Monday, April 27, 2015

Girl Attacked by Great White in Family Pool

    I didn’t read to my kids tonight.

There. I said it.  

  All three of my kids were at school all day today and I was frolicking around the house sort of doing laundry while totally watching X-files.  I didn’t have anyone asking me to open a cheese stick or trying to PUT IT ON THE CAT.  I didn’t wear pants for three hours and I certainly didn’t vacuum, sweep, or mop the floor as is written on my Monday list. 
That list can suck-it, by the way. 
I drank a cup of coffee.  Hot.  I asked the dogs hard-hitting questions and demanded real answers.  I took a shower, shaved, put on lotion and tried to braid my hair.  I didn't put any pressure on myself to waste the day doing housework when there was a stack of perfectly good books next to my bed waiting to be finished or started.  It was a glorious waste of an afternoon alone, I say.  And when I picked-up the kids I was refreshed and ready to be supermom.  

  When were driving home,  I looked at my hands on the steering wheel and noticed my engagement ring had this blackish/greenish/funky/dried snot looking stuff under the diamonds. Seven years worth of mystery funk. It looked gross and made me gag and resembled the stuff that came out of the straw of the sippy-bowl Cadence almost used for her cereal the other morning. (Think long booger.) 
So because I would never Google and drive, I asked Cadence to do it. How-to-clean-a-diamond-ring at home.  Soak, scrub, rinse, drop in disposal, repeat. 
  Okay. Some of that was obviously not in the plan, but soon enough that was me.  My hand in the garbage disposal plucking out carrot-tops and lemon peels looking for my ring. 
  Let me stop here and just say that if you can stick your hand down the garbage disposal without screaming to anyone stepping foot into the kitchen OH MY GOD GET OUT OF HERE DONT TOUCH ANYTHING MY HAND WILL GET CHOPPED OFF IF YOU EVEN LOOK AT THAT're not real.  It’s just like swimming in an above ground pool and being terrified a shark will eat you before you can reach the ladder. It can’t happen.  But it will.  And you write the headlines while you’re flailing furiously to the edge:
  I pulled my hand out of sink oubliette  and it’s just gross because who remembers to put “clean the underside of that rubber flappy thing” on their cleaning schedule? If you actually did put it on there, you’re probably also actually doing the chores on the list. Good for you.  My giant claw was wet with black slime and I had no ring to show for it.  Back down the hole just as Annie comes in looking for her “widdlefingwiffdafedderonit”.  So I politely and quietly groan to her, “Mommy’s trying to find something down the stinky sink, so can you please ask someone else to help find the feather thingie right now,” while pushing her away from the counter with my delicately pointed toe just in case she go-go-gadget-arms the disposal switch and I DIE from manglement.  
AHA! Ring. 
  I set it on windowsill above the sink and washed my hands for ten minutes.  Then I rinsed goop of my goopy/notgoopy/goopyagain ring.  AND THEN

   I dropped it down the disposal again while rinsing it because I do dumb shit like that on the regular.  What was this mess even about? Oh, yeah.  I put on two episodes of Peewee’s Playhouse for my kids instead of reading books tonight.  I didn’t win any parenting awards, but my ring is really sparkly now and my hands are sorta red and blotchy.  And clean.  Two accomplishments NOT on my cleaning list- proving how a lackadaisical sort of day can spiral into a dangerous made-for-HGTV movie and then back to lackadaisical again. 

Out from under my rock.

I am Stephanie.  

