I want to walk around my house

This month marks the anniversary of my (maternal) grandfather’s death.  I wrote the below passage the day after he died.  Gerald believes this piece to be one of my best and I thought I’d share it.

“I want to walk around my house.”

“Okay, Mr. Woytek, let’s walk around your house.”

He refused to let Sharon help him up, maybe to prove his strength as a man had not wavered.  He made the trip around the house with Sharon in tow.

“I want to go sit outside.”


He sat with Sharon on the brick planter that had once overflowed with carefully planted flowers but now the planter sat empty, long since neglected.  There were other things to tend to.

“Look at all those pecans.”

“Yep.  Sure are a lot of pecans,” Sharon replied, humoring him.

There were no pecans or pecan trees for that matter.  He used to spend hours in the park picking up pecans that had fallen off the trees.  He’d bring them home and stow them away, picking out a few imperfect ones to give to the squirrels that were an oh so familiar site in the beautiful pine shaded backyard.

“Open the garage.”

“I don’t know how to open the garage.”  Sharon wasn’t sure if she’d be able to get the garage door closed even if she did figure out how to open it.  The car, just as she suspected, had not been driven in at least three months so the garage door itself might want to stick a little.

They went back inside.  He sat in a recliner in the same room where his wife of 62 years sat reading a magazine with feet propped up on an ottoman, her back thrown out after another one of her falls and topped off by her insistence on helping one of the nurse’s aides put down the trundle bed in the front room.  His voice was that of his healthy self, strong and confident.

“Mrs. Woytek, I think he’s getting better.”

This was the conversation Sharon, a nurse’s aide, relayed to me the eve of my Grandpa’s death.

Just the next morning, after he had seemed so strong the night before, he was unresponsive and his lungs filled with more and more fluid.  As Sharon told me this story, I couldn’t help but wonder if he knew that trip around his house would be his last.  The last time he would sit outside and enjoy a late September breeze, imagining all those beautiful pecan trees to be in his yard.  Every memory filling him up and giving him the energy and the strength to take it all in just one last time.

He died September 30, 2003 at 2:30am.  He was 89 years old.


He’s got smooth moves

I started thinking about my Gerald and his smooth moves.  Gerald said he can count his smooth moves on two fingers.  I bet I can come up with a few others.  Let’s see…

Smooth move #1
Both still singletons and not yet officially dating, Gerald walked me to my car after a night with friends at the pool hall.  I was just about to get in my car to leave when he asked if I wanted to stay and talk for a while.  Talk about what? Talk about this.  And he moved in for a kiss, our first kiss.  Yes, Gerald, it was a smooth move.  I confirm this every time you bring it up.

Smooth move #2
Picture this.  First date.  Gerald and I were leaving the movie theater after watching Liar Liar with Jim Carrey–what a God awful movie–and Gerald stopped me and said let’s just get this out of the way.  And he kissed me right there in the parking lot on the way to his truck.  Smoooth.

Smooth move #3
A third smooth move, a third…  Oh, I got it — The underwear toss.  Every morning when Gerald is about to get in the shower, he slides his skivvies down and does this foot kick thing that tosses his undies up into his hand.  Now if he could just get them from his hand and into the dirty clothes basket.  Maybe not really a “smooth” move, but definitely a “cute” move.

Smooth move #3 or #4 (?)
No, Gerald, I wouldn’t call your brutal honesty on our first date a smooth move.  Heaven only knows how the topic had come up, but I asked Gerald if he would ever want to have a threesome and he answered affirmatively and claims to this day that there’s not a straight man alive who wouldn’t answer the same, if he was being honest.  Umm… maybe I should have titled this post “Unsmooth moves.”  <sigh>

Okay, moving on…
Smooth move #4 (or is this still only #3?)
I was handing him the bucket of beer and asked for a light and he said he would let me borrow his lighter if I gave him my phone number…  Pretty smooth move…  Oh, wait a second, I don’t smoke and I’ve never worked as a waitress; this was Gerald’s brother’s smooth move with a cute waitress.  Sorry.  Gerald’s brother never did let us forget that move and it was a pretty good move so I guess I got it confused.

Smooth move #4 (?) #5 (?)
Did you want to help me out here, Gerald?  No, the naked helicopter is not considered a smooth move.  How many times do I have to tell you this?

