math lesson

When he says how much did you spend

and you say it was like $300

and he sees the receipt

and it was $378

he thinks you should have said like $400

I say it's just a difference in rounding


free assocation with 2010

Started the year off after a grand tour of the Grand Canyon, Arizona, the Hoover Dam, Las Vegas and most importantly - In-N-Out Burger. Spent New Year's Day in Sedona with the best Mexican food I've ever eaten. No pithy New Year's Resolutions for us! We made decadal goals! We'd rather set ourselves up for failure on a much larger scale! The Pastor had a sabbatical. We went to Cancun. We ate a cup of guacamole per day. We went to England. We went to Wales. We went to Scotland. We went to France. We ate bread and cheese. After all the travel and bread and cheese, I promised myself I would come home, get the kids and the Pastor back in school and sit on the couch. We went to Washington, D.C. We went to Tulsa, OK. The Pastor went to D.C. by himself. The Pastor went to Cali by himself. I went to D.C. by myself. The Pastor went to Costa Rica by himself. The Pastor went to Chicago by himself. Now maybe you are beginning to see why there are not more endearing blog posts about the Pastor - he hasn't been around to entertain me! We went to Vegas. Again. We went to In-N-Out Burger. Again. We went to Seminole, OK. We went to New Braunfels, TX. We went to the oldest bakery in Texas. We went to Southeastern, OK. We went to San Antonio. I finally got to go to the River Walk. We determined Five Guys Burgers is not better than In-N-Out Burger. We went to South Padre. We went to North Padre. We went to Mustang Island. We camped on the beach. We went to Galveston. We paid a ton of money to Uncle Sam. The Pastor finally got to be my prom date and we rode in a pink limo. We made it to our 5th anniversary. We moved. Again. Nate graduated Middle School and started High School. Yet I haven't aged a day. I survived his first girlfriend. Every Monday night we had "Taco Night." It was really tacos til the Which Wich opened, then it was "Taco Night" at the Which Wich, but that's ok, because sandwiches and tacos are practically the same thing. We ate a whole bunch of Mexican food. I lost weight. I gained weight. I lost weight. And so on and so forth. I saw the Sleeping Beauty Ballet. I built Barbie's Mermaid Palace - a dream house in the sand for Barbie. I watched the Sleeping Beauty DVD. The Pastor was busy with stuff like Peace, Praying the Devil Back to Hell, Carl Wilkens fellowshipping, Eupan and meeting with Senators. I became a crockpot fool. Even had me some dueling crockpots. The Pastor and I became the couple who asked should we have a baby, or wouldn't it just be easier to try to find some way to acquire Boo the Dog? You can see how that worked out for us. Really the only way we added to our family was Antoine Dodson. We sing the Bed Intruder song. Every. Single. Day. I went to Yoga. I got mani pedis. I went to Cafe Nero. I went to Starbucks. I fed the homeless. I had high tea. I made my coffee at home. I gave up caffeine. I took a writing class. I started a book. I took a pottery class. I taught myself how to make tamales. I walked on the treadmill. I walked on the treadmill. I walked on the treadmill. I drove an awful lot. I may have gone shopping, but I'll never tell the Pastor. He seems to continue to live under the delusion that 2010 was the year I wore what I had.

2011? Who knows. I am getting a shake weight and my Mac Nicki Minaj lipstick is on it's way. Maybe I'll blog on this thing some more, instead of my secret blogs you people can't find : ) People, if you are counting on me to entertain you, then you need to make your own resolutions. Or come over and watch me do the shake weight. Happy New Year.


Just nod if you can hear me.

Don't you think this blogging once a month thing is working out well?


No. Don't. Stop.


I've been invaded by a pod person. She's a lot like Martha Stewart.

My Christmas tree is up. And decorated. And there are wrapped presents.

The crockpot has been running non stop for days. I'm not just cooking things - but making things to freeze in the deep freeze. Did I mention I made a special trip to the store to get special freezer containers? Then I cleaned out and defrosted and organized the deep freeze.

I have meal plans! I baked cinnamon sugar pinwheels! I started hanging pictures on the wall. I'm not just cooking and cleaning. It's so much worse than that. I'm a full-fledged organizing maniac.

