really quite a racket.

Now there are cards with music that plays when you open them.

I heard Willie Nelson.

I heard the Wiggles.

I heard bodily functions blurting upon opening some.

Some are mushy.

Some are religious.

Some are kind of funny.

None say "BUP" or "NANNY," but some say, "POPPA" or "GAGGA." If you don't call your grandmother one of these terms of endearment, you're SOL and have to settle for "Grandmother...You're The Best!" Or you have to re-design the front with a sharpie to ensure proper address...

And let's chat about the prices...

At 5 or 6 bucks a pop, If you are lucky enough to be surrounded by Mom's, Dad's and Grad's, you had better start an account to save for greeting cards alone!

This past Father's Day was one for the books...

My sister sent the.funniest.card. She sent it two weeks in advance. It would be impossible to match.

With this little gem, that had been proudly displayed for days before the actual holiday, in the back of my mind, I started on my quest for a card.

Now, anyone who knows me knows how much my dad means to my whole family. I could go on and on about how much we love him. How much he does for us. Helps us. Brings happiness to us. How much we admire him...

He knows it, too.


Because I tell him so.

I tried to find a card in the grocery store.

No luck.

I knew I had to do it, and there was just one more option...


I hate to even say it out loud.

But I went in like I was going into battle.

I could feel the pressure mounting. I could hear the crowd humming like a swarm of bees around the corner..

There they were.

I promptly turned around and headed for the rest room.

Like a child forced to "pee before you go," I knew that without extra pressure, I may be able to quickly find the perfect card.

I was facing my phobia head-on.

The crowd had thinned a bit, and although the rows and rows and rows and rows were disheveled, with just a few stragglers, I felt my odds were decent...

"For My Father, With Love...Today and Always..."


"You'll Always Be My Hero..."

True, but played "Wind Beneath My Wings..."when I opened it.


"From Both of Us..."

Maybe...but that one was like, seven dollars! Plus, it had rainbows or something on it...

This was insane.

I thought about calling him and reading a few over the phone.

I finally found one, that was nice. It wasn't funny, like my sister's. It wasn't too mushy.

It had a picture of a fly-fisherman on it.


I was exhausted.

I am not out to destroy Hallmark.

I am not wishing to ruin the experience for all of you "perfect card finders."

I am simply stating my phobia.

I admire people that promptly pick and send the perfect messages.

It's not that I wouldn't spend ten dollars if I found, by chance, the perfect card.

But I have yet to find one.

What I will promise is that I will continue to tell people in my life how much I love them. How much I admire them, appreciate them. Wish them well on new jobs, wish them health. I will pick up the phone and congratulate new parents.

I am not banning the greeting card ritual, per say.

Just taking a break for a while.

Mom, Dad, Kate, Grammy and Chris~I love you. You really all are "The Wind Beneath My Wings."

My name is Kristen, and I am a cardophobe.

Thanks For Reading.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ladies: Check Your Girls

Two things:

1) This is not that funny. In fact, aside from a couple of slightly chucklish moments, this won't be the typical wacky story that you will usually find here. But I am writing it for a very, very important reason.

2) I am actually starting the story with the end of the story, so you know it has a relatively happy ending.

At around 11:30 a.m. this morning, the phone finally rang. The caller i.d. was the one I had been waiting for.

Franklin Memorial Hospital.

I had literally been sitting beside the phone since 6a.m.

This call was going to change my life. No matter what the person on the other end had to tell me.

"Your ultrasound and mammogram look normal." She said.

The feeling of relief was indescribable. I hadn't been able to breathe for the last 48 hours.

"THANK YOU!THANK YOU!THANK YOU!" I am pretty sure I was crying and laughing at the same time.

Shorty after the nurse from my doctor's office called to explain that I still needed to consult with her and decide what I wanted to do about this "normal cyst."

A normal cyst.

These are words I never really thought about. Words I never thought would make me so happy that I have the life that I get the privilege to live. Words that will allow me to sleep tonight. Words that reminded me that every single day is a gift.

Words that thousands of others were praying to hear.

And they didn't hear them.

They heard words like "abnormal."




It's all about early detection, folks.

On Monday night, I was doing a relatively random self breast exam.

I've always done them. Not exactly monthly, but every once in a while I do a quick check. I've never felt anything out of the ordinary until two days ago.

A lump.

I checked again.





I started shaking. I broke out into a cold sweat. I went into the bedroom and asked my husband to see if he could feel it.

His face said it all.

He could feel it, too.

"I'll call my doctor in the morning." I said as calmly as I could.

He finally fell asleep.

My mind drifted to the worst case scenario. Then to the lighter side of things and I started imagining that maybe my hair will grow in straight and blond and I could end up with nice, big, perky implants after all was said and done. (That was one of the funny moments, people...of course I wouldn't get big ones...)

I barely slept.

Tuesday morning I paced in front of the phone until I knew the doctor's office was open. I always hate to think I am the first caller lighting up the phones, but this time I could not have cared less. Someone needed to feel my boob. I was not taking no for an answer.

Thankfully, the fantastic staff a Pine Tree Women's Care in Farmington, made it possible for me to be seen that morning.

I jokingly told the receptionist that I was hopeful that the doctor would tell me that when "you lost your final marble it just landed in your ta-ta." I thought it was pretty clever in the face of sheer terror.

She laughed, too.

As I waited for my doc to come in, I started thinking of my prior visits:

A couple of strep throats.
A kidney stone.
Routine "lady" visits. (AKA: Paps).

Nothing compared to this.

She came in and got right to it.

I watched her face as she felt the prominent lump, too.

She checked both breasts. The other one was fine.

She left the room so I could dress, and I lost it.

I just sat there and cried.

When she came in, she cried a bit, too. She explained that I could have a mammogram and ultrasound as early as yesterday afternoon. Could I do it, schedule wise? Abso-f*&^ing-lutely.

Mom and Dad to the rescue again as Nick and Kiki were both home from school with crappy colds, it was lunchtime...My dad picked up the kids and my mom hurried so she could come with me.

Soon I was preparing for my first mammogram.

At age forty, I know they are necessary.

I was hoping to put it off as long as humanly possible.

