Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Best Game Ever: TV Guide Dominoes

Seriously...if there's nothing on TV and you're looking for something to do? Play the funnest game ever:  TV Guide Dominoes!


Try it, you'll like it! There's only one rule:  the programs you put together have to be on the same screen of the cable guide. No screen hopping! If you want to make it a group activity, you need to keep score. Here are the scoring guidelines:

  • One point if another player LOL's
  • A bonus point if the two programs are adjacent to each other on the guide
  • If someone else comes up with the same combination, they cancel each other out and no one gets a point.

These gems all appeared in one sitting!

Lovemaking Secrets:  Turkey Fried Easy

Totally Wild- Hyenas at War

Uplifting Christmas:  Lil’ Wayne Takeover

Yes, Dear- See Dad Run

That 70’s Show:  700 Club interactive

Humana Medicare:  World’s Best Blender

Soul Sessions:  The A-Team

Lovemaking Secrets:   Shark vs. Dyson- The Real Truth

Uncondemned:  Cooking for Real

White Chicks:  The Forgotten

RuPaul’s Drag Race:  Alone in the Wild

Matlock:  Yummy Mummy

Fix Your Hair:  Richard Simmons is Back!

9 to 5:  Mountains of Blessings

Who Do You Think You Are? Beverly Hills, 90210

Adam Levine for Proactive:  Live Once, Die Twice

Little Nicky:  Disaster Movie (That’s the truth!)

Roseanne:  Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmare

World’s Deadliest- Pot Cops

Will & Grace:  Live Free or Die Hard

Hardcore Pawn:  How I Met Your Mother

Joan & Melissa:  Face Off     *snort!*

Moonshiners:  Great Gifts   
The Iron Petticoat:  The Bra Reinvented

NuWave Cooktop:  Whiten Teeth At Home!

More Sex, Less Stress:  Debt Free Options

So when everybody else slips into a turkey coma and your watch says it's sweatpants-thirty, grab the remote and see what masterpieces you can come up with!  Happy Thanksgiving y'all. We'll be turkin' with the family tomorrow, so there probably won't be an entry. 

Can I ask you a favor? If you're sitting with your loved ones and there's a lull in conversation, why not show them your favorite blog...and then stop by here?

Thanks for your support and for every click over the past 6 weeks or so. If you'd have told me when I started this that it would have over 7,000 hits in less than two months, I'd have called you O.J.. Y'all make me think that maybe I can make it as a writer, and that would be a dream come true. 

Be blessed, y'all. Wishing you a Thanksgiving of safe travels, warm hugs, and full bellies for you and yours.  

And remember, y'all:  Turkin', Not Twerkin'.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Visions of Sugarplums...tonight at 8/7 central

The kids are out of school all week for Thanksgiving, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be watching a butt load of movies this week. I thought I’d put together a few of my favorites. I love everything about Christmas, so as soon as it starts getting chilly outside, I start looking these classics on TV. WARNING:  Some of these aren't your warm, fuzzy Christmas movies with granny!

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Seriously, if you haven't seen this movie, you haven't lived! It's got everything rednecks love about Christmas, but it's set up north so it can relate to anyone. Relatives that show up out of nowhere, explosions, holiday disasters, injuries, and crazy old people...what's not to love?! This is one of those movies that is as funny the 100th time you watch it as it was the first.

Favorite Quote: "Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?"

Four Christmases

This is pretty new classic, but we've watched it I don't know how many times since we watched it. Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) look forward to leaving town each Christmas to avoid spending it with their dysfunctional families, but this year, their trip is cancelled and they can't get around making appearances at their parents' homes. How can a movie not be fantastic when Vince Vaughn's parents are Sissy Spacek and Robert Duvall, and Reese Witherspoon's parents are Jon Voight and Mary Steenburgen? You will laugh your butt off at this one, and you just might find yourself saying "Hmmm...maybe mine isn't that bad!"

Favorite Scene: I honestly can't pick one. From the family playing 'Taboo' around the kitchen table to the white trash in-laws and their spray cheese, the whole movie is hysterically funny!

Mixed Nuts

This classic with Steve Martin and Madeline Kahn celebrates the Christmas season inside the headquarters of a crisis center hotline. From Adam Sandler serenading Rita Wilson with his ukulele to the endless stream of nutcases and whack jobs, this one brings holiday dysFUNction to a whole new level! 

Favorite Line:  "May I put you on hold while I run to my desk?'re not calling from a bridge or holding a weapon, are you?"

Home Alone

I think every American family has seen this one before, and there's a good reason for that. This kid reminds me so much of my own with the stuff he gets into. I'm pretty sure my kids could've given him some pointers, though. The climax of this movie is when the two idiotic criminals (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) break into his house, only to fall victim to this monstrous kid. No matter how many times we see it, we laugh out loud every time.

Favorite Line:  "This house is so full of people it makes me sick. When I grow up and get married, I'm living alone. Did you hear me? I'M LIVING ALONE!"
It's okay, Kevin. We all feel that way at some point during the holidays.


Two words:  Will Ferrell. He plays an over-grown elf from the North Pole that comes to New York in search of his biological father. James Caan plays his grumpy dad that wants no part of his reindeer games. This one's rated PG, so it's a good one for the kids to watch, too. Lots of clean humor, and did I mention it has Will Ferrell in it?

Favorite Quote:  "This place reminds me of Santa's Workshop! Except it smells like mushrooms, and everyone looks like they want to hurt me."

