Tag Archives: life

A Mother’s Day Wish List-Revised Edition

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A Mother’s Day Wish List-Revised Edition

As Mother’s Day approaches, I have been making a gift guide for my sweet children to utilize, in the event they want to borrow money from their father and purchase me a little sumthin’-sumthin’.   The following is the first edition of my Mother’s Day Wish List:

  1. Fitbit Fitness Band (in black)finch
  2. Converse Monochrome shoes-Size 8.5night vision googles
  3. Atticus Finch T-Shirt and the Preorder purchase of Harper Lee’s Novel Go Set a Watchman, to be released in July (the T-shirt will keep me happy until the book release).
  4. Yukon Night Vision Tracking Binoculars
  5. Conceal and Carry Compression Tank (in black)
  6. A very tiny monkey.

After reflecting on the likelihood of my Mother’s Day wish list ever coming to fruition, I decided to make some revisions. As I attempted to whittle the list down and refine the focus to practical customary wishes, it was apparent the list, while authentic, was not representative of the true spirit of Mother’s Day. I dug a little deeper and explored what my true wishes were for Mother’s Day. The following is the compilation of my revisions:

  1. For my oldest daughter, Riley, I hold these wishes for you. I wish you could embrace the amazing young woman you are and hold tight to the beauty of your soul. Each morning, when you wake and you look at your reflection in your mirror, I wish you no longer sought out your perceived imperfections, but instead focus on the gifts God has given you. My hope is that with each passing day, you will learn to love yourself. The many ways you guard you heart serves you well, when done so for the right reasons. Hearts are made to be broken and human beings rarely escape a life without some degree of heartbreak. A heart that has been broken beats on, but a life without love is just a beating heart. May you always know how much of love being your mom.                            Addendum: I wish you would someday in the future reconsider your decision to opt out of motherhood. I cannot be a Nana to a batch of rescued cats.
  2. For my son, Evan, these wishes are for you. Looking back on the long journey that has brought you to this moment, I wish you to know how very proud I am of you. I know that the things that are so easy for others were not so easy for you. I want you to know that the mistakes I made along the way were my attempts at helping you the only way I knew how. There were many people who might have given up on you, but that was never an option for me. It is my hope for you that you will remember to give more than you take, lift others up, treasure the little things, and don’t be afraid of failing. There is something great inside of you, Evan and I pray each day you have the courage to discover what it is, the resilience to carry on when you fail, and the graciousness to appreciate those who help you along the way. Don’t let a day go by without fully knowing how blessed I am that God chose you for my son. Addendum: I wish you would please stop teasing my sweet old Cooper. He is over 70 years old in people years!! Please be kind to my crabby geriatric furry friend.
  3. To my baby girl, Sophi, I wish these things for you. There will never be more minutes in an hour, more hours in day, more days in a week or more weeks in a year. I know of no other who crams more living in a space of time than you. It is my wish that you are able to make the most of each moment and give yourself some space to breathe. The only thing that ever gets in your way, Sophi, is you. It makes me proud that you are motivated to set the bar high, but don’t forget that you don’t have to be perfect. All that you have to do doesn’t have to be done today. It is my wish for you to find balance and understand that if you always stay true to God, yourself, and the people who love you, the life you make will be successful. You are forever and always my bonus baby.                                     Addendum: I wish you would PLEASE put the lids back on your makeup and quit leaving it all scattered on the bathroom counter!! And for the love of all that is holy, you only need ONE towel for a shower

kidsThe truth is the greatest gift is one I have already been given. It cannot be purchased at the store or ordered online. I have been blessed with the privilege of being a mother, and this is simply all I could ever want (except for a very tiny monkey, that would be freaking AWESOME)…and maybe the night vision goggles. Seriously, this nest is going to be empty someday. I really should start planning ahead.

