"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A LITTLE DELUSION WITH THAT GRANDEUR, HILLARY DAHLING?


Hillary, dear, I can only imagine how the wretched rigors of that (thanks to you) nasty presidential campaign trail can eventually take it's toll on one's body and mind...

But truly, dahling...how does a woman who swears she's the only candidate ready and experienced enough to take over as Commander In Chief on Day One mistake a round of handshakes with a hail of sniper fire? I would think that knowing that difference and being able to judge correctly between the two would be a necessary trait if one is to be responsible for answering that infamous 3 a.m. phone call...

A little delusion with that Bosnia grandeur, my sweet?

Consider this from CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"On two different occasions, Senator Hillary Clinton has described a trip she took as first lady to Bosnia in March of 1996.

To hear her tell it, she was lucky to escape with her life, landing in a hail of sniper fire. She said they were forced to cut short the greeting ceremony at the airport and, "run with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."

But apparently there was time to stop and visit at the airport with an 8-year-old girl who greeted Mrs. Clinton on the tarmac when she landed and read her a poem.

The military commander on hand to greet Clinton at the time, Major General William Nash, told the Washington Post he was unaware of any sniper threat to Clinton during her 8-hour stay.

Also traveling with the first lady was her daughter Chelsea, the singer Sheryl Crow and the comedian Sinbad, who said the scariest part of the trip was deciding where to eat."

Hill, you and your camp would like us to believe you inadvertently misspoke. Not to quibble over semantics, dahling, but I would say you purposely miss-led the American public into thinking you were on a daring foreign policy mission in the midst of a dangerous gun battle of sorts in an effort to pad ye ol' foreign policy resume...

Desparate delegate counts call for desperate measures, don't they Hillary dear?

I mean, I watched the news clip where you stood right there at that podium, all smiling and well-coiffed, and told us all about ducking and dodging sniper fire while running to your awaiting car at the airport in Bosnia back in '96...

This morning's news clip, however, shows that apparently, in spite of that life-threatening gunfire you attempted to speak so convincingly of, you may have been embellishing just a hair...

The little girl with the flowers and the poem...the handshakes...and, of course, -- speaking of hair -- not one of yours appears to be out of place in that news clip. Seems to me that if someone is dashing about an dodging bullets, one's hair might look a smidge windblown or a tiny bit tousled. And little Chelsea certainly didn't look concerned for her or your safety.

Oh, well. I'm sure it was just one of those "senior moments" dahling. Like McCain not being quite sure whether it's the Sunni or Shiite Muslims crossing into Iraq to train terrorists.

Details, schmeetails, right dahling?

Dare I say it, Hill, dearest....

Your fabricated "foreign policy experience" chickens may well have, um, come home to roost.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

NEVER A DULL MOMENT


Happy Easter!

For a while on Good Friday, however, things were not happy nor did they look so good...and Easter plans and jelly beans were the furthest things from my mind.

That's the day we had to rush John to the hospital, via ambulance, due to what appeared to be a possible heart attack.

Indeed, the Good News is, John is OK -- no signs that it was an actual heart attack -- more a case of angina -- but we kept him in the hospital overnight for observation just in case.

Per the doc, blood pressure medication adjustments, a salt-free diet, and exercise should help ward off any further problems...

Of course, my driving John home from the hospital Saturday probably sent his blood pressure skyrocketing, but he survived that as well!

It's emergencies like this, though, that remind me how fortunate we are to live in a small town -- a small town with not only an EXCELLENT ambulance service, but so many wonderfully caring friends and co-workers who, without fail, rise to an emergency situation with all the 'love-thy neighbor/co-worker" assistance imaginable.

We will never be able to thank everyone enough...

And what a wonderful family we are blessed with, as well. Sister-in-law Pat, who saw the emergency unfold outside the window of the bank where she works, called John's brother, Steve, who notified John's brother, Jerry, who called John's mom and and alerted my sister-in-law Deb, who picked up Daniel and drove out to my mother-in-law's to be with her until I could her from the hospital with an update.

My sister, Mary, of course, was on stand-by in Des Moines, ready to hop in her car and head for the hospital if I needed her.

Another small-town advantage? When we got to the emergency room, who should be the ER nurse on duty but our friend, Tammy. And the x-ray tech? None-other but our buddy, Jim. It's so unbelievably calming -- especially when the hospital is 30 miles away -- to arrive all a bundle of nerves to discover, thankfully, that it's Old Home Week in the ER.

