Monthly Archives: March 2018


imagesI didn’t hear the word “episiotomy” until I was a young adult. I guess my mother never deemed it necessary to discuss the topic. Even though it kind of falls under the whole sex talk category.

You know, love, sex, conception, childbirth, episiotomy.

I mean, I completely understand her reasoning. She wanted grandchildren. She must have known if I knew what could become of the skin between my vulva and rectum during childbirth, I may have joined the nunnery instead of motherhood.

The first time I did hear the word, I was a twenty-something professional working for a large corporation. A co-worker who recently had a baby somehow felt it was her civic duty to give me the nitty-gritty of what can happen to your perineum during the delivery of a child.

After I received the blow-by-blow, I walked out of her office looking like I had seen the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come, with a rectum closely resembling Kim Kardashian’s lips in selfie mode.

But I was young and single. The thought of having babies was far away. Besides, from what I heard, it didn’t happen to everyone. I was certain I would be one of the lucky ones when the time came. So, I tried to relax and forget about it.

Which I did.

Until it happened.

Fast forward to Delivery Day. I am the age of thirty-one and in the throes of childbirth. Screaming every obscenity with each contraction that would make even the devil blush.

After the worst pain known to man was over and my beautiful baby was on this side of the world, it turns out I wasn’t one of the lucky ones. I didn’t feel a thing at first. Not until all the drama of what just went on down below the waist subsided.

“My God, what is that PAIN?” I screamed. “Why does it hurt like I was accosted by a jack hammer?” For a moment, I started to panic. Wondering if they got confused. I came in to have a baby, not a colonoscopy performed by a member of Laborers Union #60.

And then I remembered. It came back to me like last night’s chimichanga. My co-worker was absolutely 110% correct. I got cut all right. I was also ripped like a flimsy piece of poster board.

Yup, my sweet baby girl, the fruit of my loins, tore my bottom to smithereens.

I never actually looked down there to confirm, but I heard from a witness (my husband) that my incision was in the shape of a lightening bolt. Does this make me a super hero?

Well, yes. Obviously. That goes without saying.

But I didn’t want to see. The thought brought me back to that day at the office. It made me want to clench my posterior nether region like all those years before, but any clenching down there made me wish I was born a man.

I tried so desperately to not let the thought of its presence enter my mind. But it just kept popping up like a Whac-A-Mole at the county fair.

I was prescribed some stool softeners and a sitz bath and was sent on my merry way. When I walked, I felt as if I was channeling John Wayne. Except I wasn’t as sexy. Or nearly as cool.

The drive home from the hospital was not exactly a ride through Happy Town. Every bump and pothole was felt from here to Timbuktu. My thighs burning from holding up my own body weight. Which, I dare say, was a bit more than I was hoping for.

Ahh, the baby weight. The gift that keeps on giving.


May I introduce to you the “Donut Pillow” AKA Butt…err, Life Saver.

Once I settled in at home, my mother — bless her heart — gifted me with the best item I ever received. It came in the form of a pillow. It was shaped like a donut and was soft and billowy.

Me and my donut pillow did not go anywhere without each other for a long time. We were thick as thieves. Stuck together like glue. He was the Frick to my Frack. The Ying to my Yang.

The sitz bath also helped tremendously with the discomfort. I was told to do 2-4 sessions a day. If anyone is unaware of what a sitz bath is exactly, it’s this contraption that looks like a little tub and rests inside your toilet seat. You fill it with warm water and this special solution and then you sit on it. There is a hose that you can use to aim that liquid miracle right at your incision with. It is total nirvana.

CX_P708-00_Image1I was so completely obsessed with this thing, that my 2-4 times a day was more like 12-14 times a day. I couldn’t get enough of it. I was sitting on that toilet like the Queen of Sheba. Ordering my husband around from my perch, feeding myself stool softeners as if they were peanut M&Ms.

Anyway, glad I survived that. It has been over nineteen years, but I still remember like it was yesterday.

They told me you forget the pain of childbirth. Something about the release of oxytocin or endorphins? You know, so you’ll do it again and humanity can continue to exist.

