Adventures of the Week: Moo Mechanics at the Movies

It’s been an interesting week. Course, most weeks are around here. Here are a few highlights.

City Slicker and the cows

My sister lives on an acreage in Iowa. It’s about a 45 minute drive – an easy one that I’ve driven a hundred times.

But Saturday, we had a new experience.

We were about 15 minutes from my sister’s house, I was driving, the girls were in the back coloring and CJ was napping. I came around a corner on a winding country road to see a man with his truck parked on the shoulder and he was flagging me down. I had a few seconds to assess the situation and here was my thought process:

Oh there’s a dude in the middle of the road wearing camo pants and a jacket….with a scruffy beard….he looks suspicious…why is he waving his arms at me….is this a serial killer?…if I pull over will he maim us?

So I did the only logical thing. I yelled at CJ to wake-up while elbowing him.

“Wake up! CJ! Wake up there’s a man in the road! What should I do?”

“Stop the car.” He said.

Fine. Be logical.

So I stopped and rolled down the window. The man came up to the car.

“Hi there ma’am. Sorry for the inconvenience but were moving cattle. We’ll be done soon.”

I looked ahead and sure enough there were 3 people on horses guiding about 35 head of black cows down the road. Ok maybe that made more sense than a serial killer redneck.

Kind of.

“Sorry to hold you up.” The man apologized again. “But better that than running in to a cow. That would be a bad day for everyone.”

Indeed it would be.

Black Panther Experience

Saturday night CJ and I excited went to see Black Panther. We’re huge Marvel comics book geeks so we were stoked!

We get our popcorn but the theatre wasn’t ready yet so we sat in the bar area and waited. There were 3 other groups of people there: a high school aged couple, 2 college girls, and 4 other teens. The girl with her boyfriend yelled over to me and CJ asking how much our popcorn cost. I yelled back, “$14!”

Just then one of the boy’s in the foursome starts laughing and mumbles something about her under his breath. The girl yells, “Are you laughing at me?”

“Yeah!” He says defiantly.

She stands and says, “How dare you laugh at a black woman who is about to see Black Panther!”

Then the boy says something in Spanish. She freaks out and threatens to throw her drink at him while the other 2 girls start cussing him out.

It was at this point that I felt very uncomfortable. Should I step in? What if it escalated? I really didn’t want to get involved.

Our theatre was finally ready and everyone went in. Fortunately nothing more happened.

But the loud mouthed girl who started the whole thing? Yeah, she sat right next to CJ.

Police Supporting Mechanics

On Tuesday I took my car in for an oil change over lunch. No big deal.

A few hours later when I left work and walked to my car, I noticed something inside the back window. I took a closer look and saw that it was a vinyl sticker that said, “I SUPPORT MY LOCAL POLICE”.

What the what?

I peeled it off and tried to figure out who would put it there. It was not in a place the girls could reach and it hadn’t been there that morning. It could only have been one of the mechanics. Did they think I wouldn’t notice?

I was ticked and immediately called the dealership to inform them of the shenanigans from one of their staff. Of course they denied that anyone there would do that but I held firm that it had to be them. They did apologize and promised to investigate.

Over dinner I told CJ about it. He gave me an impish look and said, “Oh yeah…I put it there a month ago.”

What the what?

#feelingsheepish

Blinded by Love

Tonight CJ was reading to Cora. She was sitting on the floor and he was in the chair behind her. I noticed she hadn’t brushed her hair after bath time so I got her the detangler spray and the brush.

She squirts the detangler once, missing her hair by a long shot.

“Ow! My eye!” CJ yells and falls over to the right while covering his left eye. “She got me!”

Naturally I laugh. That’s how I show sympathy.

She squirts again.

CJ jerks to the left and covers both eyes. “She got me again! In the other eye! I can’t believe it!”

At the point I have so much sympathy for him that I double over with laughter.

I quickly recover and get him some eye drops and a cloth, then I help Cora.

I’m not a monster.

Just a city slicker who accuses innocent people of vandalizing my car.

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$#*! People Say – The Puzzler

Followers of old may remember a popular segment on the blog called “$#*! My British Friend Says” wherein I posted random quotes my dear friend from Britain would say that were totally random, usually inappropriate and always hilarious. Well, I am proud to say I have more friends that fall in to the category of saying random, inappropriate and hilarious things and I’m happy to share them with you here!

One of those people is The Puzzler (as always, names are changed to protect the innocent). Like The Brit, The Puzzler works with me (she actually works for me….she’s my HR nightmare as you’ll soon see). Unlike The Brit, The Puzzler says things without knowing or understanding that they’re inappropriate until someone explains it to her. Which we may or may not always do. Below are a few highlights – yes she actually said these things in a work environment and none were meant in any kind of sexual way. Also she’s a few years from retirement so she doesn’t really care either.