The Polar Express

I admit, I grew up reading the book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg, so it had a spot on my list before I ever saw it. The book had the most beautiful illustrations EVER. While it's not action packed or nonstop jokes, it is one of the most beautiful movies you'll ever see. This one is definitely safe for the kids, and it's one of those that just gives you the warm fuzzies when you watch it. I highly recommend watching this one with a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of warm cookies. 

Favorite Part of the Movie:  The story of the jingle bell. You'll never look at or listen to a jingle bell the same way again.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas- The Original

I've seen the remake with Jim Carrey as the heartless beast of Christmas, and I'm sorry, but it doesn't hold a candle to the original cartoon version with Boris Karloff.  Seeing little Cindy Lou Who holding up that big red Christmas ball just gets me right in the ticker every time.

I'll put it this way:  I love it so much, my daughter went as Cindy Lou Who for Halloween when she was three. (And yes, that IS a yogurt cup in her hair!) I've seen this one on DVD in recent years, but it's just not the same as when it's recorded on VHS with the ice-skating Ronald McDonald commercials. I think we still have that copy at my mom and dad's house!

Frosty the Snowman

This is another classic that just can't be beaten. When Frosty gets locked in that greenhouse, it makes me want to punch somebody in the liver every time. I just love Jimmy Durante in this version, and the animated characters are so stinkin' cute they make you wanna puke. This is probably my very favorite Christmas cartoon of all time. Again, if you can watch it in the original form without touch-ups and digital conversion, I highly recommend it. Great one to watch with the kids!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Another classic, and one of the few Christmas shows on TV that actually tells the Christmas story from the Bible. The simple Christmas carols, the sweet characters, and the infamous Charlie Brown christmas can't be beat! And did I mention that it actually tells the real story of Christmas? Charlie find himself upset over the commercialism of Christmas, so Lucy asks him to help run the kids' Christmas program. This is a must see with the kids. 

Just Friends

I can't believe I almost forgot this one! This has to be one of the funniest movies ever. It's the story of the unpopular guy in high school (Ryan Reynolds) that is best friends with the girl everybody loves (Amy Smart). After graduation, he gets the heck out of dodge, but finds himself back in Jersey for Christmas a decade later sans the fat suit and the afro. The interaction between Reynolds and his younger brother is absolutely hysterical and so reminiscent of real life siblings. Add in an ice hockey mishap, a brawl at the kids Christmas sing-a-long, and the unraveling of a holiday lawn, and you've got a classic that will have you in stitches!

Of course, there are many, many others that need no introduction that I can't wait to see on TV! Do you have any favorites that haven't been mentioned here? It's the holidays, and you know that time's coming when you wanna hide in the closet with a DVD player and a fifth of, um, Kool-Aid.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Embarrassing Your Kids 101

For you parents out there that preach cotton candy farts, emotional fondling, and debating with toddlers, y'all might want to go on over yonder ‘cuz y’all ain’t gonna like this.

My children have taken years off of my life with the stuff that’s come out of their mouths, and I secretly love it. That don’t mean I won’t threaten to kill ‘em, but I do love a good story. But there’s a reason I love it:  it’s called payback.

Just the other night, we’re sitting there watching our nightly crime specials on the ID channel when Emzilla starts bouncing around like a tased hamster. Her daddy has fine-tuned his ability to ignore children, but I’ve yet to master it. I looked at her, and yelled that if she didn’t sit down and zip her lips, I was gonna punch her in the liver.

Oh my Lawd….she’s a monster! How can she talk to them babies like that?!  

Quite easily, actually. I highly recommend it. Did she cower in fear? Did she cry out and beg God for another mother? Nope.

“Aw, Mom, I love it when you punch me in the liv-ah. It’s so sweet!”

You’re welcome, my dear, you’re welcome.

At least once a week, I threaten to shoot my sons in their faces with a bazooka. It’s usually at bedtime when they come downstairs for their 36th drink of water.

“Boy, if you don’t get your butt up them stairs, it’s gonna be me, you and a bazooka, and I already reloaded.”

Do my kids think I’m gonna shoot them? Nope, not for a minute. But they know that when momma talks about her bazooka, they’ve pushed it too far.

I love embarrassing the kids, too. It’s all in fun, and it’s all payback.

Yesterday I was feeling particularly froggy. It was a Thursday morning, which meant the Bubbster had clubs at 8:00. We squeal in the parking lot at 7:58, and I pull up by the sidewalk…and roll the window down.

“No, Momma, no! Please don’t!” 

He may have said no, but he was smiling, so I instantly cranked up “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” on my inner turntable.

“Bye, Bubby, love you! Have a great day.”

“Shmumble mumble. Love you, too, Mom. Please don’t!”

He slams the door and takes off like Roadrunner after a bad chimichanga.

He’d almost made it to the door when I broke out my Mr. T and yelled, “I pity the Bubby!” Hee hee…I used to hate mornings, but I’m growing to love ‘em more and more.

I see his shoulders shaking up and down, so I know we’re all good.

Now it’s Rae-Rae’s turn!

“I like it when you yell stuff at Bubby, Mom.”

Oh, do you, now? Well, give him a toaster and a free calendar ‘cuz we’ve got a volunteer!

“I’m glad to hear that, Rae-Rae. Do you have any requests for today?”

His eyes got at least half as big as mine, and his mouth dropped open.

“No! You did it to Bubby today, so you don’t have to do me.” Now what kind of parent would I be if I showed favoritism like that? A terrible, unfair, unfit parent, that’s what kind.

