Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday Curse

Every year since I started waking with the questionably insane people to shop on Black Friday I question my own insanity. Now King Ralph, who began joining me last year in the name of marital bonding (or was it watchful eye on the spending?), has begun to question his own saneness.

When the alarm went off at 4:15am King Ralph and I sprung from bed, slipped on whatever clothes we could find--mine being more of acceptable presentation than King Ralph's--and headed out the door. We arrived at Wal-Mart by 440am and immediately went to the area in which we intended to purchase the coveted item on the Black Friday advertisement. No it wasn't the fake hamster. This is the moment, the first in my many years of the day after turkey, that I questioned my sanity in the quest to save money. Being that Wal-mart remained open 24-hours the vultures were ever present inside the store way before the 5am start of the sale. Wal-Mart started handing out item tickets before 5am and of course by the time I got there they were all gone. Then King Ralph headed to the second coveted item area only to watch someone snatch up the last one. We left not mad that we didn't get what we wanted but that Wal-Mart handed out item tickets before 5am. King Ralph vowing never to shop on Black Friday.

Then shopping away we went...till 830am.

And, again on Saturday.

It was Saturday that the curse of Black Friday got me. I was home alone, King Ralph out riding his motorcycle with the guys and the daughters out shopping together. I decided to sit on the deck soaking up the Indian summer day when I walked in the house to grab the over flowing kitchen trash to take out. I was walking along our board walk with the heavy bag of trash when I lost my footing (how I still can't figure) and went down face first. I hit that ground half my head hit the board walk and half hit the grass. I laid there my face,no my whole head, aching then I rolled over. The sky looked a beautiful blue and I spotted a large squirrels nest in the naked maple tree. I laid there thinking good thing I didn't hurt myself worse because the backyard neighbor was gone and the side neighbor is a vampire so he was coming out in the day light nor could he see me through his constant closed blinds. Then I raised and got ice on my face and noticed I had a huge grass stain on my favorite white t-shirt.

Long story short I had this swollen right side of my face that has now gone down but I am left with a big bruised area on my cheek bone, a bruise on the bend of my foot and sore ribs and arms (from trying to brace my fall). M thought I needed to concoct a better story. To which I replied how much better can a forty-something woman falling on her face when she is taking trash out get? It can't.

I tell you it is the curse of Black Friday...and being aggravated with Wal-Mart.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I've Got A Turkey Day Hangover

I am totally exhausted. I’d like to go to bed for about twelve hours. That would be without the pumpkin pie/whip cream IV or an alarm clock waking me at 4:15am to shop Black Friday door busters (we’ll discuss that later). Even tough I did not gorge myself to discomfort, every meal of late is a plate filled with the Thanksgiving high caloric foods that pleasure the comfort of one’s soul [and stomach].

I am merely exhausted because—although my offspring helped much the spousal unit did not. The offspring were to funny on Wednesday evening after we finished setting the table. There we all stood (or sat, King Ralph) gazing at the beautiful stretched set table for twenty when I commented how warm my heart felt and how beautiful our family was when Princess A said “until you start freaking tomorrow” and she proceeded to imitate me in one of my mom moments when the girls disappoint. We all laughed, even me. King Ralph couldn’t really help much as he threw his back out. He tried an “emergency” visit on Wednesday to the chiropractor to insure he would be able to perform his assigned pre-host duties (scrubbing bathtub and floors) but the snap and pop was a fail. It seems funny how these accidents happen…last Christmas his foot was broken and it was the offspring and I stringing lights on the eaves and dragging the beastly tree from the basement minus male assistance --only direction from the grounded casted foot man.

Despite King Ralph’s lack of helping hands we had a fabulous meal. My brined turkey never fails us; always the juiciest bird in town. My stuffing had a perfect blend of Thanksgiving flavors and my gravy, the best, as usual. It was all served on our beautifully set table with only one 14-year-old cousin thinking his gold charger was his dinner plate. Being he is male we gave him a larger margin of etiquette error.

