Monthly Archives: August 2014

My One Hundred and Eighty Dollar Shirt

checks

I could not wait to graduate high school. I had it all planned out. No college. Good paying job. Apartment. In that order.

It didn’t happen that way. Well, mostly it didn’t happen that way. I didn’t go to college but you all know that because I’ve mentioned it once or twice or fifty times.

I did get a job. I landed a job with a large corporation making 15 thousand dollars a year. I remember being so damn proud of that 15 thousand dollars that I actually contacted my shorthand teacher from high school and told her like it was the biggest news since the invention of the toaster.

And then the credit union told me I could open my own credit card. I COULD HAVE MY OWN CREDIT CARD, PEOPLE! I screamed it from the rooftops. And then I ran to the mall.

Let’s just say that there is nothing worse than trying to buy a 75 cent pack of gum and having the store clerk cut up your credit card before your very eyes because you have reached the limit. Three months after you receive it.

Then, I got checks. A whole, entire checkbook full of them. You know that expression, “I can’t be out of money, I still have checks left?” That was me. My checks bounced more than a Super Ball. I’m surprised the feds didn’t come after me.

Then I met a man. This man not only never bounced a check in his entire life. But he never racked up even a dime’s worth of credit card debt. And he still hasn’t 28 years later. How do I know? Because I married him.

It makes him crazy. The way I spend money. Give me 10 bucks and I’ll have it spent before you leave the room. I don’t know how. It’s a talent I have. Seriously. You’d be amazed. I probably should get my own show in Vegas.

Anyway, back to what I wanted to talk about. What was it again? Oh, right. My early life plan.

No college. Check.

Good paying job. Umm, let’s just go with “paying” job. Half Check.

Apartment. Fail.

Why did I fail? Because I didn’t have any money. Because the credit union gave a 19-year-old baby-faced girl a credit card with a $2,500 credit limit and a book full of checks.

I sometimes regret my errant ways. Sometimes I do. I mean, I do okay now. Because I have DH. He keeps me on the straight and narrow.

He takes care of the bills. I did take them over once but I accidentally wrote an extra zero on the end of our mortgage payment. Yeah, that went over about as well as a fart in an elevator. But, it was a good way to get out of that chore.

Also, when you vacuum? Bang into all the wood furniture. It’s a sure way to get rid of that chore too.

See how devious I am? I amaze even myself. That, my friends, is the best advice I could give a new bride. Dent the furniture. It works. Skip the sex talk on their wedding day, teach your daughter how to get out of household chores. She’ll thank you later.

Whoa, did I ever digress there. Phew. Sorry, I’m into a couple of glasses of Prosecco.

prosecco

Here’s the proof

Anyway, I think my point is that young girls (and boys, but since I’m not a boy, I can’t really speak for them) everywhere should really be careful with their finances. If you aren’t smart about it early on, it could potentially be a life-long problem.

But damn, did I have the best wardrobe ever when I was 20. Unfortunately, that $30 dollar shirt was more like $180 by the time I paid it off. Interest. It’s called interest. The credit union forgot to tell me about that. Or maybe they did. I also had a problem with listening.

Still, I was pretty cute in that shirt.

What’s the lesson here? Stick to your plan, don’t spend too much money and if you have checks left? It doesn’t necessarily mean you have money in there. Check the balance. That is, if you kept a balance. Then you’re screwed.

My Favorite (AKA Easiest) Recipe Revealed

It is absolutely the most common of knowledge that I dislike being in the kitchen. I hate cooking in it. I hate cleaning in it. I do like to stand in it though because my kitchen is kinda new and it looks really pretty. I also like to pour myself a glass of wine in it. Or make a margarita.

But cooking? Ugh, blah, gross, puke and plfffftttt (that’s the sound you make when you stick out your tongue and make a raspberry). My goal is to get in and get out asap. You know, like when those Army specialist guys or Navy Seals are on a mission to go get some terrorists or whatever? Just like that. Without the guns and stuff. And less blood. Well, maybe. If I am careful with the knife and remember to move my finger out of the way.

