31 May 2018

Sitting here watching the Cavaliers in the finals and feel the need to document my mom’s love of LeBron James for her grandkids to remember. Motherly love. Crazy stage mom love. “He got them to the finals but he can’t DO IT ALL” in a hysterical, they’re putting too much pressure on my boy text today. It makes us laugh. All because of the documentary made about his childhood and, after watching it, it does make you appreciate his heart.

Anyway, it’s what makes her interesting I guess.

My neighbors gave me two tiny orphaned kittens she found on the street bc apparently I’m the neighborhood cat lady. The vet whispered (because Ruth and Annie were next to me) that there’s still a 50/50 shot for survival. He also said don’t get the vax shots unless we’re keeping them and when I said we were going to just foster for a few weeks, he looked at the girls then back at me and said Uh huh, I’ll be seeing you for the shots.

They’ve already been named Ginger and Petunia. I really don’t know how my life got to this.

Weekend Recap

We had a whirlwind weekend, with family visiting, reunions to attend, and alma maters losing. I was worn out come Sunday night. But it really doesn’t take much to wear me out anymore. Just getting the mail is cause for a 2 hour nap. And don’t get me started about using the letter opener. Whew!

I did manage to squeeze in a game of scrabble with the parents, though. The weather was beautiful, so we opened up the windows and sipped on coffee. It felt like springtime and after years of denying it, I’ve finally admitted to myself that I am a Spring lover. More energy, more spunk, more liveliness. Can’t get enough.

I think they rigged the letters so that I’d come out with S N O B. Maybe I should quit teasing them about seeing my life flash before my eyes when they forget this or can’t remember that. Naw, I’ve convinced myself it keeps them young. They probably didn’t slip in O B O E, though, because they knew I’d subject them to a rendition of one of my favorite movie lines in Amadeus: And then high above, an oboe…  or something like that, I can’t remember.  Go rent it, now.

But don’t watch it with me, I’m warning ya.

I’m the mob boss of movies-that-i’ve-already-seen watching. If you so much as glance at the popcorn bowl and not look at the screen, you best be ready for the array of verbal bullets shot at you. Are you watching? Why aren’t you watching? You’re not watching. You need to see this part for the next part! Fine, hurry and take a sip of your coke, but your eyes better be glued to the screen, so help me.

I’m not proud of it, but can literally not stop myself. My mom likes to remind me of the time when we all watched Inception over Christmas last year. No one understood what was going on, but were afraid to turn to look at me and ask any questions for fear of my wrath. Then, when the movie was over, they did turn around to say something to me and saw I had left the room at some point during the film to go to bed. So the whole movie was them spending inordinate amounts of energy sitting still, facing the screen, and not uttering a sound.


Let’s see… what else did we do. Oh, I know.

We stared at Ruthie’s Chubby McChubberson’s legs.

She knew I was putting her on display for this photo. Lucky for her a circus performer hasn’t travelled through asking for her to join, because I think I could make some big bucks off of those rolls.

Come right up and see the newest attraction ~ The Thigh-Baby! This baby is literally turning into a thigh, folks… Watch the rolls take over her body in front of your very eyes! 

Dolla Dolla Bills, yo.

Alrighty, what else. We did a two-stop extravaganza to watch KSU lose to UofA in the Cotton Bowl. Sigh. We do love our Wildcats. First, we popped into R’s brother’s place “Uncle Favorite”, as he calls himself, and listened to Ruth scream bloody murder for 45 minutes. She must have already seen this football game and was mad that I had gone to the bathroom in the middle of it. Just like her mama, I’m so proud.

We quickly bundled her up, stuck a pacifier in her mouth, and drove to my brother’s house. Remember the weather? Yeah, it was taken advantage of as we sat around a fire watching the game outside. I ran into the backyard and stopped short because, I don’t know if M noticed or not, but there was a homeless person that sat down to warm himself. That guy on the right, see him? I guess he wasn’t hungry, just needed a place to watch the game, so I went back inside.

But he followed me! I was about to run to the car for one of the Blessing Bags when I realized it was just my dad… in about every random piece of winter clothing he could find. I must get my style sense from him. Thanks, man.

All in all, a good solid weekend.

We did one more thing over the weekend that excited to talk about… a reunion of blossoming friendships. And blossoming babies. Too fun.

Oh, Stanley!

A few weeks ago, my friend turned a year older. We were on our way to visit R’s parents and stopped through on the way.

Oh my goodness.

Also, Oh Stanley!

That’s what I said every other second for the night we were there.

This is Stanley.

