Should We Stay or Should We Goūüé∂ūüé∂ūüé∂

Okay.¬† So, I know it’s been a day or two¬†since my last post ūüėČ and I wasn’t¬†actually planning a post today ‘cuz it’s¬†crazy busy for us right now, but…who the hell could resist?

Not I.

You all know how much I like a good ‘saga’¬† ūüėā ūüė≠ ūüėď

Especially about cars.  Or moving.  Or houses.  Or other Shit-N-Stuff.


So…after all the blood, sweat, and tears, we shed before, during, and after, moving into our current home, we are considering selling.

Yup…2 years, 6 months in, picking up and moving again is actually being considered.

Nutz! ūüėĶ¬†¬† Looney!¬† ūüėĪ¬†¬† Coocoo for Cocoa Puffs! ūüźí


Two reasons really.

The first,¬†to be closer to my recently transplanted Mom, who¬†is, apparently, one of those lucky people I’ve heard about when it comes to adventures in moving.¬† Her pack and move went smoothly.¬† Her house¬†behaved when she moved in and didn’t reach out and break her leg or rain down through her light fixtures from the floor above.


Remember my crying lights?

She has¬†made¬†a beautiful home for herself…and is quite content to remain where she is.¬† But, we are finding that even a mere¬†20 minute/10 mile distance, is 15 minutes too far!

{Hmmm, note to self…A Drive Too Far…Book?¬† Movie?¬† Copyright infringement?¬† Carry on self…}

The second, as important as the first, is because our beautiful Ms. Sadie needs a place to safely run and play in her own backyard, and we cannot give that to her.


Because we cannot fence it in ūüė≤


Bureaucratic Bullshit ūüöß

We have a gorgeous back yard…

Northfield in the fall

What…don’t believe that’s mine?

What—everrrrrrrrrrrr¬† ūüĎÄ

Forget the mountains then.

Oh for Pete’s sake…take out the barn if it bothers ya!

Okay Okay (ya picky bitches), take out the fence, the trees, the other barn, and the rolling field in the background and you’ve got my yard.


Anyhoo….because Virginia’s disclosure laws are a¬† j o k e, not one of the half dozen professionals involved in buying real estate, not to mention the previous owner, felt it necessary to inform us that this lot is one of the highest impacted lots in the neighborhood, rendering our little slice of Eden…all but USELESS.


There is a 60′ (yes, that is SIXTY) gas company easement from the back of the property towards the house and runs the entire width of the tad over a 1/3 acre lot.¬† From our way of thinking, that should have been mentioned by SOMEONE in the 2 month buying/closing process yeah?


Add to that 60′ another¬†20′ for the build line which runs from the structure towards the back of the yard, making¬†the total depth/width of what we cannot add to, plant on, or change in a way that would impede….a whopping 80′.

EIGHTY #$#$%#$ FEET¬† ūüėĖ ūüė≠ ūüėē

Even¬†though the gas company¬†could work with us¬†on a fee based waiver,¬†they won’t.

But Wait!¬† There’s More¬† (oh goody)

There are also easements from the county that cannot be waivered.

One is a¬†16′ drainage easement, running back to front, the entire length of the property, but it’s on the side property line, so we didn’t give that one much thought.¬† At the time.¬† Not until¬†we had to.¬† And we had to when we wanted to put a storage shed out there.¬† On the side.¬† Away from the gas easement.¬† Ya know, close to the garage and stuff.

Ummmm….Not gonna happen¬† ūüöę

Then {and I chuckle here}¬†there is that all too common, everybody else must have one…FLOOD DAM FAULT LINE!¬† OR FAULT DAM FLOOD LINE!¬† OR DAM FLOOD FAULT LINE!¬† OR SOME DAMNED LINE GOING DIAGONALLY THROUGH THE ENTIRE BACK YARD!!

You got one, right?¬† And you?¬† And you, and you?¬† And you over there?¬† Everybody?¬† ‘Cause I’m thinking it’s so damned prolific as to be down right common-place.¬† Like we all got grass so why point out the grass?¬† Ain’t that¬†why I’ve never heard of this effin’ thing?¬† Ain’t it?

What the hell is happening?????????????¬† ūüėĪ

The only friggin floods that I have ever heard of around here….were¬†inside my damned house and that fault line didn’t help one daggone¬†bit!!¬† (el squat-o)

Did I say this made me chuckle?

I lied¬† ūüėę

Of course, we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t think we’d get a decent enough return to buy another.¬† The market is good right now, the rates are still low, people may be looking to get into a place before the next school year….all good things right?

So I ask you…

ūüé∂ Should we stay or should we go ūüé∂

(sorry,¬†I can’t help singing it…lol)

Oh geez…after all that, I forgot to mention why I even began this post.¬†¬†While we muse over the possibility of listing (we’re about 98% there to be honest), we figured we’d do what we always do in this situation…invest more blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention ūüíį, into getting our¬†imperfect ūüŹ†¬†perfect so the next¬†ūüĎł of the¬†newly perfected ūüŹį won’t have to lift a friggin’ finger or spend an effn’ dime!

‘Cause that’s¬†how we role…we Hernandezeseses (Hernadezi?)

We buy, we fix, we do……..and we move.¬† So we can then…buy old¬†and broken,¬†fix to new and pretty, sell to others who don’t have to do a damned thing…just so we can buy old and broken, fix to new and pretty….blah de blah de blah!

In that vein…
We have had the¬†fireplace that hasn’t worked since the day after we moved in, fixed.
We had the Jacuzzi tub’s leaky-ass faucets that we haven’t touched since the first time we went to use it and didn’t because it leaked, repaired.
We’re giving our wood floors a facelift so they don’t offend the next matriarch with their little Sadie scratches.
We’re resurfacing our pinkish, post-form, laminate countertops that somehow were good enough for me, but certainly will put off today’s savvy buyers looking for the trendier granite because ‘It’s so shiiiiny’.

And I’ve saved the¬†best for last…

and the hardest for me…

the die-hard DIY’er:

Hiring someone to do what I do, and do well is tough. But time, old shoulders, bad, up close & personal, eyesight, added to my increased lack o’ patience, has dictated that this time around…we must bite the proverbial and hire a pro.

You all know me and my history with hiring professionals.