Okay, well maybe it really is only two (“official”) smooth moves, and perhaps my husband is no Rico Suave, but do I still love Gerald anyway?  Absolutely.  And I wouldn’t want him any other way.  Happy Anniversary, HBOO!  I love you!

Rico Suave


You go girl!

Okay, so I know I thought my blog audience would mainly be women, and women in their thirties/forties/fifties/beyond maybe, but I see that’s pretty much gone right out the window.  <And no complaints here!  I love all my regular readers, all five of you!>  What can I say?  I’m still trying to get my whole blogging bearings about me.

But for THIS particular blog post, I’d like to encourage that original intended demographic (read: all female) read today’s post, and request those who fall outside that original intended demographic (read: all males) refrain.  This blog post is a bit sensitive (read: embarrassing), and while I know many females can sympathize (read: relate), many a male will be puzzled (read: weirded out) by today’s subject matter.

Okay, now that that’s covered… and there are only females left in the room…

I was reading a recent post on www.thebloggess.com (BTW, The Bloggess is super funny and crazy all rolled into one, just my style!), and I noticed she included a sponsor, JustGoGirl, at the bottom of the post.  Well, I just go girled on over to the JustGoGirl site, and I was so excited to find pads made for women with “athletic leak.”  This was a HUGE deal for me.  After giving birth to my two boys <thanks, kids>, things just weren’t the same; I was no longer able to run or jump without peeing a little.  My ob/gyn informed me that after giving birth <thanks, kids>, my something urethra something moved a bit, so when I do anything high impact, a little urine leaks out.  Nice.

I was so excited to discover this product existed, I ordered immediately.  And skip the sample of two, give me at least 20 to start!  I like running and jumping–it’s good for the bones!–but I don’t like having to wear those super bulky pads!  Who does?  And for many years now, I have completely avoided going anywhere in public where running and/or jumping is called for.

A few years ago, a friend and I were seriously looking into doing a free aerobics class at one of those cool trampoline places.  It sounded like so much fun and such good exercise!  She knew about my bladder woes and was very understanding of course, but we really wanted to go so I was intent on finding a solution.  My first stop was Walgreen’s where I bought several sizes/brands of incontinence pads.  Wow.  Have you SEEN the size of some of these pads?!?  Yeah, um… that’s not gonna work.  I don’t have ANY clothes to hide the bulge those things would make!  Several days later, with the encouragement from a Depend’s Silhouette commercial with Lisa Rinna wearing the underwear all svelte like under her sleek dress, I stopped by Walgreen’s again to buy a pack of the “discreet” (?) paper underwear.  Wow.  Have you SEEN the size of these damn things?  I’m sorry, but Lisa Rinna is NOT wearing these things under that dress.  I’m betting the chick was going commando when she made that commercial!  But anyhoo, even if they did “fit,” the funky paper crinkling / slight swooshing sound would definitely give it away.  It would just scream, “Woman in her forties is wearing paper underpants!”

We ended up not going to the trampoline place.  I know, totally sucks!  I’ve been relinquished to in-home exercise DVDs since my boys were born <thanks, kids> and always feel inclined to turn down invitations to marathons, fitness classes, jogging with a friend, etc.  Okay, friends, if you didn’t know before, this is why I’ve had to say no <and now all the whole blogosphere knows>.  It’s not that I want to say no, well okay, not usually; it’s just that I pretty much have had to say no.

I hope I’m not putting all my eggs into one basket, but I am very hopeful that this product will give me a freedom I haven’t experienced in a long time.  I’ll give you ladies (because the guys left, right?) an update after I receive my JustGoGirl package.  Can’t wait!

And call out to SL –> Maybe, just maybe, we can schedule a play date at Sky High!


P.S. I do believe this blog post can serve as the missing number three on my embarrassing moments list.

My stink signal


The other day I was folding laundry and my youngest had one of his weird cartoons on–aren’t today’s cartoons weird??–and I hear a skunk character say he would use his “stink signal.”  I think this skunk was some sort of super hero skunk, and was attempting some sort of super hero action, but anyway, he lets off his stink signal and it floats up to his bird friend above, only to have his bird friend pass out from the stench, and then inevitably fall from the sky.  I had to laugh.  My stink signal?  I told my son there was a blog posting in there somewhere.