We turn into Reagan’s school, and of course the line’s moving like Fat Albert through Jell-O.

“Rae-Rae, what costume do you want me to wear today?”

“Huh?” *Pause*“Mom, it’s not that kind of party! You just bring food and we all eat together.”

“Ok, I’ll pick. I’m feeling pretty athletic today, so I’m thinking your football pants, daddy’s old football jersey, my hooker boots, and an Indian warrior princess headdress.” 

As we crawl up to the sidewalk, Reagan’s got his face in his hands, and I’m pretty sure he’s hiding a rosary in there somewhere.

“Bye, baby boy, have a good day. Love you!”

He’s grinning like crazy with his gapped up, I’m-8-and-missing-half-my-teeth smile, and says “Love you, too, Mom. Please don’t!” I roll the window down as he slams the door off its hinges.

I’ve always thought “You Light Up My Life” was a pretty song, and I can’t help it if it expressed my love for my son at that very moment.

He turns around and grins like a drunk monkey at my serenade, and then *meep meep* hightails it like his brother. But what iced the cake was when the door holder smiled at him and said “I like that handsome smile this morning!”

I don’t know about y’all, but that sounds like a request for an encore to me!

Don’t worry, kiddos, there will be many, many encores for y’all…’cuz I love y’all like a fat kid loves cake.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Babies Drool & Big Kids Rule

Nothing will make you want another baby faster than seeing picture of cute, sleeping bundles of joy on Facebook, which brings me to my message of thanks today.

Today, I am thankful for Newton’s law of motion. You know the one…for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? Yep, I’m thankful for that.
But after admiring all of those sleeping, cutie-patootie little babies on Facebook, there comes a time when you get off of Facebook to bask in the ambience of your own children. Insert Mr. Figgy Pants.

It’s easy to say you want another kid when you look at a still, silent photo of Old Blue Eyes’s mini-me. But that idea’s about as valid as Obama’s birth certificate. They don’t sit still, and their first breath of air is a gasp for the run-on sentence that lasts until they’re a teenager.

When reality bites you right in your Irish arse, you pull your hair out...and then you realize they’re so much more fun than babies!

Here are the top 5 reasons big kids are more awesome than babies:

5.  If all of their clothes are smushed under their bed and you make them wear their only clean clothes, which happen to be orange britches and a red and blue plaid shirt, you can shrug it off by saying “I let them pick out their own clothes today.”

4. They’re potty trained. And by potty trained, I mean that they know where the john is, but not necessarily how to hit the bulls eye.
3. When you go on a day trip, you take your family members, a few bottles of water, and you’re off. When we lived in Florida, every trip home had us pricing out retired short buses. The play pen, the stroller, the car seat, the nebulizer, 12 OTC cold medicines, Orajel, 500 diapers, 2 tubs of wipes, the remains of the first family pet, a puke bucket, Kleenex, a pterodactyl, and a therapist on speed dial.

2. I don’t know why this one shocks me, but it still does:  kids are constantly becoming their own person! This is the best, and most infuriating, part of parenting. No matter how much you brainwash them to be just like you, they’re not. They are grown up McNuggets, and that’s awesome.  

1. They’ll teach you how to love…and laugh…and get Sharpie off of genuine ostrich leather. I’ve seen people say that they love their pets like children:  they’re wrong. If they had children, they’d know there is no comparison between a fur baby you pick up at the pound and the wriggling bone bag that has committed unpardonable crimes against anatomy. And you know what? They’re worth every sag, bag and wrinkle.

Yesterday morning, I dropped the kids off at school, and had just gotten back in the house to start my day. 

At 8:27, my phone rings.

Phone calls before 8:30 are never a good thing. Everybody that knows me knows I haven’t had time to fix my coffee by then, so you’d better proceed with caution.


“Hi, Mrs. Cox. This is Lisa at (the pre-school), and we have an emergency.”

An emergency? In 27 minutes?! Wow, she's getting faster!

“Emma just threw up in the classroom.”

Phew. Okay, puking got bumped off of the emergency list when Bubby blew up the patio table and nearly killed us all. An emergency is losing one of my children. An emergency is accidentally rolling their fingers up in the car window. (Still feel bad about that one.) An emergency is the school house being on fire (which you can NOT pin on me because I wasn’t there.) But puking? No….where….near emergency status.

“Did she throw up on herself?”

The lady paused like I’d just asked her what size britches she wears.

“Um, no, she threw up in the floor.”

That wasn’t a crazy question, was it? If she did, I needed to bring her a change of clothes for the ride home. 
If not, I’d be there in a minute.

I went and picked her up, brought her home, and stuck her back in her nightgown. She’s laying on the couch when she takes off like Flo Jo for the bathroom. I couldn’t help but find comfort in the fact that were she still a baby, I’d be swimming in hot cottage cheese right about now. I hate it that she’s sick, but it is SO much easier to deal with once they can walk and talk.

Rae-Rae has always been a fun child, and since he’s turning out just as cracked as I am, we have fun together. At his last parent-teacher conference, the only thing negative his teacher said is that he needed to get organized and clean up the mess that knocked Katrina off the top of the natural disaster chart. I know he’s messy, but I’m not really concerned. He gets it from me.

I thought he was doing better, until she sent a note home that said he owed $15 to the library for a book he lost….in AUGUST. Lo and behold, this week, Jesus Christ descended from heaven and returned this little gem to his possession. Yep…it had been in his desk….since AUGUST.

