Friday, August 29, 2008

Left Behind

When you are the youngest… the baby of the family…eventually you find yourself at home without siblings. One day you take a look around and say “Hey, where did everybody go?” Being the oldest, I did not experience this but as a mother whose youngest is now at home without her big brother and big sister…I am seeing things through Wishy’s eyes.

Bri loves having older siblings…but I know she wishes she had someone behind her…following in her footsteps. With Big C and Col away, Bri is the lucky recipient of all our attention…which can be a pain when you are 17. Sometimes all the attention…the spot light or magnifying glass, is a little too much when you just want to chill. When it’s just the 3 of us at the dinner table…Bri has no one else to take questions….so she can just sit there and eat her mashed potatoes in peace.

Now and again, Chels and Col come home and bail her out. Colinboy is always ready to hang-out with her late at night and play video games and Rock Band. And Chelsea is there for the girly stuff. Once before Chels headed back to college she said to me, “Bri and I have to run some errands.” When they returned, Chelsea lectured me, “Mom…Bri needed a manicure and didn't have any high heels…until now.” Then Chels pulled three pairs of heels from her shopping bag: black, red and animal print…nothing but the essentials.

Sometimes being the one left behind …the baby of the family…isn’t so bad when you have siblings like Big C and Colinboy to look after you…and to check-up on mom…to make sure she is doing her job. Lucky Wishy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Buried Treasure

Was I ever that young? There is a young family that lives next door to us at the beach. They have three kids – boy/girl/boy instead of the girl/boy/girl sequence we birthed. Their kids are about 15 years younger than ours. Similarly, we both have a Colinboy. Differently, PaulA and I are old as dirt.

As I sit on the beach and watch them from afar, I am reminded of those days. Those days of Chels and Col racing each other up the beach, searching for sea glass, Bri building sandcastles with her Dad…it all comes rushing back. If I’m not careful, the neighbors might look over and see an ole lady with tears sliding down her face from underneath her sunglasses.

Their house is noisy, messy, and chaotic. I guess ours is too….we’re just doing it at different hours. I don’t need to go back in time and do it all again. I’m enjoying everything our brood brings…at their current ages.

But, it is fun remembering the good ole beach days…the excitement found in a newly discovered shell or sea creature, witch stories around the fire, a grand slam sea glass find, family walks to the “Point.” These are memories always to treasure.

Buried treasure…deep in my heart.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Age Appropriate

It’s not fair…Duncan gets all the compliments. I was walking Duncan and a woman walking her dog stopped and asked me how large my dog will get. Hello?….he’s 10 years old…not a puppy…he’s done growing. Again…that frisky dog is always mistaken as being much younger than he is.

Man do I wish I was Duncandog. I’m so jealous. No one ever mistakes me for 10 – 20 years younger. My friend Patio has a great strategy on age. She says she is going to start telling people she’s 75…so they say, “Oh my, you look great for your age!”

I was thinking Patio’s new strategy on getting compliments might be a good one. Maybe I’ll do the same….maybe I’ll inflate my age so people think I look good.

Only one problem…I’m afraid that in my case, they’ll say…. “Come on…You can’t be 75 years old! You look great….you don’t look a day over 70.” Ouch.

Maybe if I acted frisky and chased my tail…that would help.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Loud Family

The Loud Family is what we jokingly call them. Not behind their backs…it was their own name for themselves. They are a big family, at least by today’s standards…they will have 4 college educations to pay for. The oldest is a sophomore in high school and the youngest is just entering kindergarten….all day kindergarten… “Go Mama…it’s your birthday.”

The Loud Family has been at the beach for 3 weeks and has not wasted one minute without having TMF =total maximum fun. That’s a lot of fun in 3 weeks. To be exact…that’s 60 minutes in one hour x 24 hours in a day x 3 weeks….carry the one………….30,240 minutes of Total Maximum Fun. That’s the beauty of the Loud Family…they enjoy life and enjoy each other...a minute at a time.

By the way, the Loud Family is only considered loud because they are laughing, singing, joking, telling stories, jumping for joy, and engaging each other in lively conversation. If you aren’t a Loud Family….then I suggest you get to know one….

…You’ll find out how much fun there is to be had.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dilemma Time

PaulA is in Napa Valley…sipping wine, playing golf…okay, it is a business trip. Chelsea and Bri want to go home for a couple of nights and Colinboy wants to stay here at the beach and have his 2 friends from home come visit …which left me with a dilemma…

Which one should I choose? Go home with the girls or guard the beach house from three 20-year old college kids. Hmmm. Guess which one I chose. After one night with the boys…I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen how mature they’ve become…very respectful, very gracious, very helpful…regular human beings.

