Thursday, January 31, 2008

Starbucks Encounter

Today I was in another town and had some time to kill so I found a Starbucks…which was easy. Isn’t there one on ever corner? I had my book, so why not park my butt in a warm trendy coffee shop? Only problem was, I felt like a fraud…like all the alarms were going off the minute I stepped in the door. You see, I’m a Dunkin Donuts regular and I just crossed over to the other side.

I wasn’t sure how to order the different coffee sizes, so I motioned with my fingers to indicate a small decaff. The barista handed me my coffee, “Here you are (Don’t say Maam.)…one tall decaff.” (Darn thing looks short to me.) So I took my small/tall coffee and looked around…nice couches, chairs by the fireplace, tables…(very posh). The only problem was everything was taken…except one table in the corner with a chair that faced the wall. Yep…that would be my table. After all, I am a coffee fraud so I deserve to face the wall.

So I sat down and cranked my neck around. Who’s here? Let’s see…some cappuccino moms with hot chocolate kids in tow. An espresso woman in for a quick jolt. A yuppie caramel frappuccino couple with a mocha syrup baby in a carrier… a skinny latte teenager and a Chi tea babe.

I’m not sure why I feel like a fraud at Starbucks or what they do to make me feel this way.

Maybe because their coffee pourers are called baristas. I overheard a woman order a special coffee that had 8 adjectives, 6 adverbs and a couple of nouns. The barista got it right the first time. Heck, I could never work there…I just don’t have that much memory in my bank. Then the coffee expert made something that sounded like a 747 landing…and no one ducked for cover…except me.

Maybe because they play Starbucks CDs recorded at their own record label which are configured to make you linger and drink more coffee.

Maybe because coffee can cost…4 to 5 bucks.

I admit, I felt like an alien that was dropped on to another planet…Planet DarkRoast. I tried to fit in – but I think they could tell….I am a fraud. I am not one of them. I’m a Dunkin Donuts regular.

I’m not thinking of crossing over again too soon. I guess I’m just your average Joe who likes a cup of Joe…without all the fuss.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Drivers Testing Parents

One more kid to go. Somehow we get through teaching our kids to drive…but it is never easy. With the first…you don’t know what to expect. One day Chels and I were practice driving in a neighborhood, and pulled over to let a woman who was on our tail pass. She pulled up next to us and sarcastically said, “May I help you.” Chels was annoyed, and I thought “yea, you could help…want to trade places?!” Chels turned out to be a good driver… after taking out that mean ole telephone pole.

Colinboy was a natural…probably all that go-cart and golf-cart driving. Just hope he doesn’t do what comes naturally for teenage boys, the stuff that makes their car insurance so expensive. Going to school in a city, with no place for a car, sure helps on our sleeping at night.

As for Sweet Wish, she’s coming along. The third time around, I am very aware of the driving tendencies of new drivers. Those wide turns where I go ….whooooa…as she makes the turn and momentum takes us into the other lane. The mailboxes that seem to be inching closer and closer. But she really is coming along…Just because I might have touchy brakes, that make us stand on our heads when she stops, really isn’t her fault.

The Driver’s Education Course is worth every penny. You couldn’t get me in a car with a new driver, day after day…it requires good insurance and a special pact with god.

The car I wish the kids were still driving is the red one with the yellow top. You know the one. The Little Tikes hard plastic Cozy Coupe…the one that looks like the Fred Flintstone mobile. Okay, maybe not for age 16. But it is still fun to remember them driving it…and how far they have come.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


“Magic” is boring. I realize a lot of people like to watch magic, but I do not. I am totally uninterested…forget a magic show. Ta-Da…the magician makes a guy disappear. Big deal. Who cares. So the floor has a hole in it. Now if the guy disappears into thin air and is never to be seen again by his family…all of a sudden I am interested.

The magician jabs swords through a crate with a young lady inside. Ta-Da…she jumps out without a scratch. Big deal. Who cares. Now if her body resembles Swiss cheese…all of a sudden I am interested.

Ta-Da…the magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat. Big deal. Who cares. The ole rabbit trick. Now pull a black bear out of a hat…all of a sudden I am interested.

Ta-Da…the magician levitates a dollar bill...big deal. Who cares. Now float a million dollar bills…all of a sudden I’m interested.

They are called magic tricks….’cause that is what they are….they are just tricks. Magic involves an occult force of nature. Magic tricks are fake…so boring. Give me something supernatural and unexplainable…all of a sudden I’m interested.