Whoever has taken over my body has not only found the time to do all of this, but she's also managing to blog! I hate her.

Has the Pastor been piping some sort of hypnosis recordings into the bedroom after I power down like a robot? He's always claiming he's listening to his I-pod after I fall asleep, but perhaps he's plugging it into my ear and secretly brainwashing me.

I need to be rescued. I need to do something seriously non productive.

At least I know a piece of me is still in there. After all, my Halloween decorations are still out. And when I took those cinnamon sugar pinwheels out of the oven, I forgot about how pans that have been in your 400 degree oven tend to be hot and there's these little things called potholders.



playing pretend

Today is going to be a better day.

That was the last thing I told myself before I fell asleep last night. As soon as I woke up and realized I hadn't died in my sleep I knew I was off to a good start.

I dropped the kid (errrr, man) off at school and went to The Park. The Park that I have been going to since I was young enough that my Mom was the one taking me there. The Park where I learned to swim and played on the jungle gym and most importantly, swung.

With my just rolled out of bed cotton candy hair I pretended that I looked more like a little girl than a scary middle aged woman in her exercise clothes. I put in my ear buds attached to my first generation I-Pod shuffle, yep, old school. No display. Just a wonderful surprise with each song as I crunched through the leaves. Nevermind how old school some of those songs are.

I walked and sipped my Caramel Macchiato. I pretended it was a better drink than all of the 10 cent kool-aid I drank in this park. I pretended like I could run really fast, if I wanted to, and I don't have a twinge in my ankle and a pinch in my neck which means I probably need to go to the chiropractor. I made an effort and smiled and said good morning to the other park walkers. Maybe they are lonely and could use a friendly greeting. Maybe they, too, are trying really hard to have a better day. I even said good morning to the lady who had on a Christmas sweater. She definitely needed a better day, but her Christmas sweater just made it easier for me to pretend it's fall.

I pretended it really was fall. I pretended that it was the cold that was making the leaves crispy and brown, and not because it's been so hot that they are probably just sun-scorched. It made me happy the morning was cold enough that I could zip up my hoody, even though by the end of my walk I was quite toasty. I left it zipped though. I didn't want to stop pretending.

I stopped off at the swings. I always stop off at the swings. I swing until the velocity makes me remember that I'm a grown up and my body doesn't like to swing as much as my mind does.

Then I walked to my car. Worry starts to cloud The Park for me. What if my purse was stolen out of my car while I walked? What if I have to get a new driver's license made? I really like my picture, and while my cotton candy hair is just fine for playing in the park, I don't want to memorialize it. I'm trying to find an excuse for today today to not be good. The purse is still there. I'm awake and alive and walked at The Park and had my coffee. It's going to be a good day.

Maybe I'll pretend I have something to say and write a little bit too.

That's good.


solitary confinement

I went 39 years of my life without knowing how to play Solitaire.

Why did someone feel the need to teach me this game?

I won the first time I played. That was the only time I've won.




I'm right in the middle of hedonism. Gluttony. All-you-can-eat and drink. All-the-guacamole-and-chips-you-can-eat. The all-inclusive resort.

Apparently, this includes insults too.

I went to the spa, and the guy doing my facial explained to me how the facial I was signed up for was for much younger skin. Wouldn't I prefer this other facial that was more appropriate for mature skin? Skin over thirty?

Thanks. I guess he didn't want a tip. If I had wanted to make myself feel bad, I wouldn't have gone inside the spa. I would have stayed outside, with all the bikini bodies.

The good news? When I leave here, I may never want guacamole and tortilla chips again. I'm finally full.



baggage claim

I have traveled a lot with the Pastor. I have packed a lot of bags. I'm really, really good at it. Every time I pack, I think of an old "8 is Enough" episode where one of the girls is in a beauty pageant and her talent is packing a suitcase.

That could be my talent.

If anyone deserves a nice suitcase, it is me.

Most of the time, I use my backpack, which is a perfectly nice piece of luggage. There's just one flaw - you shove everything in and you can't see it. You want one thing, and you have to pull out everything.