My, my...

Never a dull moment...

In light of John's stressful weekend, I've volunteered to prepare our Easter dinner and give him a well-deserved break from cooking so he can just sit back, read Fish Fur and Game magazine and RELAX...

Oh, crap! Gotta run! The pumpkin pie is burning!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

WE MADE IT!

THE GOOD WIFE'S GUIDE, 1955


  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
  • During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  • Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
  • Be happy to see him.
  • Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
  • Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
  • Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
  • A good wife always knows her place.
(Thanks to my supervisor, Dana, for emailing me this gem)

THE NEW AND IMPROVED GOOD WIFE'S GUIDE


  • Plan dinner for yourself and family. Even if the food has a "Mc" in front or a "King" behind, it still counts as a dinner you planned. Making reservations is also considered planning as is asking your husband to pick something up on the way home from work.
  • Take a nap if possible, after all, you deserve it. Feeding, cleaning, dressing and running after children all day is hard work. Plus, if you are rested, you are less likely to take off to Vegas like you've threatened to do on more than one stressful occasion. Also to make yourself "fresh-looking", have the hubby watch the kids for you so you can take a nice relaxing bath.
  • Do whatever makes you happy. If you enjoy dancing around the house in your underwear then do it. And do it for yourself not for your spouse. (Acting "gay" merely for your husband's benefit sounds like something June Cleaver might do. And that woman HAD to be a closet drinker.)
  • If you're lucky enough to have a "play room" then you can only hope that the majority of the toys will remain in there. If not, have the kids clean them up at the end of the day before bedtime. There's no point in putting them away while they are still playing. Randomly throwing toys into said playroom counts as cleaning up, as does piling laundry in the corner of a room. If you don't get the opportunity to clean up clutter, it's a sure fire sign that you had something better to do.
  • As long as there is nothing living or breathing in the inch high dust that covers the TV, cabinets or shelves, it can wait. And if your washer, dryer or dishwasher are running when your husband comes home, well it's a sign that you've obviously been busy that day.
  • Building a fire is fun if you have a fireplace. And if you do, try not to "accidentally" knock your husband into it when he picks a fight even though that might bring you "immense personal satisfaction."
  • Children get dirty. If there is even a spec of mud in the backyard, they will find it. As long as their hands are clean before they eat and as long as they aren't smearing dirt on your new carpet or couch then they're clean enough for the time being. If their loud voices drive you crazy, send them outside where they can drive the neighbors crazy. And to fix any hair issues, make them wear a hat. Also, if they want to jump all over their father the minute he walks in the door, let them. After all, they've most likely been jumping all over you all day.
  • Be happy to see your husband, assuming he's on time and in a good mood. Be even happier if he brought home a paycheck.
  • Give him a hug when he walks in the door, if he doesn't smell of another woman's perfume, give him a kiss too. If you missed him, tell him. If you actually want to know how his day went, ask him. And if you love him, remind him.
  • Make a list of all of the things you need or want to tell your husband when he comes home. In the midst of football, ballet, tuba and soccer practice you'll most likely forget. And this way you can hit every topic over dinner. Giving pop quizzes afterwards always helps to drive your points across, although it might make him mad and then he "might" have a fireplace accident.
  • If you had a stressful day, you retain the right to complain about it. As your husband he has the obligation to listen and vice versa. If he goes out after work and stays out late, you also have the right to be upset. And you retain the right to turn off your cell phone the next time you're out with the girls.
  • If you can make one room tranquil and peaceful then do it. You need somewhere to escape and regroup yourself. This is why men have sheds and garages.
  • If he wants to go out for a few drinks after work then compromise. You should be able to go out one night also, it's only fair.
  • If you've both had a rough day then having drinks prepared is not a bad idea, especially if there is alcohol included. Arranging your husband's pillow is a nice gesture, just try not to "arrange" it over his face. Of course if you're speaking in low, pleasant tones while you're doing it, it could still be considered a nice gesture.
  • If something doesn't seem right to you, ask questions. Just because your husband is a man doesn't mean he can do whatever he wants. Remember, where there is a King of the castle, there is also a Queen......
  • A good wife always knows her place, -- on top of her throne where she shall be worshipped by all.
(Found this on the Net by a woman named Nicole)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

BARBIE, BOB, AND ME

Ah...March 9...a day that lives in infamy -- for me anyway. And for a couple of rather ridiculous reasons.

For starters...

