Monthly Archives: January 2014

How My Teeth Ended Up at the Bottom of the Pool

How My Teeth Ended Up at the Bottom of the Pool

Many children go through an awkward stage. My awkward stage was of the extended variety. First of all, I was the fat sister. When shopping for jeans, I had to get ‘husky’ fit, whereas my dainty little sister had to get ‘super slims’ or something equally offensive to the husky sister. In addition to my childhood chub-factor, I had great teeth, that is, if I had I been a child of the woodchuck variety. In fact, my mom used to remind me to brush my teeth by saying, “Don’t forget to brush your bucky-beavers.” Is there really any wonder my self-esteem spontaneously combusted before I even reached puberty? By the innocent age of 10, my self-image amounted to one of a grossly obese bucked-tooth rodent. Nothing says fun for a bucktooth chubby girl like putting on a bathing suit and going to the public swimming pool. What can I say? Even fat bucktooth girls like to have fun, so when my friend, Nikki, (yes, I had friends) invited me to go, I went.Keeping the teeth behind the lips.

Nikki’s mom accompanied us to the public swimming pool and we got down to kids-in-the-summer-at-the-pool business. Splashing and swimming on the shallow end of the pool was fine, if you were a baby, but Nikki and I weren’t babies! Heck no! We were ten and we had to pass the ‘swim test’. The swim test consisted of swimming back and forth the 25- yard width of the pool under the watchful eye of the teenage lifeguards. Completing this feat without drowning granted us admittance into the kingdom of the exclusive (insert dramatic pause here)…the deep end. This was the time before we wore helmets or seatbeltsand we could play outside after dark. This was the age of a public pool having a low dive and a high dive!! A legally sanctioned ‘danger zone’ of sorts and we had a ball. We plunged from the high dive and flipped and flopped from the low dive. We did back dives, front flips, cannon balls and can openers; unaware that injury was just around the corner.

After my turn of going off the low dive, I had circumvented the ladder exit and opted to get out of the pool by stepping onto the gutter and hoisting my chubby butt out of the pool. Note: I can only speculate on two reasons for me to have chosen this way out of the pool. I was either too darn lazy to swim the rest of the way to the ladder or I was trying get ahead of other kids in the line for the diving board. Either way, I always tend to deviate from the customary route in life. It rarely ends well. This was no exception. As I was climbing out of the pool, my hand slipped and I fell back into the water, but not before catching my ‘bucky-beavers’ on the concrete lip of the swimming pool. I managed to climb out of the pool and I thought I had paint from the pool on my teeth because they felt weird on my tongue. However, when I opened my mouth to tell the super-cute head life guard, Jimmy, that I was okay, the wind hit the wet exposed nerves where my teeth had broken off and instead I howled like banshee! It was white hot blinding pain.atooth3

I am not really sure how Nikki’s mom was alerted to my dental dilemma, but I remember she was there telling me to keep my towel over my mouth. Before getting into her car so she could rush me to my dentist, I looked at my teeth in the reflection in the car window. Holy Mother of God, my bucky-beavers had been reduced to the jagged nubs of an aging opossum! I was hideously more hideous than I had ever been! I sort of started to panic and I wailed behind my clamped mouth, which held the stalactites that were once my teeth. Dr. Jackson, however, remained calm and despite my wet, wiggling, bawling self, managed to build me back a brand new set of ‘bucky-beavers’! Dr. Jackson—dentist to some, miracle worker to one.


My mother had arrived at the dentist office to bear witness to my latest adventure. Her relief to the restoration of my bucky beauties was nearly palpable, which lends credit to the old saying about not knowing what you have until it’s at the bottom of the public atooth2swimming pool. I was told I could eat or drink just like normal but I should avoid drinks like tea and grape juice, because they might stain the bonded parts of my teeth. My mom fixed chicken for dinner and as I bit into a chicken leg, one of the bonded teeth broke off and the saga started all over again (only I wasn’t in a bathing suit). Mom doctored me with Tylenol and pity and the next day Dr. Jackson rebuilt my tooth again and this time it was for good.

I am happy to report that I still have the bonded teeth that Dr. Jackson built for me when I was 10 years old. They have endured three sets of braces, several retainers, and a couple rounds of bleaching. Looking at pictures of my ten-year-old self for this blog post, I realized that I wasn’t fat. In fact, I wasn’t even a chubby kid. It is curious what things my childhood brain absorbed and molded into my reality. It is completely amazing to me the impact that buying into one bogus belief created a persona, which I have struggled nearly my entire lifetime to overcome. Leave it to me to try and shatter the stigma of being a fat kid, when I was never even actually a fat kid! Trust me; I didn’t need to invent reasons to be self-conscious. If your teeth stick out of your head far enough to catch on the lip of a swimming pool, that’s probably reason enough!