So I started wondering, how often do I go in with the noblest/best of intentions to help, only to screw up someone else’s world?  I definitely have had my fair share of mess-ups, just ask pretty much any of my past/present/future co-workers.  Whether it’s saying the wrong thing at the wrong time or providing too much information in an email, I think I’ve done it all.  I often find myself attempting to back pedal my way out of a mess.  I have a tendency to ramble–I know, who knew?–so I may provide unnecessary information regarding an issue and cause a bigger stir than need be.  And I may say one thing but it gets translated to the complete opposite by the time I get done with my over explaining.

Hmm.. how to resolve such a short-coming?  I’m not sure, but they, the forever omnipotent “they,” say that recognizing there is a problem is the first step to recovery.  Or is that for the Alcoholics Anonymous program?  But anyway, I believe  I am more aware and I do try to approach each situation with care and consideration.  And I hope those who know me, know that when I send out my stink signal, it’s only with the best of super hero intentions.


Have guns and marijuana, will travel

If you are a gun-toting, marijuana-toking traveler, looks like things just got even more complicated for you.  There’s already so much to know regarding traveling with a handgun across state lines, and now you gotta brush up on state marijuana laws as well.

Okay, so you may have guessed that I’m probably not the best person to be doling out advice on toting and/or toking, but I found some helpful information and I thought I would share.  I like to think of this as my own little public service announcement.  You’re welcome.  Oh, and I am excluding air travel, for obvious reasons (read: too damn complicated).  And one more disclaimer to add before we get to my helpful tips – Gun laws change daily frequently, so be sure to check your destination(s) state’s latest regulations, preferably the very second before you cross the state border.

First and foremost, it’s probably not a good idea to be traveling with both your gun and your marijuana.  Pretty sure most states would frown upon that.  Best to plan for either one or the other.

taurus handgun

If you decide to tote, stay away from states that do not allow a firearm anywhere near your person/vehicle.  Now for those states that do allow you to carry, your best bet is to simply keep your unloaded gun in your locked trunk in a separate locked box or safe, where the key to this box is nowhere near your person or your vehicle.  In fact, leave the key at home, in a locked safe where there is zero chance of a criminal finding the key to get to the key to the gun safe, which is with you in another state, and zero chance of you even remembering where you put the key to get to the key.  Oh and be sure to leave all ammunition at home as well, but not in the same location as the key.


If you decide to toke–and you may as well, since, as described above, there’s no way in hell you’re getting to that gun you packed–here are some tips for you.  As of the writing of this blog post, only Colorado and Washington state have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.  In either of these states, don’t be a dumb ass and go eating a whole pan’s worth of pot brownies.  You may be able to get away with that with regular brownies, but doing so with the addition of weed could make you seriously sick.  DUDE!  And ya gotta smoke/eat/partake/drink/bong while you are in a state that allows it.  No traveling back over the state line with it and/or no trying to sell it to anyone before you hightail it back home.  (get it?  “high” tail?  yeah, I know, that totally tanked)

So there you go.  And please, if you have additional questions regarding traveling with your guns and/or marijuana, do not ask me.  I mean, do I sound like I even remotely know what I’m talking about?  Don’t be stupid; get your advice from the right source — the Internet.  You know, the same place where you can meet a handsome French model.  Bonjour.



Tailgating, The art of

In honor of the start of football season <oh joy>, I thought I’d write a post about tailgating.  And I’m not talking about your traditional definition of tailgating.  Nope, tailgating at our house is two adults grabbing their adult beverage of choice and sitting on the truck’s tailgate in the driveway.  The dog usually gets to join us, but children are prohibited, well, strongly discouraged.  The tailgate is our own little private getaway.  The kids stay inside and watch TV; oh, and I’m sure they never watch anything inappropriate, but when we’re in tailgating mode, we really don’t care, just as long as they stay out of our hair.

We’ve pondered many a thing on the tailgate over the years.  When we first moved into our neighborhood, there were a lot of young couples and families such as ourselves, and Gerald and I would take a guess at who would still be around as the years passed, and which couples would even still be together.  Sad to say, Gerald was spot on for several couples.

We talk about how our days went, our goals and visions of the future, and what we want for our boys.  We wave to neighbors and see the usual joggers and bikers, who typically stick to the other side of the street when they see our ferocious dog, Bama.  We see speeders, pizza delivery drivers, guests of homeowners attempting to squeeze into impossibly tight spaces, and we’ve even seen a car back into a neighbor’s truck, but strangely enough, not a scratch was to be found on the truck.

