A Nose Picker and a Full Moon – Will this day ever end?!


So in the past few months, I have had to make a couple of trips out-of-state, which is unusual. My husband is the traveler – not me! I honestly don’t know how he does it because, these days, flying on commercial airlines is not only horribly aggravating and uncomfortable but, it’s also just plain disgusting! You really have the opportunity to see society at its worst! On a recent trip, I watched a grown man eat his own boogers and then I had to wade through old-man pee on the airplane bathroom floor.  To end my day, I was forced to eat my meal staring into a strangers gleaming white butt crack!

So, my first trip was out to Northern California, to visit some of my husband’s family and friends. It was a horrible start to our flight: full strip and pat down in the security line, delayed plane, irritable people waiting for a delayed flight at 5:45 in the morning because the passengers managed to make it to the airport at the crack of dawn, but for some reason the pilot was running late – really!  So we finally make our delayed flight (which was a 48 minute flight), only to barely make our connection – I mean we were running and in a full sweat trying to make it to the next leg of the flight (the 5 1/2 hour portion of the flight). We are the last to get on the plane but, miraculously, we made it!

At this point, we are well into the flight. My husband had been sleeping for about an hour and I was passing time by reading my book and watching the weirdo who was sitting diagonal to us. The man was pudgy, pasty white, and wearing a t-shirt trying to convince people that he had run in (but more likely he had worked in a covered booth at) a marathon for serious runners. This guy could not have made the run through the airport, that my husband and I just made, without being doubled over or having an asthma attack! He was also watching a very strange movie on his tablet. It was in a stand so I could actually watch all of the young women, in the movie, running around and screaming; it was extraordinarily strange!  From very early on in the flight, this guy was ranking high on my creepy meter!

So, the flight attendant is now taking lunch orders. She gets to the chunky marathoner, and gives him the horrible lunch choices (a nasty chicken salad or a nasty creamy pasta) and takes his drink order. He asks if there is a vegetarian option. I find this interesting! This man is not in good shape! He is fairly young but, he looks unhealthy and his coloring is strange; this is not a man who is interested in taking care of himself! The flight attendant says she can remove the chicken from a salad. He says, “That will be OK. I just don’t eat meat for personal reasons”. We are next, so I wake my husband and ask what he wants to eat. She then takes my order, checks with the row behind us, and then returns to start making the drinks.

I look again at the pudgy, vegetarian, marathoner and I watch him as he raises a single finger and just holds it near his chest. Then, he slowly moves his pointer finger toward his nose. Finally, he gets to his right nostril and sticks that finger directly up his nose. He pulls out what I presume to be a booger, holds it on his finger for a moment, and then inserts it in his mouth! I watch his jaw move, and I realize my mouth is hanging open, as I am in disbelief. I was still horrified by what I had just witnessed, when the man then takes the same pointer finger and inserts it into his left nostril (which is in my full vision) and digs around in his nose. He then pulls something out and, again, holds it on his finger until the moment that he decided to shove it into his mouth! He has now inserted two big boogers into his mouth and I am feeling sick.

I was looking around and wondering if anyone else had witnesses this horror show. Was no one else aware of the vegetarian booger eater on the plane? Then, I found myself wondering if boogers were vegetarian? I wondered if he was going to use them as croutons on his salad or, were they replacing the chicken? Has any research been done into whether or not boogers are considered to be vegetarian? Are boogers protein? Do they contain nutrients?  Was the man so desperate for a little protein, that he was willing to eat his own dirty boogers? This would require me to take a long hard look at my decision to be a vegetarian!

When my food came, I was too grossed out to eat it and, I was actually quite hungry. I had eaten a granola bar around 5:30 am, while waiting in the airport, but had been much more focused on my venti latte. Our morning flight was late and we had no time between our connection so, since very early this morning, we’ve had no time to eat or go to the bathroom. Now, I actually needed to pee. I waited until the flight attendant removed my tray and I headed to the airplane restroom.

I opened the door and had to take a step back from the terrible smell; I decided to try to hold my breath. I looked at the floor and there was pee everywhere; this restroom was a disaster! As a tiny woman, there is nothing worse than having to squat over one of these airplane toilets because, in an attempt to keep from touching the urine-soaked toilet seat, you must really stick your butt back and lean your head forward until your head almost touches the door – the filthy, germ-covered, never been cleaned, stinky, airplane bathroom door! So, I pee as quickly as possible while looking at the sticky, wet, floor and wonder what animals have been using this bathroom!

I open the bathroom door, fill my lungs with the urine-free air, and look at the two rows of men sitting in front of us. I stand there for a moment (pretending to stretch) as I slowly check out the old, balding, white guys chugging cheap Chardonnay like it was water. No wonder the bathroom floor was such a mess! These old men were drunk from the unlimited airplane wine, and could not figure out how to get their pee into the actual toilet bowl; imagine if they had to squat over the bowl like a woman – there would be a flood! I get back to my seat and watch as the booger-eater stands to go to the bathroom. He leaves his ear buds in and takes his, very large, tablet with him to the bathroom. I was just in there! There was no safe place to sit his tablet. And why is he taking it in there anyway? I was getting a bad feeling!

Eventually, we landed and I felt exhilarated walking off of that plane! We were off to pick up our rental car. We could sit in an area that did not smell like a horse stall, and I would not have to watch strange people eat crusty stink particles right out of their noses. We still had about a 1 and 1/2 hour drive to Napa Valley. It was raining outside but, I enjoyed the quiet drive! We were already a day late meeting his family (they were already at a wine tour and luncheon), so we decided to stop at one of our favorite restaurants for a late lunch. We did not have a reservation and this is a very well-known and recognized restaurant in Napa Valley so, we had to wait! Honestly, we were very lucky that it was raining so hard because, it was causing people to cancel. At a restaurant that books several months in advance, we were going to have about an hour wait.

