Saturday, December 29, 2007

Oh My- It's a Brick Christmas Tree!!!

Only at the house of a 3rd generation brickmason will you ever find such an incredible display! Our very own brick Christmas Tree! It is composed of @800 brick and is dry stacked on my patio. The design is the collective brain child of the masons and laborers from my husband's company. As with any great work of art, there were creative differences that erupted causing my FIL to get pissed and quit midway through the construction-note they style change @ the middle where he quit.
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Friday, December 28, 2007

Charlotte’s No-Tell Motel, The Ascot Inn

A few weeks ago, Tommie and I stayed at the Ascot Inn- Charlotte, NC's premiere No-Tell Motel. It was just like in the movies and was "home of the heart shaped tub". Of course, we checked in too late and all the heart shaped tubs were goneL , but we got a premo suite NE Ways because they have "themed" rooms. It was like 3 blocks from Amos's South End where Rehab was playing and little did we know right next door to the Uptown Cabaret.

Lucky me- I got to be Tommie's "special lady friend" and when Tommie explained that I was his wife, the check in guy was still like "oh yeah, everyone bring wife here Ha Ha". So- I was special lady friend the rest of the night. At least I was dressed for the part- you know –going to a live concert and all. I must say- the digs weren't cheap, but the champagne was bubbly. Yeah- our room came with a chilled bottle of champagne- Tommie chose dry- and the guy ran in before us- cut on the air, spread silk rose petals on the bed, turned the radio on and sprayed air freshener in the room. Boy- this place was too real- like freaky plastic flowers real. It even came with heart shaped soap. You have to see it to believe it. It even had a sexy shower with a clear shower curtain you could see from the anywhere in the room.,

It was my first time at a No-Tell Motel, and I must say it was quite an adventure. I kept expecting Disco Stew or Dirk Diggler to bust in. They never did, but I wasn't bummed out about it. It was just like the hotel room in the movie "True Romance". Tommie and I assumed our own incognito personalities for the night and had a blast. For a good time- you must come LOA.
For an adventure if you are in a rut- I give it 5 stars*****.

Bingo Lady

When I was little- like 8 yrs old- we lived in Ft. Ord California and I used to spend the night at my friend's house. Her mom was Korean and used to say-"Bye Bye- I go play BINGO now. Don't tell you moma!" and used to leave us 2 8yr olds ALONE.

Nothing ever happened, but being older now I see how CRAZY that was.
She would also buy goldfish from the pet store and we would all gather around in the kitchen and watch as she fed the goldfish to the cat. I guess when you are 8 this stuff seems normal. That poor fish just flopped his heart out all over the kitchen floor and then the cat would pounce and it was all over.

End of story. Bye Bye- I go play BINGO now!!!!

The Tale of the Granny Grabber

Lancaster, SC is a small town, so there aren't many places to eat besides Crack Donald's and Murder King (I got that from the substitute teacher on CNN). We do have 1 nice restaurant on Main Street called Charlie's and it is usually packed on Friday and Saturday nights.

This particular night, we arrived in the middle of the dinner rush and the place was full. We were standing in the entrance next to the baby grand piano and there were people all around. We saw a couple we knew and moved closer to them so we could speak.
As we moved closer to the people we knew, I noticed Harrison, my son –age 10 at the time- hug this old lady. I figured he knew her from school or something and didn't pay it any attention.
As the elderly couple left, I said- H- who was that lady? H-said-I don't know, I thought you knew her. She held her arms out, so I guessed I was supposed to hug her.

Turns out, as we were creeping closer to the folks we knew, an elderly couple was trying to get around us so they could leave the restaurant. The old lady tried to inch by us with her arms outstretched for balance and Harrison thought we knew her and just grabbed and hugged her like she was one of Tommie's relatives he was supposed to remember.

Ever since them he has been known as the "Granny Grabber" and sometimes he will dance to "Boomin' Granny". Senior Citizens- you have been warned so don't drop your coupons!

Safe Passage- A Domestic Peace Program

I went to the Safe Passage Conference yesterday at USCL and thought I'dpass on some of what I learned-
Of course- that statistics are shocking-
-every 9 seconds a woman is being beaten in the United States
-3 million children witness domestic violence each year
-at least 4 women are killed by battering every day
-SC ranks 7 in the number of women killed by male intimate partners

I'm sure at some point- you've met someone who you wanted to help, but were afraid to get involved (this came up yesterday)
Donna Jackson is the Victim's Advocate for the Sheriff's Department,Lancaster County 803-283-4136You can call her and give her names. addresses and she will make contactwith the woman just to let her know there are options
Women can also call her anonymously.