I have 10 thousand cookbooks. All collected through the years starting in 1992, the year I got married. Because I tried. I did. I tried to cook nice. After I had a cry-fest on my wedding night in the shower, because I totally freaked out that I had no idea what I was going to make this man of mine for the next forever, I snapped to.

I got out my cookbooks, tied on an apron and cooked like a madwoman for a solid week. I know exactly what DH thought. “Boy did I pick a winner. Good decision bucko, I’ll be fed for life and it will be good.”

Except it wasn’t. I hated it so much, I pretty much never did that fancy stuff again. I got by on tomato soup with those white milky specks (why does that happen?), spaghetti with sauce out of a jar and if DH was really lucky, frozen meatballs thrown in for good measure. There was chicken, chicken and more chicken that pretty much resembled shoe leather, and as a special treat…sloppy joes.

cookbooks

I haven’t opened this cabinet in so long, I was worried a family of mice would be living in there.

My philosophy is now this: Screw those cookbooks. Even though I still have them in the cupboard because you just never know even though I still, to this day, haven’t looked through 98% of them.

The meal has to have very little ingredients, require as little chopping as possible and be quick. If it tastes good, that’s a bonus. But it doesn’t have to taste good. Because then they won’t expect much so that could be a blessing in disguise.

So, get my point? The easier, the better. The faster, the even betterer and if I’m lucky, chinese food when everyone is sick of my cooking. Which is more than I care to admit. Actually, I don’t really care at all.

So, I will bestow to you my best meal ever. And my family loves it so much, I make it weekly with enough leftovers to carry over into the next night or longer. These people are lucky, I tell you.

I call this Sausage Pasta because I don’t know what else to call it and I’m really creative like that. I made this up by the way. Which is weird in and of itself because mostly I don’t know what I’m doing.

Sausage Pasta:

  • Olive oil. I dunno…a couple of tablespoons, maybe?
  • 1 box of Cellentani or Cavatappi or Ziti or whatever you like, al dente. Or overcooked like I do it because I always forget to take it off the heat before it reaches this stage.
  • 1 lb of any kind of sausage you like. I like the pre-cooked chicken or turkey sausage that is usually flavored by something or other. Cut this precooked sausage into slices. If you use fresh, just cook it like you would cook ground beef.
  • 1 can of cannelloni beans, undrained. The juice in this is what thickens the “sauce.”
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts in water for less fat. Cut them up so it looks like you are getting more and getting your money’s worth.
  • Capers. I use those cute little ones and I just pour them in until it meets my fancy.
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced not minced. But do what you want. I won’t tell.
  • Salt, pepper and basil to taste.

While the pasta cooks, mix all of the above in no special order. Unless you use fresh (when I say “fresh” I mean the raw kind, not really sure how fresh it is) sausage, then cook that first. I’m not really sure why. If you really need to know, look it up.

Add to cooked, drained pasta and you have yourself a meal.

If you want to make it even healthier, add in some broccoli or whatever. But that’s an extra step and more work because then you have to wash it and cut it and cook it. So, just throw some on the side raw if a veggie is important to you.

There you have it. A meal that literally takes less than a half an hour to throw together. Don’t say I never gave you anything. You’re welcome.

Adventures Abound

Last week I talked about our Summer Bucket List and the fact that we didn’t accomplish much. There was one thing that was not on there that actually did get accomplished.

Wait. Does that even count? Can I legitimately say that we accomplished something not on our bucket list? Hmm.

Anyway, that thing was Ziplining. I live in the Northeast. Close to New York. In the Catskills there is a Ziplining park that boasts the highest zipline in the entire country. Why did we go there? Because The Kid has been bugging us for forever.

zipline

And because we are nuts. DH is deathly afraid of heights and I really could have stayed home and read. Or written. Or endured drip drops of water in the same spot on my forehead for 7 hours straight.

It turns out there was not just one zipline. Or two. There were six. Six little adventures wrapped up into one. So, just in case you didn’t die the first time, you got five more chances.

