Thursday, December 30, 2010

Take Cover

You may remember the last time I got Ideas When I Was Sober.
Well I've had a brief spell of sobriety yet again, and I think these ideas will really fly.

My first idea : 'Breastfeeding in Public' Cover-ups.
This may seem confusing because
a. These already exist, and
b. I'm a staunch supporter of open breastfeeding, and cringe when I hear phrases such as, "I think it's ok to breastfed in public, as long as you are discreet and don't show anything.".

I like to remind those folks that some countries allow women in public, too, as long as they are 'discreet and don't show anything'.

[A cover-up is an attempt, whether successful or not, to conceal evidence of wrong-doing, error, incompetence or other embarrassing information.]

Oh, and start them young; because even make-believe breastfeeding is shameful and must be hidden.

But that's not the kind of cover-up I'm thinking about.
I realized that the majority of these "discreet breastfeeders" were somewhat overweight, and more than once I heard the comment that they were more afraid of someone glimpsing their big stretch-marky belly than their breasts, while breastfeeding.
Another woman told me, "I don't have the right kind of breasts to breastfeed in public."
She didn't mean that her breasts did not lactate in the presence of others, but that they were 'real' breasts: saggy, with stretch marks and a road map of blue veins running over the surface. Perfect for infant nutrition and snuggling, not so desired on a billboard or cover of a 'sophisticated magazine'.
So I was inspired.
You may already be familiar with these swimsuit cover-ups?
Same concept, only for nursing cover-ups!
Here is a basic white cover-up you can buy anywhere:

Here is the same cover-up printed with perky breasts, and happy baby.
No post-baby whale belly showing.
Just beautiful breastfeeding.

Here is one of the 'fantasy' covers, mostly for fun, or that special night out. Great for single moms, too!

Celebrity items are always a hit.

Jerry Hall...

Lucy Lawless...

Cover-ups for moms of twins...

and blacktating women...

And since we are all about equality, I haven't forgotten you breastfeeding dads! Hide that beer belly with this fantastic Milkman Cover-up!
The Milkman Cover-up also works to prevent stains on your shirt (or infant!) while eating wings.

We seem to have run out of time.
Tomorrow I will explore another fantastic idea!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Xmas Shoes

Sherree: "My xmas shoes"

Me: "Did you steal them from some poor little boy who had bought them so his mom could wear them to meet Jesus?"

Sherree: "I bought them for $5 at Gabe's years ago as a joke. I decided to wear them yesterday for xmas. Somewhere there is a sad, barefoot elf."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Neti Pot Product Review

My sister Diana (not her real name... her real name is Sherree) texted me a product review:
"I almost committed suicide with a Neti Pot. It should be on that show 1000 Ways to Die.
It felt like swimming pool water. I couldn't get it to go through on my left side and I thought my eyeball would pop out from the pressure.
Then I accidentally leaned my head back and started choking on salty nose water.
I ended up making noises like a goblin with hiccups as I drooled and had snot bubbles on both nostrils.
If you have to buy a gift for an enemy, get them a Neti Pot!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pole Position

Ski Season is upon us, and folks are talking about skis, boots, bindings, boards, and the possibility of snow.

I do not share their enthusiasm.

My own single solitary ski experience involved donning uncomfortable plastic 'transformer' boots, strapping two slippery, narrow boards to them, and riding the rope tow to the top of a hill, whereupon my instructor wrenched my ski poles from my petrified grasp, tossed them away into the snow, and pushed me down a hill, while I was standing, the two slippery narrow boards still strapped to my feet. I fell, repeatedly, and by the time I reached the bottom of the hill I had sinuses packed full of snow and was asking questions like, "And people do this for fun?"