Other ways to helpSafe Passage takes all kinds of donations
-clothes, shoes
-any household items
-toys-baby items
- cribs, diapers, etc
-school supplies
-arts & craft materials
-phone cards, old cell phones (will be refurbished for emergency calls)
-prescription cards
-canned foods, You can sponsor a dinner- I made tacos for them last night
-feminine hygiene products, personal hygiene aka- toothbrushes etc

Every now and then I've asked some of you in merchandising for donations-Thanks for everything you have given!Remember- These women come with their children and are allowed only 1 bag of clothes per family. When they move out- Safe Passage helps them furnishan entire apartment with YOUR donations.

My God Given Talent

OK so this year, 1 of my resolutions was to read the Bible. I consider myself a well read person, but had never read the "good book" cover to cover ( I still haven't finished it and the clock is tick-tocking).
So, it's like full of all this interesting and inspirational stuff- then I come across the story @ talents and start thinking- "Oh great- what is my talent- cause I know I ain't usin' it". Great- the Bible has stumped me- I quit reading for a few days trying to figure this out- cause if you don't use your talents- God takes them and gives them to someone else. So I go over the most common- can I sing?- not really, dance?- only after drinks, play piano?- no (and no mother the recorder does NOT count). So what do I do really well? What am I good at?
And then one day it dawns on me- My father-in-law told me this when we were remodeling a little house "You can't turn chicken sh*t into chicken salad". But see I'm different because I CAN. I do it everyday and I do it very well ( of course it's not the best tasting chicken salad- but it is edible). I've done it since I was 14 and my parent divorced- I had to pick up the pieces of my mother and hold them together- and again when I had a baby at 18 and entered into a marriage I knew wouldn't last- I gathered up the remains of myself and moved home.
I am a results oriented person- I'll listen to your sob story once- but if you don't take my advice- I can't help you. I am very good at what I do-I can analyze a myriad of splintered details and outline the most efficient and effective plan to correct the problems. I can easily see past complaints to distill if the true issues are simply hurt pride or revenge. I can also easily calculate what someone would consider the "ultimate insult"-but I only play this game with my husband- it would be pure evil to actually carry out the insult. The only drawback to this talent is that it is hard for me to get close to people – because I want to take over and solve their problems- when all they really want is someone to listen and say "that sucks".
So, now that I have ID'd my TALENT- I will choose to use it for good instead f evil. My focus will be helping Safe Passage- our local battered women's shelter here in Lancaster, SC. I collect household items/donations for them and take cupcakes and goody bags on holidays. They don't have the food budget for extras like cupcakes- so I try to help out 'cause I know those kids like cupcakes:).

My Benny Hill Moment

Setting the scene-
you must imagine this in fast forward- with the Benny Hill music going-As an incredible favor, a friend of mine let us stay at her beach house for the weekend. On this particular day, we- my husband, 14 yr old and 18 mo. old baby and I are on the beach at beautiful Oceanside Village-a private beach. The beach house comes with a golf cart- so we are taking advantage of it.

We set up camp by a little pool of water since my baby is scared of the ocean. After repeatedly popping him for throwing sand- I resort to using 1 of the lounge chairs as a "Time Out" chair. He has no idea what this is so just keeps screaming and throwing sand. Eventually he calms down and we build sandcastles, turd castles (looks like a melted wax- but named after my husband Tuff Turd- but I'll save that for another blog), dig holes and other beach stuff- aka sit and bake.

It is fun- but now the tide is coming in and it brought a "jellyfish"! My yelling this to grab the attention of my family also grabs the attention of a young couple walking by. Guy has athletic slim build, girl is young and naturally hot (as in not surgically improved but organic). They stop and stare, but move on. Of course – she is the only other female on the beach older than 18 and younger than 50- so she is on Tommie's radar (poor H- he is more interested in the boogie board and not the beach bunny). When they leave- I pick the jellyfish up with a stick and toss it in the sand dunes to get it out of our play area- we were here first ya know.

