My friends are the BEST.

THANK YOU, everyone, for your incredible expressions of sympathy. I cannot tell you how much it cheered me up. Seriously. you guys are the BEST.

The past few days I’ve felt like something on the bottom of a shoe, but today the sky is blue, the birds are singing and all seems right again w/ the world. It stings to look out the back window and see Prudence’s lonely hutch there w/out her. But I made arrangements to pick up her ashes in a couple weeks, and returning her to the place she loved will bring closure to the circle. I didn’t realize it would take so long to have a private cremation for a rabbit. But for only $85, who’s complaining? That wouldn’t even cover my toenails at a funeral parlor.

The insurance companies are handling the accident claim. It’s good to know we’re getting something out of allll thatt moneeeyyy spent on insurance.

SO. I have been unbelievably busy the past couple weeks, and feel like I haven’t been blogging, or even reading blogs. I have no time. NONE. I’m only on the computer b/c I snuck away. My daughters are now both home for the summer. The next 11 weeks. I counted.

C’MMMOONNN August 26th!!!!

Who knew two sweet girls could be such ruffians? I am not joking. These kids fight all day long. If one of them isn’t complaining abut the other, it’s probably b/c they’re plotting something else. SERIOUSLY, I need one of those tiny tape recorders so I don’t go hoarse. W/ the touch of a button I’d simply start the playback loop:
QUIT IT!!!
I DON’T CARE WHAT SHE DID.
TIME OUT!
WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP TOUCHING ME.
YES, I HEEEEARRRRRD YOU. THAT IS THE THIRD TIME YOU ASKED> I SAID WAITTTT.
LEAVE YOUR SISTER ALLLLOOOOONE.
STOP IT. NOW. I MEAN IT. CUT IT OOOOUUUUTT. NOOOOOW.
PICK UP YOUR [insert item].
WHERERRE ARE YOUR SHOESS???????????????
NO – MEANS NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,
ICE CREAM IS NOT BREAKFAST, and BY THE WAY DID you have to leave it out on the coffee table??? ARE YOU SLOW?? Did you not think I would be pissed that a) you were eating ice cream at 6 o’clock in the morning??, and b) THAT YOU LET IT MELT?? all over the effing table. next to a PILE OF CHIPS. You two stink at this. You have to be SNEAKY. SNEAAAAAAKKKKY. That means putting it ALL BACK before I come down here in the morning. But no…
.

Yes, I am going a little insane. For some reason, these kids want to be entertained 24/7. They think I am Julie, your cruise director from the Love Boat. I guess it’s my fault. We have been renting the first season of Love Boat episodes from Netflix and MAN, my daughters are HOOKED. My husband has given up. He was patient for a little while, as long as I plied him with a steeping quantity of wine and/or whiskey, but no more. He says he has reached his Love Boat limit. Granted, the shows are a little formulaic. And YES you do know what is going to happen as soon as the passengers board. The acting’s bad. I know it’s not PBS. BUT He just doesn’t understand. I spent hours watching the Love Boat as a child. It was **MAGICAL**.

ANYWAY, John graduated Saturday. and now is the proud owner of a masters degree in Information Science. We’d made plans to attend commencement, but at the very last minute John changed his mind. so we went to the Borgata instead. I have to say, WAY TO GO JOHN! a MUCH more pleasant way to spend a Saturday night. After stuffing our faces at the Buffet, John & the girls hit the beach and Mom-Mom & I hit the slots. LO & BEHOLD, those sneaky tricksters at the Borgata played a shell game w/ my secret luckiest winningest machine and MOVED IT. Damn! Oh well. I won $47 on another machine, and John’s grandmom won $94. I like winning money. Almost as much as being sent UNBELIEVABLY MARVVVELOUS PRESENTS IN THE MAIL when I least expect them! WOW.

JUST LOOK at this absolutely STUNNING scarf I rec’d yesterday from my brilliant pal Tracey. Who soooooo totally ROCKS!!! Thanks so much Trace!!!!!!!! As you can see, Kiwi has already made herself comfortable. I LOVE IT.

Happy Momma’s Day Weekend~ YO!

I don’t know about you, but I for one enjoy the easy life. Someone else cooking my food, cleaning up after me, picking my teeth. So next to my birthday week, and Christmas, I like Mother’s Day weekend the BEST.

Friday night kicked off the festivities w/ a hot date featuring my husband.
After sushi for two @ our favorite place, we hit Ye Olde Booksellers. I got a great new book called Farewell, My Subaru. A tale about a guy who gives up his material existence to live off the land in New Mexico. Never mind he’s a pampered urbanite with zero farm experience. I was sold when I read he’d gotten goats off of Craigslist.

