Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mayday! Mayday!

I hate carrying a purse. I guess I'm not the "normal" woman that way. Of course, many people would say that I am not a normal person period, but I digress.

My dd LOVES purses. It's become something of a joke at school about how many purses she has. She has them in all styles and colors, new and old. I have one.

My last purse was pretty cute. Woven in a taupe color, with some stripes on it -- it wasn't anything fancy, but was very functional. A bit too small for my taste, but it worked, and people liked it. Then one day, the strap broke. Now, it can take me weeks to find a purse that I like, so dd was appalled when I was sighted carrying it around with the strap tied together.

I guess it is a reflection on the entire family when the mother's purse is incorrect, because she went on a mission to find me a new one. I bet her that I could find one at the thrift stores, to which she simply turned up her nose and shook her head. I looked for days in thrifts and out, alone and with dd, till I gave up the ghost and told her that I was simply going to have to shop with her dad or her little brother, and they would find me one. She was even more appalled at hearing this, as she is the stylist in our house. (For whatever that is worth. If you saw us, you'd see how hopeless her job really is.)

I personally think if you want a good purse, take a guy with you, because guys think about pure function. Forget cute -- a purse needs to WORK.

I explained that her father is excellent at picking out purses, and ds must've gotten the purse hunting gene, because a few years back, I had him pick one out for me. I had been looking for two weeks and finally took him to Kohl's with me. He almost immediately found a great one, and when I asked him what he liked about it, he informed me, in his 5yo wisdom, that it was the color of poop.

I carried that purse rather gingerly after that, but it was a great purse. It really shouldn't have surprised dd when this time, I took ds out with me, and he found me a purse in about ten minutes flat.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Orange Crush Part 2

I am a football widow. My husband, despite living in Indianapolis virtually his entire life, is a rabid Denver Broncos fan. He loves football so much that I think his little family could disappear from the face of the earth, from August to February, and he would likely not notice.

He has a bevy of Denver memorabilia. He loves to wear his Denver hats, shirts, and socks. He’s been known to drape shirts all over the living room during games. He used to have a Denver flag, but now it’s gone.

After winning their first Superbowl, hubby took his beloved Broncos flag and staple gunned it to a tree in his brother’s front yard. His brother and family are Colts fans, except his SIL, who is a big Raiders fan. SIL was not happy about the flag incident,
but the strangest thing was what happened to the pictures he took of said flag, whilst it hung proudly in the elder brother’s yard.

The pics came back with swirls all over them – around the flag, but not touching it. Hubby put the pics in his brother’s mailbox, with a note saying “here is proof of the Raider’s spirits being exorcised from your house.”

SIL didn’t speak to him for quite a while, and we never saw the flag OR the pics again.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yes, it's true.....I hate Halloween

I hate Halloween. It's the only holiday designed to punish parents. You really can't screw up at Christmas, because kids like presents. Birthdays are a piece of cake. But Halloween? I hate it.

My brother was born on Halloween, but that's fine. Someone cut our cat's tail off on Halloween when I was five or six. But I think it all goes back to Damnations.

DD loves dogs. Always has. She REALLY loves dogs. When she was tiny, she used to sleep in her crib like ET, surrounded by tons of stuffed animals. You couldn't see the girl for the animals. Plus, on her first Halloween, 101 Dalmatians was the newest big thing, so we decided to dress her like one.

We were pretty strapped for cash, with hubby in school, and two babies at home, so we put a yellow raincoat on ds and called him a fireman. DD got a white cardigan, with polka dots cut from black duct tape, and she was instantly a dalmatian. We only planned to go to grandparents' house and a couple of other places, anyway.

Then we went to dinner. The salads arrived just in time for DD to upchuck green stuff all over her outfit, me, and everything in her path. That was no treat, trust me.

By the next year, she was talking fluently, and every time she would see Disney's masterful marketing in the store, she would yell, "Look Mommy, DAMNATIONS!"

You're telling me, honey. You're telling me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I didn't do it!

