Category Archives: General Chatter

Who drinks coffee at 1:30 AM? This girl!

Below is a list I made for mi madre for Christmas. She does this thing where she creates care packages, in addition to our regular gifts. It’s actually kind of awesome.

She sends me a generic list of ideas for household gifts, and I specify what I prefer. So, for your boredom, here is my list.

Also, if you are a mother of a child who does not live at home, you should try this. The childrens will most likely appreciate it. I know I do. My mother’s suggestions are in italics.

Deodorants – Old Spice (Fiji if they have it), Dove – anything but powder scent

Cleaners – floor, tubs, etc. – Works brand. Spray, toilet stuff, whatever. Also, anything that cleans my kitchen sink. Comet? Pine Sol or equivalent for floors. Car Wash, whatever’s cheap. Mister washes his truck every Sunday. It’s his church.

Dish Soap – Palmolive Pure & Clear

Dishwasher Soap – Palmolive eco

Laundry Detergent – Purex Naturals

Softener – Dryer sheets. Any scent but unscented.

Paper Towels – Bounty (Boulder at Aldi. Do you ever shop at Aldi? Because you can get good stuff there! Their meat is really good! But they don’t have 1% milk in gallon jugs. Only drawback for us.)

Wipes – Any brand, so long as they kill germs. I use a lot of those. I hope they bio-degrade. Otherwise, the polar bears hate me. Which sucks, because I’ve seen how big their claws are.

Toilet Paper – Cottenelle

Batteries – AA and AAA

Shampoo/Conditioner – Garnier for colored hair

Hand Soap – foaming and regular refills, any scent

Snacks – Hull-less popcorn, Shear’s Kettle Cooked regular chips, Rice Krispy snacks, Red Vines (I can only find these at Wal-Mart. If you find them elsewhere, do notify me). I’ve banned myself from snacks, so those are really for Mister. Unless you want to toss in a bag of BBQ Pork Rinds in Papaw’s memory. Or Reese’s cups. Because who can resist Reese’s? Papaw would be happy.

** editors note: Papaw is my deceased grandfather. He was awesome.**

Beverages – Diet Mt. Dew and Diet 7 Up, Folger’s Black Silk Coffee, Dunkin Donuts Original Coffee, Diet Peach Snapple, Torani Sugar Free Caramel Syrup (for my coffee)

Kitchen Staples – What? Am I supposed to cook? OK. Olive oil. Canned mushrooms. Cream of mushroom soup. Canned turkey chili. Baked beans. Are these staples? I don’t even know what that means!

Toothpaste – Crest 3D White Vivid

Candles, Air Fresheners, Etc. – Walmart ones, again, nothing flowery (unless it’s lilac. I love that scent because of that lilac bush that was outside my window when I was a kid). Also, those Glade candles are pretty great. Febreeze is supposed to have a bunch of new spray scents. I’d like those, I think.

Spices, Seasonings, Sauces – Zesty Free Italian Dressing, Onion Soup Mix

Band-aids, etc. – Yes to Bandaids, Men’s and Women’s general vitamins. Vitamin D. Aspirin (the regular 325, or the baby 81 mg. One’s for Mister, one’s for me.)

Anything else – Men’s shaving gel, Kleenex, Swiffer duster refills, Dirt Devil bags, Chocolate slim fast (I buy the generic! Clearly, it should be called slim slow.) Q-tips, Soft toothbrushes, Sponges, Cedar wood thingies to put in the closet. (I can’t think of what they’re really called. But I don’t have a cedar chest and I like the smell, and I know you can buy these things that go on your hangers). A million dollars. How about you just don’t leave everything to someone who’s not your kid, like Mr. Enis might do? Harsh? Oops. Did I tell you I’m getting a will written so the girls don’t get screwed? His potential actions have inspired me.

I should really write a book about these family things.

Did I digress?

This stuff really happens.

A coupla months ago, Mister’s youngest daughter, Cranky, decided she needed a new car. She borrowed some money off of her grandparents (maternal side), and Mister threw in a couple dollars as well.

Craigslist searching and calls and emails began. Mister took her to look at a couple cars, none that she liked. She only had like $1,800. I’m not sure what kind of car she expected at that price. Finally she found a white Cavalier that she decided was suitable. Plans were made to check it out. Cranky and her beau, Merv, met Mister at the apartments where this car was located. After driving it and looking under the hood, they decided it was acceptable.

It turned into a while thing.