Happy Birthday, Barbie!

The forever-perfect plastic fashionista turns 49 today...

I've sort of lost track of what Barbie -- my nemesis -- currently does for a living. Who can keep up with her lengthy laundry list of careers? However, I understand she's driving a brand new flashy, red Mustang, so apparently, whatever she's doin', she's makin' some decent coin.

Lord knows Ken ain't chippin' in on her fancy ride...freeloading boy toy that he is.

Yes, I truly dislike Barbie. Yet every year I feel compelled to call attention to her natal day in some way because, like her or not, she did play a part in my past-fleeting-now-done-flet youth even though I never owned a Barbie till I turned 30 (a gift for my inner child from my high school pal, Linda).


And I also always feel compelled to annually retell the heartwrenching saga of how my childhood best buddy, Valli, not only had a Barbie, she had the to-die-for Barbie Dream House, the Barbie car, Ken, Midge, Skipper -- the whole gang -- while I had only pudgy Little Miss Revlon, a dowdy Barbie wannabe cursed with thick ankles. And to add insult to injury, she wasn't brand new, she was a cast-off from my older sister.

But we still called it "playing Barbies". And like all little girls, we played Barbies all the time.



My favorite Barbie story, of course, is how my Mom finally bought me the cheap grocery store version of Barbie -- her name was Miss Babette -- and she eventually replaced Miss Revlon. However, to the degree that Miss Revlon was a frumpy prude with no real social life, Babs was an absolute out-of-control wild woman who liked to dance the night away to Brazil '66 records...until her crazy dance moves caused her left breast to cave in, hence, her party dress no longer fit properly, and her dance card was never full again.

Enter Babette's replacement, Tressy -- the amazing (blonde, of course) doll with hair that grew if you pushed in a button on her stomach and pulled on said hair. Tressy owned a groovy penthouse, but my mother never bought me one. Valli's older sister, Vicki, however, not only had a Tressy, but she had the damn penthouse, to boot. Oh, and you could color Tressy's hair with special markers which made her really cool.


And then, for my 11th birthday, my Mom gave me Barbie's "mod" cousin, Francie, with the long, brown hair and bendable legs.

Soon after, however, I discovered boys, and

Francie and her friends went bye-bye.

Which leads me to another special March 9th occasion that I still recall every year...

March 9, 1974.

That was the day that my high school beau, Bob, after declaring his undying love for me a month earlier, dropped me like a hot potato because, Bob inferred, I was boring compared to a new (and, apparently, exciting) girl named Shannon, whom (come to find out) he'd been seeing (behind my back) for a couple of weeks.


I can still picture it -- it was a beautiful, warm, sunny early-Spring Saturday in Madeira, Ohio...Bob and I were out walking, holding hands, when we sat down on the steps of the nearby elementary school for what I presumed was going to be a romantic chat. Instead, the jerk dumped me. He handed me back my class ring (which to this day still contains a trace of pancake batter from his job as a Perkins pancake flipper). I ever-so-calmly yanked off his class ring and, because I always handle(d) rejection well, promptly ground it into the cement, and then, smiling through the tears, threw the former symbol of Bob's undying love for me at him, and stomped off toward home.

And that, as they say, was that...except for me and my friends streaking (hey, it was the 70s) past Bob's house that night in my one, last ditch, desperate effort to show HIM who was boring!

Alas, Bob was in his basement chatting late into the night with Shannon, and missed the whole thing...


You know, in retrospect, Bob was not what one would consider even remotely handsome -- he had massively curly brown hair and was missing an upper left canine, as I recall. And when he smiled, he looked something akin to a clown. But by golly, he had a great sense of humor. He made me laugh like no other.

Until March 9, 1974, of course...which may well explain why, even now, while I may dislike Barbie, I hate clowns even more.

Friday, March 07, 2008

VETTING SCHMETTING

If either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton uses the word "vetted" one more time, I am going to scream.

"Obama should be vetted" this. "Clinton should be vetted" that.

Puh-leese.

We're all far too busy trying to survive our lives to have to drag out the Webster's or click on Wikipedia to understand what the hell the two candidates are saying should be done to (bottom line) disgrace each other.

Yes, I admit it. I am 51 years old, a fairly accomplished, fairly well-read word smith (if I do say so myself), and I had never even heard of the word "vetted" until this neck-and-neck horse race we've all come to know and love as the 2008 Raucous Road To The White House got down and dirty.