I filled my time people watching; it was an interesting crowd. There were locals, and couples vacationing, and groups of friends talking. One group of girls was standing right beside us at the bar and, they stood out from the locals. They all wore tight jeans with t-shirts, vests, scarves, and fedora hats in contrasting colors and prints – it was a lot to take in! They were pushy and rude, while they drank their wine, and gossiped about some poor girl who didn’t make the trip with them from San Francisco. After 45 minutes of waiting the girls were seated and, 10 minutes later my husband and I were too.

By this point, it had been a very long day! We had gotten up at 3:45 am to get showered and drive to the airport for our early flight, which was delayed. It was now 3:30 pm California time, which meant it was 6:30 pm to us. We were excited to sit down to a delicious meal, and not the freeze-dried chicken that they serve on the plane. Just as I was telling my husband about why I lost my appetite on the plane, and how excited I was to have great food and beautiful scenery, I almost choked on my salad! I put down my fork, picked up my wine glass, and motioned to my husband. I muttered “Look”, and nonchalantly pointed my fork at the group of “San Francisco” girls that had been pushing me around at the bar.

My husbands eyes got huge and he started to choke on his bread. As he proceeded to beat on his chest, and try to stop laughing, I was shaking my head and saying, “This is just not my day!”. We were now trying to look away from the strangers fully exposed butt, that was staring me right in the face. This girl was wearing very tight and low-cut jeans, with a short shirt, vest and scarf. When she sat down, her full butt crack was exposed! But, when she leaned forward, to reach for the shared food in the middle of their table, her ENTIRE butt was showing. I even said to my husband, “She has got to be commando! There is no way she is wearing panties! Can an entire pair of panties just disappear up someone’s butt crack? You can literally see her entire butt and into the top of her jeans”, which were on the seat of the chair. My husband shuddered at the thought of this girl’s butt crack eating her panties.

We were having a fantastic meal but, with every bite, I tried not to look at the “full moon” which was blazing just before me!  As our dessert came, I heard a gasp come from the table right beside me. I looked over and saw the round table erupt with laughter, mixed with expressions of horror. I looked over at the local woman, who I could feel looking at me. I nodded, sighed, and said, “I know! It’s extremely hard to look away!” At this point the woman’s husband said, “I can’t believe you just noticed that; that is not like you!  I saw that ages ago!” The wife replied, “Why didn’t you tell me?” The husband then said, “I didn’t think you would want to see that!”. What a gentleman!

I was aware of the local couple because our tables were very close together and I noticed the man’s southern drawl; it was very similar to mine. At their table, a southern man had married a California woman. We were the opposite; my husband is from California and I was born in the South. I’d heard the man talking about their homes (and plane) in the area, and his wife was covered in diamonds bigger than the local grapes – the couple definitely caught my attention! So anyway, the local couple called the hostess over and said, “Sara, Look!” The hostess, Sara, covered her mouth and then said, “EUWWW, GROSS! I am so sorry that you have to see that!” The young woman’s gleaming-white butt was becoming a spectacle but the San Franciscans’ , who were absorbed in their gossip, seemed to be completely oblivious. I would think that the cold draft of air wafting across her fully exposed buttocks would have been a clue, but no!

As my husband and I left, and we walked past our neighboring table, they looked to us and said,” We hope you enjoyed your lunch. It is unusual for pork butt to be on the menu!” Yikes!  I would have felt sorry for the girl if she had not proceeded to elbow me, bump me, and slam her purse into me repeatedly, with ample room at the bar – she was just being nasty! I decided she may be experiencing a little dose of Karma! My husband and I walked out of the restaurant, got in the car, and discussed whether we should go to the house and unpack, or just go find his brother and start drinking immediately! It had been a very long day and we decided we were ready for a little less excitement, a little more red wine, and some scenery that will not make you want to scratch your eyes out – to the vineyard it is!!!

Did That Thing Just Pee on Me?

