Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Tahoe was beautiful this time of year. In truth, it’s beautiful anytime of year, but with a fresh blanket of milky white powder atop the evergreens, it was awe-inspiring. Heavenly Village sits nestled in towering mountains and the glistening aquamarine waters of Lake Tahoe. This was just what Samantha needed after the hectic holidays. Sam had always been close to her family, and she truly enjoyed spending time with them over the holidays, but this year with her father gone, things had been different. She had always been very close to him, he was the one who understood her best when the rest of the family just didn’t seem to get it. He was always the one on her side of the fence, encouraging her, listening and providing her with a sense of being. He was also always the one to fend off the questions from the rest of them. Why aren’t you dating? Isn’t there anyone that seems interesting enough to give a chance? Don’t you want children someday? This isn’t healthy, Sam. She knew they meant well and were only concerned for her but she wished they’d back off. Why was it so hard for them to understand? Lately it seemed to have gotten worse, probably because they knew the loss of her father was going to take its toll and make matters worse. What they didn’t seem to understand was that she was already committed, she had already given all of herself to one man and although it had been five years since he disappeared, she wasn’t ever going to be able to look at another man the same again. Five years she thought, it was hard to imagine it hadn’t been longer. It felt like a lifetime, more like a thousand years, a damned eternity even. At the beginning she kept herself busy with the investigation, trying to find answers only to discover more questions. Now she just felt blank. Numb. Off in the distance a squirrel attempted to chase off his nemesis. Trying to push the thoughts from her mind, she watched the foreign shapes take form in the snow as he pounced from spot to spot before scurrying up the next tree. The branches bounced as he jumped from limb to limb and droplets of silvery snow plopped to the ground below. The air hinted of vanilla and pineapple from the abundance of Jeffery Pines that lined the mountainsides. The air was crisp and refreshing. It had been years since Sam had skied. Five years at least and she felt a bit tarnished. Her father had taught her to ski on this very mountain when she was just 5 years old. Although she hadn’t been here for quite some time, this mountain was like an old family friend. Growing up, Sam’s family had taken several trips a year to ski Tahoe. It felt strangely consoling to be back. Heavenly was always her favorite mountain with lifts and spectacular views on both the California and Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. She remembered the laughter in her fathers voice as he’d told her to slow down a little. She glanced back in the squirrel’s direction before she decided to head down the mountain. He was no where in site. She pushed off with her right leg and began a slow slalom weaving back and forth across the mountain. The slopes were starting to get busier as it shifted from early morning. A group of college aged kids blew past her, playfully hollering and weaving among them selves. Two girls lagged behind engrossed in conversation away from the group. She was starting to feel more comfortable with each turn and began relaxing when suddenly a familiar voice spoke loudly from behind.
“Hello Sam”
She tensed up, whisked sharply to the right, stopping dead in her tracks. She turned her head to his voice and feeling nearly frozen in place, she toppled over….

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bite me like you mean it

Call me a geek but I'm excited about seeing New Moon tonight, I'm taking my 16 yr old son, his girlfriend and a friend of theirs. Which that alone is fabulous, getting your 16 yr old and their friends to spend a Friday night with their parents is fabulous in its self and seeing New Moon is an added bonus. I was a late bloomer in terms of joining the Twilight bandwagon. When It first came out and I was told the basis of the story, it didn't sound like anything I would be interested in. I wasn't really into the whole werewolves, shape shifters or vampire thing. But it was everywhere. T-Shirts, dolls, hype, media, news and I had no idea what they were talking about. I figured it was some teen culture type movie that surely wouldn't be appealing to an adult. However, when my 16 year old son began reading a book just shy of 500 pages with the sequels each having between 550-640 pages I decided I wanted to know what he was reading. I began reading Twilight and found I couldn't put it down. It wasn't at all what I had expected.  I was expecting dark and twisted grizzly blood scenes, when in fact I found a love story. I mean sure there's some blood, they are vampires after all, but not the gruesome story I would have expected.  Hoards of teenage girls drooling over Jacob and Edward trying to decide which one they would choose, well I for one, as a woman, tend to be drawn to all things shiny and sparkly, so when a man's skin can shine like a diamond in the sunlight, I'm going to take notice.  sparkling-edward-cullen-wallpaper-small Not to mention, the shiny cars they drive and the super power ability to save your life. Maybe it's shallow, maybe it's a bit silly, but I have been bitten by the bug that is all things Twilight. At first I thought it was a bit creepy for a woman my age to have a twinge of lust over Edward's 18 year old character, but he is a vampire, and he has been 18 years old for a very, very long time and he is shiny so I guess that makes it justifiable to my warped mind.
P.S. I am off all of the antibiotics, mostly recovered from  my stint of a mysterious illness that landed me in the hospital and finally able to see through the haze and plan on attempting to write something more coherent next week so please check back.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Press the Pause Button