I remember when Colin and his friends were little boys…back before they were human beings. I would be driving SLASH chauffeuring them somewhere and they would be in the backseat….giggling. If I didn’t know better they could have been 10-year old girls. Who knows what they were laughing about…Was I having a bad hair day?

So now I am listening to them from the other room. They are still laughing, at who knows what, but their tones are deeper. Their interaction with each other is merciless. They take no prisoners. Everything is a competition…one badger follows another….but maybe they are preparing each other for the real world. Regardless, you can see and feel the comararderie.

I realize now that I could have gone home with the girls for a couple of days. Our house would have still been standing when I got back.

But I have enjoyed seeing what human beings they have become.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My New BFF

Did you know Paris Hilton was looking for a new BFF? She has a new show that is a British version of her new MTV reality show, “I Wanna be Paris’s New Best Friend.” Her requirements for a new BFF: “someone who is hot, who can keep up with her and most of all, who is real and won’t be a backstabber.”

She need not look any further. Why not Kat? No fair laughing. Granted I am old enough to be her mother, but my age and wisdom could come in handy. I might even keep her out of the headlines, by giving her good advice. “Paris, don’t make sex tapes…Paris, don’t drink and drive….Paris, don’t throw up your food.”

I think I could easily keep up with Paris. Heck, I keep up with PaulA and believe me, that is no easy task. I have been in training for 26 years so Paris should be a breeze. Plus I am good at taking Katnaps…and can be rejuvenated with a 5 minute sleep…even sitting up.

As for being real…no problemo. With Kat you get the real deal, every time. Holden Caulfield and I dislike a phony and can spy one a mile away. And forget backstabbing. I have learned over the years, it is always best to stab from the front.

The one requirement that will require some work is “someone who is hot.” Hmmm. After just a little time with…a physical trainer, hairdresser, manicurist, aesthetician, cosmetic dentist, and plastic surgeon….I would fit the bill.

Paris….meet your new BFF.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

No Fly Zone

It is amazing how a little fly can make a person crazy. Before you know it, you resemble a cartoon.

This morning I was peacefully having my breakfast…an English muffin and medium black Dunkin Donuts coffee. A little fly landed on the table near me. He had entered a no-fly zone. I nonchalantly brushed it away with my hand. Then it was right back…this time on my hand. I swished it away…it buzzed my head and then landed on my English muffin. I had to tear that part of my muffin off. I couldn’t eat it…don’t know what animal that fly had last visited.

I made a quick move to knock it out of the air and caught my coffee before it spilled. The fly was making me miserable. I tried using my newspaper to swat it …no success. It buzzed my head…more swatting and flailing arms. Ahhh. This was the most determined fly I had ever encountered. Definitely a kamikaze Osama bin Laden terrorist fly.

Where is the fly swatter? He has made this personal. Sneak attack from behind. Swat….just missed him. Swat…lamed him. Sorry fly you asked for this. RIP fly.

Finally, peace again. No fly zone. Wait, oh no….he has a brother.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back To School

School will be starting soon…if you aren’t already sitting in class. It’s a sad feeling when summer vacation winds down and we have to change gears to school gear mode… class schedules, sports schedules. Rev those engines!

The BEST thing about starting school is…School Supplies. A fresh supply of mechanical pencils, notebooks, folders, and Post-Its can help soften the blow. A trip to a store like Staples can cure the back-to-school blues…at least it always did for me.

As a kid, my favorite thing EVER was….getting new pencils, pens, markers, paper…organizing my notebooks and setting up the subject dividers. So when I had kids and they started attending school….I happily skipped into the nearest Staples. Just the smell of that store makes me happy. I’m not sure what makes up that smell ….maybe it’s notebook paper mixed with No. 2 lead. I swear I would wear that scent if Giorgio made it.

I always loved to get organized….not in the clean closet, clean room manner….but in the paper, folder, file sort-of-way. I looked forward to helping the kid’s organize their supplies…but Big C and Wishy liked doing it themselves, so I could only sit on my hands…and longingly watch. But….Colin never minded my assistance. He passed off the job to me like he was the executive and I was his secretary….”Go ahead….get this back to me by the end of the day.”

