Friday, May 30, 2008

2 Scenarios

Linnyj and I finally played the big golf match…the match between David and Goliath…Good and Evil. (I like to be dramatic.) Okay, it was the golf match between the Linnyj/Kat team and the Billy Club Champ/Frank Champ team. The match went down last Tuesday at 6:15 pm. The date and time were noted.

There were 2 scenarios or 2 possible outcomes for the epic match. Which outcome would you put your money on……

Outcome A
Linnyj and I show up at the course ready to play…and damn we are looking good…I am wearing my lucky shirt. We play our hearts out…good swings, accurate chips, solid putting…we play like there is no tomorrow…and we win. David slays Goliath…Good triumphs over Evil.

Outcome B
Linnyj and I show up at the course ready to play…and damn we are still looking good….I am wearing my lucky shirt. We play our hearts out…good swings, accurate chips, solid putting…we play like there is no tomorrow …and we lose. Goliath eats David for lunch. Evil reeks havoc over Good.

So if you were a betting man or woman…you would have been a winner if you chose: Outcome B.

So we lost. We lost the big match. I have to admit, the guys were actually very nice about the win, very complimentary about our game, and general all-around congenial. Definitely not the way we would have been. We would have gloated, ragged, bantered, razzed, taunted...and every other word that means trash talked. (Especially the Linnyj side of the team.)

Note to self: Need a new lucky shirt.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Outta Here

My winter sport is now over...American Idol. Since January until now, I have sweated it out in front of the TV every Tuesday and Wednesday. From the beginning, my favorite singer was David Cook…and he finally won. I sure know how to pick a winner. First PaulA and then David Cook. I love the sound of his voice (David’s voice…not to be confused with PaulA’s.) Yo, Yo Dawg Randy likes to say David Cook could sing the telephone book and sound good. I agree...he can sing anything. I'd like to hear him sing the menu at my favorite restaurant. And all the specials too.

The whole notion of voting someone off is very interesting. To be told that you are not good enough…has got to hurt. And then to have to stand there and sing your final song…must be very hard. “We took a vote…and we want you…outta here…pack your bags. Now sing us a song.” It is supposed to be very democratic. After all, it was a vote…fair and square. Sometimes the option of voting someone out…would be a nice option.

We took a vote...and you are the worst golfer on the course...pick up your tee, put your driver back in your golf bag, and drive your cart back to the clubhouse. Outta here.

We took a vote…and you are the least fun at the party…put down your glass, hand over your swizzle stick, and leave the premises. Outta here.

I just hope there isn’t a vote taken in blogworld. I could very well get voted off.

We took a vote…and you received the fewest…erase your blog, sign off the internet, and step away from your computer. Outta here…....katOUT!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

See Or Be Seen

Just got back from the eye doctor. After an assault and battery of tests the doc says, “I bet you have trouble seeing and you get headaches at the end of the day”……Hey dude, where did you go to eye doctor school? School for the blind? Why else would I be here?

He put me through every eye test…I passed some and flunked the others. The test that bothers me the most…gives me the most trouble…is the puff for the glaucoma test. My dad has glaucoma and because it is contagious …I mean hereditary…I know I have to endure it. The anticipation of the puff is the hardest part. You know it is coming…but when? Then puff…Gotcha! I’m sure this is how the eye doc gets his kicks during the day.

Then the test with the letters….the doc covers one eye asking…is Line Number One better than Number Two…Line Two better or Three…Three or Two? OMG…after awhile all the lines are a blur. Now I am all mixed up…is Line Three really any better? I’m just sticking with Line Two no matter what he asks…this test is too difficult.

After the exam…glasses are suggested. They ask me to look at frames, but I can’t see the frames…I can’t even see the floor to walk over to the frames. My pupils have been dilated so the doc could look to the back of my head…all the way to my optic nerve. That really weirds me out. My optic nerve feels so exposed.

I am thinking I am gonna pick out some coolio glasses…ones that I actually want to keep on my face…maybe enhance my appearance……which could use some enhancements. Now I am trying to think of what movie stars wear for glasses. Hmmmm…Geez, can’t think of any. Ooh… I get it…That’s because movie stars don’t wear glasses, Kat!

I can see, with or without glasses, that this blog is rambling on and on. Yup, the way I see it…you would rather be left in the dark about all my appointments.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Grocery Cart Wars

Everyone has at least one particular chore that they don’t like to do, avoid doing at all costs, but have to eventually face it. For me, that would be grocery shopping. Believe me, I postpone it as long as I can…sometimes I can get pretty inventive. But when Bri complains, “We are having eggs a la mode for dinner…again?”...I know it is time.