I was shaking.


I am not going to mention any names, but the amazing person that was going to perform the mammogram is a person that I have known most of my life. She asked me if I minded if she did it? Or would I prefer someone else?

I told her without question I wanted it to be her. A friendly face and "chit-chat" was exactly what I needed to get through the procedure. If you are reading this, TCF~"Thank you from the bottom of my...ahem...heart."

Ladies, the mammogram is a piece of cake. Get it done. If you are of the age...and have not had one...GET ON IT.

On to the ultra-sound, where at this point, I was so emotionally exhausted I could hardly stand.

Again, a friendly face talked to me as she took pictures of this "lump."

"Has anyone ever told you have very dense breasts?"


"Why, yes. Yes, in fact..."


We looked together at the images, and although she couldn't say for sure, her tone indicated that she thought it looked like the "good" kind of lump.

I burned that image into my brain and googled all night.

I knew that I would have the answer. In my gut I felt that it would not be bad news. But there was that possibility.

I called my sister.

I told Julie.

My husband could barely speak.




Willing that phone to ring.

Whatever they say, I vowed to live the best I can.

Love my children. My husband. My family. My friends.

Be the best person I can.



Eat well.

Quit dieting so friggin much.

Live like there is no tomorrow.

Fix the goddammed swimming pool.


"Is this Kristen?"

"It is."

"Your mammogram and ultrasound are both normal."

And here I am.

The thing is, I found that lump during a self-breast exam.

I NEVER expected to feel anything.

But if it had been cancer, it would have been early enough to treat.

If it had been cancer, I would have fought with every fiber of my being.

I have been inspired by people who have survived. I will pray for those same people even harder today.


Check your girls. Do it tonight, this morning, whenever you get done reading this.

It's all about early detection.

Now I'm gonna have some CAKE!!

Thanks For Reading.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

chukar chukar chukar chukar....cooo coooo!

I mean, really.

The National Bird Of Pakistan strolling about the grounds of Crazy Road?

My ONEHUNDREDTEN pound dog vomiting all over my vehicle on the hottest day of the year?

My daughter belting out "Crocodile Rock" in the midst of the most hilarious case of hiccups I have ever heard?

My husband returning from a "quick run to the grocery store" with his "treasures?"

I just had to sit down and re-cap what was a classically crazy week.

I guess I'll quickly start off by mentioning my weekend last weekend, an annual girls trip to Ogunquit, Maine, where I realized that a huge part of my crazy life are the friends that I have. My friend Lisa, who, whenever we spend time together, makes me laugh until I literally cry...And Rick Dolliver...a dear friend from college who now owns the amazing restaurant "PRIME," who is a blatantly hilarious storyteller, and to this day makes me blush with some of his outlandish comments...(by the way, if you are ever in the Ogunquit area, PRIME has possibly the best food I have ever had, and great drinks). My friends share in my craziness, accept it, understand it, and even promote it. It was a fun filled, funny weekend, and so started the craziest week in a while...

Monday: After the local parade, I happily packed up the kids for a sunny afternoon at my parents. When my dad brought out Coronas, it was the perfect refreshing accent to a warm afternoon by the pool. When we finished our bottles, my Dad asked if we (my mom, grandmother((yes, my amazing grandmother drinks Coronas, too)) and I) wanted another...My mother said, regrettable, there were no more.

So I offered to, in great Jay, Maine style, make a "beer run." And without thinking, I threw a tank-top over my bathing suit, jumped in my truck, and headed down to "FOOD CITY." I hustled in my flip-flops to the beer section, picked up a case and stood in line with the other mid-day-tank-top-wearing-case-of-beer-buying folks from the tri-town area. I had to laugh...just because...

Tuesday: I was HHHHOOOTTT! Not that I mind. I love summer. Nick had a baseball game and after a crazy day of work, I was looking forward to watching him play. On my way back from work, I decided to stop and pick up Casey. He had been inside all day and figured he would love to go and socialize at the game. I grabbed his leash and he jumped into the back of the 4-Runner. I admit, I was in a bit of a hurry, and Casey has never like to ride. The road is pretty curvy, but a short trip to the school. We pulled into the parking lot, and I heard it...


For any of you who own dogs, there is really no questioning when they are going to...well...puke.

The heaving.

The gaggling.

The yacking.

And when your dog is as big as mine, it's.not.pretty.

Of course, when he was finished projectile vomiting all over, he was happy as a clam! Tail wagging, he jumped right out and was ready to party!

So now, in between trying to figure out how to partially clean this mess, and finding his leash, I realize that HE DID NOT HAVE HIS COLLAR!!

Now what?!?!

Now I had to finagle his leash around his neck, and force him to believe that he was really secure on the leash. He trotted toward the crowd as I helplessly tried to control him, leaving my yoooook-filled vehicle open in the hot sun.

Now I was sweating and stressed as I tried to get him back to the vehicle without a leash.

I explained to my parents that I had to back home to at least get the truck cleaned out a little bit, and deliver the collarless dog.

Thankfully, he jumped right into the back again, but un-thankfully, laid right in the huge puddle of goo.

I had to ask...

Why Me?

I also had to ask..."Where the hell was his collar? Who took it off?"

Now faced with hosing him off as well, the day took a turn for the worst.

Without the help of his collar or leash to DRAG him to the hose...I had to body wrestle him across the lawn to get him near the garden hose. He thought we were playing. I was beyond pissed. I'm sure anyone passing by thought it looked hilarious. He is such a huge animal.

Now, REALLY hot, REALLY sweaty, and covered in DOG HAIR, I cleaned what I could from the truck, and raced back to the school to catch some of the game.


Wednesday: Tornado warnings? That's right...tornado warnings in the town of Jay, Maine. Imagine my horror as Chief Meteorologist Charlie Lopresti was instructing us to get to our basement, cover our heads with pillows and stay tuned to WGME for complete coverage...JEESH!!

Nick was at a baseball game, and his Dad had just texted me that the game had now been cancelled.

Ya think?

I texted him to get Nick home ASAP has the tornado was about to hit!

As they pulled into the driveway, it had started to hail...I hurried Nick into the basement, and really had no choice but to instruct my ex-husband to hit the basement as well.