My daughter recently had a field trip with her kindergarten class.  The school asked for parents to drive and to help keep track of the kids. They were going to a museum, which is huge.  You could spend the entire day inside the museum, but to see everything outside would take another full day.  Outside the museum there are miles of outdoor activities, live animals, a train, boats, and even dinosaur trails.  I volunteered to go, not really thinking about how hard it was going to be having my three year old with me.  The week before the field trip, I had re-injured my ankle and was now back in my “boot”.  I left that museum with a swollen foot and throbbing leg.  I was also covered in sweat, pollen, dirt and I what I am fairly sure was squirrel pee!  
My daughter really wanted to go on this field trip and, in order to help drive, I was going to have to keep my son home from school and take him with us.  The museum was too far away from his preschool and I could not make it back to pick him up at 11:45 (when he gets out).  But, I was actually looking forward to taking him on the field trip; I knew he would have a great time and he loves doing things with his big sister.  We got to the museum to meet her class and they were both very excited.  There is a big rocket at the front of the museum and my son was fascinated!  He could not stop talking about the rocket and I felt like I made the right decision to bring him on the fun, but  still educational, field trip.
When the rest of my daughter’s class arrived, she informed me that she was NOT staying with me. My daughter told me that she would be staying with her teacher, and a select group of friends, and I was to take her little brother and avoid her until the end of the day.  Her teacher (who loves her) agreed to keep her, so “little miss independent” walked away with her cool, mommy-free, group.  I drove 45 minutes (to that museum) for my daughter, and she decides that she wants to be with her friends, not her family!   Honestly I was a little sad, but it was still an opportunity to spend quality time with my son.   
My son and I went the opposite direction of my daughter.  We spent a lot of time looking at the space exhibits and the satellite.  We studied the live owls, alligators, and birds and had just finished learning about clouds, when my son decided he wanted to go find the dinosaur trail.  We headed outside and followed the signs.  It was a pretty morning in mid-April and things were starting to bloom, but it was also starting to get hot.  It was a long walk over multiple terrains.  As I hobbled over the concrete, gravel, and mulch paths, I could already feel my re-fractured foot and leg throbbing but, my son was excited.  We finally arrived at the dinosaurs and I was relieved to find that it was one of the shadiest places outside the museum.  The trail was just cut into the very tall trees and, in a few places, the trees arched and provided complete cover from the sun.  
We walked the dinosaur trail 3 times.  I was exhausted, but he loved seeing the life-sized dinosaurs set out in the trees.  He wanted me to read him every detail about the dinosaurs.  He listened, asked questions, and talked up a storm.  He was happy as a lark, but I was hot and in pain!  He wanted to take the trail again (for the 4th time) but I talked him into going to get some lunch.  I really wanted to get off of my foot and rest it for a minute.  He reluctantly agreed, after I promised to find him french fries, and we turned and headed back toward the entrance. 
We were now retracing our footsteps and heading back down the long wooded trail toward the  cafe.  This part of the trail narrows and is surrounded by nothing but very tall, arching trees.  I was enjoying the cool shade, when I was startled by the feeling of something wet hitting my head.  I jumped forward and then turned around because I heard a loud “splat” on the concrete path behind me.   I then quickly looked up because I heard something in the tops of the trees.  The sound was a branch cracking/moving above us.  I stood there, shocked and confused, as I tried to determine what this weird gush of fluid was that fell from the trees.  
My first thought was that a bird had pooped on me.  I was looking at the wet splatter pattern and trying to determine what it could have come from.  It was hard to say how much liquid had actually fallen. It had made a pretty loud “splat”, but I don’t think it was actually all that much liquid.  It was more likely that it made such a loud noise and such a wide splatter because it was falling from such a height – it had to be falling very far and very fast!  It still seemed like too much liquid to have come from a bird, and I also heard the sound of a cracking, bending branch above me.  Something was moving on, or jumping from, one of those narrow branches 50 feet above me.  It had to be a squirrel, I thought.  On a daily basis, I see them walk up, and on, the most unbelievably high and narrow branches.  I have watched them spidey-man up the side of our house; they are unbelievable climbers!  
I was positive that only a bird or squirrel could have been up that high, and there was no wing-flapping, chirping, or squawking going on.  It was not a bird, and it was not the rain, so it had to be a squirrel.  But, I still had to determine what that furry little menace (the squirrel) had actually dropped from the tree.  Either he was up there having a drink, and spilled his little dixie cup, or he peed on me!  OK, I was now fairly confident that a stupid, furry little rodent had just peed on me (on the dinosaur trail) at the museum!   To make matters worse, I had just put my favorite sunglasses up on my head (when we hit the shade).  That squirrel had the nerve to pee on my favorite sunglasses!  Seriously!  I cant put those back on my eyes!
We went to eat and I caught a glance of my hair in a mirror in the cafe.  Nothing noticeable jumped out; it was not super obvious that an animal had just peed in my head, so I decided to put it behind me and not let it ruin the day.  I was relieved to find that, beside the forks, the cafe had set a huge bottle of sanitizer out.  I rubbed that sanitizer on my hands and tried to forget that an animal had just taken a wiz on my head.  After eating, my son felt much better but, I could not say the same.  We headed down the road and ran into my daughter looking at the stinky farm animals.  Between the smell of the animals and the heat, I started feeling nauseous.  Even though she protested, we decided to follow my daughter’s group, to the play fort.  
My son was determined to do everything his big sister was doing and she was determined to stay far away from him.  She climbed up in this tall wooden fort, but my son could not reach the steps.  She just left him hanging there – stuck!   I had to squeeze through mobs of children as I tried to rescue my dangling son.  My huge “boot” kept getting stuck between wooden slabs and impatient, stinky, older kids elbowed and kicked me as they fought to push past me and my trapped little boy.  It was a nightmare!  I got my son down and then chased him over bridges, through concrete tunnels, and down wooden ramps, all with a broken ankle.  I was covered in sweat, dirt, green pollen (which was falling from the newly budding trees), and what I am pretty sure was squirrel pee!  I felt disgusting!  
It was finally time for all of the kids to go and I was so relieved!  We got into the air-conditioned car and there was a moment of silence.  We were all tired and the 45 minute drive home was fairly quiet.  We walked in the door and I told the kids to wash their hands and gave them some fruit.  I turned on the TV and told them that I was going to take a quick shower because I was pretty sure that a furry rodent had urinated on my head.  
After I removed the sweat, pollen, and animal urine, I felt like a new person.  I came out and sat with my kids and thought about the number of people at the museum today.  There were hundreds of people there.  I wondered if anyone else had an animal confuse them with a toilet!  I was still questioning if anything else could have fallen from such a height.  I thought again about hearing the distinct sound of the branches cracking, and then watching them rustling overhead; it was as if an animal was jumping from one branch to another.  Just then, I looked out the second story window.  I saw one of the long branches shake and watched as a squirrel tightrope-walked down the thin limb.  The squirrel just sat, with unbelievable balance, on the very edge of the limb as he ate it’s red berries.  I reached up and touched my newly washed hair and found myself sneering.  
It was now official;  I am now (and forever) completely over squirrels!  They are no longer cute, agile, determined little creatures; they are troublemakers!  I thought about how they filled our gutters with dirt, rocks, and mud (to make nests) which basically turned into cement.  Those squirrels cemented out gutters, and down spouts, costing us a lot of aggravation and money.  Now, they have the nerve to go and pee on me!  I am an animal lover, but these animals truly are a total pain in my rear (and a mess in my hair).  I I don’t ever want to see one of those bushy-tailed rats again.  
Well, so much for my fun-filled, educational trip to the museum.  I hope my children learned something educational today,  because I sure didn’t.  Well, maybe that is not true. I did learn the importance of investing in a parasol, a slicker, or even a waterproof wide-brimmed hat, if you are going to be walking under trees or forest creatures!   So, I guess I did learn something today; maybe the day wasn’t a total loss after all!  
Not cool Mr. Squirrel!  That was seriously not cool!

