Monday, August 25, 2014

Your List Is On My List

Somehow, I missed summer.

In between too many meetings and waiting for it to get warm already(!?!),

I seemed to have missed it altogether.

Except for our beloved Fripp trip

There is never a bad day on Fripp Island.

and Camp Indiana,

McDaniel and Ellie in my dad’s 1966 Thunderbird.

it really didn’t even feel like summer at all.

What happened to global warming?

Oh wait.

School started last week and now it’s 90-11 hundred degrees.

So that’s how it’s going to be.

On my first full day of freedom to be in my house on my own (yes!),

I got a call from the dentist that they had a last minute cancellation 
and wondered if I wanted to “swing by”.

Dear word, I am not a fan of the dental chair.

Or someone’s fingers in my mouth.

Especially when that someone is wielding a hook thingy 
or a high-pitched humming anything.

But I said, “Sure!” because I needed to go to the dentist for a cleaning and it was pouring rain outside and well, that just seemed to fit.

Someone even cued the thunder just as I was 
walking into the dentist office.

Not. Funny. 

That afternoon the girls came home with enough paperwork for us to read and sign that we felt we were going to pass some serious legislation.

And without the cute “I’m Just A Bill” song.


Speaking of songs,

I woke up early Sunday morning with the great need in my brain to come up with the greatest hits list of Hall & Oates. 

I think I had that jean jacket, John Oates.


Monte was no help when I asked him what song I was missing from my list.

To his credit, it was still dark out.

It was much later, when I realized it was “One On One” that I was missing.

Interesting that my brain felt the need to come up with THIS list, 

(not to be confused with “Your Kiss Is On My List”

when I was already overloaded with lists of the grocery, school supplies, appointments, meetings and forms variety.

Is there such a thing as a “mental break” list? 
One that actually relaxes the brain rather than overload it?
A “Your List Is On My List” kind of thing?

Among the many, I signed a form for Ellie that agreed that I knew that she was intending to audition for “The Little Mermaid Jr.” musical that her middle school plans to put on in October.

There was a section for scheduling conflicts and “special talents”.

What special talents should a 7th grader have?

Does burping at the dinner table or rejecting any and all 
suggestions made by their parents count?

Then Ellie informed me she was auditioning for the part of Ursula.

The villain.

The octopus villain.


The octopus villain with the deep voice that I briefly had during my bout with the Pioneer Flu.

I felt I could help her with this.

McDaniel felt she could help her too but her version of Ursula 
always pulled too British or too southern. 

Not to brag, but I kinda nailed the read through.

I don’t care what McDaniel and Ellie said.

We practiced for over an hour last night.

Reading her audition lines with just the right inflection and sass

and singing “Poor Unfortunate Souls” until my brain spit out 
every Hall & Oates song list it could ever think of. Ever.

But now I keep humming “I’m Just a Bill”…

could be a long night!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ga Leor and Galore

A few weeks ago the girls and I spent a few days in Indiana with my parents.

We like to call that Camp Indiana.

Monte deemed it that when we were first married.

He loves visiting Camp Indiana where sandwiches and milk shakes
 just appear without ordering them and time seems to somehow slow down.

I’ll get into more of that later.

We were able to attend church with my parents.

They have a new minister. 

He has an Irish heritage and explained that the word galore is actually from the Irish word ga leor or ga’lore which means plenty or enough. It’s used as the response to “How are you?” 

 “Ga leor” meaning, I have plenty. It's enough. 

It was cool the way he said it with the Irish accent.

That’s a bit different than we typically use the word today.

 The dictionary defines the word as “in abundance”. 

If you hear of a sale with “shoes galore” you don’t think of just enough.

You think MORE than enough--shoes piled up in every size and color and style. 

The pastor went on to compare Jesus feeding the five thousand to Moses. I’d never paralleled the act to God providing manna to the Jews wandering in the desert.

In that case, God only provided what could be used that day, nothing leftover. 

Ga leor. Enough.

But in the case of Jesus feeding the five thousand, he multiplied the 5 small loaves and 2 small fish so much that 12 baskets were filled with leftovers.

Galore! Abundance.

As it usually works with me, our youth pastor, Dave,  preached on this very same subject this Sunday.

