My Work Here Was Done

We just moved our older son, Alex, to Toronto, where he will be attending medical school. I can’t take any of all the credit for his accomplishment, but when he was a little boy, I did cut various-shaped sandwiches for his and his brother’s lunch boxes. (I’d hate to think of where they would have ended up if the sandwiches had been in triangles. Shudders…) As if that wasn’t enough, I often slipped a note in with their lunches. Gosh, I can barely remember what they said but here’s the gist: Have a good day! See you after school! You will become a doctor one day! Bam! It worked! (His brother got the same notes, so do the math. Duh.)

Speaking of math, shortly after the sandwich/note phase, I noticed I was gradually being phased out our boys began to take a keen interest in math and science which would have been wonderful if I could figure out how to split a lunch bill but here’s the thing: I no speak-a the language. I majored in English and I assumed we would dissect poetry together, not test the strength of various mixtures of concrete for a science experiment (that I named Concrete Thinking by the way. Catchy, right?). I panicked and insisted they recite Shakespeare every night. I still get shivers when I remember those precious pre-schoolers mumbling: “This above all else: To thine own sewlf be twue. Swoon. Despite my efforts, the boys still concocted stupid experiments, understood that pi didn’t come with meringue, and one of them even had the audacity to correctly use the words ‘string theory’ in a sentence circa Grade 5. It was clear they were show-offs pulling away from me. I was dead inside the water.

Oh sure, I failed took high school science and math courses and I totally get that a polynomial is a shape with nine equal sides, but when the boys throw out words like parabolas (WTH?) kwantum fisix (Oh really?? Well, how do YOU spell it, Captain Intelligence? Bite me.) and the Periodic Table, I try to fit in by saying wrong and inappropriate things like: Oh! I know what that is!! Back in the day, I used the Periodic Table to chart my menstrual cycles and I’m here to tell you it’s a total crock and does NOT- I repeat- NOT work! You try counting 14 days from Fe (Iron) and see how many times you get pregnant. The ‘Idiotic Table’ might be a better name for it!

Pffft. I’m over it. Even though I don’t speak gibberish their language, I do other awesome and helpful things around here! Facts: I make a mean martini sandwich (See Paragraph 1), I can grocery shop in under 22 minutes (My personal best. Jealous much?) and I can pull together a dumpster with the perfect, well-placed throw cushion. I’ll have you know, when we moved our boy into his new place, he was not begging for my decorating advice so there! Hmmmph.

His apartment was in need of some TLC. My heart fluttered. I finally had something to offer! I could envision endless possibilities to jazz things up: plants, pictures, a mirror-tile backsplash and marble countertops… Where to begin??

On my way out the door to Walmart, I asked him, “Would you like some pictures for your walls?”

He responded, “Why?”

Next, I asked, “How about a few plants?”

Him: “Nah. They’ll die.”

Me: “A bowlful of potpourri? Wicker baskets? Slipcovers for those chairs?? A robin egg blue accent wall?? Work with me for the luvofgod!”

Him: “I don’t understand why you’re still here anything you just said.”

Sigh. Words weren’t working. I had to show him the possibilities, so on our third hundredth trip to Walmart, I dragged him to the home décor section and pointed out things like:

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And this to make the walls pop:

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Awwww… ‘member this??

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His response was consistent: “Get some help. Nah.”

Dejected but determined, I slipped a cinnamon-scented candle into the shopping cart:

He asked, “Uh. What’s that thing?”

Me: “Duh. It’s a candle. You can hide it behind the toaster if you want but the smell will hopefully remind you of the Christmas we made that gingerbread house and it took over 2 hours and the roof slid off and the walls fell over and I yelled, “I hate you, Martha Stewart!!” we laughed until our stomachs hurt. Remember??” (He didn’t, FYI.)

There was no way I was leaving that store without some apartment bling! As he ran away from me went in search of an ethernet cable (boooorrring!), I boldly grabbed a floor lamp, a gray throw blanket and a plaid throw pillow. This…was…on.

Back at the apartment I fussed for seconds hours, while the guys tried to set up the TV (boooorrring!) and here’s the final product. Ta da!!!

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I nailed it right?