No, This Is Not A Costume!

This has been one of those days when I have not felt good about myself. Have you ever had one of those days when you just did not feel like yourself or, worse, when you did not even look like yourself. Well, thinking that you look terrible is depressing enough but, it’s even worse when your own little personal peanut gallery confirms those fears through comments of their own.

So, I don’t know if it was hormones or what but, I just felt off this morning. It had been a long week and I hoped that this morning (Saturday), I would wake up feeling like a new person. Well, I woke up feeling like a new person, but not in a good way. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and cried? This morning, I wanted to cry. I stood in front of the mirror and took a good, long look at myself and had to sit down; my reflection was depressing.

True, it had been a tough few months. My son was home sick nearly nearly an entire month with chronic croup (and they now fear he also has asthma). At night he honestly struggled to breathe. Many nights I had to sleep in his room so, I had not slept well in weeks. My husband had been traveling and was basically been gone for the last two months. He gets home and the doctors are afraid that he has a blood clot. Now they are calling him in for x-rays and MRI’s. We finally found out that everything is OK.  It was a false alarm – Thanks Doc! So my husband is just fine, the daughter is fine, and my son is getting better. Now I should be feeling better, right? I had to wonder, could the stress of the past few weeks, well months, really make me look this bad?

I was trying to analyze myself in the mirror, but it wasn’t especially easy to do through my swollen eyes. I was quick to notice how puffy and swollen my face looked, but was surprised to discover that (even though my face was puffy) I woke up with new wrinkles that were not there yesterday. I mean these lines in my face were NOT there on Friday! Now, to make matters worse, my jeans do not seem to fit right this morning. Is it actually possible to gain weight while you sleep? I put on the rest of my clothes and then took a better look at the jeans I was wearing; I honestly did not remember them being this ugly when I bought them.

I tried to dry my hair, but it just seemed to be shellacked to the top of my head. I rubbed the top of my head and wondered if my hair become excessively oily overnight? I also found it confusing that my hair could be flat on the top, then stick out so wildly from my ears down!  Half way down my head, my hair was full of static, it looked like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet. Luckily, I decided this was not a permanent condition because, I soon realized that I just forgot to rinse the conditioner out of my hair. I took one more look at myself and sighed – I was a serious mess!

My kids were now both awake so went to make breakfast. At this point, my daughter eluded to the fact that a monkey could make better scrambled eggs than the ones that I provided this morning. I tried to overlook her comment about the food. My child has very low blood sugar in the morning and can be a tad cranky! I knew that she was just hungry, but the thoughts were still running through my head – Is it possible (that while sleeping), I really may have gained weight, produced wrinkles, lost my fashion sense, and my ability to cook?

I was pretty sure that I could not feel any worse when my little boy asked me, “Are you a zebra today?” I asked him if I looked like a zebra and he said, “Yes! I really like your zebra shirt!” I looked down at my long sleeve black t-shirt with very thin white pinstripes. It did not scream “zebra” to me, but I also did not remember my jeans being this weird pale blue color either. I had already questioned my choice of jeans this morning, but not my shirt!

I then went to sit beside my son on the sofa, when he touched the top of my head. He looked at me and asked, “Mommy, why does your hair look like that today? Do you think a haircut could fix it? It is really sticking up behind the top!” I then said, “So you think my hair looks bad today?” He replied with, “Yes! It really does mom!” My daughter then said, “It is funny the way it is flat on the top, but sticks out on the sides! It is kind of like clown hair, or wings!” My son laughed as he flapped his arms, pointed at me, and yelled “Wings! Wings!”

Well, that is that. I was afraid that I looked bad today and now those fears have been confirmed. I wonder if I can be around other people and not offend them with my new wrinkles, water weight, ugly clothes, and static-filled hair. Do I hide in my house and hope that tomorrow brings a new day, new look, and new attitude? Or, do I go out and face the day? I figure that I could actually help to make women feel better about themselves. My guess is that many people will find comfort in the fact that they can look at me and say “Hey, at least I am having a better day than that poor lady! She looks awful!” So friends, I hope that I can raise your spirits today because (it has been confirmed that) I really do look terrible!

By the way, if you want to see how bad I look today, we will be at the neighborhood grocery store around 2:00 today. I will be there person who is dressed like a zebra – with wings on her head; it might be worth the trip!

Elmer Fudd, Attorney at Law

This is exactly why people hate insurance companies. It is bad enough when you get hurt or have an accident, but it is only made worse by the ridiculous hoops you have to jump through to please your insurance company and/or employer. I was not in the mood to jump through hoops last week, when the “Accident Inquiry” form arrived at our house. I am still wondering if I went too far while answering the questions, considering that the form could basically be considered a legal affidavit. My answers did push the limit but, ultimately, I told the truth. I almost lied when I considered putting down my lawyers name as Elmer Fudd (who works on Looney Tunes Lane) but, luckily, I was able to stop myself.

This all started because of my broken foot/ankle. To find out that it was broken I had to go to the doctor; this was not something that I determined myself. During the process I had to have x-rays and I chose the boot over a cast (due to the ridiculous amount of stairs in my house). Now, it appears that the insurance company is trying to find somebody else to pay for it. A form came in the mail asking questions about my “ACCIDENT”. The form asked how (and when) it occurred. Was the “accident” auto, or work, related and if it happened on someone else’s property. It also wanted the name of my attorney.

Unfortunately, this was the second time that I had received this form. The first “accident” occurred while my husband was working in Hong Kong. I was around 3 months pregnant (with my second child) and was struggling with really low blood pressure. Well, I fainted while taking a shower and woke up covered in both blood and shampoo; I had to drive myself to the emergency room. The first time that I had to fill out this form, it really annoyed me. I remember asking my husband why the company’s Human Resources department needed this information. My husband has also made a quick trip to the emergency room before, but he did not receive this form; I found this curious!