He sits by a kid named Mohammed, who is (duh) Middle Eastern. They’ve been in the same class since we
moved here last year, and Rae-Rae can’t stand this kid. He looks and sounds like Steve Urkel, so I can’t say as I blame him.

Tuesday, Rae-Rae comes home and says they all cleaned out their desks. He looks at me with shocked expression, and says “Mom, it was like Hoarders, Buried Alive:  Arabic Disaster.”

But that wore off…yesterday morning, when I dropped him off, I waved and said “I love you”, like I always do, to which he mumbles “I love you, too, but I don’t like you.”  SCORE ONE FOR MOM! I must’ve done something right! I apparently channeled my inner Nero by refusing to take him back home to get the notebook that I told him to put in his backpack the night before.

I guess number one on the list should’ve been that they tell you how much you don’t know.

In closing, a deep thought for the day:

If a mother is on a deserted island by herself, is she still wrong about everything?

Be blessed, y’all.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chris Rock Made Me Do It!

I sat here the other night watching a rerun of ‘Full House,’ and I tried to picture our family having some of the heart to heart conversations that took place within their immaculate home. I came to the realization that no matter where we live or how many people live under our roof, we ain’t ever gonna be that kind of family. We’re more like the forbidden love children of Archie Bunker and Roseanne Connor. We might look normal on the surface, but if you stick around for dinner, you're gonna need your waders on.

In our home, once you push through the piles of shoes in the foy-ay and the mountains of laundry on the couch, you’ll find our family. Three redneck dwarf ninjas, one daddy, one momma, and a perverted goldfish named Hoosker-Doos. (Sorry, but he swims over that bubble strip a little too often for my comfort.)

We’re one of those families with fur and dander allergies, so we like to keep the animals outside. We’ve been blessed with a number of transient friends, though:  the identical triplet tree frogs named Freddie, Fredward, and Fredmore; the box turtle named Teddy; and the little rat snake my better half affectionately named “Good God Almighty!” I thought he looked more like a Ralph, but apparently it was meant to be because he’d named him before I ever laid eyes on him.

Then there are the invisible family members.

At some point, after watching the movie Grown Ups, a celebrity moved into our home without our permission. Our 4-year-old-daughter came downstairs one afternoon and said “Momma, I been playin with my fwiend, Chwis Wock.” 

I had to stop and reflect for a minute. I guess this meant that Invisible Bob had moved on, and I felt the need to mourn for him. He’d been the perfect invisible child:  never made a mess, stayed quiet, and never started fights.  

“So, Emma, where did you meet Chris Rock?”

“Momma, he goes to my school. He’s fwom Awabama and he wikes to do stuff with me and my fwiends, and he’s gonna be my best fwiend foh evah!”

Well, ain’t that grand? I’ve got an invisible, 40-something year old man hanging out with my daughter. As soon as he entered our lives, the road got a little bumpy. Nothing major, just the little things she would say.

“Momma, my fwiend Chwis Wock said if Weagan eats to me one more time, he’s gonna chop him up in wittle pieces and put him in a hole.”

In case you don’t know what being “eaten to” is, it’s this annoying thing Rae-Rae does where he looks at her and starts chewing like a hungry zombie that's just run up on Precious . I just love when he does it. Emzilla’s such a calm child anyway. (Forgive me, Father, I’m lyin’ again.) When Rae-Rae eats to her, you’ve got exactly two seconds to get your fingers in your ears before she transforms to Fran Drescher on a helium high.

Chris Rock needs more butt whoopins than Invisible Bob ever dreamed of. He drags her toys out everywhere, projects his burps and farts onto other people, knocks her legs out from under her, and once convinced her it was illegal to brush her teeth on a school night.

“Momma, Chwis Wock said the ‘lees will put me to da jail if I bwush my teef on a school night.” Chris, honey, I love ya, but I'll put your bojangles in the blender if you make bedtime any more difficult than it already is. Now, if you'll behave, you can stay till first grade.

But Chris Rock isn’t our only invisible family member. Now I’m not much of an animal person unless it’s with barbecue sauce or gravy, but there is one dog that has wormed his way into my heart and my house. He, too, is invisible, and we call him Barf.

(Ain't he purty?!)

Barf is off the hook! He pees in the toilet, and is so proud of it, he leaves it there for the next person to see. But I think the poor fella has Irritable Bowel Syndrome going by the smells that come out of him. But unless you've been watching 'The Wall' on repeat, you're probably like me:  amazed that an invisible canine can muster up such colonic catastrophes.

Barf’s been known to drag chips out of the pantry and leave a trail across the kitchen floor. 

He has eaten homework, shoved stuff under the boys’ beds, and even managed to pee on the toilet seats.

 He really is the perfect pet:  doesn't have to be fed and watered, doesn't shed, and has never had an accident on the carpet. 

There’s just something about having Barf around, though…it’s like a homemade quilt on a cold, rainy afternoon.I think it’s because deep down in my heart, I know he bears a strong resemblance to Leroy, crossed eyes and all. Bless his invisible heart.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's Beginning to Look A Lot like Manslaughter...

I’ll admit…I like grocery shopping a little more around the holidays. What’s not to like? Chinese toilet plungers in beautiful autumn colors, pumpkin spice scented toilet paper, the first round of ugly Christmas sweaters, and some of the scariest crap you’ve ever seen in the women’s lingerie department. If you have to consider which walls are load-bearing when you plan your R-rated photo shoot as Mrs. Clause, Steve down at the Quickie Pix is gonna need a cornea transplant come Christmas morning. But at the particular store I shop at *wink wink*, the seasonal drawers hit you in the face as soon as you walk in.

