Chipmunks-alvin-and-the-chipmunks-23371193-600-582

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Who doesn’t love cute, cuddly little chipmunks?  They are tiny and fuzzy, and seemingly harmless….that is…unless they decide to take up residence in the hostas in the front of your house.

They become decidedly less cuddly when they are trying to squat at your place.  Don’t get me wrong, I would be happy to offer them a cold beverage and discuss their budding singing careers, but, I certainly don’t want them anywhere near my house.

chipmunkSo, lately, I’ve been fighting a battle in my front yard with these adorable little chipmunks.  Although I must say, they aren’t nearly that adorable when I am in the throes of battle against them.

Since these chipmunks have failed to demonstrate their value to me I decided I couldn’t let them keep making a home in my hostas, and creeping up the siding to my house.

I keep waiting for them to don shirts with letters on them and introduce me to their good pal, Dave, who I would like to set up with a friend of mine.

Normally, I wouldn’t have minded the habitation in the hostas, but I’ve seen them crawl up the siding to the house, and I definitely don’t want them living with me unless they can contribute to the housework.

I am an animal lover and would never want to kill these creatures, so I didn’t want to do anything that would hurt them.  I just wanted to engage in behavior that would gently urge them to move elsewhere.

However, walking around in my underwear with the windows open seemed to have no effect on them, so I had to come up with another strategy to get them to move, although the retired man across the street became noticeably more friendly after this failed attempt.

red pepperI did some research on the internet and discovered that red pepper can keep them away as they don’t like the way it smells.  Interestingly, neither do I.  But I purchased some red pepper anyway, and took to the front of the house with a vengeance, sprinkling the red pepper on the hostas.

It looked like a battle zone when I was done, as red flecks of pepper covered the hostas.  I was convinced this would do it.  Unfortunately, this war strategy had unintended fallout.

As I went to pat myself on the back for all my hard work, I accidentally got some red pepper in my eye.

NOTE:  Red pepper in the eye is painful, but far more painful when it gets trapped in your contact.  It took me 20 minutes to get my contact out of my eye because I couldn’t keep my eye open long enough to retrieve it.

And the worst part was, that the red pepper did nothing to deter the little bastards….they definitely won that battle, but I was convinced they wouldn’t win the war.

I decided to fight fire with fire…or at least to fight chipmunks with urine.  Yes, urine.  Not my urine, but fox urine.

Apparently chipmunks don’t like the smell of fox urine and flee from it, as foxes hunt chipmunks.  Believe it or not, I didn’t have fox urine sitting around the house, so I had to go to Bass Pro Shop to purchase it.  This was no small feat.

red foxI entered the store after work, wearing work clothes and looking somewhat professional, aside from the Diet Coke stain on my right breast, which was an early morning casualty.

When I asked the store clerk where I could find the fox urine, I was convinced she thought I was purchasing it for some kind of strange foreplay.

She snickered and led me to the fox pee, all the while imagining what strange fetish I must have with fox urine.  I disregarded her glances, grabbed several bottles and headed to the cash register.

When I returned home with the coveted urine, I opened the bottle to start spreading it around and was taken aback by the odor.  It was stifling.

No wonder chipmunks hated the smell.  It was blindingly horrible.  Naturally, I decided my husband would be better suited to distribute the excrement and left that job up to him.

After donning nose plugs and haz-mat gloves, he spread the urine over the hostas.  So far, the fox pee seems to have forced the little critters to move to another home and we haven’t seen them looming in our hostas in a few weeks.

fox+urine.jpgUnfortunately, as is the case in any war, we have suffered as well from the fox urine.  The front of our house smells like a frat house after Greek week.  The only thing that’s missing is a pile of vomit and a girl with no self respect…or bra.

The pungent smell of urine seems to loom near our front door, which frequently incites flash backs to my college days.  But, it’s a small price to pay for the smiting of the chipmunks.

Of course, we haven’t had any visitors to our house since we began using the fox urine, but that’s okay, as the retired man across the street has become decidedly more friendly…

This weekend we attended a “white party.”  No, we aren’t racist, and this party wasn’t filled with hateful propaganda nor did it look like a scene out of American History X (although I would have been just fine if a hunky Edward Norton was there sporting the wife beater he rocked in that movie).

Rather, this party required everyone to wear white clothes to the soiree.  My husband and I have an amazing friend who throws parties like you wouldn’t believe.

He has a sarcastic sense of humor, which makes him quite dear to my heart.

He also looks like a thinner version of Santa Clause, if Santa Clause trimmed his beard and dropped f-bombs every other word.  So, to keep this blog G-rated, I will hereafter refer to this friend as “St. Frick.”

St. Frick sent out an invitation for the white party, making it clear that if we wanted to eat or drink at the party, we had to be dressed in white.

Not wanting to miss an opportunity for free food and top shelf liquor, I needed to find myself a white outfit.

Since I’m not a size 2 (and I dislike those that are), it was difficult to find a flattering white dress that covers my backside without looking like a semi.  (I will make a honking noise if you do the arm signal, but I won’t be happy about it).

064Naturally, I went to my go-to place in times of crisis….target.com.  It didn’t let me down.  I found a cute white sundress at a great price.

When I went to check out Target let me know that if I spent another $25, I could get free shipping.  I’ve never been good at math, but I figured this was clearly a bargain.

Why would Target lie to me?  So, I found another dress I liked, completed my purchase, and waited for the shipment.

The white dress arrived and although it wasn’t the cutest thing in the world, it would work as my ticket to all the top shelf vodka I could drink for the night (which by the way, is a lot).

My husband also found a white outfit, although he wasn’t nearly as lucky with target.com as I was.

The night of the party we donned our white outfits and headed to St. Frick’s house for the bash.  As we walked to our car, Matt and I realized we looked like we were either getting married, or going to our jobs at the painters union. 

068Either way, we didn’t care because we knew were going to have an amazing time at St. Frick’s house.

We arrived and parked several blocks away, and followed the sounds of pumping music.  St. Frick has the most amazing house I’ve ever seen, and his patio/pool/pool house look like it came out of the pages of Crate and Barrel.

Whenever we go to his house we find ourselves cussing profusely, cursing how awesome his house is and how lame ours is.

We arrived and saw a taco truck in front of the house.  I love tacos and all things Mexican, so I bellied up to the truck and asked for some tacos.

The sixteen year old employee glanced at me and knew he would be earning his minimum wage making tacos for me all night long.

Begrudgingly he verified the taco truck was food for the party.  Woo hoo!

We walked to the backyard to get the party started and were shocked to discover it already started without us.