GOPR2457

You can’t tell, but I’m freaking out.

What goes through the mind and out of the mouth and body of a 47 year old woman who is about to throw herself over 680 feet of open air? This:

  • What am I doing here? I am a 47 year old woman about to throw her body over 680 feet of open air. I should be home reading a book. Or writing. Or enduring Chinese Water Torture for 7 hours straight.
  • OMG, my heart. I think I may have a heart attack. Oh my god, I’m going to have a heart attack. (Me to guide as I’m about to jump: “umm, has anyone ever died of a heart attack up here?” I probably should have googled it because I didn’t believe him. I’m seriously surprised I didn’t have a heart attack.)
  • Pee. Yes, I peed. Just a little. That’s what happens when a 47 year old woman tries to fly. Maybe it was the high altitude? Or perhaps it’s because I no longer have much control over my pelvic floor muscles.
  • So, how much would it hurt if the cable snapped? Would I die mid-air of that heart attack I was afraid of? Or would it be on impact? There are a lot of trees though. Think that would soften the blow? Superman. Where is Superman when I need him?
  • The guide said not to hang upside down because we will fall out of the harness to our deaths. Sure okay. I’ll try not to hang upside down. I’m not a monkey. I will not play monkey at 680 feet in the air. I promise. Oh god. I hope I don’t accidentally play monkey.
  • Put my body into a fetal position? I haven’t been in a fetal position since I was a fetus.
  • zipliningOHMYGOD. I didn’t get all the way across. I’m just hanging here over 600 feet of air in the damn mountains. Is it because I couldn’t get into a fetal position? Who do they think I am? Nadia Comaneci? Geez, a sloth is more flexible than I am. And faster.
  • I totally love that DH is more afraid than I am. I got this. OHMYGOD. I got stuck again.

And because we survived that, we decided we were total adventure jet-setters and went on another little adventure. It was a bit more tame. Although there could have been sharks. Really, there totally could have been. This wasn’t on our bucket list either. Or was it? I wouldn’t know because I threw it in a fire.

paddle boarding

To be honest with you, this is more my speed:

margarita on the beach

Next time, I’m beaching it. Like a whale, but with a margarita and a book. And well, a little less blubber.

This was a writing prompt from Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop: Write a post inspired by the word “Adventure.”

Mama’s Losin’ It

The Poop Deck

Warning: Poop talk below.

Girls don't poopDH and I had a double date night last night. This other couple are very close friends of ours. I would say they are our BFF’s of the adult couple world. We talk about everything. From being the proud owners of teenage daughters to well, everything. Always lots of laughs and hours of great fun.

Last night our talk turned to bathroom habits. No, not how long it takes women to get ready vs. men. We talked about the ability for men to be able to poop in public. Without a care in the world. They could be in a fancy restaurant having an exquisite dinner and the urge can just strike. No problem. They just take care of business. As if they are brushing their teeth.

“Oh excuse me honey, I must use the facilities.” I don’t ask whether he has to go Number 1 or Number 2, but I can usually tell which. Did he bring a newspaper in with him? No. Of course not. Where would he get one on such short notice? It just takes him longer. That is how I know.

A couple of weeks ago we were in The Cape for a few days. We were walking around this cute little town when I started to experience terrible stomach pains. It was gas. Bad gas. I could feel it start to gurgle, kick and almost scream at me. It was ruining my day.

DH and The Kid suggested I use the bathroom. We were passing one. “Oh look, mom. Go in there. You’ll feel much better.” I went, even though I knew exactly what was going to happen. I’d go in there with the best intention. I would sit. And sit. And…nothing. I knew it. In fact, just the thought of having to poop in a public restroom scares me more than Freddie Kruger does.

Because my sphincter muscle seizes up on me. I can almost hear it talking. “No way, sister. Not doing it. Not here. I’m closing the door and double padlocking it.

It’s bad enough when you pee and a little noisy air escapes. It happens to the best of us. But damn, when that happens I sit and wait for everyone to leave. I just hope no one notices my shoes and then they see me walking around the mall. “Look mom, that’s the lady who farted in the bathroom.”

