Monthly Archives: July 2013

~ It Done Did Exploded ~

We were gone for nearly 3 weeks.  Three gorgeous weeks away from home.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a little ridiculous when it comes to gardening around our little cottage.  There is no such thing as too many flowers.  It’s an illness, this excessive personality of mine, that tends to manifest itself in areas beyond gardening, too, unfortunately.

Areas like food.

And sleep.

And panic attacks.

But we are not here to talk about my personal psychoses.  There just aren’t enough pixels in the world to exhaust that subject.

It’s the cottage garden, you see.

It done did exploded while we were gone.

My lilies grew over 8 feet tall and then flopped over.  They weren’t supposed to do that.  I guess substituting Bull Testosterone for Miracle Grow really made a difference.

My Impatiens are easily a foot and a half high.  Mind you, these are healthy, non-fungus-ridden Impatiens.  The rest of the nation is unable to grow Impatiens these days because of this fungus epidemic.  Me?  I’ve got ’em, they’re beautiful, and they ain’t sick.  My secret?  That’s right…Bull Testosterone.

That, and Copper Fungicide.

And my Hydrangeas….well, I may have gone a little overboard with the whole ‘adding acid to the soil to make their hue turn blue’ thing…..ahem.

I have a lot of weeding to do, and my hanging basket of Million Bells by the window is done for, from not being watered daily, but all in all, I was pleased to come home to it.

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If you need me, I will be pushing my wheelbarrow uphill like Sisyphus.

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~ Picnic In A Hurricane ~

It all started with the small idea that we go to Lowes and buy a simple $90.00 picnic table for Pop-Pop’s cottage at the beach.  A table where the kids can eat without getting yelled at for doing so in wet, sandy-butted bathing suits.

My Captain got that familiar look in his beautiful eyes and said in his deep, quiet voice, “We could build one way stronger than anything on the market.”

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The next thing we knew, he and Varmint and Critter were doing math computations, and trying to say “3 and 3/16ths” three times fast.

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There is something you should know about My Captain:  He has more structural engineering background than one OCD man should have… and when he has a structural challenge before him, he takes it seriously.

Perhaps a little too seriously.

This anal-retentive trait served him well when he was the Task Force Leader for Maryland Task Force One during the rescue mission at the Pentagon on 9/11.  This served him well when he was working the rubble pile at the OK City Bombing.  This came in handy when he was at Hurricane Katrina’s Search and Rescue efforts.  But when he takes on a small task like a picnic table….it becomes a little overkill.

He was putting struts and braces on his struts and braces.  He was using a heavier wood than would normally be required…and more of it. He had impact drivers and hammer drills out.  He used pulleys and mechanical advantage systems.  There was rebar littering the deck, and he wasn’t even using concrete.

He was building a picnic table so structurally sound, it could withstand a Class V hurricane….complete with Tsunami….during a tornado.

But we love him and his good intent, and cheered him on the whole time.

After day one, we thought he was finished.  Silly, silly us!

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Apparently, he had just begun.

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On day two, he added cross braces and more diagonal struts.

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On day three he added double reinforced cross supports for the umbrella stake.

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This table, I kid you not, weighs at least 2 tons.

And after day three, he turned to me and said, “Ok, you take it from here.”

I blinked innocently, and he handed me the Dewalt Sander.

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And I’ve been sanding ever since.

You see, all of those cross braces and struts and double reinforced thingy-ma-bobs have hard, splintery edges that are kid unfriendly.  My job is to make it kid friendly.

And in the shower, while I’m picking saw dust out of crevices on my body that would prefer NOT to have saw dust, I can’t help but wish a hurricane would come to test the table.

We’re THAT proud of it.

Obviously we need to get out more……


Bethany Beach, DE, USA

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~ Free Pedicure ~

I’ve told you before how leathery my feet callouses from hell are.   I could walk on hot coals….no wait!…much worse!  I could walk on LEGOs!  Seriously!

The dead skin from my feet just doesn’t seem to slough off.  (Who wants me now??!)

It’s been a problem ever since I birthed my Varmint and Critter.   And after my callouses get so thick it seems I am wearing high heels, I go ahead and fork over the money for a pedicure.   I have never done it myself because I can’t bend over that long, and breathe.  I’d pass out from lack of oxygen in a skinny minute.   …or, er…a chubby minute.

But we’re trying to save money, so I didn’t want to spend the $40.00 on a pedicure this month and I decided if I could just learn to hold my breath, I could do it myself.   I bought the necessary tools….the most important of which is an actual knife blade!  It’s a german-made blade made exclusively for scraping off callouses.   You simply soak your feet, and then rub this thing across the callouses, and off the dead skin comes!

There is also a pedi-egg…which looks remarkably like a cheese grater.  But I passed that up in favor of the razor blade.

And there is a pumice rock, which, with the exception of building my arm muscles, does nothing but irritate the snot out of me.