We walked into the back and saw several different sized balls hanging from the second story of the house.  It looked like there were bubbles floating everywhere and it was amazing!

We immediately found the bar.  It was located in the pool house, in case you were wondering.

I felt better with a vodka in my hand, and Matt and I walked around to check things out.  As I looked around, I noticed everyone was wearing white. We looked like were were members of a crazy cult, and not friends of the fabulous Mr. Frick.

Although I knew we most likely weren’t invited to to a cult ritual, I promised myself I wouldn’t trust anyone wearing white Nikes and I definitely wouldn’t drink purple Kool-Aid (unless it was mixed into my drink of course).

After downing my vodka, I set my glass down for two seconds only to look back and discover it magically disappeared.  Either I was drinking too fast or we really were in a mythical place.

I was impressed but knew if this place could make vodka magically appear instead of disappear, it would be my happy place.

As I stood there thinking about such an enchanted place, a woman in all black asked if I wanted another drink.  I really was in heaven!

The party was in late July in St. Louis in the middle of a heat wave, so it was over 100 degrees outside.  Everyone was covered in sweat, but no one noticed, either because they were too drunk to care, or too mesmerized by the hanging balls.

I fell into a category somewhere in between.

As I felt the sweat running down my back and into my unmentionables, I started a conversation with a lovely couple noticeably sweating more than I was, which may or may not be the reason I chose to stop and chat.

We talked for a few moments until the announcement that we could begin ordering tacos from the taco cart.  It then turned to anarchy as everyone bombarded the taco truck.

I suspect I spilled a drink and punched a woman in the face, but I got a good spot in line, so I figured it was well worth the violence.

To say the tacos were amazing would just be a slap in the face to the tacos. They were better than amazing.  They were the greatest things I ever tasted, and that’s saying a lot as I’m a bit of a food connoisseur.

I enjoyed my first round of tacos but needed more.  I was too embarrassed to return to the truck because I didn’t want the teenagers to think I was a fatty, as if they couldn’t tell.

So, I went incognito and sent my husband under the guise they were for him.  Right, like anyone would believe the guy with the flat stomach was getting more tacos while his overweight wife looked on.  Whatever.

I successfully finished my second round without spilling anything.  I was beginning to think St. Frick’s house had magical powers, as I always spill on myself.  Always.

I can eat a banana and somehow stain my shirt.  It’s a gift I have.  Really.  Some people can paint or draw with anything, I can make a mess out of anything.

With a belly full of tacos and vodka (the perfect storm), I got to mingle.  Since it was dark, people were wearing glow sticks like jewelry.  Not to be outdone, I made myself a necklace and anklet, as I’m trying to bring that look back…and failing miserably.

My husband and I chatted with friends separately and then met back up to swap stories.  We sat down by the pool with another couple and dangled our feet in the water, desperately trying to cool off.

I splashed water on my dress, hoping I could then use the excuse that the wet spots quickly forming under my breasts were water from the pool, and not massive amounts of sweat.  I’m not sure I fooled anyone.

We stayed a few more hours but ultimately left when our white outfits looked like napkins drenched in water.

We headed to the car sad it was over but amazed at how cool it was.

I hope I didn’t make an ass out of myself too much, but I suppose I won’t know until all the photos come back.

I just hope we get invited back, as there is nowhere else in the world I can go where the drinks magically appear and I leave a party without a stain on my dress

dog with big boneToday was an extremely exhausting day at work looking busy without actually doing anything productive…hey, it’s harder than it sounds.

So tonight I was worn out and wanted to throw myself on the couch, stuff my face with Cheetos and watch mindless T.V. I can’t resist America’s Funnies Home Videos. I like to guess which shots to the crotch were staged and which ones actually threatened the man’s sperm count.

Back Camera

Our guard dog, Bentley.

If only a lazy night is what happened.  I arrived home to find Bentley keeping watch from the back of the couch, towering over his territory.

This is his favorite spot as he acts like it’s his sworn duty to protect me from danger including dogs, people, and the occasional man on a motorized cart

Seriously, there’s a guy on a motorized cart that zooms around the neighborhood and no one knows who he is or where he lives.

He’s an enigma and I’ve actually asked my husband if he seems him too, just to make sure I’m not losing it.  That guy is our own little mystery.

Bentley barked his 5 ounce head off as I approached the front door, alerting the other dogs to my presence.  When I opened the door I found him on the arm of the couch.

He greeted me with slobbery kisses and tales of the dangers he fended off with his menacing bark and needle teeth.

He was excited I was home, but quickly returned to his post because the potential threats continued, as a Geo Metro drove by.

Our sweet boy, Max.

Our sweet boy, Max.

My Goldendoodle Max, (who we refer to as our “special” child), greeted me the way he always does…by cowering behind the door.

Once he realized it was me, he greeted me with a jovial sniff to the crotch and a lick to the face.  I thought these were signs a low key night of glutenous behavior was in my future.  Not so much.

I headed to the guest bedroom to unleash the ball of energy that is our third dog, the lab/pit bull mix, Shady Jack.  We have to keep him in a kennel during the day because he eats everything in sight while we are gone, and is especially fond of our 1,000 thread count sheets.

What can I say?  He has a “taste” for the finer things in life.

Before I opened his kennel, I found him standing atop the little boy’s bedspread I bought at Goodwill.  He was holding a toy in his mouth, salivating at the thought of freedom.

I opened the door and was nearly knocked over as he raced out of the kennel to do his obligatory lap around the house.  I let all three outside and took a moment to enjoy some quiet time (and an Andes mint).

After I was sure they ran out all their energy, I let them back in and sat on the couch to relax.  This is when catastrophe struck.

Back Camera

Shady Jack, one of the coolest dogs ever.

All three dogs began barking and running around the house at top speed, growling and jumping the ottoman like an Olympic hurdle.  What ever happened to a nice night at home sniffing each other’s private parts and licking themselves?

That was the kind of night I was looking for. For the dogs…not me.

I didn’t have the patience for this marathon all night, so I decided to bribe them with bones.  I got three from the cabinet and gave them each a bone to chew on.

I realize that giving my dogs bones is the lazy parent approach, and I’m cool with that.  I just needed a break for a moment to collect my thoughts and figure out if I was going to kid myself and make a salad for dinner, or if I would just skip it and eat the enchiladas without a side of greens.

I think you know which option I chose.

I sat on the couch dreaming of guacamole when I heard a growling sound.

I looked up to see Max abandoned his bone, most likely because it didn’t taste like grass or his own genitalia.

He then tried to take Shady Jack’s bone.  Interestingly, Shady Jack allowed the seizure to occur, but instead of responding to Max’s hostile take over by retrieving Max’s discarded bone, he looked to Bentley for his bone.

dog looking at bone in bowlSeriously?!  Didn’t these dogs realize these were the EXACT SAME bones?!