Last week I had to make a trip to Staples. My eyes widened at the sight of aisles and aisles of school supplies. My heart started racing, my hands began sweating….so many supplies . I had to tell myself to calm down…Wishy likes to get her own supplies…she’s a High School senior. So I walked down the aisles…trying not to turn my head. But I couldn’t help myself…I looked. And saw the cutest pencil box called the “Vault” with pink plaid and metal edges….and a lock and key. The ultimate. Organization with security…a double bonus.

I said to myself… “Kat, What are you doing with a kid’s plaid pencil box that locks? Put down the box and leave the store right now.” It was so hard….part of me wanted to run back and grab the box. But then I knew I would also be passing the label makers, note pads, paper clips, and hole puncher…. I would be making things worse.

I need to get some self restraint…or enroll in a course. Maybe there’s a Remedial Blogging course I can take.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Par For The Course

On the weekend PaulA likes to play golf. His alarm clock goes off early …7 am…that’s early for a Saturday…especially when it’s his day off. A day when he could sleep in…and roll over and over. I wake up and see PaulA sitting at the edge of the bed, getting his wits about him before he stands up. So I just have to say it, I just can’t stop myself, “You going to your golf job?” You see, I think this is really funny. I say it every time and of course, he never responds. He must not like my sense of humor early in the morning….’cause I’m telling you, it is really funny.

So I started thinking…What is it about golf that will get a person out of bed so early on a Saturday after having worked 100 hours Monday thru Friday….flown across the country, driven through traffic in major cities, met clients for dinner at 6 pm when it is 11 pm his body time and more interested in catching zzzzz’s instead of the catch of the day?

I have played golf, so you see I’m trying to figure out the big attraction. Of course, there is the obvious attraction of hitting the little white ball until you knock it into the hole. Now that is the very definition of a good time!!! But maybe it’s also the: camaraderie of hanging with the fellas, the big bucks he's hoping to win off his buds, the round of Buds on the 19th hole, taking out frustrations on a little ball, and getting out of a honey-do list.

Because it certainly couldn’t be: shanking the ball into the woods, ricocheting the ball off of 3 trees, missing the putt with a lip-out, scuffing the chip, doffing the ground, losing your shirt to your friends and buying the round of drinks, ‘cause you’re the loser of the day.

It’s 7am Saturday morning… “You going to your golf job, PaulA?”

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sink or Swim

Are you watching the Olympics? Michael Phelps is amazing…a reason to watch. Some people were born to do great things. I can only imagine what it would be like to be a gold medal Olympian and set world records.

You see…I am not the best swimmer in the world. I can tread water…dog paddle …and manage an atypical breaststroke. Hey, these simple strokes keep me afloat. If I fell off a boat I could survive…for a while. But just don’t leave me out there for too long to prove something.

There is a huge rock on our beach we call Flat Rock that is totally underwater at high tide. A definite destination. PaulA got this knucklehead idea that I should swim out to it. I haven’t swam out there in a long time. Heck, I know the rock is there…just like I know the moon is out there…but do I need to go? I think not.

After much coaxing from PaulA….like telling me the water was warm (for a change), and there were only a few people on the beach (he knows I can make a scene) …and that he would swim beside me (if I suddenly went south.) In typical PaulA fashion…he wasn’t taking “no” for an answer. I reluctantly agreed.

So I waded in…up to my ankles, knees, waist…bazoombs (hehe), and then I couldn’t touch. I guess I had to sink or swim. I first started with the breaststroke…I had to show the people on the beach my best stuff. Then a rest…rest….treading water. Then a beg…beg…for PaulA to carry me on his back. Then a good ole doggie paddle. Eventually I made it. I stood proudly on Flat Rock, like I was the first person to land on the moon.

I was feeling pretty good about my accomplishment…until I remembered how exhausted I was…and that I still had to swim back. But wait…How long to low tide? I could walk off this rock in about 5 hours.

Michael Phelps….I am not.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Long Distance Calling

Our home phone rarely rings. I would venture to say, that is the case in most households. Now that everyone has an umbilical cord attached to a cell phone…who needs to call the house phone. Plus…who wants to make small talk with PaulA or Kat…when it is Bri they want to talk to.

Back in the day, we didn’t have cell phones that would conveniently ring in our pocket…playing a Bob Marley ringtone. I remember when I got a call at home…whoever answered the phone would yell through the house, “Kat…Telephone.” I would yell back, “Coming.” But every now and then I would get the mother load of calls….

“IT’S LONG DISTANCE.” Whenever you heard this, you were expected to high tail it to the phone…ASAP. There was to be no dilly dallying or finishing what you were doing. Nope. You were expected to break your neck or break your toe…it didn’t matter…just as long as you got your ass to the phone. It was Long Distance Calling….and extra tick tocks were costly.

