Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Foiled Again

Ladies, you know how some days you just don’t feel pretty? Noteworthy? Like a freakin’ super model?

Right. I know. Some of us have those days more than the other kind … the good kind. The kind of day where you KNOW you are crackalackin’, lip-smackin’, dingo-ate-my-baby delicious.

For me, yesterday was (finally!) one of the latter variety.

I looked GOOD, y’all.

Clearly, the planets aligned, because the hair was just right, the eye makeup went on as it should, the girls were hiked up to their proper position, and no grunting occurred when the jeans were zipped up. Glorious!

Apparently though, all that gorgeousness comes with a time-related price.

I left the house in a rush, heading to lunch with a friend. (Hi, Chris!)

Now let me tell you something about Chris: the man is a punctuality freak stickler.

Seriously. Tardiness does NOT fly with him. His scorn, while moderated by his Scandinavian roots and therefore undetectable to those not familiar with the signs, is palpable if you know what to look for. (As innocuous as it sounds, Scandihoovian scorn is to be avoided, trust you me.)

So I sped. 

As I zipped in and out of interstate traffic, a cute fella in a nice car took advantage of my mad Nascar skillz and tucked himself in behind me. I’m sure he figured I would get ticketed, rather than he, should we be caught.

As I exited, so did he. A stoplight impeded our progress, and I took advantage of the pause in motion to repair a poor lip color choice made before the final wardrobe change of the morning.

As I pulled out my gloss, I noticed cute driver guy watching me with what I took to be a flirty grin on his face.

Well then. Looking for a show? Here ya go, big fella—enjoy!

I proceeded to take my time doing the sensuous gloss application, complete with an arched eyebrow for emphasis. You ladies know what I’m talking about. It’s bullet-proof as long as you’ve got all your teeth and no signs of lettuce or legume skins stuck anywhere.

The light turned green, and I scurried straight on through the intersection as driver guy made a left.

I was smug: I looked good, I’d gotten to lunch on time and I’d come off as desirable in the eyes of a complete stranger whom I would never see again. 

Then I glanced down at my dashboard.

And it hit me: cute driver guy wasn’t grinning at my obvious hotness.

Oh no, he was laughing at me.

'Turns out my left blinker was on the entire drive.

The Unmasking

When I began this blog, I masked the players—well, the human ones, anyway—in nicknames.

It’s bothered me ever since.

It felt fake, inauthentic.  


So now that the BoyRD is eighteen and graduating high school, I’ve asked the various people I hang out with if I may use their real names when I post, and they’ve all graciously agreed.

So here it is:

The big kid towering on the left? That’s Mike. Or Michael James. Or Monkey Pants. The BoyRD is actually a nickname we’ve had for him for years. It’s based in my husband’s addiction to nasty canned pasta. I won’t go into detail here, but suffice to say the stuff makes me gag. It does, however, make for a mighty adorable nickname.

And the tall guy on the right? That would be KittyDaddy. His Mama named him Lee. KittyDaddy is also a legitimate moniker; the man never had a pet until he met me, and since I couldn’t be without a cat in the house, he was (initially) forced to become a cat person. Now, I can’t imagine he would ever choose to be without feline companionship again. (I would like to officially go on record with a great big, "told you so!" at this time. Thank you for your understanding.)

So there you have it. That's my son and my husband, revealed. 

Say hello to my tall, tall friends .... 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Call Me Crazy

I don't always have time, or--let's face it--the gumption to write.

I do, however, find myself snapping at least one photo a day. Sometimes it's on my mobile phone and sometimes with my digital SLR. And when I'm feeling cuh-razy I'll actually use my Flip!

Thus, I have created yet another site to share those photos. I've enjoyed other folks' "year o' photos" postings on the various social sites we enjoy in this modern age, and have chosen the same time frame for this project.

Will I update daily? Maybe not.

I will, however, take a photo of some sort every day, then upload them by date to the site as time--and that darned gumption--allow.

Hop on board; it's bound to get interesting!

And really? Thank you for coming along for the ride. I love having you here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Duuuude ...

Sweet, what does mine say?

(Five points for the movie reference.)