The grocery stores might have fun names to disguise the real experience…The Piggly Wiggly, Winn Dixie, Schnucks. But let’s face it…they could call it, “Day at the Park.” and it still wouldn’t be fun.

Down to my last egg, I drag my heels and head to the grocery store. The mere sight of all the cars parked outside makes me queasy. It is busy and that means…grocery cart wars. You know the drill, there are so many people pushing around carts that we get in each other’s way. People are bumping into each other…or accidentally hitting the back of some lady’s heel because I’m following too closely. “Lady, honestly, I didn’t do it on purpose…it was an accident! And don’t give me that evil eye…I heard you call me an ass under your breath.”

After a friend told me her grocery cart story (Thanks Eva)….I knew the next time I went…I would be prepared for battle. She was at the grocery store on a busy day, probably before turkey day or super bowl weekend…when all the chuckleheads are there. (Excluding Eva, of course) Maybe the forecasters mentioned a little snow...and the whole town headed to the store to get milk…’cause you can’t live without milk for a couple of hours. Your bones could get soft.

While working her way down an aisle, some goofball squeezed by her with his cart and took the skin off her knuckles….actually bloody knuckles so she had to go for first aid. A grocery cart injury…just another reason to keep me away from the grocery store.

So eventually I make it home alive from “Day at the Park”…drag in the grocery bags, and put everything away. Then I realize…I picked up the no-lactose, no-fat, no-taste skim milk …Yuck. Now I have to go back. Where’s my helmet and steel gloves?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kat's Memoir

I was thinking about writing a memoir…telling my life story. Only problem: my life story is not that interesting. Then there is that whole honesty thing surrounding memoirs. Take the James Frey novel, Million Little Pieces…which I happened to love. Oprah seemed to have a problem with the author’s million little lies…so she broke him into a million little pieces…in front of a million little viewers. I’d like to read Oprah’s book when she writes one…and check all her facts.

So let’s take a look at my story: I have 1 husband, 3 kids, and 1 dog. My kids are not kids…they are young adults. So I need to change my blogspot bio and reveal that 2 of my children are in their 20s, but that just sounds so old….not for them, but for me. And my “baby” is fast approaching her senior year. You see…my daily life is lacking in material, but I do have a past. Maybe I could write about that.

Maybe I could write about the earlier period of my life…the part that I don’t mention that often…for obvious reasons. It is a little unusual so I am a little hesitant. You see, people have always believed I grew up in a military family, traveling around the country and the world. Actually my past is more colorful than that.

When I was growing up, we lived with a traveling circus…not the Big Apple Circus…but smaller…the Crab Apple Circus. My mother was the fat lady who sang in the closing ceremony of every performance. They used to wheel her out in a cart. My dad, bless his heart, was a one-armed lion tamer. One day his overly trusted lion, Leo, let him know that he was the King of the Forest and not a big pussycat. My playmates were the circus dwarfs. We used to spend many afternoons playing leap frog between performances. I worked hard at learning to become a high flying trapeze artist.

After a few years of traveling with the circus, things started to go down hill. Not enough people were interested in our freak show…I mean circus act. Things got slow for the circus and I kept breaking bones trying to learn my trapeze act. We decided to leave the circus life behind. It was time for my mother to loose a few pounds before having other children and restrict her singing to only the shower. My dad got a great looking prosthesis and took a desk job in accounting. We moved into a lovely suburban town and I was enrolled in school where I impressed the kids with my above-average skills on the monkey bars during recess. Those were the days….

Maybe I will write my memoir...get my life story down on paper. Just don’t check the facts.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Have you ever heard of a Freegan? I hadn’t until I saw Oprah. The Oprah Show and People Magazine…the source of my enormous wealth of knowledge and the reason people confuse me with Stephen Hawking.

A Freegan sounds like someone who gets stuff for free….and that’s exactly what they do. They do not beg…they are not begging Freegans. They go to dumpsters near bakeries and grocery stores and take the food that has been thrown out. You would be amazed at what perfectly good food they find there. Fruit with just a small bruise, bags of salad, canned vegetables…bagels. These people are doctors, engineers, and lawyers and believe in the philosophy of anti-consumerism. They have money and could pay…like me the other day….......

I was at Carvel…I am not a Freegan so I didn’t scrape ice cream out of one of their dumpsters. I went in expecting to pay, but realized that I didn’t have a dollar on me. (I don’t understand why they wouldn’t take debit cards.) A woman saw me rummaging through my empty wallet and offered me a five dollar bill. I respectfully said, “Oh, that’s so nice of you…thanks anyway.” She kept insisting. So what did I do? I took that five spot and got myself a medium twist in a cone...thank you very much. (Thinking back…maybe I should have ordered a small one.) I felt funny taking the money. (I didn’t keep the change from her five…I am not that much of a cheap-sKATe.

