Sunday, December 30, 2012

Most Fascinating Person of 2012

If Barbara Walters can name Honey BooBoo as one of the most fascinating people of 2012, then I also have the right to name one of the most fascinating people of 2012.

And I would name him.  I would. If I knew his name.

I only know what they call him, but let me tell you about him first.

This man is 80 years old. He doesn't look a single day over 79.  He was a smoker, but quit 35 years ago.  He didn't want to quit smoking, but his wife made him quit the same day she decided to quit. I have a soft spot for obedient husbands. He and his wife raised their children, and long ago those children all moved away from home.  His wife passed away, and now he spends some of his quality time watching football with my father.

On the day I met him, I was with my father and husband. We were in a local watering hole watching "The" football game of the year.  My dad introduced me to him.

He seemed like an absolutely normal, average, run-of-the-mill, non-fascinating person until I learned the following:

He had a large painful callus on his foot. It bothered him so much that he decided he needed to do something about it.

Proving he is a fascinating person, the man decided to get his electric sander and sand the callus off his foot.  Electric sander!

He summed it up by saying, "You know the callus went away, but you see the skin got really hot."

And by "really hot" he means he burned the bejeezes out of his foot.  The burn then led to an infection which resulted in him needing surgery on his foot.

He was given his nickname prior to the infamous callus incident.
Ironically enough, this man is called Hoppy.

Beat that, Barbara Walters!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

David Gregory Must Be Stopped!

If you've not yet heard, sit down because this is going to shoot...errrrr.... knock your socks off!

David Gregory is a gun-touting 30 round magazine carrying journalist who was trying to have a rational conversation with NRA's Wayne LaPierre on Sunday's Meet the Press.  As you can tell from this article, I don't think it turned out the way David Gregory anticipated.

Apparently in Washington DC there is a ban about possessing magazines even if they are not attached to an actual gun.  David Gregory's was not attached to a gun.

And you know what this means, right?

All those politicians in DC are way more valuable than those of us not in DC as evidenced by stricter gun control laws.    David Gregory needs to go to jail for breaking the law.

Duh!  Of course, that's what it means!  Just ask the 7,000 people who have already signed an official petition asking for charges against David Gregory.

Obviously, he posed a threat to Mr. NRA and possibly to our national security. However, certainly Mr. NRA would be opposed to charges because that's a violation of the journalist's freedom, right?  This country doesn't need more gun control, right? Guns don't kill people, right? That's what David Gregory does? On Meet the Press?

I am sooo darn confused!!!!!

I would think, as a nation, we would want to create environments that allow for the safe ownership and use of guns.  An environment were we are more concerned about the safety in our schools and public areas than we are about the safety on the set of Meet the Press.

As I ponder the absurdity of all of this, I'm thinking about whether or not I need to make and sell "Free Gregory" t-shirts.  In the spirit of American entrepreneurship, of course!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fudge Bisque

Have you ever tried fudge bisque?

Me neither.

I never even heard of it until the day I accidentally made it.

My intentions were good.
Give friends a bag of yummy goodies when they stop by during the holiday season.

So simple, right?
Very Martha Stewart-y of me, right?


I swear on my favorite cookbook, I followed the instructions for the easy peanut butter and chocolate fudge.

I put 4 gazillion pounds of sugar, butter, marshmallow cream, and peanut butter in a large pot on the stove over medium heat.

The recipe is quite clear that under no circumstances should I stop stirring the sugary concoction.  I stir and stir and stir.  After the liquid sugar comes to a rolling boil, I am to continue stirring an additional five minutes.

Turns out, it takes the mountain of sugar quite a looooooong time to get to a boil.
So as I stir, while wearing layers of winter clothing, I begin to sweat.  It is winter, after all, so I'm dressed for the weather.  The outside weather.  I didn't realize I would be required to stir until nearly the new year. In addition to sweating, I realize how little upper arm strength I actually possess.  I mean, really, who knew stirring could be such a physically demanding experience?

Finally succumbing to the fact that it is no longer winter in my kitchen, I remove my first layer of clothing.  I drop the fleece by my feet so I won't need to stop stirring for even a moment.  Again, the directions are nearly threatening about the consequences of not stirring constantly.

The second layer of clothing comes off shortly thereafter.  I'm sure my refrigerator is enjoying this slow strip tease cooking experience.

