Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Writing Prompt

Write about a special day you have had. That is what the writing prompt instructed.

As I sat in the silent room watching the pencils draw story webs, scribbling thoughts across lined paper...my mind wandered to its own place--my special day.


We decided on burritos for dinner. We must have loved the idea of cooking for two because we didn't simplify the dinner crave by passing through a drive-thru. Instead we strolled up and down the isles of our local grocery store grabbing cubes of ground beef, cans of refried beans, lettuce and tomatoes from the produce section. Sour Cream and grated cheddar. Flour tortillas. We even rented a movie.

Two more days we would say as we continued our count down with sheer excitement.

It was when we got home that I realized this dinner for two...well, it wouldn't much longer be just the two of us.

We still cooked those burritos. And, still I ate that burrito. It tasted better than ever.

We watched the movie; what I watched I cannot remember. I do remember pacing the floor, wearing a marked path in that recently laid carpet. I breathed. I panted. He timed. I moaned. Then we agreed, it was time.

I remember the moment we pulled into the hospital parking lot looking at one another and commenting we would walk in as a couple, but leave as a family. An amazing thought.

I labored 6 more hours and all the while he stood by my side-- holding my hand, rubbing my foot, feeding me ice chips. Then the miracle happened.

She burst into this world and made him cry. The only time I have ever seen tears braise his cheeks. The pride. The joy. The love. The miracle. New life.

I coddled that tiny swaddled being in my arms, unwrapping the soft blanket to count the toes. I grazed my pointer finger across her petite delicate lips, then kissed her cheeks--as if to say welcome to this world. My heart was filled with love. A kind of love.

She was mine. Ours. Ever so perfect.

We were now a family.

We planted her. I sprouted her. We have watered her. She has bloomed like a rose.

Happy Nineteenth Birthday Princess A. Love you!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rubbing My Silver Medal

The Dan Strauss Team rested easy last night knowing they were the second place team-- with a score of 89-- at the Bill Clevlen Show Trivia tonight.

Dam Table #7 beat us by 2 points. (We should have not second guessed those two answers--Taylor Swift and 3 Mile Island...we even won the tie breaker question)

If you aren't busy on April 25 I know a dam good trivia you can attend. There I go pimping the trivia night I am part of hosting.

But Dan Strauss will be sitting at my sponsored table. If you are looking for a brush with STL radio personality fame.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Note to Self

When referring to an item that costs a lot of money (with intent of humor) do not make reference to Obama's Economic Recovery Plan--instead make reference to item as equal to an AIG executive bonus...this probably won't strike a nerve with "anonymous", who was hating on me.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No She Di'int

My little brother is getting married, finally. King Ralph is in the wedding, so we went today to get his tux fitted.

The gal at the Men's Warehouse was a trip! When I told her King Ralph needed to be fitted for a tux she motioned us to a desk in the back then preceded to ask if he was the father of the bride. I couldn't control myself, I laughed out loud, hard. I am still trying to decide if she thought I was King Ralph's daughter. If so, compliment to me dis to him. Then she sang Madonna 80's songs out loud while she typed in the information. I think that was to sooth us before she told us the cost of a tux nowadays is equal to Obama's economic recovery package. Excuse me while I sell a little blood plasma. Good thing the black-shiny-man-made-material-guaranteed-to-make-your-feet-sweat-shoes were part of the package, otherwise I would have had to sell off a kidney. (Oh better yet when I mentioned that type of material makes the feet sweat and smell she she obliged to mention her "man feet smell".) When I asked her if she was serious and she replied yes I said "I think I'm gonna crap my pants." I felt like screaming HELLO THE DUDE IS WEARING THE TUX FOR LIKE 8 HOURS. I am going to make him wear the tux to bed to get our money's worth.

Well I am awful tired I think I should crawl in bed--next to the "father of the bride".

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Break is Over

A weekend simply told with a few photos.

There was a night in the city.
A morning in the park.

Snapping pics of architecture.
To hang in the office.

Then to the burbs to hang with good friends.
Because, sometimes, luck has it, that your friend's kids become some your kid's best friends.
Watching the kids play ball games in the yard in the beautiful spring Frankfort air.