I understand why a person would want to save the earth and all, but I find it hard to understand how someone could pick through a dumpster of messy food and trash. I have a hard enough time picking through the racks and racks of stuff at T.J. Maxx.

But for some reason, I don’t find it hard to pan handle a few bucks off a total stranger for a Carvel medium twist ice cream cone.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Little Blue Box

I haven’t written much about the Taj MaMall lately…my home during the holidays when I was there shopping every other day. This blogging thing has actually been good for my pocketbook…and thus…good for PaulA’s wallet. PaulA has to balance what I might say about him in my blog VS the check book balance… and I’m thinking he is happy to be rolling with the punches I give him on my blog. One-two.

Okay, so the other day I went to the Taj MaMall…(trying to remember why)…Oh yea, the gas company turned off our heat, for fear of explosion, until it got fixed…which took a week. So on a Friday I hit the wall and then the mall, ‘cause I was freezing my ass off…and my fingers were frozen straight so I couldn’t bend them to blog. I went to the Taj MaMall for a short 6 hours.

Just my good fortune, I happened to be there when Tiffany’s had its grand opening. The infamous Tiffany’s little blue box diamond sparkle jewelry store. You should have seen the mob. People couldn’t spend their money fast enough. Our mall is lacking in high-end stores and I suppose these people were tired of burning their money…so they decided to spend it. Personally, I think the real attraction is the little blue box. The box itself definitely increases the WOW factor.

My friend, Patio, gave me a little blue Tiffany’s box on my 50th birthday. WOW…she shouldn’t have. I tried to remember what I gave her when she turned 50….(now I am feeling like a Heal.) So I opened the box and saw a diamond “L” pendant. (Gee, I thought she understood that Kat starts with a “K”, but I could be "Lat.") Now I get it. She explained the “L” is the Roman Numeral for my age….30. I mean, 50. At that point, I didn’t know what to think…except another…WOW..a blue box and a diamond necklace. Then she proceeded to tell me the “L” is Cubic Zirconia.

I had a good time watching the people shop at Tiffany’s…plus it was warm there. Tiffany’s even served champagne for the masses but, unfortunately, no bacon and eggs. People seemed to be lapping it all up…and buying jewelry, hand over finger, to put in those little blue boxes.

I asked the sales person for “just the box, please.” Hmmm…whose birthday is next? I need a little blue box if I am going to pull a “WOW.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ma Oprah

I am a huge Oprah fan…not a fanatic. (I think celebrity fanatics are one step away from total whack jobs.) There is one thing I never understood about Oprah…why she never had children. She has said a child requires a lot of time and attention and she is busy. Frankly, I’m not buying it. Also, Oprah needs an heir…who is she going to leave all her money to? I wonder what her Last Will and Testament reads right now… “Give my fortune to Barrack Obama and my dogs…any leftovers throw to Stedman.”

Now why wouldn’t Oprah make a great mother? She can easily take care of the basic necessities: food, shelter, clothing, water. She has enough cashola to put a roof over the entire population of Kentucky. Her refrigerator is always stocked and ready for any mid-night munchies. Plenty of water around…bottled, Perrier, crystal…even the swimming pool and fountain in case of drought. Clothing taken care of…endless pairs of red bottom shoes by designer Christian Louboutin...basic necessities.

Oprah could always turn to her experts for any advice and assistance with her little junior/juniorette. She would have: Dr. Phil on call 24/7 to rush in and help with the teenage angst years. Dr. Oz to keep the kid healthy and explain what healthy poop looks like. Bob Green, the trainer, to keep the kid totally buff. Nate Berkus to decorate the child’s room and anyone else: cook, driver, maid, religious guru, built-in friends.

Now compare Oprah with me…haha. PaulA and I brought 3 children into this world…and we only have half of Oprah’s money. I didn’t have a Franny Nanny to help with our three or a long list of specialists. PaulA and I just figured things out…and did the best we could. Isn’t that what most parents are doing? I think her kid probably has less chance of getting screwed up than most kids. (It would be entertaining to see Oprah's kid end up on the Jerry Springer Show.) The possibility of lousy parenting skills never stopped the rest of us………..

Come on Oprah. We want to see you pull your hair out…have a kid.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

It is only fitting that my mother has a birthday in the month of May. After all, her name is Alice May. If she was Alice June, born in May…that would be awkward and make no sense at all.

Growing up, I thought it was the greatest that my mom could tap dance. How many moms can do that? She would get the ole shuffle-tap going on the kitchen floor. And we never even lived in Buffalo.