So, there we were...

Me, my three children, my dog, and my ex-husband, all clutching pillows riding out the storm.


Thankfully, we never experienced the tornado, but let me tell you. It was scary to think that it could happen, and my heart goes out to all of those who have recently been through the real thing.

Thursday: Another crazy day at work, but I was looking forward to an evening of doing nothing. No-one had games, or practice, or meetings...Chris was working, so it was going to be a casual, no clean up dinner and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Just after dinner, Nick came running downstairs.

"Mom! You have GOT to come and see this bird!!"

People. Come on. If you have been following this blog, you could probably guess my reaction.

"What now?"

We have had so many creatures cross the yard, take a swim, come up to the door, if an elephant showed up for dinner, I wouldn't be surprised.

But this bird was unlike any I had ever seen!

It was big, like a duck.

It was tannish, but had black and white stripes under his wings.

It had a distinct black mask that looked like it hooked under his chin.

It had an orange beak and orange legs and feet, and some orange around his eyes.

I know this because I followed him around for a half an hour taking pictures and video.

He let me walk right up to him, and didn't seem to mind. He was leisurely exploring the surroundings of Crazy Road.

I had yet to see anything like that bird.

After hours of googling, posting on Face book, taking advice from local "experts," we got every answer from quail, to a cross-bred duck/puffin to "coot." But nothing looked like a match.

Until this morning: Acting on a FACE BOOK TIP, I looked up Chukar Partridge.



Of Course.

Its only natural for a fowl that is native to that continent would find its way to my backyard.

I know, I know, there is probably a logical explanation. Likely escaped from a local farm....but Jeez Loise!


So last night, after a crazy filled week of work, kids, dogs, Pre-K after parties, taco-eating, crocodile rock singing, hiccuping, laughing, exotic bird watching chaos, it was my husband who put the icing on the coo-coo cake:

He went to the grocery store for eggs and hot dogs.

As usual, he took way longer than necessary, and I wondered what "treasures" he would return with. I've probably mentioned that I rarely concede to him running to the store...unless it is an emergency...because he, bless his impulsive heart, never sticks to a list.

So he finally returned, with his usual proud grin, and presents in grand style...

A long, narrow, package of....sticks!

"what the hell is THAT?" I ask, as I always do when viewing what he believes is the treasure of the century.

"It's a S'MORES KIT!" He excitedly tells me. "And it has marshmallows and chocolate right in the box!!"

"Nice!" I tell him as I look at the bag that should only have hot dogs in it.

" know what else I got?" he asked.

"I can hardly stand the suspense." I replied, wondering if he even bought hot dogs for dinner.


"A coconut? What the *&^% is that for?"

No matter.

He's upstairs right now banging it with a hammer.

Because, well, we needed a coconut.

Who knows what today will bring.

I hope this made you laugh a little.

It's a crazy life. And I'm so lucky to have it.

PS. He did remember the hot dogs.

Thanks for Reading!

On the show "America's Funniest Home Videos," there is a segment called, "Name That Sound." On Thursday night,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mama Magic

Once upon a time, an amazing magician(Scot Grassette)mystified and entertained a gaggle of 7 year olds and their parents at my son's birthday party. The "tricks" were really amazing, and left everyone wondering how in the world he pulled them off.

After everyone was gone, and the last of the cake crumbs were swept up, Scot was finished packing up, and was on his way out.

I had to know...

"Okay. Let's have do you do it?"

"You really want to know?" He asked, as he walked toward me.

"Yes?" Did I? I started to get a little freaked out.

He came right up close(by the way, Scot is a dear friend of ours)and said, You REEEEEAALLLY want to know?"

"yes." I whispered. And waited for his answer.

"It's magic." he whispered back as he pulled a coin right the heck out of my ear.

I'll never forget that moment, that son-of-a-gun magician, and I think about it from time to time, when life gets so crazy, I wonder if there must be some sort of magic in order to pull off the millions of things we do in a day.

Like how I somehow "transport" myself around the house, well before 6am, get the little monsters fed, dressed, de-snotted, brushed, wiped-down, signed off, lunches wrapped and bagged and out the door. Then do the same for myself, somehow manage to apply eyeliner AND earrings(well, sometimes)AND shoes(except for once, I actually forgot shoes and didn't realize it until I was halfway to work)and still make it to work on time.

It must be magic.


We all do it...we all at some point in the week wonder, "how am I going to fit it all in?"

School events.

Not necessarily in that order.

But it always gets done.

Mama Magic.

My mom has it. My grandmother must have it...and now I think I must have it.

I have the ability to see and hear things that go on in my house that no-one else EVER hears...I hear the lightest of coughing in the middle of the night...the faintest of footsteps when one of them needs a drink of water...when Tyler is sneaking in the kitchen looking for hidden snacks, I can hear, almost bionically, his every move. No matter where I am in the house.

"How did you know I was in hee-yah?" He asked yesterday.

"Mama Magic, Tyler."

I can sense things, too..

"How did you know I always wanted Corn Pops?" He asked today as I was unloading groceries.

"Guess." I said, as I tried to hide the Oreos.

"Magic?" He asked.

"Yup. Mama Magic. Mamas always know."

"KIIIIKIIIIII...Mom has magic powers!!!" He went running and singing and yelling to his sister.

When I spy them teasing each other in the back seat, using my "special forces" rear-view mirror, I tell them its because of my magic powers that I can see them.

They totally buy it.

How else do we seamlessly pull of holidays? Not only do we manage to fulfil the hopes and dreams of talking doll-houses and impossible to find "Pokemon" games, but that darned Santa gets it wrapped and rolled under the tree every fricken year, and with minutes to spare! The Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Leprechauns...all the result of what has to be "Mama Magic."

I wish I had the idea for this little rant a couple of weeks ago, around Mother's Day. But that particular day I was busy cleaning Mackenzie's carpet after she "frowed up" and trying to get Tyler to stay still for ten seconds so he would stop coughing. I wish my powers could magically clean yuckiness.

Today I had to be at work, at school, at a baseball game, grocery store and home for dinner, laundry, homework, and more work. Did I make it?

You Betcha.