Kids are nuts. They will do anything -- to themselves or each other.

Our first two kids are just over a year apart. Hubby was in nursing school when I was pregnant with dd, so things were pretty nutty at home. I was working 12 hour weekend shifts so that I could be home with the kids during the week, while he was gone to class.

Hubby worked part time at the hospital, tutored at the university, and pulled a LOT of all nighters, studying. Needless to say, we walked around in a blur, most days.

I got home from work one Saturday evening, opened the door to our apartment, and saw dh asleep in his recliner. With a not quite one year old and two year old at home. I walked by him, to see where the kids were. DS, just turned two, was walking down the hall toward me, laughing. I heard something odd to my left -- a muffled sound that I couldn't interpret.

Opened the door to our utility closet, and realized that DS had put DD in the dryer. It wasn't on, and she was perfectly content when I pulled her out, but still........what would the Maytag man think?

I went back to hubby, snoozing in his chair, and realized that he had black stuff all over his face and brand new sweatshirt. I followed a trail upstairs, and found that the two monkeys had emptied a laundry basket, flipped it over, used it as a ladder, climbed up on the bathroom counter, pulled my makeup bag off of a shelf, opened up a jar of foundation, dumped it on the carpet, then made their way downstairs to paint Dad with a mascara wand.

I smacked DH's foot and said "look what your children did," to which he responded, "I wasn't asleep." Yeah right. When he's painted black, like Braveheart, with mascara.

The sweatshirt was ruined, and to this day, dd, now 15, says "tell me about the time that DB put me in the dryer."


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sometimes you have more cents than you think..........

My youngest is very accident prone. As a matter of fact, he's so accident prone that he broke both arms before he was two and a half. That's one of the reasons I call him Monkey Boy.

We were at Animal Control one day when he was six, visiting a puppy we were thinking about adopting. When we came out into the lobby, he had a guilty look on his face. I asked him what he had in his mouth, and he just stuck out his tongue at me -- and there was a shiny quarter. I told him "put it in your pocket, or it's mine." He did.

Half an hour later, we were at Jiffy Lube, near our house, dropping off oil to be recycled. Hubby went in with the oil, and suddenly, I hear a gawdawful noise from the back end of the van. DD was sitting behind me, and I couldn't see DS. I ask, "what in the world is wrong with him" and dd just looks at me with her huge blue eyes and starts bawling. I jumped out and ran to the other door, yanked it open and see ds, hanging onto his neck for dear life, choking out the words "I swallowed a quarter."

Hubby came out, and we raced to the ER, which was only a mile or so away. Mind you -- we had our 75 lb dog with us, so I dropped the hubby and ds off at the ER door, then drove a few blocks to our house. By then, dd was hyperventilating, so I rushed the dog into the house and got her a paper bag to breathe into. We walked into the ER with her gasping into the bag, so of course they thought SHE was going to be the patient. "No, no, no," I said, "She's fine, but you're gonna have to let her see her brother, cause she thinks he's dead." Turns out, she gave him the quarter, so she thought, in her then ten year old wisdom, that she had killed him.

Ended up that ds vomited every ten seconds or so until they could get him to surgery -- three hours later. The constant retching was interspersed with ds saying "I don't have any sense." BLCHHHH "I should've listened to you." BLCHHH.

"Well baby, you have 25 cents," we said.

The doctor asked "are you sure it's a quarter, cause we take bets on this stuff, and this doesn't look like a quarter." Sure enough, he walked out of surgery afterwards, jingling a specimen cup that held a shiny 1994 quarter -- the year of ds's birth.

It is now in my bottom drawer, along with the hospital bills associated with it. I call it the $3000 quarter.

Moral of the story: usually swallowed objects will pass, if they are smaller than a quarter. Six to ten year olds are the ones most likely to choke on stuff, we were told, not toddlers. And believe me, if it gets stuck, you will know it IMMEDIATELY.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Painter vs Phone. Phone loses.