Given the number of pets we have, this shouldn’t come as a major surprise, but we’ve also gotten animals off of Craigslist. Our former 3rd-hand macaw, and our little wonder bird *Kiwi*. Now normally I’m not one to toot my own bird, but since we’re on the subject. Toot-toot. it sure is hard to imagine life w/out Kiwi. I would have to go back to grooming myself, changing clothes just once a day, and having friends. YES, She’s become so attached to me, in fact, that I may have to take a restraining order out on her. She has of late begun trying to drive all others away from me. For instance, when someone comes over to talk (and by someone I mean ANYONE, including humans, human-esque forms, animals – even toys and telephones), she begins to chirp in a jealous fashion. If I do not respond, she becomes slightly more agitated, to the point where she starts to lunge at said person (or animal – or phone), trying to bite them and send them packing. I have had boyfriends who were not so attentive. Or insane.

ANYWAY. Saturday my husband – who is just so smart! brought down the big plastic log cabin that was up in our attic playroom and reassembled it outside for our daughters – as well as the rest of the kids on the block. It looks like this:

Except that ours is now taking up most of our front porch, and those are NOT my kids. But they do look like they are having a grand old time, and they would not be the only ones. The ladies were having the BEST TIME EVERRRRR this weekend playing in that thing. And who can blame them?! If I were a kid, I can’t imagine anything better than my very own plastic log cabin!!

So Saturday evening my husband dragged the girls away from the cabin to take us all to the Borgata buffet for a pre-momma’s day feast. We got there just after 5 PM and let me tell you, that is the BEST TIME TO GO. There was no line, no waiting, nothing but food glorious food and meeeee eating it alllllll. After dinner, I did NOT play my secret luckiest winniest machine ever, mostly b/c someone else was using it and they did NOT appear to be winning anything. Instead I went the next aisle over and played a brand new machine called S’mores. And it was DELiCIOUSLY addictive. Yes, I blew $40 away on the machine quick-as-a-wink, and wanted to go back and spend more. B/c THAT is the kind of food-obsessed moron I am. Oh well. It was fun while the flavor lasted. After the Borgata, we went to the beach, and it was as magical as ever even though it was windy and cold. Ahhhh. Nothing like it.

Yesterday, Momma’s Day, was lovely. My older daughter lost her second tooth in TWO DAYS. I kid you not. We were all giddy about it. She also got her brand new violin restrung, and practically slept w/ it she was so happy. Later in the day we went shopping, and even though I have decided that bathing suit shopping is as close to hell as I care to get, I even found a new swimsuit! It is WAY CUTE with the prettiest pattern. I usually hate most bathing suits b/c they are made of hideously ugly fabric, things you wouldn’t dare dress in EVER. Not to mention the fact that most of them make you feel like an over-stuffed sausage sticking out of a waaaay too small casing. But this one is soooooo sweet. YAY. Yes, I know I have half a dozen bikinis that my husband begs me to wear, but all I want is a cute 1-pc that holds my ample chest in place so I can run around in the surf & build sandcastles w/ my kids w/out worrying that my breastesssessss are popping out unbeknownst to me and some old duffer is getting an eyeballfull. which has happened before. This suit is great b/c it is SO CUTE and fun, but highly practical. My idea of perfection.

So last night we returned home for supper before the BIG SURVIVOR SEASON FINALLEE!! 3 HOURS OF SURVIVOR FUNNNN!!! Which brings me to the funniest story. Last night as I was inside getting dinner together (YES I KNOW I WAS COOKING DINNER ON MY VERY OWN MOTHER’S DAY BUT WAIT TILL YOU HEAR THE REST OF MY STORY). SO, I was inside, and the next thing I know my husband comes in the house w/ the biggest smirk on his face. He goes YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED. And he starts just cracking up. Well it turns out, our little neighbor across the street isn’t quite *up to speed* yet w/ regard to potty training. So she’s out there playing with all the kids, hanging out inside the cabin, when SNIFF**SNIFF** my older daughter’s like “Who FARTED??” The cabin apparently goes silent. The kids are all looking around at each other, waiting for someone to fess up. My daughter asks the littlest neighbor, “Did you fart?” To which the little one responds, “No fart, POOP.” My daughter looks down and sees that the kid has POOP all over her leg – AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! Thus prompting a MASS EXODUS from the cabin. All the kids spill out onto the sidewalk. So on the cement, my husband discovers this one lone turd. Just sitting there. right outside the cabin door. Our friend across the street happened to come across just then, with a plastic bag in her pocket. No kidding. Craziest thing ever. Can you imagine just walking down the street and PLOP a big crap falls out of your shorts! BOY I hope that’s not me some day.