Although Bentley is the smallest dog in our house, he is also the most feared and most vindictive.  He is cut-throat and moody and isn’t afraid to nip or snap at the big dogs. All the more reasons I love him.

When Shady Jack went for Bentley’s bone, Bentley looked at him with hatred in his eyes, and growled so loudly at Shady Jack that even the guy on the motorized cart could have heard it over the roar of his engine.

The growl didn’t have the desired effect of deterring S.J…it just made him want it more.  Max caught wind of the scuffle, and immediately decided that he also wanted Bentley’s bone.  Didn’t I tell you he wasn’t very bright?

Max abandoned his bone (which was really Shady Jack’s bone), and headed for Bentley’s bone as well.

The dogs were in a stand-off for rawhide and it wasn’t pretty.  At that point there were three dogs, three bones, one desired bone, and one mom desperately looking for vodka.

Back CameraAfter the liquor was located, I decided it was time to separate the dogs.

I gave each dog a bone and sent them to separate corners of the room to chew on something other than my couch cushions.

You would think that would have ended the scuffle, but it only fueled the fire.  Each dog sent me death stares from three corners of the room, looking at me as if I had crushed their dreams instead of given them a tasty treat.

Bentley was the first to leave his assigned post, walked over to Max and took his bone.

Shady Jack saw his chance to finally get Bentley’s coveted bone and made a run for it.

Max was left confused, as usual.

At that point I couldn’t take anymore, so I channeled my mother, yelled “enough” and grabbed all three bones.  I placed them on top of the fridge where no one could have them.

They are now all three sulking around the house, as if I just told them there was no Santa Clause.

Interestingly, this is the first time all night it’s been quiet!

speedingAfter a day on Sanibel Island scooting around on our hog named Lola, we hopped into our foul-smelling rental car to return to our house in Naples.  We were sad to leave the amazing island, and were tired from our day of dominating Lola the Scooter.

I was feeling a little sassy after wearing a helmet that said “Outlaw” but I tried to curtail the feeling as I drove the 10 horsepower rental car back to Naples.

It was a bit of a drive back to the house, and we were exhausted.  It was most likely the combination of adrenaline from having such power between our legs and the sun.

compassI drove the Forte, as I wanted to give Matt a break from his day of operating heavy machinery.  For some reason, the iPhone gave directions back to the house that were different from those we took to get to the island.

As I’m not one to argue with technology, (most likely because I have no clue how to do so), I decided to take the route it gave us.

As we drove back on the new route, we found ourselves on a two lane road behind a slow moving conversion van, that had the windows tinted and most likely housed abducted children in the back.

My lovely husband, who most likely was still fired up from driving Lola all day, looked at me and said “You know, you can pass this van.”

For those of you who are married (or for those of you who aren’t married but frequently have aggressive back seat drivers in your vehicle), you know that this comment wasn’t a suggestion, but an order.

spedometerAlthough I didn’t have a desire to pass this conversion van (because I didn’t want to catch a glimpse of what horrors were housed in the van), I knew that if I wanted to keep my marriage happy and jovial, I needed to pass the van.

I stepped on the gas of the tiny piece of crap of a rental car, got into the other lane, and passed the van.  As I returned to my lane, my eye caught something in the rear view mirror.

All of a sudden I saw a policeman barreling down on me, his lights flashing.  Seriously?!

I pulled the Forte over into a very nice gated community, as that was the only place there was to safely pull over.  Immediately, I began getting stares and death looks from the tenants of the facility.

Some of them stared in wonder, clearly unsure as to the brand of car I was driving, as most of them had most likely never seen a Kia up close before.

The smell from the vehicle probably added to their amazement, as they most likely wondered if all Kias smell that way (I assume they do).

cop carThe officer approached the vehicle and asked for my license, which I provided immediately.  He also asked for my registration of the vehicle, as if the purple beast actually belonged to me.

I advised him it was a rental car, and the only documentation I had was the rental contract I signed, which pretty much signed away everything I had, including my first born.

He seemed to be okay with that and headed back to his patrol car to begin his background check of me and my criminal history.

I sat there wondering if the red light ticket I refused to pay was going to show up on my record, and if that outstanding ticket was going to be my ticket to the Naples’ clink.

As I sat there imagining if I would look good in an orange jumpsuit, I saw my husband out of the corner of my eye.  I hadn’t said a word to him since I was pulled over, and he was noticeably quiet.

Police Officer Carrying NightstickI could actually see him shrinking like a flower in the passenger seat, as he melted further and further down into his seat, most likely riddled with guilt (or at least I hoped so).

The police officer took an eternity to return to the car with my ticket, which I think was intentional, as I’m pretty sure he wanted to see if he could catch me brutally strangling my husband with my bare hands.

Maybe he got a bonus for catching domestic abuse as it happened.

He sauntered over to the Kia, encouraging the gawking residents in their $80,000 vehicles to move on.  I’m not sure if they were fascinated by the Kia or the large bee-hive of a hairball that had formed on the top of my head from wearing a helmet all day.

Either way, he encouraged them there was nothing to see, and they should keep moving.

He handed me a ticket, and told me he cut me a break, and only gave me a ticket for improperly operating a vehicle…a break in the ticket of $180.00.

handcuffs1He said it in such a way that he appeared to actually be waiting for me to thank him for giving me a ticket, as if I was a sadist who enjoyed being violated by the local police.

Didn’t he see the kind of car I was driving?  Couldn’t he tell by my ratty hair, the smell from the car, my petrified husband, and the tin can we were driving that times were tough?

Apparently he had no concern for my down-on-my luck status.  He also clearly disregarded the fear in my husband’s eyes.

The officer then took the opportunity to tell me about the legal profession, how the court system works, and how I had no chance of fighting the ticket unless I wanted to come to court.

He then advised me that if I decided to fight the ticket, I would have to go to court where it would be “you versus me.”

He said it in such a way that it suggested we would be required to fight in a cage match instead of utilize a series of harmless questions and answers in an air conditioned courtroom.

handcuffing guy

As I waited for my ticket, the only thing keeping me from strangling my husband was imagining him getting handcuffed and taken to jail. In my fantasy, the cop wasn’t this gentle.

I told him I understood the system just fine and wanted to be on my way.  Before he walked away, he took one last look at my husband, most likely contemplating offering him a pamphlet on battered spouse syndrome.

As I drove away, I glared at my husband and told him that if he wanted to remain married to me, he needed to remain quiet and steer clear of me for a while.