  • Do you lubricate before bed?
  • Oh no I like going down!
  • You can tell it’s not tight because I can move it.
  • I get off on that
  • Over break my boyfriend and I were playing Ring-a-round the Rosie and he gave me a black eye.
  • Can I have a dickle?
  • I have a tickler for that
  • Wow look at her box
  • Oh we can wait a minute, he’s coming…he’s coming…oh there he comes!

There will be plenty more to come, I can guarantee it.

An Interview with Isabella

Since it’s been 4 years, I thought it would be good to provide some updates on the girls. Kids change practically overnight it seems so you can imagine how much they’ve changed over the last few years! But instead of me writing paragraphs of my observations, I thought it would be more fun to just interview them so they could tell you about themselves in their own words! First up, Isabella, who is currently 8 years old and in 3rd grade. She has glasses, beautiful long blonde curly hair, was diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarten, is very literal, logical and thoughtful and she amazes me.

Q: What is your favorite food?

Apples. I don’t know why. I guess because they’re juicy.

Q: What is your favorite color?

Blue, then turquoise, green, purple, pink and so on and on and on until all the colors are used up.

Q: What do you like most about school?

Art on Wednesdays. Also, Wednesday is chicken nugget day which is my favorite. [Then she leaned in and whispered: they don’t really call it ‘chicken nugget day’, I just made that up.]

Q: What do you want people to know about you?

That I’m not a small person who doesn’t know anything. I can’t be beat up. Like Dad says, I have sharp elbows.

(This answer surprised me so I asked her if she was worried about being “beat up”. She said no. Then added that she is the smallest in her class and sometimes people think that means she’s doesn’t know things. “But I know a lot of things mom, I just don’t say them.”)

Q: What are your favorite things to do?

Draw and color. I like drawing silly pictures for people. Also monsters.

Q: Who is your favorite person?

Mrs. J and Jayden. I can’t decide which so don’t make me.

Q: What do you like most about Cora?

She’s funny. But sometimes I don’t get it. She can be weird too.

Q: If you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be?

A stuffed animal come to life because then you can be snuggled and loved but also talk to people and do things.

Q: What’s the biggest thing that’s changed about you since you were 4 years old [which is how old she was when I stopped blogging]

I talked weird then. (Then she said, “You don’t have to write this part down Mom but I would say things like “Big, Bigger, and Biggerer“. That’s so weird!”)

Q: Any final words that you want to share with Mommy’s friends?

I would want them to know that I have a space themed room. I like space stuff. Also, interviews are fun. I like them too.

………….

Today Isabella brought home an activity from school for hitting 100 days. Thought I’d share some of her answers.

  • I would not want 100…cats (the only reason is because my sister is allergic)
  • If I had $100 I would buy….an animal shelter.
  • I can lift 100…pieces of paper (make that 1000!)
  • In 100 years I hope I can…still walk
  • I can eat 100….chocolates (in one week)
  • I could never eat 100….pieces of pizza

And there you have it. Isabella in her own words. And what amazing words they are!

Guess Who’s Back?

Hard to believe but it’s been 4 years since I last wrote an entry on this blog. At the time I was burned out, tired of writing, and my heart wasn’t in it. It felt forced. If we’re being honest, I kind of felt that way about life in general too. I had 2 little kids, a busy job, a new house, and didn’t feel like I had anything “together”. Everything felt frantic and unorganized and crazy. I was overwhelmed.

So I stopped writing. It was a hard decision made easier over time. Every time I’d think about the blog I’d examine my life and it re-affirmed my decision to stop. I don’t have enough time. There’s nothing interesting to write about. No one cares what’s going on in my life.

And so it goes.

However I kept paying to renew the domain name and keep the site up year after year. Whenever I’d see a payment processed I’d cringe a little and tell myself I should just take it down. But I never did. Nostalgia perhaps? Sure. Thoughts that one day I’d write again? Probably. Lazy? Absolutely!

Recently though I’ve felt the itch again. 2018 feels like a year of renewal to me. A renewal of myself and getting back to feeling good and doing things I enjoy. For so long it felt like my own life was put on hold in favor of what the kids needed (Yes, I know thats called being a parent). I don’t feel that way anymore. I bought season tickets to the Broadway Series that comes through town because I love live theater. I’m going to several concerts this year because I also love live music and hate that I’ve missed so many amazing artists over the last couple years. I’m traveling a lot more (mostly for work) and enjoy every minute of visiting other cities.

I’m ready for more….more adventure…more fun…more laughter…just more!

I’m also doing more to take care of myself. One thing that’s stayed constant is my workout regime. That is something I’ll never give up. I work out at 5:30 am every weekday morning and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I also still play volleyball 1 to 2 nights a week and love it! However, my eating habits had gone way downhill. I was yo-yo dieting with no success. Eating all kinds of amazing tasting junk food and constantly feeling guilty. Then wondering why the scale wouldn’t go down. I was actually at my heaviest weight not including pregnancy/post-pregnancy. My confidence was way down and I felt icky. So I finally sucked it up, kicked myself in the ass and did the Whole30 program for the month of January. It was exactly what I needed. I feel great and like I’ve really gained my power back. I now make conscious decisions about what I put in my body and only eat what will nourish me and provide the best fuel. I lost 8 lbs. but had other major “non-scale victories” and am still going (I’ll do a separate post on Whole30 at some point).