Honey I'm Home!

I promise to attempt to write something very soon. I have been sick, in the hospital and now am finally home. YAY! However, I'm in a bit of a haze of medications and so I'm not really able to write anything coherent, err, well, actually, I haven't even had a very coherent thought, much less attemt to make any sense on a blank page. As soon as I can see through the cobwebs in my head again, I'll get back to it.
If your just plain curious,and really bored,  feel free to read on. Warning: Boring Medical Shit Coming...
I get a treatment every 4 weeks or so through an IV which is administered through a port in my chest. The procedure is called IVIG. It is to treat a condition Called Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy . In english, it is an autoimmune disease. Last week when my nurse attempted to do my routine treatment, something went wrong with my port and I felt something "pop" in my neck. After evaluation, we went ahead with my treatment using a vein rather than my port and the treatment went as usual. The day following, I started feeling bad, hurting all over, I spent the night in the ER, had the swine flu test done, along with several other tests and concluded I was hurting for no apparent reason. Home I went. The next day I had a fever of near 103 and still hurt all over, head, fingers, legs, hips, just all over pain. Of course, I assumed I must have the H1N1 and had a false negative test due to having my treatment. Convinced my treatment was hiding the flu symptoms, I headed back to the ER with severe body aches and chills, to the point I chipped a freaking tooth from my teeth chattering. Only me. Anyway, after a very convincing plea to the doctor that surely it would be better to give me Tamiflu and send me home, he insisted on admitting me. I thought surely I would go home in the morning. Apparently my bloodwork showed my white blood cells to be near depleation and ended me up in what they call "reverse isolation". It meant I was not at risk of being contagious but that anyone who entered my room could get me sick. They started talking about oncologists and hematologists and bone marrow transplants, like my head wasn't already spinning. I was put on every antibiotic they make, continued taking the Tamiflu (just in case) and made into a  human voodoo doll I'm sure. Finally, it was determined that my port had indeed broken. Remember the "pop" noise. The port snapped, became severly infected and had mutiple clots, which explained why I was having a hard time breathing, felt like shit, and stayed in a drug induced haze. Finally, a week later, I had surgery to remove the port, and got to come home. And here I am. I have to do a bit of follow up on the whole white blood cells thing but that's about it. I'm a little sore from the surgery but not to bad and alot groggy and foggy from all the drugs but should be back to my old self soon. I hear I slept through a baby hurricane. It seems I do remember hearing an acorn hitting the hospital window at some point and I'm scratching my head wondering why they give you sleeping pills and then wake you up all night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You look like I need another drink

