Blog Page 8

Ok so I’m not always that great at answering questions from emails or messages you’ve sent me. Let’s tackle them all at once shall we?

Q: Hey does Jade ever do your hair wacky?
A: Yup. Jade did my hair for a formal I went to and I think I had about 100 bobby pins on my head. Thank God I didn’t have to walk through a metal detector.


Shannon and I doing the little black dress bit last New Year’s Eve.

Q: When are you going to give us more details on HWSNBN?
A: Are you kidding me? You’re asking me to jinx things now that I finally have someone to date? Men have radar for this stuff! The second I would claim it’s all good he’d disappear. I’ve already said way too much. *shudder*

Q: Who is the girl in the lower right corner of your photos?
A: That’s my daughter, Krista. She’s an evil child who had the nerve to actually grow up and leave me an empty nester. (hehe)

Q: What sign are you?
A: Seriously? The quirkiness and such didn’t make it obvious? I’m a Gemini of course.

Q: How can these be recent photos of you if you have a daughter who’s almost 19?
A: I had her when I was 2.

Q: Now that you have a camera can you share a photo of your kitchen?
A: Ummm…oh right! That room people cook in. Sure but you’ll have to write back to tell me why this is important?


No, she’s not supposed to be on the table.


The rules here are so tough. Please send catnip. And tuna.

Q: Do you collect stuff?
A: Besides animal hair? Yes. I love to find books from the 1800’s. I also have lots of elephants around the house but that’s a different blog and waaaay too many photos.


Hopefully this photo is small enough that you can’t see all the hair.

Q: What time do you get up and head to the gym?
A: Preferably around 5 but usually when Remy or Klepto or Kali inform me it’s chow time.


My powerful stare shall wake you. Oh my God it’s 4 am feed me!

Q: Can you post a picture of you in a bikini?
A: Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha. No.

Q: Can you post blogs about the stuff you knit?
A: Sure. Anyone really want to see this though?

Ok I think I got all the messages/emails covered. Anything else?

Dear Wendy,

I came across your blog last week by accident. You crack me up. I swear I can picture you in all these situations even though I don’t really know what you look like. I hate it that there are so many days between blog entries for you because that means less to read for me. Can’t you just write your daily stuff too? You know, just live out loud? Maybe even just start with 100 random facts or something to get you writing again.

-anonymous blog person

1. I prefer to write blogs that make people laugh
2. I have an uncanny knack for getting into situations that can accommodate such blogs
3. Sometimes I lose my funny
4. No one really knows me
5. No one has ever asked me to live out loud before
6. My favorite blog material just came back to town last night unannounced but he didn’t bring the funny…

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzcracklecrackle

7. I need to get my doorbell fixed

“Cupcake! Say you missed me! Oh my God it’s cold out here get out of the way I’m coming in. Michael and I just landed an hour ago and I came straight here ohmygodImissedyou show the love!” screamed Jade as he stormed into my house and lifted me right off the floor and spun me around.

Jade has been gone since the end of October. His boyfriend Michael is a big important computer something or other guy who owns a computer something or other that has branches out East as well. During his time away he also visited Cabo and Jamaica and France.

8. I have never been to any of these places
9. I don’t have the right shoes yet to be able to go
10. I don’t actually have any idea where Cabo is

After multiple hugs and laughter and it’ssogoodtoseeyou’s we made our way to the kitchen. I babbled on about all sorts of new stuff that has been going on since Jade left.

11. I am dating someone
12. My someone doesn’t like labels or definitions (such as boyfriend, couple, etc.)
13. He would not want me to write about him so hereafter I shall refer to him as He Who Shall Not Be Named (HWSNBN)
14. He’s much younger than me (I’m just saying)
15. By 9 years (go me!)

As I continued to go on and on about HWSNBN I became aware of a heavy silence. I flipped the coffee maker on as I turned over my shoulder to see what on earth could be keeping Jade silent. He was staring at me and he was not smiling. Ut oh.

“Jade? Did you not want coffee? I have tea…like 20 different kinds. Or I could make hot chocolate? It’s the sugar free fat free kind but it’s really pretty good. Water?”

16. I think people who drink tea seem glamorous
17. I’m always buying tea thinking I might become a glamorous person
18. I never drink it
19. I am a hoarder of tea

“Okay what! Why are you staring at me like that?” I demanded as Jade crossed his arms, narrowed his eyes at me and pursed his lips.

“Are you going to talk to me about it?” he asked in a distinctly non-Jade voice.

20. Jade is my favorite drama “queen” unless he tries to make a drama out of me
21. I had a pretty good idea what he was talking about but I played blonde
22. Playing blonde has worked for me in the past but never on Jade

Jade turned away from me and started searching my cupboards. He threw a packet of jasmine tea at me, told me to stay put and took off into the other room.

23. I hate being told to stay put
24. I am incapable of staying put
25. That’s almost as bad as telling me to stay quiet for a whole minute
26. I said almost

I took out 2 coffee mugs, started the teakettle and promptly stomped after Jade to see what he was up to. I found him in my bedroom peering into my closet. He shifted purses around on my top shelf and then began to open my shoe boxes.