We live in a cell phone nation. We're not big on electronics, though we did have a cell phone back in the day when they were laughably huge, got rid of it for several years, and got one for each of us a few years ago. We don't have IPods, and I can barely work the DVD or VCR remote. No Palm Pilot or Blackberry. Just cell phones and a computer. That is the total of our electronic milieu.

I had to replace hubby's first phone after he ran over it with his paint van. Yep -- he ran it over and killed it dead. That was #1, not counting the one he had already dropped in a gallon of paint. That was his mulligan.

When I ordered him a new phone, they had a great deal on camera phones, so, what the heck, I got two: his and hers. I loved that little phone, cause I could read the news whilst waiting for ds to get out of Algebra, or take pics at Little League games. That phone was fun -- till I had surgery. Hubby (who is also a nurse, btw), was waiting for me in my room, tucked me into bed, then decided that nature called. Next thing I knew, I heard him yell, and the sound of water splashing.

Yep, nature called, and he dropped MY phone, which he was holding while I was under anesthesia, straight into the toilet. Comes and puts it on my table, like I will ever touch it again. That was #2 (no pun intended, trust me).

I ordered a cheapo replacement phone for myself and went on with life, till we got ready to go to Vegas. First trip we'd taking without the kids in a while, so I had Xanax ready. (I don't fly well.) Little did I know how I was gonna need it.

I had to drop my car at the shop to be repaired. Hubby was a few minutes late picking me up, and when he arrives, he informs me that he dropped his camera phone into his newly perked Starbucks when he was getting ready to leave the house, and it is now dead.

That's #3.

He informs me that he needs a phone in order to run his business, and can I please order him one asap, so I get on the horn to order it while we are on our way home from the shop. Right in the middle of the order, some silly soccer mom pulls out in front of him and crashes into our van. The poor T-Mobile guy heard the whole family yell, "oh, we just had a car accident," I say. I'm so used to this nuttiness happening to us, that I didn't even miss a beat. "Is everyone ok? Do you need to hang up," he says. I tell him to hang on, do a quick triage on the little family, each of whom is comparing how THEY shouted when it happened, and go right back to the order -- he had NO idea what it took to get through the menu to a real live person, and I was NOT going to hang up on that call.

How do you think our odds in Vegas looked, at that point? Turned out, hubby didn't win one thin dime, and got food poisoning, to boot. And then complained that he didn't get a camera phone; just a cheapie one that will just make a call. Cause they haven't invented a phone yet that will survive a painter.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Me and you, and a cross dressing dog named Boo

I fell in love with a cute 60s chiffon cocktail dress. It was love at first sighte, despite a rather sizeable stain on one sleeve. It looked like coffee, but it came right out when it was cleaned. I just loved the robin's egg blue, and the flirty lettuce hem. It was adorable.

Too bad it's cursed.

I bought it, cleaned it, and photographed it. Had it hanging over a chair at my house, ready to take to my rental space. I walked into the dining room, ready to go, just in time to see dd's dog, Boo, running around the dining room table with the dress in his mouth. I had more than a few choice words for him, sure that he had destroyed it, but only one button was misshapen. That dilemma was solved pretty easily by just moving the remaining buttons around -- they are just for decoration, after all. Listed it on ebay, and it sold. To someone in Japan -- which is a good thing, as it is rather small. The buyer never paid, so I relisted it in my store, and was happy to let it sit for a while, cause I enjoy looking at it.

Finally thought, ok, spring's here, and the robins are home, so let's just list this little number and see who loves it like I do. Sold it again.

The buyer never paid. ::sigh::

About this time, I started wondering -- is it possible that some things are just cursed, and will never sell? I stuck it back into my store for a month or so, then relisted. Sold it again. Payment never arrived. No responses to emails, so I relisted it, against my better judgement, one more time. At this point, I'm thinking I'm gonna have to call a priest to exorcise either the dog or the dress.