Men grill. Meat.

(pictures snapped by CoCo)

Now it's back to reality. School. Work.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

14*, 29*, 23*, 31*, 35*

Top of the morning to you.

So I'm not Irish enough and neither is King Ralph to party it up. Last night we had his sister and her family over for dinner--a pre-Pat sort of celebration. Since the weather was fantabulous we sat on the deck munching on appetizers and sipping wine. For dinner we feasted on a St. Louis favorite, pork steaks, with green M & M's for dessert. That's as St. Pat's as we got.

We actually had a little something more exciting to celebrate yesterday than our impending fashion selections from our sparse choices of green.

After years of increasing and decreasing numbers, x-rays enough to make one glow, a marathon of waits in the Spine Center's holding area--which yesterday was so crowded and uncomfortable I could not find it in my body to read more than the forward in my new novel during the three hour wait--along with several parades of the good doctor's entourage... it was determined M's number will hold at 35*.

Okay, so 35* isn't exactly the number you want your kid to have attached as the description of their spine curvature, but she is skeletally mature, so there is goodness in that ugly number. She isn't going to get any worse. Those two years wearing that torture chamber of a hard plastic, sweat producing brace did its job. So for that I am thankful, we are thankful.

M will soon begin therapy for the chronic back pain she has had most of her teen life. She pretty much failed the questionnaire. Which in the end is okay, it means there is a method of relief waiting for her. We have never handed our girls crutches for the imperfections placed upon them and M will tell you she "sucks it up and just goes on". She pains through Color Guard, she pains through our backpacking trips, she pains through her sleep.... God knows she can handle it most of the time with a smile on her face (because she is immune to ibuprofen).

So you wonder what was the more exciting reason to celebrate yesterday? We can officially burn the brace. M has been waiting for the day they would tell her to plan her brace burning party. The plans are in the works. To add to the excitement the doctor told me not to see him for two years. TWO YEARS. You have no idea the joy I find in not having to block off five hours in a day every four months to sit in waiting rooms. M is thrilled not to have sit next to me in those waiting rooms dressed in her hospital frock.

I am going to put all my Girl Scout certified fire starter skills to the test and create one hell of a bon fire-- with a plastic body mold as the center of attention. This one thing is not needed to preserve for posterity!

Hasta la vista back brace!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lazy Day

As of right now my spring break is being spent in the long underwear I went to bed in last night. I won't lie--I'm loving every second of it! Aside from brushing my teeth any regular daily hygiene has been purposely passed on. I rise only to retrieve food. A fuel source I need so my finger does not lose strength when channel surfing the TV--all TVs in the house, depending on the room I flop in when I decide to move.

I had a really stressful day at work yesterday. When most folks in the building left at noon I was there till past four o'clock--counting, numbering, recording, counting, numbering, recording....

When the phone rang just as I finished and the voice on the other end said let's go get a drink--I jumped at the invitation. A margarita and two pitchers later the stress in my shoulders and my crippled writing hand felt relaxed.

As we sat around the table at our usual watering cantina chatting about--toilet paper and how it always seems to run out...my friend returns from the bathroom and plunks a fresh roll she nabbed from the ladies room on the table in front of me. Was I mortified or did I laugh? I think both. Then I quickly stuffed the roll in King Ralph's jacket pocket; ever so thankful he decided to join us for our Friday-night-stress-reliever-spring-break-kick-off-fun.

My kids are wiping with that roll of stolen toilet paper. What is the penalty for this crime?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A Mysterious Dinner of Rajin' Cajun Fun

On my breaks from perfecting the Stanky Leg dance-- which by the way when I performed the little musical snack for my fifth grade lunch group of transfer students, my coolness level increased from a six to a ten-- I was whipping up a huge pot of gumbo.

The Rajin' Cajun Cafe Mystery Dinner was the top order of business for the weekend.

Friday we decorated. The kids left light headed from blowing balloons.