27. I don’t like people going through my things
28. I own eleventyseven pairs of shoes
29. They each have their own spot on my shelves in their original boxes
30. I need more shoes

“Jade? What exactly are you looking for? This is not a very subtle way to borrow shoes,” I sulked as he continued rifling through my things. He gave me “the look” rather than answer my question. I hadn’t seen this look in a long time. Not since back in the day when I…

31. I’ve been sober for 5 years now
32. I used to hide bottles of alcohol around my house
33. Jade was known as Jay back then
34. Jay wasn’t nearly as much fun as Jade.

“Hullo? Are you going to tell me why you’re going through my things? JAY?” I plonked down on my bed, grabbed one of the cats and assumed a sulky expression.

35. Never pet a cat when you’re mad
36. Triple antibiotic ointment can help the itching caused by cat scratches
37. Was there ever double antibiotic ointment?
38. “Hello! I’m bleeding here!” is not an effective rummage deterrent.

I began to file my nails as Jade moved on to the drawers where I stash yarn.

39. I started knitting a little over a year ago
40. I’m actually getting to be pretty good
41. I’m 36, still single, have 2 cats and I knit
42. I am a spinster.
43. I have a penchant for buying yarn on sale
44. I’m 36, still single, have 2 cats, knit, and I say “penchant.” That’s hot.
45. Boyfriend. 9 years younger. I’m just saying.

“Hey Jade? Krista doesn’t live here anymore. I’m an empty nester. I wouldn’t need to hide whatever you think I’m hiding.”

46. I miss Krista
47. I don’t miss cleaning up after a teenager
48. I really don’t need this whole house anymore
49. My baby is going to be 19 on March 2nd.
50. Filing your nails while upset isn’t very smart either

“So hey how was Christmas? What did you get from Michael?” By now we had moved to the linen closet and Jade was shifting around towels and cleaners. “Did I mention that HWSNBN gave me a necklace?”

51. It’s absolutely gorgeous. No man has ever bought me diamonds before
52. HWSNBN was shocked that he was the first to ever give me diamonds
53. He took me to meet his family on Christmas day and I loved that

“Oh and did you look at the ornaments on my tree? Mom gave me an ornament that’s a high-heeled shoe. Red!” Jade glared at me and then stomped off to the kitchen to turn off the stove. He handed me a mug of tea and went out to sit by my Christmas tree.

54. I knit a cable afghan for my mom for Christmas
55. Mom and I have a complicated relationship
56. I’m a daddy’s girl
57. My parents are still married. That makes my family odd
58. No matter what I do I worry my mom will still find me lacking
59. I hate having my Christmas tree up past New Year’s Day and had planned on spending the evening taking it down
60. Tension sucks. I don’t like people looking at me funny

“Well isn’t this comfortable? I didn’t know you could stay silent this long.” I hugged my Christmas pillow to me and stared into my tea mug.

61. My xmas pillow says “Dear Santa, I can explain…”
62. I hate that funny feeling you get in your throat when you’re trying not to cry
63. My house is pretty old and it’s never warm enough

I stood up to go put a sweater on and Jade followed me into my room and pushed past me into my closet. He pulled a pair of jeans out and threw them at me.

“Put these on,” he said in his Jay voice.

“No!” I said and stared him down. “I came in here for a sweater. I don’t like these jeans.”

“Those are your favorite jeans Wendy. Those are your skinny jeans. We’ve done rituals that have involved these jeans. They still reek of candles. Put. Them. On.”

I threw the jeans on my bed and stomped out to the other room.

64. Every woman reading this knows what the skinny jeans are.
65. My skinny jeans are a size 2.
66. My skinny jeans do not fit me

Jade/Jay sat next to me on the couch and put his arm around me. “Wen? Sugar what are you doing to yourself?”

I gave him the silent treatment.

67. I have an addictive personality
68. My dad told me I had an addictive personality when I was about 10
69. I used to think that meant people were addicted to what a great personality I have
70. Jade/Jay was wearing black pants and he was covered in cat/dog hair
71. I haven’t vacuumed in 3 days
72. My addictive personality has never applied itself to cleaning. It’s selective that way

Jade/Jay sighed and got up to invade my privacy some more. I felt the first tear fall as he opened up the dining room hutch cupboard and said “bingo.” He set the damning items on the couch next to me. Then he stood me up and put his hands around my waist.

“Ok cupcake what size are the jeans you have on?”

I glared at him before answering. “Jade you are such a hypocrite. Just look at the women in the magazines we pour through. What size do you think THEY are? I look NOTHING like them. I’m sizes away from them.”

“What size?”

“Zero,” I mumbled as I stared at the scale he’d set on the couch.

73. I might have a minor issue with body image
74. I don’t really know why it’s cropping up again because HWSNBN likes me just the way I am
75. I weigh less in the morning than I do in the afternoon or evening
76. I might weigh myself too often
77. My cat Klepto weighs 9.5 lbs whether it’s morning, afternoon or evening

“Sweetheart those jeans are hanging on you. You don’t need this scale. You’re breaking my heart here kid. Are you hiding diet pills again too?”

78. I have had scales confiscated from me before
79. HWSNBN seems to think I look just fine thankyouverymuch
80. I am not nearly as skinny as I used to be and I am still pinchable in a few key areas
81. According to other blogs I have read no one really wants to hear a woman under 110 lbs complain about her pinchables. sorry.
82. This living out loud blog is not really all that funny
83. I do not have a single diet pill hidden in my house. They are in the cupboard next to the tea. Not hidden at all

“Jade? Can we talk about shoes now? My shoe size hasn’t changed.”