So I mentioned to the Pastor it would be nice to have a suitcase. Then I could open it and see all my clothes and pull out the one thing I want!

Nowhere in this mentioning did I say anything about Goodwill.

Then I got a phone call:
Him: I got you a present.
Me, wise after five years: Do you really want to get my hopes up like that?

It's the thought that counts, right?

I pull into the driveway and there it is. At least it's red. I like red. N8 was with me. I said to N8 "do you think if I hit it with my car I can roll it down the driveway, or will it crumple under my car?"

It's the thought that counts, right?

It didn't do either. It kind of rolled off to the side. Lame.

Then we went into the house where the Pastor began to excitedly show me the special features of this $3 suitcase. To start with, "Where's the Lysol? I need to spray this down!"

This pully thing doesn't work, but it's a perfectly good suitcase!

This outside pocket zipper is broken, just don't put anything in this compartment, and it's a perfectly good suitcase!

Maybe to stuff a body in, I'm thinking.

Needless to say, the Pastor's sweet gesture just ticks me off in the days leading up to a trip when I'm packing and cleaning. Now I feel like I have to deal with taking a junky suitcase to a dumpster. (Body, optional. I can get kind of cranky when I'm showcasing my talent.) Also, it made me feel like, even though I have this perfectly good - although somewhat inconvenient - backpack that I needed to all of a sudden go suitcase shopping. I didn't buy anything though, I couldn't decide.

Note to Pastor: $3 junkaroo suitcases are perfectly fine. For you. They make wonderful presents. For you.

Off to pack some more. This time I'll be wearing my evening gown and practicing my arm gestures while I do it. I won't get the new suitcase, but maybe someday I'll get the crown.


say cheese!

I admit it. Some days, I hate everyone in my family.

OK, some weeks.

OK, some months.

I'm sure, deep down, they don't mean to irritate me. They don't mean to touch my stuff, insult my cooking (or lack thereof) or taste in fashion. They don't mean to track stuff on my clean floor. They don't mean to change the radio station six times in ten seconds. I'm sure they don't mean to have all the good computers while I try to type a blog entry on a prehistoric iBook with a keyboard that skips around. I'm sure they are completely innocent.

But they still annoy me.

This doesn't just cost me emotionally, it robs me monetarily too. I actually had to buy a new camera today, just like the camera I bought last year. (Calm down, Pastor. It was $80). Oh how I remember last year. I was so excited. My very own camera. It was even pink. It was my birthday/mother's day present.

Then the Pastor used it and I haven't seen it since.

When I bought my camera today, the clerk asked me if I wanted the 2 year warranty. Yes, I said, only if it protects my camera from being stolen by my husband or touched by anyone I live with.

I live with, at times, four other individuals. One fully grown, and three others who are grown enough that if they lived in any other country they would be working 80 hour weeks in a sweatshop.

How can they be so needy and so not self-sufficient? Did I do this to them? How come they only like my chocolate bars and my camera and my computer?

Sometimes I think about new, unannoying babies or well-trained puppies. I'm sure some people would think if you can't stand your family, why would you make it bigger? How would a mini yorkie or maltipoo help?

Maybe if I was focused on something else and wasn't at everyones beck-and-call they would remember their own lunch money or where to find any given item in a cabinet. Maybe I would have time to take pictures.

Or, maybe, just maybe - I'd have another set of eyes to look into who would totally understand that every other person in this house is annoying. Another set of eyes, and absolutely no ability to change a radio station.


I am just full of information this week. And fat.

1. If you start your bikini/beach diet in October for your June trip, you will lose the weight.

2. In that same eight month time period, you will also be able to gain it back. Back and front actually.

3. But when you think about it, who really needs the perfect bikini body, when you can purchase the perfect sarong. (Thank you, Ann Taylor Loft.)

4. Why not get some harmful uv action at this point? If I was really concerned about my health, I would have stopped going to Mexican restaurants. Tan, brown-ish fat always looks better than white fat. Think about it - this is why you cook pork and chicken. That, and the deadly diseases and gross-ness.

5. Frankly, I blame all the leggings and maxi-dresses. I knew I should have stayed away from the leggings! How are you supposed to know when to stop shoving food into your pie-hole when none of your clothes are constricting? Stupid stretchy fabrics! You may be forgiving, but I am not. Thanks for nothing.