My mother’s maiden name is Bacon…so growing up kids used to yell, “Hey Bacon…how about a strip!” They had better not make my mom cry…’cause her dear sister, Anne, would track them down and beat them up.

My mother is 20 years older than I am….so when I graduated from high school she was only 37. No wonder my mom and dad liked to have friends over on a Friday night…they were still young. No shuffleboard yet. When I was in high school, my mother went back to nursing school to finish her degree. It was funny to see her hitting the books… at the dining room table...right beside me. “Hey mom, could you move over and give me some elbow room here!” Alice studied to become the best nurse ever. She was no Nurse Ratched. She had an excellent bed-side manner and always gave the best care. Just ask Jerry…her husband, my dad. No one could take better care of “Oh, Jerr” than Nurse Alice.

Alice is so darn clever and can fix anything. Give her duct tape, some string, and a few nails…with a little concentration (enhanced by biting her tongue)…she could fix or jimmy rig just about anything. She’s got that ole Yankee ingenuity.

When Alice is reading a book…forget getting her attention. Growing up I remember thinking, “Hurry up Mom and finish that book. It’s dinner time.” She can get totally lost in a book. “Earth to Alice…the macaroni is boiling over the stove, the rolls are black and the chicken is on fire and burned to a crisp. I think that is why to this day I like my food well-done.

My mother is a wonderful woman and mother. When I was young I used to make labels of my name with that old fashioned label maker punch… “Kathy-Anne Thomas The Greatest”…and plaster them all over everything…my books, records. Why did I think I was the greatest? Because my mom made me think I was…and that is pretty special. She is also a wonderful Nana…and thinks her grandkids are pretty grand too.

Alice May has the best-est friends…and that is because she is so much fun. I probably shouldn’t mention this…but they call her Gladys…and pronounce it Glad Ass…or happy bottom for short. :) She and her friends are in a Red Hat group. You know the “disorganization”…happy ladies wearing purple clothes, red hats and boas. You really can’t miss them. She also has her friends at the Museum…where she works as a tour guide. If you want the low-down on the latest exhibit…quick, get in her group. She’s the best.

Everybody loves Alice! It is easy to love her…she just has a way of tap dancing her way into your heart.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Haircut

“You hairy dog, time for a haircut.” Duncandog is a Portuguese water dog so grooming is a must. Otherwise within 8 weeks, he looks like a four-legged “Cousin It.”

He doesn’t seem to mind going when I tell him he’s going for a bath…probably because it is time away from the house...and Kat is so boring. Over the past 10 years, he has smelled everything in the house and is especially tired of the Lemon Pledge scent. He wants to get out in the world…smell some new smells.

So I put Duncan in the front seat of the car…and the car bell dings the whole way. The car doesn’t know my chubby dog is riding shot gun. (Duncan, you gotta loose some weight if you are gonna continue to sit up front.)

When Dunks gets to the groomer’s place…he immediately stiffens up and puts on the brakes. He remembers… “Oh yea, Mary the groomer…she’s one tough son of a bitch. This isn’t going to be such a great time after all.”

The haircut is a power struggle...and Mary wins every time. Alpha Duncan always tries to get the upper hand, but before he knows it…Mary’s got him in a choke hold...and he’s crying, “Uncle Rin Tin Tin, please save me.”

I pick Duncandog up and he looks like a long-legged skinned rat…which isn’t very nice to say after spending 8 hours at the beauty parlor. He can’t even ask for his money back after getting an embarrassing hair-did. And he is embarrassed. The upside of his new do is, we can actually see Duncan’s eyes (now petrified)…and he can actually see the door that he keeps running into.

I decided to put myself in Duncan’s paws. I can feel his humiliation. If I ended up, after 8 hours in the salon chair…with a shaved head, choke-hold marks on my neck, no money back guarantee, holding a wicked pee…I too would not be happy.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Maybe...I'm Not Sure

Are you good at making a decision on-the-spot…and not think twice about it again. Not have to mull it over in your head…hash it over with your friend, your hubby, your dog….and then later say, “Wait…I change my mind.”

I suppose it matters what kinds of decisions you are making…like if you are deciding whether to get married or to rob a bank. They both have big consequences. Hopefully you are putting some thought into the decision and really thinking it through.

A lot of times when I am asked, “Where do you want to go for dinner?” I say, “I don’t care…anywhere is fine.” Honestly, I do not care where I eat…just that I eat OUT, that I don’t have to cook it, and that I get a glass of wine with my happy meal. I don’t think my dinner indecision is a problem…that I need to check myself into Decision-Making Anonymous, “Hello, I am Kat and I can’t make a decision.”

