Monday, June 29, 2009

Life, Death and a Birthday

I usually write about my silly adventures or about my perspective on current events...but this morning I decided to get a little more personal. You birthday is this Thursday. I'm a big fan of my birthday. As a child, it was a very important occurrence. If you could show love in Barbie dolls...I was loved more than any other child on the planet. And Mom, I'm sorry for cutting their hair and giving them head transplants. I was an unappreciative brat-child (which was more than likely your and Dad's fault *wink*).

My tenth birthday was the best. It was cousin, Patricia and I had a joint birthday party. She's two years younger than me and her birthday is one week after mine. I got a Cabbage Patch Doll and a life-size baby doll that could pass for an actual infant; those were the two things I wanted more than anything in the world...until the next day, when our very sick grandma died. I remember sitting at home with my dad. My mom was at the hospital. Dad and I were watching The Wizard of Oz, the phone rang, I answered was my mom; even at age ten, I knew what had happened. She asked to speak to my dad, their conversation was short...Soon after he hung up the phone, Dad told me that Grandma Katherine was gone, I turned off the movie and went up to my room and cried. He brought me up some ice cream cake from the day before; I passed on the treat and told him that I just felt like crying.

Fast-forward 14 years...its 1999. My birthday week is approaching...I'm excitedly living my early twenties...mistakes have been made, lessons learned. Life is good...I'm married...the husband's career is taking off. Its late June...I have been to baseball games in Kansas City, Chicago and Baltimore (and I got Brady Anderson's autograph...twice). I love baseball and Brady Anderson! Things are great, except for one father is sick...but he's doing better...I saw him two weeks ago, he was spirited and seemed optimistic. I have spoken with my mom about every other day. Thinking back, I'm sure at this point she knew that my dad was losing his fight with Lymphoma, he was weak and had recently been given a permanent Dilaudid IV to 'be more comfortable'... The July 4th weekend was coming up (along with my birthday). I made plans to go back home to see him the week following The Fourth. My brother, who never calls me, did on the afternoon of June 30, 1999, he told me to come home. I was on a plane that dad died on The 4th of July...his Independence Day from Cancer...whenever I see or hear fireworks...I think of him and after a few tears I laugh, because although he loved The Fourth, he hated the hoopla that comes with it...oh the irony.

It is a very good thing that I am not a superstitious person or else I would have a serious complex about this year's birthday. My life has never been better. I have it all...almost...yeah...I *do* live in Iowa, which kinda sucks. If any of my loved ones drops dead next week...I will develop a birthday neurosis which will have nothing to do with getting older. *fingers crossed* Please. don't. die.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Problem: Fat Kids | Solution: Breeder Czar

Today I was watching Your World w/Neil Cavuto on FNC…Yes, I watch that show and yes, I like it. Anyhoo…Neil had Richard Simmons on. Yeah…him….Simmons was lobbying to be the Obama Administration’s Fat Czar. Simmons, an Obama supporter, wants to make kids more fit by force feeding them healthy foods at school while Simmonsing up gym class (my words, not his). What ten-year-old, fat kid doesn’t think Richard Simmons is cool? Yeah…you’re right, elementary school kids don’t have a clue who in the hell Richard Simmons is…but don’t tell him that, he might cry in his short-shorts.

I agree with Simmons on a couple of points. The first and most obvious one is that there are a lot of fat kids in this country. The other is that adding a tax on fattier foods is not the answer to childhood obesity or obesity in general. But, taking soda machines out of schools and cheese pizza off of school lunch menus doesn’t solve the problem either…last time I checked kids eat other places besides school. Also, the fat kid that brought in five bologna sandwiches from home doesn’t benefit from a change on the lunch menu…and making him participate in Sweating to the Oldies Vol. 59 for 30 extra minutes during PE isn’t gonna burn the calories in one of his favorite mystery meat with mayonnaise treats.

I was thinking…If you’re gonna go as far as to police what kids eat at school…why not take it a step further. Some argue that unhealthy food options are cheaper; making obesity an economic issue. So, how about not letting poor people have children? Some argue that people with lower IQs or inadequate educations don’t understand the importance of healthy eating. So, how about not letting stupid people have children? We don't need a Fat Czar we need a Breeder Czar.

No really…I’m on to something. Think about it. No more stupid, poor, fat kids or parents to take care of. Talk about killing two birds, I just killed a whole flock (it’s a metaphor people…look it up) no more Welfare, healthcare costs would go down along with the population and therefore greenhouse gases and the threat of Global Warming. Our planet would be saved and only smart, fit, middle-class and classier people would live upon it. I’m not sure what to do about the ugly folks…but as they say…Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Me, Myself and I

In July of 1975 a stork brought me to my thirtysomething parents. They had two other brother was ten and my sister was eight. My mom swears that I wasn't an father wanted another boy. He got me instead, a girlie daughter. He didn't care...he took me (and my dolls) fishing on the Potomac River, shopping for tools at Sears and countless trips to Trak Auto and Pep Boys for automotive gear. I would bring my baby dolls and their strollers and happily push them around.

I don't know if my father made a conscious effort to make me a tomboy...but I do recall a few suspicious when I was in kindergarten and I wanted to be Strawberry Shortcake for Halloween...Dad bought me a Sleestak costume instead and convinced me that being a fictional prehistoric lizard was cooler than a cartoon character that smelled of Kool-aid. I came home from school crying...the Halloween party at school was brutal. That night for Trick-or-Treat, I was Apricot (the store was all out of Strawberry Shortcakes, Apricot was a 'b' character from the show...but at least I didn't have to be The Purple Pieman).