Did you know that this particular miracle is the ONLY one listed in all four gospels? Other than the crucifixion, it’s the only story repeated by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

I think God was trying to get His point across.

Dave explained it in terms of missions. And we have ALL been called to be missionaries. He had three points from John 6: 1-13:

1. God will test your faith by pushing you 
outside of your comfort zone. 
The disciples were freaking out about feeding all those people. They thought they’d have to pay for it, knowing they wouldn’t have enough money. They didn’t even ask Jesus to help. 
They just explained how impossible the situation was.
(As a party planner, I can relate to the disciples’ panic just a wee bit!)

2. God calls the church to embody the 
practical compassion of Jesus. 
When Jesus looked at that tired, hungry crowd of 5,000 people, he felt love and compassion towards them. He WANTED to take care of them. We need to pray for God’s eyes for His people in need.

3. God can use what little you have to accomplish 
more than you could ever imagine.
God can make ga leor galore. He lavishes us with his abundant love yet He is always enough.

Smack dab in between these two sermons, I had coffee with a girlfriend I haven’t seen all summer. She talked about a scripture that was on her heart and she wasn’t sure what to make of it:

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”
Matthew 9:37

There was that word plenty again.

I shared the ga leor vs. galore sermon. 

God’s word is so good to bless others even through someone 
who couldn’t remember everything about the galore sermon.

In fact, when a very shocking, morally corrupt situation cropped up later in the week, it was that very friend that shared that sermon right back to me.

God is our “just enough” and our “lavish abundance”.

His grace is sufficient yet He also lavishes it on us richly with all wisdom and understanding.

He is our Shepherd yet he lovingly calls us His children.

I can just picture that scene of 5,000 (not counting women and children, which would have put it at over 10,000 people) sitting on the green hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee, all being fed “more than enough”. Like sheep grazing on a hillside with the loving Shepherd watching over them.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekend Observations

Ellie and I took Nigel to the vet Friday.

He had to have his anal glands expressed.

Yeah, that’s a thing.

No one talked about that with Lassie

or Marmaduke

or Snoopy.


Carisa told me that’s what he needed the day before 
when he was dragging his behind on the carpet .
She is a dog genius.

But on the way to the vet office, Ellie and I saw this THING pull out from the bike path by our house right in front of us.

It was neon green and the guy on it was wearing a matching neon green helmet that had all the seriousness of Tour De France. (With the aerodynamic pointy back and everything.)

The THING had really high handlebars. So high that his hands were almost shoulder height.

It had a front wheel and a back wheel but they were REALLY far apart to allow for the elliptical type pedaling that was happening in between while he was in the STANDING POSITION.

So. Much. Going. On.

He was working the elliptical part really fast 
for as slow as he was moving.

Ellie asked,

“Is he a villain?”

She went on to say that he reminded her of the Green Goblin from the Spiderman movie.

Green Goblin
No disrespect to either party.

I thought that his poor wife clearly had lost a very seriously fought battle. The kind that involved her saying things like,

“Please. Don’t. No! Really! I’m serious!"


“Don’t get the neon green. If you MUST order that THING, 
don’t get the neon green!”


“A matching helmet? Really?! In the same neon green??!!”


“You won’t be riding it in public, will you? Maybe just a spin to the end of the driveway and back?”

And definitely,

“It costs HOW MUCH??!!”

I just did a little search and as it turns out, it’s not called “The THING”  or “Doofmobile”.

It’s an elliptical bike. 
(Only slightly more descriptive than my names.)

Elliptical bike
The one we saw was neon ALL OVER. And the
handlebars were taller.

This model cost over $1700 with some models over $3,000.

While on a website for these bikes I found out that July 12th was International Elliptical Bike Day. 

We saw the THING on July 11th, so I bet he was gearing up for the big day.

I wonder if he asked his wife to make a cake.
Or permission to leave the driveway
and actually take the THING on the bike path.

Yesterday morning Ellie and I ran an errand and on the way home we saw some spray painted graffiti in large letters that read:



I confirmed that Ellie indeed had seen it too.

It reminded us of the word MOIST graffiti 
we saw in a few different spots in Alabama
over Spring Break.

We pondered the who and why’s of the FIBER graffiti situation.

I noticed it was in close proximity to two nursing homes.

Maybe that was just the kind of tomfoolery and horseplay one can expect from an elderly prankster/graffiti artist.

