Category Archives: Travel

Whale…er…weight watcher’s trip on Maui?

This is my favorite swimsuit ever!

So I get to Maui and the three Barbie dolls I travel with have all joined Weight Watchers.  Have I mentioned that one of them used to be (and still could be) Miss Kansas?

Then it dawned on me.  The reason I’m shaped like the cabbage patch kid and am wearing a swim Burka that I had imported from Babylon, is because I’M NOT ON WEIGHT WATCHERS!  Duh!  So, my slim and trim and ever-so-energetic, bikini wearing friends DRAG ME TO A MEETING.  While I’m on vacation.  So, now there is much guilt involved with every chocolate covered macadamia nut I stuff into my face.  Did you know that there are 6 points in only 4 lousy, teensy-weensy candies?  And did you know that there are an entire days worth of points in only one box?

Oops.

So, Wendy.  Before I fly George up for your Birthday bash…oh, the plans I have for you…I’m going to drop a few pounds.  Thankfully, I have eaten all of the Mauna Loa candy, so that’s out-of-the-way.

And, to make things a little more interesting, my daughters are going to ‘race’ me to the finish line.  They jumped onto the Weight Watcher’s Band-wagon with gusto and have already lost 2 pounds each.  I have lost none.  But then again, slow and steady wins the race.

Check out my new diet page (hopefully up by this weekend) and read what the girls have to say about living with me on a diet!  Big, big fun.

Aloha,

Carolyn

 

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Geroge Clooney, Humor, Marriage, Maui, Menopause, Motherhood, Travel, Weight gain, Weight Loss

Wendy says good-bye to her 40’s…

Wish you were here!

This morning, I got a message from Chase on my cell phone:  Credit Fraud Alert!   Did you attempt to steal $160 on your credit card?  If yes, reply “yes”.  If no, please reply “no”.

Are they serious?  Why on earth would I admit to trying to steal money if I had stolen it?  Why on earth would I admit to trying to steal the money, if I hadn’t stolen it?

That’s what I call a lose/lose kind of question.

Because I am in Maui to celebrate the birth of my dear sister/friend, Wendy (yes, it’s that time of year again) I went to the store and bought a weeks worth of groceries and supplies, but neglected to tell my credit card company I was on the move.

Anyway, today is Wendy’s last day of being in her 40’s.  Tomorrow, she moves into her 50’s with the rest of us.  I’m just so sorry she isn’t here for the big party I throw for her every year.

Tomorrow, I’m going to announce my amazing gift to her so you’ll want to stay turned!

Aloha

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Birthdays, Marriage, Maui, Menopause, Motherhood, Travel

You idiot.

Where's the idiot?

     Do you ever fantasize about what a good time you are going to have on a road trip? I do.

     Oooo! It is going to be SO FUN to cram 9 people into an 8 passenger van and drive for HOURS!  We’ll play the license plate game!  We’ll sing camp songs and make s’mores!  We’ll take pictures!  The kids and the hubby!  And, if that’s not enough, let’s throw grandpa and grandma into the mix! Yep, yep, yep… Big fun.

I should have suspected that we were in trouble when I politely cautioned my husband to remember that my mother (tortoise) does not drive as fast as he does (roadrunner) and to keep her in his rearview because she does not know exactly where we are going.

“Oh.  Like I’m going to go speeding off and leave my mother-in-law in the dust,” he jeers.

You know, like I’m the idiot.  Funny, he didn’t seem as jazzed about this trip as I was.

And so, after five delightful hours in the mini-van, we make it to the magnificent Painted Hills.  It’s a bazillion degrees in the shade, but we gamely get out of the van and hike UP the mountain to the view-point.  I flirted with heat-stroke, but then I love living on the edge.

We took the required pics.  We admired the splendor.  We praised God because we are pious, godly people with thankful hearts.  We headed back to the van.  It was decided that this would be a good time to have Daughter # ONE drive, as she is accruing her 100 hours of permit driving before she gets her license.