Poor girl has a goober for a boyfriend- when the beach patrol drives by- boyfriend has to flag them down and inquire about the jellyfish and rattle of a list of geeky questions like "OH officer –is it safe to go back into the water? Blah Blah BLAH- He stopped the cops right behind my lounge chair- thanks punk. They finally leave.

It's getting late –we pack up and head to the golf cart- but wait young couple is also packing up. Tommie makes his best effort to "appear" to look in the opposite direction- but I am no idiot and his shades are not that dark- whatever- it is the beach.
We are now loaded onto the cart, but no matter how he "tries" to avoid young couple (mainly hot girl), he keeps running into great difficulty- she is now rinsing off in the OUTDOOR SHOWER! I must give him credit- I think he did try not to look- Hell even I looked, but at this point he is driving us out of the parking lot and is "not looking" so hard he ALMOST runs us into short palm tree, jerks the wheel- saves the golf cart, but I get whacked full force with the all the palm fronds.

Just like in the show- he scrunches his shoulder up and we drive off- me nagging away and fuming.

Hello neighbor-I’ve turned into Mr. Rogers

When did this happen? The other night, I came home from work- greeted my mom and picked up my 19 mo. old son and headed straight to the closet (dead giveaway clue 1).
Here I proceeded to change out of my nice work clothes into my "mommy" clothes and even put on a zip up hooded sweatshirt- all the while rattling off complements and random commentary to my baby boy- I even changed my shoes (dead giveaway 2) trading in my pewter pumps for my old New Balance tennies.
And it doesn't stop there. Next we went and- you guessed it- fed my son Mason's pet fish (dead giveaway 3). After this it was all downhill. I helped Mason color and found myself explaining why we don't eat crayons (even though they are non-toxic as I traumatically proved to my sister over 10 years ago while she screamed about how I was gonna die-hello- I'm STILL HERE).
Next we took out nightly spin on my bike down the street- guess what? We waved at the neighbors- just like on TV only not in TechnicolorL (dead giveaway 4).
What is going on? When did TV become reality? It was all too overwhelming- I tried asking Henrietta Pussycat what was going on, but she just answered me with some wacked out "Meow meow play meow meow learn". Just my luck-more of King Friday's propraganda.

I accidentally ate some old chocolate-

it was a cherry creme hershey kissi thought it was a peanut butter or caramel kiss because i knew the cherryones were old (last Oct)i was working and when i unwrapped it, i noticed the bottom was sunk inlike a wine bottle- strange, but not enough to stop methen i bit the top off- no peanut butter or caramel came out, but there wasa hard thing insidei looked down and saw the pink stuff, but was still chewing the chocolate-which tasted like old crayons, but too latei spit out what i could- but still felt badi could feel it moving through my digestive track because it was icky i am here today, but i might be a zombie

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lady Fingers- Made from Real Ladies (JK)

These delicious life-like lady finger are made from real ladies- I mean crescent rolls. They are sure to terrify your spookiest guests this Halloween season and cause quite a commotion at the dinner table!
whole almonds
1 can crescent roll dough
Step 1. Die @ 20 whole almonds red using red food color. Let air dry
Step 2. Roll out your crescent roll dough. Press together at pre-cut perforations.
Step 3. Cut into strips. Hold each strip in your hand(across your fingers) and make a loose fist. This squeeze make the knuckles.
Step 4. Arrage on a baking sheet and press a red almond into 1 end for the fingernail
Step 5. Cook according to temperature and time on can directions.
Arrange your terribly delicious lady fingers on a silver platter and enjoy!

We had a sh*tty time A Moe’s...

My sister-in-law and I ate at Moes after the baaby Mason's doctor apptthen went outside to show Mason the fountain, when I pickedhim up out of the stroller, I got a hand full of it - but itdidn't quite register until I let him stand at the edge ofthe fountain- turds hit the bricks.It was all down his legs, all over my hands and all over hisclothes- socks and stroller. I don't know where it camefrom- well i know where but God A'mighty!We went around to the other side of the brick wall thatfaces the movies and I had to lay him on the concrete toclean him up.Once he was clean, I left him with my sister-in-law and wentinto Moe's to wash my hands. While I was washing my hands,I looked in the mirror and saw I had a 4-6 inch streak ofdooky across my shirt- maybe those poor people in Moe'sthought it was refired beans.Anyway- a sh*tty day at Moe's still beats a day at theoffice.

