Monday, January 31, 2011

I'll be your muse anytime

This absolutely perfect piece of artwork was made for me by my dear friend Jennifer over at Wild and Precious. Don't you love it when your friends know you and get you this much?  I sure do.

Thanks, J.O.  I love it.  And I'm thinking of turning it into a button for my blog because it's awesome and would work well.  What say you?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

"This one time at band camp..."

I spent the bulk of Saturday with Miss Proper. She was in need of new shoes, and, of course, I am never opposed to shoe shopping. I took her to Zumiez because she is currently in a skater girl phase (although she has no skateboard). Strangely, she couldn't find anything there. I even told her they did not have to be on sale.  She still couldn't find anything.  Which made me question if she is really my child.  Full price shoes and you can't find anything?  That never happens to me. 

Miss Proper's style has been evolving a little now that she is in middle school, so it was fun to see the different pieces of clothing she was drawn to and those that repelled her. Yellow and black Fox shirt with glitter = cute.  Rock Revival jeans with a very small amount of bling on the pockets = a no go.  I told her I thought I should buy a shirt we saw at Cavender's that said "Hotter than a $2 Pistol." She told me that I am embarassing and that she can't take me anywhere. Hmph!

A few stores later, she finally decided on black Converse.  And as much as I want to glam and bling her up, I know they are her.  At least this current incarnation of her.  So, we buy them AND a darling pair of metallic flats that she can wear to church.  Which means we were both happy. 

Oh, and I did get one little pair for me, too.  Pewter with buckles.  Now, I just have to buy the right dress to wear them with...

And Miss Proper rejoiced that the clothing and shoe shopping was finally over (two hours and she's done? What?  I was just getting started...).   There were other errands to be completed, so I acquiesed.   

During our outing, I broke one of the rules I live by:

NEVER go to Costco on the weekend. 

And usually, I would leave saying, "Why, oh why, did I do that to myself?" like I did two weeks ago. Because it's completely unnecessary for a SAHM to enter that insanity. However, Mr. Incredible is a little under the weather and needed allergy medicine and some Coke Zero to wash it down. I only buy allergy meds at Sam's or Costco; they cost twice as much at The Krogert.  If you have to take the "D" version, you will pay for your yearly membership in about six boxes. And since Mr. Incredible and I both have these terrible allergies when stuff is blooming or molding or pollenating, we need about 4 boxes a month. So, I pay for memberships at both clubs because the savings on the "D" more than pays for both of them (C.K. is shaking her head and tsking this as she reads). There is also that  make-you-feel-like-a-criminal-hand-over-your-license aspect of needing the "D" products. And, you can't legally buy 4 boxes at the same place in the same month, hence the "need" for both memberships. Pretty embarassing when you ask for your fix with swollen, watery eyes and hand over your license only to be told that you are cut off for the month, ya junkie.  Thanks a lot cookers...  You had to get greedy and buy the entire pseudoephedrine inventory of Walgreens entirely ruining it for the rest of us.   

So, we went to Costco, got the drugs, the Coke Zero, some chips, some asparagus, and a couple of other things not on the list (C.K. cringing.).  Then, we got in line to wait for 3 years.  And a little churro lady was going up and down the lines asking if we would like what equalled about a third of one of their churros because Costco knew we might starve to death before we got to the register and then it would be a little awkward for their hands to be so deep in our wallets.  And it turned out that I actually know the little churro lady!  She was the mother of Miss Proper's second grade "boyfriend."  We had a nice little chat, which made the three years pass significantly faster.  I enjoyed seeing her.  She has moved away from our little hamlet and her children now go to other schools.  And because I got to see this sweet woman, I didn't berate myself for breaking a cardinal rule.   

Then, Miss Proper and I caught a quick lunch and talked about the standards: music and boys.  You know, she had the initial middle school note exchange with a boy, so she is feeling pretty mature now.  And there has been some make-up wearing and primping going on, so I have to follow up on that and see where things are getting.  Basically, they are getting nowhere.  And, because she is who she is, she is fine with that.  I, on the other hand, might like to kick the little guy in the butt though because he either likes her or he doesn't.  It's really not that hard.  On to the music scene... I have trained this child right.  I found out that Miss Proper's current favorite song is "Buddy Holly" by Weezer, and we sang a few bars of it together.  She even downloaded the lyrics.  Then, she asked me who Buddy Holly and Mary Tyler Moore are, which was a conversation of its own.    I also learned that she has purchased a few more B-52 songs beyond the ones I loaded for her.  Miss Proper knows that Shakira is not real music, and she digs The Beatles like the mama. 