Saturday was devoted to cooking, gumbo, and putting on our show. This group of teens (along with Steve and I) are on a mission--to get to New Orleans for the ELCA Youth Gathering--Jesus, Justice, Jazz, in July.

The walk into the church's fellowship hall hit all with an aroma of Cajun spice that filled the air flavored by the sounds of Joe Lovano. Chef King Ralph proclaimed to all in attendance "it's gonnabe good, really really good" (although I cannot imatate his accent on this blog, that drew a huge crowd of laughter and me wanting to wet my pants). We dressed in costumes and recreated a Mardi Gras parade, pelting our guests with candy, between our three mysterious courses. Twelve picks, four choices for each of the three courses. Poor Pastor Tom had a delightful first course of: a mask, a string of beads, three chocolate coins and two Tums (I suppose he was hungry come course two and following our parade to "When the Saints Come Marching In.")

(Steve called this his costume of "gayity" and Chef)

Let's see what the menu really is:
1 GATOR Blue Gatorade
2 CRESCENT CITY Mississippi River Iced Tea
4 MARDI GRAS Layered Jello Salad
5 JAZZ IT UP! Red Beans & Rice
6 VIEUX CARRE’ (The French Quarter) Gold Chocolate Coin
7 BAYOU Gumbo
8 PARISH Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce
9 THE BIG EASY Cajun Chicken
10 FAIS-DO-DO (All night Cajun Street dance) Mask
11 ZYDECO ANYONE? (Upbeat Cajun Music) Hush Puppies
12 LAGNIAPPE (a "little extra" something or service for free) Colorful Beads

Sssshhhh! When we finished the third course the parents broke out the red wine in the kitchen to accompany our plates of leftover foods and celebrate a successful feast. It was a heck of a lot of food! And Janice's bread pudding with bourbon sauce...to die for!

Now when I die and go to heaven I want it to look like the Nordstrom's shoe department and have Paula Dean's bread pudding with bourbon sauce waiting for me. God, after five days in New Orleans with 36,000 teens, riding the bus to and from--which will probably smell like fart and man feet...I am not asking a lot, wishing for heaven to be what I dream of it to be. Am I?

I must leave you... I am exhausted. I need to rest my feet. I need sleep. And to prepare to pimp our next funding raiser--Trivia on April 25 (oops seems I started pimping it here already).

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My New Dance

I plan on spending my spring break perfecting this dance to perform a little musical snack for my children. Laughter is optional.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Just a Few of Questions That I Have No Answers to

Why is it that I have all these questions and not an answer?

1. Why am I a reality TV junkie? It is a barrage of train wrecks I cannot turn away from--The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser, American Idol, Project Runway, America's Next Top Model...

2. Is The Bachelor, Jason Mesnick a schmuck or a man really following his heart? Or are TV producers finding naive beings who will be rating's puppets?

3. Why is it that when you have a closest full of clean clothes you still have nothing to wear?

4. Why can't anyone ever put the toilet paper on the roller...better yet why can't they just replace the toilet paper when they use the last square?

5. Why do my kids (and hubby) walk past the dish washer to place there dirty dishes in the sink instead of placing them in the dish washer?

6. Why does Mother Nature enjoy teasing us with a few warm, sunny, beautiful days only to then turn back the weather to bitter cold? Hey Mother Nature, I am tired of freezing my ass off on the play ground for duty!

7. Why can't I find a place on the beach to respite for a week? (I know, because I am lodging snob! And, I refuse to lower my standards after last years accidental Daytona hotel with a pig as a guest. I have good reason!)

8. Why is it that Girl Scout cookies come once a year and instead of savoring them one cookie at time, making them last for months...I open a box and inhale a whole sleeve in a matter of minutes?

9. Does my ass look fat-- like a sleeve of GS Trefoil cookies?

10. How do I cure King Ralph of snoring? (don't bother suggesting I roll him on his side, the dude keeps on snoring)

11. How much longer will I have to walk around with disposable stitches that have poked through my skin before they break off and fall away?

And, why is the only question that I do have an answer for is--when I am allowed to partake in a spirited beverage post surgery? The Answer is this weekend. I will certainly test my revamped system come Saturday night!