She leaps behind the wheel of the van.  Hubby calls shotgun.  The kids all pile in behind her, with the exception of Daughter #2, poor kid.  She and I end up with grandma and grandpa in their car.  The car that has no map.  Because, hey, why should we need a map when we are following the husband who would not leave us?  Forsake us?  Without cell reception.

While they are all buckling up, I open the back of the van to get some water.  Did I mention we were in hell?  While I’m quenching my thirst, Daughter # ONE, in her teenage zeal, doesn’t know (or care) that the hatch is open as she starts the engine and stands on the gas.

I run after them as she tears out of the parking lot.  “THE HATCH IS OPEN!  THE HATCH IS OPEN!”  I’m waving my arms and jumping up
and down.  Several visiting families to the Painted Hills are amused at my antics (but, I must add sourly, don’t help).  Grandma leans on her horn.  Daughter jams on the breaks.  Hubby leaps out, slams the hatch and Daughter # ONE achieves warp speed before I can climb in with Grandma.

“Follow that car!” I shout.  Have I mentioned  Grandma (tortoise) is a cautious driver?  It is not until we arrive at the intersection that I realize the hubby and daughter are gone.  And, THEY.  HAVE. THE.  MAP. AND.  THE. WATER.

What ensues in our car was not pretty.  “Idiot!  Big, fat idiot!  How could I have married such an….idiot!?”  To my way of thinking, my husband—who, if you will remember, I did warn not to abandon Grandma—should be telling the kid to slow down and wait for us.  Grandma nobly reminded me that nobody is perfect and that we all make mistakes and that I should not be so hard on my husband.  I found this exceedingly annoying.

While we deliberate the route, Daughter # TWO tells us she has to go potty.   Grandma pulls over, lets us out at a rest area near the intersection.  She then speeds off to explore where Daughter # ONE and the IDIOT might have gone.

By the time Daughter # TWO and I are out of the bathroom, Grandma roars up in her car and is on the verge of divorce with Grandpa who is now—brace yourselves—an IDIOT!

Much arguing ensues.  MUCH.  ARGUING.  There were tears.  Recriminations.  Accusations. You’re an idiot!  No! YOU are the idiot!

And still, no Daughter # ONE or hubby.  Tempers continue to soar with the mercury.  There is no sign of the van.  We locate a tree and park under its shade and out of boredom, turn on each other.  Daughter # TWO is looking rather traumatized.  And I think, Wow, this is so freaking MUCH FUN!

And then, I start to laugh.  Super hard, convulsive laughter.  Painful, loud, tears-down-the-face-laughing. Must have been contagious
as everyone else joins in.  My father turns around and says to Daughter # TWO, “Honey, never get married.”

I wipe my eyes and tell her, “Nah, get married.  Just remember.  You’re an idiot.”

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Anxiety, Cooking, Cussing, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Travel, Writing

How I (Almost) Ruined Our Summer Vacation

Do you have to-do lists for your summer vacation?  Please say you do, and if you don’t, please lie to me, because I don’t want to be the only Type A, summer-killing, Wicked Witch of the West weenie who made a list, cracked the family whip…and didn’t get a darned thing done, anyway.

What is it with me and summer?  I have a friend who takes her kids to the coolest places and does the most interesting things over the summer school break.  They camp out in tree houses, fly to other states to attend fairs, go on field trips to meet rulers of the free world.

I told my family we were going to:

1.) Sand and paint the molding throughout the house.  It really needs it.

2.) Pull down the hall wallpaper, which we started pulling down 2 years ago until I gouged the wall with the Paper Tiger, and we realized we’d have to drywall, too.  It’s time to turn that mess into a proper hallway.

3.) Work on daughter’s spelling, reading and math—just fifteen minutes a day, but we must be disciplined.

4.) Organize all desks, bookshelves and closets so our mornings can proceed in a smooth and joyous fashion.

Of course I planned to reward us for each project we completed.  A long bike ride, a sleepover for my daughter, a night out for the hubster and moi.

I was excited about summer, because I envisioned its conclusion with us toasting each other in our clean, lovely, drywalled home while our daughter rattled off a few dozen perfectly spelled, three-syllable words.