It's cuh-razy busy around here as of late. And when it's not, I am trying to impress every sight, every move, every sound and each and every scent (well, maybe not EVERY scent) my only child has to offer and pack them safely into my memory.

That's right, the RD is graduating high school.

I know, I know ... we've got months before college starts. Don't ... (hic) ... get ... me ... (welled-up eyes) ...  started. (wail)

Y'all, he has access to a vehicle.

And a job. (sniff)

And a life (hic) outside of MY home.

He's going to pack up his stuff. (a single tear escapes, coursing down my cheek)

Store some of his stuff. (snot flowing)

And go to college. (WAIL!)

To what far-flung land is he traveling in pursuit of his dream in technical theatre, you ask? Moorhead State. Yup, just across the river in Moorhead, MN.


(defiantly wipes nose on shirt sleeve)

Don't look at me like that. He's. My. (limb-shaking breath) BABY.

I'll try to keep my keening to a minimum.

The graduation party is this weekend. Actual graduation is next weekend. Mix in there family visits, putting the house on the market right after graduation and avidly looking for my next awesome employer, and well ... yeah. Duuuuuude. There's a lot going on.

While I'm off being super woman, I offer you two more pictures from our trip out West.

The first is the Boy RD being accosted by a five year-old. We went to visit some adopted family (you know, the kind you've known since their parents were THIS big and you love the whole brood like they're your own?) and this guy took one look at the 6'2" RD and decided he needed to take. Him. DOWN. Note the look of, "are you sure about this?" on the RD's face. And the RD's hat head -- it's so RD! Also, note the little dude's brother in the background, waiting for bloodshed. Such a good brother.

This next shot is of pie. Why pie? Because pie is good. DUH.

Suh g'on now, git yerself some puh. It's good fer ya!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Arizona -- The Mobile Phone Photo Tour

When Dad had a heart attack just over a month ago, I flew to Arizona. 

I didn't know if I'd be able to put it all into words; that was a task just too daunting to consider. Instead, I snapped photo after photo on both my mobile phone and my "real" camera. 

Let's get started on your own personal tour of the trip from departure to return, shall we?

I noticed this as Kitty Daddy dropped me off at the airport, laying in the passenger pick-up/drop-off lane here in Fargo. It was the first time since getting the call that I remember having a total "real life" moment where my mind wasn't going over and over and over the condition of my Dad. It also made me look at KD and say, "Did I pack my toothbrush?"

Little sister, H, and her saint of a man, D, flew in to 'Vegas from North Carolina about a half-hour before I got there from North Dakota. The first thing we noticed? It was warm enough for us to wear sandals! (Sorry if you're one of those anti-foot folks. Not having to wear socks and boots is a big deal when you live in the freaking tundra. You learn to embrace nearly-nude feet!) (Guess who has translucent skin and two thumbs? That's right! THIS GUY!)

This was the room Dad was in at the CVICU. In deference to his privacy, I won't be sharing details of his condition when we arrived. I will, however, tell you that it was one of the most terrifying days of my life. I think he got me back for any of those times he had to rush to MY side at a hospital. (That is my reflection on the right; little sister H's man, D, sits next to me. This was his first time to meet the family. That man made the best of a shit situation, and I will always be grateful to him.)

On the first morning, I went in with coffee for my sister, and immediately abandoned that idea to go find a camera. How could you see THIS and not think, "this needs to be on the internet"? There's also a photo somewhere of D's arm around the dog, because he woke up and found a warm body next to him, only to discover that warm body was quite furry. Turns out H. had gone to the shower and Jake, Dad's big ol' Heinz 57 dog fancied a snuggle. I'm telling you, D put up with a lot on this trip. 

H & D (and sometimes Jake the dog) got to snuggle, but I was on my own. That is, until Dennis came home. Dennis is Dad's roaming kitty, and he showed up every so often just long enough to say hi, catch 38 winks and run off. He has that little boy kitty body and high, squeaky voice I'm a total sucker for. We bonded. 