Mackenzie, after one of her many "weepy" moments asked me how I always can make her tears go away so fast...

"It's Mama Magic." I told her.

"You're magic?" She sniffled.

"Yup. I have Mama Magic."

She just stared at me for a minute, and I waited for her to say something epic...

"I THOUGHT there was something about you that was weird."


So the next time someone wonders aloud at you, asking, "how do you do it all?"

You can tell them the truth, like the immortal words of Scot Grassette,

And say,

"It's magic."

Thanks For Reading.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Crazy Road Constitution

Here are the rules and regulations for all who reside at, or visit the residence of 145 Crazy Road:

I the Mama, In order to form a less crazy household,Establish Justice, Ensure domestic tranquility, Provide for the health and happiness, Promote the General Welfare, Secure the Potential for a few minutes of peace each day, For Ourselves and Our Guests, Do Ordain and Establish this Constitution, For The Family and Friends of Crazy Road.

1)You have the freedom of speech, but no naughty words, or "bathroom talk" is permitted. I'm not a fool, I know you try to whisper and call each other names, like "stupid meanie" "poophead" and other bits of random profanity heard and copied after certain moments of frustration, but upon hearing such language, however funny it may be, you will face consequences.(See #4).

2)You must seize all activity, or complete whatever direction(i.e:"get your pajamas on right now," "let her hair go!" "stop fighting," "get back here," "this mess better be picked up in 5-4-3..." upon hearing "the countdown."

3)You should not ever whine or complain to me before I have had at least one FULL cup of coffee.

4)A few drops of hot-sauce is NOT considered cruel or unusual punishment. Remember that the next time you feel like repeating "di@*head," or any other words you may have heard on the bus.

5)You should understand that sliding down the stairs on the futon mattress is permittable, but not before 6am. And Tyler, even though whispering in my sleepy ear, "But Mama, it's so fwiggin fun!" is hilarious, your right was initially denied. You did it anyway. Not okay.(but still, funny).

6)Laughter is ALWAYS permitted, even if you have a mouthfull of milk.

7)You have the right to be in "comfy clothes" at any point in the day. Especially in yucky weather.

8)Farts are considered funny here at Crazy Road. With the understanding that they are not acceptable everywhere.

9)Please help me keep this place clean. Sheesh!

10)Snow days are considered holidays, and celebrated as such. Except in April. Then I'm just pissed. See #3.

11)Manners. Here and everywhere. Thank You.

12)Hugs, kisses and poochies are available to you at all times. UNLESS the door is closed to the bathroom. Then, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, just give me a minute.

13)Be respectful of others. If you are "hanging out" in Nick's room(and I know, it's cool)You are ABSOLUTELY NOT allowed to steal his Easter candy and proceed to eat it in his bed when he isn't there. That is a NO-NO.

14)Brush your teeth before bed, but do not GARGLE. I know Bup taught you, but until Bup comes over every night to wipe up the un-GODLY mess of toothpaste and water all over the walls, mirror, sink and floor, stop doing it.

15)Eat your dinner.

16)Do NOT answer the phone if the caller i.d. says "unknown" or "800 Service."


18)Do not try to get me to like frogs. Don't tease me with "Kermit," Don't try to convince me that they are cute. And understand that if I see a mouse or other rodent in and/or around our home, I will scream and run. You will be left to fend for yourselves.

19)Know that you are loved unconditionally, and that there is nothing in the world you can't talk about, ask or wonder aloud about...except how babies are made...I'm just not ready for that.

20)You will have Twinkle-Twinkle sung to you until you are 30(Kiki), if you wish. You may also select any Christmas Carol to be sung at bedtime(Tyler)to you, 365 days a year. You will be provided with "Fresh" water at bedtime as well. And Nick, as long as you live under this roof, I will come in and say "Goodnight," and straighten your covers. I will also kiss you on your forehead. I don't care how old or how tall you are. You are still my baby.

21)Understand that Life here at Crazy Road is just that: CRAZY. But I promise to make every day fun. To keep you healthy and happy. To read to you and help you with homework, if necessary. Except math. Then you're on your own.

This Bill of Rights will be ammended as needed. By me. Because I am the Mama. And because I said so.

Thanks for Reading

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You Want Fries With That Shake?

"Good Morning.(cracklecracklecrackle)Welcome to Dunkin Donuts. Would you like to try a cheddar cheese, sesame glazed, bacon stuffed(crackle)bagel twist this morning?"

"No Thank You. I would like a medium coffee with just milk."

"Will that be hot or iced?"

"Hot, please."

"Would you like a flavor shot?"crackle.

"No. Just a plain coffee."

"Skim milk or regular?"

"Umm. Skim."

"No Sugar(crackle) or Splenda?"


"Would you like to add a muffin or donut this morning?"

"No Thanks." Sheesh.

"Would you like to try a chocolate frosted, coconut sprinkled, double toasted waffle-wich?"

"Nope. Just the java.

"Was that a medium hot coffee?"

"YES. A medium HOT coffee with just skim milk. NOTHING else."

"Please drive up."

"Really?" I felt like asking. "Mother May I? Can I just drive up and get my SIMPLE coffee?"

Today was FILLED with OPTIONS. Starting with my coffee.

Then while trying to order a birthday cake for Mackenzie.

"I need a marble cake for about ten people. I need it Tuesday morning if that is possible."

"Sure. What kind of frosting? Traditional or Whipped?"

"What's the difference?"

"Traditional is more dense...blahblahblah"
Is what I heard. It's FROSTING for goodness sake.

"Traditional is fine."

"How do you spell her name?"

Here we go...


"Is that a big C or small?"


Etcetera. Etcetera...

"Do you want a number 6 candle?"


"What color?"

"I don't"

"Do you want the lettering on the cake or on the border?"

"On the cake?"

"Would you like a double layer or sheet?"

And the questioning went on and on..

Then, later in the day, I decided to go and have my nails done. Kind of a Mother's Day treat for myself...

I was greeted by a young man wearing a surgical mask, as I know many nail techs do now. But I could barely understand him anyway, and the mask over his mouth was going to make for difficult communication. This happened once before and I wound up with a floral mural that resembled, um, "hooch" across my toes.

