A TBT / flashback Friday kind of post

Well, kiddies, since my internet connection is acting all wonky like and I’m in a totally lazy kind of mood, I thought I’d post a previous post. It’s pretty ingenious of me, I know.

I liked this post, and I’m pretty sure 99.9% of you have not read it yet. And if you have, it’s such an awesome repeat, I just KNOW you’ll love reading it again. See? It’s a win-win for everyone!

FIRST STEP — originally posted October 23, 2014


Gerald often times goes around the house singing bits of his favorite songs or songs that have gotten stuck in his head.  For some reason, Eddie Rabbitt’s “Step by Step” was on the rotation for the day and I heard Gerald sing some of it wrong, and I’m talking specifically about the lyrics, we won’t go into actual singing capabilities/talent/ability.  Huh hum… So anyway, I pointed out Gerald’s faux pas to him, like I like to do, and he said I was the one who was wrong!  Excusee?  Oh, it’s on!  To the internet we go!

The particular line is “…take that first step, ask her out and treat her like a lady…”  Gerald was insistent it goes, “…take that first step, take her out and treat her like a lady…” (he was replacing “ask” with “take”).  Gerald was so insistent, in fact, he had his bare behind out and ready for me to kiss, just knowing I was wrong.  Oh, such joy to be right yet again!  And he sure was quick to move his backside out of the line of fire.

Gerald says the lyrics don’t make sense, it makes more sense that the guy takes her out and then treats her like a lady.  I say the whole “take her out” is implied, because he has to ask her out first before he can actually take her out.  Gerald says if she says “No,” then the guy wouldn’t have to bother treating her like a lady so you can’t miss that step of taking her out first.

Well, whether or not either of our arguments hold, I was right about the actual lyrics and that’s all that matters.  This isn’t our first go-round with disagreements over lyrics and I can guarantee it won’t be our last.

Now, here are some other song lyrics that have been butchered by either Gerald or me.  See if y’all can guess the song and who got it wrong.  I can admit I’ve been wrong on like one or two occasions.  And I nitpick!  I figure if you’re gonna sing the song out loud, you should at least do so within any copyright boundaries or whatever that’s called.

  • Come down from your fences, oh but then again…
  • Tin roof!  Rusty!
  • I got a calico cat and a tin roof flat…
  • This coat and tie is choking me, In your high society, you play all day
  • No I don’t know the name of the band but they’re good, pardon me, would you like to dance…
  • I can feel it calling in the air tonight, hold on…
  • I try to say goodbye but I choke, I try to walk away but I stumble


Don’t bake it!

This past Friday night, I was getting a pizza ready to put in the oven for the boys–I was heating up a gluten free Russo’s pizza in the toaster oven for me. I know! Jealous much??–and I happened to notice the “DON’T FORGET” notes on the back of the Schwan’s pizza’s box. One “don’t forget” stood out in particular. See the pic below.

Schwans pizza box

The picture may be a little hard to see with the glare and all, so here are the bullets:
* For food safety and quality cook until the internal temperature is 160 F before eating
* Do not thaw pizza * Take pizza out of the box and wrapper before cooking <–Ooo… pick me! Pick me!
* Cooking times may vary * Refrigerate or discard any unused portion
* Pizza is done when center cheese is melted and edges are golden brown

Can you guess which one left me a little perplexed?

Do you think the Schwan’s company has had some schmuck complain that nowhere on the box does it say you can’t just throw the whole unopened pizza box, and then in 18 to 21 minutes, voila! Dinner is served!? And I’m thinking it can’t just have been ONE person who tried to pull off this gotta-admit-awesome-and-super-easy-dinner-prep idea. In order for this particular concern to make it as its own bullet on the back of the box, multiple people have had to have tried tossing the whole pizza, wrapper and all, into a preheated oven.

Visions of stupid party movies started floating through my head. Risky Business comes to mind, the scene where Joel attempts to eat a frozen block of dinner. Or maybe the guys in Bachelor Party would try this cooking method, especially the one who tried to slit his wrists with an electric shaver. Probably any of the Porky’s movies could have made such a cooking stunt believable, right? Gerald gave the suggestion of the American Pie movie, the first one. Pretty sure there’s no particular instruction on the back of a pie box to not… ummm…. well, you know. And if you don’t know, I’m not going to explain what happens to the apple pie here on my blog. You’ll have to go watch it. And then report back here pronto to let me know how much you liked the movie, and what you think the back of the pie box’s “DON’T FORGET” notes may read.

