Saturday, June 22, 2013

This Comes As No Surprise

What? You actually thought for a second that I was done? That crazy things stopped happening?


No way.

And yesterday was the perfect example of "a day in the life."

What IS interesting, is that what happened yesterday really didn't shock me. Nothing around here really does, anymore. I am starting to accept that there is just something a little, well, "different" about our life. MY life.

It started early yesterday morning, as I was getting the two little ones ready for a fishing trip with their "Bup." Over the bickering about matching socks, the dog barking at the dancing reflection on the wall from the swimming pool water, the phone ringing and the passing traffic, I heard the crying.

Like many moms, I believe I have bionic hearing. I hear the slightest sniffle in the middle of the night. I wake from a sound sleep the second my kids feet hit the floor early in the morning, no matter how quiet they are. I.hear.everything.

But this sound was loud, and constant, and sad.

This sound was coming from an animal that sounded like hurt and fear and everything bad.

I walked outside to try to figure out where it was coming from. In my pajamas and mismatched flip flops, I walked down to the road.

I live on a very busy road, and the traffic is loud and fast. Especially on weekday mornings. But I had to try to see what was making this horrible noise. I'm no stranger to rescuing wildlife...well, small wildlife, that is. And I KNOW that I often act without REALLY thinking about what I'm doing. I wasn't planning on saving any screaming forest creatures in my jammies, but I would do what I had to do and suffer the consequences.

I crossed the road and paced alongside the trees and the brush, trying to see the source of this crying.

You see, the view from my front window is "The Forest." If you look directly across the road it looks like the fricken willy-wacks. I never thought about how strange that is until yesterday.

I peered into the trees and the "puckah-brush."

I could hear it, but I could not for the life of me see it.

Passers-by must have concluded that I was some poor, crazy woman who had lost her way. In her pjs and flip flops, talking to herself, walking along a busy road early in the morning.

Who cares.

I was on a mission.

My dad came to pick up the kids and I asked him for help. He heard the noise, too. It really was alarming.

We both walked across the road and searched into the woods.

Was it in a tree? Was it a fox "mimicking" a cat?

A bird?

A plane?

He determined there was really nothing we could do.

He took the kids fishing.

I was not giving up.

I turned to my peeps on FACEBOOK. They NEVER fail to advise.

For it was FACEBOOK that gave me answers when a CHUKAR PARTRIDGE graced my backyard.

It was FACEBOOK when my beloved Casey passed away, that offered endless love and support. Look at FB how you want, but it really does bail you out in a pinch.

I told my little story about the noise across the road, and sure enough, the advice board lit up:

A Fox. Get inside. A fawn. Call the Police. Call the Wildlife Preserve. A porcupine? A beagle?

As much as I hated to call the police for a non-emergency, I had to start somewhere.

Apparently we have an animal control officer, but he deals with domestic animals, not wildlife, and at this point I was fairly certain this had to be wild.

My poor husband called.

This man had no idea that when he married me, he was marrying koo-koo.

Last week he got a text from me, "Bear in the Backyard."

Oh, did I forget to mention that a black bear showed up one morning a couple of weeks ago? OOps. Sorry.

Yes. A bear in the backyard while I was cleaning the pool.

No biggie.

Anyway, I was telling Chris about the noise, how LOUD it was, and I was feeling helpless.

He said he would call his friend who is a game warden.

A few minutes later, he called back.

"Are you dressed?"


"Well, you probably should get dressed because one of the wardens from "NorthWoods Law" is coming to the house."

"Shut up."

"I'm serious."

My husband, the jokester.

While I DID believe that someone from the Warden Service was coming, I DID NOT believe it was someone from a TV show.

I threw on my favorite old grey sweatshirt.

I found a matching flip flop.

I returned to my post on the side of the road.

That sound. It was so loud. I was relieved that it was still happening when the guy showed up. It would have been like going to the doctors for a pain in the ass, but when you get to your appointment the pain is gone...

When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a game warden's truck...and Kris MacCabe from NorthWoods Law.


Are you kidding me?

Did I brush my teeth?

Not yet.


Oh, well, such is my life of a wild-life rescuer.

For a second...I mean a SECOND I forgot about the struggling creature so desperately in need of help.

For one split minute, I tried to remember if I had a bra on or not.


Ok. Back to business.

We both walked to the side of the road.

The noise seemed even louder.

"That's weird." He stated.

"Thank Goodness you think so."

He started down the brush covered bank.

"Will you come down and save me if I yell?" He joked.

"I'll have to go change my shoes."

("I'll have to go change my shoes?" THAT'S ALL I COULD COME UP WITH? I felt like Baby on Dirty Dancing when she said, "I carried the watermelon.")