Yeah.  So here’s what happened:

Me, resplendent in my husband’s tool belt, and holding a clipboard:  “Okay, troops, here’s the list of what we’re going to accomplish today!”

Husband:  “Great, honey, but before you read that, we’re going to go on a bike ride.”

Me:  “Well, actually, I was thinking…”

Daughter:  “Yeah, Mom, and when we get back,  (insert name of friend here) is coming over, okay?  Please?  We haven’t seen each other since school and we probably won’t be in the same class next year (she used this same pitch for every friend all summer) and her parents said she could have a play date if you say it’s okay and I promise I’ll learn any words you want me to as soon as she leaves unless you say she can sleepover too can she please?” 

I look at husband, who shrugs, not that he even attempts to follow that kind of run-on pleading.

And there I am, left with the drill sergeant and the pushover debating in my head:

We have to get something done.  The house is a pit. 

 Ookay, but it is summer.

 Yeah, well the hall looks like a still photo from Nightmare on Elm Street.  I’ve seen people tremble on their way to our bathroom.  And if DD doesn’t study a little bit, her brain will turn to mush and she’ll start the school year behind all the kids who are studying over the summer, and then she’ll feel bad when the teacher gives her “baby math.” 

 I know, but it’s summer.

 No buts!  The closets—

 Maybe tomorrow.

 By this time, of course, the husband and daughter have left for their bike ride, and I have decided to do something really useful like vacuum crumbs out of the grooves in the dining table.  And, probably, this wouldn’t be a bad thing (there was roughly the equivalent of a loaf of bread in those grooves), except that the debate continues inside my head and every time I see someone to whom I’m related, I grab the clipboard and ask them to commit to a chore and a time slot.

On a couple of occasions, I got them to join me for entire days devoted to one project or another, and when I wasn’t successful, I talked about all the work we still had to do.  Doesn’t that sound fun?

And then I heard my husband and daughter talking about the fun they really were having riding their bike rides and playing Karate Kid Meets Ninja Turtle and engaging in an eight-year-old version of Name That Tune.

Up to that point, the most fun my daughter and I had was writing her spelling words on the sidewalk with 3-D chalk.  (Well, I had fun.)  So I gave up.  I put the tool belt in the garage (though I thought it made me look kinda butch in a good way), ditched the clipboard and made plans to have a Halloween party in our hallway.

Tonight Carolyn’s sons are having a sleepover at our place.  I walked the dog three miles while the boys and my daughter rode their bikes up and down hills, shrieking like…kids in summer.  We got ice cream at the local store, came home to make giant chocolate chip cookies and built our own ice cream sandwiches.  Now they’re watching Surf’s Up.

They’re giggling.  I feel wonderfully relaxed.  And it finally feels like summer.

Wendy

P.S.  Someone will need to remind me about this next year when that hallway and I are playing “Six Degrees of Separation) from Freddy Krueger.

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Filed under Anxiety, Children, Death, Dogs, Travel, Writing

Monsoon!

My niece, on monsoon night...

Ever gone camping in the middle of a major storm?  Trust me, you’d remember.  This last week, my family went camping—as we do every year—in paradise.  Think stunning Oregon forest, horseback riding, swimming in the crystal clear river, jumping off the rocks into said river, something called ‘barn-hockey’ for the kids, tons of food and a fantastic friend (Jill, you rock!) with a supercallafragelistic family willing to share interesting (and hilarious) stories of ranch life with this writer.  It was all of that this year, too, but the weather—as it has been around the world—was…different.

One day in particular was soggy, but as night approached, so did a seriously ominous bank of black clouds.

“Oooo,” we giggled, “Looks like we’re gonna get a little wet.”  So naive.

Our family fits into three tents:  the two-man tent for the boys, the six man tent for the girls—sans the 6 men, of course—and the eight man tent for the hubby and me and the dogs.  As usual, the boys passed out the minute their heads hit the pillow.  The girls on the other hand (all teenagers, and my wild woman niece—age 24 going on 13) were all enjoying being nutballs and laughing themselves half silly in midst of this wilderness slumber party.  I decided to let their shenanigans carry on, cuz I’m super cool and, okay, too lazy to get up and tell them to pipe down.