And there was a bit of a public service message with it too.


It’s good. 

It’s healthy.

It makes a good day great.

So we called Monte to share our funny observation when he asked where the graffiti was.

I explained it looked like a big metal electrical box.

He explained,

“Fiber, as in cable or fiber optics."


So it was more of an instruction 
than a public service message.

As in,

“Put fiber cable here."

And just like that, 

all funny images of elderly men or women in cardigans 
giggling in the middle of the night with spray cans in hand, 
one looking out for “the authorities” 
and one doing the spraying, 

were gone.


And yet the words “anal glands expressed”

and the image of Green Goblin riding the THING is clear as a bell.

And still less irritating to me than a recumbent bike.

Green Goblin with cartoon bubble saying, “Happy Elliptical Bike Day!"

Friday, July 11, 2014

What’s Been Going On

I haven’t meant to take a blogging break.

But the whole healing neck thing (I’m band-aid free FINALLY)

and 4th of July thing

and the girls needing three meals a day, 

Well, that has made blogging with any sort of regularity a distant memory,

like finishing any project EVER
without a million interruptions
and questions
and “Moooooommmm!!!!!”s

or wearing a bikini.

Those were the good ol’ days.

And because I’ve had to stop this post 40-11 times to 
look at what McDaniel was drawing, 
help her find a website to draw more stuff, 
help Ellie remember the movies she wants to see in list form, 
help her locate the tent in the garage, 
move the hammock, 
lay out the tent in proper position in the yard 
and pull poop from the dog’s behind, 

I better just upload some pictures QUICK 
before it’s SEPTEMBER before you 
hear from me again!

We went to the zoo the day before the 4th of July, which as it turns out, MOST OF AMERICA did too. Luckily, we went early and got to see the zoo workers herding the flamingos to feed them. They danced when they shook their container of food.

Flamingoes getting fed at the zoo

We also saw the workers “walking” a turtle. It was just as painfully slow to watch as you can imagine.

Our zoo finally has giraffes and zebras again!!! 

A few summers ago, my cousin and his family made the drive from Indiana to visit our zoo. They had just one son at the time and when he asked to see the giraffes and zebras, I had to pull aside his mother and explain that, best to my knowledge, our last remaining giraffe had died on the operating table during a routine surgery. 

(Whatever surgery is routine for a giraffe, but you’d bet it would involve the neck, wouldn’t you?)

Then I had to explain that our zebras had been transported to a large field outside of town that was part of a drive-through animal refuge while their habitat was being renovated at the zoo. And one of the zebras didn’t take well to the new scenery and took off head first, as fast as he could go, into a fence post breaking his own neck.

I’m not making this up. 

The other zebras decided that looked like a better deal than waiting on their home renovation, so they followed suit. Terribly sad.

Tragedies aside, our zoo really is wonderful. 

A new habitat called Africa just opened up and I swear, it was as if we were on safari.

And not the kind in northern Ohio with pig races.

No cement, cages, chain-link fences or anything.

It was beautiful!!

Baby giraffe at the zoo
A baby giraffe.
 We decided to eat at a restaurant within the Africa exhibit

(I had the most amazing garbanzo bean salad!) 

and look what we could see RIGHT FROM OUR TABLE!!

Lion drinking water at the zoo.

Lion by eating area at zoo.
See the tables inside and the big lion RIGHT OUTSIDE?

Monte played around with some filters on his phone. Isn’t this picture downright artsy?

Lion, giraffe and Wildebeasts at zoo.

We kept singing songs from Lion King the entire time we were in the exhibit.

The only thing we didn’t get to do that we will definitely go back to do is ride a camel.

Because I can TOTALLY see myself on a camel.

Then Ellie decided she HAD to have her face painted. She waited in line towering over all the toddlers.

Ellie’s face paint.

Towards the end of our zoo visit, we started to get hot and the crowds got WAY too intense. When we went to take the boat ride through the Australian exhibit, they told us to come back at 5:30. It wasn’t even 2:00 yet.

We started to feel like this poor chimpanzee.
Chimpanzee trying to have some quiet time.
I love that his eyes were open the whole time.
He didn’t want to nap. He just wanted everyone
to back off already!!!

Then we left the zoo and drove ourselves to a hotel just outside of the city that we OWN A HOME in, and checked right in.