Hours later he left with both of my scales, the diet pills *dammit those suckers were 27 bucks* and my food notebook. No, it is NOT weird to keep track of what you eat. That part at least is normal. Half the women at the gym track their food.

84. Pottery barn has a really cool scale on sale this month that also measures body fat.
85. My doctor said it’s ok for me to get down to 102 but not lower.
86. I have 3.5 pounds to go
87. 4 pounds if you weigh me at night. I’m just saying.

So hey. That’s the skinny. Heh. That’s me living out loud. Funny stuff eh? Take that you anonymous blog message person you.

88. I’ve been told that for every comment blog readers leave there are at least as many people who have read your blog but not commented
89. I have a few people I blogstalk but don’t comment to too
90. I still have to come up with 10 things to write
91. Jade called me today to talk about a shoe sale at Macy’s. Jay wasn’t in on the conversation.
92. HWSNBN’s parents gave me a gift card to Macy’s. :)
93. I have no idea what Klepto weighed this morning
94. I get to fly to Ohio next month to see my best friend
95. I spent the weekend with HWSNBN and we ate TONS
96. I ate today too. my friend Eric can vouch for this
97. I always eat like a pig when Eric and I go to lunch. Yay for Chinese food!
98. I really should be more addictive about cleaning
99. My animals follow behind me single file shedding in everyplace I vacuum
100. I think it’s pretty commendable that I made it to 100.

I’m just saying.

Being the somewhat neurotic/quirky chick that I am I tend to become friends with people who are either :

A: Amused by my antics
B: Able to tune me out (also known as the smile and nod)
C: Quirky themselves.

I met one of the above categories (we’ll call her “H”) a number of years back. At the time I was a personal trainer and she was a massage therapist. I had won a contest at my gym for highest sales that month and was rewarded with a free session with H. Being the somewhat chitchatty/curious chick that I am I talked during the entire massage and an instant friendship began.

Instant friendships:

2 cups trouble with men
1 cup chattychick
3/4 cup catlover (more is always ok)
1/2 cup unrecognized fame
2 tbsp similar background
Dash of fabulousness (also maybe possibly unrecognized)

*Combine above ingredients and blend with desire to make a difference in the world. Pour into same room and wait 0 seconds. (Like I said, instant)

We talked for hours and we’ve been talking ever since. We’ve been known to go long amounts of time without contact only to get together as if not a day has passed by. H is one of those people that leaves you on your toes because you NEVER know what she’s going to do next. One week she can be all new-agey and running off to see a psychic and then when you call her the next week she can’t talk because she’s busy being her precinct’s election judge. (Grin. Figured out which category from above that she is yet?)

So I should not have been surprised when I got an email from her last year saying she had closed her practice and joined the army. What did surprise me was that that was it! No reason! No information to get in touch! Just…gone. I tried every way I could think of to reach her.

I did online searches:

Google: H
Google: H joins the army
Google: Where the HELL is H?

I called the army.

Me: Hi! Hello! This is Wendy and I’m calling for H. She there?
Army guy: Ummm
Me: You’re a doll. I really appreciate your help. I need to talk to her about a dating fiasco.
Army guy: ??

I went to harass the people at the restaurant below her old apartment:

Me: Which is better, the multigrain pancakes or the buckwheat? And how do I get ahold of H from upstairs?
Waiter: Oh, we don’t know she just kinda disappeared. Real maple or the sugar free?

So as you can imagine much shoe shopping commenced.

Anyways, H got in touch with me the week before Christmas to say she was coming through town to visit. (insert loud screams that sent the cats flying) True to form, when we met at a coffee shop it was as if no time had ever passed. She gets me! Halfway through a sentence she’s already answering because she KNOWS what I’m going to say. When she smiles and nods it’s not a brush off but an “oh my God I did the same thing” acknowledgement.

Could. Not. Love. Her. More!

H is mucho happy for me that I’m dating HWSNBN but of course she knows my luck in the whole dating department (see Webster’s dictionary for hopeless, ironic and also maybe what-was-she-thinking) so she suggested that I consider moving out west and becoming roomies with her in Los Angeles.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. So let the possibilities begin! I already plan to sell my home next fall. I’ve always wanted to live somewhere warmer. The same career opportunities exist for me out there as here. My daughter is all for me living my life rather than calling her every day. (heh) So who knows? Maybe I’ll have a huge reason to stay and maybe I won’t. Time will tell.

So what do you think? Can you take a Southern born, Midwest raised girl and send her to The Valley? Cause y’all I like TOTALLY think I could pull that off. You betcha.


I have never been a fan of Mondays. Not because they signify the end to the weekend, but because they are evil and out to get me. I’ve learned to take precautions over the years to try and protect myself from their sneaky tactics.

Background info:
I make my living as a sales rep in the shipping industry. All week long I stomp in and out of warehouses. I probably don’t have to tell you that my customer base is predominantly male. As such, my competition tends to be female. The industry is highly competitive and there are times when you just want to scream because you know you lost the account for the wrong reasons. Service was perfect. Price was unbeatable. Competition had a shorter skirt.

My company is pretty fantastic. They want our business to speak for itself. We don’t buy our customers and they would never ask me to dress like the competition. We clear on that? What happened in no way reflects on my company.