I’ve met the head of HR multiple times and I was not impressed. I knew that my husband wasn’t crazy about him, but I didn’t know why. When I asked what he didn’t like about the man, my husband would just mutter the word “Putz” and then mumble under his breath. The first time that I ever met the “putz”/Head of HR was at an office function. Mr. HR and his wife were there and, even though my husband did not care for him, I was still determined to keep an open mind. The man was fairly short and thin, while his wife was very tall with broad shoulders. I remember looking at them from the back, and she looked like his mom. On multiple occasions I watched as his wife would grab him by the hand and pull him around the room, like he was a child. She would also talk over him and tell him where to sit.

I still was not sure what my husband disliked about him. I knew it was not the fact that Mr. HR seemed to be married to a strong woman; I am pretty strong myself. In fact, my husband thinks it is important for women to be educated and independent. But, unlike these two, my husband and I barely even see each other at these parties. We walk in together and then my husband gets stuck talking business all night while I walk around pretending to remember the names and/or positions of people that I rarely see.

About two hours into that first meeting, I just thought that Mr. HR just had “mommy issues”. By the third hour, I realized that he may may a more serious scratch on the chip. I did not think that anything could make these office functions worse, but then the man started spending more time around me. I would catch him watching me and my skin would crawl. He would always show up when my husband (and his wife) were on the other side of the room. He would always offer to get me a drink, but he would stand too close and try to touch my shoulders and/or hands. I then wondered if this was why his wife tried to keep him busy at these parties; I wondered if he had a tendency to get too “touchy” when he drank.  By the end of the night, that man was setting off every “creepy alarm” in my body. I honestly did not have a good feeling about the guy. My husband evidently picked up on something as well, but never really knew what it was.

The first time that I got this “accident” form, I was irritated because I did not think that it was any of “Mr. Creepy’s” business. I hated that he knew I was pregnant, much less that I had a concussion. It also bothered me that he didn’t send my husband these forms!  So here I am, again, looking at the same stupid form and trying to determine exactly who will be reading this. The reply envelope said it was going elsewhere, but (last time) my husband said that it would definitely make it back to HR and, ultimately to, “Mr. Creepy”.  I sat looking at the form while I ate my lunch. The form was so ridiculous that I could not help myself; I grabbed my pen and started to fill out the form.

I filled out my personal information then quickly came to the first stupid question. The form asked me, “HOW DID THE ACCIDENT HAPPEN” and I wrote: “I was running with my kids. I did not see a hole in the ground. My foot slipped into the hole and snapped hard to the left. I yelled OW!”

I came to the second section. I was not able to check that it was auto or work related, so I had to answer the next question. The question asked, “DID SOMEONE ELSE CAUSE THE ACCIDENT” and I wrote: “It does appear that an animal vandalized our property. I have been searching the internet trying to determine if the hole in question was made by a bunny rabbit, a mole, or a groundhog – all of which we have seen lurking around the premises. My investigation has currently led me to believe (with 95% certainty) that the hole was made by a bunny rabbit. When I am absolutely positive which bunny rabbit is responsible for the damage to my property, which ultimately caused my injury, I can then determine if this animal has the resources/ability to cover all expenses which were incurred.”

The next section asked for “THE NAME OF YOUR LAWYER” and I held my pen on the line. I wanted so badly to write “Elmer Fudd – Attorney/ Professional Wabbit Chaser”. I somehow found a little restraint and I managed to leave the line blank. I was looking back over the form and wondered if I had gone too far. I am fully aware that I have a “unique” sense of humor that some people just don’t get. I was still perusing the document when my husband walked in the house. He asked what I was doing and I told him that I got another “accident form” about my broken foot. He shook his head and muttered something under his breath. I asked him, yet again, if this form would be getting back to his office. He said, “Yes. It will definitely get back to HR. Why?”

I thought about what I had written. My husband works at a large company but, due to his position, everyone knows him. I really don’t want to make any trouble for him; he works too hard just to have me go and cause trouble. I looked up at him sheepishly and said, “Well, maybe we should not mail this form in. I know that they will me send a new one.” He looked at me and asked, “What did you do?” I read him my answers about how I was searching for the rabbit who caused my injury and then reiterated how badly I wanted to write in Elmer Fudd as my attorney. I was even going to give them the address “Looney Tunes Lane”. I then said, “Look, I showed real restraint! This form is so stupid – ask a stupid question, and you get a stupid answer! Besides, I just think that they are being nosey! Why are they so interested in me and not in you? We have the exact same insurance, but they don’t send you these stupid forms! If he wants to know how I hurt my foot, he could just walk up to your office and ask!” My husband looked at me, laughed, and (to my surprise) said, “Send it in! I am actually curious to see if they say anything about it!” I signed the form and stuffed it in the envelope before he could change his mind.

I hope the people who end up with my “accident form” have a sense of humor and don’t get get all worked up over it. My husband did remind me “By signing that document, you are stating that you are telling the truth. AND, it will hold up in a court of law.” But I did not lie on the form, even though I really wanted to! My first inclination was to report that I injured my foot by pushing off some creep who kept rubbing his sweaty hands on me at parties; a man who set up seminars on having “a safe and effective office environment”. But, I managed to restrain myself and just give the facts. I did break my foot while running and I do think that a rabbit burrowed the infamous hole in my yard, so I don’t really think that they could do anything to me. I was very proud of my husband for letting me send in the document; especially knowing that it would end up in our “file” in the HR department. My husband said that the head of HR or “Mr. Creepy” does not have a great sense of humor, so we are both interested to see how this plays out. I hope this puts an end to all of the “accident forms”, because next time it will be much harder for me to show even this level of restraint.