20 Questions-Quid Quo Pro

20 Questions-Quid Quo Pro

aquidI am freakishly weird and somehow I still manage to live a relatively mundane life.  Through my blog posts, I have shared real-life stories that usually emphasize my ‘quirky factor’ or my inclination to screw thing up.  I think it is time for us to get to know each other better.  I will answer a series of “getting to know you” questions.  Here’s the twist!  I want you to answer them too!  Take some time.  Answer one, a few, or all of them!  You can respond in the comments section on my blog, through an email, or you can really put yourself out there and post it on FACEBOOK!  I am so pumped to read your answers!

Question #1:  What is the first thing you do in the morning?

The first thing I do every morning is take my two spoiled adorable canines, Cooper and Piper, outside.  Priorities…it’s what’s for breakfast.

Question #2:  What is your biggest addiction?

My phone is my biggest addiction.  It’s my friend.  Sad, lonely truth such as it is

Question #3:  What is your favorite TV channel?

It is a draw between Discovery ID and Animal Planet.  I am warped in what holds my interest.  Mainly women flipping their $hit and killing someone and/or the pursuit of the elusive, albeit REAL, Bigfoot.  It’s the little things.

Question #4: What is the thing you are the most afraid of?

This would have to be losing one of my children.  I am not sure have the emotional fabric to rise above this one.

Question #5:  What celebrity annoys you the most?

This answer is an oxymoron.  The Kardashians are at the top of my list of annoying celebrities.  With that being said, I do not consider them worthy of the ‘celebrity’ descriptor.

Question #6:  If you were running for office, what would your campaign slogan be?

Vote Thurman! American Can Do Better…But Why Break Tradition?

Question #7:  What product would you refuse to promote?

I am fresh off watching Black Fish, a documentary about the ghastly inside workings of Sea World.  I have never been caught up in the Magical Kingdom of Disney and some of you will probably feel compelled to pray for the impending damnation of my soul for my stance against the iconic American theme park.  I didn’t say I would throw blood in Shamu’s tank or chain myself to the killer whale statue with dynamite strapped to my torso, but the revelations in Black Fish take me out of the running for endorsing or patronizing Sea World.

Question #8: If you could change one thing about your looks, what would it be?

The problem with this question is the narrow parameters!  The limit of ‘one’ forces me to select changing my height.  I would love to be taller and hopefully adding a few inches would cause several of my other unsightly flaws to straighten themselves out.

Question #9:  If you were a super hero, what would your powers be?

I am going to use the fact that the question is posed in the plural sense that I get to choose more than one!  Of course, I would be able to fly.  I would also have the power of invisibility.  Sometimes I randomly tell people at work and my family that I am invisible, with the hope that the power of wishful thinking will make it so.  Despite my best mental efforts, I am always plainly visible (insert heavy sigh here).

Question #10:  How many books have you read this year?


Question #11:  Do you have any food hang-ups?

I have so many food hang-ups that even I have to recognize my ridiculousness.  I don’t normally eat white foods.  I hate sour cream, all salad dressings, cream cheese, mushrooms, fish, and beans (except green ones). I do like milk, but I cannot drink milk out of the same glass after someone (even someone I love with all my heart).  Diet Pepsi must be at optimum drinking temperature.  This category should probably be a stand-alone blog post.

Question #12:  Turn on your music shuffle, what are the first six songs that play?

                Kryptonite-3 Doors Down

Ain’t Nobody’s Problem-Lumineers

Send Me on My Way-Rusted Root

Walk in the Rain-Passenger

Linkin Park-Numb

Johnny Cash-Folsom Prison Blues

 Question # 13:  What was the last lie you told?

The last lie I told is also the one I tell the most frequently:  “I am almost ready.  I just need to brush my teeth.”  This actually means that I am about 15 solid minutes from being close to ready.  It is the cross I bear.

Question #14:  Do you have a collection of anything?

I collect coins.  Not the valuable rare variety, but the kind you throw in the bottom of your purse or in the ashtray of your car.  Loose change is not safe around me.  I swipe it off the kitchen counters, out of pockets in the laundry, and if left unattended on bedroom dressers.  I have a jar that counts the coins as I put them into it and I am a freak about filling up my jar!

Question #15:  Do you have any nicknames?

 My grandpa called me Poncho because I wore a blue poncho all the time.  Siri calls me “Sweetie” and I try and make Kevin    call me that as well.  It’s harder to get Kevin to stick with that one.  Siri seems to have no problem with it.

Question #16:  What is the last thing you purchased?

I went to the store before work and I purchased:  A fresh baby spinach salad with cranberries, Low-fat granola, orange juice (not from concentrate), Benadryl, and toothpaste.