He’s sad.

I love sad dogs.

One time my sister and I went to Petsmart and we found Freckles. He was sad. I still regret not buying him.

Look at those eyes. I know what he’s thinking.

“Why is life so hard. What is my purpose. Who is this person shoving their face into mine. I want to jump out that window over there.”

The next day we woke up and treated S to a round of golf.

But first I had to give her a bday gift.

Our library gives some books away free. And no I don’t mean I just walked out with it. It really was free.

And this was one! Perfect for S.

This book along with a pink plastic flamingo for their housewarming gift has led me to believe that I’m probably the world’s best gift giver.

It ended up being a nice sunny (littly chilly) morning. We only played nine holes before heading off to lunch.

And I actually enjoyed myself. I think it took not playing for a year and a half to come back a little more laid back. That being said, I can’t wait for more rounds.

I wish Stanley would come along.

Range of Emotions

Okay, before we get started, I want to make sure you keep your eyes on R the whole time. Otherwise, you’ll go stir crazy. Our local library has a little corner in which they sell used books, so our bookshelves have kind of exploded and we’ve yet to organize. Also, there’s a little wire behind our computer that I cannot seem to keep tucked into our 50’s style roadside find.

(psssst, that is one of my favorite styles in furniture).

Anyway, that darn wire haunts me. It’s like the little spider in the Bernstein Bears books.

So now that you are focused on R, I have to mention how much I like watching games with him. When he gets excited he does this little karate kick, double punch thing while yelling our alma mater’s name. I wasn’t fast enough to catch it, but it happens.

Last night we played KU. And we lost. The game gave me an ulcer.

R’s emotions ranged from jubilation to hopefulness to disbelief to annoyance.

Let’s watch.

Sad night.

Pouting with a firm grip.

On our way home from the cafe/bar, we listened to the disheartening KSU loss against Nebraska. It takes about 25 minutes to get home, and I spent 24 of those minutes looking at R’s pouty face in silence.

But I must say, look at that firm grip on the wheel. From a girl who vacillates between a very formal ten & two position to using barely a hangnail to steer, I was impressed by his steadfastness.

Maturing…at least physically.

Something is in the air.

R and I went to a wedding Saturday night and I actually threw on a skirt and heels, something I feel I haven’t done in a while. And normally, I feel insta-sexy with this particular shoes-skirt combo. I do up my eyes, throw on some clear lip gloss and be bop my way to the car. But last night, I felt almost… needy. And asked R repeatedly if he thought I looked good.

He assured me that yes I did, while also throwing in a few “for a 50 yr-old” cracks at which I laughed, but also quietly noted that there’s always truth in jokes.

When the usher asked me which side and I replied “Bride”, he escorted us to row after row of giggly just-graduated-from-college friends of E. Glossy hair, manicured fingernails, shaved legs – you know.. above and beyond. What show-offs.

This was the first time that I’ve felt… older. Not old. But just older. The fact that I’d resolved to let my hair grow out naturally, gray roots and all, did not help. When you see the pictures, you’ll say, “Oh Carrie, you aren’t graying!”. But I assure you, that is purely positioning of the head. Right now it is only about an inch out, leaving it mountain snow cap. I am going pre-maturely gray.

This has resulted in mixed reactions. A girl at work almost begged me to dye my hair back while R said he thought it was cool I was embracing my natural self.

And I believed I had come to terms with it as well.

…Until I was literally surrounded by those girls…flicking their beautiful silky mahogany hair about (almost no blondes at the wedding, which I figured was the cosmos laughing at me).

Can you believe I was grieving over this tiny aspect? But there you have it. The first baby step in watching my body mature. I always tell myself, in nervous situations, to really stop and feel that moment. Because it’s probably the most raw and pure emotion you can feel, never lessening.

Hopefully in 20 years, I’ll have become used to the changing of myself. Because I sure am uncomfortable now. Everyone was at some point.

For that reason, I was really looking forward to a glass of white at the reception to calm me down. When R went up to order it, the bartender whispered very slowly, “We…cannot..serve…alcohol..tonight.” A dry reception. Oh you cosmos!

Afterwards, we went down to our favorite place on Dickson St: a coffee bar/bar. There’s something comfortably appealing about a coffee shop that also serves wine.

We managed to catch the last half of the KSU game and while watching, decided to order an appetizer. I was waffling between Queso and Lox.

But there was still an air of self-doubt lingering from the reception, so I asked R to take an “unposed” photo. Which is really a posed photo of me trying to act like I didn’t know he was taking it. Nevermind, it gets complicated.