The day after I relist it, I got an email from my buyer, about how he was "out of stamps" and that's why he hadn't paid. He had "gotten the post office to open, just for" him, and now it was on its way. Pulled the auction and waited. Finally the money order arrived, and I packed this sucker up and out the door it went.

And in the door it came, about a week later, with writing on it saying that the address didn't exist. Emails bounced, so I just waited -- till two weeks later, when my bank informed me that the money order he had sent was false or stolen. And, while they were happy to inform me of this, they also said P.S.: we're gonna charge YOU twenty bucks for HIM being a jerk and bouncing your deposit.

The dress stayed in the box it was returned in for a good long while -- marked "Damn Dress," with a Sharpie because it's making me angry. (See --- the evil spirits are at work.)

I suggested to friends that perhaps the dress is cursed, and was told that perhaps I should give it to Boo, since he apparently wanted it badly enough to steal it. I don't think so.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

You know what gets my goat?

My daughter has expressed dismay at how many field trips her teachers at the homeschool co-op want to do this year. She calls it "annoying." I'm not sure why, because we always liked field trips -- it meant you didn't have to do real work. Plus, we got to ride the bus, which was cool, considering most of us walked to school.

The first field trip I can remember was in kindergarten. I lived in St. Charles, Missouri, and my teacher was Mrs Denton, a nice lady with a good perm. I loved kindergarten except two things: naptime -- which I never understood, because we went for a half day -- and writing my name.

I know that most kids think that handwriting is tedious, but it REALLY annoyed me to write my name. Everyone else could write their names as Tommy, Delilah, or Cheryl, but I had to write Lisa M., because there were always at least three Lisas in my classes in school. The teachers couldn't keep us straight without those darn last initials, which seemed grossly unfair to this 6 year old.

Our first field trip was to Grant's Farm, near St. Louis. Grant's Farm is owned by the Busch Family, of Budweiser fame. It's a wonderful animal park -- and it's free. Grant's Farm features animals from six continents, including the Budweiser Clydesdales, and it's interactive. You can see the animals, touch the animals, feed the animals, take a tram to ride around the animals, and then have a free beer. There's something to be said for the park who realizes that parents (and maybe teachers) need a free beer after a day out with the kids.

We got our little nametags on, climbed on the bus, and arrived at Grant's Farm to see the sights. We ended up toward the back of the park, where they had about a bazillion baby goats that you could feed with little baby bottles. I'm not sure who was more excited: our class or those darn goats.

Being six, of course I wanted to feed one, so I angled my way up to the front, bottle in hand, and proceeded to empty the contents of said bottle into the first goat to grab it. That little zealot got so excited over that milk that he decided to see what else he could plunder -- and promptly came right over and ate my nametag right off the front of my dress, Lisa M and all.

I've never felt quite so violated as when that goat stole my identity.

About five years ago, we decided to take a trip to St Louis, and took the kids to Grant's Farm. Post Traumatic Identity Theft Disorder kicked in right around the goat pavilion. I searched in vain for a guilty looking goat, but never did find the offender -- he's probably long since gone to his grave, but I'll bet his progeny were there. Having a laugh, at my expense, I'm sure.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sticks and stones won't break your bones, but granny panties will

Sometimes a caller just makes me laugh. One night, I answered the phone, and heard a girl's voice on the other end of the line. She can't be more than twenty, tops. "I think," she says, "my roommate just broke her toe." The caller is giggling whilst giving me name, age, and serial number of her friend. I'm wondering what the heck is going on, till she tells me the story.

Turns out the roommate can't come to the phone, because she can't walk. Half an hour or so before, she fell, went crashing into the dresser, and hurt her foot. She is now on the bed, foot up on a pillow, in severe pain. They've iced it, elevated it, you name it -- but it still hurts like you know what. (Truth be told, they may have had a shot or two of tequila, trying to squelch the pain, but I didn't ask. Don't ask, don't tell, you know.)