Living the Simple Life Status Update…It’s Complicated

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Living the Simple Life Status Update…It’s Complicated

 

Whoever said living in the country is the ‘simple life’, obviously never lived in the country. Country living takes grit, resilience, and emotional fortitude. It has been just over two years since I said farewell to the city limits and embraced my tougher rural side. The transition has been filled with a multitude of learning opportunities for me and I am woman enough to disclose that I sometimes lack grit, resilience, and emotional fortitude. Sometimes, I am just an idiot.

My first faux pas was made with good intentions. Spirit is the resident matriarch horse on the farm. She is a beautiful Morgan Paint, which loosely translated for town folks means she is BIG and looks like Tonto’s horse from the Lone Ranger. Each morning before leaving for work, I would take Spirit an apple or handful of carrots. Her forelock (loosely translated—horse bangs) was always hanging in her eyes. My attempts to use my hairclips to pin it up out of her eyes didn’t go well. She lost every single one of my hairclips. I decided to give her a trim. Spirit ended up looking more like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber than a beautiful horse. As it turns out, the forelock is important for keeping flies and other debris from irritating the horse’s eyes. Who knew horse bangs were more than a fashion statement??dumb

In addition to the acceptable grooming practices of horses, I have had my eyes open to other farm animal maintenance. If a baby calf gets stuck in her mama cow’s vagina, it is customary to hook chains to the calf and help pull it out. The boy cows don’t have it easy either. If you are unfortunate enough to be born a boy cow and you aren’t given immunity status to continue growing into a bull, a routine circumcision would be a welcome trade for what is in store. The little boy baby cows are rounded up and their little baby cow balls are cut off and tossed into a bucket. Chains in a vagina and a bucket of cow balls…all in a day’s work.

As luck would have it, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of the farm. It is probably a good thing, because I am a little too emotionally high-strung to be of much use. One of the baby donkeys got stuck in the mud near the pond and drowned. All the Animal Planet viewing in the world did not prepare me for this travesty! While tuning into Animal Planet, I fully expect crocodiles to leap out of the water and snatch up little water buffalo, but this isn’t the Serengeti! We are smack in the middle of America’s heartland. Mother Nature’s bitch-slap is far reaching.

donkeyI don’t cut off baby cow balls or get near the vagina of a cow birthing her young, but I do have animal responsibilities on the farm. I am the caretaker of the barn-cats. Barn-cats are an integral part of country living and I do my part to make sure they are fed, warm, loved and cuddled. According to barn cat protocol, barn-cats are not to be named, as there is a high turnover among the resident barn-cats and thus, I have been advised not to get attached. I seldom follow sound advice (heavy sigh).

LuLubelle was one of the initial barn-cat residents and the beginning of my cat wrangling adventures. LuLubelle was born with a hole in her diaphragm, which resulted in her not being a candidate for spaying. Contrary to popular belief, her breathing difficulties did not eliminate her from lifting her tail for the first Tom Cat who came along. LuLubelle’s transgressions led to a small but robust barn-kitty boom. I had my hands full trying to keep up with finding homes for adoptable kittens, foster mothers for the shitty-kitty moms’ kittens, and keeping up with sterilization for the youngsters coming of age.

LuLubelle tired of the mother (and now grandmother) grind and headed off to take up residence in the solitude of a quiet, not so crowded, barn (this is what I tell myself anyway, because recognizing the fact that she may have been a late night snack for a coyote is just too horrible). Finally, all the kittens had homes, LuLubelle had moved to her retirement home, and our barn was home to one small kitten named, Yellow Cat. My work schedule had been rather hectic and I knew I had several months before Yellow Cat would be mature enough to have kittens, but evidentially some kitties mature faster than others…and now we were suddenly back up to six barn cats.