I will now make myself disappear. Ta-Da…I magically reappear tomorrow. Big deal. Who cares? Now if I write something worth reading …all of a sudden you are interested.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sketchies R Gone

“Ding dong. The witch is dead!" The Munchkins in Munchkinland are elated. There is a regular happy fest going on in our neighborhood. Neighbors are walking their dogs with smiles on their faces, waving excitedly as they pass each other in cars, singing in the cul-de-sac. I swear I saw Mrs. Smith doing a jig. Our sketchy neighbors left town in the middle of the night… a fitting departure…and we wouldn’t have expected anything less.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog…they earned their reputation for many reasons. Let’s just say they have many aliases…so they’ve probably changed their name (Sketchy to Sketchier) and are sketching out a new neighborhood.

Who knows what the inside of that house looks like, after they blew out of there…judging from the outside, probably not so good…the lawn they destroyed, the 2 lamp posts they knocked down while moving out, the 500 pound entrance-way cement lions they took, the mailbox they removed (only nasty mail coming anyway). Who even knows about the kitchen sink.

The funny thing is….I kind of miss them. A house that sits empty with no life is sad….even if it is low-life. I have grown accustomed to the sounds coming from next door…albeit…weird hours of the day and night. I’ll miss the sound of laying rubber, just for kicks. I’ll miss the engine revving and peeling out of the driveway at midnight. I’ll miss the mysterious ins and outs of different vehicles at all hours. I’ll miss the State Marshall knocking on their door. I’ll miss the sound of their two yappy dogs.

The comparison can be made with the feeling…When you stop hitting your head against the wall, it takes a little while before you realize…it feels much better when you stop. To help me get over this empty feeling…I’m trying to think of something to help pull me through my sadness…to help drown my sorrows.

Got it! A good-bye and good riddance…hope we never see the likes of you again …PARTY….in their honor. The Munchkins are free to rejoice and be happy…once again!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Confessions of a Mad Blogger

I am trying to determine why I like to blog. I sit down at the computer, type like a wild woman, then go back and fix all my mistakes. Otherwise it would look like: Fro soeme reson I lik tol bolg. You might be able to figure it out….but who needs to read code. So why do I like to blog? Is blogging a character flaw? Am I possessed, obsessed or repressed?

Maybe my roots can help explain… When I was in the 6th grade I lived in Tripoli, Libya, North Africa. My best friend Jane and I were Russian spies. We were learning about Russia in school and nothing sounded more intriguing to us than being a Russian spy. After Jane and her family moved back to the States, we were still in Libya, so we would write letters constantly back and forth. The crazier and sillier the letter, the better…and then we would sign off… "Russian Spy." (I still have every letter in an old cigar box. - blog idea - hoarding tendencies.)

Oh, and I used to keep a small diary of my antics…which I hid inside a Swiss Family Robinson Book. I had cut the pages so that my diary would fit exactly in it. So sneaky…Russian spy of me.

When Big C was learning to read, I would write her silly little notes when we were on long car trips. I would sign-off “MeMe” and then throw it to her in the back seat. Then she would write something and throw the note back.

I’m thinking these silly little letters were the precursors to my absurdly silly blogs. So from “Russian spy”…to “MeMe”…to “katOUT”, I sit before you as…all of the above… a possessed, obsessed, repressed blogger.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

When PaulA and I were newly married we would visit his parents. I always enjoyed going….there was a Dairy Queen on the way. On the trip we would drive by the DQ, but ALWAYS stop on the way home…EVERY single time. It didn’t matter to me that PaulA never wanted ice cream…that was his loss. We could have just eaten a 5 course meal complete with dessert a la mode, but it was understood….he just had to stop. You see I am a soft-serve ice cream fanatic.

The story goes: One day PaulA and Kat were in a pissin’ match. After all these years, do you think I can remember over what? There was a little tension in the air and then tension was replaced with the ole silent treatment….which isn’t particularly easy for me. But I was going to play the game …I too could be very childish.

So as we drove in silence, we were getting closer to the DQ…yup, DQ next stop. I could see it approaching….yup, DQ next stop. Nope, PaulA actually drove past the DQ without stopping. Okay, that did it for me. Seeing, I am not good at the silence game…

I broke the ice, “I can’t believe you didn’t stop.”
PaulA, feigning ignorance, “Oh, you wanted me to stop?”
“Of course,” I said, “we ALWAYS stop…you did that on purpose.”
He replied, “I’ll go back.”
So I continued with the childish behavior, “No, forget it. I don’t want it.”
PaulA replied, “I’m going back.”
He turned the car around, “Well, I want one.”
I bellowed, “What? You never get ice cream.”