It’s hogwash.

How do I know? Well, I only have one kid. You be the judge.

Adventures of a Blizzard or Do Not Try This at Home

IMG_0138With the exception of approximately eight of my fifty years, I have lived in the Northeastern region of the United States. The other eight, I lived in states and countries where the weather is crazy and sometimes temperamental.

In other words, I am no stranger to snow, hail, sleet, blizzards, snowmageddons, nor’easters, bomb cyclones, and hurricane strength winds that knock the power out for days on end.

I have bathed out of a bucket, used the backwoods as a toilet, and burned enough candles to light up Alaska in December.

I have collectively shoveled enough snow in my lifetime to fill the Taj Mahal, have chiseled ice from my windshield with the sharp end of a pair of jumper cables, and defrosted a car door with the highest setting of my blow dryer.

And as of this past Wednesday, I can add “driven in blizzard-like conditions” to my resume. Don’t get me wrong. I have driven in snow before. Lots of times. But this was different.

First, let me give you a little background on my driving career. I got my license when I was eighteen years old because I was lazy, not scared. My first car was a Chevy Nova with an eight cylinder, 350 engine under its hood.

Because my parents thought this was apparently a good idea.

My favorite pastime was to do donuts, burn rubber, and drag race down the Taconic State Parkway at midnight. When I was a senior in high school, “Mario” was my nickname.

In other words, I loved driving and still love it. I am not afraid to get behind the wheel. I will drive anywhere, anytime, with or without a navigator. If I get lost, I get an unnatural thrill. A little bit of a high.

I no longer do the crazy things of my youth, but I have been known to put upwards of twenty thousand miles on my car in a year. This gives DH anxiety. I get the “wear and tear” lecture at least once monthly.

But like a petulant child, I pay him no mind. Cars are meant to be driven and dammit I’m driving them.

The Kid had spring break this past week, and spent half of it in Chicago. She and a friend had airline tickets to return home on Wednesday. In the middle of a major snowstorm.

fullsizeoutput_1eAfter changing flights five times and having them all get cancelled, they were able to get on a flight that stuck. It was pretty much the only flight that got off the ground that day. And it seemed an airport an hour was shutting down all the way from Philly to Hartford.

When I received the text that announced they were buckled in their seats and getting ready for take-off, I threw on my trusty parka and snow boots and started my approximate hour and a half drive to the airport.

Mind you, shortly before I left it had begun snowing lightly. In fact, we were in disbelief that the airports cancelled all morning flights as the storm didn’t even start until nearly noon. But it is not my business to question these things.

All I knew is I was happy my kid got on a flight. It was a miracle and it was going to be a miraculous day.

Little did I know HOW miraculous it was going to turn out to be.

In less than an hour, the lightly falling snow turned into a storm of epic proportions. One that even the Abominable Snowman would stay in his cave for. Aside from the fact I almost lost control of the car and ended up under an eighteen-wheeler, the ride down was fairly uneventful. It only took me about a half hour longer to get to my destination. No thanks to snowplows.

Note: Getting stuck behind a snow plow in a nor’easter is where you want to be, as frustrating as it is. I like to refer to this operation as “The Parting Of the Seas.”

After I gathered the girls, we started on our journey home. It was still light at that point. Not that it made a bit of difference. The fact that there was a full-on white-out made it nearly impossible to see twenty feet past my nose anyway.

54215396667__80DFB6BB-9AD1-4CDB-976D-30AFC62EEAC1The snow was piling up on the highway faster than cow dung at a cattle roundup. We experienced more fish tails than the Great Barrier Reef, and saw more cars slide off the road than Pinky Tuscadero ever did.

The drive was a harrowing experience, laced with white knuckles, bowel anxiety, and at one point, a dashboard filled with flashing lights. Even my little Subaru was trying to tell me something.

“Sue.” The little car that could. That girl is a beast and I owe our safety all to her.

After four hours and thirty minutes, one pit stop for a bathroom break and the de-icing of the windshield later, we we were just about home.