Though you know I pride myself in doing my due diligence, you also know it has gotten my leg broken, my house flooded, my toothbrush packed with the toilet brush, and my car dying at 70 MPH on Interstate 91 in New Haven.

Shall we agree that you know this Wonder Woman of Wacky Workmen?

Okay then…we’re off.

We hired a ‘Pro” to paint the interior of our 4BR, 3BA home, top to bottom, head to toe, and everything in between.¬† The references were stellar. The estimate reasonable. The time frame – 7 days. Perfect.

That should have been my first clue!

When. Will. I. Learn?

Nothing is perfect, nor apparently, what it seems!

I’m getting ahead of myself…let’s see.¬† To be pro-active, we removed all wall d√©cor, switch plates, outlet covers,¬†electronics, all items in/on/around furniture, packed everything in boxes, moved all furniture to middle of rooms to be covered, placed all non-necessary furnishings, boxes, small items, etc., in the garage, took up all rugs, and basically had the house ‘paint-ready’ for the start date.¬† Oh, and we moved into my mother’s to give them free reign to only have to cover stuff once and not worry about finishing one room at a time.¬† The house was theirs.¬† They had to do nothing but cover, patch, sand, and paint.

Two painters began on Monday the 6th.¬† The owner’s son who is¬†taking over the business, and his¬†side kick with 25 years under his belt,¬†cut-in and first coat, guy.

Come Saturday, the 11th, one was left and the other one gone.  I fired the side-kick for lack of production and sloppy work.  His smoke breaks alone used half his hours and all of his work needed to be re-done.

He blamed the paint.  I blamed the painter.  I win.

Boom!¬† You’re outta here!¬†

I was told he would be replaced with a more professional side kick, but as of today, the 17th, there is still but one.

Mr Painter Man

Who I call IMA

IMA fix it РIMA gonna do it РIMA be here late tomorra РIMA sorry РIMA IMA IMA

By end of business today, there will have been a total of 11 painting days.

Know what’s done?¬† Hah…stop that laughing.¬† Wanna know?


This is still my downstairs…11 days later

Know what else?

There are 3 walls upstairs that need to be redone.¬† But I told¬†IMA to save that for dessert cause I needed his ass downstairs in the kitchen!¬† I’ve got a counter top being redone on MONDAY!!

I even returned the remaining 6 gallons of my accent color, a beautiful Crushed Oregano green, for¬†IMA because he keeps blaming the paint…I changed my design for him!


Does this color scare you?¬† It’s on my front door, which I painted, without trouble

 What the hell is wrong with me???  IMA STUPID!

Know what I’m doing right now?

ūüė≠ ūüė≠ ūüė≠ ūüė≠ ūüė≠ ūüė≠ ūüė≠ etc etc etc

Why bother going through all of this some might ask.  Especially when my house always looks good whether trendy or not.  Always up to date, clean, and comfy.  Homey!

Because Lord knows, today’s modern and discerning buyer would no doubt, walk into a home with red in the kitchen and yellow in the living room; green in the bathroom and a cloud painted blue sky ceiling in the bonus room, would run screaming into the street for the horror!

None of which I put on the walls but was perfectly fine with it until the day I decided to change it.

Boy oh Boy…we can’t expect someone else to think that way now can we?

Or so the real estate professionals tell me. After all, this is only the 6th house we will have sold, so how would I know anything about what sells and what doesn’t?

So…next week, it’ll be Mr. Painter-man who best have my kitchen done by tomorrow (or else )¬†and the counter-top crew.¬† That, should be an interesting day¬† ūüėā

ūüé∂ ūüé∂ We Should’a Stayed and Let Him Go ūüé∂ ūüé∂


Home is where you learn to walk


Like riding a bike…once you learn how…you don’t forget.

Choose not to, sure. ¬†But you don’t forget.

When I was a girl I used to walk everywhere.  I would stomp with purpose in my Wonder Bread bag covered shoes to school in the winters, hoping to get the bags off and stowed before the LL Bean boot-wearing kids could see them.

I’d march, like a good little soldier, the kiddie version of a 50 yard mile to church on Sunday, fiddling with the all too popular, bang-holding, enormous, white, clip-on bow my mother insisted I wear. ¬†One that made my¬†hair sit pregnant and waiting to pop its clip from atop my head, and in doing so, birthing my bangs back onto my forehead where they belonged! ¬†The post clip-on years saw my¬†9 to 14 year old self, stomp the yard the longest¬†1/4 mile known to adolescents…especially on Catechism Saturdays, where God’s own wicked witch of the north ruled with an iron fist!

The better walking days were when I was old enough to sashay and glide; take my time meandering and strolling, to the place where all good things happen. ¬†Overstreet. ¬†Which, for those who don’t know, is our far north yank-speak for Downtown. ¬†I could spend my fifty cent allowance buying nickle candy at the Economy Store, making¬†sure to save the quarter I needed for the Sat’dy matinee a couple doors down at the Savoy. ¬†And often times, I’d even have enough to stop at The Candy Kitchen for a creamie on the way home, if that’s what the gang wanted to do.

In the pre-bicycle summers, walking to the pool was the equivalent my now-self walking 5 miles on the huff and puff scale. ¬†I’ve actually checked since then and know now it was just a hair shy of a¬†mile…but it was the last half that was a killer. ¬†Or so it seemed at the time. And looking back…having a bike didn’t improve that hill any…not one lick! ¬†I don’t think I managed to stay ON the bike the whole way up but once, and only then because I rode that hill like it was a Donkey Kong trail, without the ladders! ¬†Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. ¬†It was easier to push it (or leave it home). ¬†Besides, kids pushing bicycles up that hill was just the way of it…until the 10-speed arrived. ¬†YeeHaw…what an invention. ¬†Not that I ever had one, but boy could those kids ride that hill like it was nothing!

Our’s was a small town; a good, walking town for a kid when you come right down to it. Nestled in a little valley surrounded by the Green Mountains; a college town without acting like a college town because we didn’t really sport the kinds of places college kids like to hang. ¬†And those we did have, the cadets managed to get thrown out of more often than not, so it was really just us¬†town folk most of the time.