But men? They could care less. “Who cares?” they say. “Everyone poops. Just go in there and go.” But we can’t. The only person I know who doesn’t have a problem with it is my mother. But she’s 68. I bet when she was younger, she didn’t do it. Actually, she probably did. This is the woman who made me try on training bras over my shirts in Caldor and who would call me Pooper Scooper in public.

Just so you know, I did go in public twice. Once in the mall because if I didn’t go in a real bathroom, there would be a clean up in Aisle 12. And once in someone’s backyard. It’s a long story. If you need to know, I talked about it here.

I guess it will just be one of those mysteries of the world. Men vs. Women. Poop vs. not poop. Whatever. I’m good. I’m especially good at holding it. Mostly.

 

The Summer Bucket List of Reality

Unknown

The summer is almost over. We are in the absolute final week of it. Sigh. Every end-of-spring, my family sits down and creates a Summer Bucket List. It’s really not very hard to accomplish, but somehow every summer, it doesn’t get accomplished.

Well, maybe some of it sometimes. But mostly not and it makes me feel real bad. Right now this list has become nothing short of some kindling for my wintertime home fires.

So, here is our SBL and what it really means:

  1. Go to the beach, like a lot =  We did go to the beach. Once. Also, I accidentally got wet setting up the sprinkler for the kids at My Job.
  2. Hiking = I went for some walks in my neighborhood. But I did that alone. No family involved. I did ask if they wanted to go though. They said no. Their loss.
  3. Kayaking = Umm, does talking about doing it, going into the garage to look at our kayaks and then saying, “let’s go kayaking this weekend” but don’t actually go, count?
  4. Amusement Park particularly Six Flags = I’ve been going for a ride with The Kid at the wheel almost every day since June. That’s approximately 4 days at Six Flags. Maybe not as fun, but still an adventure. Amusement parks also do not cause gray hairs. Or wrinkles.
  5. Go to “Puppies & Kittens” – I don’t know how this got on here and why I would even allow it. It must have been an afterthought when I wasn’t looking. Puppies and kittens are cute, but that place smells like pee.

So, my big question is can we rollover what we don’t use? Or do we get a do-over? Summer just always seems to be over in the blink of an eye.

Winter? That bastard hangs around for an eternity. Mother Nature sucks. Or is senile. Whatever. It’s just all so wrong.

 

With a Little Help From a Friend

The month was January 2013. The start of a new year. There were a few things that I was completely unhappy about with myself. 1) no job; 2) overweight; 3) no passion.

After much soul searching, I figured out my passion: writing and starting a blog. Check. I found a job. Check. Now to tackle the huge, ugly problem of being overweight.

In February, I stopped eating like a damn pig. I stopped putting every piece of food that crossed my path into my mouth. I lost about 10 pounds in 3 months. It was coming off, but slowly. I exercised very little. I didn’t have the motivation to do it, so I had stalled.

I hate to exercise. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it alone. Because I am kind of lazy and have always, my entire life, needed a little pushing and prodding to get anything accomplished ever.

This chick in my town was offering an online fitness course. It didn’t require a gym membership which was good because quite honestly, I am not a huge fan of the gym. This could be done from the comforts of my own home. Or wherever I wanted. If I wanted to go visit Italy while I was partaking in this course, I could. It didn’t matter where I was.

So I joined. It was reasonable. And it was exactly what I needed to get myself over the hump. Because of her e-fitness course, I lost another 18 pounds. I met other women through the forum, there was plenty of support, and Susie (yes, THE Susie who is now my friend-boss – funny how things happen that way, isn’t it? Fate people. Fate.) is a kick-ass motivator and she was exactly what I needed.

I know this sounds like a shameless plug, and it is. A little. But also, I have always been a big supporter of her course. I have nothing but great things to say about it and wanted to share the love. Her course literally changed my life.

If you are in a rut, need a little push or just want to get into better shape, click here. It’s so much more than just exercising. She shares recipes, videos, tips, ways to stay motivated, the list goes on.