The guys were all like, “Mom, you killed it! We’re hungry.”

Once they all stopped ignoring me gushing, I had to remind Alex of the throw cushion rules:

Do not sit on it. Ever. Promise me.

Fluff it up every time you walk by it.

 And, the throw blanket rules:

Drape it carefully over the arm of the chair.

Use it only in emergencies and re-drape when finished.

My work here was done. As I turned towards the door to leave, I took one last glimpse at my towering son. It was clear he had already squished the damn cushion was no longer the little boy who needed notes from me. But I left him one just the same. It went like this:

Have a good semester! See you in a few weeks. You will become a doctor one day.

PS Call me every day no matter what if you have questions about home décor or how to make a PB&J into a bread Picasso, but no parabola-related questions, please.  

PPS What even is a parabola?? 

PPPS The cinnamon-scented candle is in your top kitchen drawer beside the floral-patterned oven mitts.

Love Mom xox

 

Unfortunately, I Can’t Cook for a Month Because I Got Hit by a Car

Yesterday I came ‘this close’ to being the victim of vehicular manslaughter and NO IT WASN’T because I darted in front of an 18-wheeler without looking like the last time so you can stop rolling your eyes!! Frig. I’m lucky to be alive, even though it feels like you don’t take me seriously at times. Look, if you feel horrible (as you should) about doubting me, you can contribute to my convalescence. To do so, simply click on the fake legitimate link at the end of this story and donate to Go Fund Me. I’ve been to hell and back and your support makes the struggle worthwhile. Blessings to you and your family for giving your last fifty generously.

Here’s my gory recount of what happened yesterday. Reader discretion is advised! Here goes…I noticed after a large breakfast of bacon and eggs (and waffles) that my muffin top was spilling over my shorts the rain had dissipated after a dreary weekend and I figured it was a good time for a vigorous(ish) bike ride. I donned my skin-tight sweats biking outfit and set out to beat my personal best of 10 km in 60 minutes. (Bite me). I had just emerged from the totally flat gruelling 5 km wooded trail and stopped briefly to vomit catch my breath before venturing onto the city streets to finish the remaining 5 km. I was totally killin’ myself it.

I approached a small street at lightning speed (obviously) but when I noticed a blue car coming down the street– which had a STOP SIGN AT THE END OF IT… WHICH MEANS TO STOP!!!!! — I slowed down. The homicidal sociopath who was hell-bent on snuffing me out driver appeared to slow down, WHICH, LAST TIME I CHECKED, ISN’T THE SAME THING AS STOPPING (!!!), and I thought she saw me. Due to my misplaced faith in humanity uber-focused athletic mindset, I blocked out any potential harm and crossed the street. First mistake. (Second mistake was being caught on camera without makeup, obviously).

This next part gets pretty graphic so I’ll never forgive you if you can’t get through it. (Takes deep breath). I felt the car’s metal (Are cars made of metal these days? Not sure. Whatevs. I felt something.) brush against me. Down, down I went. Everything happened in slow motion and before landing ankle-first on the hot asphalt while humming, Don’t Fear the Reaper, I had lots of time to entertain some pretty gruesome thoughts:

So help me God, if I make it out alive, someone will pay for this!!

 As if my hair didn’t look bad enough before. Now THIS!! ARGH!!

 Please God, let the damage be enough to keep me out of the kitchen forever a month but not enough to disfigure this already disfigured face.

Before I could yell, “Murderer! Murderer!”, I was on the ground with my bike on top of me. Thank GOD the pretend paparazzi wasn’t hounding me street was quiet and empty, because I look super ugly when I’m bleeding out on the pavement, while begging for an emergency transfusion. Ooooh. You’re just sooo tough. Well not EVERYONE wants to bleed to death while waiting for the ambulance that never came. I don’t need your approval for the way I handled things, thank you very much. Back to my near-death experience: I saw the dreaded bright lights driver approach me with wide eyes and her hand over her mouth. She screamed, “OMG, are you Miss Nackawic 1981 okay???” I was all like, “What do YOU think? Would YOU be okay if you had to give back the crown were mowed down by a vehicle on purpose??” Then I looked down and saw that I was bleeding in TWO places. O.M.G.

two cutsWhat do you MEAN you can’t see it? Are you blind? Gawd.