I loved walking that town, and I know it’s from walking that town that I feel so drawn to the beauty in everyday things that I often take pictures of. ¬†Imagine walking down the street where you live, and everywhere you look, there’s a mountain, or a brook, or a river. Walk to the end of that street and you can chose to go straight over the footbridge, crossing the river towards downtown and what adventures lie there. ¬†Or left over the tracks towards one of your schools or a shortcut to your friend’s house, the side street tree lined and leaf covered. ¬†Or better yet, turn right and walk to where the pavement ends and the dirt begins. ¬†Fields full of wild flowers and cows; promises of swimming holes and tire swings, and mountains as far as the eye¬†can see.

All the time looking up. ¬†All the time thinking…I want to live in those mountains. ¬†I want to hear the brooks run and the smell the spring mud; feel the snow tickle as it falls on my face, and crunch under my feet for as long as I live.

I no longer live in that town.

But that town lives in me.  I take it with me everywhere, as I take all those things I fell in love with there too.

It’s the peace I reach for¬†when I can find none where I am.

No matter where I hang my hat, my ¬†heart remains there…in my little town. ¬†Where walking the streets is not a profession…it’s a path to connection. ¬†To God, to community, to nature, but most importantly, to¬†oneself.

When I need it, I put on my boots and hit the road and remember. ¬†I remember to keep my ears open, my eyes wide, and my mind quiet. ¬†I remember to be thankful for some of the absolute best memories of¬†my life…and more so, to be thankful for giving me the mountains my mind ran¬†away to; where I’d sit under a glorious burnt orange tree while it bathed in the red-gold light of a late fall sun…for the¬†absolute worst of my life.

The little town where I learned to walk; to never take for granted the¬†beauty in the¬†simple things; to accept with gratitude,¬†the gifts it gave me every day; and learned too, the true understanding of what it is…the power…to have¬†a place to call home.

Northfield in the fall

My town, where I learned to walk


(photo by Carol of Carol’s View of New England on blogspot)

Mommy Dearest

I’ll go out on a limb here and say for most of us, being a parent is, quite literally, the hardest job we’ve ever had or ever will. And, at the same time, it’s the richest, most fulfilling, most rewarding contribution to our own lives and always will be. ¬†alex

One of the most surprising¬†aspects of parenthood’s lifelong journey is finding out that one split second is all it takes for you to come to know the best and worst of being a parent…the span of that second is the distance between loving another being¬†so much it hurts, to wishing¬†you’d gotten a dog instead! ¬†True dat ¬†ūüôā


But in looking at this¬†most difficult¬†/¬†most rewarding dichotomy, it’s not so hard to understand when you consider first, our tendency¬†to place the highest value on that which was hardest won, and second, our amazing capacity for forgiveness (as parents at least).

But what is it that takes parents to the depths of the difficult to the heights of reward when it comes to loving our children? How do we survive the splintering of our brains in a thousand directions trying to figure them out, yet tarnishes the love in our hearts never?

I don’t question the reward; I think it’s obvious. I do, however, ponder the difficult. Is it because we love too much? ¬†Is it that even possible?

I don’t believe so…

However, could it be that we love too much for too long?  Is that it?  Does parental love need to be doled out in stages or degrees?  Or fit into categories in order to not overload these little overlords once they come into their own?

So what (you ask) are these stages/degrees/categories you ask?

I’m a little cuss who can’t (and don’t want to) function without you so love me, love me more, love me most!

I’m a teenager so love me lots, and with patience, but for God’s sake, don’t let my friends see it!

I’m a young adult now so love me from a distance, but not too far ’cause I may need the car!

I’ve met someone and we’re going to get married. ¬†Can ya help, can ya pay, can we have it there? (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love him/her!)

I’m going to have a baby so love me, love me most, and love me now ’cause we’re going to need babysitters!¬†(ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love it!)

Mom? Dad? I’ve never felt this way before…I love this kid so much my heart hurts!
(ps honey…we know!)

And so on…..

The short answer to the too much / too long question is…yes, okay, maybe, a little bit. But we parents come to this conclusion naturally I think. We instinctively know (or learn soon enough if our instincts are not as honed as they will be), which stage or category we’re dealing with or which degree of parental love to douse them with, simply by living it. Organic knowledge. ¬†We just have to choose¬†to go with it.

Does that stop us from loving the same soul-deep way we did when they were newborn?

No.  Perhaps it does in theirs though.  For a time.

I know¬†that they love us the same way we do them…in the beginning. ¬†Outside of themselves, we are their world. Their universe. Their moon and their stars, and they are ours.

Parents and kids grow up together. ¬†That’s a given. ¬†No matter if you’re 18 or 45 when you have your children, you¬†have¬†to grow up with them to be able to give and receive all that these little selves need, and later, need to share.

We may grow up more with our first.  Then again, it may just be that we grow up differently with the next one or two or three.

But…if we’ve played our hands well, we are love. ¬†All of it. ¬†Every stage, every degree, every category is of the love, by¬†the love, for the love. ¬†And they are right there with us.

Completely (in the beginning)

Mostly (in the middle)

Until (still in the middle but getting further towards the…the…well shit…not the end, but you know what I mean right?)

Until…they find out there are more people to love and to be loved by; more stars to shine the light of love on their heads and in their hearts; more room in their world for other loves.

As it has always been.  As it was with our own parents to be sure.  Just another way of experiencing the circle of life.


Our children are loved as only a child can be loved and they in turn, love as only a child can love. The universe is secure.

As time goes on, they thrive and grow in that forever, universe-spanning, parental love and love them right back. But as they continue to grow, they s l o w l y  recognize that their world is expanding to include the many, many different kinds of love; each addition a glimmering star to their universe thus far.

But their recognition is as single-minded as their love for us was in the beginning. When they venture out from underneath the love-cloaked expanse of their parental universe, they don’t at once realize that their hearts¬†are big enough to add new loves without setting aside old ones.

Our time will come again (usually around the time the grand-kids show up!), but as parents, it’s only natural that we do feel the initial loss of that connection when our love is no longer the moon and the stars in our child’s heart.


Facing this fact head-on is hard, but absolutely necessary.

For our own well-being as well as theirs.

If we don’t, we run the risk of pushing them further out into the expanse by clinging too close, depending too much on their always being there, pining away for their childhood days when they aren’t there, regretting what we didn’t do, or forgetting what we did. Even romanticizing the harder times and not counting our blessings.