But, here's where the band camp reference came into play.

We passed the billboard that has all the grown-ups talking.  If you live in my community, you know the one I'm talking about.  The one near the interstate and 407 with the cucumber on it that says, "Stop vegetable abuse!"  Well, it's a good thing that I had prepped myself for this little conversation.  Because Miss Proper asked, "Mama, how can you abuse vegetables?"  And you know I braced myself.  Because even though I was able to have the menstruation, puberty, and basic sex talk with her and even other girls at the requests of their mothers, I am not yet prepared to explain what some people might choose to use flutes and cucumbers for.  I did have an answer though.  I breezily told her, "Letting vegetables rot in the refrigerator is a terrible abuse.  You must store them properly and eat them before they go bad."  And because she is eleven, she bought it.  I stopped sweating and turned the Thompson Twins up a little louder...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What do you mean? How can you be out of Affliction shirts?

Mr. Incredible and I were out shopping for a new shirt and tie for his last little jaunt when we saw these little beauties, which caused us to:

1) laugh hysterically
2) draw a little too much unwanted attention to ourselves

Pretty much an average day... 

  Vinegar and water times two...

Not the right jacket for your interview... or anything

Pretty hilarious because we both ran straight to these items and said, "This is just what you (I) need."  I just couldn't stomach taking a picture of the jeans with the gold panthers on the back pockets, but believe me, they were something.   There was also that male sales associate who was giving me the evil eye. I think he may have the aforementioned items hanging in his closet....  I scampered on over to the shoe department. 

Made me wonder about the person who will actually buy these.  I've been tired of the Ed Hardy deal since.... well, since it was first introduced.  Why don't they just make a shirt that says Massengill? 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Surprise, Surprise: Part Deux

I know, I know... It was cruel and unusual of me to leave you hanging for a month and then leave you hanging in the middle of one of my incredibly long-winded tales.  Forgive me?

Okay!  I love you, too.

So, my "real" birthday came and went with fanfare and surprises, and then, I moved on.  There was Christmas shopping and wrapping to finish.  I needed to prepare for our New Year's Eve party (this is our "thing"--drop by next New Year's--we will be open around 9:00). 

Mr. Incredible had not followed the list line by line, but he had managed to come up with a wonderfully intimate day for me.  And then, he was sure to tell me how well he knows me and that he doesn't need a list from me to make me happy.  Touche'!  Mr. Incredible: 41,284.  Reckless: 37.  Not that I'm counting or anything.  At least I can admit when I am wrong....

I was a little slow sending out the usual New Year's Evite.  Mr. Incredible told me he would let me focus on Christmas wrapping and menus and cleaning for the parental Christmas company, and he would be a dear and send out the Evite for me.

I thought this was inspired.

He told me he sent the Evite, and, periodically, I would ask,

Did you remember to invite so-and-so?

Yes, Dear.

Is so-and-so coming?

Yes, Dear.

Can you add so-and-so?

Yes, Dear.

Etc., etc., etc...

All I had to do was clean the house, prepare the food, and wait to enjoy a good, long evening with about 40 of our friends.

Mr. Incredible is a great help around our home, but he was unusually helpful in the time period between my birthday and New Year's Eve.  For "some reason" he decided to paint the hideous chandelier black after years of nagging asking. 

Notice the Newly Improved Chandelier.  Better after.  Can't find a before right now. 
 He decided it would be an excellent time to clean the carpets (which were admittedly disgusting).  He painted a lamp, a metal entry table, and a mirror.  He touched up paint.  Wait a minute.  He actually touched up paint and baseboards!

We bought a new tv (another story, another day) and a new entertainment console to put it on (don't you just love Costco?).  He rearranged the family room furniture (which looks so much better).  He hung a few pictures.  He smiled when I bought some new branches and flowers for the vase on the fireplace, which he might usually grunt at.  HE CLEANED HIS OFFICE.  Are you hearing this?  It was like I had entered The Twilight Zone.  There was nary a paper to be seen.  I did push his buttons just a tiny, wee bit when I asked him if the cardboard box on top of his armoire could be placed elsewhere.  And, I took the hint and backed off. The box stayed.  It's probably still there, but I don't care anymore.

When friends called or I ran into them, they told me they would see me on New Year's Eve and asked what they could bring.  I would tell them just to bring themselves like I usually do and that we looked forward to having them in our home.  I went shopping at Costco, Sam's and the Krogert for the food and champagne. 