It reminds me of the time the kids and I were shopping for Rae-Rae’s birthday party. We were on about our sixth trip across the store when I remember that we still needed to get some balloons. I should’ve known better, but for time’s sake, we cut through the women’s department. Bubby is walking beside me working on his Li’l Jon impression and, Rae-Rae is following close behind.

By the time I hit the poster stand with Twerkzilla’s platinum-wigged, janked up grill on the end of it, Rae-Rae has disappeared. 

Oh God, not now! Bad things happen when Rae-Rae goes to Wal-Mart!

I whip the buggy around and about fling Bubby halfway to the ‘Now that’s What I Call Mariachi’ CD’s. He flies off the buggy, snatching down 47 Spiderman t-shirts on the way.

“Baby, I’m sorry! Are you okay?”

“Huh-what? Huh-what? I’m o-kaaaaaaaaaay!”

Phew! Crap, forgot about Rae-Rae!

“Reagan? Reagan! REAGAN!!!!”

At that point, I see that devilish smile poke out from behind a rack of R-rated butt floss.

No, God, please no! Not the underwear!

“Hey, look, Mom! Party hats!”

My youngest son has found this turquoise and silver polka dotted bra in a size Volkswagen-DDD, and is wearing it on his head like earmuffs.

“Reagan! Put that back, and get over here!”

“Yes ma’am.” Shlump, shlump, shlump…

“Hey, momma, can we get some balloons?”

Oh, what a marvelous idea…so glad you thought of it, son.

So we finally make it to the party supply section, where I’m looking everywhere for the Darth Vader party plates. Thank goodness they have Darth Vader stuff! I throw a pack of Darth napkins, some light saber plates, and a six-pack of glow in the dark noise makers in the buggy.

“Ok, Reagan, we’ve got candles at home, we’ve got streamers. Do you want to get any party hats?”

Mommy brain….it’ll get you every time.

But it wasn’t this particular trip that ruined shopping for me. Rae-Rae had a long-term relationship with Darth Vader that almost landed me in the nut house.

The Halloween before that birthday, I was grocery shopping with Rae-Rae. It was in October, so we took a stroll through the aisles of Halloween crap up front.

Yeah, that is Spiderman! Oooh, that IS scary. No, it’s not real. Ok, time to check out!

He was sitting in the top area of the buggy, and was about to fall out of from trying to lean around me to see everything. He started pointing at something and yelping “Stah Whas! Stah Whas!” I turned to see what he was looking at, and sure enough, there was a large picture of Darth Vader hanging from the ceiling. I looked up at it, and just happened to glance at the man in line behind us. I wouldn’t have noticed him at all, but he was a dead ringer for Carl, the dad, on Family Matters.  It was eerie how much he looked like him!

 I turned back around, and Rae-Rae started leaning again. This time he was trying to look at the Carl-clone behind us.

“Reagan! Stop staring!”

Looking back on it, I should’ve asked him to roll over and play dead.

He peeked around me one more time, and everything started moving in slow-motion.

I see his mouth open, but I can’t get my hand over his mouth fast enough.

“Hey! You know you black like Dark Vader?”

Oh……..God. I am going to be the first person to EVER be banned from Wal-Mart...AND I'm gonna get a visit from Jesse Jackson.

On a scale of mildly uncomfortable to mortified, I was at my own grave-side service.

But when your kids do something like this, what do you do? Pretend like it didn’t happen? Bust their butt? Say “Actually, he’s more like a chocolate bar than Darth Vader.”

I guess my curiosity got the best of me, ‘cuz before I know it, I’ve turned around to look at the guy. I honestly didn’t know what to do.

“I…uh…he just…uh…Star Wars…uh...sorry?!”

Thank God, this guy had a sense of humor...I think. He quietly chuckled to himself, and I’m just standing there with my mouth hanging open. This laugh either meant ‘oh, kids say the darndest things’ or ‘I’m about to knock this li’l cracker jack into next week.’

“Wow, he’s a little sport, ain’t he?”

“Yes sir, he is. Never a dull moment.”

We finally get checked out and head to the van.

Oh, this just gets better and better. Now I can’t find my keys.

I hear the car next to us chirp as someone unlocks the doors. It’s a big, shiny Lincoln, so I’m doing my best to keep the buggy away from it.

Rae-Rae, still sitting, starts waving like his arms are on fire.

“Hey! Hey!”

Wouldn’t you know it? Dark Vader drove a Lincoln Continental. 

So, if you find yourself wandering through the aisles of Wally World aimlessly, hating every minute of it, I highly recommend trying on the earmuffs in the lingerie department. And if you do, please take a picture so that you can bless everybody's hearts. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

This girl is on fire!

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Firebug. Oooh, that's me! That's me! She liked to play with matches and start fires. And from there, it all went down the crapper...

My great-granddaddy, Papa Duncan, used to keep me and my brother during the summers when Momma was working. I don’t mean to brag, but I could do no wrong in his eyes, and God knows I tested that theory. I was second oldest of the great-grandkids, but he called me “the baby” till the day he died. Papa Duncan’s house was like my magic castle. A castle where I could jump on the beds, drink Co-Colas till my kidneys fell out, watch soap operas and Phil Donahue, and even read old issues of the National Enquirer. I think that's where I feel in love with reading.