I realized after all this deep (?) contemplating over this one little pizza box note, that sometimes it’s probably just best not to go there. Sometimes it’s simply best not to question certain sights seen.

Why, just the other morning, I ran across this on my way to the kitchen:
A sight


Keep it or toss it, uncovering the past

I’ve been doing some serious decluttering in our house. I mean, we’re talking I’m deep in the throws here. I’ll get started and if I’m really into the task at hand, I won’t come up for air for hours. For each item, I either: a) keep it (I’ll have to figure out its permanent location later); b) trash bag it; or c) Goodwill bag it. I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I am attempting to follow her method, albeit her encouragement of speaking to inanimate objects is a little strange.

The decluttering I’ve done so far has resulted in bags and bags of trash at the curb, and multiple trips to the donation center. But I still have a long way to go before I can declare this house of ours to be clean.

After so many years, I can honestly say, wow, we sure have collected a lot of shit. And the items unburied run the gambit from plain boring (I found some insurance claim letters from 1997! BOR-ING!), all the way to fun memory jogging (I found Gerald’s and my YMCA membership ID cards, complete with pictures, from before we were married, but we had fibbed to the Y and claimed we were already husband and wife so we could get a cheaper rate! FUN!).

I happened upon a bundle of mailed Vegas wedding fliers/pamphlets. After Gerald and I became engaged, we toyed with the idea of having a Vegas wedding. We didn’t know if we wanted a big costly to-do and thought maybe it would be fun to run away to Vegas and get married by Elvis or something. This was before standard household internet access so I had sent inquiries to all the wedding chapels the old fashioned way. For any of you youngsters out there, this means I sent mailed inquiries through the United States Postal Service, and then I got responses through the United States Postal Service. And boy did I get responses. Some were simple and plain, and one included a sprinkle of confetti. That one was my favorite.

Thank you, thank you very much.
Thank you, thank you very much.

Now when I came across some old diaries, oh ewww is all I got to say about that! It’s a good thing I didn’t already die before I started this decluttering project. I would NOT have wanted any of my family members to run across my old diaries. Oh, just imagine it, high school girl drama all the way. And then he said, and then I said. And she’s such a bitch and oh my life is so horrible and hard and nobody understands my problems. Oh woe is me! Ya know, that kind of drama. Throw in some shameful teenager/young adult behavior, and that’s just NOT something I need my kids reading about their mom.

Something else that’s happened since I started sifting through all this “past” clutter – How different I am, how much I’ve grown as a person, is more obvious to me now more than ever. I’m so thankful to have matured into this woman who is a pretty decent wife, if I do say so myself. And how cool it is to be a mom. Every once in a while, when I’m hanging out with my sister, she looks at me and laughs, “I can’t believe someone married you!” No worries, I know she says this in sisterly love. And it is funny. If you look at the person my sister used to know 20 something years ago, I can’t believe someone married me either!

I had no idea what awaited me when I first embarked on my journey to a clutter-free house. I can only imagine what else is lurking in that cedar chest, and the other closets and cabinets I have yet to tackle. Guess I’ll soon find out.


But do credit cards grow on trees?

We're rich!!
We’re rich!!

Our credit union started offering mobile check deposit. Or maybe they’ve had it forever and I’m just now getting to be in the know. But anyway, I’ve been so excited with this phone app. I don’t ever plan on having to set foot in the credit union again. I may be exaggerating a bit, but it will definitely be less banking errand trips.

Apparently I like the banking phone app so much that I attempted to deposit the same check twice. I can just imagine the people who audit this mobile check deposit. (It IS people who double check, right? Or is that automated now as well?) I gotta wonder if they are thinking I’m trying to make some money out of this deal. I mean, I can do this cool check deposit on the same check over and over again. You never know, maybe a few of the duplicates would slide through. Boom! More money in my pockets! Do you think anyone else has figured out this little loophole yet?

This little accident (really!) reminds me of when I was a little girl, and I saw my mom pay for groceries at our local Piggly Wiggly using these little rectangular pieces of paper. Visions of color TVs, shiny new cars, mountains of candy, mounds of money, and fancy new clothes all danced around in my head. Hell yeah, we’re rich! We’re gonna be living the big life now! We’re movin’ on up! I didn’t get, after all this time, why my mom didn’t just write on these little papers to her heart’s content. Hot check? Well, I don’t know what that is, but it doesn’t sound so scary.