I sat in the chair he directed, and put my wallet and keys down.

In almost impossible to decipher English, I thought he asked, "pig alright?"

"Excuse me?"


"I don't understand."

He gestured to a plastic hand....


I was so proud I finally understood.

"No thanks. Just a regular set."

"French manicure?"

"Nope. Color."

"Really? No French?" He seemed horrified.

"No. No FRENCH."

"You want design?"

What am I? Fourteen?

"No. No design." Here we go with the menu offerings...

"You want suncreen?"

Now I was being upsold, and I was no longer in the mood.

"No. I do not want ANY extras. Just color. JUST COLOR."

He hated me.

I was not too fond of him, either, but I was already wrist deep in Palmolive, and wasn't going anywhere.

All of these menu offerings have filtered into our life here at Crazy Road.

And it starts at 6:45 am every.single.morning.

"Mom. Do we have bagels?"

"I think so."

"Did you get regular cream cheese or did you get the 'light' stuff?"

"It's regular."

"Mama? Can I have waffles?"

"Yes, Tyler."

"Can I have the ones that are cut in strips? Not the round ones?

"I guess."


"Hi, Mackenzie."

"Can I have cinnamon toast? But with more sugar than cinnamon. And can you cut off the crust?"

As I shuffle around the kitchen, I realize that I alone have created this "menu" mentality for my kids. They  understand that there are always options. Lots of them.

Tyler will not eat pork chops. So as an "option" I offer chicken nuggets.
Mackenzie will not even entertain the idea of putting peppers into her mouth. As an "option," she can pick them out. And now I barely make anything with peppers. Or pork chops.
Nick barely likes any meat. But he's twelve. He can choke stuff down. I know he won't throw a fit. Thank GOD for Nick right now.

And they know they have options. They've been to McDonalds. They've been with me when going through the drive-thru. They see and hear millions of options and offerings...and guess what? They now expect options. Menu selections, if you will...I know. I know. MYFAULT.

I don't remember, as a child, being offered options. We ate what was put in front of us. No questions. No whining. We didn't KNOW back then that there were options. There was no menu at our house.

When we went to McDonalds, we got a burger and fries.
When they added Chicken Nuggets to the menu, It was National News. Now you can get gourmet salads, gourmet lattes...I don't even know if they still make cheeseburgers.

And at Dunkin Donuts, You could order coffee and a donut. That was about it. Now its like ordering an Olympic event.

"I'll have a half/caf/half hot/half cold/part skim/vanilla twist with a double shot of caramel and half packet of raw sugar..."

It's out.of.hand.

I know I sound old when I say, "It used to be so simple."

"Buy One Get One Free."
"Do you want whipped cream?"
"If you spend another $10 you get a free gift!"
"Do you want a girl toy or a boy toy?"
"Would you like a hot apple pie, today?"
"White or Wheat?"


So many options.

Let's keep it simple, people.

And No. I don't want a pig, ALRIGHT?


Thanks for Reading.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Crazy Ride

I turned 40 this week.

I know, I know.

Its just a number.

Its the end. Its the beginning. And over the last few weeks things have happened that have surprised me, made me cry, made me laugh, made me pause, made me crazy...


A crazy ride, isn't it?

I was with my mom one evening last week. Poor thing. She and my Dad have literally had to endure ALL of the craziness that my sister (yes, my sister has delivered crazy to their door, too) and I have brought to them over the years. I know, they wouldn't trade a second of it. But I am certain they might pay money to get a few of the sleepless nights back...

On the ride home that night last week, we were talking about these crazy times over the past 40 years...I was surprised at some of the things that my mom I haven't thought about for some time now...but the story she remembers as the worst, craziest thing I ever pulled off, would be a perfect tie in to my "Crazy Ride" story.

Buckle up.

In 1993 I was a Senior in college.

I got a call one night from Julie~my level headed lifelong friend.

"Jess and I are driving to Florida for Spring Break. We want you to go too!"

Of course.


I was sure I could make it happen. I can't remember the details of making it happen, I'm sure I was helped out by the Bank of DonandLinda, and I had some cash from my bar tending gig(heehee, that's right).

Now, there couldn't have been 4 more different girls stuffed into Jess's little white Toyota Celica.

Julie~the relatively quiet-unless-you-know-her gal who likely preferred to stay closer to home than leave the state~


Jess~the model, actress, flamboyant, dramatic Syracuse co-ed who taught me how to over-pluck my eyebrows without even looking in a mirror~

And her friend~Julie and I still argue about what her name was...but she was never without a full face of make-up, had ruby red hair and lips and nails, and wouldn't let her keyboard or her hair spray leave her side. I'll call her Ruby for the sake of the story.

So Julie and I took a bus to meet up with Jess and Ruby in Connecticut. We were so excited, and feeling quite proud that we were saving so much cashola by driving. We were staying in Jess's parents time-share and were excited for a low-key, sunny vacation in Paradise. Cocoa Beach, to be exact.

We met up as planned, with Jess driving, Julie as passenger and me in the back with the keyboard-playing-not a hair-out-of-place-way-over-perfumed-girl-from-the-city.

The first thing out of the gate: Jess backed into another car in the McDonald's parking lot. Not just a tap. A crash. Oddly, there was no damage to either car...but there WAS damage to Jess's already over-caffienated nerves...I took over as driver of the first leg.

Keep in mind as the story goes on~Only Jess and I were able to drive "a stick."(thanks, Dad).

The trip down was fun. No major stories about that~we had a "TRIP TICK" from AAA. Remember those? We didn't have Google, or cell-phones, or GPS...and we made it safe and sound to Sunny Florida.

We had a decent wasn't a BLAST, as other spring-breakers were likely having, but it was nice. Gorgeous weather, cheap crab-legs...some beers, but not too many...just a really good time with the girls.

Except for Lola~Ruby~Mona~Lisa, who would not let a speck of her white skin see a bit of the sun...she wrapped herself in robes and towels and practiced "opera" all day. She gave us plenty to roll our eyes about, but to each her own.

We were supposed to be there for 6 days, if I remember correctly, we were going to leave on Friday, and planned on being back in Maine by Sunday...