New Year's Eve was here!  I readied the food, dressed the tables, readied myself, and right about that time, the doorbell rang.  I was busy putting out the shrimp, so Mr. Incredible grabbed the door.  It was two couples at the same time. Both the girls had on green.  Super Dave had a green shirt on, too.  And Mike had on a weird lime green fishing shirt.  I thought Mike's shirt choice was a little odd because he is normally a Hawaiian shirt kind of guy, but whatever.  I commented on the pretty green sweater Janet was wearing and on the green beads Momma Wolg had on.

The fishing shirt.  Let's keep that on the boat, Mike.
They came in, got drinks, and we all started chatting.  After that, people were arriving quickly.  And there was a good bit of green (Mr. Incredible had asked everyone to wear green because it is my favorite color), but I had not made the connection yet. I was busy getting drinks and taking coats and purses and trying to get around to speak to everyone.  Mr. Incredible took a moment to make me and JMom our matching green apple martinis.  And I took a few minutes to sip on it and chat with her because we don't get to see each other as often as we would like right now.  And I love her. 

Then, Mr. Incredible asked me if I could get the door, which was weird because he was right next to it.  And he wasn't doing anything.  I probably shot him a nasty look because Abby, Melissa, Jennifer, Becky, JMom and I were busy talking (which is the most serious business ever), but I walked over and opened the door.

My initial confused reaction upon seeing my mom and dad


Mr. Incredible had flown my baby sister in from California for my "real"surprise party.

And my parents came up from Houston, too!
My sister left her five children and husband on New Year's Eve and flew from California to be there for my party!!!!  And, of course, I started crying and couldn't stop.  Presents appeared from nowhere.  Apparently, everyone had stashed them in the front yard as they came in.  I can't believe you all brought presents.  So not required, but thank you.  Before I could catch my breath, Mr. Incredible swooped into the kitchen with "the" cake.  Only he had actually had them customize it for me.  It had been zebra stripes when I pointed it out to RNR. 

Mr. Incredible's speech thanking everyone for keeping the surprise and helping him pull off the party
A sweet birthday serenade
People continued to pop in until a little before midnight.  Forty-five people had wished me "Happy Birthday!" when I quit counting.  And that was before 10.  It was an amazing evening, and what a gift that Mr. Incredible went to such lengths to surprise me and give me the party I wanted.  He has now set the precedent for the rest of the husbands whose wives are turning forty this year.  There was already grumbling about how he is going to make them all look bad.  And that was before the party...
Momma Wolg, you had me at the ring...

My fellow green lover Annette.  I can't believe she did not buy this scarf for herself!  That's a friend!

Janet explaining that she had channeled my inner derby queen and found this "Vixen" martini glass.  There was also some talk about whether the card should have said fabulous or centrigrade.  Mike, I'm with you.  Centigrade.

JMom and I giggling because she gave me alcohol-infused chocolate whipped cream.  Then, she said that Mr. Incredible and I would have to try it out later and let everyone else know if they needed some because we are the real pros.  With my dad about three feet from her.  Blush.
The Birthday Martini glass my mom brought for me and insisted I must use.  Pear with a Champagne floater.  Crisp, floral.
We know you like each other... Get some Creme, pronto.
Ever seen him look this happy before?  Me neither.  It was Squirt in his cup, btw...

You know you are loved when the Popeye shirt comes out of the privacy of one's home and into your birthday party.

Standing behind me as always, Mr. Incredible--the man that made it all happen.  We think this picture looks crazy, but somehow it was the only one we managed to take together all night.  He looks like he's growing out of my shoulder. 
It's hard to shake a parasite. 

The party wound down around 1.  JMom and JPop and Kernsie and Jamie stayed til about 2:30, and I was glad to have them to myself for a bit. 

And my sister!  She got to stay until January 3, so we got to walk, go out to for Mexican, watch The Hangover again, watch a couple of ridiculously bad movies, take the kids to the movies, go out for sushi, go to church, and spend lots of time laughing until she cried and I peed over things like "poop in the pants, shut up, (scream) aaahhh," "girl wieners," and "primeval".  It's the kind of stuff that only sisters can share.  I'm so glad she got to meet so many of my friends (even Pandamom!) and spend a little time in my home.  Her surprise appearance made the whole turning 40 experience completely worth it. 

Finally, as if it was all not enough already, I really do get to go to New York in April!!!!!

I will finally get to have frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity, stroll through Central Park, have a martini at the Peacock Alley Bar, see a show on Broadway, shop until I drop, gaze at amazing artwork, hail a cab, and ride the subway.  Who knows what else I'll get to do there!  What an exciting adventure to look forward to. Yes, I promise there will be pictures; I'm taking a photographer...