Oh well. You live and learn. Or maybe you don't. I was at least smart enough to have that really smart, techie kid who is good with the photo editing. Note to self: increase his allowance before trip.


Shop til you drop! Sadly, I've been dropped.

I made a terrible, awful, horrible mistake.

I let my husband see all of my shoes in the same place, at the same time. He's in bed now, with the lights out and a cool cloth over his face, muttering something like "my eyes! my eyes!"

You think I would know better than this. Stupid moving to a different house! Stupid tempting large cabinets with the stupid shelves to put shoes on! How could I have been so stupid?

Please, I implore you, learn from my mistake.

Since I won't be shopping for a very loooooooooong time and am basically grounded to my room to blog, I will offer you everything I know that you need to know about how to shop and get away with it. Yes, I am paying it forward.

Robyn's helpful tips, in no particular order:

1. Leave bags in trunk. Duh! Keep decoy items in trunk (dead body?) to cover bags. Bags go directly from trunk to closet. This bag-to-closet-transfer is akin to moving the President of the United States from one secret bunker to another.

2. Dispose of all plastic tags and price tags. Get over it Environment! These are things we cannot and will not ever recycle. Only God knows what could have been built with all the plastic tag thingys (what are those called anyway?) that have been removed from the clothes I have purchased in my lifetime.

3. Tear receipts into teeny, tiny pieces. Trust no one, not even the shredder.

4. Practice convincingly saying "No, I've had this for a long time. In fact, I think I got it when I was in high school." Then not only will your man think your parents paid for it, but also that you are as thin as you were in high school.

4a. Rule of thumb - any article of clothing/purse/shoes should be treated just like you would a new car - once you drive a new car off the lot it depreciates instantly and is no longer considered new. This is the same for mall shopping. Once you walk out of that mall? It is no longer new, therefore you can always truthfully answer "no" when asked if something is new. I have been married to the Pastor for over five years now, and yet have managed to not wear anything new during that time (And the man has a Ph.D.? Who's the smart one here?). Pretty amazing, huh?

5. Cash is great because it doesn't leave a trail but nothing will rat you out faster than some kid you are forced to take shopping with you. Schools are not so helpful by teaching kids about things like math and money. Decimal confusion works here. If you spend $90.00 say isn't it great that mommy bought all of that for $9.00? Granted this may be harmful to them in the future, but this is shopping survivalism. If you have one of those smart kids, you will probably have to resort to bribery.

6. Stores do not make it easy on us with their helpful size stickers. I know, I know - sometimes it's a real struggle just to hastily remove the price tags when you are getting dressed in the morning, but don't be sloppy - give yourself a final once-over in the mirror and make sure you have removed that tiny, circular XS/S/M/L/XL sticker too.

7. Multiple shopping bags only confuse men. If possible, don't even let the store give you a bag. That's what those large purses are for. As far as I am concerned, caring for the environment was the best thing that ever happened - those reusable shopping bags were not created by tree huggers, they were created by desperate women who love to shop. Shopping bags send a message to the world that says "I care" and conditions your man. He won't know if you are bringing home cans of green beans to donate to the poor or a new outfit.

7a. Keep some cans of green beans in your reusable shopping bags.

8. Sometimes you should buy stuff you don't want just so you can make a big deal about how you don't need it, you care about the budget, blah blah blah and make a huge production of returning it in front of your husband.

9. Save this one for when you need to buy something really fabulous/expensive. Sometimes you have to buy something extra when you've been shopping. That's really why places like Victoria's Secret and Frederick's of Hollywood exist. Men are easily distracted and nothing throws them off quite like buying crotchless panties or stockings.

10. Consider changing your religious preferences. The Amish with their modest dress, Indian women wearing sarees, Muslim women and their burqas - you and I both know these ladies are wearing whatever they want under those cover ups and their husbands? None the wiser. Once they get to lunch with their girlfriends? The wraps come off and the great outfits come out.

11. I especially love it when I can find those racks of clothes that are 70% off, then 30% off, then take an extra 10% off. 70 + 30 + 10 = 110. Whatever I bought must have been free and therefore doesn't count as shopping!