Man in glass elevator going up.

We were supposed to be in Virginia Beach visiting my brother over the holiday weekend

but Arthur decided he wanted to visit too.

Weather map of Hurricane Arthur

Even though it was a quick moving tropical storm/hurricane, we didn’t want to get “caught up” in the 85 mph winds even if for only one day.

So we decided NOT to go, which bummed us all out.

Then Monte came up with a plan to use some of his built-up hotel points and booked us a hotel just outside our city for two nights FREE!!

We bowled on the 4th of July. We almost had the entire place to ourselves.

Bowling on the 4th of July
Red, White & Bowl.

Selfie bowling
I HAVE to figure out how to put a passcode on my phone!

The staff in the bowling alley must have been bored because we received 4 free arcade cards for little more than showing up on the 4th of July.

Man playing Guitar Hero
Monte made me watch him play a R-E-A-L-L-Y long
Aerosmith song on Guitar Hero. He got into it.

Ellie made me ride this simulation thing that made you feel like you were going to crash into a mountain, a lake or another car. We screamed a lot.

Girls screaming on simulator ride.

Then we went out to eat and McDaniel made Ellie and I pose pretending to laugh really hard at something.

Mom and daughter fake laughing

And pretend to point at something off in the distance.

Mom and daughter fake pointing off to the distance

Then I pretended to choke Ellie.

Mom and daughter being silly

And then I pretended to choke McDaniel.

Mom and daughter being silly

We were able to watch 4 or 5 different firework displays from our 6th floor hotel room while in our jammies listening to McDaniel sing patriotic songs into her hairbrush.

Girls watching fireworks from hotel window and one singing into a hairbrush

Back home, we popped in to see McDaniel’s friend on the job at a pizza joint.

Selfie of 2nd day on the job

And I made this.

Chocolate cake

And people actually liked it!

Which is usually NOT the case with my baked goods.

Click here for the recipe .

Double layer chocolate cake
Ellie actually asked me to make this again for her
birthday. The pressure is on!
We had a series of thunder storms that Nigel did not care for one bit 
as evidenced in the paw print embedded into my leg.

Dog paw print imprint onto a leg

McDaniel got more things stuck in her hair.

Hanger stuck in a girls hair

I got the gray colored right out of mine. But just in the roots. Which gave me this snazzy look:

Lady getting her roots colored
That makes me look like I have an unusual slant to
my head.
I might look like something from Star Trek.
McDaniel spotted this beauty on the way home from the grocery store the other day and made me stop.

Beat up 1965 Ford

It’s a 1965 FRD (look closely, the O is missing) something something. Not even sure. What I am sure of is that $6,000 price tag. I’m pretty sure there is a lot of rust and no AC too. And I’m also REALLY sure that McDaniel’s $274 in the bank will not bring this almost 50-year-old stunner home with us. 


Then today I get caught up in a cute little guy’s knife sales pitch that could win him a college scholarship if I just let him give me his presentation and then 10 names of friends and in between cutting rope with paring knives and melting ice with ice cream scoops and watching videos on his phone of him throwing a watermelon onto a knife and it slicing right in half,

I keep hearing my front door open and close and people rushing up and down the stairs and my phone buzz with texts in the room next to me.

While the cute little guy was cleaning up,

I checked my phone and found this:

Girls dressed like cows for Chick-Fil-A contest
McDaniel does have two legs.

Apparently today at Chick-Fil-A, you could receive chicken for FREE if you dressed up like a cow. That was all McDaniel and our neighbor Claire had to hear to make this the plan of their day.

And I’m pretty sure that was one of Monte’s undershirts.

I was not at all surprised as these were the same girls that years ago spent hours making a pickle costume out of lawn refuse bags that McDaniel wore in the front yard while Claire screamed, 

“Pickles! $1.00! Get your pickles for $1.00!”

To anyone who walked or drove by.

And we did not have any pickles.

So, what’s been going on with you?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

This week has been a doozy.

Part of it SO FUN as we celebrated Julie’s birthday, one of my party planning business partners.

We threw her a Barbie-themed party.
More on that later.

And somewhere in the middle of all that, I trashed my neck.


Let me start by confirming that the old saying my parents repeated over and over to me,

“Nothing good happens after midnight,”

is true.