There was nothing anyone wanted to do more than eat tacos, lie on the couch and watch some Netflix. It’s all we were talking about for the last two hours of our trip.

As we turned onto our road (“turning” is an understatement — my Nova days flashed before my eyes) we all saw three consecutive bright flashes that lit the entire night sky. As if someone was putting on a light show welcoming us home. It would have been beautiful, had it not been what it was.

As we pulled up to our house, we were met with complete and utter darkness. That beautiful light show was a blown transfuser on fire a mile up the road.

Tacos turned into turkey sandwiches on stale bread. And Netflix turned into an early bedtime with a book lit by candlelight. Although, I almost burned down the house. Candles are dangerous and should not be allowed in the vicinity of me.

By morning the power hadn’t come back on, which also meant no water. So, I got my butt up, took a “whore bath,” which is something I learned to do from DH’s grandmother (bless her soul), and went into work where I sat alone because no one was crazy enough to drive in. Which was a good thing because an unshowered me is none too pleasant.

I was happy and enjoying the all too often taken for granted electricity, heat and flushing toilets while the rest of the suckers in my town lived their day out like an episode of Little House on the Prairie.

In retrospect, I should have gotten a hotel near the airport for the girls and picked them up the next morning. Then again, we wouldn’t have the memories. Even amid the white knuckles and clenched bums, we had some good laughs.

Would I do it again? Of course. Because although you can take the girl out of 1985, you can’t take 1985 out of the girl. That’s just how I roll.



Excuse me sir, do you have anything for the Dengue Fever?

Note: This post has been in the making for nine months, kinda like a baby except it wasn’t baking to perfection. I am just a Self-Proclaimed Procrastinator of the Universe.

As many of you may or may not know, I turned fifty last April. DH is and always has been Numero Uno in the birthday department. He makes it his job to be sure I have the perfect birthday every year.

For my fortieth, he gathered fifty of my closest friends and family and a big boat and we cruised around NY harbor to gaze at Lady Liberty under the stars. How can you outdo that one?

By taking your wife on a much needed vacation. When he asked what I wanted for my fiftieth I didn’t hesitate to ask for a tropical getaway. I was in dire need of a real, live vacation with palm trees, blue waters, and sand. Oh, and margaritas and rum punch. Lots and lots of margaritas and rum punch.

A drink boy would have been nice too, but I do have DH and he is totally nice to look at. Also, he likes to bring me drinks, so he would fit the bill.


THIS is what I was talking about

My DH does not like traveling so I knew he would be less than thrilled, but it was my birthday wish. And birthday wishes must be fulfilled. It’s a rule. You know, in my rulebook.

After much research and reading every travel site known to man, I chose Providenciales. One of the islands of Turks & Caicos. Also, it was highly recommended by some friends and from my research it is known to have some of the best beaches in the world.

Who am I to turn away from the best beaches in the world? I would keep my toes in the sand my entire life if I could, so going to the best of them was right up my alley.

Also, this body of mine was depleted of Vitamin D (true story). Too much sun is bad for you. Too little sun is bad for you. Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.

The Kid wanted to be a part of the festivities, so I chose a week in May after school got out and before she started summer activities. Three weeks before the rainy season begins there.

We rented a private cottage on a private stretch of beach. We could have gone to the other, more commercial side of the island, but in addition to needing a vacation I really needed peace and quiet.

Sadly, this is the only sun we would see for six days

Our private stretch of beach and cabana. This is the only sun we would see for six days

When we disembarked, the heat from the sun was enough to make your skin melt off and the sweat factor was set at 165%. We all arrived in jeans because when we left New York it was chilly. I almost had to resort to scissors to get them off.

Sadly, that was the last of the sun for a week. Just to give you an idea of what we were dealing with, it is said to rain six days a year in Turks & Caicos. We saw four of them.

This is why I don’t play the lottery. My luck is so bad, I would probably owe the lottery people money.

Did I mention the vegetation?

Did I mention the vegetation?

Now don’t get me wrong. Our vacation was very nice. Our little cottage was sweet. Private and quiet just like I wanted with lots of vegetation right outside our back door.

But along with vegetation comes bugs that were on an apocalyptic level. It felt more like we were in a scene out of “Them!” than paradise, so any dreams of sitting on our beach were quickly swept away with the first bite from a sand flea.

But I couldn’t really complain. I mean, we were in Turks & Caicos. Turks & Caicos, people.

Our beach umbrella turned rain umbrella

Our beach umbrella-turned-rain umbrella

Besides the fact that our beach umbrella was used to keep out the rain instead of the sun, we had a lovely time. We were together and healthy so that’s all that mattered.

Until the “healthy” no longer applied.

Let’s just say I used my fair share of toilet paper and my stomach was cramped up in a vice grip from Day Two until well after our vacation was over.

When something disguised as Typhoid or Dengue Fever or parasites hits you like a fast ball at a Yankees game, it could be a vacation wrecker. But who was I to let a little diarrhea keep me from enjoying my vacation?

18527747_1533950103306137_5883110691456930816_nI powered through. I put on my snorkeling gear and spent the better part of our week with the fishies. When you are in the sea, you can’t really feel the rain falling on you. Also, something about the lightness of the water eased my cramping.

Sucking it up, putting on a brave face, and drinking a margarita dammit!

Sucking it up, putting on a brave face, and drinking a margarita for the sake of humanity

Remember I wanted lots of margaritas and rum punch? I may not have had lots of either, but I insisted on ordering a cocktail with my dinner every night whether I was in the mood or not. I swore that is what I wanted to do on vacation and that is what did do dammit.

The obligatory vacation photo with feet

The obligatory vacation photo with feet

And I sat on my cabana and watched the sunless sunset and drank a glass of wine from the $30 bottle of swill we bought at the local grocer, because the cost of all things there is astronomical.

All whilst being bitten to death by mammoth sized tropical bugs. But hello? Private cabana on private beach. Bugs or no bugs. It had to be done. If even for ten minutes.

So, I must know. Does something happen to our stomachs when we age? I’m not talking about how it heads south.

That is more obvious than knowing mimosas go with breakfast.

But this same thing happened to me in Ireland a couple years ago. Hmm.

After having testing done of my stool (yes, that was as fun as it sounds) when we hit American soil, all things alarming were dismissed. It looks like it was just a good old fashioned case of Montezuma’s Revenge.

Yup, traveler’s diarrhea.


In closing, when life gives you lemons, you add tequila. And Imodium. So, bring it on Monte. I’m ready for our next adventure.

Dragon Flies and Boys to be continued….

I apologize to all my email subscribers, but I inadvertently hit the “publish” button on my “Dragon Flies and Boys” post and it was unfinished. That’s what I get for drinking wine while writing. Will I ever learn?

You will have to wait to hear the juicy ending. To come soon so stay tuned. Thank you for your understanding!

PS: I also know “Dragonflies” is really one word, but this was a draft so I get a pass.

Dragon Flies and Boys

When I was a teenager I was a little boy crazy. My mom completely disagrees with me, but she doesn’t know the full story. Because, well, why let her think otherwise, right?

Sorry, mom, but you were wrong.

There was this one boy who I was head over heels in love with. Well, I thought it was love. I was sixteen and couldn’t see past my nose, so what did I really know?

I’m going to call him BT, kind of like a bacon and tomato sandwich, but not. I’m sure he’s still around so I can’t really say his name out loud, although if he reads my blog (I highly doubt it), he’ll know he is the subject of my latest story.

Anyway, this guy was everything a sixteen year old girl could want. He was artsy, and cool. He smoked just the right amount of pot and wore a leather jacket. He wasn’t great looking. In fact, he was fairly homely, but he had this certain air about him. Aloof and indifferent. He knew how to act to get the girls. And it worked.

Son of a bitch.

Anyway, let’s just say the dating of this boy set me on the path to making a complete ass of myself for the next, umm. I can’t even remember how long it lasted, it seemed like a year, but I’m sure this all occurred in a short span of ninety days or so. Which was my track record for boyfriends back then. Three months. A dragon fly lives longer.