Tag Archives: Marriage

Absoult pertinent facts

My darling husband came home a few days ago and informed me he had just learned of a treatment that would, without a doubt, cure and prevent strep.  Now this piece of info comes about, ohhhh, 16 days and a complete course of antibiotics for myself and three kids too late!  But hey, I was game for new-found knowledge so I replied “Oh yeah, what?”  Smiling, he unveiled a bottle of Absolut Vodka for me to “gargle and swallow” if any future cases of strep present.  My facial grimace must have spoken volumes because he immediately began with his facts.

Facts including valuable information and I think a few statistics concerning how alcoholics never contract strep.  When I asked him how he came upon this information and cure he replied,

A friend who knows an ENT Doctor and the ENT Doctor said not one of the alcoholic patients ever gets strep.” 

It appears the key is to gargle and swallow the alcohol rather than the gargle and spit method we use with salt or other home remedies.  Mr. Pavlov is known to have a glass of vodka mixed with cranberry juice or a glass of wine before bedtime.  He is the only one in the house to escape the strep invasion and he clearly recalls that we did in fact exchange some saliva before I knew that I was throat breeding strep.  He thought this fact was pertinent.

I really hope that the horrid, awful, nasty bacteria stays away from our abode however, should the need arise I will gargle and swallow a large glass little Absolut or Belvedere. Straight.

Just don’t ask me to walk a straight line or recall pertinent facts.



Brewing through life one Starbucks mistake at a time

It’s no secret that I like my Starbucks a little too much.  I look forward to these trips and while I’m not an everyday user, I hit the brew more often than I should. 

By the time I enter the crack house, I have my pre-consumption expectations roaring.  The primal slurping sounds and ahhhs which, I inherited as involuntary reactions to coffee exposure (thanks Dad), are soon to follow each sip.  Now, what is most disappointing and totally throws a punch to the addicted gut is when the Barista screws up the order, especially when it doesn’t taste anything like this user knows it should. That is one expensive cup of disappointment and the reason why I stalk certain Baristas who can create liquid works of genius. 

I don’t know about you but I have had my share of Barista mess ups.  I am usually very gracious with the stressed out Barista because I can only imagine what it must be like to serve a bunch of shaky, twitching, sniffling nosed addicts who are on the verge of jumping the counter and snorting some grinds.   My exchange of words typically goes like this:

Me: “Um, excuse me….I ordered a White Chocolate Mocha not a Vanilla Latte.”

Barista appearing annoyed: “OOOkay” Followed by silence. 

After several minutes of awkwardness the Barista presents a new drink, the correct drink, with a slam-dunk-splashing-my-precious-coffee on the counter maneuver.  Usually during these mistakes one of two things happen BUT never both.

  1. They make a new drink
  2. They make a new drink AND I’m given the old, mess up to take along for the road

Yesterday, the second scenario occurred.  I ordered a Vanilla Latte and the Barista made a White Chocolate Mocha.  She gave me the mistake and because, I kid you not, I could not find anyone to give it to (unbelievable!) I force drank my second Grande.  I was NOT about to waste the liquid gold.  As a result, I had the heartbeat of a frightened rodent and was shaking like a Chihuahua for HOURS!!

After both of these I stuttered like Elmer Fudd

Mr. Pavlov also enjoys Starbucks only on a very controlled level.  Even with his controlled intake, he has experienced his share of Barista mess ups but his scenario plays out quite differently.  He always, always, always orders No Whip.  Period.  He informs the Barista several times of the NO WHIP preference like so:

“NO WHIP Grande White Chocolate Mocha NO WHIP…(clearing throat) I don’t want any whip “

However, seven out of ten times the Barista delivers him a frothy whipping.  To which the scene of events then goes:

Mr. Pavlov sternly: “I said NO WHIP.”

Panicking Barista: “OMG, OMG.  I am sooooooo, so soorrry.  I’ll get you another one and give you a free card to use the next time you come in AND you can keep the whip coffee too!  I’m very sorry. I really apologize!”

Did you get that?  Mr. Pavlov’s mistake experience is a three-way win.  Each and every time the same options are given him by a very apologetic Barista.