**WARNING: This is the point in the story, where things take a tragic turn and cat lovers and the squeamish should probably bail out now.**

I found yellow cat with her new brood in the hay manger in the barn. It was early morning and I was headed to work. The light in the barn was dim and she wasn’t really keen on me poking around. I could still see that several of the kittens weren’t cleaned well and I was worried that she was going to be a shitty-kitty mom. I gave her some words of encouragement and headed off to work. Returning that evening, I went out in the barn to check on her. I brought a flashlight so I could get a better look at how the situation was progressing and I was totally unprepared for what I was about to encounter. There were three kittens nursing and two seemingly piled beneath them. I started moving them around to get a better look and I saw what looked to be a placenta, which Yellow Cat should have gobbled down long before this point. Confused by the mangled ball of kittens, I reached in and picked one of the kittens up, and instead I hoisted up four tangled kittens. They were all still attached to one placenta and completely entangled in a web of umbilical cords.

The act of me picking up the intertwined kitten-placenta ball caused one kitten’s umbilical cord to pull off and I couldn’t control the bleeding. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to save that little guy, so I reluctantly turned my attention to the other three still mangled together. With hands shaking, I was able to tie off and cut the cord, freeing one kitten from the mass. The remaining two were in a pitiful predicament. It was obvious that the kittens had been tangled long before they were born. Their little legs had been cinched together with an umbilical cord so tightly and for so long, their little tiny paws hadn’t formed. There was just rotting dead tissue where little paws should have been.

One of the kittens was visibly smaller and looked as if it was already succumbing to the infection that was no doubt raging. I had to get them apart. I went plundering for medical supplies. Running back to the barn, I had discovered that the weaker kitten had died, but was still hopelessly tethered to its sibling. Using every ounce of courage I could muster, I carefully snipped the rotten leg off of the dead kitten. I surveyed the situation; I had one living kitten, which was not a part of the original tangled mess. I had one living kitten that I had been able to successfully free, two kittens that had not survived, and one kitten with a rotten leg, still attached to both the placenta and the severed rotten leg of its sibling. Kitten farming is REALLY hard.

kittySadly, even after a successful amputation and antibiotic therapy, little “Stumpy” kitten wasn’t strong enough to make it. I buried him in a sunglasses case under the tree near the barn, where yellow cat likes to sun herself in the afternoons. Sweetie and Dot are the surviving twin brothers of the ordeal and have grown into a handsome loving duo. Sweetie, Dot, and Yellow Cat have decided to leave barn-living behind. Mama and her two sons have moved into the garage, where my husband has built them a two story insulated and heated condominium. They often join us in the house and stretch out the furniture or curl up in a lap, before retiring to their kitty-condo.

It has been hard for me to convey the situation I encountered in the barn that day, even to my family. When I arrived at the house bloodied, panicked and carrying Stumpy still attached to the severed leg and nasty placenta, my family questioned my sanity (this is not the first time my sanity has come into question). Several days later, my daughter’s friend commented that her throat was hurting and my daughter replied, “Don’t tell my mom, she might cut off your head.”cattwins

I read somewhere that tough old farmers don’t cry, but I know better. This country way of living is still pretty new to me, but I have seen enough to know that tough old farmer also have the biggest hearts. I am not sure if having a big heart is a prerequisite for the job or rather something they acquire along the way. I assume if it is okay to sometimes cry in the barn, perhaps I have some farmer potential. It is probably better to look at my potential as a farmer more objectively and as my dad would tell me, “You aren’t tough enough to make a scab on farmer’s ass” and I am pretty certain he is absolutely, 100% correct.

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The Maddening Voice of Maggie the Nav-Hag

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The Maddening Voice of Maggie the Nav-Hag

Jeep1My Maggie is hard not to love, although sometimes she is hard for me to handle. She is strong, beautiful, and almost as much fun with her top on as she is with her top off. From the moment I saw her, I loved her. She is my Jeep and she is special.   Last week, my husband had a navigation system installed into Maggie. This brought about some changes. Not only can Mags and I find our way back from any adventures we may take, but now she can talk!