But on Thursday, the calls started coming in to our cell phones, you know...our parents:


What the???

NO. We hadn't seen any forecast~we had been on the sunny beach by 9am and sleeping soundly by 10pm...we weren't watching the news!

But that Thursday we found the Weather Channel and sat side by side on the end of the bed and watched the MONSTROUS WHITE SWIRL move in its creepy, slow satellite graphic BLANKET the entire East Coast.


If we waited, it would be another week before we would be able to leave Florida. Our money was just about gone..the time share would be ovah...we had to split.

Like a band of bank-robbers, we began throwing our stuff into bags. Bumping into each other and making a getaway plan...EXCEPT for Gina-Lola-Brigitta, who couldn't be bothered as she applied her stupid lipstick and yodeled or whatever...

We were literally trying to beat the storm of the century.

We loaded up our bags, and sprinted down to the lot, where we found dozens of other vacationers doing the same thing. Panicking...

We shoved everything into the hatch-back of the teeny white "Celley," still in our flip flops and cut-offs, our "TRIP TICK" in hand and we peeled out of the hotel lot and didn't look back...

Almost immediately we could see the massive dark storm clouds racing in the sky...we had only been driving for an hour and it started sleeting. The wind was already gusting, bending the palm trees that lined the highways right over sideways...We really didn't know what we were about to drive into.

By Friday evening, we hit Georgia...still driving in sleet and freezing rain, and then...SNOW.

In Georgia.

Now, being a true Mainer, I felt like a few inches of snow was easy to drive through...but in Georgia, a few inches of snow meant 10 car pile-ups, highways closing, detours and general pandemonium.

We were forced to take some off road that put us off of our plan, and we ended up somewhere in the middle of NoIdeaWhere, Georgia.

It was late, so we stopped at a gas station and one of us called home on a pay phone.

I can't remember which one of us, likely Jess...tried to calmly discuss the situation with parents who were already freaking out. The end of the discussion concluded with the notion that we should find a Holiday Inn somewhere and sleep a bit. Hopefully things would lighten up in the morning. Right?

Oh, this was just the beginning...

There were no Holiday Inns, Howard Jonson's or any other recognizable establishments within miles. It was now really hard to see. We were tired. And nervous. Our brazen, optimistic attitude had started to wither. We just wanted to go home.

After driving for hours, we found, ahem, a "motel."

As Julie describes it, "It was depressing and dark."

To say the very least.

We had no idea what time it was, what town we were in, or if we were even heading North.

The very cute, very tanned girls who left Florida less than a day before, were now hungry, tired and not really caring about tan lines.

We got a room.

None of us really slept. It was not a place where we dared to sleep.

We kept our eyes on the clock~we wanted to be on the road when the sun came up...

Thankfully we made it out of that "place." I'm certain that it does not even exist anymore.

At the break of dawn, we were shocked to look out the tiny, dirty window to see...WHITE.

The car was buried. The snow blocked the swinging door.


We forged ahead.

We cleaned off the foot of snow, piled in, and headed North.

We figured as long as we were heading North, we would be fine.

We drove and drove. It was a complete white-out.

When I drove, Julie was co-pilot.

When Jess drove, her friend sat in front.

But we were not going North. We were going North West.

Welcome to West Virginia.

That's right. West frickin Virginia.

And West Virginia was seeing more snow than it had seen in decades. So were we.

We drove into nothing but white. We were essentially the only vehicle on the roads.
There were moments we weren't sure if we were even ON a road...we drove over massive snowbanks if we thought there was any sign of life on the other side of it.

I'm pretty sure this was when I started cussing.

Where the #$%^ were we?
How the $%^* were we going to get home?


I was fairly certain that Little Miss Broadway had never heard such profanity. Her somehow still eyelinered eyes bugged out and her already alabaster skin got even paler if that was possible.

We soon realized we were in some mountain range. We hit the gas to make it up steep hills, around sharp, curvy was then we really started to think we just might not make it...

It was so blinding white...I literally took my hands off the wheel...

I cussed.

Julie cried.

Madame Butterfly practiced her vowels:


Then Julie, my mild mannered friend, turned around and very calmly said something like, "if you don't shut the %^&* up, I'm going to take your stupid keyboard and your stupid lipstick and throw it right out the window."

And we didn't hear a word from her glossy lips again.

And we somehow made it off that mountain.

But we had no idea where we were.

We continued on...East this time...Virginia? Washington? No effing clue.

Everything was closed. Gas stations. Convenience stores...not that it mattered. We had almost no cash...

We FINALLY found an IRVING'S that was open. I think it was in Maryland.

I used a little money to call my folks, who were now tracking our journey with push pegs on a map of the United States...they were uneasy even as I tried to convince them that I was OKAY. I used a little more money to buy a bag of SMART was like a bag of pure gold to me...

I made my way out to the parking lot, when the gusty wind not only took me by surprise, but took my precious popcorn, too.


I ran after that bag and pathetically collected the kernels from the ground. I was not letting one piece get away.

Julie was crying again..."Where's Jess?" I asked.

Julie motioned to a parked 18 wheeler..."What the hell is she doing?"

Let's just say that there were no working rest rooms, and behind the big rig was going to have to do...

We collected our "dinners" of popcorn and Snapple and again, hit the road.

The trip tick had left the building, somewhere back in the mountains.

By the time we made it to New Jersey, we were warriors.

With no other traffic on the roads, we were fending for ourselves...

"ROAD CLOSED" signs meant NOTHING to us, as we drove over snowbanks and around detour signs...

The visibility was ZERO as we skidded onto the Garden State Parkway...ooohhh...guess what? There was a State Trooper! We hadn't seen a single rescue vehicle in the 48 hours that we had been driving.

We pulled up along side of him in our crusted over, ice-covered Celley.

He looked shocked~and we didn't even take a breath trying to explain our situation, where we had been, what we had driven through, and where we needed to go!

We needed 95 NORTH...

He told us that we couldn't get there, that the roads were all closed.

This storm, if you remember, was THE BLIZZARD OF '93. The entire East Coast was paralyzed.

Ya think?

We convinced him to "escort" us onto the closed road. We had to get home. And a couple of us had, well, started our...well, forget it. You don't need to know THAT.