As I said, we don’t buy our customers but we do show appreciation when they continue to ship with us. I take customers to lunch…drop off donuts…or supply the occasional game ticket.

How does this relate to Mondays? Well Mondays would be the day I fall off the dock or break a perfectly good heel or get lost in a bad neighborhood or screw up the sales presentation all together. Smart blonde that I am I have made Mondays my office day. Self protection and all that. On Mondays I drive in to our operations center, print out my marketing materials, meet with the staff and make a million cold calls on the phone to set up my schedule for the week. SAFE. SECURE.

The day in question
Yesterday. A Monday. Temporary panic followed by the soothing reassurance of a day at the office…hated but safe. I was standing there in my nylons and bra doing the “what shall I wear” stare into the closet while drinking coffee. Enter Kali, dog of chaos chasing something that I apparently can’t see on only 1 cup of coffee. She slammed into my leg and my coffee went everywhere. Great. After removing my sopping wet nylons and refilling my coffee cup I returned to the closet and ended up selecting an absolutely adorable suit. The skirt is waaaaaaay too short for a normal day but just fine for going to the office and has a gorgeous fitted jacket to match.

Alas, no other nylons without runs. This was not a problem. I had been to Victoria’s Secret on Friday afternoon and the sales lady had talked me into buying thigh highs instead. Pretty, comfortable and less likely to run because you don’t have to stretch the suckers up around your hips. They felt strange but I confess I felt kinda sexy in them too. The tops were pink lace with a special elastic band that keeps them up on your thighs. Ask any woman, we can be in sweat pants but if we have something sexy on underneath we feel completely different. Confident. Mysterious. Naughty. Fun. I told myself to get a life, stopped pacing about in my heels while pretending to be on a runway and made for the office.

The day was well underway. I had ordered hockey tickets for a particularly strong customer the week before and they’d come in by fed ex. I gave Rick a call to schedule a day to drop them off but he was going to be out of the office the rest of the week and asked if I could bring them by at the end of the day. (gasp. Leave the office on a Monday?!) Well why not. All was going well since the coffee spilling incident and I was feeling pretty confident.

You probably already know what’s coming…

I arrived at the warehouse with only 10 minutes to spare. I grabbed the fed ex packet and began cruising through the warehouse to the other side where Rick’s office is. The confidence was somewhat gone as I felt self conscious about the outfit and the looks some of the warehouse boys were giving me. I picked up my pace a bit and just as I got to the dead center of the warehouse it happened.

FWING!!!!!

The left thigh high had become a knee high. Verging on an anklet. Whatever had I been thinking to leave the safety of my office on a Monday?….and there I was at a dead standstill and completely out in the open. I glanced around and no one seemed to be looking. Ok. Now what. I could simply remove the offending garment but I’d have to lean over to remove my heel and my skirt was too short to do so. Ditto for trying to pull the sucker back up. I shuffled over closer to one of the warehouse racks and carefully bent my knee so I could reach the shoe.

Success. But now I had one leg bare and the other still nylon clad, and that pink lace on the right thigh was holding on for dear life. One of the guys walked past and I studied the fed ex pack intently as though I had a reason to be stopped right there. How ironic to be in this situation and holding a competitors envelope (we don’t do small pack). I began tugging again as soon as he was gone and eventually shimmied out of the other one. Of course I didn’t have my purse so I had to shove the nylons into the fed ex pack.

After a moment to compose myself I held up my chin and sauntered into Ricks office. Rick looked a bit flushed but the warehouse was anything but warm. I handed him his Wild tickets and tried to engage him in conversation but he was staring at the fed ex pack. I continued babbling and sort of moved it to the back of me.

“What else ya got there?” he asked with a strange look on his face.

“Oh well. Heh. Umm. Yeah, so I don’t like carrying a purse into appointments so just my keys and such,” I stammered.

“Did I tell you we just got a new security system Wendy?” he said while clearly trying to keep from busting out laughing. Then he moved to the side and I got to see the closed circuit tv with a clear as day view of the very rack I’d stood near while trying to resolve my dilemma.

Who knew a girl could run so fast out of a place in 3 inch heels? Mondays. Yup. Hate em.

Hello dear readers. When last we left our blogger she was ranting about a broken keyboard. Alas, she has still done absolutely nothing about getting the laptop fixed. Oh sure, she’ll regale you with stories about being a single mama with a mortgage. Terribly broke. But we all know the truth here. Oh you don’t? Allow me to explain if you will.

The place she needs to go to get the keyboard fixed is Best Buy. Now do you understand? That’s right! They do NOT sell shoes there. However, the mall is conveniently located right next to it. So while she stumbles out the door, laptop in hand and full of good intentions she always ends up turning right when she ought to turn left and ending up with a new pair of shoes. As such, she still can’t afford to get the keyboard fixed. Every “i’ is typed by hitting control v to paste it into place.

I dare not go into detail about all the other things she’s done. Such as that mishap at Arden B, the jewelry celebration as well as the chocolate indulgence. Really, the only shopping spree we can’t fault her on was that trip to home depot to repaint her kitchen just before company came…that one will be a blog in and of itself.

Alas, all good shoe shoppers must eventually visit their children at work, and her daughter just got a job at Best Buy. Never fear, she’ll have on her Steve Madden Turquoise suede pumps when she goes in.

 

**while searching for the photo of the blue shoes she just acquired our blogger found out that they are also available in red, black, brown and camel.**

591

Where to start?