When the first crack of thunder sounded, the girls all shrieked and giggled.  The hubby and I grinned at each other.  Fun, huh?  The flashes of lightning brought some concerned squeaks from the girls, but it was tempered by more laughter.  Then the downpour hit.  And I’m not talking the drips and drabs of Wendy’s shower.  Oh, no.  This was as if a giant cosmic ladle, perhaps the big dipper? yeah, dumped a lake on us.  The thunder got louder, and the lightening brighter and the squeals higher.

Still, I wasn’t concerned.  After all, the girls had been noisy all evening.  I figured the trees all around us would catch any stray lightning bolts and so deluded, drifted off to sleep.  Around 2ish, the boys appeared at our door (flap) soaked to the skin, shivering and mad as wet roosters.

“Our tent is gone!  Our beds are flooded!”

Odd.  Then again, we had cots and a stronger tent.  “Well, come on in.”  I took one ice-cube boy in my bag, the hubby took the other in his.  The girls were still laughing—I thought—as their shrieks started to rival the howls of the hurricane.  After all, if there was a problem, they’d tell us, right?

Wasn’t till the next morning I woke up to find the girls all huddled in the minivan, their tent now an above ground swimming pool, their beds sagging floatation devices, their mascara running, their joi de vivre a thing of the past.  Not laffin’.  No, my niece was snoozing in at shotgun, scrunched and drenched.  Daughter number three was packed into  the middle row and the older daughters slept sardine style in the back.

Took the entire day—and—half a pile of firewood to dry ‘em out.

Thankfully, the remainder of the week was sunny.  And now (after resting for 24 whole hours at home) we are headed to the beach for more life in the old tent, this time with the kid’s high school crowd.  The weather is looking a little sketchy, so I’ll probably be piling into the minivan with a
dozen (or more) teenagers if we aren’t washed out to sea first.

Wendy?  If you don’t hear from me by…say…Thursday?  Call the Coast Guard.

TTFN,

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Anxiety, Bizarre weather, Cussing, Death, Girl Scouts, kids messy rooms, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Outdoor school, Travel, Weight gain

Kids Say The Darnedest Things

I’m currently in sunny (scorching) Southern California, visiting my in-laws.  I always love this trip as my in-laws are fantastic people and they all live in one ginormous, bee-autiful home.  I don’t have to travel anywhere in order to see them all, a plus as I was never a California summer-lovin’ girl, even when I grew up here.  The other reason I love this trip:  I have adorable nieces.  This morning, the seven-year-old awoke early to hang out with me and we chatted about vacations.

Niece:  It’s hard to sleep on a plane.

Me:  Not enough leg room?

Niece:  Yeah.  When we flew to Florida there was an old man behind me, and he kept kicking my seat.

Me:  That must have been frustrating.

Niece:  Oh, it was!  He was old.  He should have known better.  And he did it the whole way to Florida.

Me:  Did you ask him nicely to stop?

Niece:  Yeah.  No.  I don’t know.  He never stopped.  He was old.  He should have known it was not right and it was not polite.

Me:  True.  But if he was old, maybe he didn’t realize he was doing it.

Niece:  Maybe.  He wasn’t so old old, though.  Maybe…at least eighteen or nineteen.  Yeah, maybe he was too old to know what he was doing.

She’s so wise, don’t you think?  It just proves nineteen is the new one hundred.
Wendy

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Filed under aging, Children, Humor, Motherhood, parenthood, politeness, Travel

Hot Mamas In New York, part deux. “Hey! We’re Walkin’ Here!”

It is a sad fact that if I’d been head pilgrim, we’d all be huddled around Plymouth Rock to this day.  Actually, that’s not true; we’d simply have stayed put until AAA opened, and I could get them to Triptik the journey west.  I like maps.  I like plans.  I like being CAREFUL.  Carolyn and our travel mates?  Not so much.