So I ask the caller, how did she manage to fall into the dresser? "She was getting dressed," she replies. I'm trying to get a visual on this, when the roommate says, "you know, she wears granny panties. I keep telling her, wear a thong, they are so much better, but she insists on wearing those granny panties. So tonight, she's getting dressed, and gets her foot caught in those panties, loses her balance, and now she has probably broken her toe. She's gonna have to tell them in the ER that she broke her toe cause she wore granny panties, and that's just wrong."

I couldn't agree more.

Monday, September 11, 2006

We remember

Five years ago today, my husband's car would not start. It was halfway in the driveway, blocking the sidewalk -- and a lot of people walk in our neighborhood. Hubby picked up the phone to call his dad, to see if we could use his AAA to get it towed. The kids were watching TV in their jammies, and not so anxious to start their schoolwork.

School never started.

Hubby's dad told us to turn on the TV. We did -- just in time to see the second plane plunging into the tower. We knew instantaneously that life as we knew it had ended, that those moments would burn forever in our memories. That a part of everyone's soul died that day.

My friend at work had been at the WTC ten days before, and recounted her memories. At work, we answered calls for a call center in Manhattan, who couldn't function because their people couldn't get to work. DD's piano teacher was in the WTC the night before -- and was in the airport when the attacks happened. Her story of coming home was surreal -- piles of luggage just thrown on the airport floor, being grabbed up frantically by passengers trying to get out of the airport, but not knowing where to go. Grabbing one of the few available cabs with her friend and a young girl who, terrified, went with them. They didn't realize until hours later that they didn't even know her name. Calling her sons in Indianapolis, who were already driving to New York, with no idea where to find her. Standing in a Walgreens parking lot in Jersey and breathing a sigh of relief when she saw their truck come over the hill. The nameless girl, who was from Denver, riding as far as Indianapolis with them, where she got a rental car and drove home.

On that day, I was glad that my children were homeschooled, when all of the schools went into lockdown. I remember calling the Y to tell them that DD wouldn't be at soccer, and the lady saying "honey, NO ONE is coming today," then having to explain that no, she really wasn't coming at ALL, because she had broken her toe, and wasn't going to be able to play for six weeks. It was probably the one light moment of the day.

I remember the realization, about ten minutes before it happened, that the towers were going to fall. But the one memory hold closest is my husband. As the first tower fell, he fell down on his knees, then went facedown on the carpet, totally engulfed with grief. It was heart wrenching to watch, and still difficult to remember.

I know that I am not the only one who looks up now, whenever a plane passes over, and remembers the events of that day.

May we never forget.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I Married a Teenage Polygamist

My dd is married. Actually, she is married three times. I don't mean was married, I mean she currently has three husbands.

She's 15.

Lest you think that we live in Kentucky, let me explain. Her idea is that she needs at least three husbands: a hot one who loves horses, a hot one with an accent, and one who is just plain hot.

Her first husband is Jensen Ackles. He's on a TV show, which shall remain nameless. Suffice it to say, we just call it "The Hot Guy Show" at our house. Matter of fact, most days, I don't think anyone knows its real name. I'm pretty sure even the hubby calls it that now. DD sits glued to the TV for her weekly visitation with her #1 hubby, and making disparaging remarks about any female cast member who happens to show up.

#2 husband currently is the guy from Ella Enchanted. I can't remember his name, and I'm not sure she can pronounce it, but "when the guy has an accent that hot, who cares?"

#3 husband changes from time to time. It was the guy from 16 Candles, who is, as she says, as old as dirt. After all, "he is as old as Dad." Sometimes she dumps him for the guy from Pride and Prejudice, or for Matthew Fox, from LOST. Gotta keep the options open. She is only 15, you know.

Then, of course, she has the infamous Andrew Day. He is generally known as Andrew Day at our house, not just Andrew. (One time last summer I tried calling him Andrew, and she didn't know who I was talking about.) He's the neighborhood hottie that she has pined for every summer for the past three years. Of course, this is the first year they've had a real conversation: the first year, she just looked at him. Last year she stood there whilst he talked to me. This year, she actually spoke -- and he spoke back. For about five full minutes. At this rate, I tell her, they'll be married when they're 90.