We had cousins stop by before and after dinner to add to the joy of the day. King Ralph's oldest sister made it just in time to eat before we cleaned the dinner up to let the desserts have there moment of glory on the table. (My poor sister-in-law held out on dinner at her in-law's to eat my cooking as her in-law's meal "sucks").

While King Ralph and his sister had intended to make a toast of Thanksgiving in honor of their mother [and what this Thanksgiving meant to us all due to her] after grace and before we hit the bountiful buffet, they could not bring themselves too. It was apparent in Mom’s husband’s eyes the minute he entered our house that he was over flowing with the emotion of blessing this Thanksgiving offered him and us. They decided the day should be all smiles with no fountains of tears. George has tendered over the years and more so over the last several months. The fact my mother-in-law’s sister colored her fresh crop of hair restoring her to her pre-surgery looking self was a deeply emotional moment for George. So my sister-in-law made a simple generic but warm toast…then we feasted.

We played games, our favorite “Catch Phrase” and at 7pm we headed to the movie (minus the old man with the bad back) to see “Old Dogs.” It was a great day. Every ounce of exhaustion was totally worth it!

Here is Uncle Dan’s slimmed down video of the day and a few snap shots of the day.

Cousins thankful to be cousin.

A son thankful for his mother.

Grand daughters thankful for a grandma.

A wife thankful for a husband and a husband thankful for a wife...and his new glasses so can see.

Sisters thankful for each other.

Family thankful to gather and to feast together.

Game time. Uncle Dan, optically challenged dude, that magnifier just won't do.

But this one will. Uncle Dan thankful for the monster of magnifiers.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Year After Year My Cornucopia Runneth Over

Without fail I find much to be thankful for year after year, large and small. This year proves no different. Here is a list of the things I am thankful for, despite the list format I am thankful in no particular order except one and two--in exactly that order.

1. God
2. Family
3. Sunshine
4. Alee Pal time
5. Maddi Pal time
6. Demi Pal time
7. the dog in all her insane aggravation
8. white chili
9. clean underwear
10. toilet paper on the holder
11. my mother-in-law
12. doctors who heal
13. fires in the backyard
14. music
15. Demi playing the piano
16. a good book
17. friends
18. fresh flowers
19. a job I continue to love
20. breakfast dates with my husband
21. hot green tea
22. breakfasts with friends that last six hours
23. wine
24. Eggo waffles
25. reality TV shows (Project Runway, America Next Top Model, Biggest Loser)
26. pumpkin pie with whipped cream
27. my cell phone
28. martinis
29. The Clapper
30. a raked yard
31. Michael Buble CD (thanks Tracey!)
32. glazed croissants
33. family vacations
34. heated mattress cover
35. clean sheets
36. black flip flops
37. kisses
38. hugs
39. Bandwiches
40. sunshine
41. sound of children laughing
42. sharpened pencils
43. teachers who teach with passion
44. polished silver
45. neighbors

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your cornucopia runneth over too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Selfish Me

Last Tuesday we got a call to bring Princess A home from college because she had mono and bronchitis. She has had an unexpected extended Thanksgiving break.

Now I must admit that I am feeling a bit mommy selfish, as I know she wishes she was still sitting in her sorority dorm room pinned down at her desk studying and laughing with the "sisters"...I love my girly being home. There is something about this family home feeling complete and, although we are always complete despite distance or absence it just feels heart warming when we are all under the same roof.

Today I think my Princess has perked back. Sure she is still sluggish but that has something to do with getting in the habit of sleeping three-fourth of the day away in the name of healing. I saw signs of life returning yesterday in her.

So if you don't mind I am going to relish in the selfish heart I have for having extra time with my first born. Because I love, enough though she was sick, her looking at me when I walked in the room asking me to sit next to her and love her.

Don't worry I already added this to my list of thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I was startled awake at around 245am by a Thanksgiving nightmare...that I put the wrong turkey in the oven. The flat turkey in my dream would have only fed half my guests.