My Jeckyll & Hyde Jewelry Box

This morning, as I was getting ready to pack for my beach trip, I started to think about my jewelry box. It was a birthday gift from my brohter and has a key with a tassle and actually locks and everyhting. This jelwery box hasn't actually been locked in several years because I have it crammed full of so many different kinds of jewelry. Why- you may ask- because I have a multifaceted personality and God only knows who I will be today.

Pearls- real ones are gifts from my husband- these are usually reserved for wedding and funerals. faux pearls- I use these for everyday casual dressing because I don't care if they get ruined or lost

Silver -my favorite silver pieces are a large link necklace and bracelet- I bought this from a pawn shop- it was originally a pimp chain and I had the jeweler cut it into a necklace and bracelet. it is the only 1 in the world and it was my brainchild. It instantly adds several zeros to what people think is my yearly income.

Rhinestones -this is reserved for when I channelling my "almost famous" look. I typically go over the top for concerts- etc and wear the rhinestone belt, 1 heart necklace, huge cross necklace, 5 row stretch bracelet and then I'll add a rhinestone pin to either my back pocket or my jean pant leg. The look is so surreal. I also add a chunky diamond ring to the mix. People love to ask if it is real- it is ( as in it's not make believe)

Shells - I love sea shells and have a large round abelone disk with tiny stone dangles at the bottom. It make me look earthy and artistic. I don't wear it too often because I prefer the adding zeros to my income look (AKA silver pinp chain)

Misc - this accounts for the myriad of earring, bracelets and necklaces that I have - all heaped into this little jewelry box.

I can't stop buying new pieces, I even have a couple of tiaras.
I love it so much, I have a jewelry store Are you ready to sparkle?

The birth of AQUA-TOM

Well, Tommie and I were getting ready to go out to eat one afternoon and were already late. The neighbors were swimming in the pool, but it was fine because they had an open-ended invitaion and we were leaving anyway. Tommie, of course, got ready before I did and was harrasing me trying to make me hurry up when we heard the doorbell ring. Very odd- since the front door is the only door with a doorbell and no one uses the front door.
He went to see what was going on and I kept getting ready -at this point I was curling my hair. He came back @ 10 minutes later soaking wet. I said "What are you messing around for? We are already late!" and he said "I just saved the neighbor and her son from drowing!". I said "BS". He said "I swear".

Apparently the son got tired in the deep end and sank to the bottom. She jumped in to save him, but hadn't swam in like 10 years- so she sank to the bottom too. The other kid ran to the patio and beat on the door like mad. (Remember- we heard the doorbell- not knocking- so who was that?) Tommie went to see about the doorbell and heard the knocking- kid spilled the beans about them at the bottom of the pool- Tommie jumped in and saved both of them.
Did I mention he is a certified lifeguard?- Well he is. Once he got both of them to the patio, the mother went wild thanking and praising Jesus. Tommie was like"Yeah- she didn't even say thank you- she kept thanking Jesus and he wasn't even there." Did I mention he is also sarcastic? Well he is. Anyway- we teased him endlessly that night at dinner about super heroes need no thanks.

So now you know how Aqua-Tom was born. Just please thank Jesus & Aqua-Tom if he saves your life.

PS. And I believe Jesus WAS there- who else rang the doorbell?

It was a dark and stormy night...and there was a killer on the loose

Ok well, I don't know if he was a killer or not, but I do know there was an imate loose. We- my husband, my son and I were staying at my father in-laws split level house while we built a house next door. We had the upstairs masterbedroom, and my FIL took the downstairs bedroom with the backdoor.

I had gotten the news about the escape convict first, so I was making sure everyone locked their doors that night. I told my husband- who was working next door on our house and often worked late hours. I told my FIL, who then told me this happened years ago and the escape convict killed a neighbor. I said "Well, you need to be on the lookout JIC and lock that backdoor in your bedroom" and he said "He better be on the look out- cause if he comes after me- I'll kill him." Needless to say- he didn't lock the door.

The set up- I went to bed- upstairs. My FIL came in late (he usually stayed at his girlfriend's- but not this night) and went to bed downstais- and my husband was just wrapping up working on our house next door. FIL thought it was SO late, that me & Tommie were asleep. Tommie (my husband) thought his dad has stayed at his girlfriend's, so he came through the backdoor in the bedroom to get in the house.