I remember going to a department store with a friend who wanted to get frames for a family collage she was making. She took one look around and bought 9 frames…different styles, different sizes. Bing, Bang, out of there. I was so impressed...she did it in 10 minutes. That’s about a minute a frame. (If you do the math.)

One thing for sure…after I make a decision I do not like to second guess my decision. No fun in that. What’s the point…especially after it is a done deal. Besides if I decided to look back, marrying PaulA…and not robbing that bank that warm summer day in August…were both great decisions.

Should I post this blog? Oh, I don’t know…maybe…maybe not. What the heck….I’ll throw caution to the wind and post it. Wait, is it too late to change my mind?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Read Between The Lines

Does your book club finish reading the book and have a lengthy book discussion? Not mine. We are a special book club that doesn’t always finish the book, and forget a lengthy discussion…we talk about it in passing. But monthly, we tell our families: “I have book club tonight…gotta go. There is left-over meatloaf in the back of the frig for dinner. Love ya.”

We have 8 avid readers in our group. The Avid Readers is what we call ourselves…Ha. We sound so legit…but it is to disguise our real mission. That would be to meet, eat and have a few drinks. It is a fun group and the reading is a good excuse to get together. We have been doing this for many years and have read (or not read), discussed (or not discussed) about 50 books.

One time we decided we would make ourselves discuss the book for more than the usual minute and a half. So I volunteered to bring questions to stimulate some lively discussion. I actually wrote down ten questions. (Well hello, it is totally my personality to do that. I always did my homework and was prepared for class.) Before we began the discussion, we ordered a round of drinks. Believe me, that sounds easier than it is…you gotta know us. “Bartender, too much vodka…Bartender, not enough vodka.” Then we started chatting or is that the vodka chatting?

The book discussion began: I said to the group, “Let’s talk about the book now. Excuse me…excuse me…you want to talk about the book now?” Someone said, “Oh, Kat was bringing questions.” So I began, “Do you think the author was trying to...” Then the interruptions start: “Oh, I only read to page 86.” “I’m on page 23, but I like it so far.” “Did you hear they are making a movie out of the book?” “Oh, don’t tell the end, I am almost there.” “Did you see they’re building a new shoe store in town?” “No way…a new shoe store!” “I thought it was gonna be another bank.” Book discussion over.

If you read between the lines…you can figure out how much fun we are having. I'm off to book club…enjoy the meat-loaf, family. Love ya.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Flight Fright

I have to admit, I am not the best flyer. I wish I was more mature or had less anxiety about the whole thing. I bless myself, bless the pilot, bless the plane, cross myself, talk to myself and think weird thoughts. I’m thinking: it’s mother’s day weekend…Have I been a good mother…or is this flight going down…all because of me? Sorry fellow passengers. I know people around me are wondering about my psychological condition…but hey, let them wonder.

We had 2 connecting flights to Chelsea’s graduation…in small planes. 2 seats on one side and one seat across…A /BC. Whenever I board a plane, I knock 3 times before ever stepping foot inside…I make PaulA and the kids do the same. I don’t try to hide my actions from anyone, including the flight attendant. Sometimes, the flight attendant will say: “Come on in.” Sunday the flight attendant said: “The plane is hard.” I wasn’t so sure.

I hate it when the pilot mumbles into the microphone with his pilot chatter. I think they learn to talk like that in pilot school. I struggle to hear what he’s saying. When he says: “Everything looks smooth up ahead.” I know turbulence is right around the corner. Thanks for the jinx. Mumble anything but that!!

We were finally cruising smoothly on top of the clouds…and I was trying hard not to picture myself sitting in a flimsy chair 32,000 miles in the air. Just when I almost accomplished this…I got a fast reminder of where I was. I heard a huge bang and the plane fell. Okay, not to the ground, but within an air pocket so that my stomach floated up to my throat. (Did the Pilot just mumble smooth ahead?) Poor Brianna had to deal with me grabbing her arm. Luckily Bri is mature about flying.

To keep my mind off the flight, Bri and I played the “dots” game that Bri learned from my Auntie Anne :) …and she was beating me early on. Mathematically, I knew she had me. There was no way I could possibly win. But like Hillary, that didn’t stop me.

I looked over to the lady in row 8A…her method of relaxation was the Margarita. The flight attendant brought her a bottle that filled her glass to the top - twice. Ole. Not a bad deal for 5 bucks. She was headed for total relaxation when she ordered another round for herself. But who’s counting? I would think about trying her method, but I would need to get up and use the ladies room…I might throw the plane off balance. Better not drink.