We all can probably think of a parent in our experience who has done, or does, this. Think back to the last time you witnessed a parent who cannot let go and re-live what you felt. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.

I’m certainly not completely innocent of it still. ¬†I sometimes catch myself feeling guilty for not being ‘that mother’. The one who always can, always will, never says no, never says can’t. Who wouldn’t want to be considered ‘the perfect mom’? ¬†But that’s not perfection. It’s limiting to both your life and those of your children.

However, even knowing I am not (and never could be) that mother…(nor is their Dad ‘that guy’) it nevertheless hurts (and in the dark of night, makes me wonder if they’ll still love me enough to ask again- I know, just silly ) to know that we are the ones disappointing our¬†children.

But we get over it because we know we are good parents¬†who have raised good people. ¬†We all¬†deal with disappointments in our relationships. ¬†We have difficult conversations followed by deafening silences. ¬†But we’ve loved each other long enough and well enough to know what’s really important.

So there is hope. Once we’ve matured enough in our parenthood to realize this fact of life, we can recapture¬†that sense of oneness, specialness, absolute love not felt anywhere but in your parents’ heart of hearts. ¬†It is, after all,¬†our hearts that need to make preparations for the day when our children learn there is a love flow-chart. ¬†This will fluctuate during their life spans, but it will always show a solid heart-red line for us. ¬†Mom and Dad. ¬†Steady as she goes. ¬†What more could we hope for?

And an added benefit to this stage of parental maturity is…we can (and hopefully do) look back at our own parents with a new appreciation for all they’ve done, all they’ve been through, and all we’ve¬†learned from them without even knowing it. ¬†Score!

Cheers and happy parenting (and I mean that!)

Dearest Mommy

Dedicated to my Mother and Father and to my Sons
I’m proud to be one of your stars

I Was a Toddler-age Tosspot

Yes, I confess.
By the time I was 3, I was hooked on the ol’ brew.
(And, apparently, I passed that on to my eldest. Though, I preferred a bottle)
Observez Vous…

Gee, thanks Mom!

Gee, thanks Mom!

Actually, I was more hooked on Dad…I was his toddlin’ sidekick in mighty whitey tights! ¬†Anything he did, I wanted to do. Anywhere he was, I wanted to be. ¬†Not so unusual for little girls to consider their Dads their first love and first superhero.

Always ready to catch me

Always ready to catch me

Book Two 37 (2)Book Two 75Roy, Grands, Rhonda (2)



There again too…I guess boys are of the same mind. ¬†Like father like sons?
You betcha!
Good VT Stock





oldies 11 - Copy (2) - Copyoldies 11 - Copyoldies 11 - Copy (2)





This is how the story goes…

Once upon a time, in a little town far, far away, there was a little girl who lived with her father, mother, and 3 brothers. That’s her below…the twinklin’ toddler in her mighty whities…
rhondaThe budding housewifeMother got to my hair again

Her father was a hard-working man; working 2, sometimes 3 jobs to make ends meet. ¬†And her Mother was not your ‘typical for the times’ housewife either.

Isn't she pretty?

Isn’t she pretty?

Because, busy as she was, having had 4 kids in 5 years, she still held a full-time job outside the home.

But, this was also a time when families lived close together, daycare centers were non-existent, and family was relied upon to pitch in where they could. (Glad it was you, Gram)

Now, seeing as these were hard-working folk, what little free time there was, was catch-up time, family time, friends time. Picnic parties, horseshoes, reunions, celebrations…but all the time, busy!
Picnic at PartlowsBook Four 12Island Pondroy and chickie 35th cake

But…let’s not forget the biggie…working on cars in the yard.

That all-american male’s favorite pastime. ¬†Grease-monkeyin’ in the driveway.
Am I right?

So anyway, this is how a toddlin’ sidekick to her Daddy’s Superman, gets her tights in a twist…

A typical weekend afternoon, circa 1963…

The boys tinkerin’ in the driveway with the women folk fixin’ victuals and watchin’ babies inside.
A regular tune ‘er up, tink’er up, smoke’em up, drink’em up, Sa’day afternoon.
Rev her up..sounds good!
Close her up…hit the dirt for a test run.
No need for cleanin’up, we’re comin’ right back.

Ya with me?  Good.

To continue…

The boys are gone.
The women are inside with (8 of the usual 9) the kids.
One smarty pants little toddler decided she missed her Daddy and went outside looking for him.
She calls for him.
No answer.
She can’t see him.
But wait…there…in the driveway.
“What’s that?” she wonders in her terrible-three tiny little brain.
“Can it be?” she asks herself
“Why, I think it’s a Daddy bottle and ooooooh, he left it for me!” silently gigglin in delight she was
“I love a good Daddy bottle. It’s so much more yummy than my ucky ol’ boring one.” she hmmphs at the thought.
She looks around.
No one.
She listens keenly for any sound that would suggest Mommy was coming to take her Daddy bottle away.
“Yay” she thinks as she’s already on the move, toddlin’ toward that dark brown delight she knows is filled with liquid gold.
She stretches those short and chubbies just far enough to grab the neck of that father-forgotten treasure, tips it to her lips like the bottle pro she is…and¬†chug-a-lugs.

That was the last thing I remember prior to waking up in the hospital God knows how much time later.

You see, the brew I knew and thought of as Dad’s liquid gold, was what I now call, liquid fire.

As was the custom then…and I’ve seen it again and again in the years since…these man-boys would use beer bottles as containers for gasoline when working on their carburetors. They were always plentiful, usually empty, so why buy a gas can when a beer bottle will do?

Exactly! Logic boys….logic!

The madness that followed can quite easily be imagined…and remember, this was an itsy bitsy town.
I don’t remember much of the ensuing chaos…but have heard the details often.

The boys returned to find my Mother holding me in a panic.
No other vehicle.
No hospital nor ambulance within 8 miles and 13 minutes (rural roads ya know).
And a non-breathing child turning colors no human should be.
Parents and me in the car.
Dad driving hell-bent for leather, Mom holding me.
My head out the window like a dog.
I do remember being told NOT to throw up.
I do remember having zero conscious thoughts at this time.
Arrive at the hospital alive, though I was told I didn’t take a single breath, as well as my Mother being told that it’s a miracle I didn’t vomit, for that would have been the end of my life as I knew it.
I do remember too, waking in a crib-bed with a top (?), like a cage, feeling trapped.
But, when I could, I remember looking out the window and seeing my Memere’s house and it made me feel better.