It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane – Nope, It’s A Chevy!

OK, so this was one of those days where all of the signs are telling you to just turn around and go home, but you cant.  I have had two sick kids and then, of course, I got their cold.  Due to the fact that I was so sick, I got very behind on things including getting my foot checked out.  I had been in a lot of pain and thought that I had probably broken my toe, but  there was not much that I could do about it.  After a few weeks, I could barely put any weight on it and I had to get it checked.  It turns out that I actually had two breaks, including one at my ankle – oops!   So anyway, the last four weeks had not been fun and, I really needed to get out and play catch-up.

The day started stressfully as we all overslept and were moving fast just trying to get out of the door.  Somehow I got the lunches made and the kids in the car and we started down our road.  I had not gone two blocks when a big black cat comes running down a rock wall and jumps right in front of my car.  I mean this thing almost landed on my hood; he barely missed me.  I slammed on the brakes and all of the backpacks, lunch boxes and jackets go flying across the car.  We are fine and the cat is fine, so we mosey on down the road.  We are leaving the neighborhood when some guy in a pickup truck is driving on the wrong side of the road and heading straight for us.  The man was looking down, and probably had no idea that he was in my lane, but he kept his foot firmly pressed on the gas pedal.  I, once again, came to a complete stop while trying to figure out what this moron was doing.  He was getting closer and not looking up, so I laid on the horn.  Right before he hit me, he looked up (swerved) and drove right into someones front yard.  I had gone 2 miles and had to slam on breaks twice.  This was looking like it was going to be a rough morning.

We drive for 10 more minutes and I watch as morons swerve at me from every direction.  This morning everyone is trying to dial a phone, read their email, drink a cup of coffee, and fix their oatmeal, while driving to work.  I sat at a stop light and watched the woman in front of me putting on eye makeup, smoking a cigarette, drinking her coffee, and talking on her phone all at the same time.  As the light turned green, she rolled down her window and tossed her (partially eaten) breakfast and drive-thru coffee right out the window.  The top came off of her coffee and it actually splashed on the car beside her, but that driver did not even notice since he was reading a paper.

I continued to drive, still basically unscathed, as I reached the interstate and merged into traffic.  I am in the far left lane and going over 70 miles an hour, when I look down the road and see something ahead of me.  It is large and white and looks to be blocking the entire lane.  I change lanes and start to slow down.  A bright red Chevy Malibu is coming up quickly.  He is driving in the left lane and I slow down further so that he will have room to get in front of me.  I see the large white object and can’t figure out what it could be.  I watch the Chevy getting closer to this huge object before him.  He is going fast and holding his course.  I stay well behind him and to his right.

We get closer and I realize that it is a mattress.  A huge road-blocking mattress is in the middle of the interstate.  It is literally covering the entire lane and the Chevy is not moving over.  I don’t understand how he can not see it!  A king size mattress is in the middle of his lane.  I slow even further.  I am now down to about 50 mph because I fear this idiot is going to swerve over at the last minute, but he does not swerve!  I sat and watched this person drive right over the mattress.  I was in a huge SUV and was not sure that I could could clear that thing.  But, this goofball drives his four door sedan right over that huge gleaming white mattress and does not even slow down.

When he hit the mattress, the car actually jumped.  Amazingly, the car kept moving but the mattress really didn’t.  The giant mattress held firm as the bottom of the car scraped a path right through it and then came down with a thud.  I heard another strange sound (probably the transmission falling out) and watched, in shear amazement, as the Chevy continued (but much slower) down the road.  I quickly arrived at the next exit (to turn toward my daughters school) and there, on the side of the road, was a black pickup truck.  The driver was standing at the back and was looking at the other mattress, and/or box spring, that was in the back of his truck.  He looked confused as he tried to figure out where the other half of his mattress set had gone.  Evidently he had not tied the pieces down and did not think that when he hit 65mph, his huge mattress set would sprout wings and fly away. I was running late and could not stick around to see when, or if, he would discover his chevy-plowed king size mattress lying 1/4 mile back in the road.

I was now on the long winding road and nearing the school when a family of deer come darting out in front of my car.  I slam on brakes and watch as four deer, one of which brushed my bumper, run across the road.  I start back up slowly and pull into the parking lot at my daughters school.  I was exhausted from the drive, but I got my child safely inside and then set out to deliver my son to school.

I drove much slower as I backtracked to the interstate which was good because a dog came darting out in front of my car.  A cute little basset hound came running out in front of me.  I avoided the dog and all other crazed Monday morning drivers and finally arrived at my son’s school.  I watched my son walk into the school and breathed a sigh of relief.  I then pulled out of the carpool line, and into a parking space, as I pondered which way to turn.  I wondered if I should continue with my plans to run errands, or just go home to the safety of my house.  I felt like with every turn, I was forced to face yet another test of driver reaction time, speed, and agility.  I was way too tired for this!

I am not superstitious but thought back to the start of my morning.  I thought about the black cat that almost landed on the hood of my car this morning.  Then, within minutes, we barely escaped a head-on collision.  Next, I watched as the person next to me drove through a spring-filled mattress, leaving his muffler behind  in the process.  Then, a deer bounced off of my front bumper and a little doggy ran out in front of me.  Is it safe to continue this day?   I would have to drive across town this afternoon to get my son to his speech appointment but, by then, I hoped all of the crazies would be at work or hiding in dark rooms trying to avoid the sunlight.  What a weird morning!  I felt like the universe was telling me to go home!  I wondered if I was being silly, so I called my husband to tell him about my morning and he said,  “There must be something in the air.  I saw something weird myself!”