There is always food for a distraction… the snack tray. Yum. What is in there? Crackers, spreadable cheese, salami, trail mix and mini M& M’s. Just a bunch of junk. I look over at Colin and catch him with his mouth wide opened…just ready to shove a large cracker with mounds of cheese, and 5 salami slices lined over the top. The food distraction sure works for Colinboy.

Other people around seem to be fine…so what is my problem? Food, Margarita, games, music, and reading do not seem to help me. Why do I have a fear of flying? PaulA says, I never give it a second thought when he is flying. Hmmm…he’s right. But I wouldn’t be able to get it out of my mind …if I was sitting beside him.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

We are parents of a college graduate – Class of 2008. Chelsea is now an Alum. I wonder if she’ll ever go to any of her college reunions? PaulA and I have our 30th college reunion this month …please don’t do the math. We aren’t able to attend (too bad…lots of blog material just waiting.) Chelsea’s 30th Reunion will be in the year 2038...OMG, that sounds ridiculous!!! Maybe there will be virtual college reunions then…

Her graduation was held in the University's Basketball Coliseum…so seating and weather would not be a problem. We found seats in the nose-bleeds and looked down at the 1000 folding chairs on the center court. How would we ever find her? Not a problem…We just looked for the College of Communications and the National Monument aka – University basketball player - 6 feet 9 inches, 250 pounds…with the last name following hers. There she was…smiling away…under the shadow of the Monument.

I opened up the program and tears started to flow when I saw Chelsea’s name. I remember all her graduations…even nursery school (elbowing out other parents, trying to get pictures.) I came prepared with my camera to record this monumental event. The guy directly in front of us came prepared….with a book, 4 bags of snacks and bottled water…Woah…He must have done this before.

It was time for Chelsea to receive her degree…her college was asked to stand up and head toward the stage. My eyes followed Chelsea and the Monument as they inched closer and closer to the stage. She climbed the stairs (not sure how she maneuvers in those high heels) and they announced her name. Her family and friends yelled, cheered, and whistled!!! Other than Chelsea (and her adorable housemate, Angela), the next time I applauded was for M. Zinn :)

I will always remember this day. It was a beautiful day with her beautiful friends (What’s in the water down there?)….making a beautiful memory. Lucky me…Chelsea’s graduation was on Mother’s Day weekend. It was the perfect gift. The University could not have timed it better…4 years ago.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Congratulations Chelsea!

With a blink of an eye 4 years have passed and Chelsea is graduating from college. We are leaving today for the weekend to watch her cross the stage and receive her degree. I feel like it was just yesterday that she graduated from high school and we brought her to college…having to say our final goodbyes.

I know if you asked PaulA to describe that August day, he would the same way: Chelsea in a blue jean skirt, flip-flops, carrying a wooden clothes-drying rack. After exchanging hugs and kisses, we watched as she turned around and walked away…headed for her new home…a high-rise dorm with 900 females.

When Chelsea was younger, she never liked to go on sleepovers…always wanted to be home…so who would have thought she would be the one to go the furthest. There was a part of me that didn’t want Chelsea to go so far…there was the chance that she might not return home. A very good chance, she would like the warm weather and all that southern hospitality. It’s not that I want Chelsea to move back home into her sweet blue room and be my little girl again (Wait, is that still possible?) It’s time for Chelsea to make her own life now…I guess we both have grown up.

So the college gig is up for our Big C. It is the real world now. No more scheduling classes to sleep until 10 am. No more Friday afternoons free and parties with your housemates at the Mansion. But it’s not all bad. New experiences and new independence lie ahead…all very exciting.

Congratulations Chelsea on your graduation from college. We are very proud of the great job you have done. Mom, Dad, Colin, and Brianna will always be with you…no matter where you live.


The world is a good place...because there is coffee. What would life be without it? Probably cranky, nasty people shuffling around with their heads lowered, mumbling something inaudible. Ooohhh….I think I just described myself. (or Tim Conway) Without my morning coffee…I would be mean and ugly. Okay, maybe not mean, but definitely ugly. One thing is for certain… I could never string words together to form sentences.

Every morning I make my ritual pilgrimage to Dunkin Donuts. I don’t have to drive far for my java jolt…the drive is part of the process. I do get dressed…I don’t wear my nightgown. Just my luck, the one time I decided to wear my night gown, I would get pulled over by a cop and he wouldn’t let me off the hook because of my nighty. He would probably fine me extra for unattractive night wear. Lucky for me there is a drive-thru…and lucky for the rest of the world.