Then it was time to ride the rope tow again. I liked the rope tow. If the rope tow just went all around the resort, I'd have done that all day. Instead of a skier, I'd have happily become a rope tower. Not a rope tower, as in a tall building... a rope tow-er... you know what I mean.
The second time down the hill, there were little kids coming so close to me, and one little kid did actually run into me. In the aftermath of the collision, he popped up out of the snow like a daisy, and was off down the slope. I stayed still, my first attempt at snow camouflage, hoping I was invisible to my instructor. No such luck; he quickly spotted me, pulled me out of my shallow snow grave and gave me a hearty shove. At the bottom of the hill, my instructor laughed and began pulling on strands of my hair, "You have snow dreadlocks!"
Yeah... try to work out why.
Back to the rope tow, and smiles all around (heh, my instructor was under the delusion that I enjoyed skiing!) and then another mat-routine-gone-wrong down the hill.
I looked as if I were performing a horrible rendition of Mary Lou Retton On Ice.
Again, I trudged toward the rope tow... see, in my mind, I'd told myself that if I survived that harrowing journey down the hill, my reward would be a ride on the rope tow- the only enjoyable part of the experience thus far. It seemed I'd invented a new winter activity- sled riding, in reverse.
But my instructor said, "I think you're ready for something else. Let's go get on the lift."
Now, this was not a British elevator. This was a chair of doom, that dangles you from great heights, and you could fall to your death or dismemberment at any point. Which meant all the agony of skiing, and if I survived, instead of the rope tow, I got punished with a ride in the terror chair.
My instructor began walking in another direction, away from the rope tow.
I did not follow.
I was frozen.
He came back, pulled gently on my wrist and said, "It will be fine. You'll love it."
I fell apart completely.
I began crying and blubbered, "I can't. I can't go on that thing. I'll barf. I'll pee my pants. I can't. I'm going to barf right now. Why can't I just go on the rope tow again?"
"Because that's boring!" he said. "C'mon, you'll have fun! It's perfectly safe!"*
I was standing at the base of the little kid practice hill, with panic in my eyes, and I think for the first time he imagined himself later recounting to his friends the 'crazy lady who freaked out on the ski lift incident' and thought better of what he was pressuring me to do.
He stopped tugging at me and said, "Why don't you take a break? You've, uh, done great today! Why don't you go sit in the lodge with your thermos of hot chocolate and vodka and I'll ski for a while by myself?"
Sounded good to me. And that's exactly what I did.
I ended up marrying my ski instructor, ha ha, and produced for him five enthusiastic skiers and snowboarders.
I've never gone skiing since that one time, and when I learned that they took out the rope tow and installed a "conveyor belt of death" "magic carpet", I lost all interest in the sport.

Now I happily bake cookies, fill thermoses, pack lunches, and wait in the lodge with my own thermos of vodka and hot chocolate.

*Below are pictures demonstrating exactly how perfectly safe a ski lift can be.
Please note that all of these photos were taken by
other skiers, with their cell phones.

You know, you always think you're going to die of embarrassment... and sadly, you never do.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cold Night, Warm Dreams

I went to bed last night freezing cold. As I shivered in my bed, I assumed I'd have dreams of freezing to death in an ice cave. Instead, I drifted off thinking about happiness, warmth, and new life.
In my dream I was hired to work in a house full of college kids, I was expected to live there and cook for them. I made them lasagna and they worshiped me. They ate it all. They were scraping the pan. I made them cinnamon rolls for breakfast. The pan-scraping noises were music to my ears. I began to think of all the things I could cook for them. Most of my dream was spent chopping vegetables, stewing meats, boiling pasta, standing in this big kitchen in my "I Child-Proofed My House, But They Still Get In" apron, flour on the side of my nose from dusting cake tins.
I baked them cookies and I made up cheese & veggie trays for late night study sessions. I steamed rice for stir-fry, and made extra for rice pudding in the morning.
People would stop in a grab a bite of cheese, a cookie, or a black olive. They'd tell me about their day, and I'd laugh at funny stories, while rolling out the crust for a chicken pot pie.
It was a good dream. I woke up afterwards, warm and happy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


n- The fear of cotton, whether it's touching, or the 'squeak' emitted when fabric is rubbed... it is, apparently, unbearable.

The following is an actual diatribe screeched out by an actual child, in my actual bedroom while I put on actual socks.