Monte was out of town.

McDaniel was at a bible study event that ran late and it was raining and her phone was in someone’s car and I couldn’t get in contact with her and I was worried and mad and tired

and clearly not in the right frame of mind to be reading anything on the internet.

It wasn’t midnight, mind you, 
but close enough in my world for crazy things 
like putting Frankincense essential oil on a mole on my neck 
to reduce its appearance to sound like a pretty darn good idea.

There was even convincing before and after pictures.

And I’ve always hated that mole, mind you. 

Remember, Monte wasn’t here to warn me that putting Frankincense essential oil on a tiny cotton ball and then putting a band aid on top of that and then going to sleep would end so poorly.

I woke up at 3:30 am with a searing pain in my neck area.

I ran to the bathroom, took off the band aid and found a HUGE blister,

WAY bigger than the size of the cotton ball 
or band aid I went to bed wearing.

In my grogginess, I splashed water on my neck, prayed it was all a dream and went back to bed.

In the morning, I realized it had not been a dream when I looked in the mirror and found a fiery red tear drop shaped chemical burn, 

with a mole in the middle of it,

staring back at me.

Neck chemical burn #frankinsenceburns

It took, depending on the position, two to three band aids to cover the hot mess on my neck.

And a 44-year-old neck is not pretty when bandaged. 

It becomes all foldy and wrinkly.

Even with clear band aids, 
it looked like I had a turkey waddle. 

Folds and wrinkles from neck band aids #turkeywaddleneck
Much better, right?

I had a long day of errands to run.

Errands in public places with people.

People who might wonder about the lady walking around 
with three band aids on her neck.

Why couldn’t I have had a lapse in judgement during turtleneck season?!

And I was worried two weeks ago about being seen 

I’d pay CASH DOLLARS to be seen publicly without my wedding ring on 
than have to explain why I have a bandaged neck.

I texted Monte about my neck mishap.

He asked if I should not be left home alone anymore. 

And if the girls should hide sharp objects 
and the internet 
from me.

The next day was the Barbie-themed birthday party.

I really didn’t want my neck wound to distract from celebrating Julie.

So I wore a scarf.

As only good friends can do,

 they saw right through my scarf-wearing cover-up.

I had to fess up.

Then they told me to see a doctor.

Of course, the very next day Monte and I had a meeting at the school.

My friends were good to give me answer suggestions if any questions pertaining to my neck were asked.

“I have skin cancer.” 
I’d have no ability to say this.

“I had a mole removed.” 
If only that were true. 
The mole is hanging in there nicely.

“I just got my neck tattoo removed.” 
Except we couldn’t come up with a definitive answer on what the neck tattoo was if asked. Carisa suggested a skull with roses but I really don’t think I’m the skull with roses kind of person. But then again, I would definitely be the kind of person who would have a skull with roses neck tattoo removed. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Julie suggested I hold my fingers to my band aids while talking in such a way to suggest I had lost my larynx or vocal chords or whatever it is you lose. to years of chain smoking.

So I said nothing. 

I didn’t say a peep about my band aids even when I saw the woman 
at the school meeting clearly staring at my neck. 

It actually became funnier to me the longer I said nothing.

Well, as funny as a painful chemical burn to the neck can be. 

I’m grasping at straws here, 
trying to find the funny.

Later that afternoon, I picked up the phone to make an appointment with my general practice doctor.

She’s a friend and I knew she’d get a laugh out of my story.

Not like the humorless Urgent Care doctor 
who didn’t even crack a smile when I told him 
I heard angels sing after I jammed a Q-tip 
too far into my ear canal.

My doctor has experience with “my ways” since I one time made an appointment to see her because I thought I was having heart issues and she diagnosed me with a pulled muscle around my breast bone due to poor form in my side planks while playing with the Wii Fit.

She gets me.

And if I remember right, 
she told me the mole 
on my neck was fine 
and not to mess with it.


As my life would of course have it,

my doctor was booked for the day but the nurse referred me 
to another doctor in another practice within their medical group.

I prayed it would be a woman with a good sense of humor 
and a compassionate heart.

It didn’t start off well when the front desk lady couldn’t figure out how to file my insurance information and I had to stand up front at her desk with a bandaged neck for all in the waiting room to see for a really long time.