The wine-stained upper lip, the yellow teeth – fine. But what the heck is that???

I zoomed in.

Uh hell no.

We’re ordering salads, dear.

And tomorrow we’re going to the gym. I’m taking control of my self-image, starting…. right after Thanksgiving.

Look, a girl’s gotta have her pumpkin pie first.

Same Smile

Continuing on from the last post… let’s visit a photo taken during my 14th year of life. Different year, same smile.

Oh, the love one feels at that tender age. Or it might’ve been just emotional residue from all of the Harlequin romance novels I was gobbling up that summer.

My mom and friend, V, headed to a conference at our local church where, ahem, HE was speaking. The infamous HE. HE ruled my universe and basketball highlights. sigh, oh.. HE.

Anyway, afterwards, HE sat down to write autographs for everyone. So I stood (im)patiently in line, ready to deliver the one-liner that would bring HIM down to HIS knees and propose.

But as I shuffled my way to the front of the line, and before I could get a word out edgewise, my mom decided to take matters in her own hands.

“Oh Jared! Why don’t you stand up with Carolyn and pretend you’re going to prom together!”

I. was. mortified.

(and happy)

She managed to break the awkward stare I leveled at HIM as HE waited for me to speak and create a joking atmosphere. Making fun of the fact that I really was pretending we were at prom, made it seem like I wasn’t in fact thinking that very thing. She was always cooler than me, that mom.

But then. Then! Years later in college…. I had been dragging around this darn photo for 7 years, pulling it out from under my bed when someone felt down in the dumps and needed to compare themselves to a lowlier being.

But one day, I noticed a path had been made through the 5 tons of dirty laundry on my bedroom floor. Who had been in here? What would they have possibly wanted?

Later that evening, in walks one of my roommates. A, who was dating someone on the college team that HE started to help manage. She hopped down the stairs and casually handed the photo over.

HE had signed it! And he even wrote my name on it!

Two thoughts ran through my mind:
1) I love you, A.
2) Did she mention that I look different than that 14 yr old in the photo? That I grew into my nose? That I got a cuter hair cut? That I… That I….

And right back into a 14 year old, I turned… With that same huge goofy grin.

Roadkill, Not I.

Did I mention that R and I are training for an adventure race coming up in a few weeks? It’s called the Urban Adventure Race and it includes 6-8 miles of trail trekking as well as up to 20 miles of mountain biking. And please don’t forget the “rope elements” and “mystery tasks”. Apparently one of us has to know how to navigate by compass alone as well.

Oh yes, I’ll be bringing my camera, even though it was not listed on the the 3000 mandatory things you have to carry. Because this is going to be ugly. Real ugly.
One thing not on the list? A defibrillator. I’ll be bringing one of those too.

So, yeah, we’ve been training since… well, since yesterday.

Did you hear me? It’s coming up in three weeks and we’ve been sitting around watching Netflix movies and eating Fritos up until last night.

I’m scared.

So I bought a reflector vest to wear as we hit the pavement.

Hopefully people will see me on the road. Do you think they will?

Krumping & Humping

In between forcing the in-laws to watch my new favorite dance style (Krumping), thanks to Russell Ferguson and So You Think You Can Dance…
Popping into the local library for a good half hour of reading…

Going out to eat, playing a game of scrabble, and watching the movie “The Scarlet Pimpernel”…..

Watching Shady hump my husband’s leg….

Hearing the crackle of a fire being stoked…

And confronting “the other woman” during a football game…

All in all, a thumbs up.

March Madness Kick-Off

My sister L and her family came up to kick off March Madness. It’s about a four hour hike from where they live and because Mizzou was playing on Friday afternoon, I left my key under the mat so they could come in as they please. Little did they know, they’d have to watch the game on a 19″ computer screen (thank you CBS.com!) Papa J said that he placed his son W in front of the screen and then made W yell out what was going on. Apparently the screen was not big enough.

When we arrived home after work, it took zero minutes for J & R to make a beer run and then set up a mini ESPN-Zone. Three computers going, with different games on at once.