 Now, all of us that are parents, know this irrefutable fact:

You CANNOT turn you back on a toddler
Even for a second.
Because one second is one second TOO LONG!

But…I think we can all agree…it happens.

Shit happens!

beer cap

This Bud’s for Anyone but ME!

Is That Wonder Woman Whistlin’ Dixie?

A short re-cap…

Toddler Troll ’14 has died…

…and Damien ’15 now reigns

Do NOT let that innocent face fool you!

Damien declared the war of Two Ought One and Four was not over.
He was now spearheading the charge.

El Jefe sent his mangy minion “Mini Masher Mickey” to mangle my Mini

mini masher mickey 1

Mini Masher Mickey

Mad as Hell Wonder Woman (that’s me…just ask my SideKick Mimi)

WW ready to kick some ‘service’ ass and take some names…

I know she’s not a minion, ¬†but I could NOT resist! ¬†Could you?

¬†Alright…that brings us to right here and right now…

How DOES a mad as hell Wonder F-Ugly end up Whistlin’ Dixie?

(She puts her lips together and blows, silly)

No, seriously…

After she hangs up the phone from the conversation with the Mini Service Manager, as follows:

Manager: I have some news.

Me: Oh yeah?

Manager: The warranty inspector was here today.

Me: Yeah, so I was expecting.

Manager: He looked at the engine.

Me: Right. That’s what he was there for.

Manager: He said it was a broken Tensioner.

Me: Yeah, you told me that already. Were you unsure?

Manager: No, he just confirmed it.

Me: Good. Now what?

Manager: He agreed the engine needed to be replaced.

Me: I thought you had NEWS? (Not OLDS!) You already told me that.

Manager: I also told you in my experience, they would not pay for it.

Me: Yeah, I didn’t forget that part.

Manager: Well…

Me: Well…..what?

Manager: They agreed to cover it.

Me: Really?

Manager: Yes. They were going to cover a ‘used’ one but we ran the numbers an
it was within a couple hundred for a new one, so you’re getting a new one.

Me: I’d have gotten a new one anyway, but go on.

Manager: They are paying me directly, so all you have to cover is the new battery
and turbo oil line, which are not covered.

Me: How much?

Manager: $692

Me: You do know both the battery and that oil line were replaced last year?

Manager: Yes, but since you’re getting a new engine, we don’t want to screw around with old parts.

Me: Ok. How much are the two replacements?

Manager: $350 for the battery, $200 for the line, plus tax and labor.

Me: $350 for a battery? Jesus, what the hell is it made of?

Manager: It’s specific to Minis.

Me: Really? No other car can use it?

Manager: Well, not exactly, but this one’s housing and stuff are made specifically
for Mini.

Me: Ah, I see. (You guys figure since I’m getting a new engine paid for I may as well just suck up a 300 percent mark up on a battery.)
Well, that’s good news anyway.

Manager: I need to order the engine, and once it’s in, we’ll need a few days. You
may be able to get the car by Wednesday.

Me: Actually, I’ll be able to get the car when I can get a ride to Hartford and not before.

Manager: I’ll call you when it’s ready.

Me: I’ll wait for that call.

¬†THAT’S how a Mad As Hell Wonder Woman ends up Whistlin’ Dixie

thanks for the cartoon

And pay attention Girlies (and Nerdies too)…
It pays to let people (especially people ‘helping’ you) that you’ve done your homework.
It’s good to let them know that you know that they know that they are hiding/lying to you and you know it.

Got it?

Good ¬†ūüôā

And Now…Something Completely Un-Original!

2014 – The Year in Review

I had the title typed before I saw the email with the gift from the WP helper monkeys that I assume we all got.

And I know this is a bit longer than usual, but if the ultimate goal is to kill a baby (the new years baby silly people…calm down) one can’t skimp on the details ūüėČ

At first, I thought I’d just make the WP Review public and call it a day, rather than come up with a review of my own.

It does, after all, highlight our most popular posts, our busiest days, how many views, and how many countries.

It also…
Reminds us that this year has been spent like yesterday’s paycheck!
Proves in black and white that 2014 has slipped right through our fingers.
Shows us that we blinked and there it was….G O N E!

None of which are bad or surprising. Just not a true enough picture. At least not for me.

Can I say there’s something that makes me think it has been “The Best Year Ever”?

Not even close

(Though, I AM content knowing there were a couple events that will be remembered fondly. One of which was welcoming a beautiful new friend named Sadie into our hearts and our home and the landscape changed for the better)

If you are, or know, A¬†Mama of Mayhem, A Deb of Destruction, or A Brittany of Breakage like me…then you understand!

Being a title holder of all three…this year is one for the books.
I actually shutter a little writing this ‘pre-midnight 12/31/14’ little tale, as it scares the SHITE outta me a bit! ¬†Lord knows, a LOT can happen in the 36 hours that remain!

For example…I sit here writing in a room that houses nothing that could hurt me, yet I still feel as if I am in a militarized zone. I almost want to ensconce myself in the bathroom, where, if I manage to not fall into something wet and drown, I’ll be good to go.

There will be no daily, weekly, or monthly, blow by blow review of the past year here.¬†Not even a highlight reel. ¬†You’ve heard all of that before. No need to rehash old shit storms.

However, it appears this almost year-old ‘baby 14’ is not done with me.

He did, yet again, set his sights on my ample bottom, reared back his infantile, yet strangely fat and hairy leg, let loose, and kicked me in the ass.

Yup, this over-grown, tantrum throwing, troll doll, is still flinging the contents of his dirty diaper my way, and frankly, I’m sick to death of the little shit!

I Am, in fact, celebrating the fact that in 36 hours, this mini monster will be




But, before his happy demise, the little bastard thought it would be funny to inflict a bit more madness and mayhem into my life.

How you wonder? Ooooh, he’s nothing if not imaginative, the little Attila.

