Life in General

I know how Clark felt

I am sure that during the holiday season, you all – like us here in Beverly Hills – probably watched the Christmas classic “Christmas Vacation”.  I mean the season just isn’t complete without at least a dozen viewings.  For us, the first time the DVD gets dusted off is Thanksgiving weekend.  This year was no different.

Before I get into this years debacle, I should give a little history of the Beverly Hills Family Christmas Tree.  When we relocated back to Michigan after the stint in Texas, we got our tree out the day after Thanksgiving.  What we didn’t take into account was that our ceilings in Texas were a tad bit higher than our little 1940’s rental.  By about 14 feet.  As we set up the tree, there wasn’t room for the star, or the top 3 feet of the tree for that matter.  So off we go to English Gardens to see what they had.

There has been a marriage long debate about real vs artificial.  Our first tree was real back in 1999 and it was a beauty.  Until the needles starting falling off.  I was picking up needles until about June, so I thought NEVER AGAIN.  Of course is was a $25 tree from lot next to the local YMCA that had been up for a month and a half. Fast forward a couple years to our first Christmas in Dallas.  We got swept up by the beauty of the holiday season (read: 75 degrees and sunny) and decided to pick up another real tree.  Over to the lot we go…and to our amazement people were loading up their trees in the backs of convertibles.  Joy and peace and love was in the air.  We wandered the lot…selected our tree and went to pay.   With a little laugh I pointed out the sign that read “Live Trees Imported from Michigan”.  HA.  Our beautifully wondrous genuine Michigan tree set us back – are you sitting down? – $200.  Yup.  I didn’t add an extra zero.  You are reading that right.  You can bet your bottom dollar that this imported tree was probably cut down some time mid-August.  And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it barely made it through the entire holiday season.  Lesson learned.  Fake trees from here on out.

At English Gardens we selected a lovely prelit tree.  I was all about making it easier on myself.  Brought that little gem home and in three easy steps – PRESTO – instant lit tree.  And the tree served us well for about 5 years.  Two years ago, I pulled it out and plugged it in.  And a strand was out.  Off I rushed to English Gardens and got one of those clicker things to test the lights.  Fixed the strand and all was well.  Last year, half the tree was out.  Back to English Gardens I go.  (Do you see a pattern here?)  Their current trees had a new bulb structure so I spent quite a bit of time digging through bins to find enough spares to fix my tree.  And that I did – sorta.  I tested and replaced EVERY single bulb on this tree.  I think it’s something like a 450 light tree.  Did it work?  Well, most of it did.  So I took matters into my own hands, after two days of fussing, and strung extra lights in.  No one was the wiser.

Early on this year, I thought to myself…”Self, maybe I should look into getting a new tree this year.”  So I took myself back to (you guessed it) English Gardens.  If you have priced “realistic looking prelit trees” in recent years, you will understand why I am now on a low-dose aspirin regimen from the heart attack I suffered following extreme sticker shock.  It turns out that our little old tree was going to make it ONE more year.

(On a side note after mentioning to Hubby that I thought maybe we needed a new tree, he told me that Avery said “Dad, we should get Mom a new tree this year because she really swore alot at the tree last year!”  Leave it to my  7 year old to remember one of my NOT finer moments.)

This year, I drag the tree down from the attic in the garage.  Rearrange all my living room furniture to accommodate my tree.  Set up the stand.  Assemble the tree.  Connect all of the plugs.  Hit the switch.  NOTHING.  Not a single fucking light worked on my tree.  My patience, wearing thin but not yet gone, allowed me to disconnect and reconnect all of the plugs inside the tree.  Flip the switch.  NOTHING.  So I did what any normal, sane, level-headed person would do.  I shook that stupid tree.  And shook and shook.   Flipped the switch.  Half a strand at bottom of the tree on one branch came to life.  By this point, it is 10:00 at night.  I am tired, frustrated, over wrought that I do not have a working, easy to assemble prelit tree.

I know how Clark felt.  I really do.  Hours and hours dedicated to lighting and perfecting the best damn holiday decorations of the year.  And what happens?  You are standing on your front lawn, with your family watching, with a drum roll and you get….nothing.

I threw on my coat, grabbed my purse and keys, and went directly to Target.  Spent about as much on lights as it would have cost me to get a new tree.  Came home, strung the lights, trying my best to cover those burned out ones permanently attached to the tree.  Strung the beads, hung the ornaments, and lit the star.  Perfect.

Then Avery walks up to the tree, points to one of the non-working lights and casually shouts out “Hey Mom, do you know you have a bulb out?”