The guy wanted 1900 for it. Mister offered 1500. The guy selling it was not the actual owner, the owner was elsewhere (sketchy?) and the guy couldn’t get a hold of the owner. So Mister, Cranky and Merv left, and car guy said he’d call them if the owner called. Car guy called Mister about 15 minutes later and said he got a hold of the owner who said he’d take 1600. Mister agreed, and car guy drove the car to a parking lot somewhere to where Mister and company already were. Mister pulled a front plate off Cranky’s truck (illegal! Yay!), and put it on the car. Off they went with the new-to-her Cavalier, Mister leading, with Cranky behind him and Merv behind her in her truck heading to Merv’s house.

The guy told Mister he’d put 20 bucks of gas in it the other day, but the gas gauge didn’t always work right so he said don’t trust it. So Mister told Cranky they should stop at a station near home to fill up.

So, they get to Merv’s house (Christmas lights are still up!) and Mister leaves. Merv decides to take it for a ride around the block. He gets to the corner and the car dies, won’t start. He pops the hood, no antifreeze. They walk back to the house and get antifreeze and put it in the car. The car still will not start. Panic ensues. Merv and his dad are certain the head is blown. Cranky is frantic. I call my brother Jed, and Jed tells me what to check and I relay this information to Mister and he tries to relay this information to Cranky who is now shrieking and freaking and calling the seller very bad names.

Finally, after explaining to Jed the symptoms and that there is no oil under the car, no antifreeze in the oil, or any other tell-tale signs of motor death, he says “Gosh, it just sounds like it’s out of gas”.

“Oh, no,’ I say. “They stopped for gas.”

Mister hears me and says, “No we didn’t.”

“What? You said you were!”

“Cranky didn’t want to.”

“OMG, Jed. The damn car is out of gas. I know it.”

Mister relays THIS to Cranky and she and the Merv are certain that is not the problem, the ENGINE IS BLOWN AND THE SELLER IS A JERK AND EVERYONE WILL DIE.

Mister asks if they have a gas can with gas to put in it, to rule it out.

Nope. No gas can

Who doesn’t have a gas can? Other than apartment dwellers, I suppose. But this house is in the country. Seriously? How to you mow your lawn? With goats? (That actually looked like a possibility.)

Mister tells Cranky he is bringing over our gas can.

Cranky is certain this will not fix it. Destruction to all.

We head to Merv’s with the gas can (filled with gas! for our mower!) and a flashlight. It’s getting dark by now! Mosquitoes! Wee!

Mister puts gas in the car.

Cranky and Merv are still very certain this will not work.

Mister takes the keys.

Mister starts the car.

The damn thing was out of gas.

Stern statements are made to Cranky that, one day, very soon, like yesterday, she may want to try listening to her dad, because very often, he is right.

I refrained from suggesting to Mister that perhaps he should not let Cranky call the shots.

Brief Notes:

1. My boss might think I’m an alcoholic. I use Torani syrup in my coffee at work. Torani syrup comes in a large glass bottle, not unlike a wine or whiskey bottle. I assured her it is not intoxicating. I’m not certain she believed me.

2. There is a fake cockroach floating around the office. Most recently it has been hanging out on the coffee maker. It is providing much entertainment. One coworker shrieks each and every time she sees it.

3. I dislike cold weather, that is no secret. One reason I dislike it is because it forces me to stay inside for lunch, in the lunchroom. This puts me in the precarious position of having to verbally communicate with my coworkers. I stayed in today for the first time this season. I did not enjoy my lunch.

4. I didn’t put out any Halloween decorations this year. I considered it a few times. I just never felt like crawling under the steps and digging out my box of bats and jack-o-lanterns. Now, I feel like it is too close to Halloween to decorate. Once I got them out, I’d have to turn around and put them away.

5. I also don’t feel like handing out candy this year. I know, right? Many of our trick-or-treaters are just teenage delinquents who don’t even bother to don a costume and then glare at you while waiting for their Kit-Kat. But I am afraid of vengeance. Perhaps I’ll buy a few bags, dump them in a bowl and set them out with a “Please take one” sign. Our neighbors did that one year when they weren’t going to be home. I could add to the fun and set up a web cam to catch any dishonest trick-or-treaters.

6. I have to do “mom” stuff this weekend. Ick. Mom stuff isn’t always so fun when you’re just the step-mom.

Ten Whole Years

I was at work when the first plane hit the World Trade Center. I was at a coworker’s desk, she was training me on a new aspect of my job. Her phone rang, it was her husband. He told her a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. He saw it on the news.

After she hung up and we asked each other what that was all about, I went back to my desk to call my mom.