He stopped at the DQ, came back with a large vanilla cone and we drove off. As he ate the cone, he made exaggerated slurping sounds, “ooh, schllupp, ahh…this is so good…yumm.”

I am not sure what came over me. I didn’t even think about it. In one motion…I reached over, grabbed the ice cream cone out of his hand…and threw it out my opened window. He looked at me….I looked at him…. and we both cracked up laughing. No more argument…no more silent treatment.

So here’s the moral of the story kids: It is always best to talk things out…silence is best replaced by laughter, and the biggie….don’t ever, EVER come between me and my ice cream!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tennis Anyone?

Are you watching the Australian Open? I love to watch tennis…both the womens’ and mens’ matches. Their athleticism is amazing and so is their physical stamina to play matches that can go as long as 5 hours – starting before midnight and ending after 4:30 AM. (Baghdatis vs. Hewitt) It doesn’t seem natural to play sports in the middle of the night. The only thing I want to being doing during those hours is sleeping, and maybe dreaming about playing tennis and looking like Maria Sharapova… “Hey, didn’t I say I dreaming?”

Tennis players have to be in incredible shape to play a singles match for 5 hours which makes tennis different from playing golf. A beer belly is a liability in tennis. (Okay, no beer belly for Tiger) With golf, the Pro-golfer has a caddy to carry his/her golf bag… the caddy hands the Pro a club...he swings it and hands it back to the caddy. He’s a Pro, remember, so he only swings about 65 times for 18 holes. “Whew…that was a toughy.” About a third of the time, he uses his putter to roll the ball into the hole. Then the Pro-golfer walks to the next tee…no sprint…or even a jog…just a leisurely walk over.

My favorite player for the men is Roger….He is half tennis player, half machine. At least that five-setter he barely won at 10-8, tipped the scales toward human. He wins most the time he plays (kinda like the Patriots.) Roddick can sometimes act like the name within his name…or to be less crude, “a big baby” when he cries to the umpire. “Get over it Rod dick…your serve is out!!!” Marcos Baghdatis is fun to watch…he never gives up and has a smile that never gives out.

For the women, I think Justin Henin is a little bulldog or hedgehog. Okay, she is a good player…but personally I don’t care for her personality. My favorite of the women is Venus Williams who has a wing span of a condor. She already lost in the Australian Open…but she’ll be back. I like her sister Serena too…but I wish their dad would stay home.

To continue serving up some more tennis rhetoric…What stuns me the most about watching tennis on TV…is the announcers. They love to refer to the tennis players by their nationality instead of their names. They will say, “The Spaniard has got a lead on the American 40 – 15.” You never hear, “The Asian is ready to tee-off on Hole 16” in the game of golf. For some reason it just sounds like the tennis announcers are being rude and asking for trouble. “The German killed the Russian today in an easy match-up.” “The Puerto Rican out hit the Italian.” Nothing like trying to stir up global wars…

I thought tennis was a game of love.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Chelsea

Our Chelsea…Chelsy-belsy, Chels, Cha-Chi, Big C…turned 22!! It seems like yesterday our darling daughter, with a smile that lights up a room, was born. Last year was cool because she was 21 on the 21st of January. Today I am wishing her a Happy 22nd Birthday on the 22nd of January for her birthday that is January 21st. That totally makes sense, right? (Maybe in Wayne’s World!) Today she is “Legal plus a year.”

If I had to describe Chelsea in just one word, I would choose the word “passionate”… “compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling”…Yep, that is what I am talking about.

Chels is the most loyal friend, sister and daughter you could ask for and is very protective. When she see’s an injustice…she lets it be known. Chelsea is a force…an energy and you always know when Big C is in the house.

When Chels and Colinboy were little kids in the church nursery, Chels would take it upon herself to protect him. If some rowdy kid took a toy that Col was playing with…she would march on over, grab it right back….and gently hand it back to her brother. She stood over him in the nursery, like Genghis Khan defending his empire. No bully was ever gonna mess with her, her little brother, or her baby sister.

Chelsea has a knack for getting her brother, sister and most definitely her mom to do stuff for her. She is lovingly called “Big C” by her siblings and their friends. When Chels took a test in high school that matches your personality with a career, it suggested a profession as a military leader…go figure!

Chelsea is so easy to love and very loving in return. She feels strong emotion and acts with conviction. You always know where Chelsea stands….and if you are lucky to be part of her family or one of her friends, she’s always there ….standing right beside you…right beside her troops.