I’m trying to figure out how I want to explain my weird mood today.

I could start by saying “I think I’m having a mid-life crisis.” Unfortunately that would require that I cruise out and buy a sports car, something I assure you is not within my budget. (Feel free to refer to any blogs that mention I have a child in college for clarification on my lack of financial freedom.) So that must not be it.

I could start by saying my appliances are out to get me. My freezer has died (and I almost did too when I opened it up.) My coffee maker has decided to perk at a rate of ½ a cup per hour. The buzzer on my dryer has suddenly risen 100 decibels so that when it goes off I throw the ½ cup of coffee that’s finally brewed into the air. The washing machine refuses to get the coffee out of my Ralph Lauren hooded sweater jacket until the 3 rd time. By then I’m so zoned out on laundry that I put the jacket into the dryer with all the other whites and now it’s a 200 dollar shrunken sweater jacket for the cat. Of course saying my appliances are in attack mode might make me sound paranoid so I won’t do that.

I could start by saying work is stressful. I just hit my numbers for the month of August yesterday. Nothing like the last minute. The race to hit my monthly quota starts again tomorrow and I miss a day because of the holiday. Of course saying I’m a “sales rep” and saying “I’m stressed” is rather redundant, so I won’t say that.

I could start by saying I’ve been having a blonde week. At least in other people’s eyes. I was trying to give directions to a client so he could meet me for lunch. The restaurant is in a building that’s entirely glass. Next to it is a brick building. So I said “Meet me at the one with all the glass windows.” Made sense to me. He’s made it clear I will never live that comment down. Of course YOU might not let me live that down either so I won’t start with that.

Hmmm. Perhaps I just shouldn’t start. J

604

Hello ladies and germs gentlemen. Welcome to story time.Today’s story was going to be about my trip to the gym on Monday night.It was a somewhat cute depiction of how silly men can be.The male species would have been cast in a charming little “oh aren’t they just too obvious for words” type tone. I planned to put the finishing touch on the story last night as a reward for having completed some chores I really dislike.I’m afraid that story will have to wait because my good will towards men was RUDELY interrupted.

*The following incident is a true story. The name of the offender neighbor has been changed to protect the asshole individual.*

Shall we?

I’m not much for yard work.I tend to put it off til the last possible second, also known as “the day the neighbors might decide to complain.”Luckily for me the older woman (yes it feels good to say that) that lives next door to me rarely mows.As such my yard tends to look pretty darned good in comparison.

Last night was gorgeous. I briefly considered yard work while driving home but then reminded myself that it’s probably going to snow soon and I should really go biking while I can. I was already planning my route as I turned on to my street and was met with a horrific sight.

I pulled into my driveway and stared in dismay at the crime scene next door.4 strapping young lads armed with mowers, weed whackers, rakes and other hedge clipper type yard stuffs. I glared at Dorothy who was overseeing the work from her front steps.Traitor.

I stomped into my house, slammed down my briefcase and threw myself across my bed. I briefly considered a temper tantrum as I stared at my ceiling but I didn’t want to scare the cats. Sighing dramatically for my feline audience I changed into my mow-the-lawn outfit and did the “but I don’t wannnnnnna” sulky walk to the garage.

I rolled the mower out to the driveway and glanced over at Dorothy’s yard. It looked perfect. The brat pack was gone and in their stead was a sign that advertised their not so affordable services as “Law N Order.” Cute. *gag*

I pumped the little gas thingy and pulled the starter. Nada. I tried about 3 more times before pumping the little gas thingy again. Then I placed my foot against the mower and kicked it forward with my foot while pulling back on the string starter. *Rowrr putt putt choke* Well this was going great. I put my hands on my hips and glared at the mower as laughter floated across the street.

“YO little lady. Having some trouble?”

The yo was from my new neighbor across the street. He and 2 of his buddies had begun renting the house 3 months earlier. I’d been unable to avoid him 2 times previously and if those conversations were any indication of his personality he was a complete Neanderthal. I briefly considered pretending I hadn’t heard him, but chances were I’d need some help getting this stupid machine going.

“Hi Jake. Mower doesn’t want to start,” I said with a shrug. I groaned inwardly as he sauntered across the street smoking his 400th cigarette of the day, one dirty hand holding a beer and the other scratching his nails over his protruding belly.

“Well,” he said to my chest, “You might be able to convince me to help you out if you ask real nice. Mowing isn’t really something a tiny thing like you ought to be doing. You should really have a man around here for these things. Someone to take care of you and the like.”

I raised my eyebrows at this but since he wasn’t looking at my face I don’t think it registered. “Oh really.”

“Yep. Doesn’t seem proper to me for someone like you to have to worry herself with man’s work. I’d imagine you’d be wanting to have someone new move in with you soon. Surely your ex-husband won’t continue to pay for this house forever.”

Oh boy. “Hey Jake. Are you going to start this thing or not?”

“Weeeelllllllll now. Is that anyway to ask nice?”

“Please,” I said through clenched teeth.

“I don’t think that’s quite good enough. You might offer to bake a cake or smile at me pretty or something.”