When my husband comes home, he finds me by the stove in a T-shirt stirring 72 million calories of hot melted, sugar while standing near a pile of sweaters and fleeces.

He asks why I am standing on a pile of laundry, but I am too busy sweating and stirring to form an adequate response.  Quite frankly, we've been married so long I really think it is more of a rhetorical question.

Finally, the recipe instructs me to turn off the heat and stir in a bag of chocolate chips.  Obediently I do so.

The chocolate chips melt and I pour this gooey, sweet smelling concoction into a pan lined with foil and then I let it set.  I let it set overnight.

Imagine my surprise when I attempt to cut it in the morning only to discover it remains in a somewhat liquid form.

I have sweet friends who love sweet things so they seem utterly thrilled to watch me spoon their fudge bisque into holiday goodie bags.  Sadly, they'll need to supply their own straws to enjoy it.

Undaunted, I spoon the fudge into bowls for my children.  They, of course, each have a sweet tooth the size of Santa's sleigh.  As they slurp up the fudge, I am quickly crowned "best mom ever."

Now excuse me while I go drink some fudge.

Ho Ho Ho!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Innocence Lost

The news that 26 people had been killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14, 2012 was unbelievable on Friday.  It remained shocking on Saturday, and today it just gets sadder and sadder.

I write this as my own children are taking baths.  Tomorrow is a school day so their lunches are packed and laundry is clean.  I will see them off to school tomorrow with mixed emotions.  I will do my best to make it seem like a typical school day.  I know their teachers will also do their best to make it seem like a typical school day.

It's not a typical school day.

Innocence wasn't just lost in Sandy Hook on Friday. It was lost across this country.

On Friday I was a mother who believed my children were safe in school.
Today I am a mother who hopes my children are safe in school.

Who knew the words "believe" and "hope" could conjure up such different emotions?

This isn't a blog about gun violence or mental illness.  Both issues are complex and complicated. I am neither intelligent enough nor articulate enough to do either topic justice.

This is about recognizing the precious and heroic lives who were lost.
Had I lost a child or a loved one that day, I would want the world to know his or her name.

I would want people to remember my loved one.

Here is a list of the victims’ names and ages in alphabetical order from the Connecticut State Police:

• Charlotte Bacon, 6
• Daniel Barden, 7
• Rachel Davino, 29
• Olivia Engel , 6
• Josephine Gay, 7
• Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
• Dylan Hockley, 6
• Dawn Hochsprung, 47
• Madeleine F. Hsu, 6
• Catherine V. Hubbard , 6
• Chase Kowalski, 7
• Jesse Lewis, 6
• James Mattioli
• Grace McDonnell, 7
• Anne Marie Murphy, 52
• Emilie Parker, 6
• Jack Pinto, 6
• Noah Pozner, 6
• Caroline Previdi, 6
• Jessica Rekos, 6
• Avielle Richman, 6
• Lauren Rousseau, 30
• Mary Sherlach, 56
• Victoria Soto, 27
• Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison N. Wyatt, 6

May God bless us.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

If You Give a Klutz Crutches

Can I say for the umpteenth time that I had foot surgery and am now whittling the days away on my bum?  Have I not mentioned my invalid status enough times yet? Have you, oh faithful reader, not yet heard that I had foot surgery? Did you miss this noteworthy event?

Let me say it again:  I am stuck on my bum because I had a bunion the size of Delaware removed from my right foot.

Yes, I can hobble around on crutches, but this is dangerous for me as well as for those around me.

If you give a klutz crutches she will astonish you by immediately walking right into a wall.

After walking into the wall, she will laugh because she is on narcotics and everything is funny.  After laughing she will pass out.

When she wakes up, she will ask for more narcotics and her husband will offer her Advil instead.  The klutz will then realize she has crutches.  Since she clearly cannot use them to safely move around the house, she will consider using them to attack those who suggest she not use the prescribed narcotics.

As the days pass and the pain subsides, the klutz will try to use the crutches again.

When the klutz uses the crutches, it will take her 20 minutes to go 20 feet.

After going 20 feet to the living room, she'll realize she needs to go tinkle.

After a laborious walk to the bathroom she will cry tears of joy on the adult potty chair. She will proclaim the adult potty as the best invention EVER.