Happy Birthday, Chelsea….we love you

Text Message

Text Message to all: Do not text message while driving.
I admit I have checked my messages while driving, but I don’t set out down the road texting. I might text at traffic lights, and when the light turns green, and I first get going…okay that makes it texting. But kids, DO NOT TEXT WHILE DRIVING (PERIOD)

The other day I acted as PaulA’s secretary…in the car. I didn’t have my hair up in a bun, but I was wearing glasses…actually readers…Okay I’m old. We were on the highway for a couple of hours and in order to keep some business moving, he had to respond to some emails. Although, PaulA is very good at driving with his knees…I quickly insisted on helping. I may be old…but not old enough to bite it on I-90 and become katKill.

I had never used the BlackBerry before so I admit, I was a little slow. PaulA began dictating to me… “Slow down, PaulA...I’m new at the BlackBerry.” So he took it back and said, “I’ll wait until the two cars beside me pass.” So the car on the left passes and we look over…the darn guy is texting on his cell phone at 80 mph. Then the car on the right passes and we look over…that woman is yacking on her cell phone. Hello...Is anyone actually driving their car without a gadget in the other hand???

Drivers get very distracted using their cell phone. Whenever I am behind some clueless driver and they are either weaving, making big turns, or slowly proceeding through intersections…I bet myself 100 dollars they are on their phone. I win 100 percent of the time…so I fork it over and I come out a winner.

Now that there is Bluetooth in the car…maybe someone will come up with a keyboard for the steering wheel…and a hair dryer on the back of the seat…and a cup warmer for our coffee…along with the warmer we have for our buns!!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Prep This

Many moons ago when I attended the University of Vermont…preppy was in. The only problem is: I was from Vermont and preppy wasn’t in…my vocabulary. I’m sure there were preppy Vermonters back then, but I had never laid eyes on one. I didn’t know the slightest about dressing preppy. When I entered UVM, my closet did not contain LL Bean boots, Lacoste shirts to be worn with the collars turned up, ribbon belts, Bermuda bags with interchangeable covers. It’s not like I was a hick….or that I wore shit kickers to class, sauntered off the dairy farm, or fell off the turnip truck.

I’m not sure what attracted the flatlanders to go to school in Vermont. Maybe it was the beautiful scenery, the great downtown, or maybe a secret desire to change Vermonters into prepsters. One by one, change the landscape of Vermont. My roommate was the most prepped out human girl you could ever know (by the way…I liked her) and she made it her mission to make me into her preppy clone. I guess I was wearing a sign that said, “Prep This.”

My roommate, Ms. Crompton (name change) was from NYC… and had a coming-out party to proclaim her debutante status. At the time, I had never heard of a debutante….let alone spell the word. (thanks spellchecker.) The closest I came to a coming-out party was…..well, never. For Christmas, she gave me a Brooks Brothers light pink, buttoned-down, long sleeve shirt with my initials KAT on the pocket. I actually still have it. (More about my hoarding tendencies in another blog.)

My hubby and I have a reunion at UVM coming up. So what does Ms. Crompton look like now? Maybe she’ll be wearing Timberland boots, K-Mart blue-light specials, stretchy belts and Duffle bags. Hmmm....probably more like Ugh boots, Juicy shirts, Gucci belts, and Louis Vuitton bags.

Where have all the preppies gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the preppies gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the preppies gone?
Does it matter to anyone?
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Pete Seeger…please forgive me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Katcher in the Rye

What’s that sound you hear? Why that’s the sound of a helicopter…parent. You know, a parent who hovers over their kid and weed kills the dandelions from the path of life for dear Junior.

Let’s face it…we are from the generation that has coddled our children. We have obsessed over where they are going to pre-school, what teams they make, what teachers they get, what colleges they will attend. We have treated them like the princes and princesses we have created. We have put zillions of miles on our car, hauling them and their gear to practices and lessons. We have inflated their egos and gushed over every achievement. Everyone is a winner, a champion, and the next best…with a trophy. So stop Kat…aren’t you a helicopter parent too?

I consider myself a “Catcher in the Rye.” (I just think it sounds better!) The other day I was complaining (sometimes you just have to do that to feel better) and I said to no one in particular (who listens to me in the first place?), “I feel like I have to catch every one before they fall.” Just Holden Caufield Kat complaining. It can be very tiring, trying to make sure nothing slips through the cracks…that deadlines are met, appointments arranged, and stuff is getting done.

Today PaulA called the house and said to me, “Hello…Is the Catcher in the Rye home? Maybe someone was listening (Thanks PaulA).