(cue dreamy, going back in time music now…)

Saturday, 12/27/14
I left Virginia in Mini Me, primed and ready for my 700 mile trip to the frozen north to spend time with Superman and Lois

Well prepared, reasonably rested, I hit the nearly empty highway in good form

350 miles in, I was awed by the mile long caravan of flashing lights; cruisers, suvs, vans, and buses, of law enforcement vehicles from all over the south, headed to New York City for the funeral service of two fallen comrades

I cruised through NYC (okay, the Bronx) in record time
(Guess everyone had the same thought…no troopers on the road)

I reached the interchange of Interstates 95/91 in New Haven at 11:30am

Considering I’d stopped for breakfast and a fill-up, I was making good time

The GPS said I’d be there by 2:45pm, just a bit over a 12 hour trip

Right on schedule (Lobster dinner tonight!)

Then…that big, bad, baby decided to wake up

With a shitty diaper

And he reached into that shitty diaper

Grabbed a handful

And flung it in my direction

It was a direct hit!

Round I

At 75 miles per hour
Traveling in the left lane
Interstate 91 Northbound
Exit 5 (I can’t get away from details)
Mini Me died
Foot on gas pedal…nothing
I was surrounded by flying traffic by this time of the day, and just north of New Haven, CT
No where to go that didn’t already have a vehicle occupying that same space
There was no left shoulder
I had no choice
One look over my shoulder resulted in a “FUCK” and prayer to God that I had enough forward momentum to reach the right shoulder alive
I shut my eyes and turned the wheel
I drifted…just drifted…amid honks and screeches which I had no choice but to ignore in an effort to get to safety, but sick to my stomach and shaky with fear of being Johnny Hot Rod’s New Year’s Roasted Road Kill
When I opened my eyes, I realized, had I waited to do that one second later, I’d have landed in the middle of the entrance/exit ramp and been no better off, and just as likely to be creamed
But, as it happened, I opened my eyes just in time to two-foot the brake and stop right before the shoulder/guard rail ended

Round II

After regaining the ability to breathe and pick up my phone without dropping it from shaking, I realized I only had 27% left on my battery with no power to re-charge
Panic set in, knowing I had to have my phone to get out of this mess

I tried to call my husband at his job in Virginia
I didn’t have the damned number in my phone as he’d just been transferred
SHIT  (not that he could have done anything, but I needed to hear something, anything, besides whizzing traffic)
I called Lois…hoping she answered and not Supe, because I didn’t want him to worry. She was gone, he answered
He reminded me his best friend lived about an hour away, was a mechanic, and calmed me a bit.  (so much for me worrying about him eh?)
I called this friend, but he knew nothing about good ol’ Mini Me, but would pick me up if I needed
All I knew was I needed off the road but was not willing to leave the car sitting there
I called my insurance company thinking I had roadside assistance coverage
NOT (but she offered to sell it to me, the bitch)

After a Google search, found the number to hubby’s new location, called him and cried all the way through that conversation (ugh, what IS that anyway?)
He too reminded me (needed a lot of reminding that day) that I had an extended warranty that included roadside assistance (duh)

So, I called them and after a lengthy discussion, was relieved to hear that by 12:50, there would be a tow truck there to take us to a service location.
PHEW because I was down to about 12% on the phone and sweatin’ bullets

Round III

Tow truck arrives
Mini Me quickly and expertly man handled onto the flat bed
Passenger (moi) rudely told “IN. Don’t Smoke. Don’t Eat”
Passenger (moi) just as rudely yelled (in my head of course) Fuck You. Drive.

Reach our destination
Driver takes Mini Me off the rig, gets her safely into a parking spot behind the dealership
Waves me off and drives away
I go into the dealership to seek guidance
(after noticing the service department was closed baby closed)

Information desk girly pages the manager who informs me they don’t service Minis, so even if they had been open, they could not have helped me
Water works begin in earnest

To say anyone within spitting distance was a tad uncomfortable with this 54 year old lady, blubbering in the middle of a BMW dealership would be an understatement
(and worse still-they were having an ‘event’ and the place was packed!)
To say I gave a shit would be a lie

Round IV

After being herded off by the dealership manager
(to a padded, all but sound proof, cubby hole)
Where I was to sit and get things figured out
(offering to keep me in coffee and food, a power outlet, and a phone at my disposal)
I called the warranty eeeedjit back

One point five hours later, having listened to this dickhead tell me it was my fault I’d landed in “A place no Mini has gone before” (really?)
I told him to shut it…get me a new tow to somewhere that could actually SERVICE my car, and I’d deal with his incompetence later

Got a text ten minutes later that the tow truck would be there at 3:50pm to tow me 45 miles further north, to Hartford, where there was a Mini dealership whose service department was closed, but they were open until 5 and I could get my car checked in and arrange for a rental to continue the 300 miles I had left on my journey north
That left me about 10 minutes to spare, provided the tow truck arrived on time

The truck did NOT arrive on on time, and I knew I needed a new plan
I couldn’t be stuck at an empty dealership in Hartford, CT with no way out

Lois to the rescue…she calls my cousin in Massachusetts and arranges for her and to pick me up in Hartford and drive me to Brattleboro, Vermont where my visiting brother would drive to and pick me up to take me the rest of the way home

All told, cousin Shari and brother Allan would spend 3 hours and 4 hours respectively, driving on my behalf, all because a warranty roadside assistance representative didn’t think it was necessary to find out if the destination HE chose to have me towed to, actually serviced my vehicle

(I’m lucky to have the family I do…at least there IS that)

Round V
The second tow truck finally arrives
Getting to Hartford in time to talk to a person was already completely out the window
A talker
Good God, they sent me a fucking jaw bones!
(In an antique truck to boot)

The driver (Randy) finally gets to doing what he’s there to do
While he’s putting her on the truck, I notice the driver’s side window slowly inching down
And of course, there’s no power to raise it back up
OMFG…wanna guess the forecast for that night and the next day?
Yeah…like that
Oh well, another phone call to Shari to let her know I wouldn’t be in Hartford by 5 and to go ahead and get something to eat in the meantime

Sometime after 5:00 but before 6:00
Arrive at dealership in Hartford
Hugs and kisses for Shari and Jimmy
Off load Mini Me to spend the night, the next day and night, and the next morning exposed to the elements
Transfer all my shit to Shari’s car
Pay Randy (a.k.a. driver jaw bones)
(and I hugged him actually…he turned out to be good company and a much needed source of laughter and companionship on the drive to Hartford. He told me I was his ‘best tow ever‘ and I told him that’s only because I like to use the F word, tell raunchy jokes, and smoke (so he could smoke and he was good with that!)