Naturally I lost my mind. Blood loss does crazy things to a person. I started screaming, “Tell my family I won’t be able to cook for at least a month love them! I was weak and slurring my words. Obviously, I feared another brain injury. I was confused and in my stupor, I automatically signed autographs for the driver and her boyfriend who didn’t even seem to know where Nackawic was much less who reigned over the town for 365 days, during which time I was under such scrutiny I felt like I was living in a fishbowl!! went into maternal mode and lectured the young woman on the importance of STOPPING WHEN YOU SEE A STOP SIGN and that ROLLING STOPS AREN’T STOPS and that she RUINED MY ANKLE AND MY HAIR WITH HER NEGLIGENCE!! She swore she had learned her lesson and that my hair still looked super fab so I decided not to sue her because of the second thing she said.

I’m very not proud to say I left a dent on the side of her car. Na! Na! Na! Poo! Poo! It totally did didn’t make me feel one bit better to know the driver suffered a bit too. I told a really hilarious joke about making an impact on them! Ha ha!! Get it?? Oh how we laughed!! Wait. I think it was just me who laughed, but I’m pretty sure it was from the brain injury I sustained when I GOT HIT BY A CAR. (I used All Caps because I sensed you were forgetting the whole point of this story which is I GOT HIT BY A CAR YESTERDAY AND I LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT! Don’t forget, k?)

I somehow managed to stanch the bleeding and bravely biked all the way home. Once through the door, I immediately called my husband to tell him how lucky I am to not have to cook for a month be alive! He couldn’t chat for very long because he was in a meeting but I’m almost certain he was thrilled to hear I was alive. I could tell because at the end of the conversation he said, “Who IS this?”

I’m on Day 2 of recovery and it’s going better than expected. The pretend doctor told me I was a hypochondriac very brave woman and though I fought him tooth and nail to continue my regular duties, he said I MUST stay off it lest I compromise the healing process. I just can’t risk it, you guys.

Which is why this is happening:

me on couch

Here’s me looking at the clock wishing like hell I could prepare something- anything!!- for my menfolk for supper! What a total drag, right? Frig.

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Uh oh. Almost supper time…crud. Kinda hard to cook with this happenin’:

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So the obvious moral of this story is to be ever vigilant, always wear makeup a helmet and for the luvofgod, don’t trust drivers to know your back story look both ways! You do not- I repeat- you do not want to end up like me on the couch watching TV at supper time. No sir. Oh! Before I forget, click HERE to help us recoup our losses for such things as restaurant vouchers, highlights (my hair was a total disaster after lying on the pavement in that hot sun for all of two minutes that time) and court fees for my so- called ‘court-ordered mental assessment’. Pffft. Don’t care. I’m on the couch not cooking. Who’s the crazy one now, hmmm? Thought so.

Bye! Bye! Privacy and Normal Life!

Look, don’t get me wrong.  I’d love nothing more than to take a selfie right now and send it to you but MY EYES ARE BLOODSHOT FROM THE PRETEND PAPARAZZI’S CAMERA FLASHES! I didn’t want to say anything about it but since it’s all over CNN Facebook, let me explain– My book (Thanks beth & Odette, for your help on it, by the way) is in Chapters in Dieppe, NB! Hold your applause– I just need a little break from all the attention. Okay. Break’s over. Back to me…

I’ll start with the moral of the story: Be careful what you wish for. I used to look at famous authors and think “Their book sucks!! “Man, that would be so cool to have my face splashed all over VOGUE Chapters book shelves like that. Frig. Then it happened to me and I couldn’t have been less prepared for the deafening silence aftermath.

So I’d heard my our my our my our my (just sounds better) book Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart! was in Chapters and I wanted to see for myself. I hopped in my car and on the way there it hit me. I can’t just stroll into Chapters like a regular person anymore, I told myself. I’ll be mobbed for sure! Sigh. Bye bye, privacy and normal life! I parked the car and sat there for a minute wondering how other celebs handled this fishbowl existence. To no one in particular, I said, “Honkity hink! Focus and think!”(Ahem, read the book) The parking lot was empty (relief!!) so I slithered in on my stomach ever so stealthily.