I have three perfect children who are often dirty, loud, and gassy.  That’s okay.  I’m not asking you to like them. 
I can juggle three balls exactly two times around and hypnotize a chicken.  Not at the same time. 
I can’t whistle with my fingers in my mouth.  Which is a shame because that’s pretty bad-ass. 
My biggest fear is yawning too long while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle thus rendering me temporarily blind at the wrong moment and causing a fatal accident. 
I believe every dog deserves a chance.  Or two or more.  And that every cat can and will attack without warning.  It’s just a matter of time. 
I am a member of the Church of Being a Good Person and I’m a card-carrying supporter of                    Marriage Equality/Human Rights/Gender Equality. I have my own printer
I’ve been known to faint at the sight of my own blood and barf when someone else barfs near me.  I’m gagging right now. 
I don’t eat pigs or turkeys, but I’ll smear a pickle with peanut butter any day. You’re gagging right now.  
Sometimes I wake up and want to look good in a bikini, but then I smell cookies and forget about it. 
I’m a coffee lover, tea liker, eggnog hater.  
I have a hard time saying no when people ask me favors.  My stance on abortion is your body is none of my business. Unless it’s on me. 
My kids are vaccinated and if your kids aren’t, I don’t really care.  
I have lived in Florida my whole life.  
My favorite condiment is hot sauce.  
I’m worried that someone I love will die of cancer. 
I don’t think Obama is a bad president.  I’ve lost ten pounds since February. I rounded up from nine.  
My son has Sensory Integration issues. 
My favorite color is green.   
My mother is sick.  
My father is dead.  
I miss them both. 
I desire to see the Pacific Northwest and go on a honeymoon with my husband.  At the same time is fine.  
I love reading.  
If you’ve borrowed a book from me, I still know you have it.  You can keep it.  I bought a new copy.  My favorite is East of Eden.  Get your own.  
Paul Newman. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

warning! avertissement! advertencia! 警告

   The advertised weight of a weatherproof sleeping bag lined in flannel boasting toasty toes in weather dipping into the thirties (f) is six point five pounds. When the tag of the peed-upon sleeping bag warns you not to put it in a top-loading washing machine, believe something bad is going to happen if you do.  Even if you cut off the strings that are supposed to keep it all rolled up.  Even if you remove that  tag (possibly under penalty of the law) before you cram it down into the washer with the handle of a broom, toss in  a DO NOT EAT soap pod, and slam down the lid like a boss. Something. Bad. Will. Happen.  Perhaps you’ll step in a puddle and go chasing after one of the dogs (probably the littlest one because let’s face it he’s the biggest asshole) with a wet rug in your clutches because last time the rug was wet it was his fault….wait a minute….what’s that banging noise?  
   The estimated weight of a weatherproof sleeping bag lined in flannel boasting toasty toes in weather dipping into the thirties (f) is two hundred forty six mother fucking pounds.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014


If you know me in the personal sense at all, you know my heart bleeds gushes for lost and lonely animals.  My husband knows he is always just on the cusp of living in a zoo and forgives each and every email forward from the local pound or rescue shelter I send his way.  I've transported snails in tupperware, brought turtles inside to weigh on the scale because HOLY HUGE some turtles weigh 13 lbs in my hood, and once spent a whole hour trying to catch a kitten I heard mewing in the garden section of Wal-mart. There have been emergency lizard, frog, and moth rescues.  And we have three dogs, and a cat that all knew some sort of desperation before finding a forever place at our home.  

I can't drive by a stray without my heart racing.  I look at the clock to see if wherever it is I'm headed can just wait a few more minutes.  I've followed dogs home, tempted cats with turkey from under abandoned houses and maybe picked up a puppy shamelessly chucked from a moving pickup truck.  People do these things!  

If I wasn't as skilled at rehoming these wayward souls, my family would certainly be living in aforementioned zoo.  

I took some photos of my last "project".  Her name was briefly LUCKY- since she was found by a bartender-friend in the engine of her car.  After driving two miles to a McDonalds!!!  I suppose Stowaway or Hitcher would have also been appropriate, but at my house (where she ended up since said friend has allergies) we called her OLIVE.

I mean.  I really don't get why black cats are so much harder to find homes for.  Look at that beauty!

In the end.  After only about a week in our master bath (where she hid desperately from the dogs, but loved endlessly on the children) I grew the courage to post a photo of her on Facebook and a teeny-tiny hint that she was possibly "up for adoption".

Just minutes later, a dear old friend's wife messaged me that her son was just enamored with a book about cats and especially the photos of the black ones!  And that they had been really and truly tossing around the idea of adopting a black cat because of the sweet boy's adoration.


And though tears were shed (gallons possibly) by my oldest, dearest heart... sweet Olive was given a new place to roam about where no scary dogs (or cats) would have her hiding behind toilet stumps or under dressers.  I'm so thankful for friends.  And my understanding husband.  And for children I can say are truly learning to care for other people and for animals.  