I hear that helicopter parents are now extending their propeller reach to calling employers to negotiate salary and benefits for older Junior. Whoa….that is crazy. I promise I will draw the line…at least there. I guess I have to let my kids learn from their own mistakes and let them fall down once in awhile …which isn’t gonna be easy when you’re the…Katcher in the Rye.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bum Wrap

We all see them…the bum on the street asking for food, money, and sometimes money for booze (very clever bum in San Fran). I do have a heart. After all, I am not the tin man. I just don’t like it when they follow me down the street. I think a bum should know proper people boundaries and not invade your personal space…. Uh, am I the lone person who thinks this?

Some bums are quite polite and say “Have a Nice Day”…even if you haven’t given them anything. And then there are those pesky bums who pester you if you don’t give them anything… “Come on Man…can’t you spare anything?” It would be great if there was a bum manual… “How to beg but be respectful.” I think I might actually give more on the street if I encountered more polite bums.

The ones that I don’t understand are the ones that are at a light or a stop sign. Sometimes I will see one at the light leaving Wal-mart. I'm thinking, “Come on…I just spent my last dime in that trap, on stuff we don’t even need. Maybe I should just hand over the 3 plastic tub containers, silverware drawer organizer, and Glade plug-in."

Sometimes the bum is at the entrance to the highway…that was the case the other day. I was in the car with Bri and Big C. The bum was holding a sign that said 3 words:


It was really sad. The 3 of us saw him at the same time and talked about what we should do. But the light turned green and we had to go because of the cars behind us. He wasn’t in the best spot to give a person a chance to react. It’s not like we were anticipating a bum toll when we were getting on the highway. Then Bri said from the backseat, “Oh, poor guy. He’s hungry and he’s a vegetarian.” Big C and I looked at each other when we heard her say this. Huh? What is she thinking? Then I started to laugh… “Bri that sign said Veteran, not vegetarian!” Brister is a very smart girl but sometimes she can fit the blonde stereotype very easily!!!

You know, I do think bums get a bum rap…especially since all they probably want from you is a bum wrap. And the next time you leave home….bring your vegetables…you might run into a Hungry Homeless Vegetarian.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Feed Me Sleep

The kids are home from college for winter break… 3 weeks of late, late nights and sleeping-in until afternoon. Not sure why their biological clocks work like that of a bat. Thanksgiving break was a little “taste” (pun intended) of what was coming…late night arrivals home, late night television, 3-course snacks at 2 am. So it is restless sleep for the next 3 weeks….kind of like when the kids were infants…..

Check this story out…real story.
My Sista-in-law had her fourth child and it was the first time she left the house to attend a grown-up party. It was a get-together with women and she looked forward to getting out in the real world with adults, speaking adult language, and laughing at adult jokes. She was exhausted, but it sure beat the pants off kid-duty. The night was going beautifully and she decided to have some tiramisu. She dished it onto her plate, grabbed a fork and then began a conversation with one woman. As the woman was talking, Sista-in-law began to eat her dessert. She put the fork in the tiramisu, and then lifted her fork toward the woman’s mouth to feed her. The woman looked scared and so did Sista-in-law once she realized what she tried to do!

I’ve heard of dead tired and stupid tired, but this is off-the-charts-totally-lost-your-mind tired. So if you see me during the winter break and I have blood shut eyes….you know my infant turned college kids are home. Don’t get too close…I just might try to feed you.

Friday, January 11, 2008


We went to dinner last night with some empty-nester friends. We were enjoying our meals and having a nice conversation when PaulA looked at us and said, “I have to tell you something strange.” I looked at PaulA and I could tell something just wasn’t right by the look on his face. For a second I wondered…Did he find something weird in his food? Did someone loose a finger? Nope, but close. PaulA said, “I think I just lost my tooth. I am feeling a big whole in my mouth right now where the tooth should be.” OMG, so if a tooth is missing…where is it?

We checked the floor…nope. We checked his pizza...not there. Not in his drink. Not on the table. Not on the floor. Well there’s one more place it could be…but PaulA ain’t gonna know for a few hours. He had to have swallowed it. After deducing this…Linny said, “Jethro, you hog. You swallowed it and didn’t know it!” I thought that was the funniest statement. Jethro always cracked me up on the Beverly Hillbillies and I love the word “hog.” I just hadn’t heard it in a while…maybe since the 5th grade.

PaulA was in no pain, had no sensitivity, nothing…so he finished his pizza. The mystery continues…Will Jethro ever see his tooth again? Will Jethro wake up in the middle of the night in pain? Will Linny get to call someone a hog again and totally get away with it????!!!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Amigas Gone Locas

What is it about Cancun that makes visitors go loco? Is it too much sun, too much fun, too much margarita? Cancun is a beautiful place and I would highly recommend it as a vacation destination. Last year some generous friends invited us and some others (now known as the Cancun 10) to their time share …where we shared time at the pool, on the beach, at dinner, and at Senor Frogs.