Exhibit A.)  Our dear friend Darla, who quickly became pack leader of five women with cameras.  Not only did Darla drive an SUV in NYC, laying on the horn when necessary, she strode around Manhattan like a native, crossing on red lights, skirting Taxis while making sure we were all still with her and hollering, “Hey!  We’re walkin’ heah!” at the traffic.  She was fearless.   And focused.  The rest of us were more easily distracted.   “Herding cats,” I heard her mutter on several occasions as she kept us moving through Times Square.  Thank you, Darla.

Exhibit B.)  Carolyn’s last post re: the subway turnstile issue.  She left out a couple of wee details.  True, the rest of us looked worried as she attempted to hurdle into the subway– because half a dozen NYC residents were hollering, “NO!” at her.  “Carolyn, you can get arrested for that,” someone in our party pointed out.  (I forget who…someone law-abiding.  Su?  Ginger?)

Here’s where Carolyn’s recollection of the situation and mine differ slightly.  She remembers attempting to follow the rules, behaving like the proper small-town wife and mother she is.  “Forgive me, officer, but I must squeeze ever-so-sweetly past your barrier here.”  I remember her responding to the you-could-spend-the-rest-of-your-vacation-behind-bars caution by growling, “Oh yeah?  Well bring it,  NYPD!  Bring it!  I spent my last 2.50 on that ticket; I’m getting on that train.  Hold those doors!!!”

She was intrepid.  She became a New Yorker before my very eyes.  I was so inspired by Carolyn and Darla, I decided that I, too, want to embody that New York state of mind.  Typically, I stand politely in line, await my turn, let others push ahead.  I am my mother’s daughter.  Now I have a young woman of my own to raise.  We put a premium on politeness in our house, but maybe we’re a little too…soft.  Shapeless.  Plus, I’ll be fifty in October; it is high time I become bold.

For my personal NY epiphany, I chose…flippin’ the birdie.   It’s not exactly tearing up Manhattan in a Pathfinder or jumping turnstiles while challenging, “Bring it, NYPD!” but it is a start.   I used the birdie many times–always in our hotel room and always with great zeal.  “Su, baby, you needs the blow dryer?  Well, so do I, here’s a birdie for yuz!”  “Ginger, I’ll take that extra pillow from ya, sugar.  Birdie, birdie, birdie!”  The girls didn’t seem to mind; they realize I have a long way to go.  And, no, I do not intend to teach my eight-year-old the birdie.    But I do hope to lead her through the streets of NYC someday, bold as brass, just like her aunties.

Su, Darla, Ginger, Carolyn–thanks for NY!!!!!

Wendy

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Filed under friendship, Humor, Menopause, New York, politeness, Travel, Writing

Hot Flash: Too Hot Mama Crime Spree in New York

Turnstile jumper on track 9! Get her, boys! Which way did she go?

 

Did you know that once you swipe your subway turnstile ticket (the wrong way) it won’t let you on the train?  Did you know that if you are traveling with 4 other women to Manhattan and they swipe their tickets correctly, you get to stand outside the bars looking in at them with horror on your face because you just spent your last cash on the tickets and the ticket machines are all temporarily down?

Did you know that you can push the emergency button at the bottom of the subway stairs and a crackling voice, (the subway authority) will come on and say this (while the trains rumble by), “Kkkkkzzzzzttt, your problkkkzzzztttt?”

“Oh, uh, I am not from around here, ha-ha-ha, and uh I don’t understand what I did wrong, but my friends are ready to get on the uptown train and I’m here, with no cash and the machine thingee’s are down and the turnstile won’t let me get to them and I paid, honest!  I’m an upstanding cit…”

Wendy is rolling her eyes.

“Kkkkkzzzzttt, across the street to the zzzzzztttttkkkkk.  Tell themzzzzkkkk and you can…zzzztt…pppbbbbb….ttttt…kkkk. Okayzzz?”

My friends stare helplessly at me.  Not one to buck the system (unless someone is threatening my kids) I point upstairs and mouth, Be back in a sec!  They nod looking various shades of dazed and confused.