Papa Duncan, did you know they found Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich in St. Louis? Papa, do you have a Jesus sandwich? Papa, did they have grilled cheeses in the Bible? Papa, can I skin a ferret? Build a still in your basement? Microwave your shaving cream? Paint smiley faces on your boots? Take your Nova for a spin?”  No matter what I asked to do, he let me.

I once started a fire in his house while making a snack, and do you know what he did? He put it out, opened up the doors and windows, and laughed the hardest I ever saw him laugh. It was an honest mistake, I promise. I wanted to make some cheese straws for all of us to share, and my culinary vocabulary had yet to reach puberty. To me, the logical way to cream ingredients was to fire up the gas burners and throw all the stuff in a frying pan.

 Now I don’t know which ingredient started the fire, but once they ignited, they burned hot and they burned fast. Momma arrived a few minutes later to see her 80-year-old granddaddy stumbling around the house, smoke boiling out the windows, and my brother and I standing there with our jaws on the ground, perplexed by the sheer square footage of the smoke. Momma ran over to Papa like her head was on fire. He's doubled over, consumed by smoke, tremors and....laughter?  I told you my Papa was awesome! He wasn't concerned about smoke damage or anything; he was trying not to piss his pants from laughing.

Next, we sat fire to my Granny’s house. The room with the Nintendo and the pool table? Yeah, we burnt it slap up for New Years. We’d gone out and shot a few fireworks, and they put the kids in charge of picking up the trash, which was mistake number one. They brought us out a big paper grocery bag to put the garbage in, which was mistake number two. Then they went inside to warm up by the fire while the kids braved the elements and, in all actuality, could have contracted hypothermia and died. I bet they would’ve felt bad about that one. That was mistake number three.

But in temperatures that I heard measured 150 below zero and F-5 winds, we loving children did what we were asked to do…and brought a large, paper bag full of not-yet-extinguished corpses into the playroom. It didn’t take as long as I’d thought it would for the whole room to go up in flames.

From the time smoke started pouring under the door till the fire investigators got there couldn’t have lasted longer than a round of Ralph Macchio catching flies with chopsticks. The son-in-laws got to live out their dreams of being firefighters, and the fire was gone by the time our 911 buddies got there. But other than the whole fire damage thing, that New Years wasn’t that memorable.

But the time the flying squirrel, also on fire, came running out of the chimney and through Granny’s house, now that was a memorable occasion. It was freezing outside, and we were over at Granny's house watching TV. She had a fireplace with a huge brick hearth you could sit on to toast your buns. Well, Momma was sitting there getting warmed up when the smell of burning hair perfumed the air. 

We thought Momma’s hair was on fire since she was sitting on the hearth. But when this flaming rodent of doom sailed off the hearth, scalded a trail across the rug, and shot down the hall like a lightning bug on crack, we knew it wasn’t Momma. Granny got all twerked up, Momma screamed, and this poor blazing squirrel was just thanking his lucky stars he wasn’t Catholic for time was a luxury he did not have.

Now my granny was scared of a lot of stuff, and apparently that list of culprits included flammable rodents. But being the steel magnolias they were, she and my mama followed the smell of charred hair back to her bedroom and froze, terrified that they’d either find him or not find him; one was not necessarily worse than the other. 

They finally got a broom and ushered the little guy outside. Once his toasty buns were out of the house, their compassion returned and they tried to find him to take him to the vet, but they never did.  I’m thinking he probably committed squirrelicide in the creek.

We also had a cat catch on fire one time. Being rednecks, we always have a spot to burn trash out back. Since they went up on the fees at the dump, it gets used pretty often. But when we were kids, one of our chores was burning trash. (And they say kids are hard-headed! You’d a thought our parents would’ve learned their lesson by now.) So my brother is out there piling up some boxes and stuff to burn, and he strikes it up.

Princess, our kitten, was about as friendly as a hemorrhoidal cowboy on a cattle drive, like most cats. I just don’t get crazy cat people. You feed them, give them water, give them toys to play with, and a place to live, and what do you get in return? A box full of kitty terds, some noxious fumes, and a dresser full of confetti pants.  Princess was no different. We’d get home from school, and she’d launch herself off the firewood rack like a spider monkey and sink her teeth into the nearest piece of flesh. I hated that cat.

So I’m in the kitchen cooking with Momma when my brother casually strolls in. “Hey, Mom, can I get a cup of water?” She tells him sure, but wants to know what it’s for. “Ah, the cat’s on fire.” Well, isn’t that grand? Would you like to have some milk and cookies while I prepare your extinguisher? There’s no rush. Apparently the little heifer was crawling around the boxes when one of them gave way and fell around her. Her backdoor got a little toasty and her tail looked like a millipede on steroids, but she was fine. She didn’t get anywhere near medium-rare.  

At last, this little girl grew up to have three beautiful of which also has the firebug gene. He hasn't done any structural damage yet, but he did rid himself of that duplicate eyebrow he'd grown tired of. As the holidays grow nearer by the day, I'll be checking to make sure the fire hydrant is fresh and the matches are put up...  at least until the trash needs burning. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

There's A Dead Body in the Trunk-or-Treat (Conclusion)

If you missed the beginning of our Halloween adventure, feel free to catch up here.


“Ma’am, what have I gotta do to get some cupcakes? I’m gonna be honest with you. We were thinking about visiting here Sunday, but if this is how hospitable y’all are, we’ll just watch that fartin’ preacher on the Internet and save the gas money. I’m not askin’ you to walk on water…I’m just asking to buy something sweet. “  I flashed her my best you-think-I’m-nice-but-I’m-secretly-hoping-you-get-run-over-by-a-beer-truck smile.