Once inside, I shielded my eyes and squinted hard awaiting the frenzy of camera flashes. After smashing into a wall by mistake I opted for a disguise instead. Here’s how bad things got: I grabbed a scarf off the shelf and I wrapped it around my head in such haste I didn’t even realise IT WASN’T MY COLOUR!!! OMG. I looked super washed- out but I had no choice.

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Then, I whipped out my oversized sunglasses from my purse and covered my eyes. I found a copy of the book and hid behind a book shelf  (How does Justin Bieber LIVE like this I wondered.) I thought I heard, “Who’s the freak?? Beyonce! Over here!! Smile! You’re stunning!” but I didn’t can’t be sure.

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Look what I saw!! OMG- this woman- whom I’ve never laid eyes on before- LOVES it. Better order more, Chapters!! Just sayin.

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I roamed around the store incognito for a while and I couldn’t believe how many places I found the book. This thing was on FI-YAH! Check it.

It was in the travel section because Camelia, the Canada Goose travels all across New Brunswick. Duh.

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Are you kidding me? It’s only been in the store for an hour and this happened! Whoa.We are honoured.

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When did the staff even have time to read it? What diff? We’re their faves! YES!!

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Even the CEO of Chapters chose us?!! We are blessed.

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Now THIS is cray cray.  EVEN THE MANNEQUIN LOVES IT! I’ve never seen that before…ha ha

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Here’s the shelf most of them are on. I find it kinda sad that the other authors don’t have a fighting chance but whoever arranged the books must have wanted it that way. Whatevs. (Shrugs shoulders).

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Aaaaaand here’s a close -up of the book:

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No I’m NOT hiding anything and I don’t like where you’re going with this! I got PLENTY of attention as a child and I don’t know WHY you’re saying I didn’t!! I’ll repeat: B & O have sucked up enough of the limelight already (beth has another published book under her belt and Odette drew the fancy pants pictures in the book, okay??). Can’t you just be happy for me for once? I don’t even know who my real friends are at this point. Fame taints everything eventually.

Things weren’t moving as quickly as I’d hoped. Sure, it’s awesome hard to be  bombarded by fans 24/7, but I wasn’t expecting crickets my disguise to be THAT good. I decided to remove the scarf and sunglasses and let the imaginary people have a shot at meeting me. As I slipped the sunglasses back into my purse, I heard the words I’d waited my entire life to hear, “Ma’am, let me escort you to the door. Would you mind signing these?” The lovely lady who worked in the store had somehow figured out I was the co- sole co- sole co- sole (just sounds better) author from when I jumped out of hiding and screamed, “Hey guess what you guys?? I wrote this book!!” and asked me to sign a few copies. Then she put this sticker on it. Note the singular (AUTHOR) noun. I begged her to add an an ‘s’ but she wouldn’t have it.

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It’s hard to argue with stickers, don’t you find?

me myself and i

The signing went on for seconds hours. My wrist was practically falling off!!

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Here’s me after signing the fifth gazillionth book without so much as a sip of water or confetti falling from the ceiling. I’d just about had it at that point. (Yes, I KNOW there are no people in the photo but that’s because there were no people this was taken 9 seconds before the people came. Be patient!)

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Exhausted mentally and physically, it was time to leave. The nice security guard pushed me out held the door while I waved to my imaginary fans and blew kisses. What a letdown rush! The second (but most important) moral of this story is pretty simple: If you don’t have your copy(ies) of Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart! you know what to do.  Go to Chapters and tell them I sent you. They’ll remember me. Trust me.

PS I’m not allowed within 20 feet of Chapters for a ‘trial period’ (Blah blah blah) but if you would like me to sign your book, call my pretend agent and we can arrange it. Mmmwwwaahh (Famous author air kiss. You’re welcome)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Wrote a Boo-ook! Na Na Na Poo Poo!

 

Oh right- you’re just sooo perfect! News flash–Just because I procrastinate and lack focus, drive and vision does not mean I’ll never make it in this stupid world. And who even cares that I’ve been saying for 30 years: I should write a book. I have a great idea for a children’s book. I would absolutely write a book but it’s hardly my fault the market is saturated and my pretend agent quit which again… not my fault.