  1. He gets a new cup of coffee
  2. He gets to keep the mistake
  3. He gets a FREE card!!

He has accumulated his own personal deck of free coffee cards that he enjoys taunting me with.  With a big smile, he waves the prized card in my face just before shoving it down his pants.  I guess he expects me to act like a legit junkie and card dive. Not gonna happen – at least not in public.  I do the proper public thing and hold out my hand indicating that Mr. Pavlov needs to fish out his hidden prize and promptly deposit it into my ready palm.  He does.

So I must ask why the difference?  Is my experience or Mr. Pavlov’s the norm?  What happens to you when the Barista makes a mistake?  Are you treated like Mr. Pavlov, like myself, or another way????

Is it a man thing?  Mr. Pavlov does appear more intimidating (when he’s not stuffing things down his pants) than myself and he utilizes the “you can hate me as long as you fear me” approach.  If I were a total beeotch would they treat me better?

I feel an experiment brewing.

“I’m not perfect but pretty darn close”

I was coming out of the store cult of all store cults [Wal-Mart] a few days ago and got to witness an explosive argument between a man and woman.  This particular day I was in a “I have time to stop and get high on the flowers” frame of mind.  Most of my days are the mission impossible types where you could be spontaneously combusting beside me and I wouldn’t stop.

I slowed my rapid pace to a crawl and tuned into parking lot brawl fest 101.1  From what I could gather from the lung rage, the woman was at fault.  Apparently she made an irresponsible budget error that was going to cost the couple dearly.  She attempted to “sneak” objects into the cart without her partner finding out.  

Hello, woman?  Unless you are planning a ‘Thomas Crown Affair’ you’re supposed to do this when he isn’t around or NOT at all! 

Once busted she became very belligerent and defensive.  At one point she bellowed “I’m not perfect but pretty darn close!!!”  I believe it was this comment that sent the slippers sailing to Kansas.

I thought about suggesting a rapid return of merchandise but then decided against it once I saw the emotional escalation and astral projection of goods.  The words “wrong place, wrong time” rang in my head as I visualized both spaziods transferring their anger upon me….and it didn’t seem like a party I wanted to attend.  So, I did the self-preservation thing and continued with the auditory stalking.

Conveniently I parked close to the kill zone and they were screaming so I didn’t have to listen too intently.  I got to witness pretty much the entire event play out and not only managed to maintain a heart beat, but also gathered an important piece of data. 

Two words and only two words should have been spoken by the woman when her husband caught her in an intentional act of irresponsibility.  These words are difficult to speak and often involve a huge digestion of pride.  However, like an entire bomb squad these two little words have the ability to diffuse a verbal nuclear Holocaust. 

They are…….


Note:  I also find “yes, I was wrong” moves mountains as well and when combined  with behavior modification produces miraculous effects.  

I guess they could be considered three words without the contraction form.  These little words are powerful and produce dramatic results.  When spoken in sincerity, they make us own our actions.  They cause us to accept responsibility.  And rather than hours of heated warfare, a disagreement is often reduced to minutes if one party is willing to utter “I’m sorry.”  Yes, the other party may continue to rant and may attempt to get on a little rage but they can only fuel the fire solo for a limited time before the sincere  “I’m sorry” kills the action.

What a novel idea huh?  I’m sorry, I’m not perfect but pretty darn close!

The letter that started it all

First of all let me begin by stating that Hot and Stupid was created as my solo post in recognition of Valentine’s Day.

I do not get amped over the Holiday.  It’s one of those non-essential days and besides, Cupid is stupid.  I guess I’m atypical of most females.  Chalk it up to my parents.  My dad drilled two main themes into my head:

  1. Education, Education, Education
  2. Be self-sufficient depending upon no man

And my mom?  I believe you know her well. 

My mom, the poster child

So I’m not really genetically programmed for Valentine’s Day.  Don’t get me wrong.  If my hubby brings home flowers or fattening chocolate I will receive the goodies with appreciation but I don’t NEED them.  I certainly would not string the boy up or super glue certain body parts if he didn’t get me anything.  I’m secure enough in myself and our relationship that I don’t require a day on the calendar to let me know that I am divine.