I made breakfast. This is a baked French toast dish to which I added blueberries after consulting with my foodie buddy Chris back in Fargo. (HI, CHRIS!) We decided that berries would hold up to the heat and brown sugar. Holy cow, was I ever glad we thought it would work because it. Was. AWESOME. (I should tell you Chris is a blueberry whore fan the likes of which you have never seen. It would not surprise me at all to learn he's got a blueberry burger in development. He's like that.)

Two days in, Kitty Daddy and I decided to bring the BoyRD out. I needed one of my boys with me, and it made the most sense to send out the RD. Even under the circumstances, it was some of the best time I've ever spent with my son. To pick up the RD at the airport in 'Vegas, we had to cross the Colorado River, formerly over Hoover Dam. But guess what? The bridge is done! Here is the one shot I got of it. (It rained later in the trip, ruining more chances for photography that trip.) I have no idea who those people are. I say we refer to them as Larry, Mo and Curly. Hey, Curly? Nice wedgie, dude. 

Somewhere during the week, I realized the RD is an adult! Needless to say, that meant he bought a lottery ticket and scratched his way to ... nothin'. I'm assuming he learned his gambling-related lesson. 

Being in Kingman, AZ, I figured I was in for culinary blech for a full week. Much to my delight, my childhood friend, Theresa, brought us to a sweet little coffee shop downtown that had carrot/ginger soup! Talk about feeling like I was back in civilization. (HI, THERESA!)

One day, the RD and I drove up to the Hualapai Mountains. It was a lovely afternoon, but we'll save the pictures from that trip for another day. 

Shucks, we missed it!

I was able to take my son places I used to hang out as a teenager. Many an evening hour was spent solving the world's problems on this beach as a teenager. I went on to work at this hotel/casino in Laughlin when the RD was a small boy, and the poignancy of being there with him wasn't lost.  

THIS is where Kitty Daddy and I met. No, really -- that exact spot. 

And when we all lived together, this is the apartment complex pool we used to go swimming in. Boy RD was about four years old and he would beg Kitty Daddy to "go slimmin'?" 

I did have one afternoon to myself out there. Needless to say, I took my butt straight to a Sonic. Ahhh, cherry limeade. I love you like no other. 

As the RD and I were driving back to 'Vegas to head for Fargo, I took this cloud break to mean the storm was over.

Thus concludes the mobile phone photo tour. I'll show you what we came home to in the coming days. 

Wherever you are, be glad of it. 
Whomever you're with, make the most of it. 
Time is short, life is fleeting. 
Live it. 

Glad to be here with you, 
Mama Laura

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I have been honored to know quite a few folks who have taken part in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure events all across the country. It touches me. It inspires me. And it reminds me of a story:

My older sister, J, had her own car then and didn’t need rides to school in the morning, but the baby of the family, H, and I were still in need. Mom would drive and H would sit in my lap, both of us sharing a single seat belt. (What? Like you never took a road trip lollygagging in a wheel-well or in the back window of your Dad’s car in your childhood? Puh-lease.)

I in sixth or seventh grade, and H in kindergarten or first grade made us both old enough to get ourselves ready in the morning, but Mom still ran down the check list to make sure nothing was overlooked.

One morning, as we backed away from the house, Mom started the checklist:

“Teeth brushed? Deodorant? Homework? Locked the door? Refrigerator is closed?” and the like sang out in call and answer fashion, my sister and I dueting on each “yes ma’am!” answer.

This morning, though, Mom must have wanted to keep us on our toes.

“Front door locked?”

“Yes ma’am!” we cried out cheerily.

“Shoes tied?”

“Yes ma’am!”

“Bras in place?”

Silence met her query as I swiveled my head to see if I’d heard right.

With a sly grin, she met my shocked gaze and we both erupted into laughter.

Little H, however. Did not.

With great concentration, she was held open the front of her own shirt, surveying things.

“No bra,” she said very matter-of-factly, “I don’t have boobs. I just have blobs.”

Please visit the Race for Life to donate, volunteer or enter your own race. GO BLOBS!

The folks at Susan G Komen do not know who I am. Nobody is giving me so much as a pink ribbon to post this. It's just that, as it turns out,  I have boobs. And I hope to for the rest of my life. I hope you do, too. Rock on.