Nowadays it’s probably more credit cards the kids may think of as an unending entertainment source. Oh wait, and so do many of their parents, unfortunately. I gotta say, Gerald and I were both taught right, of course after my mom had to explain that money really doesn’t grow on trees and that the little slips of paper were like an official IOU note. Oh.

Gerald and I have always been of the mindset that credit cards are convenient, most definitely, but we won’t make a purchase unless we actually have the funds available. And we always pay the balance in full when the bill comes due. Not sure if we’ve instilled this sort of thinking in our boys though, but we’re working on it.

You can pay for anything using this little piece of plastic...
You see boys, you can pay for anything using this little piece of plastic…


Surprise! It’s a new emotion!

Stick me! Stick me!
Stick ME! Stick ME!

The other day, I took the boys to their yearly “well child” visits at the doctor’s office. They were given an overall good bill of health, and that’s all good. But since we had time to kill between all the nurse/doctor questions and required jags for each kiddo, the boys and I had a lot of time to chitchat.

I started describing to them the first time I ever felt the compulsion to willingly want to fully absorb someone else’s pain. My youngest was a few months old and I had to take him to the lab so blood could be drawn for some kind of test. The way he cried when he got stuck with the needle just broke my heart. I had the strongest urge to tell the lab tech to just stick me instead. I realized later that such a desire in me was new. I’m not known to volunteer for anything where I know I’ll feel pain, and yet there I was, wishing so bad it was me getting stuck with that needle.

(And FYI, I’m sure I had these same feelings after our first child was born, but I don’t remember him being all traumatized from similar experiences so I think I just didn’t recognize yet that I had gained this protective “mother hen” instinct. And Gerald, do not feel obliged to share the story about how I let our youngest’s stroller roll into the totally quiet neighborhood street because there was a bee buzzing around my head.)

When my oldest was four and a half, his appendix burst and he had to stay in the hospital for almost a full week after the emergency surgery. Towards the end of the week, Gerald noticed our son’s IV’d hand was starting to get puffy. He alerted the nurse and she informed us they’d have to insert a new IV needle. The vein was too worn out and a new vein would have to be used. I hadn’t been calling our son my anorexic four year old for nothing. He wasn’t eating or drinking. The only thing giving him any real nutrition at the time was his IV. No matter how much Gerald and I, or others who came to visit bearing lots of tempting goodies, tried to get that kid to eat, it just wasn’t working. I suppose the IV pumped antibiotics put the kibosh on his appetite. I found out just how stubborn a four year old could be.

Anyway, the lack of food and drink caused my son’s veins to not be so “plump.” The nurses needed to put in a new line, but how are you going to find a vein to use if you can’t find a vein to use? Do you see where this is headed? My son had to have been stuck with a needle about 20 times that day, trying in vain to find a vein (see how I did that there?). They tried his wrists, the top of his hands. Then they moved to trying his feet. He was screaming and crying, and I was full on crying as well. I started to cry when retelling this story to the boys while waiting at the doctor’s office, and I’m starting to tear up now just writing about it. It was miserable. How I wanted them to stick me with that needle instead! I would have taken his place in a second if I could have.

Then there was the time when my youngest was about two or three, and he was due for some routine vaccinations at the pediatrician’s office. It was a pretty uneventful visit, until we got to the very end when the nurse came in with the materials for his immunization shots. Oh yeah, all hell broke loose. The adults in the room had to catch my son, who had taken to darting all around the room, and physically hold him still while the shots were administered. This escapade bothered me because it hit me that if an adult wanted to do some serious harm to my child, they could. In the end, a toddler isn’t going to win against the strength of an adult. Yeah, so that’s a thought that kept me up at night. I mean, I already had a healthy fear of one of my kids getting injured while playing or being hit by a car or some other horrible tragedy. But then, on top of that, the fear of child abduction now came into a clearer focus.

But as time has marched forward, and my boys have grown older and are more mature (hmm..) and stronger, I’ve found the baby and toddlerhood parental feelings have waned. Don’t get me wrong, of course I still cannot stand to see my children suffer through any physical ailments/injuries, but new fears/worries/emotions have cropped up and have taken more of the center stage. For instance, when you realize one stupid mistake your child makes during adolescence can literally affect the rest of their life, that’s a hard pill to swallow right there. And I can’t describe the anger I feel when I know some other kid has done something mean to one of mine.

Before becoming a parent, I never would have guessed I’d experience all these strong emotions. I suppose new life experiences, like the challenges of parenting, can do that to a person.