I have little patience for technical configurations which require a great deal of detail and/or time, so I hit the highlights. The only setup option I gave careful attention to was the voice selection. A female voice was the obvious choice. Maggie is a badass, but exclusively in the feminine sense. Listening to each accent and language choice, I settled on a soft voice with a pleasing British accent. (Please apply a soft female voice with a pleasing British accent to Maggie’s dialogue in the remainder of this story).

The next day, I decided to drive Maggie to work in St. Louis, a jaunt I usually reserve for the smaller economical and nameless Chevy Cruze.   I didn’t want to have to listen to Maggie’s directions the entire trip, so I dialed in just a short portion of the journey, so I could test out her new vocal capabilities. Just as I had anticipated, thing were off to a splendid start:

Maggie: In two miles, please turn left.

Me: Why thank you Maggie, you are very helpful.

Maggie: Please turn right and continue on this route for 26 miles.

Me:   You got it, Mags, whatever you say.

 

After her test run was complete, I settled in for the remainder of my drive to work. As I merged onto the four-lane highway, I set the cruise control to my customary 6 miles over the posted speed limit and hit the music shuffle on my phone. The music suddenly cutout and Maggie piped up in her pleasing British accent:

Maggie: You are over the speed limit.

Me: Excuse me, Maggie, did you say something.

 

Silence. I continue driving.

Maggie: You are exceeding the speed limit, please decrease your speed.

Me: Okay, Maggie. I appreciate your concern. Thank you.

 

I continue driving and several miles pass.

Maggie: You are over the speed limit.

Me: Seriously, Maggie, I know. It’s fine, really.

 

I turn the music up, reduce the cruise to 4 over the speed limit and continue driving. Surely she wouldn’t bitch at me for going four miles over the speed limit.

Maggie: You are over the speed limit.

Me: OMG, Maggie. You are really pissing me off. Shut up!!

 

Maggie: You are exceeding the speed limit. Please reduce your speed.

Me: I swear to God, Maggie, I am going to rip your throat out if you do not shut up!!!

 

I wasn’t familiar enough with the controls to reprogram her while I was driving, and so we continued down the highway; Maggie relentlessly nagging me about my speed in her soft voice with the pleasing British accent and me stubbornly refusing to comply with her polite suggestions. Eventually, I reverted to arguing with her in an unpleasant and hostile British accent:

 

Maggie: You are over the speed limit.

Me: And YOU, Maggie, are a daft cow.

Maggie: You are exceeding the speed limit. Please reduce your speed.

Me: Ahhhhhhh! Bloody hell!!!

 

After my trip with the Maggie the Nav-Hag, it occurred to me that I am the sort of person that might benefit had God thought to equip me with an automatic audible warning system. A backup system for when my mouth is over-riding my ass or my sound judgment system fails. Even the backup system probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference when I was younger. I am also pretty sure that it would not have been at all effective when I was in full ‘mama-bear’ mode NOTE: Mama Bear Mode is known as a state of being when one perceives that someone is being unfair or hurtful to one’s offspring, and mama-bear claws come out, fangs are bared and attack is imminent. However, I think I am at a certain age where it might compliment my developing restraint.FullSizeRender

There will always be situations which will try my patience and cause me to question the motives and authenticity of others. It seems that when human beings completely miss opportunities to positively impact the lives of others and go out of their way to tear individuals down, I find my checks and balances system failing. An internal audible warning system may be just what I need so save me from beating the proverbial dead horse; Maggie’s soothing voice in a pleasant British accent intervening in my head:

Maggie: You are exceeding the emotional limit. Please calm down.

Maggie: Your emotional reaction to his/her/their actions will not impact the current situation. Proceed with caution.

Maggie: Navigating the intentions of others is impossible. People have to be willing to change course.

Maggie: Please proceed to the route… stay the course… focus on the positive… repair the damage… be kind… be fair… be honest… be genuine… and SIT YOUR BLODDY ARSE DOWN AND BEHAVE!!