So this double-friendly woman purses up her mouth like she’s been gnawin’ on a lemon, and stands up so straight I’d swear she sat on her broomstick the wrong way.

 “Ma’am, we would love to see you Sunday morning. But if you want a cake, you’ll have to buy a ticket, walk around the numbers until the music stops, and then pray that I pick your number. If I do call your number, you can pick a cake. If not, then--well, He must not recognize your voice.”

So, let me get this straight. You’re tellin’ me that I have to pay for a chance to win something with no guarantee of a return? Hmmm….last time I did that, the prize was $430 million, not Agnes’s Seven-Up Pound Cake. And then you're gonna call me a heathen on top of it?  Heck to the no!

At this point, I’m willing to go home and bake each kid their own doggone cake just to get out of here.

“Guys, how ‘bout we’ll go to Wal-Mart after we leave here and you can pick out a doughnut or something?” These poor kids have been put through the ringer, and we ain’t even made it to the trunks yet. After mumbling in agreement, we mope around back to the ring of trunkdom.

“Y’all go ahead; I’m gonna stay over here out of the way.” (I am so over this place by now.)

I’m watching my little cross-eyed ninja, Willie Robertson, and Cinderella slowly make their way around the ring of taillights when I see an elderly gentleman come around the side of his car. 

I know we’re at a church, but something’s just not right. This Old-Spice wearin’ grandpa is kneeling down in front of the kids, clearly rehearsed in his lines. He may be handing out tracts, but his smile bears an eerie resemblance to Fire Marshall Bill from ‘In Living Color.’


Not knowing what’s going on, I ran—okay, it was more like 'bouncily trotted like an old mule through sorghum'—over to my frantic kids, but they blew right past me. By the time I caught up to them, they’d pried open the car doors, put on their seat belts, and started reciting the Lord’s prayer. 

“Bubby, what happened? Did that guy scare y’all?”

“Momma, can we just go home? I don’t want anymore candy.”

“Yeah, Mom, I don’t really need a doughnut this close to bedtime.”


What have these people done to my children?

As their mother and protector, I do what I think is best.  I channel my inner Bill Elliott, and get us home as fast as I can…with grounds for 17 years of therapy and religious exploration in tow.

 I didn't know there was such a thing as sudden onset Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome, but from the time we leave the church parking lot till we got home, Rae-Rae’s condition has deteriorated greatly. He’s gone from this sweet, cross-eyed ninja to a frantic little boy, licking his seat belt and humming the Oscar Mayer wiener song.

As we walk in the house, I pull Bubby to the side.

“Honey, what in the world happened back there?” I see the tears well up in my son’s eyes as he delves into his recent trauma.

“Momma, that guy was really weird. We walked up and said ‘Trick-Or-Treat’ like you told us to, and he said we ought to be ashamed. He asked Reagan if he wanted to grab some junk in his trunk, and then he said Cinderella was a gold diggin' hussy.”  

I see the first tear slip down his cheek. Sweet baby Jesus, this is the safe and nurturing holiday alternative?! 

Rae-Rae chimed in next. 

“Then he told Emma that there was a body in his trunk, but if she'd come back on Sunday, it’d be gone!”

For the first time in their lives, my children voluntarily went to bed.  Apparently being scarred for life is exhausting. They brushed their teeth and waited to be tucked in. Baby girl was asleep by the time her crown hit the pillow, and Bubby drifted off just as quickly. But poor Reagan just laid on his bed, covers pulled up to his nose, shaking like a leaf.

“Momma,” he finally whispered, “I know Jesus turned back alive on the third day, but they didn’t really bury him in a Buick, did they?!”

My Accidental, Homemade Chemical Peel (WITH PHOTO)

 (Don't even try this in an emergency room!)

This morning, I felt like giving my skin a deep cleaning, pore refining, homemade concoction. Since I love using homemade scrubs and masks, McGoogle and I get to work, searching out the latest and greatest in kitchen-pantry-skin-care technology.

They all have basically the same ingredients, and you can pretty much mix and match as you choose, depending on your skin type. I was out of yogurt and honey, two of my favorite mask mixers, so I was going into uncharted territory.

Y’all, just because you see items used for similar purposes does not mean you should combine them!
I chose a couple of ingredients known to fight acne:  vinegar and cinnamon. Shut up. No, I did not fail chemistry…I passed with a 74.

So I mix them up in one of my favorite little Ikea bowls (which is toast now), and headed upstairs to the bathroom. I dig out a cotton ball to apply it with, and sit back and wait for my cover girl complexion to emerge.

*Sniff Sniff…what’s that? I can SMELL?!*

Wow, this stuff is awesome! My nose ain’t stopped up anymore!

While this herbal nectar is puttin’ the smack down on my skin problems, I decide to go make up our bed.

Tug…pull…..smooth….flip….smooth again…

Good Lord, am I that out of shape? I’ve never broken a sweat making up the bed before.

Trod around to my side…tug…pull….it’s at this point that our bed, clearly a three-dimensional object, becomes 4D, and begins profiling me with extreme prejudice.

Apparently our headboard punched me in the face 'cuz I can no longer see out of my left eye. No, it couldn’t have been one punch. Unless somebody snuck Sly in, one punch couldn’t leave you clinging to life and a half-empty inhaler, could it?