That being said, I decided to post something in the spirit of love.  This is dedicated to my kids, who never tire of hearing the story…our story…the story of how two people, worlds apart came to be.  Stay with me as I set it up.  I guarantee it will be worth the read and totally unique.

I was in college and had trudged through my share of swamps and met every croaking man frog.  They were slimy and disappointing.  However, my family believed I was just “too picky.”  This belief changed after Rosie, my poster mom, had an encounter with one of the better frogs while moving me back into the college dorm.

It was a hot day with 150% humidity.  We were oozing sweat as we heaved my luggage out of the vehicle.  The frog spotted my car and cruised over in his sporty red convertible.  Sitting side-saddle with his shades sliding down the bridge of his nose, he smiled a crooked smile and watched us suffer.

I looked up and with winded breath replied “Hi, what’cha doing?”

He intentionally paused, smiled then s l o w l y  said,  while bobbing his head in a circular motion,

“I’ m   j u s t   c h e c k i n g    y o o o u    o u t!!”

My mom, who was created with jalapeno seeds, not sperm, whipped around and hissed “How about checking these bags out!”

I was no longer too picky.

That night in frustration I asked:   “Ahem,  God? Is this the best’ya  got?   In the entire creation of men?”


The next morning in my mailbox was a letter from an unknown person bearing the name Donnie.

A few months before the letter:

Desert Storm/Shield was in full swing.  A local newspaper published an article encouraging civilians to write letters of support to the soldiers.  A group of us in the dorm got together, picked out a random, unknown address and wrote generic letters of support.  I casually chucked my letter in the mail the next day and never gave it a second thought.  

As with most letters mailed, this one contained my return address.  What I did not realize was that the Military instructed the soldiers to “sterilize” or dispose of any identifying information.   The reason was simple.  If the enemy should obtain the information a mail bomb or act of terror could be performed.  The soldier I wrote to tore off my return address and buried it in the sand to sterilize my address (um, thanks?)

My husband  was in the 82nd Airborne during the time.  His company was on the front lines progressing through the desert.  After a long day of marching, his commanding officer gave the orders to stop and “dig in” for the night.  They slept in man-made fox holes.  He dumped his gear and began the physical task of digging as he had done many times before.  However, during this dig he noticed something peculiar.  There in the sand, was a small piece of neon pink paper.  Curiosity outweighed the fatigue that was attacking his body.  He bent down and picked up the piece of paper.  What he found was a return address…my return address that the other soldier had buried in the exact spot where my husband chose for his fox hole!!  It is unknown how many days or weeks it had been there.  He immediately knew what it was and why it was there.  He paused briefly before stuffing my address into his pocket.  He would decide later what to do with it.

Later came when he was coming off of 24 hour guard duty.  Feeling wired from an adrenaline rush occurring due to a perimeter breech he (yes, he is Donnie) decided to write me a letter.  He was a fantastic writer.  His letter was entertaining and explained how he came to obtain my address.  I smiled as he wrote “If you’re married or have a boyfriend then fold this letter lengthwise and burn it…”   We began writing and continued to do so for the next 9 months.  The letters were rather platonic but there was a bond developing between us. 

Upon his return to the states we met face to face.  The meeting was awkward in the sense that I had to take the personality of the person in the letter and apply it to the physical form standing before me.  The awkwardness lasted for all of a few minutes and after several meetings, we began a long distance relationship because of his location in Fort Bragg NC.

In 1993, three years after meeting “in the sand,” we said I DO and 17 years and three kids later, we are still doing.  So yes, a thank-you is in order to the unknown soldier for burying my identity in the desert sand!

Our local news covered the wedding and an artist drew the following picture for us.

A local artist drew a banner...see what is in the sand?


The letter – only it was just the return address, not the entire envelope

 From the Philippines to America to the sands of Saudia Arabia….the journey that one man had to make and I am very thankful he did!

Happy Valentine’s Day!