I could still see him as he made his way into the woods.

In less than a minute, I heard him exclaim, "NO WAY!"

What the heck was it? Would he carry a fawn out? Was it a baby bear cub?

"It's a tiny kitten!"

And he emerged from the brush and sticks and rocks with the tiniest, cutest grey kitten.

THAT was making that noise?

We were both surprised.

REALLY surprised.

Of course then the troops came running out of the house to see the result of my frantic search.

A cat.

Now, let's get back to FACEBOOK for a minute. A few weeks ago, I put a status on that declared my dislike for cats. It was meant to be a private joke, but I quickly realized that it just came across as looking bitchy, and many of my friends and family are cat lovers.

I have never "loved" cats. I don't mind them. I love dogs. I don't love orange juice, either, but I would drink it if I was dying of thirst, you know?

So, back to the kitten.

He handed me the tiny thing and i have to admit. I felt an instant connection. I was the only one who heard this mini-lion. Do you think that he was in that spot, in front of Crazy Road, for a reason?

I do.

I needed a little lesson.

He needed my bionic ears, and everything that comes with them.

After chatting with the TV STAR, and having a few pictures with the kids and the cat and the cool Game Warden Truck, the excitement died down.

I needed to get back to work, AND figure out what to do with this tiny creature who had been through a horrific ordeal.

I wanted to keep him.

I couldn't keep him.

I could have brought him to a shelter.

I could NOT bring him to a shelter.

He happily drank some milk and ate some mushed up tuna.(Thank Goodness for Tom and Jerry, I had no idea what to feed a kitten)!

He fell asleep on Nick.

We fell in love.

Leo, our enormous Golden Retriever kind of liked him, too.

But with allergies and working and living next to the busy road, our busy lives and such, Crazy Road was not the best place for him.

I have a new friend that offered a home right away, and after working out a time and place, and promises of a long, love filled cat life, she became the owner of my rescu-ee.

He pooped on the backseat of my car on the way to deliver him, but I didn't even care.

Poop, shmoop.

He is going to have a great life with cat-lovers.

I was pretty drained last night, and admittedly, I missed the darned little thing.

But I knew I had done the right thing.

Today I am going to try to bury my head in the sand, and avoid any crazy what-so-ever.

Oh, who am I kidding.

I will again encounter some kind of mischief.

And it will come as no surprise.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How Trash Bags Changed My Life

It's not just me, you know.

Everyone has a little crazy in their life.

And my life would NEVER be as fun and crazy without my kids, my family and my friends.

This all started because I NEEDED TO BUY TRASH BAGS.

Remember the story "Not In The Cards?"

If you don't, feel free to read it..if you don't want to read it, here is a brief synopsis:

I do not usually buy greeting cards. The pressure to find the perfect card, like MY SISTER ALWAYS does, is almost unbearable. AND I like to think that I convey to my family and friends on a daily basis, exactly how much I love them, treasure them, and wish them days full of joy EVERY Day.

Not just on birthdays, Mother's, Father's, Grandparents, Cousin's, Sibling's Days, Because You Have The Sniffles, Valentine's, or You've Had An Ingrown Toenail Removed, You Are Trading In Your Vehicle, but everyday.  You get my point? There are cards now for EVERYTHING. And my amazing sister will always find it. Not even because she is looking, per se. Just because she is the "Card Whisperer."

I love you, Katie.

An so as my Dad's birthday came upon us, I felt the pressure build once again.

It's not that I don't WANT to buy cards...although the asking price of $4.99( US) AND the added struggle to find the envelope that it fits into can literally put a frugal, fragile card-buying-phobe right over the freaking's just...well...overwhelming, looking up a the walls and walls of "What Is A..."

And of course, the fear of my usual reaction of having to urgently find a rest room mid-selection.

And so, the day before his birthday, I really wasn't even THINKING about a card when I entered the grocery store to buy trashbags.

Milk. Cereal. Bread. check. check. check. ( I mean, there WAS ANOTHER DOOMSDAY WEATHER FORECAST)..

And as I approached the last of the aisles, I happened to look up at the dangling announcement overhead..."SEASONAL, PAPER GOODS, GREETING CARDS."

Did I have to pee? Nope.

I had yet to break a sweat.

I turned my cart and forged my way down the aisle.


Here we go. Deep breath. One more pee check.


Now, what happened next was really nothing short of a miracle.

"What Age Does Girl Stop Needing Her Dad?"

I slowly picked the card from its slot.

Opened it...praying that the inside had the right answer, and not some crazy musical rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings..."