"Don't!! Don't rub your foot! Not with a sock on it! Oh my god! The sound! I can't stand that!! How can you stand that?! Nooooo!! Please! Stop! No, I don't! I wish there was a way you could put socks on without touching them with your hands! Or having them touch your feet! Socks, being dragged across feet- Aaaauuuggghhh!! I hate you! Yes, all socks! Well, your socks! And towels! I can't use a towel. A towel, touching me, on my skin! Oh my god!! And a basket full of towels, when you pull one out, the squeak! I can't. I just can't!!! A towel?! On my foot?! Stop. Stop talking. STOP TALKING!! No! I'm going to throw up!! It's the rubbing!! OH MY GOD I HATE YOUUUUUUU!!"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Public Breastfeeding, Two Mens' Opinions and One Witty Response

This is the same U.S. that at one time thought slavery was okay and segregation. Unfortunately this country tends to lag behind others in things that are truly important. My question to people who vehemently oppose breastfeeding in public is why do you feel the way you? If you happen to catch a glimpse of a woman's nipple, which in most cases won't happen, how will that alter your life? You saw a nipple, a bulbous nub of skin at the end of a mammory gland where milk comes out, now what? We all have breasts, women's just happen to be bigger. I don't even think people stop to think about why they feel the way they do. It's breast, it's wrong in public! Says who? Why should your opinion trump that of the woman who is trying to do something healthy for her baby? That's more offensive to me than a woman breastfeeding. You have a right to disagree, or not like it, you also have the right to leave. Go hide your face and stew about it. There's so many other important issues in this world that demands more attention than a woman providing her child the milk her body makes for him/her. It's better than witnessing borderline child abuse in public, something that most people would probably turn a blind eye to. I've seen breastfeeding since I was a child. My mother did it, her friends did it. I've seen it at the beach, the mall, the park, the library, the swimming pool. Most women are modest about it, some are not. Because I saw it at such a young age it does not bother me as an adult. I disagree with women who think it's innapropiate for their young sons to see it. It normalizes it in my opinion. I say people need to get a life. Leave these mothers alone!!! If you have a problem with it try locking yourself up in your home or eating in a stinky mall bathroom or a hot car in the summer, see how you like it!

I'll try to give an example here of why it is rude behavior....... suppose I am in a book-store and finally find the aisle where that specific book is that I'm looking for. Suppose there is an active breastfeeding mom close by to the shelf where I think that book is. Most men are not going to walk into that aisle; let alone get up close. It's uncomfortable to men and uncomfortable for most women. The woman doesn't know who the man is and doesn't know what that man is feeling. Usually if eyes meet; it's an uncomfortable quick glance. The man may be thinking that woman is thinking that the man be approaching just to get a better look. The bottom line is; why create a situation that causes one or more persons to be uncomfortable when it's not necessary? It's either rude (not caring), or ignorant (not knowing about how men are visually stimulated). Whatever the reason; if there's an alternative to public breastfeeding that isn't causing harm to any one... it would be the cool thing to do.


Dear Michael,
Suppose you were brought up to be uncomfortable around obese women. You don't like being around them, you wish they would just stay home, but alas, they insist on going out in public to places like books stores.
Let's rewrite your comment and see if it works:

I'll try to give an example here of why being an obese woman in public is rude behavior....... suppose I am in a book-store and finally find the aisle where that specific book is that I'm looking for. Suppose there is an obese woman close by to the shelf where I think that book is. Most men are not going to walk into that aisle; let alone get up close. It's uncomfortable to men and uncomfortable for most women. The obese woman doesn't know who the man is and doesn't know what that man is feeling. Usually if eyes meet; it's an uncomfortable quick glance. The man may be thinking that obese woman is thinking that the man be approaching just to get a better look at her fatness. The bottom line is; why create a situation that causes one or more persons to be uncomfortable when it's not necessary? It's either rude (not caring), or ignorant (not knowing about how men are visually stimulated by obese women). Whatever the reason; if there's an alternative to obese women being in public, that isn't causing harm to any one (perhaps they can stay home and do online shopping?)... it would be the cool thing to do.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Voice is My Passport. Verify Me.

"The Post Office is the Post Office but this one moved into a new building across the street to the detriment of customer service. While the old building was old there were more service windows and attendants. Sure, on-street parking was bad for the old one but the parking lot for the new one is terribly cramped, especially at busy times like lunch time and Christmas - it's just a mess. I avoid using the downtown office and go to Star City instead. They are smaller but much better." - Random Review of Morgantown Post Office

In May, I voiced that I wanted a passport.
And in May the price to get a passport was about $100.
I was told we could not afford it, and that I didn't need it.