I didn’t get many long distance calls…not until I met my boyfriend, PaulA from CT…and it was summer vacation. I remember the first time I called PaulA long distance at his house. He asked me to call him on their “kid’s phone”….woah. How cool was that to have two phone lines. Now that I am a parent, I understand why his parents wanted a separate line for the kids….they had seven children.

Modern technology has made life easier…with just a reach into your pocket or pocketbook…you can easily check your caller id, read a text message or actually answer. But nothing beats the exhilaration I felt whenever I would hear…“Kat…Phone….IT’S LONG DISTANCE”…just knowing it was PaulA on the other end….dropping what I was doing…running through the house…tripping over the dog….knocking over the chair. Waaaay more exciting.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kat's Greatest Hits

I have a confession to make. I was thinking of copying and pasting an old blog I had written months ago and passing it off as a newly written blog. Partly to see if anyone would notice...even care, or then again… even care. I told PaulA about my little caper. And he said, “Why not? If the Rolling Stones can replay the oldies, why can’t you?" Darn good thinking, PaulA…way to put that noggin to work.

So I am launching “Kat’s Greatest Hits”….I would take requests, but that would mean I would have to hear from you out there in blogworld…and it seems like you are either very shy…or non-existent. I realize my blogs were never real “hits”….so you are wondering how could there be “Greatest Hits”…but could you please humor me for a minute and just roll with it, already.

For my first Greatest Hit…I am bringing back:

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 every 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.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Kat The Coffee Maker

Kat made coffee at home. She didn’t get in her car… pass go…and drive directly to the Dunkin Donuts Drive-thru. Nope. She put 5 scoops of coffee in the filter basket and poured water in the coffee maker reservoir. Wait, why am I talking in the third person? Well…maybe because it was like an out-of-body experience.

Yesterday I decided to buy a small coffee maker for the beach. Whenever we have company, I feel like the morning coffee is an issue. As you know…I like to go to DD’s every morning. Nobody does it like Dunkin. Conveniently, there happens to be one close by. But, when we have guests…I am getting the feeling that they would like to have a pot of coffee when they wake up….and not wait for me to get my sorry ass out of bed. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am the hostess….and I have a sorry ass.

How did the coffee turn out? I just know you are asking. I was very surprised that it tasted okay. But nothing is as good as my Dunkin Donuts cup of java. I’ve always wondered what gives it that special taste. I have bought DD’s grounds and my coffee still doesn’t taste anything like theirs. It is probably their commercial grade machines, or extra hot water. But I have figured out their special ingredient…it is the foam cup. I swear it is. My mugs don’t do the java justice.

I’ll try to continue making coffee while at the beach and I'll work on perfecting it. I’ll be the best dang hostess on the beach…with a sorry ass.

I first have to make a quick trip over to DDs to get some foam cups.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


When PaulA has business in Boston I like to go along for the ride…I always love the chance to be in Red Sox Nation…Beantown…Home of the worst accent in the nation. The extra special bonus of riding shot gun with PaulA…is the opportunity to see Colin. So luckily last week PaulA had a meeting in Copley Plaza…and I had a meeting on Newbury Street …yeah…That is what I like to tell myself. Okay, I had a big date with the shops.

I called Colin and arranged to meet him after he finished work and before he had real plans with cool, fun people…aka…not me. He could take the "T" after work and meet me on Newbury Street. A little digression …I love that Boston Beaners call the train the “T”. Someone asked me for directions to the subway…a dead giveaway they were from NYC… “the City”…not “the Town.”

So now…Where to meet Colinboy on a busy summer street? “I’ll find you,” he said….which he did. And I knew he would. Colin has a built-in homing device. I swear if I stepped over the Boston City Limits line Colin would know….his homing boy device would go off immediately… Katmom has entered Beantown …right foot taken on Massachusetts Ave near Dunkin Donuts.

When Col was young, he always knew right where I was…no matter what the size of the crowd. When we would attend his concerts, or games and it was difficult to find him through everyone. …I would always know he could find me. I would ask, “Did you see where I was sitting?” Oh yea…you were in row 10, left side…in seat 3A.”

The best is…if ever I was lost hiking in the Rocky Mountains…(yeah, like I hike a lot)…ColinHomingboy could find me. I am so lucky like that.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Surf's Up!