“Why, yes, yes I do, Avery.”

Life in General

The Author Within?

I have been reading memoirs lately…and I can’t help but feel a little inspired to write one myself.  Do I have it in me – to tell my story?  The whole honest brutal truth.  The good, the bad, the ugly and the even uglier?  I think I just might.  I have some tales to share…more than just what happens in Beverly Hills…Michigan.

As I was cleaning out the basement, I came across a binder of stories that I wrote for my Vampires and Werewolves class in college.  Yes, that was an actual class – before the mega-hit Twlight was even a glimmer in Stephanie Meyer’s mind. Before Edward and Bella, Jacob and his werewolf band of brothers, there was little ole me, listening to the teachings of my German professor about the legends  and drafting short stories.  And ya know what?  Even though they were penned by an amatuer author (myself, of course) they weren’t half bad.  Granted they aren’t anything that would make the New York Times Bestseller List…but still I managed to earn some decent grades on them.  Maybe what I am trying to say is that I do have the ability to write entertaining stories.  And that it might be time to actually put some stuff down on paper.

What do y’all think?  Crazy?

Maybe so, but then again maybe not…



Life in General

Ain’t No Party Like a Barbie Party

Let’s have a brief history lesson, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the tales of Barbie’s life in the village of Beverly Hills.

It began one Christmas years ago with the Barbie Whorehouse….

And the downward spiral continued here….with our very first Ken doll.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.  Love Em and Leave Em Ken is back in town, fresh from a tour around the globe, trying to solidify his title of Man-Whore before returning to the ever faithful Barbie.  Yup, Ken is back in town but this time he brought a friend or two.   And boy did the man-slut stir up some trouble in our newly minted Barbie Backyard pool.  Just take a look for yourself…

Maybe I should have been clearer in my description.  Ken didn’t bring along a friend or two – Ken brought a whole orgy with him.  Imagine Barbie’s face when he showed up at the Whorehouse Townhouse, years after his swift departure, with a keg and his posse…Barbie expects him to grovel but what does he do instead?  Strips down and goes for a swim.

The aftermath?  Check it out…

The upright Barbie does look mighty pleased with herself.  Wonder why?  Could it be that she has been banging Ken’s best friend all along?  Or could it be that she burned the lying, cheating man-whore’s clothes in the front lawn and he has to do the walk of shame in the buff?  I guess we will never really know what’s behind that shy smile.  But I bet she’s plotting her revenge for the lot of them who came, swam, trashed her pool.

Life in General

Jurassic Park, Michigan

Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment and arrived a bit early…thinking I would take advantage of a few free moments sans little peeps I popped a squat at a picnic table.  Enjoying the bright, albeit chilly June sunshine…quietly sitting there reading my book,  I got the strange feeling I was being watched.   Since I hadn’t seen anyone in the area when I arrived 42 seconds earlier, I brushed it off.  But that nagging feeling wouldn’t go away.

Slowly I turned and looked over my right shoulder and JUMP OUT OF MY SKIN.


Standing there, looking at me was this creature…

Slowly, without any sudden movements I stood and turned.  And what did I find?

He brought along a friend…

They stood there.  Watching me.   Eyeing my lunch.  (Do predators such as these like Bologna and Swiss sandwiches?) Surveying the contents of my bag.  Picture a scene from Jurassic Park, where the little kids are being sized up as a midnight snack by the Veliciraptors.  Heads cocked, beady little eyes, feathers all in a ruffle, fangs dripping in anticipation of their next kill.   I feared for my life…but not so much so that I didn’t take time out to snap a few photos with my trusty iPhone though.   Fight or flight? No fighting for me here.  But I bided my time..waited them out.  The secret to any good battle – patience and fortitude.

I must not have looked to appetizing as they eventually made they way past me.  Slowly.  Contemplating their next prey.

Life in General

Merry Christmas Y’all!

Jesus is the reason for the season, peeps!  I keep repeating this mantra over and over again as I race from the grocery store, to the mall, to Target – over and over again.  Picking up “one last thing”.

And at last, here it is, Christmas Eve.  The cumination of months of hunting, searching, and finding that special present for that special person.  I estimate that my children will take those 2 months and boil it all down to about 15 mintues of ripping and tearing sometime before the sun comes up tomorrow morning.  But OH it will be so worth it.  Avery is into it – Carson is into it and I think Hubby and I are even MORE into it.  I cannot wait to see the looks on their faces when they discover the toys that arrive from Santa’s Workshop.