But then again, she may have to drop a husband or two to fit him in -- unless he has horses or a hot accent. He probably wouldn't want to be #3, lest he be voted off the island. Unless he asks the dd if she will cook meat for a carnivore husband, she look at him like he's nuts and says "I'm not cooking. He will cook for ME."

My kind of girl.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hey, check it out, I got the clap

I work as a nurse, taking calls from people with medical questions. I have realized, after all these years of doing this, that people will not hesitate to tell you anything when you're on the phone.

Every once in a while, I'll get a caller who prefaces the call with "well, I have the weirdest question you'll get all night." I look forward to those, but inevitably, they usually end up being something inane. The ones that are the most fun are the ones who don't realize they are funny.

I picked up my phone one day, greeted my caller with my heartfelt (aka canned) response, which was met with "hey, check it out, I got the clap." Mind you, no "hey, how ya doin'," no "good afternoon," not even "I have a question," just "hey, check it out, I got the clap." Turns out said gentleman happened to be a member of the armed services, had found some tainted love, and he was afraid he would get court marshalled if they found out.

Like he's the first Navy guy to get the clap. Yeah, right.

As he said "I was on a ship for six months. After six months at sea, I got leave and went to this party. The chick was pretty ugly, but man, after six months at sea, you'll have sex with anything." Kinda had to agree with that one. Anyhow, she apparently gave him the gift that keeps on giving, and he was afraid to get treated, lest the CO find out. I told him to go get his pills, take 'em till their gone, and he'd be fine, and that I doubted they'd throw him in the brig for that one. Much relieved, he toddled off to the clinic for his script -- and hopefully the condoms I suggested.

Moral of the story: if you're gonna have sex with anything, cover that puppy up.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I'll have a Scotch

We are petsitting. Our dear friend Janet, has gone to Scotland for a month, leaving us with her Westie, Colin. Now mind you, I'm still not sure if it's Colin, or Cullen, because with Janet's brogue, it's hard to tell. And the silly dog won't come unless you call him with the brogue, so I'm not sure even HE knows what his name is. He's not the brightest lightbulb in the bunch, but he sure is cute.

Janet grew up in Scotland. She was the youngest child of 8, and tells wonderful stories of family life there. She always says that, since it wasn't proper for women of the day to discuss their delicate condition, Janet's dad wasn't told that her mother had a bun in the oven till the day she was born. Imagine that! Of course, he probably knew, but then again, some guys ARE pretty clueless about the female stuff.

Mondays were washday, so it was customary for the oldest child to take the younger ones to school with them, so Mom could do the laundry unencumbered. Janet's oldest brother carried her to school in a laundry basket, put her next to his desk, then carried her home at the end of the day. I can't really envision that happening today, but hubby did take our oldest to classes at IU, for a while. He'd plop him in his carseat, where Thomas would happily entertain himself for the duration. That is, till the day in developmental psych, when the professor was discussing infant development. Suddenly, Thomas let out a babble of glee (he was ten months old at the time and who knows, maybe he could relate to the topic). The professor stopped talking and asked "is there a baby in here?" Hubby replied, "that'd be me," and made a quick exit. Thomas never went to class with him again. We have the whole thing on tape.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Some Hats Are Made For Walking

I'm a preacher's kid, so we went to church a lot A LOT. When I was about 10 or so, the church we attended adopted a church across town as our sister church. Once a year, we would switch congregations and attend services at the other church, which happened to be an African American Methodist Church. Now, I had friends of color growing up, but had never been to church with them so, I was interested to see if the sister church did things differently.

This church had a rather small congregation that was not particularly affluent, so things were a bit casual. Things were moving along swimmingly till the offering. But still, imagine my dismay when they announced that they were going to play "walking music," so that everyone could come up and put their money in the plate. I could not figure out why in the world you would walk to the plate -- in our church the plate walked to you, by means of an usher in a suit. Well, everyone walked up there and tossed in their offerings whilst the pianist played hymns. I was enjoying the music, till I realized that no one was walking anymore.