The Corona quest

Gerald’s twin brother Kevin has been on my mind a lot lately. Memories of my deceased brother-in-law were triggered last weekend while celebrating the 4th at my in-laws. And this past weekend, Kevin was at the forefront of our minds again. It was Gerald’s birthday, and thus my brother-in-law’s birthday as well. A bittersweet day to say the least. With more memories triggered, I find myself once again writing about Kevin.

corona bottle

Since it was Gerald’s birthday this weekend, of course we had to do all the things he wanted to do. Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, but he did play the “it’s my birthday and I get to do all the things I want to do” card a few times. He expected zero fights from the boys and for all in the household to live in perfect harmony. Actually it was a pretty good weekend. No blowups at anybody, no squabbles to resolve. Maybe it should be Gerald’s birthday every weekend!

Gerald and I went for a nice, quiet dinner (read: just the two of us!). He had his heart set on the peppercorn steak at one of our local favorites. And even though I would have rather have gone to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, since it was Gerald’s birthday and all, I suppose I reluctantly gladly obliged. We get there and Gerald orders a Corona. A Corona? I was a little confused, Gerald is a Bud Light kind of guy. He explained he was ordering it in honor of his twin brother, Kevin’s, birthday. You know, the brother who just happened to co-rent  the same space for about nine months or so.

Kevin’s beer of choice had always been Corona. Well, this place of Gerald’s choosing, because he just had to have their peppercorn steak, doesn’t serve Corona. I admit this is where I had to give Gerald a little “I told you so” flak. The restaurant where I was wanting to go would have had Corona.

And so I thought that was that and I allowed myself to stuff my stomach silly, finishing everything on my plate, just short of licking the thing clean. And this is where Gerald says he wanted to drink a Corona before the night was over. But… but… I have no room left in my stomach for any. thing. else. After we paid the (overpriced) bill, we headed off to the Mexican restaurant (that I would have chosen in the first place. Huh hum).

I surely cannot go to this Mexican place without getting a skinny margarita. I got me my margarita and Gerald got his Corona. Now mind you, I usually get two skinny margaritas–okay, yes, sometimes three. Hello? It’s a SKINNY margarita. It makes no sense to only get one. That would be totally missing the point. But anyway, since I already had two glasses of wine at the other restaurant, I figured I really shouldn’t have any more alcohol, so no more than one skinny margarita. Gerald drank his Corona, and I’m guessing he gave his brother a silent toast.

On the drive home, we were pretty quiet. Kenny Chesney’s “Who You’d Be Today” happened to come on the radio. Uncanny timing, I swear. I whispered, “That song has always reminded me of Kevin.” Gerald whispered back, “Me too.” The song hadn’t been playing long and hadn’t even reached the chorus yet when we pulled into the driveway. I wanted to sit in the car a while longer and let the rest of the song play, but Gerald killed the engine promptly. It was too late though, the song was already stuck in both our heads.

I believe the tears come a little easier for me because I allow myself to let the waterworks go when I’m sad. Gerald… not so much. He doesn’t want anyone to see him cry. I gotta admit, it would make for much awkwardness if I saw Gerald cry. I wouldn’t know what to do. He’s always been my rock, always been my superhero. I believe the only time I’ve ever seen tears even come close to my husband’s eyes is during the birth of our two boys.

So Gerald fulfilled his birthday Corona quest/consumption, and I allowed myself a good cry.

Happy birthday to my husband and his twin brother, who left us way too soon!


Giving pause

shade tree

Yesterday evening, Gerald and I went for one of our ridiculously long walks. We have this nice concreted walkway behind our house. Since it’s still a fairly new area commodity, most of the trees along the path are young little things and so they offer zero shade for those of us crazy enough to exercise in such heat. Even though the worst of the day’s heat is starting to wane by the evening time, you can still feel the mid-July brutality.

Along the trail, however, is the occasional respite of shade, offered up by some older trees that happened to have been there long before the county built the walkway. It’s the moment of time when I walk under these more mature trees that I could go for a nice long pause. Oh yeah, that’s nice. Let’s just stop here for a second. It’s so much cooler here, and I don’t have to squint my eyes because of the sun’s bright rays. But alas, we don’t hesitate, no stopping allowed. Back into the heat we go.