“Mom? Are you watching the news? What’s going on?”

“I am. A plane just hit the World Trade Center. Dad says it’s terrorist.”

A few moments later, my mom shrieked.

“Oh my God! Another one! Another one just hit the other tower!”

“What? Mom? What?”

“Another plane! Another plane just hit the World Trade Center!”

I got off the phone with my mom, and I paged our office, and said, “Guys? I think we’re under attack.”

By this time, word had traveled through the office because of my coworker’s husband’s phone call. The girl sitting next to me was frantically trying to load CNN’s website, but it was overloaded. My boss had a little portable television that he plugged in, and faced away from the rest of the office so he could learn what was happening, but we couldn’t.

We tried other sites, picking up bits and pieces of information. Some called family members for more updates, myself included.

Eventually we learned that the Pentagon had been hit, the Towers collapsed, and another plane went down in PA.

I went to lunch with two girls in my office that day. They both were angry that management had not sent us home. I remember thinking, why? Why go home? There’s nothing we can do. I figured they wanted to go home and pray and be with their families. They were religious and that made sense, I guess.

We sat in my truck, the three of us, and we all leaned forward at the same time and looked out the windshield.

“It’s so blue.”

“I can’t believe it.”

“Why aren’t there any planes?”

Of course, by that time, they had grounded all flights. We didn’t know. We finished our hour lunch and went back in.

Business as usual.

I got home that day and immediately turned on the television. I was glued for most of the evening. I think it was CNN, I can’t remember. I can remember seeing a man falling out of the tower. Over and over and over. They just ketp replaying it. I was horrified.

Eventually, I had had enough news, and I got in my truck and went into town. I went to the craft store. I bought red, white and blue ribbons. I made little ribbons for everyone at my work to pin to their shirts. I bought a big red white and blue bow, and fastened it to the grill of my truck.

I didn’t collect any money for the ribbons, nothing for donations. I guess that was stupid. I could have done that. I just made my stupid little ribbons in red, white and blue and pinned one to my shirt and felt sad. And weird. Sad and weird and sad.

I watched a lot of news after that. I watched up until we finally bombed. I think that was in November. I remember feeling so good that we were finally doing something, but wondered why it took so long.

And now. It has been ten years. TEN WHOLE YEARS. And we are still over there and so many more of our people have died and it still isn’t over.

We are still over there, and people are still dead, and we are still rebuilding.

But, I guess, at least we are rebuilding.

What up? Damn. It’s been a while.

So after being gone for like, two years or something can you just pop back in and start blogging again (more than two years? I dunno, I have to look. OK, just under two years).

Well, I don’t think there are any official laws against it or anything, so I am. I thought about starting a new one, but that would be my third, and frankly, I just don’t want to have to pick out a theme right now.

Anyway. It’s September now. This makes me so sad you guys, you don’t even know. One, it’s the end of summer. I know, the official end of summer isn’t until the 21st or something (I’m so good at remembering dates!), but for me it always feels like the end. When I was little, summer was over when I went back to school. Now, it’s just over when it’s September. Event though it’s supposed to be like 817 degrees today and tomorrow. Whatever.

I hate winter. Not the months themselves actually, I guess. I hate the winter in OHIO. Because Ohio winters suck balls. The are cold and long and gray and icy and snowy and I won’t get to see much daylight until, like, May and that makes me so grumpy. I’ve thought about getting one of those sun lamps or whatever they’re called, but THEY ARE EXPENSIVE. And what if it didn’t work? Then I’d have a really expensive ugly lamp that I wasted money on and, well, then I’d be more grumpy.

It’s a dilemma.

So, yeah. Winter is coming and I’m wasting the end of of my not-yet-the-end-of-summer getting all worked up about it.

Logical is what I am.

Also, this month, I turn OLD. At the end of the month, I will hit the big three five. I’m not sure how I feel about this yet. Sometimes I’m all “Oh, hey, whatever, it’s just a number”. But then other times I’m all “Thirty-five? Is this the age when I have to start getting my boobs smashed in that machine to look for cancer? I’m getting OLD. I’m halfway to seventy and that’s REALLY OLD! What about the test where they stick the camera up my butt? Do I have to do that yet? Isn’t there something else I’m going to have to do now? Something I won’t want to do becasue I really dislike going to the doctor?” Not because my doctor is mean or not attentive or anything. Just because I always feel like I’m going to get in trouble.

Can a doctor give you a detention? Or ground you? Because I should totally be kept after school or locked in my room or something. I don’t exercise enough, and I like foods that are greasy, and also beer and sometimes wine. And probably my pants are a few sizes bigger than they should be.

