I don’t care, just feed me.

Feed a cold, starve a fever? …or is it feed a fever, starve a cold. Either which way, whenever I’m sick with a cold or a fever, I manage to twist the saying so I can eat in both instances.

Our internet is up and running after throwing a fit, so more posts to come.


I’ve never hated anything more than getting my photos taken for Costco and Sams. In both situations, the workers behind the counter held up a little ball thingie that doesn’t resemble a camera at all. And didn’t even give me a good ‘ole count-to-three. They held up their hand and down it went again. I thought they were holding a stress-reliever thing and was adjusting their unstressed arm while a decidedly stressed new customer slowly comes to the realization of what just happened.

Thank god the photos I took of the cards didn’t come out well. Otherwise I think the reality of such a horrible pic would have shocked you straight into a coma. I just came out of mine.

"Hello, My name is Carolyn…"

I was flipping through our school’s handbook and came across the Drug & Substance Abuse Policy. It listed some tendencies that could be indicators of said drug/substance abuse. One of those lists caught my eye…the Social Impairment list. Once I read it, I knew I was in trouble. I almost created my own personal intervention because I was convinced I had a drug or substance abuse problem solely based off this list. 

“Carolyn, I know you smelt the fruit-scented Crayola markers daily while attending Kindergarten class. I love you, but this is what I will not do for you 23 years ago if you don’t stop smelling those markers. I will not allow you to watch Mary Poppins and pretend to be dancing with penguins. I will not let you go in the side yard to eat the weird orange-like fruit off that tree with your grade school friends..the fruit whose skin is sweet & edible and pulp is sour. Lastly, I will not allow you to sleep with your favorite teddy bear to whom you whispered nightly that if a robber came in, you would sacrifice yourself before him. Now, will you climb into that time-travel machine and get the treatment you need?”

From the blog posts alone, I can diagnose myself as being socially impaired. And off we go:
  • Inappropriate verbal remarks (subjects/words/expletives)— my social impairment crosses cultures.
  • Angry outbursts/unrestrained agitationyelling in a enclosed stairwell at Six Flags.
  • Crying that cannot be explained I tried putting it into words, but don’t know if I conveyed the depth of it.
  • Euphoria — Can you beat antiques, nature, and beach cruisers with a little wine tasting sprinkled throughout?
  • Paranoia — accusing wild spiders of a failed assassination attempt.
  • Hallucinations — thinking a hat was my adopted child.
Behaviors that are markedly changed for that individual such as:
There you have it. Take me or leave me. But, I’ve got to run. Gotta throw out all my fruit-scented markers so I can let my 5-yr old self watch Mary Poppins again.

Date Night

R romantically suggested we go out to eat last Saturday. Little did I know he meant at the Sam’s Club sample counters. Lucky for me, I had my camera because I could not believe the portion sizes. We’d have date night here every time if it were up to me.

[Side note, and this is just completely random. If anyone else gets frustrated that even though you want to use your credit card here — say for flight miles or something — and can’t, we devised a plan. You buy a Walmart giftcard for however much you think you’re going to spend and then use the giftcard in Sams. I know. We’re geniuses. This has two bonuses — 1) You get your credit card rewards and 2) it helps limit how much you spend. If you’re anything like us, as soon as you walk through the doors, you suddenly turn Donald Trumpish and start asking loudly why isn’t everything gilded, because you really prefer to buy things packaged in 14 kt gold…and for that matter, can’t you just buy the gold in bulk?]
So we wandered around a bit, looking for christmas presents and buying household items. Then we saw the crowds. You know where the good stuff is by the hustle and bustle near sample counters.

That guy in the brown jacket got seconds, I just know it.

People really crack me up though. As we were standing in line for our entree of buffalo wings (complete with celery and blue cheese dressing), we noticed two ladies continuously standing by the server. It was only when we got close enough that I heard the server say, “You need to stand in line” and one of the ladies said, “Well, we’ll just be after the girl in the scarf.”

That was me. And I was happy to be called a girl. One time a magazine seller came by our place and he basically insinuated that R looked 10 years younger than me. And by basically insinuating, I mean he said, “Wow, he looks ten years younger.”

So as we get our entree [yes, still in date mode], I turn to leave and behind me I heard the ladies point out exactly which wings they wanted to be served. I had to laugh! Weren’t these samples? Maybe they really were on a date.

We stopped by the furniture section to watch part of “Ice Age” and who knows how long afterwards, we decided it was time for dessert. Again, I scanned for hungry crowds and spotted one in the bakery. R and I literally gasped out loud when we saw the sample. A whole slice of cake?? We were in heaven. R really knows how to pull out all the stops when taking his lady out.

After piling a few more things into our cart and watching a little bit more of Ice Age, we meandered down this aisle only to find a lonely sample server. Why wasn’t anyone invading her personal space? Intrigued we went over, only to find that the reason she looked so happily alone was because it was… [silent whisper]….. healthy. I bet she raised her hand so fast when they were discussing ‘sample schedules’ at the weekly employee meeting because she knew no one would bother her.