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ankle Deep

For those of you who have commented on the number of spills in my home in the past few weeks, add these to the list:

1). Chocolate milk meet the playroom floor. 

2.) Vomit meet the master bedroom carpet.

3.) Hop, Skip, and Go Naked meet the kitchen floor and the family room carpet.

And we just got the carpets cleaned.  Figures.

Surprise, Surprise

Well, you've been waiting patiently for all the birthday details, and I am finally ready to gush spill.  I had to get signed releases for some of these photos.  You know, litigious culture and all.  I think I'm fully legal now.  Plus, it didn't seem right to go on and on before I had written all the thank you notes.  I have three left.  I decided that qualifies enough.  Now, I just have to get some stamps....

On to the 40th birthday extravaganza that you have all been waiting for....    

Mr. Incredible is usually not much of a planner which means I'm the planner in our family.  You can stop laughing at any time.  Ahem...  Now would be an excellent time.

At any rate, a couple of birthdays back, I had the infamous "Braum's Birthday," and Mr. Incredible realized that he was going to have to pick it up a notch for the 40th.  And there was that wee little post challenging encouraging him to get cracking on my party...  Because I wanted a party, and although I can throw a nice shindig when I want to, I didn't want to have to throw my own 40th birthday party.  It seemed slightly desperate.  And I'm really many degrees above "slightly".

So, Mr. Incredible read the post.  He gave me the look.  I gave him a look back.  He gave me another look and shook his head....  He told me I am a piece of work.  You get the picture.

The idea was to give him a gentle prod.  You know, the electric kind with which cattle are aquainted.

Well, my sweet husband got the picture.

And now, you will get the pictures, too.

But, first, you must read the story.  Yes, I am a big meanie teasing you this way.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Life Outside the Reckless Portal

Being the nosy person that I am,  I frequently poke around other blogs to see what's out there.  Some I follow and read every post, others I visit occasionally, and still others I visit once and never repeat.

Two posts I have read in the past month have jarred me enough that I have continued to think about them.  I'm a bit of a processor.  I take a bite and chew and chew and chew.  With both of these posts, I'm still chewing, and my figurative jaw is beginning to ache.  Plus, I'm a bit of a dolt.  It just takes me a good, long while sometimes. 

One of these posts is from a blog I generally read each time he puts up a post.  We went to college together, we went to poetry readings together, and we did group work through many English courses together.  He is an extremely creative man with his mind and his hands.  Not every man can say he has quilted or crocheted a hat, but he can.  At any rate, his post was entitled, "I'm really struggling, and how are you?"  I so appreciate his willingness to share that he is asking himself some pretty serious questions.  Some of his thoughts deeply penetrated my heart, particularly his comment that "God wanted to invade human reality literally then in the Christmas miracle--and still expects to do the same thing with all of us, his children" and his challenge for himself that if God's presence in his life is at times inconvenient or uncomfortable that he should make changes in his life that make it "more consistent with what God needs me to do" rather than run or hide or ask God to change His mind.     

The other blog is one I have visited sporadically over the past few months, but recently, I decided to subscribe because I believe he is wise and genuine.  

I also went to college (different school) with this man.  He lived in the dorm right next to mine, and the way I met him is a GOOD story.  Ready?

Monday, January 17, 2011

There's a Bright Side to Everything

I just had the most huge, delicious steaming cup of coffee in my hands.  And then, I watched in slow motion as I dropped it and fumbled it all the way to the ground.  Of course,  sixteen ounces of coffee and creamer splashed all over my kitchen, and more importantly, my favorite pink Minnie Mouse coffee mug from the land of Mickey hit the tile and is now in many pieces.  The death of a good thing.  Sigh.

I have done a half job cleaning the floor as the whole thing needs a cleaning, and I would not want one clean spot to stand out from the rest of the floor.  There is still coffee in the pot, so I can get another cup.  I have other mugs, even if they have not yet reached the level of greatness assigned to the Minnie mug. 

This was the second time the Minnie mug had been smashed to bits (Miss Proper did it the first time).  Mr. Incredible replaced it for me when he visited Mickey without me last year (a crime I tell you).  He has a trip to Orlando coming up, and he can replace it for me when he goes.  They may even have a Daisy mug (Daisy Duck is my favorite Disney character) instead!

But for now, I've taken over Mr. Incredible's Mickey mug.  When I got it out of the cabinet and started filling it, Mr. Incredible looked at it and me and asked if I could be trusted with it.  My answer was, "I'm not sure."  I wasn't really kidding either.