When I looked up at the front of the church, it appeared that a meeting of the minds was taking place at the offering plate outpost. There sat the money collectors, deep in conversation, leaving me wondering what the heck was going on. Suddenly the announcement came: "We didn't get enough, so we're gonna keep playing that walking music till we get enough."

I feel rather certain that the whole church heard me gasp. I turned to my mom, astounded, and said "MOM! They counted the money!" Mom shushed me, but I still kept repeating that I couldn't believe that they sat right there and counted the cash -- right in front of us. I guess I thought that God himself came down and counted it, but I knew for certain that you weren't supposed to count it during the service. Well, the piano player took off playing again, and believe me, that music kept going till they had the amount that they wanted -- and it took a while.

Years later, I told a friend of mine that story. She explained to me that walking music is why, in a lot of churches, the ladies dress in their finery for church -- so they look good when they walk. I had no clue -- I was a pigeon toed preacher's kid who couldn't walk straight with or without music, but if didn't know that little tidbit, I'll bet maybe you didn't either.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Save It For Oprah

Hubby and I have been married almost 20 years. I realized recently that I have known him for half of my life -- from here on out, he'll have been in my life more than out. Wow -- that's a heavy concept.

We have defied probabibility our entire relationship. We should not be together. We met in a bar. He approached me with a rather cliche line that worked because 1) the man can dance and 2) his dad had Colts tickets and I was interested in seeing a game. He also had a really cute British accent that I found out later only showed up after a few beers. Oh well. He was (and is) pretty hot.

He wanted to get married, almost from day one. Not me -- no way. As a matter of fact, I used to ask hubby why a certain restaurant was "our" restaurant. I knew that we liked it, but "ours?" He told me that it was the first place that he proposed where I said maybe. True that -- he'd already proposed four or five times by the time I cut him some slack and said maybe.

But the real proposal -- wasn't. Long story short, it was the first time I had had whiskey sours, and I ended up engaged -- on a dare.

We should've seen it coming. Two weeks before our wedding, our passports were lost in the mail. We hit the road to Miami, got them replaced in a day, and drove home, just in time to put them into the mail again, to get our visas. My wedding dress had been sent to the cleaners to get pressed -- and they lost it. Less than 24 hours before the wedding, we didn't know where it was, and I got broadsided on the way to go find it. I basically totalled our brand new car.

After the accident, the other driver (who had had a few himself but wasn't sharing), came over to me, patted my hand and said "it's ok honey, I'm sure he'll still marry you," turned, looked at his own, totalled, car and said "shit." Repeatedly. I went to my inlaws' house, walked in, burst into tears, and explained to my FIL what had happened, including the driver who had come out of nowhere and hit me. All he heard was that my dress was missing, asked where the cleaners was, and took off out the door, leaving me with BIL, who happens to be deaf. He promptly hugged me and said "I'm so sorry, Lisa, my brother's an ass." Turns out that for some reason, he thought that we'd had a fight, hubby had hit me, and the wedding was off. I just burst out laughing at the insanity of it all.

Half an hour later, I had my dress back, four hours later we were changing the location and time of the wedding (another totally different story) and 16 hours later we were married. A few months later, Oprah had a show about disastrous weddings, and several people called to say that we should've been on the show.

Twenty years later, our story is still nuts, but we're ok with that. It's just our version of Utter chaos, and Oprah hasn't done a show on that yet. When she does, man, we're in.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My grandmother, the wise woman

My grandmother married Grandpa in 1925. I have a copy of the original newspaper announcement: "Miss Winans marries West Point man" -- with a photo of the happy couple, leaving the West Point chapel after their wedding.