Her next e-course starts on August 25. What are you waiting for? It was the best money I ever spent and didn’t regret it for a moment. I truly believe with all my heart, that you will feel the same way. Or else I wouldn’t be here promoting it. I just wouldn’t.

Not Your Average Fitness Course starts here.

photo

Before

photo

After

 

Yes, I Was Nominated for the ALS Challenge and Here It Is

I was nominated for the ALS ice bucket challenge. I put in on my Facebook page but for all of you who don’t have Facebook or don’t follow me, here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Ok, so I was nominated for the ALS ice bucket challenge even though I hoped beyond hope that no one would, even though it’s for a good cause. 

Me, the person with the biggest mouth in the history of big mouths cannot be heard. And I’m not doing it again cuz it’s like 20 below zero in the northeast today and I already almost froze my balls off so…

I was thanking my dear friend Moira Teeking for making the nomination. You’re da bomb, not really. In return I nominate my two awesome sisters-in-law(s?) April Kehoe and Janet Kehoe and my little friend Ingrid. You all are ON! You have 24 hours girls. You know the drill.

YouTube Preview Image

You’re So Vein

hem·or·rhoid/hem(ə)ˌroid/
noun a swollen vein or group of veins in the region of the anus.

I'm talking about YOU, Hemmorhoid

I’m talking about YOU, Hemorrhoid

Have you ever had a hem-or-roid?  You know, that itchy, painful, itchy thing in and/or around your bottom? I think, I’m not sure because I’m no doctor, that I may have one. I don’t know how I got it, but it kinda blows. Well, not really. It actually itches.

Anyway, I’m not here to tell you that I have a hemorrhoid even though I just did. It’s this actual little problem of mine that brings to mind a very embarrassing story from my younger days. It involves DH and what he did for love. And because I love to share embarrassing stories. It’s what I live for.

It was fairly early on in our relationship. One day I woke up with this itchy-itch down below. Not in the front down below, in the back down below. It was relentless. While at work during this time, I spent half my day in the bathroom, panty hose around my knees and a wad of toilet paper, well, you know.

I was perplexed.  I didn’t know what it was.  At the time, DH’s brother was a nurse. Yes, we did. We asked him. I must have been drunk or something because I allowed DH to call him. And explain my symptoms. Here was his advice….

“Go into a dark room.  Make sure the lights are all out, I mean completely dark.  Have her get on all fours, bum in the air, take a flashlight and here’s where you have to be quick…flash that light right into her rectum.  If you see something move, then she’s got worms.” Okay, so maybe I shouldn’t use quotation marks here because I’m sure that wasn’t his exact words and it was 27 years ago, but it’s close enough.

WORMS???  What?  Did he think I was a 5 year old who sat in the sandbox for too long?  Sure, maybe I behaved like one sometimes, but really?  No way, no way in hell am I doing tha…Okay, but just this once.  Just don’t tell anybody.

Needless to say, I did not have worms.  I could have saved myself a little bit of humiliation by just skipping the brother nurse and flashlight test and gone directly to my good, old physician instead.  Which is what I wound up doing anyway.  And the cream worked.  Until now.  Well, that was 27 years ago…so, what’s my point?  Hi, my name is Mo and I have a hemorrhoid. If you see me at the pharmacy, I’m getting…umm…lipstick?

Calgon, Take Me Away

teenagers

I often brag to people about my teenager. You know, when they ask me if I have any kids and I say, “why yes I do, I have a 16 year old daughter.” What inevitably follows is, “ooh, I’m so sorry about that. How’s it going?” And I honestly can tell them that really, she’s pretty cool. She’s pretty good with holding back what she’s really thinking, rolling her eyes at me or bringing on too much sass.

But, like anything else, there is the exception. And that exception was today. No, today was not the only exception. Because as much as I would like to think I birthed the perfect child, I did not.

I had just gotten home from My Job and I wanted to jump on the elliptical for 30 minutes before I had to take her to her orthodontist appointment. Since I wore my work-out clothes to My Job (one of many awesome perks), I only had to grab a bottle of water and inform The Kid of my plan.