While this was taking place, we set up a TV that J brought and introduced our nieces and nephew to an oldie but goodie. Super Mario Bros 3. That’s right. Old school.
The next day, we took the little trio to a local state park (Devil’s Den State Park). We zig-zagged down the side of an Ozark mountain to reach the park, which gave us ample opportunities to find purple and white trees. At one point, we looked out the window and the side of the mountain went straight down. E politely asked R to not tumble the car down. She had read my mind apparently, but asked it in a much sweeter voice than I would. A park ranger was hosting a “Sensory Game”. Afterwards, there was a supposed to be a guided hike to the caves, but the weather had taken a turn for the worse and was sooooo cold. None of the kids complained though. I think I did though.
During the game, R paired up with W and I joined E. It involved sticking your hands into various pillow cases to feel items and listening to animal sounds. You had to guess what each thing/sound was. Oh yeah, you also had to smell something too. This was #8. I handed it over to E to guess what it was (vanilla essence). She looked me dead in the eye and said, “It’s permanent marker”. I laughed pretty hard and of course had to tell everyone around me.
Here’s me getting a kick out of E. She’s seriously witty. It’s scary. There’s W in the background sticking his hand into a pillowcase. They got almost everyone right (nerds alert!). E & I were the comedy relief.
Afterwards, we huddled up and ate a quick lunch outside. Watched K chase a duck around and made a pit stop at the waterfall to take family pictures. I forced them to sign a contract in blood stating they would come back when the weather was nicer and camp out with us. This park is so neat.

On the way home, we kidnapped W into our car and spent the ride back picking out chocolate morsels from the trail mix while gazing out the window. Well, some of us ate the trail mix. E konked out….
So W ate her share.
We divided the evening up between watching basketball and watching cookies bake.
The next morning, K and I were trying to enjoy our daily cup o’ joe, when we heard a dance party going on inside.

I think E won. All in all, a very fun weekend. Even though the weather was cold, the guys got a game of golf in and the girls (and W) watched Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Adventure. Neither L nor I had seen that movie in the longest time and laughed so hard during it. Too good!

Don’t forget about our camping trip guys. I will use force to bring you back down!

Golf & Gangsters. Perfect Pairing.

Raise your hand if you didn’t try and spend all weekend outdoors. It was beautiful.

Friday evening, we finally made it over to our friends S. & L.’s house. I think it’s been over a month since they’ve made the transition into home ownership, but as what always occurs* in the summer, time slipped by too rapidly. We came as wise men with our gifts.. one of which will be revealed in a later post as I’m starting to notice a trend in my gift-giving abilities [or inabilities].

We set up a play date for the following day at our local par-3 course. I recently finished my first round of lessons with an 80+ teacher named Buddy, who liked to yell “I wanna see your hips MOVE, Carrie!!” I never knew golf was so much like salsa…and why was I all of a sudden wearing a dress and heels? Anyway, this particular day was pivotal for me. On my first few outings, I was acutely aware of who was standing where and whether their eyes were on me as I swung. It used to especially unnerve me if it was another group hanging out (impatiently) behind us, tapping their feet and sighing really loudly as they waited for us to finish. This time, though, I could care less…and that definitely helped produce an overall extremely [mediocre] game. That made me happy. Anything higher than ‘gawd-awful’ is a win. Another slice of joy came in between the front and back nine when we took a quick break. I found cheap shoes! …and they make my feet look like a clown, which I also appreciate. Afterwards, we went to a mexican restaurant where the waiter had to literally chide us into saving room for our entree. So what if we just ate 8 bowls of chips & queso? Carolyn just played a mediocre game and it’s time to celebrate!

This afternoon, I went to the downtown library and listened to a speaker. He discussed the Kansas City mafia during the ’30s & ’40s and showed movie clips he filmed on the subject as well. Talk about penne pasta. Anyway, I’ve never actually been to this particular library before and cannot believe I’ve neglected this little nugget. I enjoyed everything from the art deco chandeliers to the parking garage’s bookcase facade.

Also, it’s always interesting to see/hear people’s reactions,well, to just about everything. When they opened the floor up to Q&A, a gentleman asked for the microphone and launched into his life history in Kansas City. He grew up in the Little Italy area and felt it was his duty to take personal offense to the subject on behalf of the mob’s offspring (with whom he went to school) as well as Italians (more specifically Sicilians) in general. The speaker then had to backtrack and explain to the audience that more often than not, mob bosses wanted their children not to enter in the same line of business. They made the money and sent their kids to the best schools so they could become doctors, lawyers, etc. So, despite his (the speaker’s) respect for the culture & history, the fact still remains that this corruption occurred** and he’s really only relaying documented happenings.

I wish someone would stand up for me and my jester-like feet.

*Every time I use this word, occurs, it reminds me of the awkward position it held in the ‘Last of the Mohicans’ dialogue. “No matter what occurs…I will find you.” Would a man who grew up in an Indian tribe in the middle of a forest really say that word? Discuss.

**There it is again.