It was dicey on whether or not Santa would have snow, here in Beverly Hills, this Christmas.  But Mother Nature did cooperate and we have a light dusting!  Just enough for a smooth landing.  Thank goodness – as this diverts many questions of “Mommy, how will Santa land if there’s no snow?”   Remind me to drop her a thank you note and a loaf of Fruit Cake.

So anyway – I did put off the trip to the grocery store until Christmas Eve.  Not my wisest decision ever…but it’s not my worst.  I thought I would outsmart the masses – and go EARLY.  At 5:57am I pulled myself out from under the dead weight of a 2 1/2 year old (yes, he still comes into our room every night – and sometimes this Mrs. Claus doesn’t have the energy to carry him back to his race car bed….but that’s neither here nor there…).  I pulled on my silly wooly hat and my running shoes, without bothering to change my bright pink fuzzy pants,  with traces of my new MakeUp Forever Smoky Lash mascara (early present to myself thank you very much) still visible under my puffy eyes, and marched out the door to Meijer.  Some interesting observations:

1) There was already a line at the Starbucks located inside my local Meijer – which tells me that “get there earlier than everybody else” idea wasn’t as original as I thought.

2) The words piping through the speakers as I hurried from aisle to aisle – trying not to spill my Starbucks – where “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”  Uh-huh.

3) There must have been a MAD rush yesterday for every item on my list because many of the shelves were empty.  I mean – who else needs shredded Swiss cheese?  Apparently many others in the 10 mile radius of this store.

4) Despite it being 6am on Christmas Eve – the masses (I use that term lightly because it really wasn’t like a Black Friday mob rushing to get that $100 flatscreen) were FRIENDLY.  Down right – cheerful.  There were Merry Christmas wishes left and right.  It warmed my heart.

I am home now, another pot of coffee brewing.  In my heart, I know that later tonight I will live to regret my choice of rolling out of bed and hitting the store.  But that’s ok.  It’s only Christmas once a year.

And I shall leave you with this..3 years ago there was a bloggy Wine Glass Exchange – and this was the one I received….

Life in General

Old Man Winter

We got a visit from a little man this morning here in Beverly Hills…but it wasn’t from that Jolly Old St. Nick bearing gifts of good tidings….I should only be that lucky.

Old Man Winter arrived with a FIERCE greeting.  As I was walking past my trusty thermometer I noticed that the outside temp said 14.0 – and I immediately thought to myself “Huh, must have gotten changed to Celsius”.  As I went to fix it I noticed that tiny little F next to the numbers.  And immediately another F went through my mind.

With the exception of Christmas, I really do strongly dislike winter.  (I’d say HATE but that’s such a strong word…)

Instead of Old Man Winter, I really wish that Little St. Nick would have arrived wearing Bermuda shorts and sunglasses and drinking a margarita.  Just saying.


Life in General

He’s 100% Boy

Carson is a mere 22 (almost) months old – but he is 100% boy.  Of this I have proof.

This week, thanks to the nonstop pouring rain, our backyard is full of mud.   We could host the National Mud-wrestling Championship in our yard.   Which will NOT be doing, much to Hubby’s and our male neighbors dismay.  But it has created a new outlet for creativity…

How could I say no to him?  I mean how cute is it that he jumps into the puddle, jumps out and yells TA DA!!! at the top of his lungs?  (I had video but it won’t let me add it…)

However – this is what his clothes looked like for two days in a row:

On a side note the rain has forced some of the nasty creepy crawlers into the basement…where these shoes dwelled.  I brought them upstairs to take pictures of them…to show you all proof that it’s time buy stock in P&G (I use Tide, ya know).  I took the picture and when I lifted the shoes., I found one of those nasty ass millipedes on the bottom.  It was E.NORM.OUS.  At least 10″ long…at least.  Maybe even longer.  With antenne and fangs.  And it reared its head at me and I think it might have actually hissed.  Rather that slay it myself, I took the shoe outside and shook it off.  After it landed with a “thud” it scampered away…probably to prey on a small creature.  Freaking disgusting is what it was.

This boy stuff is new to me…worms, mud, creepy crawly things.  I don’t know if I’m ready for it…

ETA:  So I was re-reading this a little while after I posted it and I can’t believe I forgot the BEST BOY story…my whole reason for this post.  Yesterday morning I was in the bathroom, weighing myself, as I tend to do every morning.  So I was there, in my birthday suit, and Carson walked in.  “Hi Mommy. ”  Pause.  Wait for it.  “BOOBIES!”  Yep.  I have NEVER EVER EVER in my life used that term around my son.  But he heard it somewhere…and knows the proper definition.  Good times.  Good times.