We returned to the rental house where I seethed for about an hour, cursing my husband for making me pass the conversion van.

Eventually, I decided I didn’t want to be mad at him anymore, as most of the time I like being married to him (Don’t tell him I said that).  So I allowed him to apologize for his horrible error and we went on with our day.

The next day I called a local law firm and they entered their appearance on my ticket and will most likely get it dismissed.

But, from here on out, I will no longer listen to a back-seat driver, or in this case, a passenger driver high from the rush of driving a scooter named Lola.

I guess the “Outlaw” helmet I wore that day was a  little more foreshadowing than I thought.  Let’s just hope Bernie the lawyer can fight my ticket like he advertised he could on the bus stop benches!

wife mad at husband

For another day in Florida my husband and I continued our laziness with tourist activities that required minimal effort.

We laid in bed and searched the internet for ideas, and decided a tour of the Everglades on an airboat would be amazing but wouldn’t require any physical exertion.

We hopped in our smelly rental car, and headed out to the Everglades.

When we arrived at Corey Billie’s Airboat rides (yes, that is the actual name of the place), we were greeted by a woman who didn’t have enough teeth to eat an ear of corn on the cob.

She introduced herself as Denise, and I swear I heard “Dueling Banjos” playing in the background while she spoke.

We were definitely out in the middle of nowhere and I just hoped she didn’t ask me to squeal like a pig.

We paid for our rides and headed out to the boat to get started with the tour.

We were greeted by our tour guide Kim, who, judging by her leathery face and wrinkles, appeared to be 120 years old.  Since I knew she would defy modern science if she was actually that old, I estimated she was around 50, and had just never met a bottle of sunscreen.

Although she was less-than attractive, we decided not to turn back.

005We already paid and weren’t going to ask for a refund just because our tour guide looked like the crypt keeper and with a name like “Corey Billie’s Airboat Rides,” these people had to be professional and knowldgeable.

Corey Billie was too prestigious of a name not to be.

We loaded up the boat with other passengers, and I tried to size up which one I was willing to sacrifice and throw overboard if an alligator looked at me the wrong way.

I narrowed it down to a 12 year old boy playing the air guitar and the boy’s dad.  He talked in a southern accent and openly referred to himself as a hillbilly.

We took a photo of us all on the boat before we took off, most likely for insurance purposes in case we didn’t return or were eaten by alligators.

Although, come to think of it, I suspect Corey Billie doesn’t have insurance.  Their establishment doesn’t scream “responsible,” what with their alligator carcasses strewn about.

Rather, if something happened, their remedy would be to offer a lifetime of free airboat rides as compensation for the loss of limbs.

Here is the photo before we left for our ride.   Can you can pick out the annoying air guitar kid and the hillbilly dad?  (This is like the southern, outdoorsy version of Where’s Waldo?)

Check out the sweet headphones we are sporting.  We were required to wear ear protection, as the airboat was loud.  Why is it that all my adventures in Florida require headgear?  Didn’t Floridians know this is not my best look?

024Now that I’m looking at this picture, it’s clear that I hadn’t fully recovered from the scooter ride from the day before, as I appear to be sitting with my legs open.

I look like I’m ready for some action, or maybe it’s just because the woman sitting next to me has her legs slammed shut harder than Ft. Knox.

After snapping this last shot, Kim started the airboat, which was a glorified fan on the back of a run-down fishing boat that reeked of dead fish. I thought  it would be a nice, smooth, airboat ride, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Kim had a death wish, and she burned out, leaving a fan of dirty water in her wake.

As we sped down the Everglades, the dirty water splashing us in the face, we tried to look for alligators and wildlife, but sometimes lost focus when the filthy water splashed in our eyes.

I was concerned about getting the fungus in my contacts, but figured Kim might actually punch me in the face if I asked such a question, so I refrained.

We arrived at an open area and she stopped the boat for a few minutes while we looked for alligators.  It was at this time that I looked over at the prissy woman sitting next to me and noticed her shoes.  Seriously?!  Look at this:

This woman was wearing Crocs on an alligator tour?  The irony was not lost on me, but I suspect this woman was too busy trying to protect her virtue to see the humor in her shoes.  I decided not to point it out.

After only spotting a baby alligator who was a bit skiddish, we pressed on to other portions of the Everglades where we could see more wildlife.

Kim started up the airboat again, I felt the familiar feeling of my ear drums exploding, and we resumed the death ride.

As I focused on constricting my bowls so as not to poo myself out of fear, I strained my eyes for alligators.  I spotted one up ahead, and tried to alert Kim, but her zealous zooming of the airboat prevented her from hearing my cries.  Fortunately, she spotted the alligator as well, and brought the boat to an abrupt stop.

030While we all tried to recover from whiplash, we saw the large alligator coming straight toward us.  He came right up to the boat and stared at us, not at all impressed by the kid’s air guitar or the woman’s Crocs.

Kim decided to feed the alligator.  I strenuously objected as it didn’t seem to be her brightest idea.

Before we left on the ride, Kim made it clear the alligators are not domesticated.  I just didn’t think it was smart to demonstrate to killer-animals that we are synonymous with food.

But then again, what did I know?  I wasn’t wearing an alligator skinned necklace, so her vote trumped mine.

I figured she would throw small fish or maybe some bread, but to my surprise, she pulled out a bag of marshmallows.  She then began throwing them at the alligator.

WHAT?!  So many things were wrong with that action that I had to take a moment to process it, all the while keeping one eye on the killer animal and the other eye on the air guitar kid who was going to be my decoy if things got dicey.

Please note my stellar photography capabilities of capturing the marshmallow in mid-air

Please note my stellar photography capabilities of capturing the marshmallow in mid-air

First, was it really a great idea to pelt a killer animal with food? The alligator probably didn’t appreciate getting knocked in the head by a woman with a face as leathery as his, regardless of whether the offending item was edible.

This just didn’t seem like a good decision.

Second, who knew alligators could eat and properly digest marshmallows?  I suspect not one ingredient of marshmallowy goodness is found in nature.

You don’t usually see a cluster of Jet-Puffed Marshmallows growing wild in the Everglades (although if you do, let me know, as I would much prefer to take that tour).

I felt bad for the alligator, not just because she pelted him in the face with food, but also because he was most likely going to have digestion issues later.

I wanted to throw him some Tums to counter balance the effects of the marshmallows, but I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, so I refrained.

After all, this guy looked mean.

Several more marshmallows were pelted at the reptile, and although he snarfed them up, he was growing weary of the poor aim.  He began to hiss, and immediately Kim said it was time to go.

Initially, I thought she was joking, but one look at her rugged face told me she was quite serious and that the alligator was angry.  We moved away quickly to another spot with two more alligators.