The night before she had a friend sleep over (really her cousin so if she acted like a piss ant and I acted like a piss ant back it was family and it’s not as embarrassing, it’s just not. My niece already knows I have a screw loose, no surprise there). I peeked in her room before heading off to my elliptical.

Me: OMG you lazy girls are still in bed (it was 1:22pm)???

The Kid: Yeah.

Me: Okay, I want to leave here at 2:10 for your appointment.

So, I’m huffing and puffing, sweating to some Al Green 29 minutes and 30 seconds into my workout and I hear this:

The Kid: MOM, WE DIDN’T EAT LUNCH!

But it wasn’t said in the, “oh my goodness silly us, we forgot to get up and have some lunch so now we’re hungry but since we were just being silly lazy people and didn’t feel like getting up even though we had like 5 hours to do so, we’ll just have to wait until after my appointment since we are, after all, leaving in approximately 16 minutes” kind of way.

It was said in the “OH MY GOD DON’T YOU KNOW WE DIDN’T EAT LUNCH AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT BECAUSE THERE IS JUST NO FOOD IN THIS HOUSE??” kind of way. Just so you all know, I grocery shopped the day before so whatever.

Insert a very deep breath here. Or some wine. Better yet, an IV of tequilla and keep it going until midnight. Because everyone who knows me knows I have very little patience to begin with. Throw in a PMS’ing or whatever happens to be the problem of the moment teenager into the mix? Not a very good combination to say the least.

Through gritted teeth, my reply was, “you are 16 years old, make yourself some lunch.” But of course, I cannot just stop there. I have to vomit all the venomous shit out of my mouth as I possibly can so that I may feel better.  Things like, “don’t you know where the kitchen is?” and “open your eyes and look for food” and “give me a break you aren’t five” and “wanna knuckle sandwich?” Actually, I didn’t say that last one but I came close to it. And I also really wasn’t as kind as all that sounds.

The afternoon just kind of got worse from there on out. Let’s just say that now she’s not allowed to watch television or anything until she’s married. Or finishes her reading assignment for the summer. It will be interesting to see what comes first.

One Side of Empty Nest Coming Up

empty nestIn two years, DH and I will become empty nesters. The Kid will be going off to college. Because she is an only child, there is no other kid left behind to help retain our status of Full Nesters. Is that what they call that? If not, I just made it up. Catchy, isn’t it? Feel free to use it.

First of all I have this to say: WHERE THE HELL DID THE TIME GO? That cute little girl who looked up at me with those adorable blue eyes and blonde ponytails now looks down at me (yes, she is nearly 2 inches taller than I am) with now beautiful blue eyes. Gone are the ponytails, replaced by long blonde locks.

Needless to say, I pretty much blinked three times and here we stand. I was warned about children making time go by, but I never fully appreciated it until it happened to us.

Last week, as you know, The Kid went off for a week on a mission trip far away. I cried as I was hugging her good-bye because all I could think of was, “what am I going to do without you? How am I going to manage not seeing you around for a whole, entire week? Not able to communicate because cell phones are off-limits during the day? Who will empty the dishwasher?” That last one is particularly true, because quite honestly, I really hate emptying the dishwasher. I just do.

She will be back in a couple of hours. Yes, it was odd not having her around. I missed her. I did. But there was one thing I realized as the week went by…I am going to be just fine. I spent a couple of days with a dear friend of mine who I don’t have the chance to see very often because she lives a couple of hours away. That was a bonus.

But what was even better was spending one-on-one time with DH. Although I always pretty much have known this, we have something in common besides love. It’s called like. We like each other and had a great time tooling around in the jeep, or on the boat, having dinner together whether it was at home or out. We could canoodle without closing and locking the door as if it were Fort Knox. Walk around in the nude if we so chose to.

I will be so happy to see her when she gets home. I can’t wait to spend time catching up with her on her week and ours. I’m not sure I’m completely 100% ready for her to leave for good, but I do know this: I will be just fine. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get dressed. 😉