She will then painstakingly hobble back to the living room.

After that marathon walk, the klutz is tired and sweaty so she will decide to take a sponge bath.

This will require another arduous walk back to the bathroom. There the klutz will sit with a washrag and a bar of soap and give thanks for running water while contemplating how this whole "sponge bath" concept works.  Defying her klutziness, she will shockingly not injure herself in the process.

After a mediocre sponge bath, the klutz will be too exhausted to venture anywhere other than her bed.

After being in bed, she will begin to wonder about bed sores.

At this point, she will realize the sad truth.
She would rather have bed sores than crutches.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Kudos, Music Teacher

Dear Music Teacher,

I was going to call you on the phone, but I assume you are deaf.

I deeply regret we cannot afford to buy you diamonds this holiday season. As you are attempting to teach musical instruments to both of my children, I know you deserve at least diamonds.

Instead, all I can offer you is this very poorly written poem...

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
I am so sorry for you.

Hot Cross Buns and Ode to Joy;
You gave a recorder to my boy?

He plays it madly,
Albeit badly.
He loves it, sadly.

The trumpet was not my idea.
For that you can blame my daughter, Lia.

They love duets and are quite a pair.
That sound makes me want to pull my hair!

I want the noise to dampen down.
I'm getting fine lines from my frown.

You, however, handle it well.
Amazing, 'cause it sounds like hell.

Years of doing this, and you look sane.
I think scientists should study your brain.

I can't stand another honk or tweet.
I am just not that sweet.

Happy Holidays,
  A Mom who hopes Santa brings her earplugs

Cheers to all the teachers who manage to teach our children how to read, write, add, subtract, and most amazingly of all...teach our children how to play musical instruments.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Let's cut to the chase.  I have been naughty this past year with flashes of niceness.  Those flashes should count for something, right?

I mean, come on!  You are one to judge. You don't let your elves unionize and you work them to the bone this time of year. I know.  I've read plenty of Christmas books and viewed countless a holiday films.  You're not the only one who can find out who's been naughty or nice!

PETA is no doubt watching you in terms of your treatment of those reindeer. You cannot tell me that lugging your large ass as well as presents for all the good boys and girls all over the world is easy on reindeer. At our house we leave your team of reindeer one lousy carrot which you don't always remember to take.   You NEVER forget to eat the cookies and milk do you? You really are a piece of work.

Yeah, I've not been the nicest this past year, but neither have you.  You can stop all the Santa judgment and cut me some slack!

So I want to be clear with you about what I DO NOT want to find under the Christmas tree this year.  Here's your opportunity to be nice vs naughty:

1.  Toys wrapped in hard plastic.  I do not want to spend my holiday in the emergency room, and I swear nothing short of a chainsaw can get through some types of plastic packaging.  Did NASA invent that plastic?  Is our military aware of its super human, indestructible strength?  Seems like there could be better use for that type of plastic than for securing one tiny Littlest Pet Shop toy.  I mean really, that plastic defies logic.

2.  Toys with batteries.  Yes, this might be hard to pull off, but you should try.  I inevitably will have some batteries in the house on Christmas morning, but they will likely be the wrong size for whatever loud, overpriced toy you decide to leave for my children.  Odds are, even if I have the correct batteries, I may be forced to deny it depending on how obnoxious the toy appears to be. Do all of us a favor and avoid battery operated toys.

3.  Toys that need assembled.  I want to be clear that I cannot follow directions on Christmas morning.  This is because I am often up at 4 AM telling my sleep deprived, overly excited, obnoxious delightful children that it is too early to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior by opening an obscene amount of presents. They need to go back to bed or the Grinch will come and steal the presents from under the tree and give them to neighborhood children who are still sleeping! My Christmas spirit doesn't kick in until after sunrise and 1 cup of strong coffee.

4.  Unlabeled presents.  Please don't forget to label the presents.  It's really annoying to find a present under the tree that is clearly from you because it is wrapped in your special Santa paper, but there is no name tag on it.  Which sleep deprived little monster angel should open the gift?  Nothing good can come from unmarked presents.

