Monthly Archives: August 2012

Forget My Sleeve, I Wear My Heart on My Earlobe


            I am no stranger to bad habits, but today I am keenly aware of the side-effects of one of my mindless quirks.  My left earlobe is red, slightly swollen and throbbing.   Evidently, when my internal worry alarm is activated, it automatically triggers my left arm to pull, pick, and twist my left earlobe. 

            Usually, my oldest daughter, Riley, is around to gently remind me not to desecrate my ear, but she is away at college and my left earlobe has been left unprotected.  This week has been an especially trying week, as I have been plagued with worry about one of my children (not the earlobe protector).   It seems that worry over one’s child can launch quite an assault on a vulnerable defenseless earlobe!

            Checking the mirror this morning, much to my dismay I discovered that my left earlobe is quite noticeably longer than my right earlobe!!!  Dear God!!  I am going to have to tie my left arm down until I get these kids raised!   This thing is going to be flapping in the wind, before Riley gets home for Christmas break.  It’s bad enough that these kids have given me stretch marks, grey hair and tension headaches and now I have to deal with this elongated mismatched lobe!!! 

            So, I guess I am destined to a life with my head tilted slightly right to offset the result of my nervous ritual, which actually is fitting since I have always had a catawampus view of the world anyway. Note: Catawampus is one of my favorite words in the universe.  In order to get the full effect of this fun word, it is imperative that you read it how I say it and not the way it is correctly pronounced.  My pronunciation is-CATTY-WAMPUS.  Also, I tend to frequently play on this word, making it a proper noun.  If I am particularly out of sorts or have screwed something up, I use the term “Karriwampus”.  If my dog, Cooper can’t jump on the bed because his pillows aren’t stacked right, it is because they are “Cooperwampus”.     They say the eyes are the window to the soul, but in my case it is the left ear that tells the secrets of a worried heart.  I love being a mom, but sometimes it is exhausting carrying the weight of the world on my earlobe.

The Day The Lake Swallowed My Sister


Since my sister commented on her lack of thankfulness regarding the odds of her becoming the subject of one of my blog posts, I felt obliged to move her to the head of the line.  She probably should have stayed quiet, because if there is one thing I have plenty of, it is funny-ass stories about my sister.  Most of them are equally embarrassing to me, so I chose to start with one with her in the starring role. 

My sister is a nurse by vocation (she is the best damn nurse I know) and spent the first decade of her career working night shift weekend option in the ICU.  This required her to work 7pm to 7am every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  She only got a couple of weekends off during the year.  It is entirely reasonable that she wanted to take full advantage of those rare weekends.  It also left her husband and kiddos (my nieces, Lilly and Olivia) alone to their own devices.  It sounds innocent enough, a man and his two very young girl bonding on the weekends, but then one must consider the boat.

With my sister at work on the weekends, it made it difficult for my brother-in-law to take two preschool girls out on the boat.  So, there were many weekends when my husband, our kids and I would accompany them for a day on the lake.  I soon learned that it is a lot of work to have two tots on a boat for an entire day and I quickly learned that I was not cutout to be a boat person.  While my husband and brother-in-law were busy floating in the lake partaking in adult beverages and fraternizing with the other boat people, here is what I was doing:  zipping life jackets, unzipping life jackets, putting the girls in the water, taking the girls out of the water, making peanut butter sandwiches, applying sunscreen, fishing things out of the water that had gone ‘overboard’, applying more sunscreen…let’s face it, boating is exhausting. 

The lone summer weekend my sister had off finally arrives and I was elated that I would not be the lone crew member attending to the little ones.  However, my sister is elated because she finally gets a weekend away from work and she is ready for some serious R & R. The visions of floating peacefully on the lake were quickly replaced by little life jackets, peanut butter sandwiches and applying sunscreen to fat little cheeks (my nieces’ cheeks, not mine). 

As the sun climbed higher and higher, my sister’s jug of apple martinis dwindled.  There were about seven boats tied together side-by-side and anchored in the lake.  Rubber bumpers  were placed over the sides of the boats to prevent them from smacking together leaving a narrow space of about 18 inches or so between the boats.  It is an easy hop from one boat to the next, if the boats weren’t rocking on the waves or if one is as agile as a cat.  My sister is not as agile as a cat.  I can only assume that apple martinis create a false sense of feline superpowers in my sister, because she truly believed that she was capable of making it over to the next boat.  She was wrong.

One second she is teetering on the side of the boat and the next thing I know she loses her footing trying to cross over and falls down between the boats and into the lake.  I am yelling her name over and over into the small gap that had claimed her.  The music is loud and everyone is floating around in the water and it seems that I am the only one who had even noticed my non-cat-like intoxicated sister  had toppled between the two vessels.  I had already decided that she had hit her head during the fall and was knocked out cold and was probably already moving toward the light, because I imagine even God understands the need to get rip-shitty when one works every weekend.  Just as I was preparing to launch operation ‘rescue drowning drunk sister’ she surfaces about 15 yards behind the boat laughing her fool head off.

I am relieved and furious at the same time and I yell to her, “Kim!  I can’t believe you are alive!!” 

She yells back, “I can’t believe I fit through that little crack

I learned a lot from my sister that day on the lake.  I now know that perspective must be much sweeter after a jug of apple martinis and a slight head injury.  She also has shown me that if you slather on enough suntan oil, it may be just the thing that gets you through some really tight spots! 

Testing the Waters


The past year or so has been filled with a plethora of changes and challenges for our family.  In the midst of all the perceived heartache and heartbreak, we have found ourselves wanting less, laughing more, and learning true value of friends and family.  Along this transformational journey, we have encountered new adventures, explored new ways of approaching life and above all, we have discovered that laughing at ourselves is an untapped source of joy.

It is my hope to one day whittle down the magnitude of our misadventures and write a book.  This blog is the first baby step in making that happen.  This blog will serve as a forum to share the antics of our family and to gain valuable feedback from family and friends, which I can use to hone my writing skills.   I cannot guarantee you will find the blog interesting or the stories amusing, but I can almost guarantee that you will be thankful that your family is not quite as quirky as ours!