Well, you can stop talking about me behind my back because I did write a children’s book thank you very much. You heard me. I wrote it with two of my favorite people:small names myself and I. Yep. It’s a real book and it’s going to be published by a real publisher named Chocolate River Publishing in Riverview, NB. I’ll be sure to wave at you when I’m on Ellen. (PS- Despite the tone I’m copping here, I really need you to buy 10 books MINIMUM as I need new granite counter tops. Promise? Blessings to you and your family!)

The book is called Follow the Goose Butt, Camelia Airheart! and it’s about a Canada goose with no sense of direction and no- it is not autobiographical, thank you very much! Besides… having no sense of direction is an adorable trait which leads to out of the way road trips, unplanned adventures and divorce- so suck it. Ta da! Here’s the cover:

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Fine. Be weird and super nitpicky about the details– I suppose I did have a tiny bit of help writing it, but I still deserve the lion’s share of the royalties no matter what those stupid lawyers say! My co-writers, small names(Put your bloody glasses on if you can’t see! Hardly my fault.) did contribute to the book. Blah. Blah. Blah. If you must know–Two years ago, the three of us were on a road trip to a writers’ workshop when they came up with the silly idea of writing a book about a Canada goose with no sense of direction. I said, “What a great idea! Wait… It’s great because geese normally have a sense of direction, right guys? Answer me!!” (Don’t say I said so but it became clear early on that they were ‘know it alls’). I daydreamed about my impending fame while they blathered on about a goose named after some famous female pilot I’ve never even heard of who gets lost in New Brunswick and searches for a place named Branta Bog because apparently the scientific name…or genus (huh??) of geese is ‘Branta’. OMG Whatever. (I still prefer my idea about a pony that eats poison grass and spews purple foam from its mouth (HAHA! Right?) but we can’t all have what we want, apparently.)

Anyway, I was hesitant to go ahead with this project for obvious reasons, one being that I’m a diva lone wolf. Once my creative writing juices start flowing, I do not tolerate interruptions. See for yourself how I roll:

Turn on computer. Make coffee. Drink coffee. Check Facebook. Check Twitter. Dry dishes. Make more coffee. Drink coffee. Have a light surf and turf snack. Stare out the window. Re-heat coffee. Sigh. Pluck chin hair. Check Pinterest. Check Facebook. Fold clothes. Stare at screen. Sigh. Imagine fame. Smile. Go for walk. Turn off computer.

Oh, pardon me. You were crowned Ms Productivity 2015 were you?? Well, drop dead for ME, thinking and eating planning are a huge part of the writing process.  You can’t just jump right in. You have to daydream a little. Everyone knows that. Everyone except small names that is. Cripes. Here’s where the rubber hit the road:

Them: Let’s get started tomorrow.

Me: Well, why the rush not!? (Nervous laughter)

Our first meeting was at odette's house. I knew this collaboration was going to be a total disaster when I looked up after six minutes of non-stop writing and realized we hadn’t taken a break. When I dared to suggest I needed a nap or a snack, they got in such a huff!  Oh- and when we finally went for a walk on the gorgeous beach in front of her gorgeous house (show-off) and I pointed to a flock of ducks overhead and by mistake yelled, “GEESE!” was the second time they got all huffy on me. Deep breath, small names. Jeepers.

We each had something to bring to the writing table but mainly me. beth thinks big and says we’ll get Camelia Airheart on TV, even though I’m the one who should be on TV. Hmmph. She also sings and she wrote and recorded the Branta Bog Ballad for our book, which I could have done in my sleep but no one asked, for the record. Odette is logical and practical and tells us we have to write the thing first and that no we can’t finish this book and write a sitcom by the end of the day (no one likes her). Oh, and she just happens to be the big shot illustrator for our book. I submitted goose drawings for the book too but they said, “Don’t call us. We’ll call you.” Fine. Be that way. Well, news flash– I also have talents: I drink a lot of coffee for inspiration and sometimes I get chocolate on my face from snack break persnickety and scream say stuff like: “Oh yes we will use a colon rather than a dash!” See? We’re all special in our own way.