There. I've taken one for the team. Go forth, little shopping Jedis. Oh, one more little tidbit. If you get caught, if you get desperate, just say you didn't buy it for yourself - you bought it for me and send it my way (in plain, unmarked wrapping). In the meantime, don't worry about me and my shopping-free existence. With all this extra time at home I'm bound to find some new secret hiding places.



everything you need to know about our relationship




Pastor - I'm recycling your video card.

Happy Anniversary. Living with you makes every day just as happy as the day you found 13 pairs of pants at Goodwill.


cookie monster

So I was reading a blog.

It belongs to a mommy who started planning months in advance for her toddler's birthday party.

I felt all smug. Who needs months and months to plan for a toddler party? I have thrown together some fantastic soirees in much shorter time.

Then I realized I was guilty of spending months and months and months getting ready for a little girl's party.

My own.

As far back as January when I was at the Mexican market, I saw this fantastic princess cake for a Quinceanera. I made a mental note that I wanted that cake for my birthday (seriously don't try to go get it - it's approximately the size of a Volkswagen Bug).

I've thought about my need for candy necklaces and bracelets, but this may not have as much to do with my birthday as my secret plan of having strings of sugar around my neck and wrists to get the Pastor to nibble on me.

I've dropped some not-so-subtle hints that maybe it was time for Mom to finish recuperating from her knee replacement surgery and get busy making me some oatmeal cookies.

I've thought about my pre-birthday diet - the key word being thought - how I want to look amazing for my special day. Or, more likely, how I want to make sure I have plenty of room to gorge on cake and Mexican food.

I apologize to you, random blogger. And I offer you this warning: be careful of how elaborate you make her parties now. You may create a monster.



Today I was just a typical mommy - running errands. While I was in the bank filling out my deposit slip, my darling angel ran around the lobby, through the maze you have to go through to get to a teller window, and went through all the suckers until he found a red one. He took a few licks off a sucker and then started to search for a place to stick the sticky mess, with a helpful teller shadowing him to make sure it ended up in the garbage. After the bank, it was to home where I made us lunch and he went down for his afternoon nap!

Only this wasn't a toddler, it was my husband.

The P is on sabbatical. I'm not really sure what that word means, but I think it might be Latin or something for "annoy your wife."

I am literally wolfing down an entire Godiva chocolate bar as I write this. Stressed much? He's always been like a tasmanian devil the way he tornadoes through the house and leaves piles here and piles there. Now it's even worse. There are books everywhere, and trust me they are books no one wants to read.

And he's so helpful.

Maybe a little too helpful. It was nice to have his company on this beautiful errand running day, but he feels the need to (when he hasn't lost all patience and turned into an unruly toddler at the bank) give me helpful hints on how I can be much more efficient on everything I do. In fact, he was just standing over my shoulder as I write this giving my helpful hints on this post. He didn't want me to include the part on orange juice (below). He said that doesn't mean he didn't say it, but for some reason he thought the post was better without that tidbit.

Maybe I need to stick a how-to-listen-to-your-wife book in one of these piles or perhaps download one to his Kindle. Hmmmm.

Anyway, while I have spent the last five years trying to find as many ways as I can to make things take as long as possible (there's a lot of hours in the day) he thinks I should be faster and more efficient, so I'll have more time to do what, I'm not sure.

Then there's the issue of the household budget.

The P's got these elaborate schemes to fly here and there. While I appreciate the lovely trips, I also like the idea of having luxurious items in my fridge, like I don't know, orange juice. Yes, not only am I a very bad girl for my daily Starbucks, I'm also completely decadent for having luxurious oj in the fridge. I will admit I like the fancy kind where someone has taken care of getting rid of all the pulp for me. I don't like pulp.

On the plus side, I never thought I'd be so happy to go to the gym. My safe place. My girl's only gym where I can go "work out" for hours.

I may seem a teeny bit cranky. I'm not, it's just that I didn't have my coffee - and juice - this morning.


I hate you Skype.

Videochatting with the out of town Pastor.