Imagine, me, a back-in-the-day-dyed-in-the-wool- sign-carrying- politico/activist having to look up the word "vetted".

Oy.

And now, as is sometimes the case when one learns a new word, I hear or read the word "vetted" now in just about every news story regarding Barack and Hillary.

So for the sake of Joe Blow newspaper reader who, like me, may not be familiar with the term, let's put "vetting" in simpler layman's terms, shall we?

OK, here goes:

Vetting means appraising, examining, verifying, or checking for accuracy, authenticity, validity, etc.

In the case of our friends Barack and Hillary, of course, it basically means each digging up as much political or personal dirt on the other to prove to the voters before the Pennsylvania primary as to prove that he or she is not truly qualified to become the next president.

Frankly, I'd like to vet Hillary's "It's 3 a.m." ad...or, as I like to call it, the "Hillary In Disguise (With Glasses) scare/spin piece"...

I mean, how authentic is that picture of ol' Hill answering the White House landline at 3 a.m. , fully and professionally dressed, every hair in place, not a trace of smeared mascara ? Will she be sleeping standing up in the Oval Office from Day One?

Oh, well.

Vetting schmetting.

I'm going to bed. (So don't call ME at 3 a.m.)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

TIME DOTH FLY

Fifteen years ago today, I was hugely pregnant, nervous, and anxiously awaiting my water to break.

My due date was Feb. 27, but, alas, our long-awaited baby boy had not yet arrived. And boy, were we ready...or so we thought...

I had nested till I could nest no more -- the baby's room was painted a comforting shade of blue, the cutsie/cozy Boynton farm animal border (with matching crib bumper, blanket and other accessories) was up, the baby clothes were lovingly washed in Dreft, folded and lay neatly (and all but alphabetized) in the baby's dresser. The hand-made changing table that John designed and built was bedecked with a perfectly fitted changing pad, and a month's worth of diapers were stacked and ready for duty.

Our house in Cincinnati was unbelievably organized and spotless, down to the practically- spit- polished bottom of the tea kettle on the stove. We'd been to childbirth classes, I had my hospital bag packed, the car was full of gas, the birth announcements were stamped and ready to mail. Oh, and have I mentioned that I had read, cover to cover, every pregnancy/infant-toddler care book I could get my pudgy, fluid-retaining hands on (including "What To Expect When You're Expecting" and 'What To Expect The Toddler Years")?

And then, finally, on March 2, 1993, Daniel John was born.

Fast-forward through 15 whirling dervish years.

Daniel's room needs a fresh coat of paint, and he's considering khaki with a U.S. Marines motif (over my dead body). His floor is dotted with piles of clean and dirty clothes (hard to tell which is which), hence, I am wondering why we even bother to offer him a dresser.

Our house in Iowa is unbelievably disorganized because March 1, 1993, was the last time my life was in any sense of order. And frankly, who has time to nest? Who has time -- or the desire -- for spit-spot cleaning? As for the bottom of my tea kettle...don't even go there. My last book read? Can't say that I've read a book from cover to cover for many a moon...I usually fall asleep midway through Chapter One.

However, I now understand why there is no book titled "What To Expect The Teenage Years"...if there was such a book, and anyone contemplating having children actually read it, NO ONE would have children. They would run, screaming, to the closest Planned Parenthood clinic for a lifetime supply of the surest form of birth control available...

But, as usual, I digress.

Truly, though, Daniel has reached his teen years in (yikes-a-roni!) the proverbial blink of an eye. Seems like only yesterday I was softly singing "You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine" to the little nipper as I lovingly rocked him and fed him his bottle. Today I just stand by and watch in loving amazement -- and amusement-- as the now-going-on-strapping-young-man jams out to "Slow Ride" via Guitar Hero III while wolfing down pizza and Gatorade.

In the blink of an eye, indeed.

(Where, oh, where is my copy of "Love You Forever"?)

In a little while, we are going shopping for track shoes. While in Carroll, we're picking up a driver's test study guide. Yes, I am finally facing the the inevitable -- Driver's Ed looms ahead this spring, and the kid is old enough to get his learner's permit. I don't know if they manufacture enough Xanax to get me through these next few years...

However, there are signs that I am actually adjusting, slowly but surely. Why, just last night, for the first time, I did not shed one tear -- my eyes were not one tiny bit moist, even -- when he walked out the front door, got in a car with a friend, and they drove off to a movie.

I prayed, but I didn't cry.