Monthly Archives: April 2013

~ Story of My Life ~

My Captain and his parents came with me to Pop-Pop’s cottage at the beach this past weekend to help do some well-needed maintenance.  We had to put a new floor on the porch since last year’s Hurricane Sandy had her way with the old floor.

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Together they installed a ‘Pergo’ floor.  It was a surprisingly simple, though painful, job.

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They finished 90% of it in a day and half.

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Everyone in the family is so impressed with their talents.

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And they looked so good doing it.

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They’ve received praise and accolades.

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But My Captain’s mom, lovingly referred to as ‘Goggy,’ was hard at work as well.

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Even though she suffers from MS, she was in there cleaning and working and cooking for everyone.  She, too, received verbal high-fives for being such a go-getter…especially in the face of her disease.  She was exhausted, but felt the same sense of accomplishment as My Captain and Papa.

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And me?  Well, I was put where they thought I could be of the most use.

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Story of my life.

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~ Mother Of The Freakin’ Year ~

Critter’s Elementary School’s Spelling Bee final round was tonight.   Last year he won second prize (and his sister, Varmint, got third) for the whole school.


It pissed Varmint off to no end that Critter beat her, because she had taken the time to study the word list, and he had not.

There is no justice in this world, Varmint.  Better to learn that now, I reckon.


This year, Varmint is in middle school, and Critter was on his own at the Spelling Bee.

And he didn’t study the spelling list again.  At least not until a couple of days ago when I guilted him into it.  I threatened him that if he wanted to be spelling champion, he had to work for it!

“Mom, I don’t care if I get second or third place again.”

“WHAT?!”  I was appalled and alarmed!  “Who goes into a race hoping for anything other than first place?  Who goes through life hoping to NOT be champion?  All Second place is, is the first place loser, after all! Don’t you forget it, son!  Geeze, Critter!  Get some motivation already!”

I should have been a drill sergeant, I tell you.

So he relented, and read through the list….like maybe once.  And I’m not even sure he didn’t skip a bunch of words.

Defiant little puss.

All right then.  So be it.  He’s going to have to learn the hard way, I guess.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him want to learn the dingdang spelling words, now can you?

Tonight arrived.  The Spelling Bee began.  I sweated my body weight 3X over.

I’ll cut to the chase.  After what seemed like an eternity, Critter was in the winner’s circle again this year…and what did he get?

That’s right, Second Place.



Only this time he had the words of his Mama rattling around in his head, “Second place is only the first place for losers!” to help him deal with the disappointment.


Way to go, Mom.  Way to screw up your kid, right out of the batting cage.  Mother of the Freakin’ Year, right here, folks.

I went to him after it was over, ready to soak up the tears and tell him I didn’t mean it, and that “Yey Him!” was really what I meant.

But he wasn’t crying…he was actually excited.

“MOM!  Did you hear what the prize was this year?  It wasn’t a Nook like last year, it was $100 gift certificate!  100 Smackaroos!  I am SOOOOO going to win first place next year!”

Ahhhh Ha!  He had finally found his motivation.  Good old-fashioned greed.  He doesn’t want the glory of winning.  He doesn’t want the bragging rights.  He doesn’t even want the self-satisfaction of a job well done.

He just wants the cash.

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~ It All Started With The Hose ~

I just wanted to water my daggum garden.  That’s all I wanted.  It’s all I set out to do.  I had intentions of standing there peacefully, gently soaking all my baby rhododendrons and newly blooming Bleeding Hearts, and the pretty little fiddle heads of the ferns as they squeezed through last fall’s mulch.

I envisioned the gently fading light caressing all of nature’s springtime beauty, with the evening sound of songbirds in the background, as I nurtured my sweet plants.

I did NOT imagine what actually transpired.

It started with Varmint and My Captain coming outside for some unknown reason, and getting into a tit-for-tat smack down.  Oh sure, they were laughing and she was squealing, but I’m sure the one neighbor we have across the street thought it was a case of bloody murder over at the Little Cottage.

Before I knew it, Critter came out to join the fray, and somehow my hose got yanked out of my hand with the express purpose of being used as a weapon for their buffoonery.

I stood there, waiting for their play and roughhousing to be over so I could finish taking care of my little green babies.  I bent down and pulled a few weeds as I heard the shrieks and watched all three of them get wet and muddy.

I rolled my eyes as I watched the sun slide further and further down the sky, each minute losing my gardening light.

And then it happened.  My sweet Varmint and Critter, losing the battle with My Captain, who currently possessed the hose, used their one and only Mama as a human shield.

My Captain, the hero in my world, the man with whom I am forever bound, the man who acts as a touchstone and a security blanket in my life, with absolutely no remorse, doused me.

Drenched me.

Full throttle sprayed me.

Without any consideration for consequences.

Everything stopped.  The kids froze, and My Captain realized he might have miscalculated.  I was not laughing.

I calmly walked up to him, yanked the hose out of his hands, and quietly ordered, “Dance, Boy.”

And then we watched him run like a little girl as I turned the nozzle spray up to ‘Painful Jet’ while bellowing, “That does it! You’re TOAST!”