Y’all, I’ve never seen anything like it! I went from a blank canvas to a rerun of Rescue 911 in about 12 seconds. I’m trying to run upstairs while puffing on an inhaler; meanwhile, my left eye must’ve fallen out in the kitchen ‘cuz I can’t see nuthin’ on that side! My airway is starting to reopen, but there’s no welcoming committee waitin’ on it. All I can do is focus on the overwhelming urge to vomit. But I’ve got to get this mess off of my face first!

Hot water……clean rag…scrub, scrub, scrub… OH GOD, NOT IN MY HAIR!

By the time I got my face rinsed, I was suffocating...literally. Thank GOD I knew where the inhaler was. 

This was about 30 minutes later, once the swelling started to go down, my eye reopened (with the help of ice) and I regained breathing capabilities. I tried to touch up this picture with Photo Shop, but it froze up, citing “ERROR 724: .vip file has been corrupted. Honey, you’re an idiot. Go back to bed, and don’t ever do that again.”

This all took place this morning. The redness seems to be fading; the only lasting evidence will be the bald spot on my left temple where the chemical burn robbed me of my hair. So how has the rest of the day been? I think my contacts bit the dust, and I still feel like barfing.

So today, I am thankful for those $1 face masks in the HBA section of Wally World. If this is the alternative, then consider that dollar spent well ‘wuff it. 

In all seriousness, do NOT put cinnamon on your skin. I'm not allergic to it, and this is what it did to me. I'll stick with the honey & oatmeal mask next time.

Turkey Poppins and other Thanksgiving Shenanigans

Holiday gatherings are like Lego’s. They look all festive and neat and wonderful when you’re in the planning stages, but once you open that bad boy up, it falls apart quicker than a potato chip model of the great pyramids.  People and pieces are going missing, the instructions are in the wrong language, and somebody inevitably gets crippled by stepping on something. Oh, they’re still fun, but things always seem take an unexpected turn.

Thanksgiving is probably the most dangerous holiday. In the space of a couple of days, your life is in thrown in the blender like your mother-in-laws lumpy gravy. At my house alone, I’ve seen things stabbed, sat on fire, hosed down, burnt to a crisp, and yes, thrown out in the yard. This year, we’re gonna make sure whoever cuts open the bird has at least a six-figure life insurance policy.

The whole Thanksgiving tradition is a little weird to me. Let’s all gather in the dining room as we dig stuffing from where the sun don’t shine in this poor, unfortunate Turducken that ran a little too slow this year. May we count our blessings as we gut this sucker like a hog and use his guts for garters. May the six pounds of butter used to prepare this meal be nourishment to our bodies, and may the tryptophan be our drug of choice this blessed holiday. Amen and hurry up:  the game comes on in thirty.

We like fire at Thanksgiving, too. A couple of years ago, we sat fire to the table before the food ever left the stove. That’s what happens when you ask a man to set the table; he doesn’t move the candles, he puts the Brawny on top of them. Well, guess what? There’s a reason Mr. Lumberjack ain’t fightin’ fires on their commercials. He may look all sophisticated in his mountain man chic ensemble, but he ain’t fire-retardant.

If you want your family to enjoy the holidays like a bunch of true rednecks, go get you a turkey fryer. We’ve used one for several years now, so I’m gonna give you a few pointers.
1.       Use them outside. Spilled grease and mop water makes for a grumpy Black Friday.
2.       Keep the children away. Your best bet is to send the kids snipe huntin’ as long as the grease is bubblin’.
3.        Keep the frying zone free of animosity, grudges, and hatred in general. I ain’t gonna name names, but I’ve seen a person that I love deep fry a 275-lb. annoyance with an ill-timed “slip of the turkey.” That feller’s #34 Herschel Walker jersey is now attached to his beer gut like a screen-printed billboard.

But the turkey fun doesn’t stop at the foot of the table.

This past summer, momma and I took the kids up to the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve to see the animals. If you haven’t been there, it’s a really nice day trip for the family. There’s lots of poop, so the kids will love it.

In one of the open range areas, they had a bunch of turkeys running around. By the way, if you’ve ever smelled a live turkey, you’d never eat them again.

You know, after chewing on that for a minute:  well played, Tom Turkey, well played.

But Rae-Rae was fascinated by this one particularly turkey, maybe because it kept trying to eat his butt. In typical Rae-Rae fashion, he turns around and says, “If I ever make a movie with turkeys instead of people, this one is definitely gonna be Mary Poppins.”  Holy crap, he read my mind!

Yesterday, on the way to school, the turkey strikes again. I’m rockin’ my hoodie and some most righteous bed-head; my baby girl is in the back meowing at 140 decibels, spanking herself, and working on her impersonation of The Rock;  and the boys are arguing because…well, because they’re breathing.

We come to a stop in the drop-off line when Rae-Rae makes a stunning declaration. “I’m not gonna eat turkey at Nanny’s because it’s not healthy.”So that’s why you’ve been refusing to eat for going on nine years now!  

From somewhere in the back seat, Bubby chimes in with “Reagan! You can eat it; Momma just don’t want the turkeys that cuss!”  Pardon my French, but where in the hell did that come from? 

Apparently I need to start listening to the questions they ask me instead of casually dispersing jewels of randomness.

So this year, as you’re stuffing your face with creamy casseroles, fried vegetables and cornbread dressing, take a moment to thank Tom for his sacrifice. For all we know, he could’ve been one umbrella ride away from having his name in lights. Bless his heart.