In June, I started googling phrases such as "how to get a passport".
In July, the price of a passport went from about $100 to $135.
In August, I printed out the online forms and completed them. The usps has a helpful page on where to go "Find the closest Post Office to submit your passport application."
I clicked it. Go ahead, click the link on that page.
You get a big white screen of nothing titled, "USPS Exit Page".

In September, I was driving past the Star City Post Office and saw this banner:

Each day I drove past this banner, and waited and waited to get the money.
My friend Stephanie invited me to her Canadian wedding, so I would need to get my passport soon.
In October, I got paid enough money for my passport, and raced home and began collecting my forms, and my birth certificate. When I opened the lock box, I discovered the lack of my birth certificate! It was missing!

I googled "how do you get a copy of your birth certificate?".
I completed the form online.
I received an email stating they were unable to complete my request.

In November, an unexpected expense came up and I spent a good portion of my passport money on that.
Also in November a back-up copy of my birth certificate was found at my mother's house, so I planned the next day to submit the forms.
I drove to the post office, walked up to the door, and was greeted by this note:

Of course, they still had the ginormous banner stretched across the front of the building, to lure would-be world travelers.
I went to the UPS Store, because they had "Passport Photos" on their sign. I was instructed to sit in a chair, and the photo was quickly snapped with a digital camera. I saw what appeared to be a horrible photo of myself on the screen of the camera.
"Can you retake that please?" I asked.
He glanced down at the screen and said, "Nope! Your eyes were open!"
A minute later I was handed my photos and told to go to the main (read: through downtown traffic) post office to process my passport.
It was too late to go then, so the next day I fought downtown traffic, parked the swagger wagon in a skinny spot, squeezed through the narrow opening that was left, walked past the liquor store, and waited in line. Only two 'windows' were open, so it took over half an hour to get to "I can help who's next!". I stepped up to the counter and placed my forms in front of me.
"I'd like to get a passport!" I said in my chipper I-know-it's-not-your-fault voice.
"Oh, I'm sorry." nice postal lady said. "We don't do those after 1:30."
I looked at the giant clock on the wall above my head. It read 1:35pm.
"I was here. I was in line. I've been in line forever."
She smiled, and said, "You can come tomorrow, between 8:30am and 1:30pm. Or on Saturday between 9:00am and 10:30am."
She pushed my papers toward me and called out, "I can help who's next!"
Now I know why they opened a liquor store next door!

At the moment, a passport is the least of my concerns, as I am in bed with the plague. It begins with a rash, a headache, and a high fever. Then it becomes projectile vomiting and two days of sleeping sickness. Right before it turns the victim loose, they get one last round of diarrhea and vomiting.
Arden had this and has fully recovered, Paige got it over the weekend and returned to school today.
I've been in bed with fever and headache since 8pm yesterday, alternating between hypothermia and heat-stroke.
I begged for hours last night for someone to bring me a drink of water.
Harris finally arrived with a glass of lukewarm water that tasted strongly like cottage cheese.
I did not dare ask for a clean glass.
This morning, Arden brought me coffee and meds.
Paige came in this afternoon to check on me ask for a ride back to school to get her history book. To bribe me, she brought me a slice of sweet potato pie the size of my head.
I got out of bed, and drove her the mile to the school, the heel of my palm pressed firmly over my right eyebrow, to prevent the headache-induced double vision.
That which does not kill us makes us stronger (or sometimes cripples us for life).
Either way, you will see the pie again.

News from upstairs is that Harris just barfed all over the kitchen.
I hear the washer running, so I'm going to burrow back into my nest-pod of pillows and pray that they have it all under control, and that the washer holds up.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Return to Me

"In spite of the seven thousand books of expert advice, the right way to disciplne a child is still a mystery to most fathers and mothers. Only your grandmother and Genghis Khan know how to do it."

"No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal."