We approached them slowly, most likely so Kim could engage in another surprise attack of the marshmallow variety.  I was feeling a quesy because I knew they could jump into the boat at any moment if they wanted to.

As I was wishing I had packed a flask of vodka to calm my nerves, I looked up and saw this:

025

 

That little shit from before was barreling down on us, most likely to seek his revenge on Kim for her mean curve ball.  I realize this picture may not seem scary, but to look up and see this 15-foot,wild alligator coming at you with vengence in his eyes, will make one pee her pants.

Hypothetically of course…

018To make things worse, Air Guitar’s sister began clapping at the animals, as if they were dogs playing fetch instead of deadly creatures who would kill us in a death roll.

I decided at that point that Clapping Girl was my new go-to person if I needed to use another human to shield myself from danger.  At least I had a plan before my early demise.

Fortunately, the alligators were impervious to clapping, although I was not.  I began giving death stares to the girl in an effort to curtail the clapping, but she was such a moron she either didn’t notice or didn’t think I looked dangerous enough to do anything about it.

Perhaps she would have been more fearful had she known my contingency plan.

Just when my anxiety hit an all-time high, Kim started up the boat again and we took off.

022We spent the rest of the trip riding around the Everglades, peeling out like Mario Andrete.  This was the best part of the trip, as it was fun to go so fast, and the scenery was actually quite beautiful.

My husband enjoyed it as well, and although I can’t prove it, I’m pretty sure I saw him do a couple fist punches in the air while yelling “F*ck yeah!”

I’m not sure I will go on another alligator airboat tour anytime soon, but I have a whole new appreciation for marshmallows…and an insane craving for S’mores…

Matt and I are vacationing with friends in Naples, Florida, and today we decided to be adventurous and check out some local sites.  There were lots of outdoorsy things to do in the area, but most of them involved hiking and doing manual labor, and we didn’t come to Florida to work out. (We don’t engage in a strenuous workout program at home, so why would we start while we’re on vacation?) So we decided to take the lazy approach and head to Sanibel Island for the day.

We hopped into our sweet rental car, a Hyundai Forte, that is purple and looks like an eggplant exploded on it.  (Hey, we’re high rollers).  It’s also a complete piece of junk, but it has Satellite radio, so the rental agency seemed to think that made up for the mildew smell and the coffee stains on the seat.  Sadly, this was an “upgrade” from what we booked.  I can’t imagine what is lower on the rental car totem pole than a Barney colored tin can that smells like old man farts.  (And maybe a few of mine….) 

So we grabbed our nose plugs, held our breath, and headed out to the island.  Much to our chagrin, we were required to pay $6.00 to cross the bridge to the island, and after that steep price, I was expecting to see Elvis himself greet us on the other side with his blue suede shoes.  No such luck, although we did see several seagulls attempting to dive bomb our car as we crossed the bridge (most likely because of the smell emanating from our ride). 

As soon as we arrived on the island we saw a bike rental shop.  Maybe it was the smell of the rental car clouding our judgment, but we decided to stop and rent a scooter for the day.  We met with a worker who was clearly stoned and not happy about being at his job.  He showed us different scooter options as he munched on Cheetos and most likely had an inner monologue where he continuously reminded himself he was at work and needed to be professional (the tattoo of the naked lady on his arm definitely gave the “hard worker” vibe).  He pointed out a few bikes with his yellow Cheetos fingers, but we weren’t interested.  Why in the world would we pay for a workout when there were perfectly good motorized vehicles that would do the labor for us?  We let him know we wanted something that required no work on our part.

We settled on a red double scooter that glimmered in the sunlight and yelled out “rent me!”  (Seriously, it did.  It was printed on the front of the scooter in large letters.)  I liked the way she purred when we started her up so we decided she was our ride for the day.  I named her Lola.  The sign at the checkout stated the weight limit for the scooter, and let’s just say we definitely exceeded it…by a lot (the fact that I had two donuts and a soda in my belly probably didn’t help).  We were just glad the stoned worker was too busy filling his pipe to notice the size of my behind. 

Next we had to get helmets, which was a traumatic experience for me, as I don’t think I look good in hats.  The helmet I chose was grey and said “outlaw” on the front of it.  Since I was far exceeding the weight limit on the scooter, I thought this helmet was appropriate so I took it.  (It really makes my eyes pop, doesn’t it?)

After looking at her up close, I decided that Lola needed a man to drive her, so I let Matt take the lead and drive.  He hopped on and started her up, and couldn’t have looked more manly than he did at that moment, in red floral shorts and a sassy helmet.  I was reminded at that moment why I married him…for the way he looked on motorized vehicles.  I then mounted (hee hee) the scooter and we took off down the road, going approximately 10 miles per hour (most likely with the exhaust pipe dragging the ground).

We scooted (is that a term?) around the island for about an hour and then decided that riding was hard work, so we stopped at a local restaurant for lunch.  I got off the scooter only to discover my butt was completely numb.  I could barely walk, and I looked like I had been riding a stripper pole all day instead of a 30 pound scooter named Lola.  We took off our helmets and lifted the seat to store them, only to discover the storage area had a sign that specifically said “no pets,” as if we were going to drop our Chihuahua in the storage space while we grabbed some food.

After eating, we returned to the glorified Hoveround and got back on for more riding. As we felt the wind in our helmets, we contemplated the name of the biker gang we would form if we had a scooter all the time (it was between Scoot Squad and Rolling Thunder).  We drove around the island, honking the horn at other scooter-goers as we passed.  We were a brethren of sorts, and the other drivers returned the honk in good form, all except the 300 pound man we saw driving the scooter alone, sweating profusely, most likely in the beginning stages of a heart attack.  We let his faux pas slide, as he seemed to have more important things to worry about…like breathing.

After a day of sightseeing on the scooter, we returned Lola to the stoned workers with heavy hearts and numb butts.  We had so much fun on the hog that we were sad to see her go.  We promised to return soon, but next time we would be prepared…with duct tape and a pillow.

In case you didn’t know, I am a dog lover (for those of you who couldn’t manage to read the subtitle to my blog).  My love of dogs is evidenced by several things, including the fact that my clothes are constantly covered in dog hair, I keep extra grocery bags in my car to be used for “impromptu poo bags” and my house always faintly smells like dog pee.  However, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I adore my dogs and they are part of my family.  Quite honestly, I love dogs more than people most of the time, as dogs don’t judge me for eating an entire carton of ice cream, or for sleeping in until noon on Saturday.  If you ask me, dogs really are a girl’s best friend (although dogs can’t make fun of episodes of The Bachelorette with me, so for that, I need to call on some of my human friends).