Senor Frogs could never be mistaken for Senior Frogs. Most the people in the joint are far from seniors…more like in their 20’s. But heck, we were on vacation and we can act 20 years-old…which was what we were doing during the ladies arm wrestling contest.

We didn’t exactly jump to be in this contest, but the frog people roped us “ladies” into it. We could be good sports, so the 3 of us joined the gang on stage. The Emcee began each arm wrestling contest by asking for our name.

Name please: “Jan.” Jan was up against a 20-year-old babe in a gold lamay top that barely covered her fixtures. (got the picture?) Sadly, Jan was smacked down in about 5 seconds. The time it takes to yawn. (The crowd was hoping Jan could put up a better fight… they wanted more time to look at barely-covered-lamay girl.) Adios Jan.

Next….Name please: “Lupe.” (Good idea Linny, giving them a different name!) Lupe’s opponent was a powerhouse and Lupe gave a respectable round. But she was out in about 35 seconds. (Nice try Lupe…not a total fold…like our dear amiga.) Adios Lupe.

Next…Name Please: “Cougar Kat.” (Not sure where I came up with this…just blurted it out without a thought. Heck, I needed a name and it sounded good…at the time.) I locked hands with my bad ass opponent from Mexico. I felt like I could give her a little competition…she didn’t have me at hello. We were wrestling back and forth and after a minute or so, we were still in a lock. The crowd started to cheer and get rowdy…raising their yards of beer. The thought bubble over my head was saying, “Kat, what are you doing….look at yourself…look at this crowd…do you really need to win an arm wrestling contest on a stage at Senor Frogs?” Then I I should have earlier. (maybe Jan had the right idea!) Adios Cougar Kat.

When we got back home…I learned that Cougar was a name the media was calling Katie Couric because of her young boyfriend …WHOOPS!!! It seems the name cougar is a term for older women who go after younger men and devour them! OMG, that was news to me. Does everyone know this??? Obviously, if I did, I would not have announced it to a bar of 20-year-olds!!!!

So go to Cancun on your next vacation…go to Senor Frogs…go loco…and definitely arm wrestle. But please pick another nickname if you are over the age of….@#$#@#!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Dog Talk

Are you listening to your you know what he is saying? Everyday at 5 pm Duncan dog will sit directly in front of us and stare. That is dog talk for: “Get your rear in gear and put some darn food in my bowl.” The only mix-up occurs with Daylight Savings time…then he’s an hour early. But still he sits saying: “Hey PaulA and Kat, it is 5 o’clock somewhere! Isn’t that what you two always say?”

The other day Big C said she wished that Duncan could talk. It is an interesting thought when you think about it. But when I gave it careful consideration (Hey, what else do I have to do), I thought…no way do I want my dog to talk. He’ll be hounding me (pun intended) just like the rest of my family. Bossing me around, asking for stuff, and interrupting my blog thoughts. It is enough that he is under foot so I can’t reach the stove or get through the door without tripping over him. I don’t need him reminding me to make his next vet and bath appointments.

Duncan can get his point across without talking and I am just fine with that. When he wants me to get up from the table after dinner and start doing the dishes so he can have leftovers …he goes to the dishwasher and gives a little bark. That’s dog talk for: “You lazy owner…enough slacking off. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you twice….I want my scraps and I want them now. I’d like to see you eat dry dog food for every meal of your entire life.”

When he wants to go outside, he stands by the slider door and makes a quiet “grrrr.” That’s dog talk for: “Hey Clueless, let me out of here before I either take a pee or crap on your kitchen rug like I did last week. You remember, when you shoved me outside for longer than normal ‘cause you were ticked off.”

And when it is 6:30 a.m. he barks LOUD enough to wake me from upstairs. That’s dog talk for: “Get up humans. I’m awake now and I want to put my nose in some interesting places outside. I need to take another pee and crap…’cause it has been 8 hours and I am not exactly a freaking camel you know.”

In the evening Duncan comes to me while I’m sitting on the couch and points his butt in my direction. That’s dog talk for: “You call yourself Kat, well start scratching.” What is your dog saying to you?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

50th Birthday Dedication To Bro

Do you have a brother you call Bro? Well, my sisters and I definitely do. Other people may be very formal with their brothers saying, “Hello brother. How are you today?” Not the case here….my brother is definitely a Bro. When my sisters and I talk or email him we say, “Hey, Bro…Que pasa?” See the difference here. The first way would be weird ‘cause you see…Bro was born cool, is cool and will always be cool. Some people have it…and other people wish they have it. Bro is definitely the master.