I need to stop watching Food Network Thanksgiving specials. Apparently all those shows are haunting my sleep. I really do have the mother of all birds comfortably resting in a defrosting state in my refrigerator. Despite my haunting nightmare I am certain my bird is going to turn out succulent and at nearly 26 pounds will feed every guest.

Now, if I could just fall back to sleep.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bandwich 101

5:10am the alarm blared and King Ralph sprung up in bed to ask what was going on. I wearily replied "it's time to make "bandwiches". Insane I tell you. Sandwich making before the sun rises.

What turned out to be even more insane was the moms who were all coiffed for "bandwich" making. Sandwich making at the crack of dawn was not an obligation I felt I needed to present anything more than my natural side. I slithered into the jeans I wore Friday, brushed my teeth and tossed a cloth headband into my unbrushed hair. I slipped my gnarly unpedicured feet into my favorite black Old Navy flip flops--caring not a bit if lettuce and tomato grimed my feet.

I entered the school cafeteria at 5:30am to a long sign in line and blasting music. So if I wasn't awake before I passed through the doors I was shocked awake by the mere volume of Journey and Meatloaf, then I backed it up with a couple of caffeinated diet Pepsi's. I avoided any job assignment that required hair nets and rubber gloves and took to the quality control. I made certain the correct number of "bandwiches" were in each bag. M however looked like the cafeteria fashionesta in her hospital blue scrub top, hair net and rubber glove while she helped to build nearly 2300 bandwiches.

Then it was time to deliver the bad boys, I mean poor boys, I mean sub sandwiches, I mean BANDWICHES! Feed back: complete customer satisfaction.

Here I am at 6pm ready for bed on a Saturday night. I am comfortably cloaked in my PJ's not caring for dinner due to pure exhaustion. All I can think about is how much fun it will be to make "bandwiches" in December. Because if I won't be tired enough from decking the halls I will be from sandwich making in the school cafeteria.

Holiday party hosting? I'll, I mean M, cater your main course. Call me!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Learning a New Song

Tomorrow will mark the first of many Saturday mornings I will rise with M at 5am to create "bandwiches". M says she "refuses to say the word bandwiches, it's ridiculous". Ridiculous but catchy...a sub sandwich made by a band student for the fundraising purpose of getting to the Tournament of Roses Parade.

I hear they make us sing this song while we don hair nets and rubber gloves while all you sensible people are still sleeping dreaming of your lunch soon to come.

If you ordered a "bandwich" from M she may just sing you this song when she delivers your order and collects the green.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Areatha Franklin Sing For The Turkey

I’m back! Finally I feel like myself again after weeks of antibiotics, steroids and chasers of inhaled steroids. I wake in the morning without a drag in my step or a drudge in my being that I have to actually exist and breathe. Gosh I love drugs! So since I am feeling top of my game I am ready to let it out, the thing that is eating at my craw.


I love Thanksgiving. I love setting my long table with my nice dishes, crystal and silverware. I love preparing heavy-fattening-caloric foods and topping it off with pumpkin pie piled high with real whipped cream. I love family in a tryptophan induced state gathered to play games and then all going to the movie theater at night. I bet you are now thinking what’s got her craw if she loves Thanksgiving so much.


I have been driving around lately doing errands, car-pooling teenagers here and there all the while I notice the turkey’s got no respect. What is with the world that they must hurry Thanksgiving along and string Christmas lights across houses eaves? I’m all for the pre-stringing; smart guys climb to the roof when the weather is in the seventies in preparation for the big light switch pull. But. But beaming your house all aglow already—NO! Then there is nuts who have the Christmas tree standing lit and decorated in the front windows of there homes. Why? What’s the hurry? I am certain these are the folks who tire of trees and lights by December 25 and can’t wait to disassemble the splendor of holiday cheer. I nearly died when I drove past a house with its 7-foot blow up Santa standing proud in the yard amongst 1000 twinkling lights.