I’m pretty sure I am considered the crazy dog woman in my neighborhood, and I’m okay with that.  I think I’m considered both crazy and a dog woman, each adjective exclusive of the other.  I’m cool with that too.  I definitely walk out to my vehicle at night, sometimes forgetting I’m not wearing shoes…or a bra…all the while carrying my vodka spritzer in a Harpo’s cup.  I’m also the crazy neighbor that will feed any dog that comes to my house and will chase a stray dog around the neighborhood to return him to his home, even if I am less than properly clothed, and my attire a bit revealing and offensive.

Dogs are, for the most part, my life, and my dogs are the center of my universe (along with my husband, of course!)  So it’s no surprise that at night, our dogs sleep with us in our bed.  You might be wondering, have we bought them nice expensive dog beds for them to sleep on?  Of course we have.  Each dog has a plush bed that is both comfortable and color coordinated with the room where it resides.  But either our dogs don’t like our interior decorating and decor (which is possible, as one of them is British and a bit of a snob), or they prefer to sleep on a comfortable mattress with nice sheets.

For some reason, our dogs don’t want to sleep on my husband’s side of the bed.  Maybe it’s because he alleges he has “restless leg syndrome” although I think this is an excuse he has concocted from too many nights of watching late night TV along with his desire to have lots of leg room (or because he loves those squiggly lines on the commercial).  Maybe it’s because he snores, and frequently talks about spaceships and superheroes in his sleep (that’s enough to keep me on the other side of the bed).  Or, maybe it’s because my dogs like to make me as uncomfortable as possible.  Personally, I think it’s the third reason, as my dogs always seem to find the area on my body that is injured, and slam into it repeatedly.

Last night, I was up late and went to bed around midnight.  By that time my husband and dogs had already retired to bed and were fast asleep.  I tiptoed into the bedroom and attempted to climb into bed.  The key phrase here is “attempted.”  This task was far more difficult than it sounds.  You see, my dogs had commandeered my side of the bed, and there was only room available to accommodate approximately half of my left thigh.  (Granted, this may be a clue I need to start Jenny Craig and shed a few pounds, but midnight was not the time to make such a decision). 

My Yorkshire Terrier was dozing on my pillow, curled up like the prince of the castle that he is.  I knew if I wanted to place my head on that pillow for a few precious hours of sleep, I would need to move him.  I gently picked him up and moved him off the pillow.  He awoke and gave me a death stare for removing him from the pillow, as if the padded mattress wasn’t soft enough to cradle his five pound frame.  He glared at me, clearly showing his disdain for my disregard to his comfort, but he didn’t move back.

With my pillow free, I attempted to crawl into bed.  My 55 pound Lab/Pit Bull mix (Shady Jack) was laying vertically on the bed, right where my legs were supposed to go.  He wasn’t as easy to pick up and move.  He was dead asleep, most likely dreaming of chasing rabbits and drinking from toilet bowls, and he was not easy to wake.  I tried to move him horizontally so I could climb into bed, but since I’m not a yoga master, I couldn’t move 55 pounds of dead weight.  I decided to do what I usually do each night, which is to attempt to sleep around him.  After all, he’s had a hard day of working hard, making money for the family.  Oh wait…that’s me.

I crawled into bed, careful not to disturb Bentley (the Yorkie), and placed my legs on either side of the Shady Jack, so he could continue sleeping comfortably between my legs.  It looked like I had a black dog coming straight out of my ass.  This was not an ideal position, but at least I had made it into the bed.  This is when the third dog decided to join us, because clearly we don’t have a weight limit on our Queen mattress.

The 50 pound golden doodle, Max, threw himself on the bed in a kamikaze type mission, landing squarely on my stomach (which incidentally, had just been filled with chocolate milk.  Don’t judge.  I like snacks).  As I tried to maintain bladder control, he decided to walk over my body to get to the one area on my side of the bed that wasn’t taken by dog or human.  He settled on the right side of my leg, near Shady Jack, and just below Bentley.  By this time, Bentley had wedged himself under my right arm like a football, so my arm was stuck cradling him, as if I was ready to run him down the 30 yard line.  I was completely pinned, which would have been fine if I could sleep on my back…but I can’t.

I then made the ridiculous decision to roll over, but knew I shouldn’t disturb the dogs.  After all, they needed their beauty sleep.  Oh wait…that was me.  I strategized on how best to roll over to my stomach and decided to move my feet first.  I reclaimed my left leg from under Shady Jack’s head, and slowly moved it up and over him so it was laying next to my right leg.  I then quickly moved my right leg where my left had been, in a quick motion, while flipping my body.  I felt like a pancake flipping over on a griddle, which was probably more of an accurate metaphor than I realize, as the temperature in the bed in July with three dogs and two people had to be near boiling.

This maneuver seemed to work, although my new position was far from comfortable.  But, I decided I could live with it for a few hours.  However, around three hours later, I was restless, couldn’t sleep, and I was positive I had lost the ability to use my left arm.  I decided to get up, surrender my spot on the bed, and move to the guest bedroom to get some much needed leg room and sleep.

After retrieving my legs from underneath Shady Jack, I stumbled to the guest bedroom and laid on the bed, stretching out my legs and arms, feeling the comfort of sweet freedom.  Then I heard it…pitter patter…pitter patter….boom.  Shady Jack discovered I had departed from the bed and came to join me in the guest bedroom.  Then, I heard the tiny footsteps of Bentley, who was close behind.  Not to be outdone, Max came running into the guest bedroom looking for the slumber party.  All three dogs jumped on the bed and resumed their spots…in the exact same spot.  So much for a good night’s sleep…

***DISCLAIMER:  Sadly, this entire story is true, and has not been altered.  I wish it had been.***

I live in the Midwest, which means extreme temperatures for each season.  We don’t just have winter, we have winter that freezes the snot as soon as it comes out of your nose.  And we don’t just have summer, we have summer that scorches and boils the snot as it comes out of your nose (apparently in the Midwest we also have some serious sinus problems and constant nose drainage.)

So, in the summer when the heat index is over 100 degrees, the only option to keep cool is to go to the pool.

Recently, I planned a girls’ day at the pool.  I packed my beach bag with pool necessities (trashy gossip magazines and iced beverages) and headed to the pool.

I was the first one there, so I jumped in the pool to cool off.  As I doggy paddled gracefully in the shallow end, a boy came splashed over, looked me straight in the eye and said “Are you Jason’s mom?”

My body isn’t “swimsuit ready” which is why I rock the one piece with a cute little skirt.  This swimsuit was definitely a “mom” suit, so I took no offense to his question.