We have withstood rain and mosquitoes, hot weather and cold; we find a way to make it work.  Rain?  A little rain shower never hurt anyone.  Mosquitoes?  It’s called DEET.  Hot?  Shorts are advised.  Cold?  Grab a jacket.

So while everyone else in America only tailgates for about two seasons, for Gerald and me, tailgating is a year round event.  We’ll be sure to wave to you on a spring/summer evening, while we enjoy our own little tailgating tradition.

Can you guess which koozie is mine?


You only have to roll in poop once

Our American bulldog, Bama, is a rescue dog.  She has been a part of our family going on five years now, and oh, I’ve never had a dog like her before (and I mean that in a good way)!  Bama is such a good girl, eager to please, laid back, and she doesn’t demand constant attention.  But she has this one really nasty vice – she rolls in dog poop.  I don’t think Bama has ever rolled in her own, but we have to keep an eye on her while out on a walk because she may be tempted to get all into what some other pooch left behind.  Seems it, the poop rolling, happens at the most inopportune times too.  Of course, I suppose there is never a good time for your dog to roll in poop.  Our stinker (!) dog has done this rolling act when at a neighborhood night out gathering down the street; she’s done it while on a trip to visit my parents (twice, back-to-back!); and she has done it right before we were turning in for the night.  I believe the late night roll was when our fence was beat all to hell and the occasional traveling canine would sometimes pay a visit and leave its calling card in our backyard.

I came up with a nickname for our poop-rolling dog immediately after the first rolling occurrence.  May I present to you, “Snoopy Poopy Poopy Headed Poop Roller!”  It’s kind of catchy when you say it fast.  But anyhoo, Bama hasn’t rolled in poop in a really long time–she’s probably due–but her given nickname has stuck, not unlike the brown clumps of dog crap stuck in her fur after a good poop rolling.

So there’s a lesson here–Really!  I’m getting to it!–there are some transgressions or acts in life that will simply never be forgotten.  Hopefully for humans, we’re not talking about the sport of poop rolling, but more so the acts of cheating, lying, stealing, and yes, bigger offenses too offensive for me to want to include here.  You commit a big infraction and it may never be forgotten.  I mean, do you want a Snoopy Poopy nickname for the rest of your life for something stupid you may have done ONCE?  Society can be harsh and unforgiving, but hopefully the example of Bama’s forever poop-rolling label, will make my family and me, and maybe even some of my gazillions of blog readers (right??), think twice before taking a big (and possibly reprehensible) action.  Because sometimes you only have to roll in poop once.

Bama (aka Snoopy Poopy Poopy Headed Poop Roller)


TBT – My first apartment


Many years ago, college completed and new job in hand, I moved out on my own and into my very first apartment.  I was so excited about my independent living, I could totally overlook the roaches that also resided with me.  Bleh!  Roaches aside, my first apartment is still a good memory.  I had so little when I moved in.  My parents let me take my bedroom furniture with me; they were probably actually glad to see it go.  And my sister and brother-in-law lent me a table and chairs upon move-in.  My b-i-l also did most of the moving that day.  Not sure how he ended up getting stuck doing that; I’m sure he wonders the same.  But anyhoo, I had zero living room furniture.  All I had was a coffee table, oh and a tv and tv stand, but that was it, so the living area looked pretty sparse.

For the first few months, I would sit on the living room floor to watch tv or talk on the phone.  I had a monitor/keyboard setup from work on my coffee table and I would sit on the floor in front of that to remotely trouble shoot any off-hours work issues.  I really didn’t care that I had no sofa or chair.  But give it more time and a little more money saved, my sister went with me to buy furniture.  We ended up in the store’s “outlet” (read: cheap, well cheaper) section and I found a sweet (!) sofa and loveseat combo, a beige color with wide navy blue vertical stripes.  There were even some decorative pillows to boot!  Can’t have enough of those!

About a week or so after the furniture store trip, my very first sofa/loveseat set was delivered.  I loved, loved, loved it!  I was so excited.  I remember coming in the living room over and over just to look at it.  I was pretty proud of my little apartment.  I was proud of myself for my accomplishments.  It felt good to know that I had worked hard and saved my own money for apartment rent and furniture.  I was living completely on my own and loved the feeling of independence.  What a good feeling.  I can only wish the same feelings of excitement and accomplishment on my boys when the time comes.