Could he see me when I had the Sephora candy colored eyes? No. (N8 said it looked like my eye makeup had been done by a preschooler with a box of crayons, but I don't care. I know it looked good.)

Could he see me when I had on my false eyelashes? No.

My big earrings? My big bumped up hair? No. No.

But when I just woke up? Of course. Let's just say I'm not a natural beauty.

I remember before Mrs. Jetson videochatted she could spray her makeup and hair on instantly.

Where's that technology?



The Pastor proposed to me in March.

We got married three weeks later.

I attributed this whirlwind courtship to the things my fantastical romantic imagination usually comes up with: love, passion, romance, unmitigated desire and spring fever.

Five years later, I have removed the rose colored glasses. I had to in order to work with all the receipts, numbers and spreadsheets.

Now I know it wasn't any of the things I thought. It was tax season.

I have been saving receipts, organizing receipts, filing receipts and entering numbers into spreadsheets all year. And people? Let's just say Math Barbie wasn't my favorite doll. Each year the Pastor is - very sneakily - growing more and more removed from the entire process. All he had to do this year was sit with me for an hour and read some data so I could finalize everything.

It was at that meeting that I had to make a choice. I was conflicted - should I put up with my whining, petulant husband ("I don't wannnnnnnnnnnnnna look at the receipts!" I'm sleepy!") or start making up stuff, commit tax fraud, and go to prison.

It was a tough call, but don't worry, I did the right thing.

The Pastor owes me big time now. My fantastical imagination is at it again - wondering what he is going to buy me for all this hard work.

That'll be one receipt that mysteriously disappears.


remember the Sabbath and keep it skinny

Today I was once again reminded how my weekly weigh in and weight loss meeting is more of a religious experience for me than actually going to church.

There is definitely prayer. No one prays harder than a woman on a scale.

There's confession and contrition as I review the journal of every morsel of food I've put in my mouth over the past week. And the food I conveniently forgot to write down. And the food I was too horrified to write down.

There's a bible. It's confusing too - with numbers and calories and fat grams and points and exchanges.

There's a sermon about what I'm supposed to do, or not do.

I feel moved to be a better person. A thinner, healthier person. A person who doesn't hate exercise. The kind of person who will go forth and eat Mexican food no more. (This usually lasts about two hours.)

There's an offering. What - you thought you could lose weight for free? Then you must be a guy and probably don't even care about the number on the scale.

What's even worse is I'm better behaved. I must be more afraid of getting fat than I am of ticking off Jesus, because I do not play with my cell phone, doodle, whisper or watch Sex and the City in my head. I concentrate. And unlike church where I dress to the nines, I never care about how I look. I even wear the same outfit every single Tuesday ever since I determined it weighed less than anything else I own. Yes, there was valuable time involved where I could have fed the poor or ministered to the homeless, but instead I weighed all my clothes.

One more similarity - just as soon as it's over, I'm headed to Starbucks.

There's always next week.


Lent Vent

Dang that Pastor. The longer I am around him, the more stuff he teaches me, and even worse - he makes me think. Shhhhhh! Don't tell him!

You know what that amounts to? One un-funny blog.

I typically (try to) give up something for (most of) Lent. I'm usually pretty successful at denying myself one of my petty indulgences.

I've given up nail polish and cursing and shopping and cupcakes in the past. How sad is it, that a person would consume so many cupcakes, something that used to be reserved for elementary school birthday parties, that it would actually be sacrificial to not eat them?

This year, I decided to tackle Lent on a week by week basis. The first week I gave up sugar.

Wow. Turns out I have a lot of sugar. If you think that as a result of my Lenten sacrifice that I lost a bunch of weight, well you would be wrong. Because as I was going through sugar detox, did I pray and reflect and contemplate? No, I ate a bunch of other junk instead. Tortilla chips anyone?

What did I learn? I need to have a lot less sugar in my diet. I need to cut it out, a little at a time - not cold turkey.

What a stupid thing to learn during Lent.

Moving on. Week two, I decided to turn off the t.v. A quick historical background. The first couple of years we were married, we didn't have cable. Then we got cable. Then we got the dvr. Then we became the biggest tv whores on the planet and never looked back.