One of my most valuable possessions is my Dunkin Donuts card. My card never runs out of funds because I am so amazingly clever and have it tied to my credit card. When my D.D. balance hits 10 dollars…then 50 dollars is moved over. My D.D. card is like a perpetual cup of Joe. It is constantly being re-poured with piping hot java…kinda like Alice, the coffee shop counter-lady, standing over my cup with a fresh pot. Love that Alice.

I used to fumble through my wallet and car cup holders every morning looking for money…remembering I gave Bri my last dollar bill. Sometimes it would get embarrassing handing over a fistful of change. But now…I don’t even need a penny…just my card…my ticket to java heaven.

After drinking my “medium black coffee, please”…I feel every ounce of the caffeine enter my body…Aaaahhhhh. Slowly I come alive and almost human…the awakening of Frankenstein. My head becomes clearer and my eyes open wider. I feel like a shop owner who has just lifted the door…and flipped over the sign: Open for business. The real Kat is now ready to face the day.

I’ve just finished my coffee as I write this blog…caffeine is running through my body, unleashing all my energy and creative talents. I probably should drink a second cup…my blog could be a lot better.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Who's Bothering Who?

I thought we were on a no-call list, but they found us. You know…the irritating calls from someone trying to sell you or poll you. Whenever they call and ask for my hubby… I like to mess with their heads, so I answer, “Yes, this is Mr. PaulA speaking.” They question me, “This is Mr. PaulA?” and I say, “Yes, can I help you?” After a second of silence, they reply, “I’ll call back.” Mission Accomplished…I got rid of them!

I recently received another call…same drill. I answered, “Yes, this is Mr. PaulA speaking.” Then I heard laughter from the caller who said, “Well, this doesn’t sound like Mr. PaulA”. “Oh, really.”

I guess it probably isn’t nice or polite to confuse them…but, after all who’s bothering who here? They aren’t exactly nice and polite, calling at the most inopportune moments…interrupting my busy life. Don’t they know I’ve got blogging to do.

And another thing, who’s to say a man can’t sound like a woman? Maybe I am a man working on a major change to the other side. Would I really have to explain the details of my switcheroo to some random caller, who is imposing in the first place?

I suppose I could look at my caller id and just not answer the phone…but what fun is that? I’m hoping they actually put a little asterisk in their book next to Mr. PaulA’s name that says… “Do not call – one strange guy/gal lives there.” Now that is one way to get back on the “Do Not Call List.”

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Greener Side

It is May and everything is greening up. Living in a neighborhood you have to keep up your yard. You can’t be the Munster family house with dead mums in pots from last fall…otherwise neighbors might talk. Wait, that was us…until I replaced them with pansies.

I glance across the street and see that my neighbor’s lawn is a lot greener. Why is that? We use the same fertilizer people….are they giving Mr. Jack neighbor preferential treatment? Maybe he is slipping them a little tip that I don’t know about. His lawn is definately getting a head start.

Then I remember…Oh yea Kat…Jack’s front lawn gets more sun because his house faces south and our front lawn faces north…so think back to last July when you watched Jack dump more and more precious water on his brown lawn. So the saying rings true: The grass is always greener on the other side. Heck, now I envision my poor neighbor looking at our lawn in July from his dustbowl…Oh yea…

PaulA calls from a business trip south and he's on his way to a golf game. I answer my cell phone while dragging the trash cans and recycling bins to the street, thinking PaulA is on easy street.

Then I remember…Oh yea Kat…PaulA had to first fly to Detroit, lay-over for 3 hours, and attend meetings for 3 straight days in conference rooms without windows. The grass is always greener on the other side. Heck, now I envision a weary PaulA with red eyes after his late flight home. Oh yea…

So when my kids are complaining to me about some unfair injustice…blah, blah, blah…being the wise and mature adult that I claim to be, I tell them: Sometimes what appears to be greener grass on the other side…actually has many weeds…just take a closer look. They look at me ….wondering when I got to be such a lawn and weed expert.

I look forward to July and watching Jack water his dust bowl.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Nothing To Lose

This week Linnyj and I have a big golf match…and I mean huge. We are going head-to- head in match play…with the Club Champion and Frank (a champion in his own right…props to Frank for his team winning the State Championship). You ask: How does it happen that seemingly mild mannered women end up playing a couple of seasoned gamey golfers…a sort of David and Goliath match?

Well, Linnyj and I were hanging around the pub, downing a couple of Buds…strutting our golf prowess…and looking for a match worthy of playing. Truth be told (a Linnyj expression), we played 9 holes against our husbands earlier that day but they didn’t give us much game. We had them at Hello on hole 7. (Sorry guys…maybe you could work on your game …take a few lessons from the club pro and we’ll give you another chance at us.) So you see, we were looking for more competition.