Weekend with Mommy

My weekend in one word:

CHA-CHING!!!!!!!!!!

And in two:

CHA CHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who are vision impaired, Saturday night I won $738.50 at the Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa on a slot machine. I will NOT tell you which one b/c it is now my secret luckiest winniest machine ever and MINE ALONE. Plus I do NOT want to encourage anyone in the folly that is gambling. Let’s face it folks, you are probably better off going into the bathroom, taking out your wallet and flushing it down the toilet than to try to WIN AT GAMBLING b/c it ain’t gonna happen. EXCEPT FOR ME!!!!!!!! WOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

What a magnificently crazy fun-filled weekend!! Today I am trying to get back into the swing of things, but frankly I’m really not feeling much inclined. And who can blame me? The prospect of laundry and chores, bleech. I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet, and I might not now b/c I AM RICH. I am ready to retire for good. Like my good friend Jim next door who has thrown in the towel after 36 glorious years. And I am not speaking of 36 years of WORK – Oh NO! He is 36 and has decided to retire. B/c THAT is West Philly living and I LOVE IT!

SO where was I?? Oh yes, the weekend was grand. Well to be honest it started out a little shitty, but what else could it be when a sewer line backs up into your basement? Ahhhhh. Nothing like the smell of poop in the morning. Or the afternoon. Cause that’s how long it took us to remedy THAT lil problem. And by US you know of course I mean my beloved husband, b/c he’s the one who had to touch the stuff. YUM-YUM. Here is a photo for your enjoyment:

Look at that hand. He joked that he was going to rinse it in gasoline, but I do not think he actually did. At least not while I was watching. He had to go to the Home Depot and rent a big giant snake. It is a tool for plunging out your sewer line and not the fanged animal of course, though that would have been preferable to the poo. So the weekend’s festivities got off to a bit of a late start, but you can see how Saturday night finished, so who cares. right? My husband is the BEST.

Sunday we took in the last day at the Philadelphia Flower Show. They were not being persnickety about which door you used either, much to my relief. Though of course you had to buy tickets which of course did not come cheap. But that’s o-kay b/c our weekend was ON THE BORGATA. So the flowers were fun, the swarming masses much less so. We ate lunch across the street at the Reading Terminal Market. We had cheesesteaks at Rick’s, which is still there, at least until the court date in June. I had not eaten at Rick’s for quite some time and realized why. No offense to Rick’s, but they are one of the few (if only) Philly cheesesteak joints that 1) don’t chop their meat, which I don’t care for, and 2) offer the “works” aka lettuce & tomato on the steaks. As a Philadelphian I have to say this is weird. I have eaten steaks all my life and have yet, until this weekend, to see hoagie fixins on one unless it’s a HOAGIE. Oh well. It was otherwise o-kay. And of course we had Bassett’s which rocks above all others. I had pumpkin AND peach on one cone and it was simply Heaven in an ice cream.

Yesterday we spent the day at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska. My parents used to live minutes from there in New Hope, and my mommy hadn’t been back since moving to Atlanta. Almost a year and a half ago. So we took the tour and tooled past her old pad. It was not looking too bad, but it just wasn’t the same. We spent the rest of the afternoon eating and playing games at Giggleberry Fair, the Peddler’s Village (slightly) less commercial equivalent of a Chuck E. Cheese. Since it was a Monday afternoon, it was D-E-A-D. My mom took the girls on the carousel and the older man who runs the thing let them stay on waaay longer than normal. I believe out of sheer boredom. It was great fun the first 5-10 minutes, but after that all three of them looked a bit queezy. My husband & I were both very glad to be watching from a bench. Afterward, we hit the outlets. My mommy bought the girls a HUGE bag full of stuff from the Children’s Place, they must have gotten like 5 outfits each. Everything was BEYOND CHEAP, like 99 cents, $2, $3. CRAZY. I think she spent $70 total on the whole lot of it. I really like the Children’s Place very cute & colorful clothing, but some of their stuff can lean distinctly towards trampville. Hoochie mama gear on women is mildly entertaining; on a 4 year old it is criminal.

My mommy also bought me the rockingest pair of shoes. They look like granny shoes, here I am wearing them:

YES they ARE COOL. They will look better w/out my fuzzy polka dot socks, but they still look great even with them. WOW. I love these shoes. I used to have a pair like this back in the early 90s (that’s 1990s NOT 1890s, though they probably looked just like this back then too). My friend Daffy just bought a similar pair. Yay! Okay now all you crazy salivating foot and shoe fetishists can MOVE ON.