Question #17:  What is a saying you say a lot?

                “I have absolutely no more shits to give.”

Question #18:  What is your favorite word?


Question #19:  What is the worst injury that you ever had?

                A broken heart.

Question #20.  What is the first thing you would do if you only had one month to live?

I would help Kevin find a new wife.  She would have to meet the basic requirements of being funny, healthy, kind, smart, and love sports and my kids.  She also couldn’t be smokin’ hot. Basically, I would be looking for a 9 on the inside and a 5 or 6 on the outside. I am a human being, not a cell phone. I am not going to let him upgrade from a Nokia flip phone to an iPhone 5C!

Copy, paste, share, reply, tweet, email or post your own answers.  Blog it out people!!

Censored by My Husband-Big Kevin Vetoes Blog Post

Censored by My Husband-Big Kevin Vetoes Blog Post

It is hard to believe that it is barely 2014 and the suppression of free speech has already reared its ugly head.  My original blog post was entitled, ‘Full-Court Press Cookies-Expressions through Confections ‘.  It was a charming little story about how I took my basketball team of scallywags and went head-to-head with a seasoned coach and his well-groomed team.  I would love to tell you that the basketball gods smiled on us and we pulled out a victory with a last second shot at the buzzer or other such Hoosier-inspired happy ending.  It would be a story about underdogs scratching their way to a victory over impossible odds.  Yeah…no such thing happened.  We got our asses handed to us!


Kevin and I are polar opposites in many ways.  He stands just a hair under 6’8” tall and I am stand 5’4” with my boots on!  He is rational, practical, and speaks only words that need to be spoken.  I tend to be a little irrational, a tad quirky and have been known to engage him in long in-depth conversations debating such topics as chupacabra, Big Foot, and the intellectual potential of our two incredibly smart dogs.  NOTE: By saying ‘engage in conversation’, I mean I talk non-stop until he agrees with me or says he will ‘think about it’, which means he will never agree with me, but wants desperately for me to shut up.  Although we are completely different in many ways, he is the love of my life and patiently puts up with my compulsive tardiness, occasional sassiness, and my complete affinity for ridiculousness.  So, it doesn’t exactly surprise me that he threw the brakes on the Full Court Press Cookies.


I don’t think his opposition to me sharing the story is rooted in our embarrassing loss or the fact that I took a group of boys that nobody else wanted to coach and gave them an opportunity to play ball.  He is a real coach.  He knows more about the game than just about anyone I know.  He knows how to win and although he doesn’t like to lose, he does so with dignity and class.  So, when our little gang of castaways were within four points just before the end of the first half, I have to think he was secretly, albeit quietly, proud of us.  I am almost certain that it isn’t what happened in the second half that makes him skittish about me posting.  Even though he won’t admit it, I know what kind of coach he is.  When his team play teams which are considerably weaker, he always has the scorekeeper quit putting points on the scoreboard if his team is ahead by 20 or more.  So, as the favored team pulled further and further ahead of us and they didn’t pull off the press, he knew my frustration was justified.  My passive-aggressive response to the decision to keep the full court pressure on until the game ending buzzer is probably the source of his resistance.


You see, Kevin is good friends with the coach who ran up the score on me and my band of lost boys!   Kevin insists that I let too much emotion bleed into whatever it is I am doing and I just needed to stifle myself.   It wasn’t a big deal.  His answer:  ‘just let it go’.  I tried.  However, when Coach took his place at the card table in our basement on poker night, I seized the opportunity to make a point.  I baked dozens of chocolate chip cookies and when the last batch was still warm, I sent my daughter down to the poker table with the platter of cookies and the following note attached:


These are not ordinary cookies.  These are FULL COURT PRESS COOKIES.  Everyone can eat as many as he wants with ONE exception…  Coach can only start eating cookies after everyone else is 30 cookies ahead of him.  Enjoy!


In my defense, I think my use of cookies was a harmless and fun way to express my differing views on game strategy.   I was thankful that Coach was a good sport about my little cookie rant.  I think too often adults get in the way of the true purpose of youth sports and that saddens me.  As a parent, I have been on a journey to bring things into focus.  I have forced myself to step back and look at the BIG picture and ask myself the following questions when I feel the pull of  the “victory-by-association” trying to steer my reactions and actions:  1. In the big scheme of things, how much does this (race, win, loss, scratch, DQ) really matter?  2. What do I want my athlete to take away from this experience? 3. Is she/he still having fun?  4. Are my reactions supporting or hindering his/her development?  Perhaps, somewhere along this journey of mine, Kevin will give his blessing for me to share the story of the FCP Cookies 😉


Garret and Trey


Kyle, Evan and Saige