I remember the first time I looked into his steel blue eyes, that crazy blonde hair and those perfectly sculpted cheeks. That was it, that first glance and there was nothing I could do about it. He knew it to, that very first second; he knew I would forever be his.  We could lay next to each other for hours, just taking in each others expressions. I wanted to take in his every breath and memorize his every expression.  I fell deeply, madly in love the first time I laid my eyes upon him.  I knew my time with him would be too short, I knew it would seem like an instant and I'd be left to wonder how it happened so quickly and so I had to cherish it all. There would be many wonderful days, there would be some hard days, but most of all, enjoyment and pure fulfillment. The first time I brought him home to meet my family, they quickly fell for him as I had. He was intoxicating and beautiful and perfect. He was always a charmer, always engaging, even then.
His older brother loved him also, they would spend hours together, laughing, fighting and sharing. He was the second born of three boys.  Three boys who were obviously adored by their mother, three boys who would cause havoc, raise holy hell and charm the pants off a nun. They were very different from each other in many ways, yet exactly the same in many more ways. Three boys, My three boys.  Watching them grow together was the single most fascinating thing I have ever experienced in life.  My three boys, the musketeers, all aptly named after cowboy outlaws.  They were experienced tricksters and wicked spoiled.  I remember days of kool-aid stands, countless football games, school plays, lego's and matchbox cars strewn about strategically placed to trip up even the most skilled of mothers and fathers.
I remember the fighting between brothers, and the alliance of brothers against adversaries. I remember coming home from work one day and discovering that the big purple dinosaur; Barney had been replaced by bodies draped over chairs with cords attached from the television to the video game controllers their hands held.   I wondered how everything had changed so quickly. I remember bike rides and homework and days floating on the river. I remember longing for the days when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rocked and girls had cooties.  I remember the horrid, tumultuous teenage years, the rules broken, the laws broken; in some cases, and the girlfriends that were suddenly awesome. I remember triumphs of overcoming issues and obstacles. I remember it all like it was yesterday. It was yesterday.
Today I am praying that the child who was so very small in my arms one day, who means the world to me, who taught me so much, is really ready for the decisions he faces and actions he will be facing.  Today, my middle son, who has grown, in the blink of an eye, is in the process of being sworn into the United States military. Today, as I look into those steel blue eyes, I say, Son, I am proud and humbled at what you have become and today, just today, you look like I need another drink.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Seek Therapy immediately....

Mom gave me life, the beach gives me sanity and Vodka keeps me from killing people.

Wow, Happy Monday readers,
Ok, that statement was highly contradictory. Mondays and happiness are not usually associated, and this one is no different. After spending a good bit of the weekend, well, away, it's hard to be amongst the madness again.

Thursday I had the delicious pleasure of a day of pampering from my friends over at the Spa. I was treated with Swedish massage, face-lift massage, pedicure, haircut, color and highlights all while sipping cocktails. Did I mention massage? And cocktails too! Positively fabulush! Not to mention my new do is awesome! I was treated with a product called Caribbean Therapy, which is some sort of concoction made of sugar cane extract and massaged with several AVEDA body oils. Fantastic! I have been told on occasion throughout life I should seek therapy, I had no idea how great this would be. I may need to see my therapist weekly.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Rehabulous Life

This past weekend the Vodka supplier and I had a little mini-vacation from reality. We had the pleasure of staying in a beautiful condo overlooking the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico. This was an especially rehabulous occasion because this was also the weekend of the 38th Annual National Shrimp Festival.  Let me just say, the Gulf Coast can throw some parties ya'll. We have festivals and parades and other high-fallutin celebrations on regular occasion. Whether it be "Fat Tuesday", the Festival of Flowers, Bayfest, The Seafood Festival, the Sausage Festival, yes we really have a festival for sausage, this is the south folks, or my personal favorite, the Bush-Wacker Festival, and let's not forget "insert your name here" Fest, which is a month long celebration of your birthday, we have something for everyone. Whatever the occasion, we just look for a reason to party. And party we do.

Each year the "Shrimp Fest" as us local riff-raff refer to it, draws in over 300,000 people to the Gulf Shores area. The festival is said to have originated as a "Blessing of the Boats" but has migrated into a celebration of the King of Crustaceans. There's fried shrimp, cocktail shrimp, shrimp gumbo, shrimp on a stick and, well, you get the picture. Aside from shrimp there are over 300 vendors comprised of Art, arts and crafts, a retail marketplace and tons and tons of food. I love the smell of a beer tent blended with the salty sea air. The best thing about the parties we throw, Free Admission. Sweeeet. The festival also has two stages for musical entertainment and many local musicians perform as well as some well known musicians.