I was once trapped in a relationship that I described to a close friend as the most unhealthy relationship I'd ever been in. I had in my life a person with the worst entitlement attitude I'd ever seen first-hand, taking my things on a regular basis, rarely returning them, and making me ask for them to be returned to me.
This person had known me a long time and knew my sore spots. They ran me down in front of their friends. They ran me down in front of my friends. They said things like, "I don't see why your friends listen to any of your ideas- they're all stupid."
If I tried to do something nice for this person, they made it a point to tell me how I'd done it all wrong.
If I asked them for guidance, I was told, "If you love me as much as you say you do, you'd just know!", and if I did nothing, it was held up as "proof" that I didn't really care about them.
The only time this person was ever nice to me was when they wanted something. And as soon as they got it, they went back to being mean, insensitive, rude, and disrespectful.
I was excluded from this person's life at every possibility. They even tried to un-invite me to a party they were throwing in my house!
Ordinarily, a person treating me like that would be hauled to the curb. Certainly none of my girlfriends would advise me to stay with such a person. But as I've mentioned, I was trapped, because the other person was a 14 yr old girl.

She hid her life from me in every way, and would then shriek, "You don't know! You don't know anything about me! You have no clue what's going on in my life, and what it's like to be me!"
Gee, ya think? Why don't you try pushing your hair back out of your face and having a conversation with me that does not use the words "ride" "friends" "movie" "mall" or "money"?
A mother of grown daughters took one look at my eldest and told me "Ah, the demons have taken her, I see."
I asked her to explain. She went on to tell me that at age 13, the demons take your daughters, and then after age 17, they bring them back.
It made perfect sense.
I used to wonder how some parents could send their kids to boarding school. Now that I have teens, boarding schools look pretty damn nice.
I don't even want a good one.
Hell, I want to send them to the one where they have to dig a hole!

I cannot afford boarding schools, not even after I googled "cheapest boarding schools".
But true to their word, the demons brought my eldest back by her 18th birthday. And today she is a joy to be around.
In a few weeks, I'll have a 15 year old, a 14 year old, and a 12 year old. The demons already have the 15 year old in their grip, and are stalking the 14 year old.

What I've learned is that their behaviors are, well, maybe not acceptable, but at least normal enough, common enough, for books like this to be written.

Eldest daughter texted me a few days ago positively furious after discovering her sister had taken her warm winter boots without asking.
She wanted her sister severely punished.
I reminded her that not so long ago she was the one in the demons' grip who drove us all crazy, and with patience on our part, it turned out ok.
With demon residue still drying on her dewy skin, she responded, "Yeah, well that's your choice. I'm just going to punch her. I bet the demons will bring her back a lot faster if I bust in her face."

Friday, October 29, 2010


I got an idea for a Halloween treat, and needed white chocolate oreos to do it.
I knew Kroger sold them, and I'd seen them at walmart. I went to Kroger first. I couldn't find them on the endcap where they usually were located. Instead, there were seasonal Halloween colored ones. I assumed they were in the regular cookie aisle, so I walked back to that.
Golden Oreos, Reduced Fat, Double-Stuffed, Mint, Breast Cancer Awareness pink ones, Oblong ones, Mini Oreos, Cakesters, Peanut Butter, Fudge Covered.... but no white chocolate ones!

I was forced to drive to Walmart, and knew exactly where to find them.
Once inside the store, I walked directly to the cookies aisle. There, I found all the above mentioned types, plus a new seasonal variety- Candy Cane Flavored- right where the white chocolate ones should be!
I was beside myself. Making my own white chocolate oreos would add three hours to my prep time!
I couldn't keep running all over town, so I put the items I'd need to make my own into the cart.
Resigned, I trudged toward the register. At the register, I scanned the tabloid headlines and then saw an entire endcap full of White Chocolate Oreos! I bought five boxes!
Once home, I grabbed the bottle of red cookie icing, and added a toothpick of green color, shaking well. I then drizzled the red icing all over the white cookies, and left them to set up, and headed out to Fairmont.

I threatened many lives if they were touched before I got back.
I returned a couple hours later and put the cookies into small plastic bags, and sealed them with "evidence" stickers.

Tune in tomorrow to see Jello Brains!