So what makes Bro so cool? Let’s see if I can put it into words. First of all, he is an awesome musician. That is key. He started with the drums, then guitar, then piano and anything else he picks up. Owner of 16 plus guitars, piano, every musical gadget known to man, and a full recording studio in his house …Bro is the music man.

Then there is his hair…Bro has the best hair around. A lot of grown men would sell their kids for that head of hair. Bro has had his share of hair styles…long, very long, shag, spikey, short, very short, layered, but definitely not curled under…that would be for a woman.

Oh, and Bro is laid back… the very definition of cool people. They don’t get too freaked about anything. They just take it all in and work it out man….you know, what they call “chill.” Or if you are really cool….Chillax. Also Bro was born the same day as Elvis…need I say more!! (Hey Elvis had great hair too!)

So someday when Bro is in the old folks home….he’ll be the only cool hip guy in the bin… with a whole head of hair. It might be white and wild, but it will all be there. He’ll be tapping the drum sticks on his can of Metamucil, but he’ll still have the beat. And he’ll be so chillax…they might wonder if he is still alive.

Happy 50th Birthday to the coolest Bro a sister could have….

Monday, January 7, 2008

My Bodyguard

I’ve decided to write some old stories in my blog every now and then…that way I can look back when I’m an old lady…and remember.

I remember when Colinboy was always right by my side…my little shadow. Not that I was major fun all the time…but he seemed to think that he needed to protect me. If I was going to the grocery store or wherever I was going, he would run out of the house and jump in the car. I tried to assure him that I would be okay, but I knew this was only a “phase” and it wouldn’t be long before he would be in college and forget to call. I knew that one day I would be missing my 9-year old bodyguard.

One evening we were going to dinner with some college/life long friends who were visiting from NY. We got a babysitter for our 3 and their 3, a combination six pack. When it was time for us to say goodbye to the kids, Colinboy was nowhere to be found. We yelled, “Bye Colin…Be a good boy for the Camp Dancer (our name for the sitter).” No answer. Honestly, we tried to find him. No Colinboy. We figured he was pouting somewhere and playing hard to get. The Camp Dancer assured us she would find him. So we got in our car and took off for a kid-free evening.

We headed down the road, PaulA and I up front, and Bill and Di in back…talking about the little munchkins we left behind…how happy we were to leave them behind…in a loving sort of way. We were almost at the restaurant, when I looked back at Bill and Diane and saw this little blonde bowl head peering over the backseat behind them. I screamed… “Colin!” We cracked up…Colinboy was no longer MIA. “Back home you go, little man.”

Big C and and Wishy like to tease Colin, “Remember how you were such a baby, Col and you had to go with mom all the time?” That “phase” is over. Just like I predicted… I miss my 9-year old bodyguard.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Take Down

It is funny how differently you can feel about your Christmas decorations from when you first put them up to when you take them down. The whole process is a lot of work, but we go through it…trying to remake the Currier & Ives Christmas. Or at the very least, make it so it doesn’t look like the Scrooge family is in the house. But when it is all over…the crap has to come down.

When you are pulling your dear treasured decorations out of the holiday boxes…it’s like, “oooh, it’s the family star decoration passed down from Aunt Biddy.” Then, “sigh…. look it’s the special ornament Colinboy made when he was in the first grade.” And, “ahhhh….remember the beautiful shell ornament we picked out when we were on vacation.”

But when the decorations are coming down…you give them a good look and see them for what they really are. You ask, “What was so special about Aunt Biddy’s hand-me-downs anyway? And Colinboy was cute, but his decoration is really an old piece of frayed paper (jk-col), And that shell ornament was a rip-off. It has yellowed and was ugly to start…What were we thinking?” The rose-colored glasses are now off and you see the crap for what it really is….crap.

The day after New Years, you wake up (or is this just me) and you take a look around. The tree looks like something that is begging to be discarded. It has just plain given up…every last needle is on the floor and all the ornaments have slid down the branches. The greenery and the knick knacks on the mantle are the perfect dust collectors. The stockings hung by the chimney with care are beginning to look like ole socks. You just can’t get this stuff down fast enough. Yep, I take one look around and think, “It is so out of here. I’ll give it a year before I look at this again!”

So you begin packing it away. You start with some planned organization…family room stuff goes in the red box…Santa and Mrs. Claus are stored together…(hey, they would miss each other and that would be sad). But then after a while…this organization is taking way too long. So you start flinging it around and throwing it into boxes. “Just want it out of here and back in the basement!!”