 

This really does seem like a novel idea to keep me in check. Perhaps if this was a standard feature we were all equipped with, life wouldn’t be quite so messy. I haven’t reprogrammed Maggie to keep her gob shut about my driving. It isn’t so bad having a reminder when I am not acting in my best interest or the interest of others. Besides, it is just a matter of time before Kevin Thurman, silences Maggie for good. He has two speeds, stop and fast; Ride or die, Mags. Ride or die.

Sleeping with Stella

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Sleeping with Stella

I am a chicken. I attribute this cowardice condition to the vastness of my imagination. Adulthood was supposed to equip me with rationale, logic, and grownup perspective. Yet, I am plagued by things that go bump in the night. Regularly, I find myself being chased home by wild coyotes when caught after sundown on an evening run. The shadows along the woods taunt me with the unseen creatures of the night. My dreams are often interrupted by screaming mountain lions, rabid wolves, and an occasional Sasquatch lurking just beyond the trees behind our house. My body rests, but my mind refuses.

It is a state of ridiculousness, which my effort at reason cannot move past. In contrast, there are things I should be afraid of, which I am not. My sincere trust in humanity as a whole could be considered a liability. Constantly on guard for the lone savage wolf stalking me as a walk on the trails cut through the woods, my guard is slack when it comes to my fellow bipedal homo-sapiens. Seldom am I aware of my surroundings, while walking in a dimly lit parking garage. The random stranger asking for directions doesn’t make me wary. My car is often unlocked and sometimes my keys can be found dangling in the ignition. My shopping cart is left unattended with my purse splayed open as I browse the aisles. Trust, even when it is soaking with carelessness, can be broken.

Two weeks ago, as I sparred with the ominous beasts in my dreams, someone was breaking into our vehicles parked in our driveway. We awoke to find that our cars had been ransacked. Unfamiliar hands had rummaged through our consoles, purses, and glove compartments, grabbing and carrying off miscellaneous personal possessions. In their wake they left us feeling vulnerable, empty, and violated. The emotion I wanted to boil to the surface and spill out of me was anger, but it wouldn’t come. As I stood and wondered what a thief was going to do with a purse that had my last name embroidered on it, there remained with me a stifling sense of sadness.

Many of the items taken have made their way back to us. Some have not. My purse was found along a gravel road not far from our house. My son’s driver’s license, college ID and bank card were found by an acquaintance as he was running in an area about six miles from where we live. A backpack was found along the highway along with two of my son’s college textbooks. There are several expensive textbooks, a wallet and some other items which are probably rotting in a ditch in some random location. There was little cash to be taken, but what little there was is gone.

The whole situation should have spurred a sense of fury in the audacity of brazen thievery. While it did springboard a campaign to ratchet up our security, it brought me around to a place I least expected. I found myself immersed in a sense of gratitude. Instead of being consumed by fury of the violation, I found myself focusing on the simple fact that these things were just that—things. Though thieves were among us, the “us” remained unscathed, intact, and well. While my sense of security was dented, the reminder to not hang on too tightly to those things which can be replaced and to hold dearly to those which cannot did not go unacknowledged.

There are so many things in my life that I will never get back. Never again will I hold my sleeping babies with their warm breath sweet on my cheek. There will never be another night of playing outdoors in my bare feet of summer and hearing my mom yell it is time to come inside. I will never get back those wilted dandelions offered up to me from the gap-tooth grinning face of a child who still thinks I am the entire world. Driving the back roads for hours with good friends, with nothing more to occupy our carefree hearts other than the next song playing on the radio are moments gone a lifetime ago. Gone are the days of sitting on the porch with my grandpa hanging on every word of the tales he would spin for me. I can’t go back to the first ‘I love you’ my husband spoke to me or feel the tears he cried as he held his newborn son. Time, it seems, is the real thief. But what time has stolen away hasn’t left holes in the fabric of my existence. What remains is a patchwork of memories being pieced together forming a quilt that is my life. No thief in the dark of night can take the treasures locked securely away in the depths of my heart.