In that shady split second, I thought of another time in my life where I’ve wanted to take a pause from uncomfortable circumstances. I remember on long car trips with my parents and sister, sometimes we would have to drive through really nasty weather. Sheets and sheets of rain would splash across the windshield and the sound of raindrops hitting the car was scary loud. I trusted my dad to navigate us safely through the storm, of course, but I’d still be on edge and crazy nervous. I would be so anxious for it to finally be over. We would drive under the occasional highway overpass, and there we’d get the ever so slightest break from the storm. It was quiet and dry. I remember thinking how nice it would be if the whole entire highway could be covered by a big giant overpass so you’d never have to drive through such hazardous conditions. Or, it would be nice if we could at least stay under the overpass just a little bit longer, just long enough for the bad weather to pass. But our small break from the rain would be gone just as quickly as it had appeared. Back into the unforgiving thunderstorms we went.

While reflecting on this idea of “pause,” I realized how impractical it would be to try to prolong some of these small moments of relief. If I took the pause I wanted under the shade trees while out walking, then it would take longer to get back to the house. And when we’re out walking “the long walk,” the less time it takes, the better! And if my parents had decided to wait out every storm by tucking under an overpass, then we would be delayed from getting pretty much anywhere we were trying to get. So… sometimes you just have to persevere. Sometimes you gotta get through the unpleasant moments to accomplish your goal, to get to your final destination.


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Boudin balls for everyone!

boudin balls

We went to my in-laws to celebrate the 4th of July this year. It was nice. Shockingly, the kids were all well behaved and there were no big blow ups or big to-dos or anything. There was lots of swimming and eating and drinking and eating and eating…

At one point, when the sun’s bewitching hours were over, and it was comfortable to sit out by the pool with no shade protection, I sat by the hot tub while our little nephews splashed and played. From this position, I had a straight shot view of the room addition my in-laws built years and years ago. I thought back to when Gerald’s twin brother, Kevin, had rented a sander to smooth out the wooden deck. He was showing Gerald how the thing worked. He got it all spinning and let it go. It headed straight for Gerald’s legs. Gerald jumped out of the way and the sander ended up smacking right into the outside door of the room addition, leaving a big dent. “Kevin! You could’ve taken Gerald’s legs off!” (That was me screaming.) Kevin laughed like hell. Oh he had a boisterous, infectious laugh. And I miss it. We all miss it. Well, those of us in the family who knew it and can remember it, anyway. My boys were too young to have the memories stick after Uncle Kevin was gone, and our nephews weren’t even a thought yet in their parents’ minds.

I also remembered it was Kevin who bought the pool table and some of the patio furniture, all still very much used today. He was a very generous person. It wasn’t unusual for him to be bearing gifts of some sort when he came back home after being gone for months on the road. He worked as a long-distance truck driver for many years. If he would see something along the way, and if he thought so-and-so would like whatever it was, he would buy it. He wouldn’t give the expense or maybe any inconvenience, a second thought. One time when his driving route had him passing through home, Gerald and I (luckily) happened to be at the house (Kevin still lived at home with his parents as it didn’t make much sense for him to have his own place since he was gone so much anyway), and Kevin called. He was in Louisiana and was asking if he should pick up some boudin balls while he was there. Hell yes, you should pick up boudin balls! If you’ve never had Louisiana boudin balls, you have no idea what you’re missing. Gerald and I hung out the rest of the evening waiting for Kevin to get to the house and wanting some of those boudin balls! And they were so worth it.

How much I wanted Kevin to be there Saturday. He would leave the funniest messages on our answering machine. How I wish I had kept his last message ten plus years ago, but I had erased it like I do all the listened to messages, not realizing it would be the last time we heard his voice, his funny laugh.

I got up from my spot by the pool and walked under the patio cover. My FIL had gotten out this little travel sized chess set and they were setting up a game. I admired the compact set and my FIL told me Kevin had bought it so the teenage brothers could play chess on the plane back from Scotland one year. How cool was that that I was just thinking about my deceased brother-in-law and then here was another sweet memory that appeared? As much as Kevin was loved and is missed, the family doesn’t spend a lot of time reminiscing about him. I believe it’s too painful. But the 4th of July was one of Kevin’s favorite holidays. He loved to shoot fireworks. And he made it fun, probably because he was having so much fun, you couldn’t help but have fun too. Maybe that’s why his memory seemed to have gotten a “pass” yesterday. Things didn’t get too sad, the mood stayed happy. Just like Kevin would have been if he had been there to share the day with the family.


They see the signs

Can you guess what time it is?

Today I am feeling:

What? Why are Gerald and the boys running away? Guys? Guys?



P.S. Sorry, it’s such a shorty short post today, but I’ve also been feeling LAZY.