I contemplated walking out about 57 different times but the front desk lady still had my insurance card.

She decided it would be easier for me to pay for the visit out of pocket.

Stupidity costs, people.

A white-haired MALE (uh-oh) who looked like he just left the golf course, walked into the room.

He didn’t introduce himself or ask my name.

He didn’t ask what I did, 
what I did it with 
and why in the world I did it.

I didn’t get to tell my story.

Which is almost as bad as having a fiery red 
tear-shaped chemical burn with a mole 
in the middle of it on your neck.

In 4 1/2 seconds he looked at my burn,

told me it looked like I was doing everything right,


and that it should be scabbing nicely by next week.


So there you have it.

If you find yourself up late tonight,

don’t turn on QVC,

don’t watch that informercial on TV,


don’t peruse the internet.

At that late hour, it will all sound too simple.

Too good.

Too quick and affordable.

But they are ALL LIES.

And you will be left to wake up to ugly jewelry you don’t need,

household products that don’t work

or a searing chemical burn on your neck.

Stupidity costs, people.

And nothing good happens after midnight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sunday Nights in the 70s

Saturday morning I read a great blog post by Motherhood & Muffin Tops that mentioned Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

Do you remember that show?

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom logo

It was a safari type animal show with an old guy, Marlin Perkins, who always seemed to be in the studio office while his younger side kick was always on the scene in the bush somewhere right in the path of an angry hungry hippo, tiger, lion or bear.

Wild Kingdom’s Marlin Perkins in the studio with an animal

I remember the narrator’s soft, calming voice describing the beauty of the serene gazelle.

This is the part where I hid my eyes because anyone who watched Wild Kingdom knew that the calmer the narrator’s voice 
and the more beautiful the description of the serene animal, 
the closer they were to a brutal end.

There was always some tiger hiding behind a bush that would 
pounce suddenly and drag the gazelle off to munch on.

I talked about this with Monte and we had the same memories of the show so he decided to bring up a You Tube video to share the fun and death that was Wild Kingdom with Ellie.

It was a clip from an episode where Marlin Perkins was in the studio (shocker) with a monkey that was chained BY THE NECK to his office desk.

I’m not even joking. 

Big chain.

Metal collar.

Hooked to desk.

The monkey was not even 3 feet tall so no King Kong threat was apparent.

Ellie was appalled and she might have left the room at that point.

Marlin started feeding the monkey something berry-like.

The monkey just shoved and shoved and shoved and shoved those berries into his mouth until his cheeks were ENORMOUS!

I guess they stored the berries in their cheeks for later meals.

The cheek capacity of this monkey was impressive.

I wanted to raise my hand and ask Marlin what kept another monkey, 
maybe a little down on his luck in the berry finding department, 
from walking up to an obviously filled-to-capacity-cheeked monkey 
and just taking both little monkey fists and popping those huge cheeks balloon-style 
thus shooting a few of those berries into his own mouth?

But Wild Kingdom was not an interactive show or much for 
staying away from the gray areas of animal cruelty.

I have to admit that, for the most part, I thought the show was BORING
(I don’t recall seeing the cheeky monkey episode back in the 70s).

The narrator’s calm tone of voice was like a monotone lullaby to me.

I was really only watching the show as the opening act to The Wonderful World of Disney. 

And to keep my dad from switching the channel to 60 minutes 
which was like brutal torture to a kid.

I’d get so excited when I’d see Tinker Bell flying over Cinderella’s Castle with my wet clean hair fresh from a bath and a bowl of something in front of me--sometimes ice cream, sometimes popcorn and sometimes sliced apples, mini marshmallows and bits of chocolate Hershey bar broken up into small pieces (seriously, like the best snack when I was little. Of course, I traded my chocolate pieces away for more marshmallows.)

The Wonderful World of Disney logo with Tinker Bell and Cinderella’s Castle

I remember watching all kinds of great movies on The Wonderful World of Disney.

Ichabod Crane and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow (scared me half to DEATH when I was younger).

Ichabod Crane with the headless horseman

The Strongest Man in the World with Kurt Russell.

Disney’s The Strongest Man in the World movie poster with Kurt Russell

Remember the cereal he ate to make him strong? 

We just found this on Apple TV and made the girls watch it with us. They weren’t super impressed. Monte and I still liked it.