“Have a nice evening Jake,” I said and turned back to the mower. I jabbed the gas thingy, slammed my foot against the mower and hauled back for all I was worth. RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

I sneered at Jake and took off across the yard. God I hate yard work. Need a man. Hmmph. Ex husband?Puhleeeze. I have never been married (or even gotten child support for that matter) and I bought this house with my own hard earned money 8 years ago when it was completely falling apart. I re-roofed, re-windowed, re-doored, re-sided, took out walls, sheet rocked the entire upstairs and painted. I had worked 3 jobs to make this happen, one of which was a weekend job shingling roofs. I ran a nail gun just as fast as any of the men on that crew thank you very much. I worked myself sick climbing up the career ladder to the point where I now only needed one job to make ends meet. Ok barely meet, but meet! Need a man. NEED A MAN?

I ranted on in my head as I mowed. Every once in awhile I glared glanced across the street at the 3 guys who had now set up lawn chairs on the driveway and chugged at their beers as they watched me. They’d howl with laughter every time I’d get to the end of the yard and needed to turn. The mower has this self propel thingy on it and I haven’t figured out how to disengage that for the turning part without killing the engine. As such it tends to drag me a bit as I turn and then lurch forward. Despite this propulsion I still get stuck going up the hill on the north side of the yard. I have to go practically prone and dig my feet into the ground to get the mower to go. God I hate yard work.

Finally the front half was done. I headed towards the gate between the house and the garage but it was closed. Great. I’d have to let the mower die so I could get it opened. No sooner had the engine killed than the commentary started up again…

“You missed a spot darling. Oh, and are those lines some sort of artytistic design?”

Artytistic? Where the hell did this guy come from? I began the argument with the starter. Nada.

“Well this here’s like that Degas view isn’t it?” Jake said over the top of the fence.

“What?” I curtly responded while wiping sweat off my forehead.

“Degas view!” He said impatiently and then lowered his voice to condescendingly explain, “It’s a term. It means it seems like it’s already happened before. Think it was named after that artist.”

“You mean déjà vu? Is that what you’re trying to say? Well this might seem like that too. GO AWAY.”

I wheeled around and cranked on the starter. Unfortunately my hands were sweaty and I proceeded to fall hard on my ass. I was so mad and humiliated that I was on the verge of tears. I looked out over the back. ½ an acre. WHY did I buy this lot?

“Anything sweet would be just fine,” said Jake as he extended a hand to help me up. I refused his hand but managed to nod as I slunk off to the house.

Twenty minutes later I was back from the store with the ingredients with which to degrade myself. Jake still wasn’t mowing.

I crossed the street to make sure he was going to hold up his end of the deal. Weaving my way through the collection of pick-ups I overheard him saying, “She was so mad she didn’t even think to check the gas. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when I tell her. I’ll wait until she hands over the cake and then I’ll tell her my way of helping her is to tell her what she did wrong. I’ll tell her I couldn’t do a proper job without the proper supplies.”

Just then he glanced up and saw me standing there with my grocery bag. I set the bag down and lifted out the carton of eggs. I performed what I believe to be an absolutely adorable curtsey and then dumped the eggs on the floor of the garage. I followed this with a bag of flour. I was about to dump out the sugar when he jumped up and grabbed it out of my hands screaming “What the HELL are you doing?”

“It’s your cake Jake,” I explained with a sweet smile, “I couldn’t do a proper job without the proper supplies and it would seem I don’t have a pan.”

I then left them in silence and went back home. Luckily for me I already know that these guys are getting the boot next week. The rest of the neighbors have already complained about them to the homeowner.

The yard you ask? Nah. It’s still not mowed. I left the mower sitting all by itself in the yard. That oughtta teach it.

601

The strangest thing happened Sunday morning. I woke up! All by myself! Not because of an alarm. Not because of a paw in my face. Not because the dog was giving me “the stare.” What a delicious feeling! I hugged my pillow and rolled onto my side to peek over the edge of the bed. My dog Kali was sound asleep. Ooooooh. Paybacks baby. I took a deep breath and shouted “Goooooood Morning puppy!”

Kali jumped a foot in the air and launched into all out bark mode. Muahahaa. Good times. We made our way to the kitchen and woke the cats up too. After I’d loved them all up a bit I took my first cup of coffee out to the back steps.
The air was slightly cool but a bright sun promised a beautiful warm day. I noticed that the grass had decided to grow again. Should I mow? Nah. It would still be there tomorrow. This was a day to play outside. A perfect day of freedom!

I spent the afternoon biking around a trio of lakes on the edge of the city that are surrounded by gorgeous biking/walking paths, beaches, volleyball pits, softball fields and an amazing view of the Minneapolis skyline.

When I’d had enough I crammed my bike back into my car, grabbed a blanket and found a nice quiet spot in a grassy area by the softball fields. I must have dozed off because the next time I looked up there were people setting up for a game, and just a few feet to my right was a little girl staring at me.

“I don’t hafta take naps anymore,” she stated proudly. She looked to be about 4 or 5 and was the cutest sight I’d seen all day. She had a mass of unruly blonde curls, bright blue eyes and was dressed head to toe in pink. One sock was up to her knee and the other was smashed down around her ankle. There was a smudge of dirt on her left cheek that only served to make her look that much more adorable.

“Was I snoring?” I asked with a serious expression.

She giggled and shook her head no. “Girls don’t snore,” she informed me, “but my Daddy does.”

“Hey Katie what did I tell you about lying?” asked a grinning man who’d jogged up behind her. “I’ve never heard myself snoring.” He threw her over his knee and in a gruff monster voice said, “What happens to little girls who tell figs?”