Stop! Enough I tell you. Turkey needs some respect. He needs his, deserves his, day on the calendar. Come on people the pilgrim didn’t break corncob with the Indian to be overshadowed by Santa Claus and twinkling fiber optics. There is beauty in dry Indian corn clusters hanging on the front door. Cornucopias as center pieces spilling out harvest of plenty. There is undeniable pleasure in carving the turkey while giving thanks to the many blessing that touch our lives. Why can’t the world see this? Why do we have to rush to sell presents with all these pre-pre-black Friday sales? Why do radio stations have to spoil the excitement of Christmas music by playing it non-stop starting two weeks ago? Can’t we find the joy in turning on the radio the Friday after Thanksgiving to hear Bing Crosby sing us “White Christmas” while we wake at 5am to shop and score the hottest item of the season? What is up with the need to pressure the year to end?

In protest with the utmost respect for the turkey I will not listen to a single Christmas carol, pre-string lights on my eaves or purchase a gift. I will savor every November day that the calendar offers while I prepare my list of the things I am most grateful for this Thanksgiving, 2009.

Long live the turkey. Well, till he roasts in my oven.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It Was a Flash Gordon Morning

Since I still am not feeling like myself but have returned to work despite; I crawl back in bed every morning after I pack the girls' lunches. I sleep till the very last minute that I possibly can to still make myself look presentable to kids aged 5-11...and maybe a hand full of fellow adults.

This morning I slept through my alarm for the first time. I rolled over at 8:46am, freaked, and realized I needed to leave the house at 9:10am.

I learned today that I can brush my teeth in the shower with one hand and soap my body with the other. Luckily it was a non-wash hair day so I jazzed my frizz with a blow dryer and a round brush...then slipped a head band on. Next I slapped a little bring me back to life color on the face. Then I threw on the last clean thing hanging in the laundry room, fastened my black Mary Jane Sketchers to my feet, slapped a half sandwich together and BAM out the door by 9:09am.

I did it. Didn't care for the rush feeling but I was on time to work. In the end that is the thing that mattered most.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Mr. Hayes Has Been Calling Me "Judy Iron Lung" For A Good Reason

The doctor's orders were "if you aren't feeling better by Monday make an appointment to come into the office." So after I coughed so hard and long last night--and into the early morning-- kicking myself out of the marital bed for the couch...that I passed hacking up my lung and went deep to my liver (that's how hard and low I was pulling that cough); it was time to call the doc and use some of my accumulated sick hours.

There was nothing more difficult for me than to hold my cough back in the waiting room. I felt I should out of respect for the twenty-something guy sitting across from me. My cough grabs stares and sends folks running. I fashioned my coughs in this closed-mouth-soft-throat-encapsulated-manner. So by the time I got into my closed door closest of an examination room I let the seal in me bark and bark and bark.... I even think the doctor's assistant went for the fish in her pocket to toss at me. I'm like a zoo animal when I open my mouth.

What has made me so sick? Could it be....
1. watching Kate: Her Story
2. watching the Jon Gosselin and Hailey Glassman interview on Entertainment Tonight
3. mooching Milky Ways from third graders
4. working with kids who come to school riddled with fever and have the pig flu
5. extended marching band season
6. Joe Jackson requesting a stipend from his son's estate
7. the constant flux in the outside temperature and a month of rainy days...and nights.

Well, whatever the reason I heard the doctor say things to me today like, "this is how people die from asthma" and "it could be whopping cough but that takes a month for the tests results to come back and the CDC goes crazy over stuff like that." I just looked back at the doc with her facial expession of girlfriend you have felt bad for a month and just decided to do something about in the last four days. I was there, now, seeking medical intervention; so what good was a scolding a gal with a O2 level of 81. She scraped everything I was given Friday over the phone except the last pill in my Z-Pac and I left with enough steroid based drugs to guarantee I will turn into Lou Ferrigno by next week. Plus I have narcotics so I can sleep without the threat of King Ralph shipping me off to the zoo.