The Pastor was busy a couple of nights and left me home alone with the kiddos. I didn't turn the tv on, and you know what? Not one of them asked to watch a thing. We all hung out in the living room. Doing our own things. It was quiet. And no one needs to panic! All that stuff we didn't watch, waited for us on the dvr. People got voted off American Idol, someone on 16 and Pregnant realized their boyfriend wasn't going to change, and our lives were not severely impacted.

How lame is it to think that I - someone who's biggest accomplishment for the month of February was not wearing the same thing twice - could really give up anything in a sacrificing way? Would it really mater in my life if I gave up coffee or tortilla chips? Baristas, waitresses, waiters and salespeople know me. I have probably have 90 pairs of underpants, a dozen tubes of mascara, dozens of lipsticks and a dozen coach bags. My life is superficial and meaningless and unimportant - even if I do look nice while I'm doing it.

I can remember the things that I gave up in the past, all the cupcakes and the shoes I did without, the things that I denied myself, but I cannot remember a single solitary thing I did for another human being. I can't remember a single thing that I learned or said or did that actually mattered.

As I move forward with the rest of Lent, I don't plan to give anything else up - I am giving of myself. I hope that I will write a part two and tell about that. More importantly, I just hope that I do it, and remember it in Lents to come.


nice guys finish last?

The Pastor has been doing many nice things lately. He said to me the other day, "I better be getting some good press on this out in blog-land."

Oopsie. Poor Pastor. I guess when he is well-behaved, there's not much in the way of writing material, huh?

He did get me the Hope Diamond (genuine refrigerator magnet).

He did upgrade my big diamond ring. So now we are on BDR 2.0

He did get the transmission in my little red Honda fixed so I don't have to drive a van anymore.

He did take me to a lovely bed & breakfast.

He did get me an appropriate present on Valentine's Day. No candy, flowers or card, but this is progress for a man who would rather celebrate holy-days than holidays. His words, not mine, from his sermon this past Sunday. The Valentine's Day sermon entitled "Can't buy me love." I knew I was in trouble when I heard that.

Stupid Beatles. I was always more of a fan of Madonna's "Material Girl."


white madness

signs that you have been snowed in way too long

1. You mastered the art of making tamales.

2. You cleaned your house.

3. You keep going to check to see if there's enough clothes to wash another load, but all the laundry has been done.

4. You washed your sheets.

5. You contemplated baking, but thank goodness, you are out of vanilla.

6. You started reading a book.

7. You cleaned out your spices. That's how you figured out you were out of vanilla.

8. You watched everything on your DVR, including "The Pregnancy Pact." You are contemplating recording other movies on Lifetime.

9. You are high score #1 - 10 on every single one of your Wii games. You have invented new Wii games, for instance only hitting the shoes or the panda heads in soccer. You are playing the Wii games just so you can spend time with other people, like Timmy the Trainer.

A few more days, and I may even get desperate enough to do my taxes.


It was very easy/anyone could see/that the Prince was charming/the only one for me.

Me, asking for something which I think is perfectly reasonable yet the Pastor thinks is completely ridiculous: "I’m going to tell you something else I want, then the thing I’m asking for won’t seem so ridiculous to you."

Pastor: "Oh yeah? What’s that?"

Me: "When I die, I want one of those glass coffins, like in Snow White."

Pastor, laughing hysterically: "Are you serious? You really want everyone seeing your shriveled up dead body?"

Me: "No, I just like the idea of it. Besides, the dwarfs found her beautiful even in death and kept a constant vigil at her side."

Pastor: "Someone is under the spell of the Disney magic!"


OK, it is possible that I have watched Snow White one too many times, but what does it say about me now that instead of wanting to be a Princess or find Prince Charming, the thing I'll settle for is a glass coffin?


how much is that doggie in the intersection?

what the kids said -

Hey Mom! The Pastor tried to get a little dog for you! He chased after it three times to try to catch it for you but the dog was too fast. Even though the dog had three inch legs, it was faster than the Pastor.

what I thought -

Oh that is sweet! It would be nice to have a little dog! A friend! Something to love me unconditionally! Something that will never grow up and get a girlfriend! Something that will never, ever leave me!

what the Pastor said -

We saw a dog in the street and I chased it out of traffic. It was going to cause an accident.

what I said -



hormone therapy

The Pastor was telling me about some Mystics who believed in the afterlife a person's punishment and reward was to re-live their entire life. All the joys and all the hurts, with all the knowledge, yet powerless to make any changes.