He ran to the house, my fat butt and limping gait in hot pursuit, and easily made it inside.

And immediately locked us out.

So I told the kids to go to his beloved Chevy Silverado Truck and begin to mess with his things. With glee they began rummaging around in his truck.

Until from the house he pressed the panic button of the alarm system of the vehicle, and sent them all out screaming.

Which I have to admit was pretty funny.

Eventually, after watching us shiver and huddle for a while, he let us back in the house.

And my plants never did get watered.

But years from now, I don’t think my children will remember how well-watered my garden was.  They will, however, remember playing with My Captain at dusk, with the evening sound of songbirds in the background….

…and their mother bellowing, “That does it! You’re TOAST!”

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~ Wrinkles in Destiny ~

I’ve always been a best foot forward kind of gal.   Always believed that the ones that strive the hardest, put forth the most effort, will reap the most benefit, have the most glory.

But in my 45 years on this earth, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s just plain dumb luck that makes success.  Twists of fate.  Wrinkles in destiny.  That kind of esoteric crap.

It was Halloween time.  We were going to a church shin-dig where people decorated the trunks of their cars to a theme, and parked them all in parking lots, and the kids could ‘trunk or treat’ their way through the lot in pure, well-watched safety.   The people who participated in this thing always went all out…. I mean there were some fantastic cars and costumes.  Really awesome efforts.

Well, I don’t remember why we didn’t, but Neither My Captain nor I had the energy to decorate a car, nor had we put much thought into what our costumes would be.  The night before Trunk or Treat arrived, and we found ourselves scrambling for some kind of costume that would not require purchasing anything.  Or for us to get off the couch, for that matter.

Eventually he booted me off the couch, and down into the basement I descended, hoping that somewhere among the cobwebs and roach-bait, I’d find epiphany.  It was there in the Rubbermaid Tub of Halloweens Past, that I exclaimed “Eureka!”

At first My Captain balked, and said there was no way on God’s green earth he was wearing it.

No problem.  I simply annoyed the snot out of him until he relented.  It’s how I get through life.

My genius idea?  My super-cheap, incredibly creative, and just alittle bit sassy idea?  Be eachother.  Sure, maybe it wasn’t an original idea, but it was all we had.

We did it up a couple of ways.  My Captain did me in a wig:


And I did My Captain in a conehead and makeup for an afternoon shadow.


I didn’t have a plain ‘bald’ cap, but no one questioned the conehead was supposed to be My Captain.


I think he was a little miffed about that.

All in all it was just a little bit (read: A LOT) weird, but the crowd liked it.

So now we do this every weekend, you know, just to mix it up a bit.


Don’t judge.

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~ Earth Day Murders ~

We’ve got an issue with a non-native invasive species of Japanese Stiltgrass here in Dickerson.  Specifically at our house.  In the woods of our front yard.


I’ve been trying like the dickens to naturalize Hosta and Ivy and Ferns in that area.  It’s consternating as heck for me to watch my plants get covered up and completely choked out by this Stiltgrass every stinking year.  It multiplies and grows in the blink of an eye.  And the animals indigenous to this area can’t even eat it.  The stuff is straight from hell, I tell you.  It’s become my sworn enemy.

I had heard that vinegar is a wonderful and environmentally friendly weed killer when sprayed on the leaves of a plant.  At least so far it hasn’t been linked to mutations and cancers and hair loss.

So I bought 5 gallons and began spraying it all over tarnation in the front yard.

It didn’t work worth a hill of beans.  Nothin.  Nada.   Zip.  The Japanese Stiltgrass just mocked me in the breeze.

But at least the yard smelled fresh and clean.

So now I’m back to the old standby of using Round Up to kill the vermin weed, and hoping I don’t grow a third arm out of the middle of my back or something.

I was in the process of spraying it this afternoon,  when I checked my watch and saw that I needed to hustle over to Critter’s elementary school for their Earth Day Celebration or I’d be late.  Critter had been especially eager to share his Earth Day Song with us all.  I arrived just in time to see it.

Critter’s song went along these lines:

We’re Recyclers! We found solution to pollution.  We’re recyclers!

We ride bikes, not trikes.  You don’t see us using a car. 

We’re Recyclers.  We pick up trash, in a flash.  And then we smash the trash for cash.

We’re Recyclers.  We literally don’t litter because we’re Recyclers and we don’t let down the earth.

We’re Recyclers!

It was awesome.  I was so proud of him and his friends.  Never mind that there was absolutely no veracity in the lyrics at all.  He doesn’t use his bike.  We always use the car.  He believes picking up the trash falls under “Mom’s Job” category.   But daggum it, the whole thing RYHMED!  I was proud.

After the Earth Day Ceremony at the school, I quickly brought Critter home and immediately went back to spraying Round Up over the stilt-grass covered front yard before I lost too much daylight… I was on a mission, after all.  I was all: “Kill the grass!  Kill the grass!!!” with the energy of a zealot.

It was Earth Day and I was out murdering oxygen-giving grass by the droves.

If you don’t think I saw the irony and humor in that, you’re sadly mistaken.

Critter, however, is not speaking to me…….

Happy Earth Day!

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