I run upstairs and ask the hotdog guy.  “The subway authority told me to come up here and cross the street to complain.  Where?”

“Soorree.  I doo nut no wut u r talking bout.  Ask her.”

His assistant:  “Subway stairs are over there, honey.”

“I know!  You see, I spent my last cash on… I…forget it.”  Back down stairs.  “This is gonna take all day girls.  I did everything I know how to find someone who works here.  There is no one.  So, stand back.  I’m coming in.”

Wendy glances around.  They all looked horrified.  It was a curious mix of fear and embarrassment because my shoe got stuck on the turnstile on the first go ’round and the bar gave me a pretty healthy spanking.  They train those things well.  The second attempt was successful and I’m proud to say I suffered only minor bruises and humiliation.  Happily, I was not arrested.

Carolyn

 

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Filed under Anxiety, Cussing, Death, friendship, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, New York, politeness, Travel

George Clooney is single!!

If I could only decide between the too hot mamas. Eenie, Meanie, Miney...

I know, I know, I promised that Wendy and I would be updating you
all from the Big Apple. But, we didn’t have time. As we were leaving for the
airport, the news broke that George Clooney was newly single, possibly in Manhattan… and the race was on.

It’s obvious that the boy is barking up the wrong tree with these super-skinny, super-attractive, super-young, super-models.   And, now that he’s 50, we’re guessing he’s
going to realize the error of his ways and start looking for a well-seasoned,
less-than-perfect woman to provide arm candy.
We think a little cellulite and some wrinkles are fine, because hey, we’re
not perfect, either.

So now, the question is, me or Wendy?  We asked our husbands and since neither of them seemed threatened in the least, it’s a horse race.

When we weren’t stalking Georgie Porgie Puddin’ Pie, we took a ton of pictures, visited 5 states, actually DROVE IN MANHATTAN (thank you, Darla, you rock), met with agents and editors, talked book deals, ate waaaaay too much, walked barefoot in Times Square at midnight and laughed ourselves half silly.  We came home speaking with distinct New York accents and are energized and ready to write.

Wishing you all a fab 4th!

Carolyn Clooney

Sounds good, huh, Wendy?

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, aging, Children, Geroge Clooney, Marriage, Menopause, New York, parenthood, Travel, Weight gain, wrinkles, Writing

Furious R-rated Don’t Read, Pt. 2.

"Make my day, doo-doo head!" This bad boy don't need to cuss.

   Why is it, when you make a decision to rumble with someone, to knock heads (I’m talking Bill Murray’s Ghostbuster rant about “disaster of biblical proportions, old testament, real wrath of God type stuff, fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, 40 years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria”–okay maybe not that bad), that you end up having to like, I don’t know, sit next to them on a plane, or be their lab partner or neighbor or something? 

Well, that just happened to me.  Remember the kid I was so hot under the collar over several blogs ago entitled Don’t Read, Rated R?  Yup.  Ended up spending a week with him at outdoor school.  (This year, we took on rocks and planets out in Eastern Oregon).

Yes.  I was scared.  I’m guessin’ he was too.

You know that theme from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly that always plays when outlaws are in the middle of a shootout at the O.K. corral?  The one where they squint at each other just before they draw their guns?  Here.  I’ll try a few bars for you:  Doo-doo-doo-doloo, Bah Wah, Wah. Doo-doo-doo-doloo, Bah Wah, WAH!  A big old ball of sage brush rolls by?  Yeah.  That song. 

It’s playing as I get on the bus, where I had to spend the next four solid hours.  And just who do you suppose is the first person I see?  The cussing eighth-grade rap-artist!  He was already seated.  The last empty seat was within spitting distance.  We eyeballed each other, brows a’see-sawin’.  Who was gonna draw first?  As I strolled down the aisle, we never broke eye-contact.  Didn’t smile.  Didn’t speak.  Slid into my seat.  Pulled down the brim of my hat.