Maybe it’s my cholesterol I need checked?

Thirty-five. My sister-in-law is there already, and she seems all cool with it, ready to pop out another baby and whatever. My husband is forty-seven (!) for Christ’s sake. And he’s all fine about it. So what is my deal? I mean, I’m generally happy, so that’s good right? Being happy is good for you, and worry is bad, so I guess I shouldn’t worry about it, right?

OK. Right, then. I’ll just stop worrying about it, I guess. I mean, because I’m SO GOOD at not worrying.

Thirty-five. Not such a big deal, right?

Things for which I am thankful, in no particular order.

I am thankful…

…for the fence around my yard that keeps my dog in and the neighbors out.

…for the recent weather that lets me pretend I live somewhere that doesn’t get snow after (or sometimes before) Halloween.

…that my boss thinks I’m good enough to keep around.

…for my level-headed husband who keeps me from going over to THAT side of crazy.

…for the cow that died so my husband could have a new valve in his heart.

…for my pug, even though she barks at everything, because at least I’ll know if someone is trying to get in. Or get in the neighbors house. Or drive down the road.

…for the “goodie boxes” my mom always gives me for Christmas. Because I’m always out of something that just happens to be in that box. Like tissue, or toilet paper, or dish soap.

…that my husband is good at painting, otherwise I would live in a very bland, white house, or a house that looks like someone painted while having a seizure.

…for funky socks. They let me feel cool, while not making me that lady in denial who dresses like a teenager.

…that my dad is eligible for health care, since he is a Vietnam Vet, because strokes are horrible.

…that I can be proud of my dad for being a Vietnam Vet.

…that my brother and his wife have a beautiful daughter so I can buy Barbies for someone.

…that my Mamaw and Papaw told me what it was like growing up and getting married as two young poor people in Tennessee.

…that my roof doesn’t leak and I don’t need to stuff my homemade bed with newspapers to keep warm like Papaw did.

…that I don’t have to know how to make my own mattress, either.

…to be able to stop and take a deep breath whenever I want.

And finally, the pepper spray story.

So.  Pepper spray.  Where do I start?

First, I need to provide a little back-story.  Otherwise, this is going to end up sounding like a story about two grown sons who are pissed at their dad for moving in a woman not even two years after their mom died.  It might anyway.  Here we go.

A few years ago, the Mister’s parents decided to sell their home and 6 acres with a pond and move to our humble little community with tiny postage stamp-sized lots.  Citing the abundance of yard work and the Mister’s mom’s near round-the-clock need for care, it seemed like a fine idea.  At the time. Turns out, maybe it wasn’t so much a good idea after all.

Mister’s mom, from now on known as “B-Ma”, had suffered from numerous strokes in the last few years of her life.  Unfortunately, the one robbing her of her speech happened before I met her, so I never did get to have a proper conversation with the lady.  Her boys absolutely adored her, though.  She died in September of 2007, crushing both of them.  R-Dad (Mister’s dad) was properly sad for a short time, and then started seeing a new lady.  That only lasted a few months. In the summer of 2008, he met another new lady, whom the boys not-so-lovingly call “the Craisin”, due to the fact that her skin has seen too much sun and better days.  R-dad met the Craisin through his new neighbors – the Craisin’s daughter and son-in-law.  We all became friends with the new neighbors and their extended family, and had many great times during last summer celebrating what we now call “Lime Fest 2008”.  That would be our introduction to Bud Lite Lime and the many summer evenings we spent drinking said Lime around various neighbor’s fires.

Apparently at some point during Lime Fest 2008, I somehow came under the wrath of Pepper Spray woman.  She decided that I had made advances at her husband (not it) and proclaimed me the village whore.  The rest of the village, however, was quickly able to determine that I had not made said advances, and also that maybe, Pepper Spray woman had a bit of the problem with the bottle.  Her husband started calling her Twisted Sister, due to the large amounts of Twisted Tea she consumed.  Lime Fest 2008 came to an end, winter started and I thought not too much about her.  She did leave a couple drunken messages on my voice mail around Christmastime.  Mister spoke to her husband, and asked him to tell her to please not call me anymore.  The calls stopped, but R-dad was still dating the Craisin.  It did make for a very uncomfortable holiday season, but with wine and the boys on my side, we made it through unscathed.

Fast forward to this summer – which we were hoping to call Lime Fest 2009.  R-dad dropped the bomb that the Craisin was moving in.  The boys were up in arms, and told R-dad that perhaps he was moving a bit fast, and perhaps he wanted to think hard about moving in a woman who lives on disability and has an alcoholic daughter living next door – one who accused his daughter-in-law of being unfaithful.

One day we were minding our own business at home, when we happened to look out our kitchen window.  Did I mention that I could probably throw a rock out the window and hit R-dad’s house?  He’s that close.  So anyway, we notice all kinds of fun happening, including the evil Pepper Spray bitch herself, walking into R-dad’s house.  Mister got pissed.  He called his dad, and arguing ensued.  Mister’s point was that he could not believe that R-dad would allow Pepper Spray in his house after all she’d said about me, and that he’d better think long and hard about this or he may end up having to choose between her and him.  I was watching out the window and I saw the Craisin storm out up the street.

I said, “Uh, Mister? The Craisin is on her way over.”

Mister told his dad he’d better stop her right now, that she shouldn’t come to our house.

Also, did I mention that R-dad is non-confrontational, and, well, a bit of a coward?

So,  he did not stop the Craisin and she rang our doorbell.  I said “Now is not a good time.  You don’t want to come in here.”

Apparently she heard “Hey! Come on in!” and opened the door and came up the steps.  She then proceeded to lecture me, in my home, the home into which she was most certainly not invited, and even told me to “Stop. Yelling.  Pepper Spray is my daughter.  I am moving in with R-dad.  There is nothing you can do to stop it.”

At this time, her drunken son showed up on our door step and opened the door.  I said “K.  You do NOT want to come in here, nor are you welcome.”

At the mention of his name, Mister started down the steps and out the door.  Luckily, K’s wife was right behind him, attempting to drag him off of our property.  The Craisin finally went down the steps and out the door, and the Mister and the Craisin and K and his wife all exchanged words.  Many words.  Many mean words.  Our neighbors (postage-stamp sized lots, remember?) heard the commotion and were starting to come over to assist Mister.

At the notice of the neighborhood backup, the Craisin and her family retreated, yelling and scowling along the way.  Shortly after, we saw Pepper Spray leave R-dad’s and thought, “well, that’s the end of that.”

Not so fast.

Apparently Pepper Spray returned to her house (which I could also hit with a rock) and informed her husband (you know, the one I was having the supposed affair with)  that – insert whatever crazy story she made up – Mister was calling the cops on him.  WTF?  So he came out of his house and started yelling “C’mon Fuckboy! You wanna start a fight?  You wanna call the cops?  C’mon!”

Teh child and I heard it, and I said “did he just say what I think he said?” and she said “Yes, he did”.  Her eyes were as big as saucers.  I informed Mister of what just transpired and he decided to go straighten things out.  So he walked over to the neighbor’s house, knocked on the door, and saw H (the husband) sitting on the couch.  He said “Hey, H.  Can I talk to you?  I think someone’s telling lies.”

Well, H flew up offa that couch like a bat out of hell.  Mister backed up on the porch, and said “Wait a minute, just let me talk.”  So he told H all that had transpired (H was fishing during all of the earlier events) H told him what Pepper Spray said, and H apologized for calling him out, they hugged and all was well.  Chatting ensued.  I was standing in their driveway, having followed Mister in the event that something ugly happened, and, I don’t know, someone needed an ambulance or something?  Suddenly I realized Pepper Spray was standing in the doorway.  She said ugly things to me and told me to get off her property.  I said ugly things back (not very mature, I know), told her she didn’t own the house (they rent) and retreated to the street.  She slammed the door and went back inside.

Again, that’s the end of that, right?

Well, no.  As Mister and H traded tales, and I stood back in the street, Pepper Spray flung the door back open to earn her name.  One hand holding a phone to her ear, and one hand armed with the evil spray, she screamed “the cops are on their way!  You’re all going to jail” and proceeded to spray Mister and me.

If you’ve never been sprayed, I can assure you, that shit stings.  Luckily, I had my glasses on, and I turned in time for the spray to miss my face.  She got my arms and legs though.  I scampered home with my tail between my legs and washed the shit off.  Mister followed shortly after, and after some discussion, he decided “two can play at this game” and made a counter-call to the police.

Next thing we know, we’re filling out police reports with good cop and bad cop – good cop clearly believing us and bad cop saying I was trespassing.

Turns out it isn’t trespassing when your husband is talking to the husband of the house, and he never asked us to leave.  Oh, and you can’t spray people just for talking to your husband.  Especially if they are standing in the street.

Take that Pepper Spray.  I hope you enjoy your community service.
Oh, and your divorce.  Hope you enjoy that too….