Excuse me, but I have to go now. I'm off to the 50 percent sale for Christmas decorations at the Taj MaMall… gotta get more crap for next year.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today is the wedding anniversary of my in-laws….Nana and Papa would have been married 57 years, but sadly Papa passed away back in March of 2001. I am very lucky to have had the in-laws that I do. And the luck of the draw is really what it’s all about…isn’t it? Comedians like to joke about in-laws and then there's "Meet the Parents." PaulA likes to call in-laws...out-laws (funny PaulA). And I’m sure there are some hostile out-laws out there…but not here. Ours have always been very supportive and encouraging.

When I first met them I was 19. I took Amtrack down from Vermont to New Haven and PaulA and Papa picked me up at the train station. I wore a red coat and carried a blue suitcase. My coat and suitcase are a part of family lore…you know, the ole family stories. When I met the entire family…9 people (7 kids)…I was very overwhelmed. That is a big group at the dinner table and that is a lot of talking. I’m sure they thought I was the quiet, shy girl from Vermont with the red coat and blue suitcase, but they all tried to make me feel comfortable. That first night at the table…I could see they were both a devoted couple to each other and to their family.

It might look like I am trying to suck up…to gain points with Nana, but you see…Nana isn’t surfing the net, reading blogs, or logging onto to Facebook. But in case a little birdy tells her…I hope she hears how happy “the girl in the red coat with the little blue suitcase” has been being her daughter-in-law. Happy Anniversary!!! We love you.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


You are in the area and you think… “Hey, Let’s stop by and say hello to the Winkerbeans.” You’re friends so they should be happy to see you…unless they are in the middle of something…and you are an interruption. Or maybe, you’re a nice interruption… to cleaning the garage.

I have noticed that folks in the North do not stop in on each other unannounced. They call and give some kind of warning. With the cell phone it is easy to give them a heads up. Give them a minute to stop what they are doing, or about to do. Give them a minute to fix their hair or get out of bed…’cause it is noon time and “Why is your lazy ass still in bed?”

I think things are a little different in the South. A while ago we lived in Jacksonville, Florida which should be considered the South because it is like Southern Georgia. Anyway, we moved in to a new “subdivision” (that’s what they call them, ya’all) and had a neighbor, Tom, who lived across the street. When we first met Tom, he told us that Jacksonville was the “coldest place he ever lived.” He mentioned that absolutely every single time we saw him.

The first time it happened we didn’t know what was up. The doorbell rang. PaulA and I looked at each other (huh?) and then peeked through the window. There was Tom The Coldest Place I Ever Lived standing at the door in his shorts, flip flops, holding a beverage. So we did what any Northerner would do…we put on smiles, slowly opened the door and looked at a smiling Tom The Coldest Place I Ever Lived standing there saying, “Hey ya’all. How’s it going?” After a few minutes of conversation about the weather and nothing in particular….we figured it out.

He was just stopping by. He didn’t want to borrow our weed wacker. He didn’t want to complain about our fertilizer stripes in the lawn….He was just being friendly and saying hello. Hmm...very interesting species.

People in our neck of the woods are not dropping in on each other. When the doorbell rings here….we say to each other …. “Who is that??” And then peek through the window. “Yep….just like we thought…Jehovah Witnesses bearing pamphlets, bad suits and briefcases.”

So if you show up at my door…..unannounced. It might take me a while to get to the door. You see, I have to peek through the window, fix my hair and put on a smile.

And if I arrive at your door…unannounced. It’s me…Kat The Coldest Place I’ve Ever Lived Is Syracuse…saying hello.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

2008…a New Year… a clean slate. Only looking forward now…to look back would not be productive. After all….that was so 2007. Now is the time to think about resolutions. I have to admit I have not really formulated any resolutions in the past…so maybe this is the year. There are so many areas I could work on, it is just so hard to choose.

What is your resolution? Of course, there are the usual…eat healthy and workout, be nicer to the spouse, and refrain from kicking the dog. Very boring. It would be good to come up with a few resolutions that would actually be fun to do and might actually get done. Hmm… what would that be?

I decided to look to my kids for ideas. After all, they seem so happy. Let’s see what I can get from them. Resolution #1: Laugh…often and loud (a page from the book of Bri.) Resolution #2: Shop for a new outfit at least once a week (a page from the book of Chels.) Resolution #3: Sleep until 2 pm every weekend (a page from the book of Colinboy.)

Personally I’m sticking with the ole faithful resolutions…eat healthy and workout, be nicer to my husband and refrain from kicking the dog…but have fun with yours.
ps. Don't forget...Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit...for good luck through the New Year!!!