Days passed.  Bumped into him every time I turned around.  I didn’t mention the obscene ballad to his mother he posted on Facebook.  He didn’t mention my vitriolic response.

I carry candy.  Lots of candy.  Especially when I’m forced into confined spaces with hormone-crazed middle-schoolers.  One blazing hot afternoon, he was hungry.  I had candy.  He wanted some.  I gave him some.  He said, “I love you!”  I said, “I love you, too.”

I think I got my point across.

Carolyn

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Filed under 35 symptoms of menopause, Children, Clint Eastwood, Cussing, friendship, Humor, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Outdoor school, parenthood, please and thank you, politeness, The Bad and the Ugly, Travel, Young Love

Haunted Hawaiian Vacation

    

Gasp!! It's a BRIGHTON!!

 Our last trip to Maui—see two blogs ago—was…well…for lack of a better word, haunted.  Haunted by bad luck.

The first thing to go wrong was that my wallet was stolen.  ON THE PLANE!  I used my credit card to buy a sandwich from the stewardess and I can only guess that my wallet fell to the floor, slid under the seat and was picked up by an unscrupulous Doo-doo Head  (excuse my French) upon landing.

This was horrible for me for several reasons.

Reason number one:  IT WAS A BRIGHTON WALLET!  $95!  Never mind that I found it (Brand-spanking NEW) at St. Vincent DePaul’s.  Yes!  It still had the original Brighton stickers and packing material!!  The good people at St. Vinnie’s didn’t know that it was worth far more than 2.99.  Yes!  What made it even better?  My mother was with me and it was SUPER SAVER SATURDAY FOR SENIORS!!  She scored a $95 Brighton for $1.50!  Wahooie!  Talk about a high!  This was better than that time when Geraldo Rivera nearly found something in Al Capone/Jimmy Hoffa/whoever’s safe!

Reason number two:  IT WAS FILLED WITH CASH

Reason number three:  IT HAD MY I.D.  Now how was I supposed to check in to the resort?  I wasn’t all that worried about not going home.  Sorry, honey.  Sorry kids.  Maui isn’t the worst place in the world to be stranded.  But…I was nobody!

Talk about a bummer.  Anyway, it all worked out—my fabulous husband Fed-Ex’d me a credit card and my passport.  But the other day, I was at Goodwill still mourning the loss of my wallet and sort of griping to God about it.  I do that.  Gripe to God.  “Lord, I know it’s probably not nice of me to ask You to smite the Doo-doo Head that stole my wallet.  But, could You maybe, replace my BRIGHTON wallet?  Did You get that?  I prefer Brighton…It’s not like I have $95 bucks to go out and replace it.  (Have I mentioned that I have yet to hit the NYT List, Lord?  What about that, Lord?)  Grumble, grumble, sigh.  I’m disgruntled and flipping through the wallet section at our brand new neighborhood Goodwill and suddenly the little hairs stand up on the back of my neck…

Just wait til I slather you with leather cleaner and silver polish!

What is this?  Why…IT’S A BRIGHTON WALLET!  For $3.99!! A little worn—but much less than the one I just lost, being that I’d loved on that wallet for several years—and Bigger than my last wallet!  This one (in its heyday) probably retailed for $120-150 smackeroos.  Oh, yeah. Thank you, Jesus!!  My husband is going to detail/clean it for me (although it’s in awesome shape).

I’ll relate the rest of our Maui misfortunes later.  For now, I’m off to do some more treasure hunting at Goodwill.

Aloha,

Carolyn

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Filed under Goodwill, Humor, Marriage, Maui, Menopause, Motherhood, Travel

Aloha. Oy.

I have not blogged for a while because I was out-of-town. Maui to be exact.  I planned to do a lot of writing while there, but alas, just couldn’t work up the energy.  Too busy trying to connect my liver spots by the pool.

I go every year with three girlfriends: the lawyer, the engineer and the model (used to be Miss Kansas).  They could all be models, actually, so laying by the pool next to them in my swimdress-that-doubles-as-a-puptent is such a treat.  So relaxing.