I advised the boy that I didn’t know Jason, nor was I his mother.

I would have thought that ended the communication, but he was persistent.

My goggles broke.  Can you fix them?”

At this point I felt a little sorry for Jason’s mom. Did she always have to deal with these random repairs?

The strap wasn’t attached to the goggles, so I reattached it.  I asked him if the repair was to his liking.

Instead of giving a polite answer, he held his pointer finger up in the universal “one moment” gesture, and went under water to test my handy work.

I hoped he wasn’t taking a closer look at my bathing suit.  If he did he would see the remnants of my lunch on it.  He didn’t notice but came up and said the fix was to his liking.  Considering he was quite picky, I was relieved.

Once again, I thought this would be the end of our interaction, but he stayed and stared.  In an effort at chit-chat, the seven year old told me his name was J.T. and it was his second day going off the diving board.  He said it with such pride it was as if he had just solved the oil crisis instead of simply jumping off a metal board.

I told him I was impressed because I was scared of the diving board.

He looked at me with a serious face, and asked: “Is it because you’re afraid the board will break if you get on it?”

Um….seriously kid?!  I realize I may have gained some weight, but did he think I was so large the diving board couldn’t support me?

After I caught my breath from the shock of his question, I responded.  “No, I’m just scared of falling.”

This answer was ridiculous to him, as the whole point of the diving board was to fall. He then became intent on getting me to jump.  He recruited his friend Jayden, who was sporting a mean mohawk.  Jayden said it was his first day going off the diving board and it was easy.

Any kid who could successfully pull off a mohawk was more brave than I was, so his diving board skills didn’t shock me.

J.T. thought about it for a second, and in an effort to coax me into jumping he said “I bet if you did a cannon ball off the diving board, it would make a huge splash.”

This kid was going to get cut if he kept referencing my weight.  I get it….I’m big.  Get over it.  I told him I wasn’t interested in jumping.

J.T. and Jayden then took things to a new level…a level I wasn’t expecting.  Without any hesitation, J.T. said “What are you, a scaredy cat?”  Jayden then began chiming in with his sing songy voice “Scaredy cat, scaredy cat.”

I may be fat, and I may look like Jason’s mom, but I am not a scaredy cat.  There was no way I was going to allow such accusations to fly.

I told the little terrors I wasn’t a scaredy cat.  Why did these kids care if I jumped?  Did they get a kickback from the pool?

In an effort to fully convince me, Jayden and J.T. said they would jump off and show me how to do it.  Grateful to have them leave the pool, I agreed to the plan.

They trotted over to the diving board, revealing their Spider Man and Cars swimming trunks, and proceeded to gracefully jump off the diving board.  As soon as J.T. emerged from the water post-jump, he pointed to me, and then pointed to the diving board.

It was time to pay the piper.

I hoisted myself out of the water.  As I stood in line, my heart started beating faster and I tried to keep my breathing steady.  There was no way I could back out now.  My pride was on the line, and I had to prove I wasn’t a scaredy cat…

BECAUSE I WASN’T!

Are you scared?” He asked, staring me in the eye.

Yes.” I responded to this devil child.

Is it because you’re a girl?”  This kid was clearly a masochist with his high pressure tactics and I suspect he’ll be selling timeshares in Nebraska in a few years.

No, it’s not because I’m a girl.”  I retorted.  “Are you saying girls aren’t as brave as boys?”

Not to be outdone, J.T. responded without missing a beat, and pointed to Jayden and said “No.  That’s what he said.”

Jayden was not happy about being thrown under the bus, but he didn’t refute it.  I’m not sure if it’s because he was deathly afraid of J.T. (who wouldn’t be?) or because the allegations were true.  Either way, he let it go.

It was my turn on the boards and I had a decision to make.  I could walk away and endure endless taunting for the rest of the summer, or I could buck up, pray the board held my weight, and make a huge splash.

I summoned my inner child and knew I couldn’t let these bullies get away with calling me a scaredy cat.

I took to the board, my legs shaky.  I knew if I looked down I would chicken out, so I just began running.  I ran with all of my might (which is pretty pathetic considering the diving board is only a few feet long).

I felt like I was running in slow motion (I probably was), and I swear I heard the song Chariots of Fire as I sprinted down the board.  Instead of jumping off I just continued to run until I no longer had footing under me.

I felt like Road Runner just moments after he realizes there’s no more road under his feet, assuming Road Runner wears a bathing suit akin to Jason’s mom’s.

I landed, most likely with a huge splash.  I emerged with a huge smile and laughing.  I couldn’t believe I was bulled by second graders.  The allegations of a scaredy cat still affected me in my 30s.

I swam to the edge and saw J.T. and Jayden cheering me on with a thumbs up.  I’m not so sure if they were happy I jumped or if they were reeling from the gigantic splash I made.  I decided not to ask.

I returned to my chair with a sense of accomplishment.  I hadn’t hiked to the top of a mountain or conquered my fear of snakes, but I mastered my diving board fear, thanks to two pushy second graders.

I was just hoped they stayed away from me for good, as I didn’t want them to discover my other fears.  They’d have me charming snakes in no time.

SMACKDOWNI am a library fanatic.  I love to read and I love getting things for free, so the library is my happy place, as it is a marriage of those two things.

I am at the library several days a week, which probably means I’m pathetic, but anyone who reads my blog already knows that’s true.  The fact that I hide Snickers bars in my closet only makes it worse.

I usually request books from the library via the internet, as I am lazy and like to let my fingers do the work while my mouth munches on a snack.

When my requested item is ready, the library sends me a notice via email.  I then jump for joy and head down to the library to pick up the item.

I get unreasonably excited when I get a notice that a book is ready, which again, is more than a little sad.

So the other day when I received an email from the library, I opened it immediately to see what gem was ready to be picked up. I was hoping it was a notice that the newest best seller was ready for me in large print.

dog reading bookYes, I prefer to read large print.  I’m an 80 year old woman at heart…and in eyesight.

I received a notice that I had an overdue book on CD.  I was immediately shocked, as I returned that CD weeks ago when I exchanged it for Tori Spelling’s newest attempt at a book.

She failed miserably, but I enjoyed making fun of her and her horse teeth.  I decided I would take care of this in person.

I threw on a bra, as I wanted to look professional, and headed down to my local branch.  When I arrived I found an employee who weighed about 90 pounds and was swimming in her “I heart horses” t-shirt. I found this ironic as part of my reason for the visit was good ole horse-teeth.

girl holding bookShe greeted me with a half-smile, and judging by her teeth, I discovered the library doesn’t have a good dental plan.  I advised her of my receipt of an email saying I hadn’t returned Five Families.