My big girl knew Olive was only a visitor.  She knew from the start because I told her.  And she was happy in her heart for the friends who took her home and grateful for those days she spent taking care of her.  On the way home from the kitty delivery, she used a box of tissues but then breathed deeply and said, "now we will have room again for another lost one". 

And that's just right. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

about a bar

Because I needed another place to keep these thoughts.  And because, well, it's been ages.  Hasn't it?

I keep telling myself it was just a place. And I know some people are seeing these posts and thinking "what's the big deal?" or "it was just a bar". Well they're wrong. They don't know what they're talking about. It was more than just a place. 64 North Orange Avenue was a hideout. A treehouse for grownups right on the streets of Orlando. But instead of "no girls allowed", it was 21 and up. There wasn't a secret handshake, rather a yellow legal pad of paper by the cash register with members' names and tabs. When you had friends in town (or your mom) you popped in to show the place off. And your guests either got-it or moved on further toward Church street for drinks. But that was okay. You slid into a booth. Close (but not too close) to the RV and found or made your mark on it's cruddy side. You met your best friend there after wandering in during your first summer of college. He was sitting at the bar. He was behind the bar. He was dating the bartender. You met your wife there. Or husband. After taking many (MANY) strips of photos in which you were kissing found a prince. (He was drinking High Life and poring over juke-box selections.) When you lost your job, Henry bought you a drink. And then Preston did. And then I did. When you broke up, She got Eye-Spy and you staked claim on BBQ (lucky dog). The girls behind you on a Saturday night are mad because you didn't get carded and they are searching blindly in their purses for an ID. But it's your place. You can do that. You can sit on a stool, rest your gut up against the bar, turn a lock that doesn't secure a damn thing and look up at a face who knows what you like in your can. And they probably know your last name and who will show up in five minutes to sit next to you. And I can't lie to myself and say that all that is no big deal. It meant so much to me. I was a patron there a few years and then I told Hurst he should give me a job so I could support my habit. He said, "Okay, come in tomorrow at 7." And I'm so grateful I had the balls to show up (hungover). This post is getting on. And faces and names are popping into memory that are making me happy and sad. Last night Ashley and Hurst hoisted up the rope ladder to the coolest fort I've ever known. I'm so thankful to have been a part of it.

not me

                                   (Ashley happens to be a photographer. Not just a bar tender.)

Monday, April 2, 2012

coffee and COCK at the Dust

JG and I took the kids out Saturday for a bit with intentions of hitting a playground, but we were rained out directly after lunch.  Sort of a bummer, but we did get some (always) delicious grub at Stardust lounge and met up with some fun people. We moved just north of Orlando to Sanford about five years ago, so we try to treat ourselves to a day "downtown" now and then for fresh sites and plenty of  food options. 
Stardust is a pretty hip hangout these days with a full liquor bar and vegan- friendly fare.  I first started my relationship with "The Dust" more than ten years ago.  Back when it's claim to fame was a wicked selection of VHS and DVD rentals and a killer cup of coffee.  I traded books from a single shelf of used paperbacks at the front of the shop and drank my first Orangina on a date with a guy I've maybe mentioned here once before
Over the years, the movie rental part of business must have proven less lucrative because the collection I remember browsing has turned into the backdrop to a newer hangout where healthy food and imported beers reign supreme. The one shelf of books has grown into a wall of books for sale or trade and they still sell the shit out of some Orangina. 
It's a cool place. Has been. Will be. 

But I didn't bring up Stardust because I wanted to review it and make you all jealous that you live too far away to frequent such a cool hangout.  I brought it up because while we were enjoying our lunch last weekend (as much as a group of grownups can enjoy a meal with three kids hanging about), Sam decided to mortify me by yelling the word COCK half a dozen times before finishing it up with one very demure          


Lucky for us, the joint was mostly empty tables peppered with some groups of people on laptops and notebooks who were probably in need of a little comic relief.  

Shortly after the scene, he found a tricycle and began his tour of the shop waving at strangers and honking a pretend horn. 

And pointing. 

Let's hope he doesn't break out the eff-bomb while we're at the doctor's office next week. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012