Those Mystics may have been on to something. I believe we have something just like this, and we don't have to wait for the ever-after. It's called RAISING A TEENAGER.

I now get to live through what I no doubt put my parent's through.

I may be powerless to make any changes, but at least I can pick up the phone, call my parents and apologize to them for ever having liked a boy. And my behavior from ages 12 - 18. Or was it from ages 12 - 34?

Sorry Mom and Dad.


waxing poetic

Once upon a time, there was a 15 year old girl we’ll call Robyn. She was in Driver’s Ed class with a 15 year old boy named Greg. He had a crush on her, and she had a crush on him. They flirted.

Then, one day, Greg said something about a few errant hairs Robyn hadn't ever noticed.

There was no happily ever after to this Hairy Tale. That’s when the tweezing began.

I’m exhausted. I’ve been tweezing for 23 years. That’s longer than I’ve been driving. Longer than I went to school. Longer than all of my marriages combined. Even longer than how long I have been on a diet, and that’s a long time. The only things I’ve been doing longer than tweezing are menstruating – another fun thing – and breathing.

It’s something I dread every single day. I wonder where I will have a stray hair today?!

Do you have any idea how many tweezers I have bought? I wish I did. Wouldn’t you think one would be enough? First, there are the tweezers that are no good because they just don’t pluck right. Then there are all the tweezers that are perfect, yet someone else in the house uses them to perform plantar wart removal surgery. I mourn the loss for these tweezers, and buy more.

Can you even travel with tweezers anymore? I don’t think so. Me with my unwanted hair is a huge security threat. The Pastor takes me somewhere, things start to grow, I get to buy a new pair which gets donated to some hotel maid or T.S.A. agent.

No doubt when I am dead and gone and Nate is cleaning out my stuff he will find tweezers everywhere. All the tweezers – the good ones – I’ve hid so well to avoid their use on stinky feet or clogged drains – that I even hid them from myself. Car tweezers.

I think I’ve given up on my eyebrows though. Several months ago I was at the dermatologist with Nate and somehow the subject of eyebrow waxing came up. The doctor turned away from Nate and asked me “Seriously, you don’t wax your eyebrows, do you? You are fair enough you don’t need to do that.”

I took this as gospel. For the past 6 years I have been waxing approximately once per month, at let’s say the rate of $10 each time. That’s $720 I’ve spent just on my stupid eyebrows. And it’s not like anyone cares! It’s not like anyone has ever said “You have really fantastic eyebrows!”

Here’s how it would go. I’d go to an Asian nail place. Let them wax on/wax off. Then I would be left with huge bright red patches of irritated skin for approximately 24 hours. Then my irritated skin would start to break out around my eyebrows. Then about the time it cleared up, I had stubbly brows again and it was back for another torture session.

Of course the techs at those nail places are always laying a huge guilt trip on you. Without even so much as looking at you they spout off “wax your eyebrows today?” Then if you agree it’s never enough. What about your upper lip? What about your chin? No! Please don’t try to up-sale me any more waxing!

All this trouble for the hair that people CAN see. This doesn’t include the bikini waxes and Nair and Veet and shaving and the laser hair “reduction.” Don’t let the med-spas trick you into laser hair removal, because the fine print will tell you at best you will have less, finer hair - but you'll still have hair!

What does all this hair mean? Do I have too much testosterone? Because I’ve got to tell you, most of the time I FEEL LIKE I HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH ESTROGEN. I’ve even gone so far as to wonder if I’m somehow a hermaphrodite.

I will never be impressed by the circus freak bearded lady. Girlfriend let herself go. I’d be more impressed by someone who has managed to find the secret to permanent unwanted hair removal. Then, we’d all live happily ever after.

The end.



I had the most wonderful, delightful New Year’s and New Decade's Day.

I missed my family though. But most of all I missed Mom’s New Year’s snacks – especially the cheeseballs.