This particular year, we decided to partake in Saturday nights festivities. The featured band was Foghat. Remember, "Slow Ride" or "I just want to make love to you"? Good Stuff indeed. The second bandstand had a local band, I can't quite remember the name, but they were comprised of one member wearing what looked like a sumo wrestlers suit with a mullet and a second in a sequined tank top adorning an afro. They did mostly a funky rendition of cover music from the 80's. The attire was entertaining alone. Anyway, we were so busily consumed in the fantastic taste of a beautifully made Cosmo, although lacking in presentation, as it was in a giant plastic cup, that we made it over to the Main bandstand just as the last song was played. We could have stayed and waited in line for autographs from the members of the band, however a signed Foghat poster hanging on my bedroom wall is not going to have the same feel as say...never ago.  I didn't have one morsel of shrimp, not a bite of the world famous, Cajun Pistol and didn't purchase one single "I like it Dirty" Martini tank top. And damn I wanted that. However, the Cosmo's' Too. Die. For.  The view from the condo, spectacular...the Sunday nap on the beach to cure Saturdays festivities...fabulous, and the entire night away from the nuthouse... superb. All in all, we had a rehabulous time!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Dryer Incident

Laundry is really not an interesting topic, especially, in my household. As you recall, I’ve mentioned the large quantities of occupants I dwell with, so the sound of a continual washing machine is commonplace around here. Last night, the dryer broke. It just stopped. No more bellowing out the sounds of shoes thudding inside or a zipper clanking. Just call a repair man and have it fixed, you say. End. of. story.

I wish it were that simple.

My Father, "The Bishop" is quite worthy of repairing many things. He has decided he will repair the dryer.
I'm quietly doing some research in another part of the house when I am summoned to the Laundry room. Upon my arrival, I find the dryer is completely disassembled. There is a giant hollow tube in the middle of the room that looks something like a metal barrel without ends on it. This is obviously the spinning device used to circulate the clothes. Even I can asses this. There is also two sides and a bottom of what once looked like a dryer. My father is standing behind the shell of what is left  holding a small black box with some sort of gauge on it and wires extending from it to the dryer. This is a multi-meter I am told. Something to do with measuring voltage or ohms or something. Anyway, he is testing the dryer and needs me to push the button, his hands are full. We determine whatever he is testing is working just fine. He informs me he will be moving the dryer and all of its remaining pieces into the garage, (with the spare refrigerator, I mind you) to continue his exploratory surgery and since "Gadget" has moved in, we can use his dryer until ours is back in service. He'll bring it in from the garage. Great. Case closed.
This afternoon, I walk out into the garage and find "the bishop" hunched over sandpapering his dolly. (a two-wheeled device used to move heavy objects). Without word, I look around and the garage has been transformed into what appears to be a surgical room for a junkyard.

Against my better judgment, I ask, "what are you doing, dad"

“What does it look like I'm doing!  I'm sandpapering rust spots off my dolly.”

“What about the dryer?”

“The dolly has to be painted before It can be used to move the dryer.” 

Again against my better judgment, Why?

“Well. because. it. looks. bad.”

(This is where I really show my stupidty).

"So does the dryer, now."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Absence makes the Vodka Sweeter

Dear Vodka,
Please be in my soup tonight.
Love, Me

The key to a happy marriage …Separation. Ok, ok, settle down, I’m not talking about divorce . I’m talking more along the lines of say… golfing, catching a game or stopping by Bob’s for some beer and fishing with the boys. My vodka supplier found himself with the day off today. Of which I replied, “Where’d the vodka bottle go?” "That’s great honey!" It’s not that I don’t enjoy spending time with the vodka supplier; it’s just that I had so many things I wanted to accomplish today. Alone. Such as not hearing anyone talk.