…has been a whirlwind.  I am suddenly thankful for every precious moment.  I have not been able to write anything recently because of the flood of emotion and the crazy schedule of trying to maintain normal.  As I sit here it is well after midnight and tomorrow comes too early for my comfort level.  My cousin called recently and chuckled rather sadistically as she asked if she woke me up at 9am.  She then proceeded to state that she wasn’t sure if I trained my entire family to sleep in until 2pm or if that was something that I got to indulged in alone.  Ha, HA – gone are the college and newlywed era and, with them, the days of 2pm wake-ups!

I did want to share a few photos I captured of the passing of my beloved Grandpap.  Now, the disclaimer is that my eyes were swollen shut from crying…literally and 99.9% of the time my vision was a blur.  I could barely see plus, it is not really proper to whip out a big ‘ol camera at a funeral so I had to be lightening quick.  However, I wasn’t really concerned with offending people at this moment in my life.  I was mourning and wanted to capture some memories for my family later on…when the pain isn’t as raw.

Here goes…..

Gathering   memories
A small portion of his life
The family he loved created….              
With the woman he loved

63 years of life together…Life

Life:  Past and present.  Grandma comforting the boys… 

and in return being comforted by family.
Remembering the good times.


Finding it difficult to say goodbye.           
The procession of a life’s journey                         
A glimpse ahead

Being carried by and…..

…holding a little more tightly on to those we love.

A temporary tombstone and residence for the body…for the dead in Christ shall arise first!!

Walking into their home alone for the first time to begin a new chapter…                                                     

as the songs of life go on…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
But we will never forget those who help compose our life songs!
James Lloyd Brown 1928-2010
We love you.

Built to last

Looking over my life recently and all of the blessings I realized yet again, that I have a great husband.  I really do.  What did he do?  He didn’t do anything special recently that would spark this feeling of blog worthy appreciation.  But that’s the beauty.  He doesn’t have to.  He is who he is and that is what makes him a wonderful husband and father. 

I have been matched with my perfect puzzle piece.  We fit.  It’s those times spent talking where we say nothing yet everything.  The times where words are not even necessary because a single glance communicates volumes.  Being totally unique yet one.  The inside jokes and memories we’ve made together.  The fits of uncontrollable stomach laughter that we could not contain even if we wanted to.  The tears of joy and sorrow.  

This is what commitment is all about and I am blessed.

I do.

I recently celebrated my 16th year wedding anniversary.  We were thankful to grab a quick lunch together while the kids were in school and that was the extent of our celebration.  I’m not upset, on the contrary.  It was sooooo nice to be able to actually taste and chew before swallowing my meal.  Usually I practice the inhalation method and hope I don’t aspirate anything!   We were able to speak uninterrupted and finish our meal without taking someone to the public restroom to “poo.”  Nothing is worse that to receive your hot, delish meal only to hear the dreaded “I have to POOP!!” followed by (or at times preceeding the verbal declaration) some foul butt gas.  At this stage in the game it is the youngest who bellows out these plagued words but we’ve had our share of poop duty from the other two as well.

Anyway, here is what I Do brought me these past 16 years: 

  1. Toxic farts on a nuclear level powerful enough to cause a collapsed lung
  2. Rat piles of clothing heaped in various corners of the house
  3. Pubic hairs all over the bathroom
  4. Happiness
  5. Tooth paste smeared in places I didn’t know existed within the sink
  6. Dishes and cups left conveniently in front of the TV
  7. Teasing
  8. Laundry out the you-know-what
  9. A television monopoly
  10. Joy
  11. Someone to keep me warm at night
  12. Earth shattering snores (not from me either)
  13. Football and every sport imaginable…some he actually has to participate in
  14. Flirting
  15. Stuff, usually mine, mysteriously moved, misplaced and even lost
  16. A best friend
  17. A level headed listener with God given wisdom and insight
  18. Bob Villa – really the Donnie man can fix or “Jerry rig” anything!
  19. Beautiful children
  20. Freedom 
  21. Comfort
  22. Security in knowing that at any given moment a gun will be loaded and fired dead on the mark should the need arise
  23. Travel and new places to live
  24. Laughter
  25. Peace
  26. Love…

I did, I do, I’m doing marriage and it is the ultimate journey!