We looked at her as if she were the person handing out toothbrushes on Halloween. We want fat and grease on our date night, thank you very much. But just like on Halloween, you never turn anything down…so we helped ourselves to some gala apples just because we could. Besides, we needed to cleanse our palates for…

Blissfully cutting up apples in silence.
right-out-of-the-toaster-oven chocolate chip cookies!! Now that’s what we’re talking about. R went back for seconds and I just missed getting a shot of him and that little boy get into a scuffle. Apparently the boy announced, “Steer clear, ears is here!” and pushed his way to the front. No one stands between R and his cookies…anyone west of the Mississippi knows that, little kid. [tumbleweed blows by]
Sams is a time-warp and I really don’t know how long we were there, but we crossed some major things off our to-do list. It was a good feeling to arrive home stuffed and accomplished.

I guess ours could have been worse.

One of my co-workers is a justice of the peace and will randomly marry couples in our building. A young couple eloped in one of our classrooms today.

I didn’t think anything would have been worse than where R and I got hitched. When our original building’s roof blew off from a tornado a month before the date, we scrambled and found a little church in the same town.

They positioned their church as “from the 1800s”. We later found out that only the stones used to build the church were from the 1800s…and really, doesn’t that include just about every stone anywhere? Anyway, we attended a service to check it out and after it ended, what happened was straight out of “Children of the Corn”. The entire congregation turned around with their arms outstretched and walked zombie-like to greet us. It was terrifying.

I noticed a paint-by-number “Last Supper” and R spotted Jesus’ hologrammed rookie card. We were sold.

Moonshine & Waltzes

Last Saturday, R and I met up with one of his friends who was taking part in a civil war reenactment. It was held at an actual battleground during the war and, to me, was fascinating! I had never been to one and was envious of all the other girls in their gowns. His friend, C, is a wonderful medley of interests and talents. He’s almost like his own TV Guide. ESPN (former collegiate football player), BRAVO (he has launched his own line of ties — www.christianmicheal.com), STYLE (puts on fashion shows throughout KC), and HISTORY (is moving up the ranks within his infantry). I’m sure there’s more, but I didn’t have enough time to pick his brain.

Upon seeing the tents, I, of course, squealed with delight. For some reason, I didn’t realize that they actually camped there. I imagined the guys shooting off canons, riding some horses, falling dead, and then picking themselves up to walk straight to their car for home. So seeing these plain canvas & wood tents made my eyes light up, which in turn made R roll his.

The attention to detail was superb. In front of another tent, there was a teapot left sitting above a smoldering woodpile as if only moments ago soldiers were gathered ’round.

We arrived at the site right before the war was to “kick off” (as they say in army-speak). We started walking down a crowded hill at a deadly pace. The hill suddenly took a steep turn and by the end, we were practically running, dodging around people sitting calmly among the leaves….The whole time I never cracked a smile, hoping that people would connect my athleticism to the battle taking place and instead of being mad that I kicked leaves in their face as I went by, would nod after me with appreciation.

We watched about 20 minutes of the battle and then R got hungry. I tried to convince him that the soldiers were hungry too, and couldn’t we at least experience that? 30 seconds later we were scrambling back up the same steep hill towards the Meeting Hall.

Along the way, I saw some women cooking stew over an open flame and be-bopped my way over to them. The women camp separately from the men. But according to C, they run around in their little packs hosting tea parties and basically not fighting wars. I could do that. One woman showed me the inside of her tent and made sure to announce, while pointing to a heater, that no matter how much she loves the era, she is not going to die during a freezing night camping.

We chowed down some great chili and cornbread. In the meeting hall were two ladies standing around a piano. The third was hanging ornaments onto a tree. Note to self: Always string popcorn on a tree. Instant coziness. While R finished up my bowl of chili, I wandered over to one of the women. She had an assortment of items from way back when and I was particularly intrigued by the Lady’s Toolbelt. It came complete with a key, a thimble, a pin holder, and various other necessities. From someone who needs a Garmin just to find her keys in the morning…. I’m digging this idea.

Later, we went back to watch the rest of the battle and find C. I managed to catch a shot of a soldier falling off his horse unintentionally. Everyone whooped and hollered, but I don’t think he was thrilled watching his horse run off the field. At that point, I would have pretended to have been shot to save face. (Spoken like a true stage-mom.)

And then we spotted him! There he is!! Leading his team up the hill. I teased him on his quickness to be the first up and was rewarded with a grave description of his duties instead of laughter.

My first photo with a civil war officer. We later took him out for a few drinks to celebrate surviving the battle and that’s when he mentioned the dances. Every Saturday night, everyone meets at the hall to do period dances. Don’t you guys remember the dress I bought on eBay? Uh hello, it found a home. Civil war reenactments. R and I decided we’re going to try one out next summer and C offered to help us in our transition across centuries. Is it April yet?