It’s a mafia book.  Don’t judge.  Since The Sopranos is over I have to get my mafia fix somewhere and this is cheaper than a trip to Jersey.

I told her I returned the CD a few weeks ago, so I felt the email was in error.  She looked at me as if I was lying to her face and told me she would look into it.

She then proceeded to check the computer, and confirmed that it said I still had it checked out.  I reassured her I had returned it, all the while wondering why I was so worried about what this librarian thought of me.

She then told me to “stay put” while she checked the stacks…as if I was going to grab a bunch of FREE books and run out of the FREE library.  As I don’t like being told what to do, I didn’t stay put, but wandered over to the movie section.

She did NOT look this nice when she checked the computer.  Or ever.

She did NOT look this nice when she checked the computer. Or ever.

I’m such a rebel.

She returned and said the CD wasn’t on the shelf so clearly I still had it.  I reminded her that I had returned it.  What incentive did I have to keep a book on CD that was old and smelled like a combination of fried calamari and urine?

I may have contributed to the fried calamari smell, but the urine smell was NOT mine.

She told me I probably had it in my car.  I reminded her that since I didn’t come the distance to the library on my skateboard, I had my car, and I checked again before I came in to complain.

Clearly she didn’t believe me.

She told me in a very stern voice that she would put a note in my file that said I claimed I returned it, but that it would stay on my record until the CD was found…as if that blemish was going to keep me from voting in the next election.

I told her I could live with the consequences.  I couldn’t believe how difficult she was being and why she wouldn’t take the word of a thirty year old woman in shorts and a t-shirt that said “T-shirt time.  It’s T-shirt time.”

boy hiding

This kid is creepy, but secretive.

Didn’t she notice I put on a bra?

I walked to the car, irritated with her accusations, most likely while she was inside the library printing off my photo and placing it on a bulletin board to warn others of my shady behavior and attempts to steal free items.

I drove home in silence, and was so annoyed by the time I got home that I dropped my keys on the ground as I got out of the car.  I bent over to pick them up and noticed something under the seat.

As I looked closer I saw a photo of the bloody body of Paul Castellano and knew I was staring at the CD of Five Families.

I have yet to devise a plan on how to return the CD to the library without the horse-loving librarian seeing me smuggle the contraband into the building.

I would rather listen to another CD recording of Tori Spelling attempting to read a book than admit I found the CD exactly where she said it would be.

Perhaps I will bake a cake and put it inside the cake, or maybe I will just return it to the shelf when she’s not looking.

Either way, I will be writing a check to the library to make up for the overdue fine I would have incurred had I looked a little harder in my car.

Anyone want to go to the library with me?  You will need to bring a big purse…

Last night my husband and I tried to figure out what we wanted to do for the evening, vowing not to spend another Saturday night at our house reading books and watching True TV (nerd alert!). It was a nice night, and we felt like getting out of the house, but knew we weren’t cool enough to fit in at a trendy night club, nor were we inclined to change out of our pajamas.  We decided taking the dogs on a walk was a good way to do something that didn’t involve socializing with others…and only involved minimal socializing with each other.

We grabbed the leashes, which led to a ridiculous amount of barking from all three dogs.  We walk our dogs every day, and every day when we get out the leashes, it’s as if it’s the first time they have ever seen them.  They jump and run around the house in excitement, doing celebratory dances and throwing their toys in the air, which I assume is the canine equivalent of a fist pump or a high five. 

After getting all three dogs leashed up, we descended upon the neighborhood.  We walked for a good half hour until it began getting dark and Matt and I began dreaming of frosty beverages, our reward for our hard work walking the dogs.  As we headed back home, we came upon several flying insects in a band (not a musical band, although that would have been far more entertaining to see insects playing the banjo and the guitar.  But rather, they were in a large group). 

Before I could identify what the insects were, or thrust my loving husband into the swarm first as a pawn, I felt a sharp pain in my left thigh.  It wasn’t so much a sting as a burning sensation that penetrated deep into what should have been leg muscle.  Since I am not in shape and pretty sure I have no upper thigh muscles, the burning went deep into the fat deposits on my leg which are a result from a combination of ice cream, pizza and Mike and Ike’s.  (Had I kept up with P90x, perhaps the sting would have only hit muscle and not fat, and it wouldn’t have been so painful, but Tony Horton’s cheesy one-liners on the videos were equally as painful as the throbbing from the sting, so I figured it was an even trade off).

Fortunately we were close to home, because with each step, the burning in my leg continued.  We arrived home, removed the leashes from the dogs, and sent them to the water bowl for hydration (the dogs, not the leashes).  I then removed my lounge pants to see the damage.  What I found was a large, red area that was raised and painful to the touch.  I realized that I must have gotten stung by a hornet or a wasp, as the sting was far worse than any normal bee sting.  I applied ice to the site and figured it would be better in the morning.

When I awoke this morning I got out of bed and made a bee line (no pun intended) to the kitchen for a heaping bowl of Cocoa Pebbles.  Instead of being greeted with the chocolaty goodness that only the Flintstones can offer, I was immediately greeted with a sharp, stabbing pain in my left thigh. With every step, the pain in my thigh intensified and I realized it was the hornet sting that was the culprit.  I looked down at the sting site and discovered that it tripled in size during the night and it was now a large red area the size of my hand.  It also had a fever (and I’m pretty sure the prescription was not more cowbell, although I suppose I should have tried that).

I used to have allergic reactions to bug bites when I was a kid, and back then I would put meat tenderizer on it to get the swelling and fever to go down. (I’m not sure if this was an effective remedy, or if my mother just enjoyed seeing what she could get me to do with meat tenderizer, but I figured it was worth a shot).  So, I hobbled to the kitchen, dragging my swollen leg behind me, looking like a war veteran with a bullet wound.  I located the meat tenderizer and went to work creating a paste, which I subsequently slathered onto my left thigh. 

I then spent the rest of the morning reapplying the paste, all the while smelling like a butcher shop, and craving a fillet Mignon.  My husband spent the day theorizing on whether I was morphing into a super hero, and whether my new identity as a super hero would be good or bad.  He seemed to think I would be a villain, but that was probably based upon the death stares I was throwing his way.  He frequently checked my back throughout the day to ensure I hadn’t sprouted wings (the first sign of a metamorphosis, according to him).

So far the swelling and fever on my thigh have not subsided, nor has the stabbing pain, and my dogs are following me around the house, most likely convinced I’m hiding a tasty treat since I smell like a meat bone.  Hopefully the symptoms will subside soon.  If not, I’m going to start paying closer attention to my senses to see if I may actually be morphing into a super hero.