5.  I know it's simple and easy for your over-worked elves to stock my children's stocking with socks, underwear, gum, and candy, but can you go easy on the candy this year?  Last year after yelling at encouraging my children to go back to bed, I told them they could open their stockings if they did so in bed and stayed in said bed until at least 6 AM.  It's amazing how much chocolate and gum my children can consume before sunrise.   That candy is like crack cocaine to my children. Maybe you could replace the candy with math facts?  Yeah, I'm a good time!

So from one naughty, over weight adult to another, please grant me my Christmas wishes.

Ho Ho Ho,
A Naughty Mom

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

10 Things I Learned After Surgery

Sometimes imagining a scenario is not the same thing as actually living an experience. 

My doctor, as well as perfect strangers, seemed to enjoy telling me about the pain and discomfort I would experience after foot surgery.  I, of course, thought I had a high tolerance for pain and would not suffer as everyone seemed to indicate.

I now know that I know nothing.  I am a total fool.

So in the spirit of enlightenment, I want to share the top 10 things I learned after foot surgery:

10.  When sick from the anesthesia, empty, plastic coffee containers are perfect containers to throw up in if you cannot make it to the toilet.  As an aside, my hubby likes to reuse our plastic coffee containers as popcorn bowls. Should he ever offer you popcorn in one of these containers, refuse the popcorn.  In all likelihood, I've vomited in that container.

9.  11 year old daughters are better caretakers than 9 year old sons.

8.   Narcotics are addicting, but not as addicting as being pampered by your 11 year old tween.

7.   My husband has an unusual desire to protect my liver. When awake and in pain at 2 AM, my husband tries to talk about the damage pain medication can cause my liver.  Well, he can just bite me council me with that knowledge in the light of day or after he has painful, bloody surgery on his dominate foot.

6.  Crutches can be used to hit things (are you reading this, hubby?)

5.  Taking a sponge bath is not as easy as it sounds.  After taking a sponge bath, one can become so exhausted and sweaty from the exertion that she needs another bath.

4. Adult potty chairs can make the difference between peeing in the potty and peeing your pants and/or floor.

3. The expression, "Paper cuts are the worst" is only said by people who haven't experienced the worst.

2.  A double dose of Advil is good.

1.  Percocet is better.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Used Potty Chair

One of these days I will learn it's not necessary to share EVERYTHING on the world wide web.  Just. Not. Necessary.

Sadly, today is not that day.   I'm about to over share here once again. I'm going to blame it on my narcotic consumption. Wait...did I just over share again? Crap.

I have had bunions.  Now I have only one bunion thanks to a cute doctor who sawed off one of my bunions late last week in what can only be described as the most painful experience of my life.  Although I described my bunions in a previous post, the best description is to say that if I am facing north, my right big toe faced due east.

My right bunion was cut off late last week. Did I already mention that?  Damn drugs! 

Now I know you wonder what any of this has to do with a potty chair, but please rest assured this has everything to do with a potty chair.

I don't recall the day I was potty trained, but I know it happened. For as long as I can remember, I've been going poo poo in the potty like a big girl.

The nice specialist who removed my bunion pointed out to me that I can have no pressure on my right foot for approximately 10 days following surgery.  No pressure.  Nada.  Nothing.  Zip.  Following those 10 days, I will be allowed limited pressure on that damn foot.

I ignorantly thought this would be inconvenient but doable assuming my husband takes over, my children stop acting like children, and the world stands still for 10 days.

Then while tinkling in the toilet I wondered, "Can I stand up using just one leg and one foot?"

So I tried it. Although I managed to get off my rear end, it was difficult.  Doable, but tricky.

Two minutes later when I needed to wee wee again I wondered, "Can I sit down using just one leg and one foot?"

Well, I think the best description of that little experiment would be to say I literally crash landed on the toilet seat with a thud so loud and hard that I later wondered if my bum was bruised.

This experience got me talking with people about their own near death toileting experiences.  Who knew tinkling on the potty was so dangerous!?

I found someone (I'm not saying her name to protect her identify) who had an adult potty chair.  She obtained it after having knee surgery.  The adult potty chair goes over the potty and the seat is much higher up than a typical toilet seat.

She is willing to let me borrow her potty chair.
Since she is a decent and kind human being, she washed it thoroughly ahead of time.

I am grateful for her generosity and most grateful for her cleanliness.

No doubt I will have 100 stories to tell about my adventures on the adult potty chair, but I am going to try my very hardest NOT to share all of them.