This is how it played out-Tommie opens backdoor- FIL hears door open (assumes its the killer) and screams "I'll kill you" over and over
Tommie hears this as soon as he opens the door and thinks its the KILLER hiding in the house and threatening HIM and starts screaming also.

I'm upstairs laughing so hard I can barely breathe and almost pee my pants. They didn't think it was too funny, but I thought it was hilarious.

Best Tangerine EVER

Once upon a time I worked at a mortagage company and used to eat 2 fruits a day. I was trying to get my 5 servings a day in of fruits and vegetables. (I have since quit trying- JK). It was the dead of summer and the company would cut the air off on the weekends to save money. So- I forgot to eat my tangerine on Friday and it sat in the sweltering heat all weekend and fermented. Monday, I of course had no idea until the first bite, discovered such fermented fruit and ate with wild abandon. How lucky was I to get nature's own cocktail in its own natural little wrapper? It was like my cosmic karma bartender had served up a sweet little fruity surprise for me on an otherwise crappy run of the mill Monday. None of my co-workers were the wiser, and I enjoyed the teeniest at work buzz ever. Not like my first at-work buzz- for God's sake I used to be a waitress, but my first little office work buzz.

How I "BIG LOVE" my husband, let me count the ways...

OK- so you've heard of the HBO series- Big Love. Bill and his 3 wives and their litter of offspring. I must admit- the show creeps me out, yet I can't stop watching. I'm mesmerized by the 3 wives and their dopey doe-eyed utterly riduculous devotion to Bill. I read once that the faults you easily find in others- are readily evident in your own character. So upon closer examination- I try to strip away the layers of my obsession/ repulsion and get a little closer to the real me. Shall we begin? Keep up please 'cause I'm not going to repeat myself.

Let's start with Barb-I like her because I think she genuinely loves Bill. She is smart- level headed and a good wife and mother. I identify with her because she is always struggling to keep an equal balance of power between her and her husband. I also ID with her because I can't stand to have other people know more about MY household and its issues/schedule than I do. For her it's the other wives, for me, it's family and friends who inform me of things before my husband does. She creeps me out because she tolerates his 2 other wives and even schedules their "nights" with her husband. Moral- no matter how well you think your marriage is cemented- don't think another woman wouldn't die to get your man- or he to get her (with your approval of course).

2nd is Nikki-she is a proverbial square, but a keen defender of the family. I like her because she is loyal. I don't like her because she is secretive and totally submissive to Bill. I ID with her because I get tired of taking care of everything for everyone- so sometimes I don't do it with a smile. When this happens, it's a lose -lose situation because I end up making everyone miserble. Moral- lighten up or you will drive your husband and family away.

Last is Margine- the young hot giggly 3rd wife. She used to drive me NUTS with her optimism and overzealous romps with Bill. I always put her in the "girlfriend" category. Then it hit me-whats wrong with optimism and overzealous romps with your husband? Moral-If more women acted like a girlfriend instead of always acting like a wife- married men would be happier.

My take aways- I must incorporate all 3 distinct women into 1 improved me.
-Fight to keep on equal footing with my husband
-Acknowledge that he is the head of the household, but I am the heart
-Gaze at him dreamily from time to time, complement his good looks and muscles, laugh at his jokes and reap the benefits of a few wild romps with my husband.

Ghetto Mac & Cheese

After my parents split, we were broke and only ate store brand mac & cheese (you know the kind- it had like scissors on it "cutting" the price in half) for like years. I was 14 and my sister was 5, so I always has to cook "dinner". The tricky part is we were always out of a key ingredient like milk or butter. We were also tired of following the box directions. SO, I came up with the following variations of the classic store brand mac & cheese.

1- regular, just like the directions say-UM UM good
2- soupy, add a lil' extra milk- kinda like a watery soup (hence the name "soupy")
3- crunchy, no milk, just butter- it was our ghetto fettucine alfredo
4- dry, no milk, no butter- just dusty noodlesWe still laugh to this day about it.

For a while I couldn't even look at macaroni and cheese in the grocery store. I finally started buying Kraft brand, but have settled for Walmart's Great Value. After growing up broke, I still can't part with that extra fifty cents.