By the end of summer, I have to say I was getting tired of their constant lording their hoity toity facts over me. Yes, we wanted the book to be an authentic representation of our province but good Lord! At times I felt like I was in a friggin’ geography class. Check it:

Geese come from the Gulf of Mexico at that time of year.

The Bay of Fundy has tides.

New Brunswick has many trees.

Blah. Blah. Blah. I held my head high though. I’m no idiot and I had important information to share too. Check it:

Debating between ‘a’ and ‘the’ for 1.5 hours is NOT obsessive. It’s called editing. Google it for once in your life.

A semi-colon most certainly can be used in every sentence; furthermore, I find it hurtful that I was dubbed ‘Semi-Colleen’.

The perfect latte is 2:1 frothed milk to coffee. Obviously. (They didn’t even know this. OMG)

Looking back, I never got used to being bullied into writing all the bloody time, but word on the street is that’s what it takes to get published. Anyway, back to me and how I felt: bullied. Look at the photo below to see what I’ve dealt with. We are in a restaurant and they’re still working for the luvofgod! I know it looks like I’m not contributing but I’m actually mentally planning tomorrow’s dinner the sequel okay? Chill.

Joeys

I suppose letting small namesin on my writing project isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever done, since my solitary writing wasn’t going super great- but only because I was too busy writing with them!! Here’s what I had so far:

The An A small tiny little duck gigantic goose flew hurled skittered raced over above across a the sky horizon atmosphere.

Whatever. My pretend agent wants me to strike out on my own eventually, and with some a lobotomy elbow grease I’m sure I can write my own friggin’ book; however, I’ll probably stick with small names for now because God knows they don’t have a blessed clue what to do with a semi-colon. Besides, I have way more Facebook friends than they do so how the heck would they even market a book without me? Duh. I’ll take pity on them and stay for one more book. Well, maybe a series. And a TV show. And a modelling contract. But that’s it! Then I’m goin’ solo. They’ll just have to deal with it.

PS Don’t forget to buy 1000 books okay? My counter tops are coming tomorrow and I have no means of paying for them so giddy-up!

PPS I’ll let you know when/where the books are available. They cost $10.95 each and here’s a special deal for you: I’ll give you 5 for $55.Don’t bother with your calculator. Just trust me- it’s a steal!  Bam. Write the cheque to me please. I’ll be sure the others don’t get their share. Blessings.

The Car was Intelligent and I Wasn’t, Darn it!

Greetings, readers!  There’s been a lapse. I realize that. It’s easy to explain: I’m lazy and uninspired and Netflix takes up all my time. Sue me.

Since I realized how long it had been since I posted, I sat down for days and wrote furiously to try and make it up to you. Wait. Sorry. No. I’m getting myself mixed up with famous writers who sell books. Sounds way too hard so instead, I reached into my old writing files, pulled out one I wrote a couple of years ago, sent it to the website that honors the one and only Erma Bombeck and since the powers that be were having a slow day, they posted it (I don’t CARE if I had to pay them to do it. That’s not the POINT).

Click on the link below to read it. Notice how youthful I looked- I mean ‘look’. No sense posting a new photo as I look exactly like that. Even better probably.

You know the drill- send it to Ellen. Make me famous. Blah blah blah.

http://humorwriters.org/2016/02/14/the-car-was-intelligent-and-i-wasnt-darn-it/

The Joy of Christmas?

Don’t get all judgey on me like you do sometimes. Look, I’m tapped out and I’m double-dipping with this blog post. Deal with it. Of all things: Thanks to my childhood bestie’s (Deirdre!) mother (Thanks, Maureen!), who lives in Ireland, my writing ended up in a glossy and gorgeous annual Christmas magazine published by The Irish Times! I was asked to write it. You heard me. Asked!! For once in my life I wasn’t stalking publishers/editors and then sending them dead festering rabbits hate mail for rejecting me. Hmmmph.