The fear of coyotes, chupacabra, and Bigfoot has not abated. The cars are locked and so are the doors. My faith in mankind is, for the most part, still intact. Life is not meant to be lived instella the unrest of worry over things. Stella, is my little Smith & Wesson .38 and she provides me a sense of comfort. The world, after all, isn’t nearly as scary when I am sleeping with Stella.

 

 

I’ve Got Your Back!

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There is a special place in my heart for the folks in my life who volunteer to support me in times of trial or adversity. I have always had an inclination to let my mouth override my ass and it is always with gracious relief, when I would find someone with more physical fortitude than myself running interference for me. My best friend in middle school and high school was someone who I knew would protect me and in turn, she always knew I would be there for her. She was a badass. I was not a badass. Like once when we were at a party and I started mouthing a girl and the girl didn’t like it. My best friend, Cheri, just had to walk over and ask, “Is there a problem?” and then there was suddenly not a problem anymore. Another time we were cruising the streets of our small town and a girl called us “preps” and while we were stopped, she tried to punch Cheri through the open window of her car. This girl was much more accustomed to settling things with her fists than our little gang of accused ‘preps’, yet the challenge had been issued. Cheri stepped up and as her trusty sidekick, I was right there doing my part…I held her big hoop earrings while she taught this name-calling-prep-hater a lesson (which she did in impressive fashion). My role may seem small, but she could have lost a lobe or an entire ear, for that matter. Had I not been there the results could have been tragic.

As an adult, the role of my protector and back-haver has fallen squarely on the shoulders of my husband, Kevin. He once sensed my fury in a school meeting with my son’s principal and just as I was about to throw myself across the table and choke the life out of the little man, Kevin nonchalantly grabbed the waistband of my pants and kept me firmly anchored to my seat. He also saved my ass when I went toe-to-toe with a big giant idiot who was screaming kevinobscenities at a youth basketball tournament. Kevin has also managed to divert many a potential come-a-parts (that’s what they call it, when I react like a lunatic to situations). He does this by withholding information that he knows will make me crazy. Having my back is sometimes a great deal of work for Kevin.

It goes without saying, that I also always have Kevin’s back. It isn’t like he has big hoop earrings I can hold or any other needs in which my limited talents would come in handy. It is in the literal since that I always have Kevin’s back. His long 6-foot-7 inch walking stride puts me consistently about 20 paces behind him. At the mall, the ballgame, the parking lot at church, it is my husband’s back that I have. His steady unhurried pace appears effortless from the casual observer, but to the little wife trying to tail him, it is a frantic pace. Occasionally, he will glance over his shoulder to make sure I haven’t gotten misplaced or inadvertently swept down a drainage ditch. It is always, however, the same exchange when I finally catch up to him. He looks down at my wind-burnt cheeks and over my labored breathing he casually asks, “Where you been, woman?”

I have practiced fast-walking and also taking bigger steps, but often my choice of footwear doesn’t sustain these practices for any distance and I am forced to revert to my regular short-people walking style. When we walk hand-in-hand, he is so much taller than me and walking so much faster, that I feel and probably look like, a child that has been misbehaving in the store and is being dragged outside to get an ass-whoppin. So, like a boat on the ocean, I set my course following the beacon that is my husband’s back and I plod along at my customary 20 paces.

It would be very much a part of my innate nature to resent this Mid-Eastern style of pedestrian hierarchy we have long adhered to, but I don’t. It has become part of who we are. There is an unexplained comfort in knowing that he is forging the way, much like he does in all aspect of our life. He is steady, strong, and I know that as long as I keep my eyes on beachhim, I am on the right track. It may seem like I am tagging along at his heels; a kite tail of little significance, but I know when I get to where I am going, he will be there—waiting. I know that I am a strong and capable person, but the bond I share with Kevin affords me a sense of security I don’t possess without him. I know he has my back and in warped kind of way, I have his. Should I ever look up and I am no longer able to see him leading the way, it is then I will know I am lost.