SO I had been thinking of buying a sewing machine with my remaining Borgata winnings, but when we went to JoAnn Fabrics yesterday to check out the machines all they sold were Vikings. I’d read great things about Brother machines; not only are they inexpensive but they are supposed to be FABULOUS. So I passed on the $400 unknown Viking. I am going to continue researching. or maybe I will stumble into one at a thrift shoppe for an irresistible LOW LOW price and go for it. I am lucky, you know. But now that my mommy has once again returned south, the whole idea seems less pressing. Or maybe just less fun.

My mommy left at the crack of dawn this morn, leaving behind the faint scent of her perfume and the familiar dull ache which has returned once more to my heart. I know that there are people out there who have awful mommies. and I feel so badly for them. BUT I do not exaggerate when I say that my mommy is simply THE BEST MOMMY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. Unfortunately for us, she is also a successful executive who now lives 800 miles away in ATLANTA. SO unlike yours truly, she can’t just hang out in West Philly for all eternity not brushing her teeth. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond proud of my mom. To me as well as the rest of the world she is a certifiable SUCCESS in every way. And being a success is a good thing. But being on the receiving end of success sometimes truly sucks. I miss her. I wish she didn’t have to work so hard for people who don’t really care about her. My daughters sob when she leaves. And so do I.. Which is better?

All-in-all, this weekend of fun with my mommy has reminded me of several things. Poop smells. Gambling does not pay unless YOU WIN. And I would rather be with my family and have less money, than be rich & successful apart from them. YES money can be great, especially when you are poor. But it cannot buy you happiness. A lesson that Eliot Spitzer should have learned, but. unfortunately some never do.

My weekend so far, part 2

So last night, after we waited in line for a looooooooong looooooonnng time at the Borgata Buffet, we finally got seated. And even though our table was in the back darkened corner of the restaurant, adjacent to a flat-panel TV playing a show about the criminally insane, I rejoiced. Not only b/c I was FINALLY GOING TO GET TO EAT!!! but also b/c I was SO RELIEVED not to have to sit in a booth right beside the salivating onlookers still waiting in line. SO We filled our plates with heaping helpings of yum-yum food, and grazed to our hearts content. Then when we were stuffed to the brim, we discovered that they’d held out on us. Those chefs at the Borgata Buffet had not told us there were going to be shrimp with appendages. But sure enough, there they were. Heads-on, claws-on, shells-on shrimp – with their long cat-fish like antennae sticking out every which way. I am not sure I would have wanted to eat one, but that’s not the point, is it? We didn’t have the opportunity to decline them. People at all of the adjacent tables began bellying up with these crazy things and we just sat there, open mouthed. Oh well. Maybe next time. Afterwards we people-watched and played some slots. It’s almost amusing how quickly you can lose $20 in a slot machine, but it is not really funny.

This morning when our girls came home, our younger daughter had a black eye. Now before you get all riled up, let me say our friends did NOT beat her. At around 5 AM, they heard a loud THUNK from up above and ran up to find my younger daughter bleeding from the head and crying. Can you imagine? I know if this had happened to me I would likely be thinking HOW THEY HELL AM I GOING TO EXPLAIN THIS ONE?? Our daughter had unfortunately fallen out of bed, sound asleep, and cracked her head on the nightstand. YOUCH. My friend wanted to bandage her up, but she’d already fallen back asleep. She told me she’d never been so relieved in her life as when 1) she determined my daughter had not lost her eye, and 2) when the kids got up this morning and my younger daughter was functioning normally. I think she would have felt really bad returning her broken. Kids are so resilient, it’s the adults I worry about.

And so I am now back from the baby shower, and what a great time. I always thought these things were dull, but no way. I have never been to such a fun baby shower in all of my life. I could tell that baby was just raring to come out and join us. And who wouldn’t be, with all that food and WINE?? AND What a lot of great loot! Those people were terrific gift givers. In fact, I would like to invite many of my friend’s friends to MY next baby shower. and I am not even pregnant. And that is a good thing b/c I think I am a little hungover from that baby shower. I even got to see my old beloved couch.

It was right next to my friend’s laboring pool. It looks so fun, I told her I was going to come over in my swimsuit when she was laboring and get right in with her. Then I can lie on the couch and watch the birth. Just joking. I am not good with blood. Though I must tell you, my younger daughter asked me the other day – with complete earnestness – when she was going to get to see J’s baby being born. After much puzzling, I finally asked Honey, do you mean you want to watch J.’s baby coming out of her vagina? (My kids KNOW about birth). And she said, Oh, yes. like it was the most normal request ever. I had to tell her that I didn’t think J. was going to want her watching. But still.. Kids say the darnedest things.