These ladies (all in their late 40’s/early 50’s) enjoy getting up at the crack of dawn and guilting me into ‘walking’ with them.  For me, this equals four miles of morning angina, before a peppy trip to the gym for some heat exhaustion, then, back to the suite for a delicious breakfast of air and coffee.

After breakfast it’s off to the pool to do what we call “assume the position”.  For them, this means baking to a delicate golden brown.  For me, it means profuse sweating coupled with heat stroke which I valiantly stave off by rolling into the pool every so often.

At lunchtime, we experiment with new and exotic ways to use Crystal Lite drink mix.  This year, we tried it on fat-free popcorn.  Interesting bouquet.  Fruity.  Light.  Disgusting.

Of course since popcorn has a nearly 90% glycemic index, we had to do four more miles of angina before dinner.  Dinner is time to splurge with a handful of veggies and a movie.

I came back 7 pounds lighter.

Halloween fixed that, though.  Got the old glycemic index back on track in one simple evening.  Until next year, of course.  Aloha.

Carolyn

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Filed under Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Travel

Bathroom Humor, Part Duex-Duex

Planning a trip to Europe? Thank heavens you stumbled upon this blog! Before you go, you really need to consider a couple of handy tips my husband and I discovered that will help make your visit a more pleasant experience.

Take going to the bathroom for example. Did you know that you have to PAY for the privilege? Um hmm .50 Euros. That’s nearly a dollar American, down the toilet.

Unfortunately, we didn’t remember until we were in ‘crisis-mode’ so to speak.  Of course, we were waaay out of town, strolling through a picturesque German neighborhood, admiring the quaint architecture when my hubby felt a sudden need to find a McPoo. (Apparently, this is what European tourists call McDonalds, because its got free restrooms). I was miffed as his bowel functions were messing with my holiday but, since the matter seemed to be fairly pressing, we turned around and headed back toward town.

Whatever he was suffering from must have been contagious because I was also suddenly afflicted and we both picked up speed. Okay. Where is a McDonalds when you need one? There is one on every bleeping corner of the universe, unless you’re desperate. Luckily, there was a sign at the train station. W.C. (No, Wendy, this does not stand for Wendy and Carolyn, although at first I thought they’d heard of us over there. It stands for Water Closet).

Europeans have the audacity to keep these things locked until you have .50 Euro to plug into the door. Of course, we didn’t. I had a dollar. We hot-footed it over to a nearby bakery, waving our Euro and shouting “WC ! WC!” at the poor girl behind the counter. There was an elderly woman (a year or so older than me) at the counter, pointing at baked goods and jabbering in German. I don’t speakie the lingie, but clearly she couldn’t decide. And the girl behind the counter couldn’t open the register to make change, until she decided. My husband and I jogged in place while she deliberated. FOREVER. Sticky buns? Non-sticky buns. (I will refrain from the obvious pun). Finally, the elderly woman made her decision, the girl behind the counter flung our change at us and we were off to the WC.

There was only one open.

“Let’s share!” I screamed at my husband and we crowded into the WC (saved .50 Euro while we were at it, I might add). Luckily for us, the honeymoon was over decades ago. He let me go first (would George Clooney be so magnanimous, Wendy?) bless his heart. During his turn, I decided that I had to go again.

Eventually, there was an impatient knock at the door. “Occupied!” I strove to sound jaunty. There was some disgruntled talk outside the door. “Hurry,” I urged the hubby, during his second go round. “I think they think we’re in here…doing it!” “They wouldn’t if they could smell it,” he grunted.

Once we were both blessedly empty, we flung open the door and bolted. Behind us, more disgruntled (this time semi-nauseated) German talk. I’m nearly positive the words “Ugly American” were bandied about.

The British penny is sometimes referred to as a ‘p’. So, it may help to remember this handy saying: A ‘p’ to pee and two ‘p’ to poo.

Good luck, sojourner.

Carolyn

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Filed under Anxiety, Bathroom Humor, Geroge Clooney, Marriage, Menopause, Motherhood, Older writers, Travel, Weight Loss, Writing