My husband then said, “You know when I left this morning, it was still dark.  Well, I got up to the stop sign at the end of our street and almost ran into that tool guy; you know that old man who is always blowing leaves, or cutting his shrubs, just so that he can play with some huge piece of equipment.”  I said, “Yeah, the guy who is always playing with all of the weird tools, back packs, and leaf blowers.  The guy who does yard work in his best Polos, khakis and loafers!”  My husband then says, “Yeah, that one!  So I was pulling up to the stop sign and it was pitch black outside.   All of a sudden, my headlights hit this old man and he is standing in the middle of the road – almost naked!  He is not in his yard or driveway, but is just standing in the middle of the road in his underwear!  It was really weird!  He was kind of bent over, and all I could see was loose skin; it was hanging all over his body and it was hanging down low enough to cover his tighty whities.  Everything was low-hanging and just flapping in the breeze; I almost shuddered!  I did not know what to do, so I honked my horn at him.”   I said, “You honked at him!”  He said, “Yeah, he was standing in the middle of the street!  He was in the dark, and in his underwear!  I was not sure if he even knew where he was!  What was I supposed to do?”

I finally said, “OK, you win!  That was even weirder than having a black cat jump over my car, playing chicken with a unaware pickup truck driver, a deer bouncing of my bumper, and watching a Chevy plow through a mattress at 75 mph (all within a 30 minute period!).  What you experienced was just wrong!  Honestly, I’m glad it was you and not me!”   I then decided that my morning had not been so bad.  In fact, my morning may have been down right lucky!    I have decided to look at this day in a new light.  I got to see a man power-drive through a spring-filled mattress and my husband got to see fifty folds of flapping skin shimmering in the moonlight.  Hey, bring on the black cats!  It seems that today, I am one lucky lady!




Excuse Me, Sir!

I was in a children’s store yesterday and saw something that I have never seen before.  I was sitting there just watching it all go down.  I was amazed that no other person saw what happened.   Seven women were standing within a few feet of me and the little boy.  Perhaps they were lucky that they missed it, because what I saw was not a pretty sight!

So, I was in a children’s store looking for clothes for my children.  My daughter needed a dress to wear in a holiday program at school.  I decided to buy my son something cute as well and just use the picture for our Holiday card.  There was only one woman working the front of the store.  I could hear the other women in the back talking and the line was moving very slowly.   I have a broken ankle.  It is big, bulky, and was starting to hurt, so I sat down on a bench while she checked-out a few other women.  I needed to ask her about getting another size, so I just sat down and looked around.  This store has a large play area for kids and the bench is right at the edge of the children’s play area.  I turned and watched a little boy playing at the train table.  The boy was at least 2 years old and he was having a great time; he was talking to himself and the to trains, but would suddenly stop and make some very strange faces.  I was pretty sure that he needed to go to the bathroom. I looked in the line but none of the women kept looking over at him, as mom’s usually do when their children are playing by themselves.

I sat for a few more minutes and finally the one man in the store walked over to the kid and said, “Hey Bud! Try this jacket on!”  The boy stood and grabbed his crotch.  His dad said, “Do you need to pee?”  Then the little boy grabbed his bottom and his dad said, “Oh!  It’s that kind of party!”  The boy startled to waddle toward his dad and his dad picked him up.  I looked at the floor, where the boy had been squatting, and saw (there on the blue rug) what looked like the brown, rounded ends of a dog bone or biscuit.  I was looking at it and thought, “Huh, that was not there before!  What is that?”  And then it hit me!

I stayed very quiet but kept looking down at the brown wad, and then up at the dad. Eventually he looked at the floor and realized what had just taken place.   The dad finally realized that his son had just taken a poop on the floor of the children’s boutique.   He reached in his pocket and pulled out a bag of candy.  The dad loudly said, “Hey Bud, do you want a piece of candy?” and then he ripped off a piece of the bag and picked up the poop.  The dad sat the jacket on the counter and told the women that he had to step out, but would be right back.  The woman said, “We have a changing room in the back of the store.”  But the man replied, “All of my stuff is in the car.  I will be right back.”  He walked out of the store with son on his left hip and a wad of poop cupped in his right hand.

I thought about him pulling off those poop covered pants in the back of his car and cringed.  I hoped they had a diaper to put on that kid, because he did not seem quite ready for “big boy” underwear.  I wondered if the dad would actually come back in the store.  I am pretty sure that if my kid pooped on that floor, I would never show my face in there again.  I was in the store for about 10 more minutes, before finally checking out.  As I exited the store, I almost ran smack into the dad and his son.  The dad looked at me and then looked away.  He was probably wondering if I had blabbed about the “work of art” his son had left beside the chalk board wall. But, I’m no tattletale and I wasn’t looking for trouble!  Besides, whose kid has not embarrassed them in public before?  But this was a truly horrific first for me!

I decided that has to be a major difference between men and women.  I think most women would have called it a day; I think they would have decided that the shopping could wait.  But this dad was acting like it never happened, or like it was no big deal.   Maybe it was not the first time that he picked up poop balls off of the floor.  I wondered if he would have even picked it up if I had not been sitting there.  He was dressed like a “cool” dad.  He was definitely trying to look a little hip, and a little rock ‘n’ roll.  He had on very skinny jeans.   They were so tight, he could barely squat down to pick up the poop balls.  He also wore a long sleeve striped shirt, a blue puffer vest, a little wool cap and big black cargo boots.  It was 69 degrees outside.  Just looking at him in the boots, the down puffer vest, and little wool beanie made me sweat.    I wondered if he had been waiting to pull out his little wool hat and vest.  It was almost 70 degrees outside and sunny.  This outfit would have given my thin-skinned, 90 year old grandmother a hot flash.  Maybe he just wanted to look young, hip, and cool.  Hey, maybe he was.  Maybe he really was one of those rock ‘n’ roll guys and finding a little poop on the floor was like just another day at work.