After kindergarten, my parents worked A LOT. I was a latchkey kid from the first grade on...cue the violins. I entertained myself with dolls and Barbies until I took an interest in the opposite sex. And then (as my dad would say) I went 'boy crazy'. Oh well...I didn't turn out so bad and trust me...I tried my very best not to.

Pitchas of meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

Rebecca Lynn, 8 lbs 6 1/2 oz, July 1975

Somewhere on vacation, 1976

at my Aunt Elaine's house, 1978

at my Aunt Elaine's, 1978

Sears photo center 1978

under my cousin's high chair, 1979

Sears photo center, 1979

Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas, 1980

first or second grade - bags under my eyes, teeth probably not brushed, hair definitely not brushed, ca. 1981

Fast forward seven years...I don't have any pictures of myself from the ages 6-13 years.

me (age 13) and my dad (and his awesome glasses)

me (age 14) and my dad at the Early Missionary Bark Chapel, Mackinac Island, MI (one of my fave places in the US)

me, age 15 (insert hair jokes here)

me (age 17) high school graduation pic

This is one of my fave photos. It's me (about three years ago) trying to dance the Two-Step with my husband's grandfather in Texas.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Elephants

I hate clutter. I am definitely a throw-awayer…the anti-packrat. I mean let’s be reasonable…Yes, I own several pair of shoes and lots of clothes (some I've actually worn). I have a drawer full of lipsticks and glosses that I’ll probably never wear (but won’t toss out). I keep gift (and shopping) bags and of course magazines. The husband likes to keep certain things too…I can’t tell you what those things might be, because he’s either hidden them or I’ve thrown them out (just kidding, honey…mebbe).

But, I have a confession to make…I collect…elephants. I’m not really sure how it started. My sister started collecting frogs (no...not real ones) when I was a kid (don’t ask...I haven't a clue). She’s eight years older than me. I guess I wanted to emulate her in some way, well...some way other than, the usual stealing her make-up and trying on her shoes. And so…my elephant collection was born.

As a spoiled child, the collection went from modest to out of control pretty fast. Every birthday, Christmas, Hallmark holiday and trip someone would go on…I would benefit with an elephant knickknack or stuffed animal.

I’m now (almost) 34 years of age. I still have my elephants. Most of them are packed away in my basement…but I have some of the more sentimental ones surrounding me in my bedroom. Yes, I still receive them as gifts – once or twice a year...always from someone special in my life that I love very much.

And now (in no particular order)….some elephants:

Friday, June 5, 2009

The better to see you with, my dear!

Per the request of a dear old(er) friend...I have *hopefully* made this delightful blog more delightful by making it easier to read. You're welcome Rene, I love you too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009's funny now.

Few things are as difficult to purchase as cars and mattresses. Unless you’re a women and your lipstick or eye shadow shade has been discontinued. Usually you have a need, shop around a bit and make a fairly swift decision. Furniture shopping can be time consuming, but fun…like hunting for treasure. I have been on the lookout for a pair of classic, sturdy bookcases…I think they are going to be hard to find.

I once searched five months for the perfect area rug for our family room. When I found this gem, another lady was checking it out, she had it lain across a table…I walked over and began rolling it up, I told her ‘you can’t have that’ as I hoisted it over to the nearest sales clerk. The other potential buyer looked at me like I was nuts. She has no idea.

To debut my new, perfect area rug I had a small dinner party. We shared wine and stories until around ten. I was exhausted as the night winded down. I bid my guests adieu, picked up the remaining dishes, put them in the dishwasher and switched it on. I told the husband he really didn’t *need* to finish the bottle of wine he was working on as I dragged myself up to our bedroom. I washed my face, crawled out of my clothes and in to bed. He came to bed sometime later, I didn’t notice when.

The next morning I got up, went downstairs to a whining Fergie. It was a sunny morning and he wanted the family room’s blinds open so that he could sit in the sunshine…I took one step on my precious, new, perfect rug…it was wet. I looked at Fergie, thinking bad thoughts about the naughtiness that he had done on my sought out floor art. Then I noticed it; the purplish-red hue of Cabernet. Fergie doesn’t drink Cabernet; he’s a Chihuahua…that would be silly. The husband does and did the night before…arghhhhh! I had a little fit, there were tears, expletives, a reminder of how long and hard I had searched for the perfect rug for our home and how he had ruined it. He looked at me, like I was nuts…he has some idea.

To his credit, he had tried to clean it up. He used Get Serious doggie mistake cleaner and a stiff bristled carpet brush *weeping*. Did I mention this particular area rug is a vintage piece made from silk…yeah…I know, details, details. Anyhow…he took it to a local restoration place and a month later I got it back…good as…well you get it.

A year later, the rug still lies in our family room. My husband likes to remind me...remember that time you went apeshit over that rug? Ha...ha...hilarious...grrrr. In addition to red wine…nacho dip, salsa and various flavors of soup and beverage have seasoned the silk fibers. Club soda with a touch of lemon usually does the trick…the search for patience is still ongoing…I don’t think you can buy it…unless o’course you’re a Scientologist.