Did I mention he had a tie line? (Great Christmas presents!)

Library Surprise

Our books are overdue now by 20 cents but, you know what, that’s okay. When we arrived, the library had closed, but we hardly noticed. Right next to it was a magical wonderland of sparkling trees. We only had one pair of gloves, so we each wore one on our outside hand and put our inside hands together in R’s coat pocket. No one had ventured out of their homes just yet, so it was just me and R….strolling along….circling trees and ponds. We caught up on how each other’s week went. He had been out of town physically for his job and I had been out town mentally because of my reading. It was peaceful, yet awakening. Good start to the weekend.

We stopped for a few seconds to watch Santa fish, while a white swan honked at me for interrupting their early evening nap.

Eat, Pray, Loved It

When I sat down to write this post, I immediately had a flashback to writing my third grade book reports. For some reason, I always insisted on drawing a big fish and then writing my book report within that fish. The title and author would be inserted in the tail and the body of my review would be written, well, on the fish’s body. In order to be done with my homework as soon as possible (so that I could play GirlTalk), I would normally write really big and use very similar, very repetetive adjectives in my description. Little did I know that I would be foreshadowing my college career in writing term papers. Expanding the margins by .25 and then increasing the font by .5 at a time until I achieved the desired length. In my spanish papers, I also used the word ‘muy’ too many times to count… Until by the end of it, the teacher couldn’t remember if it was muy good or muy bad, but just that it was muy something.

One time R used the word ‘nay’ a couple too many times in a paper. For instance… “I liked it. Nay, I loved it.” Until his English professor pulled him into the office and asked him why he was doing that. The teacher rose his hands in a shakespearean fashion and said “Nay… NAY!”..mocking the melodramatic implication of the word.

But I digress. Eat, Pray, Love has many simple reminders for us to hold onto throughout our lunch hour, our workday, our weekend, our lives. So, if you will indulge me, I’ll just post one passage.. Controlling our thoughts. If we feed the negative lion, it will become stronger. But if we deny it, and try to let in only elevating positive thoughts, we become stronger. But at the end of the day, it really is our choice and we must hold ourselves accountable.
“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under my jurisdiction. There are certain lottery tickets I can buy, thereby increasing my odds of finding contentment. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, who I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I eat and read and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life — whether I will see them as curses or opportunities (and on the occasions when I can’t rise to the most optimistic viewpoint, because I’m feeling too damn sorry for myself, I can choose to keep trying to change my outlook.) I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts…..

…You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, with your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your warships of thoughts — all these will be turned away. Likewise, any pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimps and seditious stowaways — you may not come here anymore, either. Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be screened carefully, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquillity. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind — otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward the sea from whence you came.”

A reproduction of my early, nay, my current work.

Brilliant idea.

It’s moments like these I accept my role in society. The oohing & aahing of little things in life, appreciating the quirkiness of people, and eating cookie dough before it hits the oven. That role. But please, don’t allow me to follow through on ideas that start with “This is brilliant!” or if you’re able to read my thoughts — “Everyone will think I’m brilliant!” 

I was wandering the dollar store at my mom-in-law’s suggestion. Over Thanksgiving she mentioned that she bought her hot-chocolate there and after my third cup into which I dumped 2 (two!) packets of chocolate, I swore that would be one of my first pit-stops back in town. I grabbed the box (okay, boxES. jeez.) and milled around the bath salt aisle. Can’t beat a good rose-scented bath salt. Anyway, it was in this aisle that I spotted my genius plan. 

There were literally hundreds of these Magic Towels (“Place in warm water and watch it grow!”) packets. I quickly ruled out stocking stuffers, realizing that not everyone has my same level of excitement over random items. But then I started thinking of our trip in January. R and I are always trying to figure out how to pack lighter. Our goal is to bring one carry-on each. Well, isn’t this [aren’t I] brilliant? We will pack our magical towels and nurture them to life at the end destination.

And who can resist growing odd materials from water? I drove my arms into the basket like I was searching for the Double Dare flag and bundled as many as I could, went home and then immediately tested one. 

So I put it in the tub and although it resembled a moldy rice cake, I still was optimistic. 

It was only after it completely unfolded that I saw the mistake. Who will be the person to sew 10 of these 12-inch towels together so that I can run from the shared shower outside our hut while awkwardly making conversation with the other guests as I mentally analyze which part of my body is less than 12 inches wide so that I can do as much damage control as possible? Whew, I’m out of breath. But, no really… did I walk by the aisle with the Magic Towel Seamstress “Place woman in warm water and watch her grow, but please do not prick your hand on the needle”? 
Whatever we’ll do, the one thing I do know is… some family members are going to get some prett-y awesome stocking stuffers.