Let's just say, it was perfect. AND the right envelope was actually behind it.


I did the cha-cha right there in Hannaford.

Oh, but now...I couldn't just get him one from me, My hubby and kids would want to be included, too.

I was feeling good.

I once again browsed up a few rows and once again...could it be?


One from "Both of Us."

It was perfect. Not sappy. And literally sounded like something I would tell my Dad. And it was pretty...but not in a rainbow and sunrise kind of way. It was simple and classy.


And now one from the kids, always pretty easy, and I was off!

The streak was OVER.

I had found what I thought to have not just one...BUT THREE good, solid cards.

I crossed over to the wine aisle.

This would have to be celebrated!

Where didn't I go? To the trash bag aisle. That's where.

So really, why is this so significant? Read on...

I called my sister to tell her the news. I wanted her to be proud of me.


"Katie, you will not believe what I did today!"


"I BOUGHT CARDS!!!!!!!" I sang and yelled.

We celebrated together!!!!! I KNEW she would be shocked and proud.

I breathlessly told her about the first card.

She was quiet.


"Well," she started..."That is a good one, but I don't think any card is better than the one that I bought."


I believed her.

"What does it say?" I asked, already defeated.

"It says, 'To one of us you're dad, To the other you are..."

"FATHER IN LAW!!!!!!!!" I finished with her.


It was the same card that I bought from Chris and me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was screaming with joy!!!

She was in shock.

I had purchased the same card as the QUEEEEEENOFCARDBUYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had arrived.


Now this little competition is really all in fun. And honestly, it really isn't competition. It's just kind of like if I was an actress in a movie for the first time, and beat Meryl Streep for an Oscar. Or at the least, Tied.

I'm still not over it.

Moving on....

So on the day of my my Dad's actual birthday, we were supposed to meet for dinner.

I had a million little errands to run beforehand, and time was of the essence.

You see, in my excitement about finding the cards, I forgot trash bags at the store.

I know, mind boggling. But there is a lot of trash here at Crazy Road.

I also told my friend that I would stop by her house so that I could pick up this special shampoo that she picked up for me...(SHE is a hairdresser).

She is also one of those friends that when we start gabbing it is hard to stop. So today, I had to preface my visit by saying, " I absolutely cannot stay. I have to get to the store before dinner."

"Perfect," she said, "I am doing a perm so just come down and pick it up."

So a little later than I planned, I arrived at her house.

I walked in, and the house was unusually quiet.


I went downstairs to where her salon is...

No one.


I went back upstairs and called out again.

And what happened next was crazy!!!

She came around the corner, pale, breathless...holding a bloody towel...

"My have to come and help!!!"

What the @#$%?!

Had there been a murder? Had there been a cat/client/perm fiasco? Was I being asked to help clean up a crime scene? Was I going to make it to the store to buy trashbags?

She grabbed my hand and dragged me behind her...




I walked into her little girl's room to see her kids, a lady on her knees with her perm-rodded head wrapped in plastic, and a cat. And two teeny-tiny-baby-kitties.


"What do I do?" She was absolutely in shock.

"You didn't know she was PREGNANT?"


None of us knew what to do.

Except for her amazingly smart 4 Year old, who promptly fetched some plastic gloves for her mom.

We all just sat around Miley, the mom-cat. Wondering what would happen next.

"Oh my God, Look. She Is Going To Have Another One!" My friend said, and I have to rinse her!" (Referring to her client, as shocked and surprised as anyone.)

"How do you know?" I asked.

"Look at her eyes!"

I felt queasy. The room started to spin. I grabbed my friend, and the stranger perming next to me.

Now, I am not a "cat-person." I don't dislike them, but I am definitely a dog-person. I am definitely NOT a birth expert. Well, at least seeing it from the other end. Of anyone or anything.

And then, it happened.

The cat's eyes closed in pain, her belly started contracting...

Should I grab my shampoo and run?

And then she let out a noise, that in any language, cat, dog, or human, could only indicate the pain of child birth.

Then all by herself, with no doctors or meds or pacing partners...she delivered two more kittens.


The three of us human moms all sat around her, encouraging her, amazed at this creature, feeling love and admiration for her and her babies. Life is so amazing.

I guess I do like cats.

Well, needless to say, I DID make it to the store, and to dinner, and then home to homework and showers and bedtime and everything routine...but my life had changed a little bit...

At the end of the night, I opened the box of trash bags.

They were the wrong ones.

Thanks For Reading.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

No Eye Deer

Its the punchline to one of my favorite jokes.

I'll get to that later.

Well, it has been over a year since I last wrote...and in the last few months it seems to have been missed.