Round VI

We meet up with Brother in Brattleboro Burger King
I got a drink while he sat staring at what he dubbed his “ass burger”
After a few minutes of visiting for the brother and the cousin, the eventual garbage can burial for his ass burger, we hit the road for our 2 hour trip home
ps…My brother is a genius! He brought me a bottle of wine and a plastic cup for the ride home. Does he know me or what? Update: ¬†I’ve been informed that it was brother number 2 who told brother number 3 to bring the wine!
Could they both be geniuses?

Round VII

It is now Tuesday, 12/30/14
I know absolutely nothing more today than I knew Saturday about the state of Mini Me
All I know is she’s there and I’m here
I’m already $260 bucks in the hole for which they called me to authorize, yet they’ve not even looked at her
Unsure if any or all or none of her ailments are covered by the warranty or if it’s gonna cost me an arm or maybe the one good leg I got left

So…let’s try this again:

2014 – The Neverending Story?

2014 – The Worst Story Ever Told?

2014 – It’s A Wonderful Life For Somebody Else?

2014 – Kill Me Now and Get it the Fuck Over With?

Sure…they all could work

But, since the little cuss ‘Atill-ito de Hun-o’ seems to like it when I get upset or angry or depressed when he slings his excrement my way…I’ve decided to take his poo and make poo-ade

I’m looking for and looking at, the positives that came out of this.

1. I’m alive
2. I’ve got great family
3. I made a tow truck driver’s year
4. That same driver made my fucked up day not so fucked up
5. I still made it up north to be with Superman and Lois
6. Mini Me is where she needs to be – in a Mini Hospital where she’ll get the care she needs

So, little baby butthead, go ahead ya filthy animal
You’ve got 36 hours to do your worst

But remember…
I’ve got a hell of a lot more time than you do, so there IS that, right?

In a little while, the world will be celebrating YOUR demise and your REPLACEMENTS arrival

How does that feel?


For me…it’s p r i c e l e s s

Happy New Year to all of you

As for you Baby

Good friends?
Maybe, maybe not

But I’ll tell you what I’ve told your predecessor…

“I’ll be around a lot longer than you (God willing), so¬†go ahead…

Bring. It. On!

Porch Poet

P inkish hues of spider’s silk
O ranges, yellows, whites like milk
R eds and greens in varying tints
C apture the sun’s rays as¬†they glint
H ere on the mums, there on a wing
P rompting retreat to shade covered things
O ppressive, this air you can cut with a knife
E ven the bird, like dragon, still life
T oday’s one for dwelling, musing, no movement
S o hoping tomorrow will bring some improvement


Last night saw the end of the longest running nightmare of our married life.
The move to Virginia
(a.k.a. As the Shade Spins)
(aa.k.a. Two Thugs and a Truck)
(aaa.k.a. The Snap Heard ‘Round the Block)
(aaaa.k.a. Row, Row, Row, Your Washing Machine)

Moving on (yikes, that phrase alone gives me heartburn)…

At 7:00pm we waved goodbye, with heartfelt thanks, to the crew that installed our new floors. Adios and gracias if you know what I mean.

By 9:30pm we’d placed the last piece of furniture, made-up the last bed, plugged-in and set the alarm clock, and hopped (the mattress sits about boob high on me. HE hops…I use a stool) into our bed with sighs (grunts) of exhausted relief.

To say the day went off without a hitch would be completely out of character for me, so in keeping with keeping it real…I suppose I must share that too…

I’m usually the one in charge in all things ‘house’. But due to my slight limitation in mobility, I reluctantly gave up control and took my place as the minion this one time, physically anyway. (For some reason my mouth just can’t give up being the boss!)

Anyway…I was placed inside the frame of the bed, to help place the box spring. But, as my hands were catching the box, my eyes spied the very obvious fact that the bed was NOT in the right place. Why weight it down with box and mattress when we could easily move it first?

So naturally, I dropped the box spring where I stood (I may have spouted something here, but I take the 5th) and turned to exit the interior of the bed frame so I could move the bed to where it belonged.

In doing so, I didn’t quite clear the hurdle that was the side rail…tripped…and landed flat on my face (and boobs and belly and though I didn’t realize it at the time, my left wrist.)

(Did you know that OOF is a real sound? IT IS!)

Anyway, I gave a shout out to the Big Guy upstairs, thanking him for yet another reminder of my bad temper, cradled my wrist, and left the other big guy to finish. Turns out, the tendons on top of my left hand took the brunt, are strained, and yell at me when ever I lift my hand…but other than that, the other bruises will heal.

Considering my history, I’d say this was one of my better days. ūüôā

I climbed the mountain that is my bed, and sat up for a while, thinking about the last 10 weeks {‘how the hell did we get through this without killing each other?’ was my predominant thought} realizing that it was going to be the first night since moving in, that I didn’t dread the following morning.

The nightmare was over.

That light at the end of the tunnel that everyone talks about is there.

I can see it.

Today is the first day for the rest of our lives.

Today is a day for emptying boxes, hanging pictures, filling bookcases, marinating steak to put on the grill…

Today is a day for doing NONE of those things because my hand is screaming.

Today is a day for waiting for tomorrow to try again.

Today is a day for blaming no one but myself for things going wrong.

Today is a day for eating humble pie with my grilled steak.

Today is also a day for giving thanks that we’ve made it through the nightmare still optimistic about tomorrow, regardless of what happened 10 weeks or 10 minutes ago.

Today…Is a Good Day!

It is also¬†a day for meeting¬†our new neighbors…they just moved in…next door…a cute couple…and she, like me, seems to be in charge of the house.

I wish them well.

I offer NO advice yet will keep my garden open to them.

Welcome new neighbors…when you get settled, stop by and we’ll sit and chew the suet and reminisce about Moving Day!

Free Birds

Today was the first day since December 10th, that I’ve been free to walk out of my house on two feet, sans crutches, sans male nurse disguised as husband, and just dooooooooooooo!

Whatever I wanted.

Whatever struck my fancy.

Just Do It!

So…what did I do?

I grabbed my camera and took her out on a date.

In Mini, who I’ve not driven since then either.

We’ve shared not one single moment of exploration time since moving to Virginia…and I must admit, that’s been worse than the broken leg!