This Week’s Top Five Things the Made Me Think, WTH? (Bonus Track Included)

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This Week’s Top Five Things the Made Me Think, WTH? (Bonus Track Included)

 

  1. While eating Chinese food with my husband, Kevin, and daughter, Sophi, I shared a story, thought, idea, comment or theory (or a combination of all these) in my  rapid succession fashion.   Sophi took a bite of her Orange Chicken as if she was considering my thoughts and then states matter-of-factly, “I am pretty sure that you definitely fall somewhere on the autism spectrum”. — WTH??cookie
  2. During a meeting at work, where I was presenting some pretty important concepts for our product to a member of our Development team, my cell phone vibrates and it is my oldest daughter, Riley, calling. She usually texts, so I answered it thinking it must be important. This is our conversation:

Me:  Hello?

Riley: Mom, what are you doing?

Me: I am at work. What’s up?

Riley: I am sad.

Me:  What’s wrong??

Riley: I just walked ALL THE WAY ACROSS CAMPUS to the ONLY vending machine that has my favorite snack and they are out of it. — WTH???

baby rays3.   After a quick stop at the grocery store, my son Evan called me into the kitchen. He then systematically told me how I botched the entire trip because I failed to get Mountain Dew and I “carelessly bought HONEY Bar-B-que Sweet Baby Ray’s and not the original. That is not acceptable.” — WTH??

4.  While driving  Sophi to school this morning, I was traveling down the highway at a good clip and a white van pulls out in front of me. I brake hard to keep from getting up close and personal with his/her bumper and then quickly passed her. He or she laid on her (yeah I am thinking it was a she) horn like I was a maniac for passing. Are you kidding me?? You pulled out in front of me!! — WTH??

5.  On the eve of the anniversary of the attack on 9/11, I am appalled by the protesting that continues in Ferguson, MO. Thirteen years ago, we were a nation united. We lifted one another up. We prayed together, remembered together, and we picked up the pieces together. We mourned the loss of lives across the blurred lines of the human race. Our flags were flown high, we remembered to say ‘I love you’, we restored a sense of community. Gradually, we have put the walls back up. There looms a real and vibrant threat to our America and yet there are those who choose to wage war within the confines of their own WTHcommunity. There is no greater power we can give those who encroach our borders intent to destroy our homeland than to present as a nation divided. Stand on principle, but don’t throw it through a store window and grab 30 pairs of shoes. Use your right to freedom of speech to whichever end you wish, but let’s be clear– if you exercise that right in the middle of the interstate and I am trying to get home from work, I no longer give a shit what you have to say. — WTH???

 

Bonus Track: Kevin was leaving the house Sunday evening and he called to tell me there was a calf on the wrong side of the electric fence. He asked if I would go out and put him back in the field where he belonged. I had my workout clothes on, so I kicked off my running shoes and donned my boots and headed out to get the job done. He told me to grab the orange plastic handle on the fence to unhook it. I did and my hand slipped and I got the piss shocked out of me. Much to my amusement, Sophi captured the whole thing on video. When I asked her why she was videoing me she said, “I had a feeling this wasn’t going to end well.” —-WTH???

A Full Moon on Family Cove

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A Full Moon on Family Cove
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Leslie and Grace

There is a place where everyone at the Lake of the Ozarks goes to party. It is simply called ‘Party Cove’. It is a place of ill repute, where drinking is in excess, clothes are minimal and pretty much any form of debauchery goes. It goes without saying, that our ‘Party Cove’ days are essentially behind us. While vacationing at the Lake, we choose to frequent more a family friendly environment. It is simply called ‘Family Cove’.