"When are you going to blog again?"

I have been asked in the grocery store. At weddings. At funerals. At work. Crazy, huh?

And though my usual response was, "soon," really, in my head I was really thinking..."I have no idea."

Its not that funny,crazy, bloggable events haven't occurred here in the past year, but I have just been so busy! Busy with work, with schedules, Words With Friends, oh... and those darned kids!!

No Eye Deer.

I heard this joke again.

It suddenly came to me...

Things I had no idea about...

I guess the biggest change has come with the growth of my children.

Especially Nick.

Nick turned 14 last month.

Nick has grown taller and more handsome with every minute. I mean, have you seen the kid? He is playing hockey for the Portland Junior Pirates. He is an honor student in the eighth grade. He has a...hmpf...girlfriend.

In the months leading up to Christmas, Nick started asking about wearing contact lenses. "It really makes sense, Mom, all my friends have them."

Oh, great. The "ALL MY FRIENDS" reasoning...I am very familiar with this tactic. It wasn't too long ago that I used it...


But I did some checking, and, sure enough...many of his friends DO have contact lenses.

Ugh. REALLY? I for one cannot touch, talk about, look into, or even read news articles about...EYEBALLS.

I cannot "pull down your eyelid" to see if there is an eyelash. Mine or Yours.

I will suffer with any foreign object in my eye before I let anyone near it. I will let it stay in there forever. I will. I can look at brains, guts and broken bones.

But I don't handle eyeball related issues.

PLUS, this is a child, I mean, young man, who I still have to remind to brush his teeth! (Sorry Nick. I know you read this, but it is true).

I can't be responsible for lost lenses, reaching into his head to retrieve one..or...two...I mean, I've heard horror stories.

I can't help him put them in or take them out.

Sissy? ABSOLUTLEY. But just like I will never go camping, drink an "Irish Car Bomb," or dye my hair red again, I know what I will do, and what I WILL NEVER DO.

But alas, Between Nick and EVERY man in his life, I was swayed to make him an appointment. Of course I would be the one taking him...

I could not stress to him enough that he had to be 100 Percent responsible for the maintenence of contact lenses, and he accepted the challenge.

We went to the eye doctor, and before I knew it, the assistant was beckoning me to have me watch him "practice."


He was sitting at a mirror with the lenses. The lady was telling him to "pull down your lids like this..."

I felt my knees start to buckle.

The room started to spin.


I had to sit down.

Nick started laughing.

The lady looked worried.

I figured, since Nick was so much like me in other ways, he would surely pass out when he had to touch his own eyeball..


He got them in like a champ.


"Now practice taking them out."

AHA! Here we go. This will turn the tide...

AAAAAND, they were out.

He was so proud.

I had no idea he would be able to do it.

No idea.

And so we had contacts.

He looked different without his glasses. He looked so...grown.up.


The height, The deep voice. The texting with his "girlfriend." I had no idea what being a mom to a teenage boy would feel like.

I mean, wasn't it just last week he was in OshKosh coveralls and mini workboots?

Wasn't it just yesterday that he was in the tub and asked me what his, ahem, private parts were and I told him..."marbles?"

So he came downstairs the day after he got the contacts, and stood at the bottom of the stairs.
A head taller than me now.

I looked at him and noticed he had something on his face around his mouth.

HEE!HEE! "See?" I thought. "He IS still my baby!"

"Nick, go wash your face. You have something on your mouth."

"No I don't." He argued in his man voice.

'Yes, you DO!"

"NO I DON..."


He came back down and said, "Mom. I don't have anything on my face."

"For Crying Out Loud!" I walked over and licked my my grandparents used to wipe off what I thought was wipable...

Upon closer observation, I got right up under his nose...

It wasn't dirt. Or chocolate.

it was...

A MUSTACHE!!!!!!!!!

Dear God.

I staggered backwards and almost fell over the dog.

"Mom, it's been there for a while." He said calmly. And HE PATTED ME ON THE HEAD.

Are you kidding me?

When did THIS happen?

I am so not ready!!

But he sure is. And what an amazing kid he has become. He has made me so proud. I had no idea how proud I could be.

We are all doing well. My children still make me laugh every day. I still witness crazy things in my work travels, and with some new ventures as well. I will let you know...

So many things have happened...and now that I am back to writing, I will keep you all posted..

But for now, I just want to say, Thanks. I had no idea how many of you really enjoyed reading this.

I had no idea how much I missed it...

What do you call a deer with no eyes?
No Eye Deer.
What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs?
Still No Eye Deer.

Tyler would call that "UnAppropiate."

I call it funny.

Thanks For Reading.