The Irish Times rocks it and if they begged me to write a monthly column for them, I would definitely think about it for two seconds and then I’d probably accept their gracious offer, which hopefully would include a free trip to Ireland. Whatever. Even a bi-monthly column would be cool. Or thrice yearly. Just call my people me and we’ll talk…

And without further adieu, here is the article that appeared in this Christmas magazine (I was very surprised to see my picture on the cover too. Two words: Hair extensions) on November 4. Bam. If the print is too small (which it is…), you can view it herearticle

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Putting the “I” Back in Christmas

Christmas shopping used to unhinge me. I’d go from store to store wracking my brain for innovative and unique gifts for my loved ones. I’d wait in never-ending line-ups inevitably getting arrested for screaming obscenities impatient and huffy. Then, after lugging my treasures home, I’d second-guess every last one of ‘em. Disgusted, I would set them all on fire aside until I could think straight. Grrrr. It was so frustrating!! I just wasn’t feeling the Christmas joy everyone blathered on about.

One evening, after hours of watching Netflix meditating by a roaring fire, I unearthed the source of my anger: There was nothing in it for me! Since changing my attitude and putting the “I” back in Christmas, my mood has spiked exponentially. You heard me. Buying myself awesome prezzies will surely have a ripple effect on my family’s well-being. It’s for the greater good, Miss Judgey Captain Samaritan!

Let’s start with this gorgeous, embossed pottery mug I bought at a holiday craft show last weekend. Check it:

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Um. It’s more than just a pretty mug, FYI. It has the potential to save Christmas. Look: Here’s me drinking from a plain, chipped mug last Christmas. Do I look happy to you??

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Yes it IS chipped. You just can’t see it! Never mind…

Now…here’s how I think I’ll look sipping a perfectly- foamed latte from from my new, unchipped mug this year:

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Now you’re talkin’!

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The spin-offs will be endless: If I’m happy, I’ll be inclined to make a lovely Christmas breakfast, a fabulous turkey dinner and even overlook the credit card bill mountains of torn, discarded wrapping paper that’s invisible to everyone but me. Happy me = oblivious happy family. Duh. It’s not rocket science, you guys.

I just love these leather bracelets I snagged at aforementioned craft show!

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I figured I’d save my husband the trouble of buying the ‘wrong’ kind, which could lead to icy tension on Christmas morning (You’re welcome, honey!). I hope there’s no tension when he finds out I bought a Harley so I’d have some place to wear the ‘biker chick’ bracelets. Stay tuned (insert nervous laughter)! Sometimes I get so caught up in the spirit of giving that I lose my house head.

Enough about me! Back to my family: Do you think for one minute they enjoy seeing me with puffy, dull eyes on Christmas morning? Hardly… so for their viewing pleasure, I purchased this purple eye liner with just a touch of glitter.

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It brings out the golden specks in my pupils and my boys go nuts for that. Look closely and you’ll see the specks:

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After they say stuff like: “Where’s the presents?” “Mom, your eyes are so pretty this morning!” I’ll be in a better mood. See bit about breakfast, turkey dinner and discarded wrapping paper above. Follow me so far?

Sigh. I feel sick that my family has to see me every Christmas morning in the same friggin’ birthday suit flannel pjs. I know they feel sorry for me and wish I would treat myself so I selflessly did! Ta da!!

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It screams Feliz Navidad right? Gosh, I hope it’s not too red and shiny- I don’t want to hog all the attention. See? There I go second-guessing again. ARGH.

This wine is super delish so I picked up a case bottle for a little treat.

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Picture this: Me sipping wine, while sporting this new gorgeous/glam black top (Like it?? I bought it yesterday…) on Christmas Eve. Swoon.

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Everyone knows I’m a blast from Christmas past when I look like a rock star and I’ve had a few too many glasses. I tell hilarious jokes. I dance even if there’s no music. I dredge up the ugly past festive appetizers from the deep freeze. It’s a win/win and all because I bought myself a little somethin’ somethin’. Jealous yet?

Listen, I realize this is unorthodox but don’t forget: This is for my family. I repeat: This is for myself family. I shudder when I think about the puffy-eyed, bracelet-less, chipped-mug Christmases of past and how my family suffered because of it. Poor them. This Christmas is going to be different though! I can feel it. What could go wrong? Ahhh crap! I just remembered something super important that might affect Christmas morning afterall: I forgot to buy gifts for my family my special eggnog coffee! I hope there’s still time…