Part of the Whole30 program is to keep a journal everyday of what you ate, how you feel, and your non-scale victories. I used to journal on a pretty regular basis, but like everything else, that went out the window. Bringing it back as part of the program was great and it reinvigorated my need for creative writing. I am an inherently creative person but have had no outlet for it in recent years. The itch was coming back. So I bought myself a new journal, some colorful pens and committed to journaling at least once every week. Nothing too crazy, no rules around it – just write once a week. So far I’ve been journaling an average of 3 – 4 times a week and loving it.

That got me thinking, where else can I do more writing?

I was talking to a friend, sharing another story of some bizarre crazy thing that happened in my life and he said “You should really write this stuff down!”

The lightbulb went off.

I used to write this stuff down and it was fun! Why not do it again? I pulled up the blog and read through the old entries and all those memories came flooding back and I realized this wasn’t an accident. This was the universes way of nudging me in the right direction.

So, here we are.

A lot has changed in 4 years but I won’t get in to those details now. Look for some upcoming entries with updates on the family, my life, and work.

Couple promises:

  • I will keep this blog light-hearted. My writing tends to err on the funny or sarcastic side. That’s just who I am so why force myself to be something else?
  • Some of my most popular entries were about work (Annexed, $#*! My British Friend Says). My job has changed – I’m in a different position, in a different building, with a whole new team. But we still have a lot of fun and I’ll share what I can out here.
  • I don’t know how often I’ll be able to write so I’m not putting any pressure on myself to do X number of entries a week. But I’ll do what I can.

So that’s it. I’m back and excited to pick up where I left off. Care to join me?

Crouching Labrador, Flying Mom

Ah, President’s Day. A holiday to relax, be grateful for our country, and of course, take your dog to the veterinarian’s.

Well, at least that’s what I did.

I purposely scheduled Samson’s annual shots/vaccinations appointment for today so that it would be easier to manage. I’m off work so either CJ or me could take him, without having to tote the kids.

In the end it was me who got the pleasure of strapping Samson into his nose lead and migrating to the vet’s office.

The whole ordeal started and ended quite comically, depending upon who you ask.

In order for Samson to fit in the backseat, I had to remove Cora’s car seat. That meant that 2/3’s of the seat was open and the other third was occupied by Isabella’s car seat. Samson jumped up on to the floor. He doesn’t have the leg power to jump directly on to the seat of my SUV anymore. Once inside, instead of jumping from the floor to the seat, he walked forward. Now, there’s not all that much space for a 90 lb. dog to walk in the back seat of a car. Soon he was at the other door unsure of what to do. In front of him was the door. On the seat beside him was Isabella’s car seat.  He was trapped! I was trying to help by coaching him to walk backwards to the open side but of course he didn’t take that option.

Not Samson!

Instead, he jumped INTO Isabella’s car seat and then sat there, facing backwards. I was laughing so hard! I so wish I could have been fast enough to get a picture. It would have been priceless! But he jumped out and on to the open seat before I could grab my phone.

I was giggling over that one for like the first mile.

20140215_185557

We got to the vet’s, weighed him, and got him checked out. He passed with flying colors. I was given my summer supply of flea/tick meds and heartworm pills in a little baggie so I paid and then we were out the door.

Now, let me paint you a picture.

In my right hand I have ahold of Samson’s leash and the bag of meds, then over my right forearm is my purse. I was using my left hand to put my sunglasses on.

We step outside and to my immediate left is a low brick retaining wall, around which we needed to walk to get to the car. Samson must have smelled something because before I could clear the corner of the wall, he lunged.

And I went flying.

Literally.

I landed on the wet sidewalk evenly between my right elbow, hip and knee, with my right arm fully extended and still clutching the dog, bag and my purse. Samson then dragged me for 6 inches or so before I he realized Mom wasn’t upright anymore.

I was mortified.

I quickly got up and made a beeline for the car. I needed some place to hide.

Once we were all inside, I assessed the damage. Because I was wearing layers, there was no real harm to me. I actually do have a small scrape on my elbow, even with a coat and long sleeved t-shirt on. I have a scrape on my knee too, though none of my clothes were ripped.

The bag of meds however was not so lucky.

20140217_134206

I’m pretty sure Samson got a good laugh at my expense. I’m actually fairly impressed with myself that I didn’t let go of anything I’d been holding. #mommydeathgrip

Sadly, that wasn’t the first time Samson has pulled me off my feet, and it probably won’t be the last. One thing I am grateful for is that I didn’t have the girls with me. Would hate to think of one or both of them getting caught up in all that and somehow sustaining injury.

Never doubt the power of a Labrador, no matter how old they are.

I got a good laugh at his expense and he got a good laugh at mine. I guess all is fair in love and dog ownership.

More posts: By the Hammer of Thor! | Me, 30 Seconds Ago | Re-starting Over