And so we went...following the State Trooper, over the median and onto 95.

The snow and freezing rain was now making it impossible to see.

The windshield was covered in a thick sheet of ice...I rolled down the window and stuck my head out...I worked the clutch and wheel while Julie covered my face, but we cruised out of New Jersey and into yet another road block...

I think it was in Rhode Island?

All roads were closed...

We were frazzled to the point of psycho...

We FINALLY found this diner that was looked like heaven!!Just to see lights!!

We slid our unrecognizable car into a random spot...we probably were parking on the highway for all we knew...roads could no longer be distinguished from parking lots or rivers, for that matter.

We fell over ourselves trying to get in that diner...we had to call our folks!! Maybe get some coffee!!

It was loud in that diner, we couldn't hear our worried parents on the old pay phone...I needed to get directions on HOWINHELLWEGETNORTH!!!!

We were filthy. Stinky. Tired. Cranky. No one would listen to us...

I took control.

I jumped up onto the diner counter and started yelling at the coffee drinking, over-easy-egg-eating, plaid-flannel-shirt-wearing truckers...

Julie loves to tell this part...


The drivers stopped talking. Looked up at the wild-haired-wild-eyed-no-longer-tan crazy person that was me, and then all at once, started shouting their directions at me.

"You've got to go here..."

"NO NO NO..." they argued..."If they go there, they're gonna hit so and such..."

There must have been 30 rusty trucker dudes trying to help...It brings a tear to my eye thinking about it...

After we left our new friends at that truck stop, somewhere on the East Coast, we finally found our way to Albany, New York. We rolled and bumped in on fumes. So effing relieved.

So happy.

We were almost home.

THATS where Julie and I were supposed to say Goodbye to Jess and her pal, and meet up with her boyfriend's brother(now her brother-in-law). But when Julie used her last quarter to call him to pick us up, she told him the wrong place, and we ended up waiting hours and hours for him to find us...

I barely remember that part...

The next leg of our "trip" was the bus to Portland.

I don't remember talking the entire bus ride...Julie didn't either...I think shock was starting to settle in...

What the hell had just happened?

Needless to say, we made it...

Needless to say, we scared our poor parents and half the community to death...

Now, almost 20 years later, we still tell the story...and when we tell it together, we laugh so hard we can barely breathe. When we tell the story, and we frequently do, my mother still goes berserk, my dad leaves the room, and Julie's mom still starts expressing her dismay in French...

That was a Crazy Ride...

Like life...

We never know what the next day, the next hour, the next minute will bring...

We have to be strong, and believe in ourselves.

Do what needs to be done.

Ask for help sometimes.

Hold onto your shit when the wind is gusting.

Rely on your instincts...

And ALWAYS find humor in your days.

Life is a Crazy, Wonderful Ride.

Bring on the next 40!

Love you Julie.

Mom and Dad~Thanks. Sorry for that. I love you.

Thanks For Reading.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Vehicle Violation

Thought you might enjoy a quick story that has NOTHING to do with the weather...

Well, it has a little to do with the weather. And this will be quick...

Yesterday I was leaving a business meeting.

While I was in the meeting, it started to snow...not that much, but enough to dust the vehicles that were waiting patiently for their owners...

I had parked in the lot across the road and was quickly, but carefully...(did I mention I fell a couple of weeks ago and ended up in the e.r. with a concussion? I didn't? Well then, this might not be so quick)...

I approached my car and hit the "meepmeep" unlock button on my key chain...

Got to my office on wheels and clumsily loaded my bag and folders onto the passenger seat, my blackberry into the cup holder, kicked the snow from my boots and slipped into the driver's seat...

What the??

My seat was WAY out of position...Did I do that for some reason??

And I looked down and noticed the floor mats were different than I remembered, but...not surprising, I guess..

I reached for my bright green mittens? Didn't I leave them on the seat??

And looked much cleaner than I remember...

I turned around...I must have tossed my mittens into the back...


No mittens.


Holy %$^&
I was in someone.Else'

I could picture alarms blaring and being surrounded by police if I didn't get my sh&* together fast...

I hustled to jump out with my bag, my phone, the stuff I had strewn over the front of this poor soul's unlocked car...I felt like I had committed the crime of the century...

So there I was, unzipped, un-mittened, un-calm...standing in the middle of this parking lot...hoping the owner didn't come out and try to get into his/her vehicle...I "adjusted" the seat to suit my vertically challenged self...and this person MUST have been tall...that seat had been WAAAAAY back...and in my haste to vacate, I didn't re-adjust...

With what must have been a look of sheer panic, I looked around for my car...

Where in the hell did I put it?

Was it stolen? I KNOW I had locked it...I am a bit OCD about locking it...

I started back toward the office building...looking...searching...



There it was...

In another parking lot in another direction...

Hmmm...think I've got a lot on my brain?

I just about broke out into a skidding run toward my filthy, muddy, snowy, crusty vehicle.


I opened the door.

AAAHHH. Thank goodness.

There were the dirty floor mats. There were my green mittens. The car seats were in place. The seat was perfectly close to the steering wheel.

I put the key into the ignition and started it up.


I drove by the car that I had really did look just like mine...ugh. Should I go back and put the seat back?


Is there a moral here?

Well, I guess...make sure you lock your cars.

There are crazy, preoccupied, short people like me out there wandering the parking lots...

So if you ever get into your car and notice your seat out of whack, or if you find a bright green mitten on the floor under the back seat...don't worry, it was probably me.

Sorry bout that. hehe.

Thanks For Reading.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Call Me Crazy

Yesterday I was surprised by life once again.

You'd think that nothing much would surprise me after some of the things that have happened,  things that I've experienced, events that I've been witness to...

But yesterday was kind of funny. And kind of not funny.

And it all has to do with the telephone.

So yesterday was an all-out, old-fashioned blizzard here in Maine. I had a feeling the night before that there would be no school...and like a kid, I was psyched.