We are at the beach and the clouds have moved in…the wind has kicked up off the ocean and blowing straight into our faces. The clouds are dark and the waves are getting higher and crashing louder. To most people it sounds like a storm is brewing …but to us….it means only one thing…The Ramones are getting closer.

Yep. Whenever the Ramones visit us at the beach …they bring the nasty weather. This might seem like a generalization, but we have lots of proof over the years. Even other relatives who are here want to know when they are visiting…they want to plan their activities around the bad weather.

Actually the Ramones are very good natured about the ribbing they get for crappy weather. Luckily, they have a great sense of humor… Jokingly, once during a visit Stacy called herself “the booze hag”...which we couldn’t resist relaying to the rest of our relatives. It was too funny...except when Uncle Al met Stacy and said to her face, “Oh, you’re the sea hag.”….Whoops…wrong hag, Uncle Al…Keep your hags straight.

One year when the kids were little…the Ramones brought a monsoon with them. After a couple of days of damp clothes, damp towels, and damp spirits…we were ready to walk the gang plank. The forecast was so bad for each day that we started looking at flights. Myrtle Beach was looking clear.

We decided it was a little extreme….to get on a plane and take a vacation from our vacation. So instead, we packed up our families and went into Plymouth to stay in a hotel. It was actually a brilliant move. The kids happily walked a gang plank…into the pirate theme pool. And the adults got happy…with the help of our pirate friend, Captain Morgan.

Today I received an email from our foul-weather friends … they are on their way. They are leaving Old Forge where it has been rainy. We are looking forward to seeing the sea/booze hag and family…We anticipate lots of laughs, lots of fun, and LOTS of rain……Surf’s up.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

You Say Bologna...I Say Baloney

What is so wrong with a bologna sandwich? Geez, I thought everyone loved Oscar Mayer Bologna. Bologna was the first sandwich I ever made PaulA. I found out that not everyone appreciates a bologna sandwich…especially the way I made it…but not until years later.

PaulA and I were newly dating and we decided to go on a picnic near our college. I offered to make a nice picnic lunch. (This would be great time to impress my boyfriend with my culinary skills.)

Growing up in my household, our sandwiches included: PB & J, PB & Fluff, egg salad, tuna, Devil’s Ham and bologna. I went through the process of elimination and I decided…peanut butter was sooo 4th grade. Egg salad and tuna salad smelled big time…especially in the sun and therefore, so would we. Deviled ham is just plain gross…always was and always will be. Bologna…rose quickly to the top of the list.

So I worked on the best bologna sandwich for my boyfriend…got two slices of white bread, smeared a little yellow mustard and added a slice of bologna. Waaahlaa. The perfect sandwhich.

PaulA ate his bologna sandwich without a complaint. But after we were married, I found out that…not only is bologna not his definition of a perfect sandwich…the white bread and mustard didn’t cut it either.

I have since learned to make the perfect PaulA sandwich…That would be to use any bread (but white), deli meat (but bologna) piled five inches high, mounds of miracle whip, and any fixins that you have in the frig. The technique is: layer…and smother…layer…and smother… the perfect sandwich.

I’m still surprised about the poor reception my sandwich received from PaulA. You see I thought I couldn’t lose with a bologna sandwich… ‘Cause Oscar Mayer has a way with B-o-l-o-g-n-a… (Okay, I couldn’t resist that catchy little jingle… you had to know it was coming.)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Very Interesting

After 10 months of writing this blog…I am used to THE questions. When I first started writing, I didn’t tell anyone, but then decided... "why not tell people?" Part of the fun of writing something is to have it read. Besides 35 million other bloggers can’t be wrong. So I slowly spilled the blogger beans.

The following are the types of questions that I am asked about my blogging tendencies. These questions are usually asked by the person observing me with their head cocked to the side, eyes squinted and mouth pursed…as if observing a train crash OR freak of nature.

You write a blog? Oh...that’s interesting.

Why did you start? You were avoiding things you should be doing…that’s interesting.

Do people actually read your blog? Maybe 1 or 2 people...that many... interesting.

Did you have a normal childhood growing up? Oh, you think so…you think you’re normal…that’s interesting.

Are you sure you don’t have some mother issues that you are trying to resolve with your blog? Oh, none you can think of…your mom wasn’t the Betty Davis're still thinking your're normal...that’s interesting.

How much time do you spend blogging? Oh, all that precious time wasted…down the tubes…that's interesting.

When do you think you’ll stop this blogging nonsense? I mean, absurdity…uh…gibberish…inanity…lunacy? Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that…like it sounded. But when…exactly?

As a freak of nature…I am very interesting.