This got me thinking that a lot of guys, especially those who really “experienced” college, have probably seen much worse.  My husband told me many stories from high school and college.  He grew up in Los Angeles, then went to school at Berkley, all while playing water polo, and eventually joining a fraternity with a lot of those guys. After hearing his stories, I imagine that none of those guys would even flinch at the sight of someone relieving themselves in the middle of a floor.  So, maybe this really is the difference between men and women.  Women have to clean up most of the messes because it’s GROSS and they don’t like the idea of having poop-covered kids or poop-smeared floors; also because nobody else will do it!!   Men DON”T clean up messes because a little poop on the floor doesn’t bother them; it probably just reminds them of the good old days!

The only question I will never know is how really “cool” that dad was.  I will never know if (when he walked back in to buy that jacket) he made his son stand at the counter, or if he let him go crawl around in the play area.  The train was still in the same place the little boy left it, right beside the poop smear (that was still visible) on the rug.  So do you think the dad let his little boy go crawl around in his poop a little longer?  Unfortunately, I will never know!   But what I do know is that this has forever changed the way I will look at children’s play areas and anonymous stains on floors!  Look out friends!  You never know what your kids are playing with, or in!  Rock ‘n’ Roll!




Please Don’t Be Sick!

Is there anything worse than having a sick kid?  I always cringe when I hear the words, “Mommy, I don’t feel good”.  I know what is right around the corner; the coughing, the whining, and the snotty little faces.  With the first signs of sickness, I cross my fingers and hope that there will be no episodes of throwing up, or excessive pooping.  The nights are bad enough without these two sleep stoppers.

Unfortunately, just a little cold can put an end to the minimal amount of sleep that I get now.  A little sniffle can ignite multiple midnight calls where my daughter tells me that her nose is stuffy, while my son calls me up just to inform me that he is sneezing. Additional trips upstairs are dreaded because I already get up a minimum of two to three times a night, on a good day.   My daughter still struggles with nightmares and she wakes up screaming/crying around midnight.  Then I usually get called up around 2:30am, for my son to pee, because he is too young to go by himself.  My daughter then wakes again around 4:30am, because she also has to pee and she is just too scared to go by herself.   I try to go back to sleep , but I have to wake up every morning at 5:40am in order to shower, get dressed, fix breakfast, and get everything organized before we leave at 7:15.

So, my daughter has had a bad cold. I already survived five sleepless nights of being called upstairs to hear about her boogery nose, inability to breathe, and her pure misery.    Now my son and I are getting sick and he is calling me up constantly.  My son is also miserable, and now that I have the cold, I understand why!  It is impossible to sleep with the coughing, sneezing, sore throat, headache and runny nose.  My husband has been traveling and I was alone with the kids.  I had already spent the weekend caring for my sick children, while feeling horrible.  My daughter was starting to feel better.  I could tell because her sense of humor was returning and she spent most of the weekend trying to get a reaction out of me.  She would walk up to me and look at my shirt and say, “Oh, what a lovely handkerchief!  It was so nice of you to get it for me!”  Then, my child would wipe her snotty face somewhere on my shirt/sleeve and wait for my reaction.  She then would laugh so hard, that she would basically fall to the ground.  I tried to stop reacting to it, but it is hard not to react when your child wipes snot on you!  I also knew that she was getting a little stir crazy and this was the her best form of entertainment right now.

I survived the weekend, but Monday I was sick.  I knew Sunday night that my daughter was well enough for school but, Monday morning, my son was still sick and needed to stay home.  I was exhausted from the cold (and the lack of sleep) and I just wanted to be by myself. It was taking everything I had just to take care of them.  All I wanted to do was curl up in bed, turn on the TV, and try to stop the faucet of snot running down my face.

Monday, he was all over me and, he was also very irritable and very demanding.  He was a cranky mess from the time he woke up.  I walked into his room and opened his curtains (as I do every morning) and he started yelling at me.  He was saying “Do not open my curtains!  I don’t want you to do that!  Close my curtains now!”  I tried to respond and he stuck his tongue out at me then starting mumbling under his breath.  I’m pretty sure that it was the toddler version of being cussed out!  I imagine it was toddler speak for something that would translate into “Hey Mom!  Up yours and the broom you flew in on!”  I mean, the boy was seriously mad about something; probably just the fact that he was sick and felt horrible.  He is taking it out on me, just because he can!

My head felt like it would explode at any minute, but I was forced to play with trains and then with trucks.  I eventually turned on the TV and let him watch a show on Disney Jr.  This show happens to have a cat who, is also a pirate and, uses the word scurvy a lot.  So, the rest of the day my toddler referred to me as “You scurvy little momma!”  I was so sick that I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!  I wished my husband was here so that he could experience this level of fun.  I wondered if my son would refer to him as “You scurvy big daddy!”, since he always says how big and strong his daddy is.  I was pretty sure that hearing my husband referred to as a “scurvy big daddy” would make me feel better.  Too bad he is not here!

So, now it is noon.  I am almost 7 hours into my day and I feel terrible, but it is time to go pick up my daughter from school.   My son is still being a cranky little pirate and I can’t wait until I can buckle him into his car seat for a moment of peace, but not quiet.  I am forced to listen to the Kids station on our satellite radio.  My head, face, ears and teeth hurt and these songs are not helping the pain.  This scurvy little momma only has to make it 8 more hours until bedtime.  This is when I can finally sit down, take off my snot covered clothes, and try not to cough so hard that I almost pee my pants.  Children are wonderful and can be fun, but being a mom can be a thankless job; like spending the last three sleepless weeks either wiping noses, or picking up sticky, wet tissues that my kids have managed to drop all over the house.  When I was in junior high school one of my good friends used to say, “It’s been REAL, and it’s been FUN, but it’s NOT been REAL FUN!”  That has summed up a lot of my days lately, and the days of some friends who have been sick as well.   Don’t worry girls, your REAL FUN days are just around the corner!  I feel your pain!  Hang in there, you scurvy little momma’s!