It has been unscientifically proven that we I have more interest in our my spouse if we spend time apart. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, you say. This just means that the time away from your Vodka supplier, makes you love that Vodka supplier even more. It's proven, birth rates increase after veterans of war have returned home, and there is reason for celebratory vodka drinking when sailors return from sea. Now, I'm not suggesting the vodka supplier run off and join the military, like Stu. I'm just saying spending to much time together can cause you to feel like holding a pillow over your sleeping spouse's head smothered. Separation gives us time to work on ourselves, drink vodka with friends and do things that interest us and also makes us more interesting as people and that, in turn, makes drinking vodka together also more interesting.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

No you can't push Great Grandma in the pool, she's my mother, let me help....

We've all heard of coke bottle glasses right? The big thick lenses with thick black frames; well, forget the coke bottles, I'll have enough empty vodka bottles by noon, and I’ll be able to take over Lenscrafters.
I touched a little on the colorful people in my life in yesterdays post. I mentioned the dysfunction dynamics that makes up my family. Today I’d like to elaborate a bit more on some of that. My Parents. Super good people, Love Love Love them to pieces. At times, little, tiny, crunched up, squished pieces. But none the less, I adore the shit out of them. They spent a lifetime giving me and my sisters everything we needed, wanted and often shouldn't have gotten. They loved us, nurtured us, taught us, wiped our asses, feed and clothed us.
It was a trick. PAYBACK .

Exhibit 1. I am in the yard, I am in the process of hooking up the pool vacuum. My mother, hmmm what shall we name her for future reference, How bout Queen. OK, so Queen comes out, stands at the pool edge and proclaims “the pool needs to be vacuumed” I look at her shocked.
My grandson, whom is two, sneaks over and puts his hand behind her as if to teasingly push her in the pool, first instinct…Let me help! Reaction... no baby you can’t push Great- Grandma in the pool. Thought racing through my mind…only I get that pleasure. Now this may sound mean and spiteful at first glance, but let me first introduce…

Exhibit 2. A warm sunny afternoon, birds are chirping, sun is shining and all that, I walk in the house, Queen and hmmmm, what to call Dad, Bishop. Anyway, Queen and Bishop are eating some ice cream and strawberries with my visiting sister. I sit down to visit as well, and my sister, whom we can call Mrs. Martini, grabs a bowl off the counter to give me some ice cream and berries as well. So nice right? Anyway after I finish, the queens smirks and says that was the bowl I gave my dog ice cream from. This is when I hear the sound of a needle screeching across a record. What!?!? Rewind, why are you disclosing this NOW?!?! Well, he licked it so clean I didn’t know, Mrs. Martini claims. You had already taken a bite and my mouth was full my mother says. This brings us back to exhibit 1. Understand???

Exhibit 3. My sister’s neighbors are two sweet little old ladies. They are in fact, sisters. Said sisters are in the middle of a foreclosure and would like to sell their refrigerator before they move. My mother decides she wants to purchase it as an additional refrigerator so we have some extra space for holidays and what not. Not a bad idea. We do have half of the county residing with us at this point.