And of course classics like The Apple Dumpling Gang with Tim Conway and Don Knotts.

Disney’s The Apple Dumpling Gang movie poster

The girls hated that too,

“Nothing happens!”

Sorry the bad guys carry guns they never use 
and no one gets thrown into a vat of nuclear waste 
turning them into a super villain 
or hero 
or troll.

But I digress.

Sunday nights in the 70s was magical.

It was family TV viewing time. We could all be together without fear of language or gore (other than the gazelle being munched on).

I miss that.

There just aren’t enough shows like that now. 


Are there ANY shows like that??

If you know of any, let me know.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Story about the Hot Dog, Wedding Rings, Blood Blister and the Letter “J”

It started two nights ago.

As I was walking upstairs to go to bed,

I started to drop one of the sandals I was carrying.

In my not-so-smooth attempt to keep hold of my sandal,

I rammed my ring finger into the riser part of the stair so hard that I was sure it was broken.

The stair first.

Then my finger.

The whole incident scared the dog into McDaniel’s room.

The loud crack of wood and bone 
and then my wounded animal howl.

My ring finger,

the one that sports my WEDDING RINGS

felt all hot and heart-beatish.

Somehow I had the presence of mind to remove my rings,

which is not usually how I do things.

My stories usually start with,

“I wish I had thought to…”


“It didn’t occur to me until later that…”

So, I’d like a little credit here

and soft applause.

Especially since clapping makes me feel 
a little nauseous with pain right now.

When I woke up yesterday,

my finger was the size of a hot dog,

if a hot dog had blueberry filling,

and a knuckle.

For some unknown reason I tried to put my rings back on.

The hot dog wouldn’t have it.

Mainly because of the searing pain.

Followed quickly by the hugeness.

So I iced down during breakfast and thought about how stupid I would feel having to tell the doctor at an urgent care how I jammed my finger into a stairway.

And I once had to tell a doctor (loudly) that I jammed 
 a Q-tip into my ear so hard that I heard angels singing.

I decided to ignore the pain and go about my day like I didn’t have a hot dog for a ring finger.

The girls and I went to Lowe’s to get some project supplies

because spray painting two chairs sounded like a great way 
to ruin the only good hand I had left to work with.

Of course we ran into everyone we knew,

me with no wedding rings on and all.

One was Carisa’s husband.

I’m surprised I didn’t get a call.

Or a banana bread fresh from the oven.
She is Southern after all, and programmed
to provide food in a crises.

(Her banana bread is almost worth a crises).

I thought on the drive home what a good thing it was that this life of mine wasn't an Andy Griffith episode because boy, Aunt B and her nosey friend would have had the “Karmen wasn’t wearing her wedding rings” information ALL over town by the end of the day.

Incidentally, driving is VERY difficult when you 
have an unbendable hot dog for a finger.

Mainly in the crucial steering department.

I casually mentioned all the people I ran into at Lowe's to some neighbors at a porch gathering yesterday afternoon.

“Of course no one would notice I wasn’t wearing my rings.

When one of my neighbors said,

“Oh, I would have!”

And, I have to admit,

I would’ve too.

I’m an observer.
It comes already loaded
with the story telling thing.

But before the neighborhood gathering,

and after the finger-hot dog incident, 

I managed to shut part of my arm in the double doors of our 
linen closet thus pinching a nice blood blister with a rapid 
heart beat about two inches from my elbow.

The dog was unphased by my scream at that point.

A few minutes later as I was walking to the garage at a hurried pace,

I pushed open the fence gate with some force and speed not realizing the gate was locked 
and my body didn’t get the memo in time 
so I ended up with a nice deep letter “J” scrape on my arm.

Cue the heart beat.

Let’s recap:

I jammed my ring finger into a black and blue hot dog,

potentially started rumors about the state of my marriage,

pinched the ever lovin’ life out of my arm

and managed to gouge the letter “J” into the flesh of my other arm.

All in a 24-hour period.

As I retold the horrors of my 24 hours (show and tell style) to my neighbors,

one who happens to be a nurse said three of the sweetest words to me,

“It’s not broken.”

But I learned it could be a couple of weeks before those 
wedding rings manage to make their way back onto the hot dog.

So I need to come up with a good story when I notice someone noticing I’m not wearing my wedding rings.

Any ideas??