“Fibs daddy!” she giggled. “Not figs! And you do SO snore. You snore so loud that Chirple started copying you.”

“A parakeet,” he explained after I’d raised my eyebrows in question. “A sneaky parakeet that snores and then tells Katie it’s her poor father making all the noise.” He set Katie back down on the blanket and tousled her hair. “You okay here squirt? We’re going to start the game now and I don’t want you wandering off or talking to strangers.”

“But can I talk to her?” she asked while pointing at me. “She looks like Mommy.”

A brief look of pain crossed his face but he was smiling again by the time Katie looked up at him. He glanced over at me and I gave him a reassuring smile.

“I’m a parent too,” I said. “I don’t mind if she visits with me so long as you’re okay with it.”

He nodded and gave Katie a stern look. “Make sure you stay right here so you can cheer me on, and don’t make a bug of yourself.”

“Pest Daddy!” she giggled. “I won’t make a pest of myself.”

Katie’s grin faded as her dad ran back on the field. “I hafta cheer him on since Mommy can’t do it.”

I struggled with a response. “Was…was your mommy a pretty good cheerleader?” I asked softly.

“Yup. But she can’t do it because she’s helping the people on the rock. She was sposed to be back but there are bunches of kids living on the rock that she has to make free. Only I wish she could be here for my first day of school next week. Daddy doesn’t do pigtails very well and Mommy has to stay on the rock until Santa comes.”

It started to click. “Your mom is in Iraq? She has to stay there until Christmas?”

“Yup. She has to wear green instead of pink so I draw lots and lots and lots of pink pictures and she says they’re the bestest ones and even better than the other mommy’s get and then she gives them to the kids on the rocks.”

We sat in silence for a few moments and my heart caught as I saw a big tear roll down her face.

“You must miss her very much and I bet she misses you a whole lot more. It takes a very special person to do what your mommy does. Let’s make her proud and cheer for your daddy for her.”

She scooted over onto my blanket and my new friend and I cheered for her daddy as loud as we could. When dad came back I helped him to become an expert pigtail maker. I won’t forget little Katie anytime soon.

My day of freedom took on a whole new meaning. On behalf of all the little girls and boys missing their Mommy’s and Daddy’s I would like to offer up a prayer that our troops are all home soon, and safely.

5:00 am

I rolled over and smacked the snooze button on my alarm clock. Again. Clearly I was not going to make it to the 5:30 spinning class at the gym. Resolving to do aerobics in my home gym instead I buried back under the covers.

Woof.*pant pant pant* wuff? WOOF.

I peered out at the fuzzy face on the side of the bed. “Kali. Pretend you’re a cat and go hit the litter box instead.”

ROWF!

“Well you don’t have to cuss.” I threw back the covers and let kibble breath out back to do her thing. I started the coffee maker while mentally kicking myself for staying up so late the night before. Shawn had come over and we’d rented a movie. It was somewhere around midnight by the time I got to bed. I won’t go into how long it took me to stop my brain from torturing me enough to let me sleep.

I poured a cup of coffee, let Kali back in and glared at her as she promptly padded into my room, jumped up to my side of the bed and instantly descended into a snoring snooze. Figures.

I stumbled through 45 minutes of aerobics, 20 minutes of weights and hit the shower. The good news is that my brain still wasn’t awake enough to really complain about the workout. Halfway through the razor routine I remembered what day it was. Oh God. Waxing day. Well at least I didn’t have to worry about cutting myself with the razor there.

The morning calls were well underway when a number I didn’t recognize rang in.

“This is Wendy.”

“Hello darling! I just looked at my schedule and saw that I get to wax my favorite shoe shopping accomplice over the lunch hour. I simply can’t wait that long to catch up on the gossip. Come see me at 10 instead.”

“Hi Jade. Michael wants to take you to lunch during my appointment doesn’t he.”

“Are you sure you’re a natural blonde? You’re way too smart cupcake. Oh wait…you are a natural blonde. I should know, hmmm? If you come at 10 instead I’ll show you the latest Dolce and Gabbana layout that features some really sexy slingbacks.”

“Using shoes to bribe me only works if I actually get to try them on.”

“Don’t be bitchy. I’m much better at it. I win. See you at 10.” Click.

*Sigh* Not letting him get his way would only mean pain for me. Unfortunately, I also had an important phone call scheduled at that time and I really needed to close the deal. I’d make it work somehow. So much for making it to the dry cleaners before dressing for the day. I’d have to find something else to wear.

Have you ever seen the phenomenon where a teenager opens the refrigerator and just stands there staring, hoping that something amazing will materialize if they just stand there long enough? Well that’s me looking into my closet.

I stared into my closet in the hopes that something gorgeous and sexy (Ok fine. Something that would make ME look gorgeous and sexy) would jump out. I had appointments all afternoon and wouldn’t be able to stop home to change before going out at night. I was seeing Shawn again and I wanted to look good. (If you read my blog “he’s just not that into you” you’d understand that this is pointless but if I’m going to continue to be rejected I want to at least look good while it’s happening.)

My daughter came in to commiserate, and after reviewing the pathetic offering she came to the conclusion that I am lucky that he spends time with me at all considering the clothes I’ve been wearing.