The new refrigerator…. Thanks old ladies next door! This morning, our father is measuring several different spots around the 18 inch by 18 inch room we call the laundry/pantry. This said mammoth refrigerator will not fit, I mean it will, if it's never, ever opened and no one wishes to ever carry a load of laundry through the room again. My suggestion, how bout put it in garage, it’s right outside said laundry room. “Nope, Nope, no”, that won’t work my father insists. Why? I ask. “Well, it won’t get used for one thing.” Keep in mind, the garage is maybe 20 feet from the existing refrigerator we use in the actual kitchen. Now I’m no expert on distance, but it doesn’t appear to be all that far. Ok, Dad, well there’s always the option of duct taping it to the ceiling and doing a dash by opening of it, allowing the contents to drop to the floor each time you want some left over green beans. He scowls. An angry scowl I might add. “But hey, call me crazy, I'd rather not eat them off the floor that no one can walk on because there's no room.” So on to Dad’s next idea, how bout we put wheels on it and attach it to the door that goes into the garage, if you want to go out the door, you just turn the door knob and the door opens with the entire said mammoth refrigerator attached. I can't believe I didn't come up with this brilliant idea myself. How revolutionary. Again, I had the stupidest idea ever, how bout put it 6 inches farther which places it just OUTSIDE the door in the garage. Wellllll, silly girl of lesser intelligence, that won't work because no one will use it and it will cost more to have it IN the garage. Apparently, I hadn’t been clued in on the secret fact that electric companies charge more for outlets used in a garage rather than a house. I'm going out on a limb here and making a broad spectrum statement to all of the world, if you can't effin walk an extra 3 steps to the refrigerator, then really you don't need to eat from it in the first effin place. God help us all, I'm going to teach my Grand babies to be very, very careful of what they do to piss off their parents, because one day, ONE DAY, the sneaky fuckers WILL get them back. No more diapers kids, pee in the toilet from birth, trust me on this, you'll thank me one day!

In all seriousness folks, dealing with aging parents can be very trying and will require patience and large quantities of Vodka. It can be a challenging responsibility and it's very important to develop good observation and communication skills and to allow them to make as many decisions as possible to make them feel in control and give them a sense of value. Keep your eyes open and pay attention to any changes in their ability to make decisions, attentiveness, attitude and demeanor.

This is exactly why I highly recommend looking at life through the bottom of a vodka bottle. Things are much clearer now.

The AARP has some extremely helpful information on this subject at


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My obsession with Vodka and the likes....

So I woke up this morning and on my rush to the bathroom, tripped over a transformer action figure and skidded into the loo with the help of a matchbox car. It's apparent my two year old Grandson has moved in with me, along with his entertainment committee, which we will call his parents. I have a houseful of colorful people. Let me elaborate, I have 3 children, of the boy kind. Two are grown with children of their own and one is still in his torturous teenage years. My oldest son and his family have recently relocated to my spare bedroom. My elderly parents also reside with me. I know your thinking, wow it must be a big house....well not big enough! I am going to be taking on life through the bottom of a vodka bottle, or possibly any kind of alcohol I can get my grubby little hands on in bulk. Said teenage son, whom we will call "Ace", simply because he is an incredible student/child. We are so proud, but question his relation to us, he has turned 16 and would like a car. He has several in mind, but lacks funding to match his taste, so that we will be "working" on. Anyway, the eldest, whom we will refer to as "Gadget" because he is always fucking with shit, has become ill and needed a place to reside while recovering/unable to obtain gainful employment. However, this blog is not going to cover any of the above today, no today is about Middle boy, who we could refer to as "Stu" simply because he is, well, stubborn. Just like his mother. Again off topic. "Stu" has decided to enlist in the military. Now, like many of you might be, I am proud of this decision to join millions of Americans serving this great country of ours, I think it's very respectful and honorable. But I'm the mom, SOOOO I kinda hate it too. Only because we are in the middle of a war that may never end. "Stu" is only 19 and the only combat he has had involved a nerf gun. I mean sure he hunted a bit growing up, so he is familiar with guns, but not so much as a weapon of war. I guess he'll undoubtedly learn many things I'm anxious for him to learn and he will have a complete understanding of teamwork and responsibility and many other important factors, and he will have some job security in an ever increasingly poor market. But I find myself kind of wishing he wanted to be a Rockstar. They have treatment for that. It's just the mom in me screaming the words to "Simple Man" by Lynryd Skynryd. “Stu” will be transported via U.S. Military to this swearing in ceremony, which I was told I couldn’t go. I’m not sure if this is a Military rule or a “Stu” rule. Either they don’t let mommy go because they don’t want them begging them not to sign on the dotted line, or “Stu” is afraid I may beg them to come to my house and take them all away. Either way, I feel very out of the loop or ill-informed at best. We spend so many years teaching our children what we think is important and then one day they just up and do it. Sneaky little shits, I didn’t think they were listening.