He still let me use it and gave me a hug, too.  That's what I call love.    

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Soup's On...


Santa Fe Ranch soup apparently has major aerodynamic properties cooked into it.  When RNR knocked the bowl off the shelf right above the drawers and it fell to its death on the floor, soup splashed all the way up to the inside roof of the refrigerator.  I had to clean soup off of the light bulb, the yogurt, the inside of the refrigerator drawers.  It may not look that bad in these pictures, but it took me nearly an hour to clean up this accidental disaster.  And then, I dropped part of the mess again on the way over to the prep sink (where I was going to rinse my rag full of corn and beans--gross).  You don't get to see pictures of that.  Just imagine a mom with the top of her head exploding and soup on her feet and the floor. 

And this was not even the worst part of my Tuesday. I'm so glad we managed to make it to Wednesday.  RNR is better and went back to school.  Bonus is off at a playdate with one of his best buds.  Miss Proper WORE MAKEUP to school FOR THE FIRST TIME.  I have a little book study class tonight for Holy Available.  Mr. Incredible comes home tonight. 

Today, I think will be a good day.  However, when I planned my menu for this week, I had soup on the menu for tonight.  I'm not sure I'm going to take the risk.  It might just be a pizza night...   

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bragging Alert

Who doesn't love an excellent bargain?

I bought a 32 load bottle of Wisk detergent for 25 cents.  Are you completely impressed with my bargainista talent?  I totally am.  Even Mr. Incredible had to admit that 25 cents for detergent rocks (even if it isn't Tide).  Now, be a copycat and wiggle off to Walmart with your $2.00 off Wisk coupon.  I also got five two liters for one dollah at The Krogert.  Check those coupons they print out for you.  Sometimes they are free money. 

This may just be my new hobby.  If I continue saving this much money on groceries, just think of all the shoes I can buy...  And with that comment, I receive the look from Mr. Incredible.  I think I'd better shut it.  Happy saving!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm back. I'm back. "And I'm eating my Cal 70."

 Only you can't buy Cal 70 anymore (that I know of), so it's Voskos Greek yogurt for me.  Honey flavor.  And if you know that reference to Cathy then you are probably at least as old as I am.

Happy New Year, Ladies (and Gentlemen)!  Yeah, boys, I guess I have to fully acknowledge that you are here reading.  I don't really mind that you read over your wife's shoulder.  But she might.  Better ask.  I hate it when someone reads over my shoulder.  Makes me want to bust them in the grill.  Just a little FYI there. 

Yes, I crossed over.  I turned 40 two short weeks ago, and so far so good.  I know I haven't anything to say since then, but, people, I have been speechless.  Yes, I know; you are shocked as I am so rarely speechless.  But, I'm really am still grappling for words and sorting through some emotions.  I'll be able to describe all my birthday surprises to you in a day or two.  With pictures.  And possibly a green Bret Michael's do-rag (Don't ask. You'll laugh if this applies to you.).  Have a little patience.  I hear it is a virtue.

In the meantime, I will tell you that I had a lovely Christmas with my little clan and my parents.  The presents blessings were overflowing.  I ate three and a half lobster tails (they were smallish), asparagus with olives, capers, and tomatoes, a mashed potato casserole, and red velvet cheesecake at Christmas dinner, so I was gastronomically happy.  And now my jeans are tighter than ever.  Ugh. 

2011 is off to a goodish start.  I'm not a resolution girl, but I am working on some changes.  I've started a new Bible study, and I am pondering the labels that can be applied to me.  And which labels I would like to lose.  I'm trying not to cry during the discussion of this book.  Mainly because it's with the Executive Pastor (say that out of the side of your mouth with your teeth clenched together because it's unbelievably funny).  And he just doesn't know me very well.  Not like the guys in my Sunday morning Bible study.  They know I cry at the drop of a hat.  They are also fairly used to me saying inappropriate things about the correlation between ketchup consumption and prostate gland health.  Executive Pastor not so much.

Mr. Incredible and I have also been tackling some housekeeping items.  For instance, he painted the hideous chandelier black after my many requests.  And he has admitted that I was right about it all along.  I think his favorite part is that it only cost him about $24 (and maybe 2-3 hours).  I don't think he would tell me I was right if it cost $300...  :)  It looks AMAZINGLY better.  You should come see.  But, call first because Bonus has been in the powder room again, and it is not quite guest-ready.

Birthday bash update soon.  Pinkie swear.