Okay…I realize the odds for the big match are not in our favor. The Club Champ is a 2 handicap, Frankie baby is an 11, Linnyj is a 19 and Kat is …let’s just say a very high number…the max. So the golf odds are with them…in their golf bag…but they have to give us strokes. Handicap…the great equalizer. When God invented golf…he decided it should be fair play…so he came up with the women’s red tee, extra strokes per hole and cute golf skirts.

We do have something in our favor....Linnyj. She has some stellar shots, chips and putts. Now that she’s packing a new Cleveland driver, the one with the largest club head in-all-the-land…almost as big as my own head...she’s sure to do well. But the secret weapon to Linnyj’s game is not just her golf skills…nope…it is her trash-talking. She is the best around. She can talk smack with anyone and sure to get in their heads. "Boo-ya Grandma!! Bring it on… "

And don’t think we are giving away any putts…no gimmies from the linnyKAT team. We’ve noticed how guys leave their ball on the green just long enough so someone will say, “Oh, that’s good…you can have it.” Hey, not gonna happen with this team…we are ladies but not that nice.

So if the golf gods line everything up for us so that all our putts drop in…and we end up getting a few sandies, squirrelies and deeries….We will be a LEGEND. You see, we have nothin’ to lose. If we lose…the Club Champ and his buddy have beat up on a couple of sweet unassuming mild mannered women. And if we win…Linnyj will be talking trash for the rest of their golf days.

Bring it on Goliath!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Inside!

It is May 2nd and it is cold. Every once and a while we get a warm spring day and people are giddy with spring fever. That was last week. Not this week.

This week temps are below normal. So it is only fitting…we have no heat in our house. Yesterday we found out that the heat exchangers on both of our gas furnaces are cracked. It was discovered during a regular maintenance check. The gas company turned off the gas to the furnaces so our house wouldn’t blow up. Pieces of Kat on the front walk would not be too attractive…little kids walking to the bus stop might be grossed out. Next week everything will be fixed and it will be 75 degrees…you can be sure.

So it is damn cold in here. The gas company felt sorry for us and offered us some space heaters. I turned them down. For some reason, when I think of a space heater, I automatically think of fire. Space heater = fire. You’ve seen the headlines in the newspaper: “Family would have been okay, if they never used that space heater.”

It is 52 degrees inside our house...and going down. We are dressed for the outside in the inside. Snowsuit and boots. PaulA came home from work today to see his babushka wife in a scarf. Duncandog is even trying to get warm. Sitting by the vents that usually stream hot air…wondering where did it go?

Sitting in our house is like sitting in our frig. Now I know how the hamburger feels. Damn chilly. I think I am going to risk it and call the gas people back and say “yes” to space heaters. We might have to live dangerously…but it appears we were doing that already.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Michele

My sister Michele has a birthday today…May Day. May 1st is especially fun when you live in Hawaii…which was where she was born. She’s the baby…youngest of 4. I’m 7 ½ years older so when she was a teenager in high school, I was already out of college. There was never sibling rivalry or quarrels. No… “I’m telling mom on you.” Michele was my adorable baby sister. After becoming adults, age differences disappear…although I would like to trade ages.

We have nicknames in our fam and Michele has had her share. There’s the obvious Beatles song… “Michele, My Belle”…but also the more clever...Tiger baby, Beamba, Mush, and Sistersleldge. Michele has earned these nicknames during different times of her life.

Family lore has it that she first got the nickname Tiger Baby because she could be difficult…had a little feisty side, but hey I’m Kat…I understand feisty sides.

Then she was Beamba…my nickname for her. When I was in high school Michele (and my brother) each had a bedroom in the basement and because I had a fear of fire, I always worried about her down there. (No worries Bro, you were older.) I would go downstairs to say good night to her. As I climbed the basement stairs back up…I would yell, “love you” on each step…..14 of them…and on the top stair I would yell down, “I love you Beamba.” I’m telling you, I thought she was the cat’s meow and not a Tiger baby at all.

Then Beamba became Mush. If you say Michele real fast…it sounds like Mushele…and then Mush for short. Mush can be a softie…very sentimental (like her older sisters)… a regular Mushball.

Mush grew into a beautiful person inside and out. She is a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, grand daughter, sister, aunt, friend …and has the cutest nose you could ask for. She has a wonderful and supportive husband who knows just how to handle a Mush and a Tiger baby, and a sweet adorable daughter...who has the same cutest nose you could ask for.

These days I call Michele by her email handle…Sistersledge. “We are family”…sing it Sista…and I will always feel protective of my baby sister…even when I am 100 and she is 93.

Happy Birthday Michele...I love you Beamba!