And of course cuticle clippers, which are remarkably reminiscent of the claws of the evil crabs that violently pinch me every stinkin’ time I go in the ocean.

I put a couple of watermelon-scented (Watermelon?  Sure!  Why not?  Beats the smell of toe cheese!) salt tablets in the foot soaking tub, with a couple of gallons of warm water, and sat back with my tootsies swimming in the bath, feeling good about all the money we were saving.

When that was done, I began the shaving process.  It was amazing.  I must have scraped a pound of dead, calloused flesh off of the heel of my foot.  I felt so light and free!  I felt so young!  I felt so….


In one swift, foul swoop, I had cut an eighth of an inch off of the top of my second toe.

I was bleeding everywhere.  Literally small puddles of blood were gathering on the wood of Pop-Pop’s back deck.

My Captain swiftly grabbed a bunch of paper napkins, and applied pressure, but the blood kept flowing. …for a good 15 minutes.

When the flow abated, we took a tube of Super Glue and sealed the wound.

It hurt so much I INVENTED new cuss words.

Painful, yes, but in the end, I’ve learned some important lessons here:

1) Watermelon Salt Tablets DO smell better than toe cheese.

2) I have no business applying sharp knife blades anywhere on my body for any reason.  I’m not even sure I should be given anything but a spoon with which to eat meals.

3) 3″ deep callouses are prettier than scabby, half-amputated toes.

4) Sand and sea-salt-water are NOT a girl’s best friend when that girl has an open, bloody wound.

5) $40.00 for a pedicure three or four times a year is maybe not so expensive after all.

6) You actually DO need your second toe to properly swagger.

Go figure.

And that, friends, is free advice!  My gift to you!


Mama Boe

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~ Bacon in the Shower ~

The outside shower at Pop-Pop’s cottage at the beach is a rustic, sometimes scary place to lather your sandy self off.  Since I was a kid, I learned to take the world’s fastest shower in it, as I’m opposed to dodging flies and mosquitos, and heaven forbid, the occasional spider.  It’s not a place I would choose to linger as a child OR as an adult.

But this week a teenager showed me a different perspective.

His name is Freddie, and I believe he will go far in life.  You see, Freddie was out in the shower, washing sea salt and sand off of his sunburned body, when he remarked to his mother, who was passing by the stall, that his life is now complete.  Not only did he get to enjoy a shower outdoors, which apparently is every man’s delight, but he also got to do it bathed in the strong scent of bacon.

I was in the kitchen, which is on the other side of the cottage wall of the shower, cooking this appetizer for our dinner:

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Jalapeno peppers stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese and New York sharp cheddar cheese, and wrapped in Bacon.   And since it was so close to the 4th of July, I used flag picks instead of run of the mill party picks.

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Apparently I’m a genius.  And not just a genius, but a patriotic one at that.  Who knew?

Anyways, the fan/vent to the oven is adjacent to the outdoor shower, and it blows a strong draft right over the shower.

If you’re cooking something like fish, it’s not a pleasant experience.  But if you are cooking bacon……

I suspect that the only thing that might make the experience better for a man would be for the shower water to taste like beer.

Once again, a member of the younger generation has shown me another way to appreciate my own life.    I am thankful for it!

Well, thankful for that, and bacon in the shower.

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~ Last Alarm ~

I make it a point to post funny, happy stories here on Mama Boe.  I subscribe to the notion that anyone who comes back to read my drivel time and time again, is doing so for lighthearted entertainment.  Not Preaching.  Not Vicarious Thrills.  Not Sage Advice.

Seriously, Not Sage Advice.

So I am keenly aware that I am breaking my own rule here.  But this is something I feel compelled to do.

Yesterday 19 souls answered their last alarm in Arizona.  19 Firefighters.  19 too many died.  They died doing their job.

It’s an important job.  One that is unfortunately often taken for granted.  I live my life day-to-day knowing any emergency can be mitigated by a simple call to 911.  Maybe not solved, but certainly mitigated.  I know it, but I don’t think about it.  Until 19 people die.  Then I think about it and feel horrible.

19 broken hearts.

19 grieving mothers and fathers.

19 people who were willing to give up the only thing any one of us ever really has, in the service of others….their one and only life.

My Captain is such a firefighter.  He puts himself in harm’s way every shift, in one way or another.  Any day I could receive the same call the families of those 19 did.

I don’t live in fear of it.  Instead I celebrate that he is one of those souls strong and selfless enough to make that sacrifice for others.  Like the service men in the armed forces, like our police force, even like something less celebrated as a life guard on a beach….he is willing to die so that someone else may live.   How could I mourn such an individual?

Rather I am lovingly thankful and proud that he exists at all.

As I am grateful and proud of those 19 dead firefighters.

Well Done, men.  Well done on your Last Alarm.

May you rest in peace.

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