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Me, Kevin, Garret, and Bobby

Our friends, Bobby and Leslie, have a house on the Lake of the Ozarks. We have been fortunate that they frequently extend an invitation to our family to share in the summer fun at the lake. We ride jet skis, paddle boat, swim, fish, and just soak up the sun. On one of our summer trips to the lake, we all piled into the boat and headed for an afternoon of relaxing in Family Cove.
Upon arriving at the cove, Bobby and Leslie recognized several other boaters. As is customary, the lines were tossed and the boats tethered together so make one huge floating vessel. There were several people in the cove whom I also knew, but most I did not. Boating folks are a very friendly bunch and it was quickly apparent that we were all welcome to join in the fun. There were several people already bobbing in the water on floatation devices, sunglasses on, and beers in hand. The kids were jumping from the decks of boats into the water, the life jackets bringing them quickly to the surface. Good, clean, fun in the sun; until it got ugly.

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Kevin, Tracy, Leslie, and Me

We had only been there just a few minutes and we had just tied up to the other boats. Most of our crew had already gotten into the water and were making their way to the others gathered in the front of boats. I, being extremely self-conscious of my swimsuit body, had hung back, waiting for an opportunity to slide into the water without being seen. I should probably point out that my hesitation and my body image issues had no doubt got the attention of that bitch, Karma. Based on the series of events about to unfold, I would have been better off doing a cannon ball off the bow of the boat into the unsuspecting crowd of lake people.
I had decided the coast was clear to enter the water and I headed for the back of the boat. Bobby and another guy I didn’t know were the only two people I could see and I decided to slip down the ladder and into the lake. My plan went off without a hitch…EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT IT TURNED INTO A FAMILY COVE SIDE SHOW!! My plan was to step onto the ladder facing out and sit on the first wrung and slide into the water. As I launched my entry, my swimsuit bottoms got hooked onto the ladder. I must have started to panic, because my feet slipped out from under me and I could hear and feel my swim suit rip. I wiggled and squirmed and I could not get myself free.
There I was–just hanging there. I was suspended from the ladder, face down and bare ass up, hanging by what remained of my bikini bottoms. Bobby was the first to be alerted to my unfortunate situation and he swam over and asked, “Karri, what are you doing?” (like I was purposefully hanging there with my ass in the air).  He was trying not to laugh, but I can only imagine what he was witnessing. It was funny.
“I’m stuck,” I told him, still just hanging there on the ladder with absolutely every shred of dignity dripping into the great expanse of the lake. Being a good sport (and probably eager to get this half-naked freak flag off his boat) , Bobby and his friend came to my rescue and they managed to hoist me up enough to untangle me from my snare and I slipped into the water.
My swim suit bottoms were in shreds and I had to tie the pieces together in the crotch and spent the entire afternoon in the water for fear of additional exposure. It was all so completely ridiculous and humiliating that there was nothing I could do but just laugh, because it was also hilarious. I was teased relentlessly: “She was only at Family Cove for five minutes and was showing her ass” and “Hey, Karri, if you were going to swing off the back of the boat without your bottoms on, you should have gone to Party Cove”.
Just like the girl with the little bitty teeny-weeny yellow polka dot bikini, I eventually had to come out of the water. I put my legs through the arm holes of a life jacket, and Kevin lifted me up into the boat, where I was able to find adequate cover. I think I was fortunate that not very many people actually witnessed my full moon over Family Cove (that is what I tell myself anyway).

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It’s hard to take myself too seriously after being suspended from the back of a boat with my rear end bared to the world. Body image is something I have struggled with my whole life and I know there have been many times I have let my hangups hinder me from enjoying life to its fullest. I am a product of the airbrushed generation and it has been difficult for me to accept the many imperfections that are me–physically and otherwise. The older I get, the more ripples, bulges, sags and bags there are to contend with each and every day. But the older I get, the more I realize that I only get this one life to live. I can either hide in the boat and miss out on making memories or I can hang over the water by my drawers and laugh ’til it hurts. One life–one chance–there is no time to spend hiding in the boat. Life is meant to be lived (but with my bottoms ON).