I was up at 5:45 am~and hurray! There was coffee in the new red pot...I sat down and watched my beloved weather. Right away, I heard the Tinker-bellish tones...I HAD A TEXT MESSAGE! It still thrills me a little to get text messages...It was my hubby letting me know that schools in Augusta were cancelled...which meant that I didn't have to trek into my meeting..."aahhh." Sweet Relief.

So I watched the cancellations roll across the screen..."JAY SCHOOLS~CLOSED."


Even though I would be working from home, I was going to have the whole day with my babies cozied up together in the house.

I relished the quiet morning. The kids were sleeping~I made chocolate mini-muffins from scratch (well, scratch from a box...I added the eggs and water, though).

Then...the phone rang.

Piercing the silent house. It wasn't even 7am!

It showed up as a cell phone number...I didn't recognize it, but I didn't want the ringing to wake the kids...



There was a pause.

"Zack?" A male voice asked me.

"Uuuum. Nope. You must have the wrong number." I explained in most un-Zack-like voice.

"Is this 555-5555?" He asked.

"It is but there is nobody named Zack here."

"Well Amber gave me this number..."

"I don't know Amber and I don't know Zack." I said.

"Oh. I must have the wrong number."

As I hung up the phone I heard the toilet flushing, doors opening, footsteps coming down the hall...

"Happy Snow Day!" I said to the three of my kids. And they took the muffins and headed downstairs to plop in front of Spongebob. The day felt kind of like a holiday...why not?

My husband called to check in.

My mom called to see if I had to go anywhere.

US CELLULAR CALLED to remind me that I needed to pay the bill. Riight. "I'll get right on that." I thought saracstically.

It was barely 8am.

What would we do without phones?

the ding-dong letting me know I have email.
a blackberry message.
a voice mail.

I got to work emailing~It would have been fruitless to try to conduct sales over the phone, people were too pre-occupied with the snow, or businesses were closed all-together. (But I did get one sale, miraculous).

I was working downstairs when my first surprise hit.

My oldest son...

Whenever I see him lately, I'm surprised by how tall he is. He just turned 12. And when he speaks, I have to turn around to be sure that there isn't some strange man in the room...



"Is it okay if I give 'my girlfriend' our home phone number?"


"You have a....(choke, but try to hide the choke) girlfriend?"

"I do." He said with a huge smile.

I chug-a-lugged my coffee.

"Wh-who is it?" I asked. Trying to stay calm, but wanting to pass out right over the side of the chair.

He told me the name of the young lady that was now "his girlfriend."

"Didn't you like her last year?" I wanted to talk to him, but found myself trying to remember exactly when he stopped being interested in Pokemon or Bakoogan or whatever used to have his attention.

"Yeah, but she broke up with me, remember? She asked me out again."

I actually saw a few of my own strands of hair turn grey. (I just cut my own bangs. You'd think I would have learned my lesson).

"Look, honey." I tried to be calm. "I understand that you like her, but I think you're kind of young to be 'boyfriend/girlfriend.' I really think seeing her at school is enough."

"Soooooo....No?" He looked horrified.

"Right. No. No for now. Okay?"

Now, my son is a gem. He has never, I mean NEVER given me attitude, or argued with me or disrespected me in any way. BUT... I know when the kid is disappointed.

He just stood there.

Looking at me.

"It's just talking on the phone, Mum."

"I know. But really, I think you are too young. I mean, you can't even cut your own meat! I still have to remind you to brush your teeth!!"

I wanted to scream..."You are still MY BABY!!!"

But I didn't. And he left the room. My heart was pounding. "Here we go." I thought.

The next call was a work call.
Then my husband again.
Then Julie.
And then...

"Private Number."

To me, that means either my husband calling from the station or a doctor's office.


" there?"

MACKENZIE? My FIVE year old?

"Ummm. Yes...can I ask who is calling?"

And the little voice gave her name "Mary."

"Sure. Hold on please."

I called for my daughter, playing dress-up in her room.

"Mackenzie! You have a phone call!!"

She came running down the stairs, hair bouncing around her shoulders, head to toe in "faux" baubles. Her favorite sparkly "guitar" shirt that she wears when she is pretending to be Taylor Swift...She took the phone like she had been expecting this call all along...

"Hello? Oh, Hi Mary! What are you doing?...Really?...Cool."

Now, Mackenzie has had this imaginary friend named Stacy for about a year, with whom she frequently converses via "cell phone." The conversations she has sound so real, I've said before...I swear there is really a girl named Stacy on the other end, wearing purple nail polish and picking her nose...

But this time, there was really a friend on the other line...

As I listened to her giggle with excitement, I swear my life fast forwarded ten years, when she would really BE fifteen...Not just SOUNDING like she was...

I shook off my reverie and listened as she was making plans for her friend to come over...

"WAAAAITTAAASSECOOND!!" I rushed to her, tripping over my leopard snuggie. (I love that thing).

"Honey, you can't make plans without asking me. I am working today, and there is seventeen feet of snow...I can't invite guests today." I whispered in a hushed panic.

"That's Okay, Mom, she just called to talk." She explained to me.

Of Course. Silly me.


Are kids really doing this at age 5??

And on went the ringing. ALL day.

So much for my quiet day at home. The phone literally kept me on the edge of my seat, or completely off of it, all damned day.

The last straw was this one...


Is it just me? Or my aging ears? But as the day begins to wind down, sounds get louder and louder.

I didn't even bother to look at caller i.d.



"Hello?" I asked, irritation tumbling out with the greeting.


Really? Someone is calling me and asking ME to hold? Are you effing serious? After my lovely snow day was marred by my son, (who, by-the-way, announced on Facebook that he is "IN A RELATIONSHIP")
who was disappointed and likely angry at me for putting the ka-bosh on the boyfriend-girlfriend-phone-thingy. By the realization that time really does fly by...that chocolate-chip-mini-muffins won't always thrill my babes...that Kiki will soon not want to be called Kiki, because she will be too grown up? And she will be chatting on the phone, making plans, without checking with me...

I may have vented all of this to the "important message" recording, I don't know.

So as my day wound to a close, and the kids were in bed, I sat down in my again quiet house.

The phone rang.

And as I jumped to answer it, so the ringing wouldn't wake the kids, I was surprised again.

I stepped right on one of Nick's Pokemon.

Thanks For Reading.