Trouble is…the eastern seaboard is either getting hammered or getting ready to be hammered my Winter Storm PAX.

I am in the latter group…getting prepared.

Normally this would not bother me in the least.¬† I mean, I’m a Yankee for God’s sake!¬† I have ice in my veins.

(No..not THAT kind of ice…the pretty kind¬† ūüôā¬† )

But one must remember that¬†I now live in the land of “OMG OMG OMG…THEY ARE CALLING FOR SNOW” people and that¬†made for a poor ‘Mini, take me away’ day.

It was¬†more a “Mini, get me the hell home because the people on the roads (and I swear…they are ALL¬†on the roads)¬†are LUNATICS and it hasn’t even started yet!”

I made it as far as Wal-Mart, a mere 6 miles from here, because I had some photos I wanted printed.¬† I am supposed to return, but frankly, I don’t think it would be worth it.¬† After all, I’m not collecting hazard pay and having just tasted freedom for the first time in more than two months…NO accidents for me, thank you very much!

So…I returned good ol’ friend Mini to the garage, took CC with me to the backyard, and¬†having left¬†the world outside my little acre to go crazy nuts…I spent a few moments with my VISITOR.

hawk collage

Besides…the skies are dreary, the colors dull, the vibrancy of¬†spring not yet peaking around the corner…I think I found the best the winter has to offer today, right here in my back yard.

Tomorrow is another day.

If there’s snow on the ground, all the better for me and CC.

If not, then we’ll see what we will see when we see it.

In the meantime, my VISITOR and I shall be, for today, FREE BIRDS!

Life is good!

Just ask Lynyrd

Slice of Pie Anyone?

I saw this MEME today…and it got me thinking, actually it got me writing.¬† I wrote this on a group page I am party to….Politics Vs. Reality, but thought it belonged here as much as there.¬† This is my mind on white space after all.

These are just my thoughts, opinions, ramblings, whatever. Nothing here is meant to inflame or insult, but I do welcome commentary, which I feel is sadly lacking in our country today, what with all the bashing and name calling, etc. going on.

For me, this is NOT politics, it’s life.


It has been pointed out…that the facts laid out in this MEME are not true.
That could well be…Ben Stein is a comedian…and I take him with a grain.
However, this MEME only got me thinking…not speaking on the merits of what is stated on it.
Just wanted to make that clear.

I have thought about it, as many have, and voiced my opinion to those that supposedly represent me (Eric Cantor), to no avail.¬† It matters not what We The People want…and hasn’t for a very long time.¬† Left, right, or in the middle…it all comes down to the same ol’ shit…money, power, and politics.
There are some who believe what we have is better than anywhere else in the world.  If so, then why are we trying so hard to be like everyone else? Why is it so important NOT to stand up and stand out? The freedoms we have as Americans have always been the most identifiable part of BEING an American.  The whole reason those coming here, COME HERE!
I am not ready, nor willing, to hand my freedom card in just yet…I find I still want a say in what happens to, and in, my country.¬† Folks who believe conservatives, Republicans, right-wingers, tea-baggers as they are so lovingly dubbed, are racist, poor hating, money-grubbing, anti-this, and anti-that…couldn’t be more wrong.¬† Why the name calling and hating of everyday folks, whose goal is to live by the Constitution?¬† People who would like to see laws of the land enforced and not circumvented for some and ignored for others?¬† People who would willingly give everything we have to those that need it, as long as it can be PAID FOR?
I know that when a conservative talks about money, the hackles rise on some…but that doesn’t change the facts.  The government needs it, so it takes it.  As we are in the middle of tax season…how many of you that have done yours, have seen in black and white, on one page, just how much more of your money is gone?  It would be fine if we could see the benefits being rained down, but do you?  I don’t.  We are so far down the rabbit hole and falling farther and farther every second, we’ll never see daylight at this rate.
To say the government has the right to take it, without asking for it, is wrong!  The fact that they do it, even more so.  We used to have a say, through our House of Representatives, how and how much.  When did we vote to give up that right? Ummm, never.
We continually throw good money after bad.  Good intentioned?  Sure…no one deserves to be left in the dark hole of poverty, scrounging for the very basic needs of life…NO ONE…and it’s the best part of our country and its citizens to want to do something about that…and we can…but currently we are dancing around the real issues…one step forward, two steps back…we need some tough love here.  And yes, I’m talking about immigration, as it’s where we started and if we are not careful, it’s where we will end!
I am well versed in the laws of immigration.  I am 32 years into a marriage to one.  And along with his family and the multitudes I’ve met through them, and several of my own immediate family members who work directly with/for immigrants, we DO have a good system in place.  So where did it go so wrong?  I’ll leave that to you to answer because I don’t know, can only speculate, that money, power, and politics have something to do with it.
We are a nation of immigrants.  To think we could, or should, survive without the influence and diversity these folks bring to our culture is ignorant and very short-sighted.  BUT, we must do something about HOW they come in…not why, not who, but HOW.  We have the law, let’s use it. If we need more staff, let’s hire them to get the log jam of those waiting undammed.
We cannot fix this overnight.  We’ve wasted too much time and too much money already, doing things behind the guise of humanitarianism, while at the same time, adding more and more blocks of concrete on the heads of those in that hole.  The hole is getting deeper and filling faster and throwing money we do not have at this is not going to empty it out.
It is not racist, or hate mongering, or elitist, to want our immigration laws enforced.  It is not any of those things to want our country solvent enough to care for our own AS WELL as those who chose to make lives for themselves here.  It IS wrong to condemn people who believe we should follow the law, live within our means, and/or live by the Constitution.  Just as it is also wrong, to conversely, label those that feel we must change those laws or amend that same Constitution…it works both ways.
But anyway you look at it, any way you lean, any way you slice this good, old-fashioned, American Apple Pie…we are out of pie.
Before we can invite/welcome/help anyone looking for their slice…we must first, bake a better, more sustaining, pie.  And we can’t do that robbing our future bakers nor by forgetting the most important ingredients…American ingenuity and common sense.  Let’s find a way, or better use what’s in our larder, to do this before we invite the rest of the world over for coffee and dessert.  Can we do that?
(the opinions expressed here are just that, opinions, and they happen to be mine)


If you want it, the link below offers some food thought, and it IS worth thinking about: