Author Archives: momfeld

About momfeld

I am a middle-aged married mother of one female college student. I love to laugh at myself so I have started blogging about my life experiences, being a mom and random thoughts to keep my sanity.

I’ll Take One Cardboard Box…er, Microwave Oven, Please

What happened to the good old days — days that existed before I did — where everyday household appliances lasted longer than Betty White?

I know this to be true because my mother-in-law gave us her old Electrolux when we first got married. You know the kind. It had a turquoise blue canister that you dragged around behind you. The only reason we don’t have it anymore is because we were tired of dragging it behind us.

But that baby sucked. And good.

About six years ago, we renovated our kitchen. Gutted it to the studs. It was past due by about two decades. The flooring was this weird blue or gray or Blay-something linoleum with a mystery burn mark from 1989.

The cabinets were resurfaced so many times, veneer was being held together by Scotch tape. Want to know how many pieces of Scotch tape? I can’t tell you because I can’t count that high.

The ceilings were made of popcorn. Not the kind you eat. The kind that is ugly. The “kernels” of the ceiling were unclean-able. But this post isn’t about my ugly unclean-able popcorn ceilings.

Or the cabinets.

Or the linoleum.

Which were all replaced anyway in The Great Kitchen Makeover.

With our new kitchen, came all new appliances. A fridge, dishwasher, oven, stove top, and microwave. Beautiful, gleaming, stainless steel, gorgeous appliances.

Word to your mother: Stainless steel is a pain in the literal ass. I love it, and there really is nothing else I like better. But dang, don’t touch it or you’ll be sorry.

The microwave started to go last fall. Or winter. I don’t remember the exact timing. What I CAN tell you is it was one month past the five year extended warranty we purchased with the, umm, purchase.

Want to know what DH was told when he called? “Well, sir. This is why you should have bought the 10-year warranty.”

This guy was the start of our troubles -- not the towel, the towel is great -- the microwave.

This guy was the start of our troubles. Not the towel. The towel, which was a gift from a friend of mine, is awesome and if I knew you were coming I would have ironed it. So, no. Not the towel. The trouble I speak of is this here microwave.

Yes, he said that. He basically implied, in so many words, that this happens. The lifespan of an appliance is five years. Five. Cinco. Fem. Five.

You know what lives longer than this microwave? A fire ant.

That’s embarrassing.

He then proceeded to inform us that we were basically shit out of luck. You know, in so many words.

Unfortunately, this man doesn’t know my DH who does not take “no” for an answer (legally, of course). After many phone calls, going into the store that shall remain nameless countless times, emails and more phone calls, it finally got fixed. Albeit, six months later.

Or maybe it was longer. When you are in microwave-less hell, time marches on like waiting for a sloth to cross a six lane highway.

I mean we had to pay for it. You know, because our five year warranty expired. But for unexplainable reasons, we had to just about sell our first born to get someone out here to repair it.

That is just as big of a mystery as the burn hole in our 1989 linoleum.

It wasn’t easy either because the microwave is set into the wall. But I don’t need to explain the specifics because I don’t really care. It’s fixed. Although I will add that every time we get some kind of electrical storm, we have to turn off the power that runs to it so it doesn’t get fried.

It’s great fun running into the basement to pull the fuse when we hear thunder in the distance. Remember that old trick we used to do when we were kids? Counting between thunderclaps to see how far away a storm was (one one thousand, two one thousand…)? It’s not so fun when your life –I mean, microwave — is on the line.

We spent a lot of money on these appliances. We could have paid for a trip around the world for one. Ok, so that’s an exaggeration, but we definitely could have gone to Disney World. Twice.

Next to go? The dishwasher. My treasured dishwasher. The dishwasher I cannot live without. I do not do dishes. Even emptying the dishwasher is a chore. I cried for a whole month when The Kid left for college. Not necessarily because I missed her (I did), but because that was her thing.

Not by choice, but because I made her.

I’m an awful mother who hates manual labor and all kids should have to pay their dues anyway, you know?

But I’d take emptying the dishwasher over washing dishes any day. I sometimes wonder if, in a previous life, I was horribly mauled by a wild boar while leaning over a river washing dishes.

Anyway, I think the dishwasher must have felt the same way about washing dishes as I did. It would run. It would SOUND like it was doing something. But it wasn’t, sad to say.

Note: only buy a dishwasher that loves — no, LIVES — for washing dishes. One word: Research.

The next thing to act up was the lower left burner on the stove top. We can turn it on, but can’t turn it off. Well, we can with a swift smack of your hand in the middle of it by someone who has enough power to knock some sense into it, but that requires third degree burns and a high pain threshold.

I really liked that burner too. It’s the kind that you can connect to the back burner to make it one long burner. Perfect for those big griddles to make pancakes and such.

Next? Our oven. Kind of. It hasn’t actually died. It has just slowed down. In it’s heyday of 2013 it would heat up faster than a rocket being shot up into orbit. Now it takes forever. I can probably build my own fire in the backyard, cook up a gourmet meal for ten, wash my dishes in the river, and it would still be warming up.

I’m afraid to say this out loud, but the fridge is the only guy standing. It’s still going strong. Until tomorrow. Because I’m superstitious and that’s just what happens. (Knocks on wood)

So, what do you think? Is this the biggest conspiracy since the whole “Elvis is still alive” thing? Maybe. I mean, I’m pretty sure I saw him in Shop Rite last week.

 

Episi-WHAT-omy?


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.

images-2

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.

Ahhh

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.

Swell.

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.

 

 

Sweating With the Oldies

My deodorant collection. I

My deodorant collection.

It started on a chili day last October, a mere six months after I turned fifty. I was wearing my favorite royal blue long sleeved polyester blend blouse. One of the few that I can wear without my boobs pulling on the buttons and showing the entire office the girls. Which, by the way, look more like a couple of deployed air bags than breasts these days, but I don’t want to talk about it.

Anyway, did you know I have a closet in my house designated for clothes that used to fit me? Well, kind of designated. They hang among my child’s First Christmas dress with dried up mystery spit-up from 1998 and my wedding dress that bears a twenty-five year old champagne stain where my lap would be if I tried it on. If I could get it on, which I can’t. But that’s a story for another time.

What I plan on doing with these old clothes that used to fit is a mystery. Stay tuned on that one. Although it may be a long wait.

I’m sitting in my chair at my desk at work. The chair that I determined is going to be my demise. The new thing now is if you sit for too long, you will take literal years off your life. At this rate, I should be dead by next Tuesday.

Where was I? Oh, right…my death chair. I feel wetness under my right arm. I’m not talking about a slight dampness, I’m talking there is a straight up flood. If sweat didn’t contain so much salt and, well, come from our body, I’m pretty sure I could ease the thirst of every person in the Western Hemisphere just based on the wetness factor.

The River Nile

The River Nile right here on the East Coast of New England

I look down slowly. And I mean slowly. Because I am terrified by what I will see. If I feel a flood, surely there IS a flood.

Lo and behold, peeking out from where my arm creases, I see dark blue. Not the bright blue my shirt was intended to be. No. This blue is sinister. A Sinister Blue.

Except we aren’t in Crayola Land.

I knew something was wrong. Terribly, awfully wrong.

Without lifting my arm, I proceed to my very stylish and beautifully put together co-worker on the other side of the wall that we share.

“Hey, umm, Andrea, do I have a sweaty pit?” And proceed to lift my right arm. Andrea throws both her hands to her mouth and gasps. I can almost hear all the heads collectively turning in my direction.

“Is it really that bad?” I ask her. I’m thinking I may have to get the defibrillator hanging in the hallway two floors down because she is unmoving. Finally, she comes to and verifies what I feared the most.

And this is how it has been every single day since. A constant battle to try to stop The Flood from seeping out of the hollow of the darkest recesses of my arms.

Me and the deodorant aisle at the local grocery store are now intimately involved. Although the aisle has since failed me because I have tried every scent, strength, and brand. I have even crossed over to the men’s section. How is it that it’s strong enough for a man, but not for a women going through menopause? Certainly a man can handle that.

Hmm, maybe not. Please refer to the “Man Cold.”

Actual dress shields I purchased from Amazon

Actual dress shields I purchased from Amazon

So, what do I do? Enter Amazon and dress shields. And this is how it goes down:

Day One: Stuck to my arm in the wrong place missing exactly where it needed to be and defeating the whole purpose.

Day Two: I stuck two of them in the pit of my shirt but there was a fight and they wound up in a blood bath in the bathroom trash bin by noon.

Day Three: Umm, let’s just say that nothing says, “I wear sanitary napkins in my armpits” better than when one is sticking out and tickling your chin.

Needless to say, after “wearing” these for a week, I gave up. I’m not sure how they have a 4-star rating. I’m guessing people use them for things other than their intended use. Like maybe to care for a wound, or blot the grease off a face. Or yes, even as a sanitary napkin.

How have I remedied this situation? I wear dark colored shirts. Dark as in black. The blue shirt is now collecting dust in the closet with my clothes that no longer fit. I wear cardigans over my shirts to hide whatever may still get through. Because it gets through. A steel trap can’t keep the moisture at bay.

And I don’t lift my arms. Tripling up on three different deodorants is now part of my morning ritual. Does it work? Well, no, of course not. Hence, the reason for this post.

All I can say is, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Join who, exactly? I’m not sure, but I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out. In the meantime? If you see a woman in the fetal position on the floor of the deodorant aisle, keep on walking. It’s just me.

It’s Balmy Around Here

Courtesy of practicallyprimal.com

Courtesy of practicallyprimal.com

Hi, my name is Mo and I have a lip balm addiction. I’m not really sure when it started. I do remember that it was a slow progression and built up speed. You know, like time. Or that old song “Beep Beep” by The Playmates. If you haven’t heard it, google it. You’ll see what I mean.

I only did it at night, before bed. You know, once in a while when my lips were actually chapped. Hence the words “Chap. Stick.”

Then it eventually turned into an every evening habit. And then after I brushed my teeth. Warning: the act of brushing one’s teeth causes the lips to feel dry. This is something they don’t teach you in middle school health class.

Suddenly, I was a full-blown, out-and-out lip balm addict.

And I’m not picky either. No. I don’t care if it comes in a tube, stick, tub, or barrel. Hell, it could be synthetic car oil, or WD-40. Whatever. As long as it gives me the fix I crave.

Just for the record, I have a large collection and wide range of lip balm.

Lip Balm

This isn’t the half of it

I have three forms of lip balm in my car. One of which is empty but I keep “just in case.” I’m thinking I may be able scrape some off the inside of the tube in case of an emergency. What? It could happen.

I have one in just about every room of my house. Two at work. Five in my pocketbook. In drawers in the kitchen. Drawers in my bedroom and bathroom. I have them in pockets of random articles of clothing. I have lip balm where you wouldn’t even think lip balm would belong. (Yes, I found one in the garage one time. Also, I dropped a stick down my shirt once. Does that count?)

So, this little habit of mine got me to thinking — and I’m wondering if it’s a conspiracy. Do the makers of these tiny little sticks of power add something to make us want more?

I had to find out, so I took to the interwebs. And in approximately eight seconds, I had my answer. Although there isn’t anything “addictive” in them per se (there are products that are drying; therefore, creating a viscous circle), there is such a thing as “compulsive application.”

I’m not sure I am completely satisfied with this answer, but I do know that there should be a picture of me next to that statement. I should be the poster child for Lip Balm Compulsive Applicators.

I slather that stuff on every few minutes at work. I go through a stick of lip balm every couple of weeks. My co-workers for sure think I’m insane, as I can’t get through a conversation without reaching for my stick of lip balm I keep within arms reach next to my computer monitor.

And if we’re at the water cooler or somewhere other than my desk? Well, have you ever had to interrupt your boss for lip balm? Not a good idea.

DH fills my Christmas stocking with these guys. And you wouldn’t believe my excitement over this. I’m like a kid getting a new bicycle except it’s better AND cheaper. It fits in my pocket. Also, I can’t get hurt.

The other day, I needed to run into the store and I didn’t feel like carrying my large bag. So, I grabbed my phone and wallet and started for the door. Then remembered that I might need lip balm.

And Poo Pouri but that’s a story for another time. If you haven’t tried it, you must. It works. I swear. This too, I carry with me everywhere I go. You’re welcome.

Anyway, I backed up and threw my phone and wallet back into my bag and lugged that thing around. I did this for lip balm. Lip balm. Does anyone else besides me see the insanity in this?

Yeah well, it’s too late for me, but please. Save yourselves if you can. Otherwise, I’ll see you at LBA –Lip Balm Anonymous. Surely, they must have a chapter around here somewhere. Right?Lip balm 2

 

Weight For It – A Random Tale of the Girl With More Than One Chin

Courtesy of Pinterest somewhere

Courtesy of Pinterest somewhere (Dobardor.com to be exact)

I am at an all time high in the weight department.

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Me in Florida a few weeks ago. I’m wearing a fat suit on my face. I’m sure of it.

See? I told you.

See? I told you.

Ok, so I was about 24 here. Why can't I look like this again? WHY????

Ok, so I was about twenty-four years old here. But why can’t I look like this again? WHY???? God, if you let me look like this again, I’ll…oh, never mind.

I had never really had a problem with weight. When I was in high school, I could eat my lunch, all my friends’ leftovers, go home and eat Steak-umm sandwiches and Twinkies washed down with cherry Kool-Aid and still only weigh ninety-eight pounds soaking wet.

Well, it seems those days are gone.

I can no longer eat Twinkies — it turns out there isn’t a food group for chemicals anyway.

Why can’t I eat them? You know, aside from the fact that they are made of ingredients that are virtually unpronounceable, and umm, soap?

Because now they just take a detour to sit on my stomach, upper arms, and anywhere else they are not welcome.

Practically everyone I know is on Weight Watchers. I have always avoided the big WW or any other kind of weight loss program. I’ve always been in the camp of “just eat right and exercise” and you will be able to lose weight.

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Smack in the middle of my running days

Just over four years ago I did just that. I lost thirty pounds. I took up running and I journaled every single morsel of anything I put in my mouth.

A chocolate kiss? Twenty-two calories. A single potato chip? Fourteen.

I ran. The one thing I declared that I would never, ever do. Yet, I fell for it. Hard. I loved it. But it didn’t love me back. After a short few months into my new hobby, my meniscus tore in two places.

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Look ma, no Spanx!

After my surgery, I would cry tears of frustration whenever I would pass a runner. Aside from step class in the late eighties, running is the only exercise I actually enjoyed.

Anyway, I was in the best shape of my life. It took me a year to take off the weight, and a mere months to put it all back on, plus an extra five pounds for good measure.

Do you know how hard it is to lose weight once you hit fifty? Also, something happens to your middle. It grows and well, sags. It gets in the way of doing simple daily tasks. You all know what I’m talking about.

I don't know what this is, but be assured I ate it.

I don’t know what this is, but rest assured I ate it.

So, I kind of joined Weight Watchers. No, I do not go to meetings. Meetings have never been my thing. I have the app on my iPhone and I have been following it for almost a month now. They actually have pretty good recipes. DH is also on Weight Watchers, he just doesn’t know it.

And I’m down four pounds.

If I'm at a restaurant and I don't finish it, I always have to take it home. "One doggy bag to go." Except it wasn't for my dog.

Waste not, want not. And I wanted it.

The point of my blog post here is to say that I ate. I ate a lot. I always ate way more than DH does. The way I piled food on my plate, you’d think it was my last meal. Or that food was going to go out of fashion. Or a shortage was coming. Or an apocalyptic event.

I love bread

My love affair with bread.

I’m not talking vegetables and boiled chicken either. If I had a hankering for a plate of nachos, I would make some. I would stop into a McDonald’s on a whim. Not smart for someone who has struggled with genetically high cholesterol since 1986. Don’t lecture me. I know. My doctor is none too thrilled either.

When I started WW four weeks ago, I would bet I cut down my intake of

This was Buffalo Chicken dip. I made it on a whim and ate the entire thing. In one sitting. With tortilla chips.

This was Buffalo Chicken dip. I made it on a whim and ate the entire thing. In one sitting. With tortilla chips. .

food by a pound or two a day. Seriously. If I had a scale and actually weighed what I ate, I would be able to prove it to you.

For now, you’ll have to settle with eye-witnesses who can corroborate my story. And there are a lot of them so take your pick.

Again, my point is this…if I went from eating like a sumo wrestler to eating like a rabbit, why is it I only lost four pounds?

Oh, and I also cut back on my wine intake. Like, A LOT. You’d think I would have lost a ton of weight in the first week just based on the sheer volume of wine I no longer throw back.

I eat so many vegetables now, my nose is starting to twitch. And I haven’t even had so much as

All kinds of fish -- even shellfish -- are zero points. That's right, ZERO!

All kinds of fish — even shellfish — are zero points. That’s right, ZERO!

one ounce of red meat in thirty days.

I’m not saying losing a pound a week is bad. It’s a good and healthy way of losing weight. Slow and steady wins the race, right? I’m just saying, well, you know, I’m just surprised given what I’ve stopped ingesting.

Since I can’t run, I am having a difficult time getting back into the swing of exercising. Because, let’s be honest here. Exercising kind of sucks. I can always find other things that I’d rather be doing with my time.

You know, like swim with piranhas. And I can’t even swim.

The excuses I have for not going to the gym (which is FREE and three floors down from my desk at WORK), would impress even the Generation Z set.

So, I’m going to start up at the gym again. Also, I downloaded an app where they guarantee you will lose weight if you do what they tell you to do for seven minutes a day. So far, I haven’t opened it. Part of me is afraid of what will be required of me. You know, like moving. If apps could collect dust, I fear it most likely would start to resemble the elliptical in the spare room in no time.

So here I am, about day thirty. I’ll keep you posted. Hopefully, you won’t find me binge eating at the local McDonald’s. If you do, look the other way.

 

Boujee is As Boujee Does…Or Not

“Boujee” according to Urban Dictionary:

“An abbreviation of the French “bourgeois.” A critical term used to describe people, things, and places that are definitively high-class. Something that is affected, inauthentic, gentrified, exclusive, and/or otherwise sheltered from the dirt and grime of the real world.”

The Kid and I recently visited a dear friend of mine (DFOM) and her step-daughter (Say-Say) who have a vacation home in Palm Beach, Florida.

We almost didn’t make it as there was a major snow storm (affectionately known as the “Bomb Cyclone”) heading our way the day of our departure. By the hair of our chinny-chin-chins, we were able to get on the last plane out of dodge a day earlier.

I still have anxiety over it.

I can’t say that Florida was much better in the temperature department. I mean, Iguanas falling out of trees because of the cold can’t be a good thing, right?IMG_9372

I’m just glad I’m not an iguana. I’m also glad I didn’t get hit by one.

My DFOM owns a beautiful home amongst the mucky-mucks. Something I am not quite accustomed to. The mucky mucks, I mean.

Well, the beautiful home, too.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a simple girl with a big mouth and a loud sense of humor who can belch with the best of them, and laughs when someone passes gas.

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Told you so.

I mean, come on! My favorite Christmas gift this year was the Potty Squatty. Need I say more?

In other words, I am not refined. I’m basically a twelve year old boy stuck in a middle aged body.

Irregardless, I took my fake Louise Vuitton bag and Dress Barn clothes and faked it for all it was worth.

And I stood out like a sore thumb.

Nothing against sore thumbs, but somehow these people can spot one a mile away. My Dress Barn special and unrefined attitude just don’t make the cut.

Go figure.

Anyway, enough about me and my uncultured ways. Let’s get on with the fun stuff. So, what did we do for six luxurious days?

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It looks like I ate a sour lemon, which was the look really. Remember Mrs. Howell?

Read it and weep because I made more offenses than if I farted to the tune of “Homage for Satan” in church.

Wednesday: Got into the airport after midnight. Saw DFOM and Say-Say and ran to their car while it was still moving. Was told I didn’t have any common sense by the nice police officer. Offense #1 by internal 12 year old boy even though external middle-aged body knew better.

Thursday: Turned on the news. Laughed at all the northerners who had hell freezing over on them. Made a drink in an adult sippy cup, bundled up in a long sleeved t-shirt, put on head gear so as not to receive brain trauma from falling iguanas, and hung out at the beach. Forgot to “slough” my heels which was Offense #2. Let’s just say, it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “well-heeled.”

You can get "dry" lemonade, but no wine, at High Tea

You can get “dry” lemonade, but no wine, at High Tea

Friday: Flagler Museum and High Tea. Offense #3: they don’t have wine at High Teas, so don’t ask. Especially when it is clear there is no bar.

Drove down the East coast version of Rodeo Drive called Worth Avenue. Laughed and laughed at all the ladies who spend way too much on face lifts and nail polish.

Oh, went to the Breakers, too. One of The Kid’s bucket list items was visiting the original Lilly Pulitzer store there. She’s boujee. Not sure where she came from.

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There goes my Mrs. Howell face again. I need to work on that. Notice the palm trees in the reflection of my glasses…nice, right? Yes, it was.

Saturday: Took a ride along the coastline in the convertible Bentley with the top down. Drove past all the richy-rich houses with Zillow turned on so we could faint with every price tag. 911 really should have been called.

Sat by the pool/beach (pool to the left of me, beach to the right) at one of the many country clubs DFOM belongs to. Got served by a really cute cabana boy who did pretty much anything we asked.

Tried to get Say-Say to ask him out, but she wouldn’t. Youth is wasted on the young. Offense # 4: Snorting while laughing is not looked upon kindly even though it’s a gift of mine.

Sunday: Spent the day on DFOM’s boat. IMG_9493Got driven around by a captain. Offense #5: saying “OMG YOU HAVE A CAPTAIN???!!!” out loud is not proper.

Monday: We slummed it by shopping at the little outlet center near DFOM’s home. Offense #6: there were no offenses made this day. I was in my element. “Slumming” it is what I do best. That, and snorting while I laugh.

Tuesday (day of departure): DFOM and Say-Say took us for brunch at one of their other country clubs, even though we didn’t bring a fancy hat. Offense #7, but really #6: Do not pile plates on top of each other when you are done eating. Also, do not push your plate to the side. Apparently, the rules here are different than at The Red Lobster.

Random photo of how The Kid's shoes match the comforter at the outlet center.

Random photo of how The Kid’s shoes match the comforter at the outlet center.

It seems I have much to learn.

Although, you know the old adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” In dog years, I am 350 years old. I should be dead, so I get a pass.

To sum things up, we basically spent six days on a Hollywood set, except this was real. Honestly, I kept looking for Alan Funt to tell me to look into the camera.

All in all, it was a great get-away with good friends and a much needed respite. This life may not be for me, but it is fun to visit. I’m not gonna lie.

If we receive an invitation to return next year, I’ll be sure to be more prepared. TJMaxx sells Ralph Lauren.

Is Ralph acceptable in Palm Beach? Asking for a friend.