I settled on the black pants, black silk tank top and sheer bronze blouse. The silver, gold and bronze kitten heels added just the right finish to what was unfortunately still a boring outfit. Jade would have a field day with this. Krista just sort of gazed sadly at my selection as I said my goodbyes, added a quick chore as punishment for her look, grabbed my briefcase and tripped out the door.

I called my client’s secretary and rescheduled our call for 10:30. I decided that if this deal didn’t close I’d sic Jade on him.

As usual Jade was running late. By the time he was ready to start it was 10:25.

“Look, if this guy calls you’ll just have to wait for a moment. Your schedule has already thrown my entire morning off.”

Rrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiippppppppppppppppppppppp! *squinting and quick intake of breath*

“Oh really? Is that why you dressed in the dark?”

“Are we doing this? Are we having this conversation? The outfit may be lacking, but have you not noticed the shoes? They’re right over…hey where did my shoes go? JADE? Dammit! Take them off! You’re going to stretch them out!”

Rrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiipppppppppppppp! *$#!+*

“I like them. They give me just the right height. A rather inferior designer name if you ask me but they’re kittens so I’ll purr anyways,” he said while applying the next strip.

The phone rang and I gave Jade a stern look. “Remove my shoes while I take this call.”

“Hello, Bruce? Can you believe this pricing we were able to put in place for you? We’re talking about a 2002 tariff! You know you aren’t going to be able to beat that. I think that we should all sit down and…

Rrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiipppppppppp!

…Ummm. Bruce?Sugar can I put you on hold for a sec?”

I hit mute, covered the mouthpiece just in case, screamed “FUCK!” and went back to my call. I finished up as Jade pranced in front of the mirror with a smug look, my heels AND my Prada purse.

“Well,” I said as I set my phone down, “That was incredibly mean, not in the least bit funny and you will not be receiving a tip.”

“You know that frowning like that just makes you look older, don’t you? I just met with Dr. Dave yesterday and I’ll bet I can get him to botox you before the office opens tomorrow.”

“Jade…”

“Really, let him get at those stress lines and you could look as young as 40.”

“I’m only 36!”

“Right. Try not to age any further while I schedule it. I’ll accept the referral bonus as your tip. You know you need this. I saw that you pulled your profile from personals. Too stuck on Shawn to keep trying, hmmm? If you’re going to continue to be an idiot and fall for men who are completely unavailable at least make sure that your looks aren’t the issue.”

“Jade…”

“Botox the eyes, lose the outfit, show up wearing only the heels and this lovely wax job. Include the purse and even a gay man will want you cupcake.”

“Jade…”

“Well aren’t I right? Did you not pull your profile? Are you not stuck on this man who doesn’t love you? Are you not wearing a boring outfit?”

“Yes. OK? YES! YES YES YES YES. And why the hell would you have looked to see if I was still on personals?!”

“Volume darling! If Michael shows up and hears you shouting like that he’ll think I’ve gone straight! Now get out of here and have that lovely face of yours at Dr. Dave’s tomorrow morning at 7:30. Your boy might not see the wax job but he’ll appreciate your lack of ability to frown.”

At least I closed the deal with Bruce. Is it the weekend yet??

*p.s. Botox hurts like hell*

It was a typical Sunday afternoon. I was reading a good book and just generally being as lazy as possible. I started to drift off into the napzone when a giggle from the other room interrupted me. This would not have been sufficient enough for investigation, but the giggle was followed by outright laughter and “oh my god’s” and “oh that’s so meeeee” comments. There is absolutely no sound more beautiful than my daughter’s laugh. This was worth getting up for. I figured if I snuck up on her I could find out the source of her amusement and use it to my advantage in the future.

She was planted on the couch with her iBook. No doubt cruising profiles on MySpace or reading something someone had posted on hers. Whatever it was, it had tears cruising down her face as she laughed. She saw me coming before I could spy.

“Mom. OH. MY. GOD. This is so funny. It’s funny enough that I don’t even care that some of it’s about me, because, well, it’s also true.”

I peered over her shoulder in amazement. She was reading my blog! I had invited her as a friend a long time ago, but I never thought she’d actually go to my site. After all, to a teenager 360 is more of an old person’s my space wannabe.

She read all of them! Do you know what this means?!? That’s right! A new way to reach my child! I can craftily work fabulous mom to child advice into my blogs. I can lecture and advise within the guise of bloggery. Oh the possibilities! The worldly advice I can impart! My child is In the Audience!

Let the motherly advice commence:

 

Remember that beginnings are good to hold on to…

 

Always save room for dessert.

 

Don’t be afraid to demand “you” time.

 

Look the world in the face! Especially when mom’s by your side.

 

Save money so you can ship yourself off someplace wonderful at least once a year.

 

Have someone hold your hand as you walk towards new experiences (moms are always a good choice).

 

Never be too busy to celebrate.

 

Always be kind to animals.

 

Learn from your mom’s mistakes. Drinking can lead to scary situations (and hairstyles). For those who keep asking, yes this is a SHARK.

 

Be willing to burst into song if the mood strikes you.

 

As the song says…I hope you’ll dance!

 

Always believe in yourself and what you can accomplish. Always. I am SO proud of you!

 

Be the beauty queen you are, and never be afraid to have an attitude!

I love you. You’re still grounded for heading off to college, but I love you. You will forever be my little girl despite how old you are. You always have a home to come to, no matter how far away life takes you.

-Mom