Grandma was a special woman. She worked for Pictorial Review before her wedding, and sporadically thereafter. She was published in several magazines, sometimes using a pen name that she considered more romantic. In fact, though she was born Helen, at some point, she changed her name to Helene -- because she thought it was more romantic. However, Grandpa called her Pinky, for reasons totally unknown to us. In return, when I found them on the 1930 census, she listed Grandpa's name as Arthur -- though this was not in any way his name. Maybe she thought Arthur was more romantic, or maybe in 1930 she called herself Guinevere, I don't know.

Grandma was a tiny woman who loved antiques, especially dolls and dollhouses, and accumulated quite a collection over the years. She had a lovely English garden, liked an after dark dip in the pool, and had a French poodle named Francoise. I always thought she looked like Helen Hayes.

The last time I saw her, she was 95 years old, and living in a nursing home. She was no longer as sharp as she once was, and in fact, spent our visit admiring our then toddlers and singing to us. My husband had not met her before (we lived 600+ miles away). He knelt in front of her, took her hand, and lovingly said "Grandma, I married your granddaughter."

Grandma took my hand, leaned toward me and said, "you poor thing!"

It was a priceless moment that still makes me smile, to this day.

Monday, September 04, 2006

My mother, the hooker

My mother was born the ninth of 18 kids. Yes, they were all from the same two parents, and my grandparents both lived to a ripe old age. But, when you raise 18 kids, everyone has a job. My mom's job was to cut the heads off the chickens, so grandma could cook them for dinner.

Needless to say, my mom is not a squeamish woman. So, when we were visiting them and my city bred children decided that they wanted to go fishing, she agreed to take them. Off we went to my uncle's house to borrow poles. I'm sure Uncle Jim thought it was more than a little humorous, especially considering the fact that my dd is a vegetarian, but nonetheless, he loaned us the poles.

Mom knows my ds is a bit accident prone, so as we were getting into the van, I could hear her giving them a warning about being careful with the poles, so you don't get hurt. As I'm climbing in, I suddenly hear her say, with a rather panicked voice "I'm hooked, I'm hooked." Yep -- we hadn't even gotten the poles in the car before we caught a 5'5" red headed fish.

My uncle assured her that he could fetch that hook out, no problem. After a couple of yanks, my mom was a bit more pale, and off we headed to the doctor to get it removed. Turns out that the way to get it out is to wrap a shoelace around it in a certain way, then give it a yank, and it'll fly out across the room. Mom and I were a bit incredulous at how strange it looked, but it did work.

Just when Mom was recovering from her embarrassment, we walked out to the desk in time to hear someone loudly saying "where's the fish hook lady?" There stood my dad, ready to rescue his damsel in distress, who effectively crawled out the door to the car.

Yes, we did go fishing and no, they didn't catch a thing. But I've called my mom a hooker ever since.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Hickory dickory dock, the mouse ran.....where?

Ok, I am a nurse. I take phone calls from people with medical questions. I've been doing it for several years, and it can be pretty darn boring, most days. I talk to people about vomiting, on average, probably every half hour when I am at work. Coughs, colds, name it, I've talked to someone about it. I could probably do it in my sleep, but it's really important to treat each person like it's the first time you've ever heard of someone vomiting, so you don't miss anything. But once in a while, we get something that really makes you think that the world has gone mad.

Take the other night, for instance. Another co-worker got a call from a patient who said that she had fallen asleep on the floor, in front of the TV. Slept for maybe a half an hour. Woke up from her siesta and discovers, to her dismay, that a mouse has gotten into a very private part of her anatomy. Wants to know if it is possible for a mouse to get into said area. Nurse assures her that, unless it was PUT there, it can't just climb there. Incredulous patient asks repeatedly for assurance that it couldn't get there, because she is positive that she has a mouse in her privates. Ten minutes later, the nurse hangs up, shaking her head, still sure that she failed to convince the patient that she does not have a rodent inside her.

Makes you wonder just what in the world she was watching, before she fell asleep. If you have suggestions, please let me know.

And just for the record, no, you cannot get a mouse in your stuff unless someone puts it there.