Hopefully by Wednesday I can go back to work fever free with my ear and sinus infection pain lulled, my constant head ache calmed, my lymph nodes returning to there normal size, air moving through my lungs easier and the dam seal living inside quieted.

Besides it is boring laying on this couch! With eight hundred channels to chose from I can't seem to find a darn thing to watch at 2am.

So honey hold off on buying my burial plot I think I might survive this one.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Lazy Sunday

The only things I have managed to accomplish today is: swallow lotta pills, eat a little food, drink a lot of fluids and watch the Godfather trilogy on AMC.

I am quite happy.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Fact or Fiction

I struck a deal with the kids in third grade that we could be best friends for some Milky Ways. I even promised one kid a trade-- Milky Ways for one of my orange soda pops. Several came through with the Halloween treat goodness. Gotta love'm! FACT

I finally broke down called the doctor for this lingering sickness that seems to be sucking the life from me and causing my co-worker to nickname me "Judy Iron Lung". That I am now highly medicated, sleep all day and still not exactly feeling better. FACT

That I am totally burnt out on marching band for the season and, washing and ironing performance grey suit pants for fourteen. FACT!

The lights dimmed for the Flyers "Friday Night Lights". That the boys tried like hell to continue on in the state play-offs but that it was hard to recover from that first touch down that was pulled back on the call of an illegal block in the start of the game. That is well worth my five dollars to see the nail biting game, yet so hard to watch grown boys cry in defeat after an undefeated regular season...that in time they will be able to hold their heads high and know they have much to be proud of. FACT

My mother-in-law had bugs removed from her head during one of her two brain surgeries...two large bugs that were three inches long with lots of legs and faces that smiled like Jim Carey. FICTION (It's gonna take some time for this vivid anesthetic dream to leave my mother-in-law's healing memory and accept it truly was, just a dream).

Finding out that a transformer blew on the SEMO campus--that her sorority sisters sit in darkness in Building F-- makes Princess A happy that she chose to come home this week for home cooked meals and going to movies with her sister to see "Paranormal Activity". FACT

There is nothing more glorious than sunshine and an 82* November Saturday with a repeat on Sunday. FACT!

That I can't wait to start raking, blowing and bagging leaves. FICTION

I watched the movie "The Holiday" for about the millionth time like it was the first because I am a sucker for a great love story. FACT

Am FREAKING because the desk top kitchen computer crashed--it holds my Thanksgiving dinner recipes and Christmas card list with address. FACT

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Hair Of The Candy Bar

While most children are waking this morning to a sugar coma hang over, their parents tossing them fun size candy bars to take the edge off or bring them back to life; I stayed home last night only to answer my door to ten, TEN, goblins. So if you're thirsty I have thirty-eight cans of Vess soda pop left for the taking.

I woke this morning to realize that 730am on the clock was really 630am. Bonus! I also realized King Ralph and I were home alone still. It was like it was before we had children--quiet...but lonely. Then we started reminiscing about how the girls use to stand in the doorway of our room to alert us they were awake and we would coax them into our bed, all three piled between us, with cartoons on the TV while we snuck a few more winks of sleep. This morning we lay in bed watching the Today show before heading to Ihop for breakfast wondering where the time has gone. How it is that our three little girls have grown so fast, grown into young women?

We picked D from her friends house where she informed us that trick-r-treating, as a high school freshman was much harder than years prior. That the weight of the candy snag bag was less this year...she handed me a candy count list along with the "do not touch" items...I only want the Milky Ways.
Laffy Taffy4
Sour Patch-1
Baby Ruth-5
Dum Dums-1
100 Grand-2
Rice Krispies-1
Jolly Rancher-1

I see a huge issue here--NO MILKY WAYS ON THIS LIST. Like really! What am I too snag from her sweet bag? This just proves she might be past the age to trick-r-treat. When you return without Mom's favorite it becomes a waste of time?

Orange or lemon-lime soda pop anyone?