Love hurts

Love is you, love is me

Love makes the world go 'round

Love is all you need

But sometimes those we love, don't love us back. Such is the case with me.

This past weekend was glorious! The sun was shining. The temperature was right where I like it - in the 80s, pushing 90. Sunday I went to a picnic and was able to wear a sundress. I love my sundresses and seize any opportunity to wear one.

Yesterday was the hottest day of our 4-day weekend. I jumped for joy when I realized I could wear my favorite tank - a blue and green tie-dye. Even though it was hot as hell, I spent the majority of the day outside. I loaded the midgets up and took them to Rita's, we walked around a cemetery, visited the graves of my Pap and my Dad, and eventually ended up at the park.

I love the sun! Especially after the past 2 months which have been more rain than anything else. Last night I learned that even though I adore the sun, it does not love me. Actually, I suppose I should give the sun some credit. It only loves parts of me.

You see, if you were to look up "white girl" in the dictionary, you would see a big ole picture of me. That teensy bit of Irish floating around in my blood? It shows in my skin color. You think I would be smart enough to apply liberal amounts of sunscreen, but my infatuation with the sun at the beginning of the season is so great, that all that other important stuff slips my mind.

My feet are doing a happy jig because they're nice and tan. However, the left side of my body is wishing that I wouldn't forget the important things, like SPF 50.

Anyone have some aloe I can borrow?

Those were the days. Maybe?

Liz at a belle, a bean, & a chicago dog is doing a meme of sorts. We all remember how incredibly awesome we looked in high school - crazy clothes, wild hair. Ya, good times!

I love sharing old pictures because sometimes they're good for a laugh. I had to get in touch with a friend of mine. She is the queen of all picture circa the high school days. Also? My mom can't seem to find my actual senior pictures. I even went through her boxes of old pictures myself. If I didn't know any better, I'd say my brother is loved more than me. Thanks, mom! (love you)

I would love to lie and tell you that this is my senior prom picture because I think it's a great picture. Other than the "hold you date just so" pose, of course.

But my actual senior prom photo is this....

We looked so thrilled, don't we? And yes, that is a tie-dye shirt my boyfriend (now husband) has on under his jacket. It wouldn't have looked so bad if he wore a tie that didn't have some nature scene on it. Owls, I think.

I'm still not sure why, but I was hell bent on wearing one of my mom's old dresses. I loved the color. I loved the way it felt on me. What I did not love was how I stood out compared to my friend's dresses!

No one told me short was the *the* style in '97!

Before you start wondering what kind of crazy looking hotel our dance was in, we were on a boat.

I went through a lot of different looks in those four years. My freshman year started with crazy patterns accompanied by sky-high ponytails held in place with a scrunchie and teased bangs.

The middle years were full of ponytails held back with the first thing I could grab in the morning, rock hard bangs curled under, only covering half of my forehead, and clothes any color that resembled black.

In my senior year, my mom jumped for joy when I slashed her grocery bill by abandoning hair spray. But the black clothing? That stayed with me for many more years.

My year book picture.

Looking at some of these pictures, I'm not sure if I miss how I looked in those days or not.

The games we played

I remember being very young, perhaps three or four. The light from my Grandma's small corner lamps bounced off the dark paneled walls. The folding card table was placed squarely in the room. Surrounding it were my Grandma, my mom, and various uncles and aunts. Their hands overflowing with cards, the table lined with rows of cards. They played games such as Pinochle and Canasta. Games with too many cards for my little hands to hold.

When it was my turn to play, we would play Go Fish and War. War was always my favorite because I was so good at winning!

As I grew older, cards continued to follow me through my life. Many nights I played Cribbage with my parents. I can almost hear my dad shuffling the cards. I can almost feel the soft, smooth wood of the board against my fingers. But the rules of the game have since slipped my mind.

When I was seven, I found my best friend. As we began to hang out more, I learned that her family loved to play cards as well. Her family could often be seen around their dining room table playing a game of Pinochle. It brought me back to the days of watching my own family play.

We could never quite figure out how to play the games the adults played, but her and I became quite good at playing 500 Rummy.

I will never forget a family vacation to a cabin in the woods when I was a young teenager. My best friend was allowed to join us and we were both so excited. The cabin was anything but small. The ceiling in the main room spanned 2 floors and the walls were lined with glass. My parents slept in the first floor bedroom with my younger brother, while her and I had free reign of the remaining four on the second floor. If we closed the door, we could talk and laugh into the wee hours of the night.

We would spend our time talking about friends and boys. While we talked, we always played a card game. We would play the fast-paced game of Spit, or the guessing game of Golf, and we always ended with 500 rummy.

One of those night in the cabin, that game of 500 turned into 1000, 1500, and on and on. We played until our eyes couldn't stay open for another second. We had heard noises in the woods. A loud bang, and a scream. Oh my goodness, what do we do? Waking my parents meant walking down the dark, narrow steps and through the tall open room. If there was a killer on the loose, surely he would see us through all of those windows. Quietly playing cards would surely make everything alright. And that's what we did. We finally fell asleep shortly before the sun woke up for the day.

To this day, my best friend and I get together as often as we can to play cards. We still play the same games. We still talk about friends and boys. We still laugh too loud.

I could tell you about playing Trouble as a child until we broke the popper. I could share a story about the time I agreed to play to long version of Monopoly with my dad, and it lasted a week.

I love games and I have played many in my life, but cards will always be what I turn to. They seem to bring out the best in the people who gather around them.

Shaken, not stirred

It was a horrible and scary incident. As backwards as it sounds, I am thankful that my kids were with me.

Friday we were taking are typical weekday afternoon drive to get the husband from work. On the way we have to pass through a mile long tunnel. I can't think of a time where there isn't traffic in this tunnel. And that was the case Friday afternoon.

The three of us were at a stop in the middle of the tunnel. Static coming from the radio while my boy was gabbing away. I heard the blare of a horn from behind. I glanced in the rear view mirror expecting to see a car switching lanes. Even though you aren't allowed to do this in these tunnels, people do it all the time. What I saw was a car a few hundred feet back, slowly creeping towards us. He mustn't have been paying attention and that resulted in the driver behind him laying on his horn.

I turned my eyes to the cars in front of us. Hopefully we would be moving again soon.

The movement that occurred was not the movement I expected. Mr. Hyundai behind us mustn't have been paying attention yet again. Thank goodness our car was there to stop him. Hard.



My head whacked off the head rest, which hurt like a son of a bitch. My girl's head must have done the same to her head rest. Screw the car, my girl was hurt! I threw open my door and practically ripped her door off. Her tears were falling hard and fast over her cheeks. Her screams were shrill and echoed through the tunnel. She was grabbing her head. I looked in her eyes, told her to move her head, and asked if she was ok. Once I realized she was more scared than anything else, I turned to face the asshole who hit me and was now walking towards me.

If the kids weren't in the car, I would have ripped him a new asshole. It took everything I had to not face him and say, "What the fuck?" Livid was too tame of a word to describe how I felt. I walked towards my bumper to examine the damage. Lucky for him, it's minimal. Just a few scratches. Also lucky for him that we are all ok. A little sore and very shaken up, but ok.

What I find funny (now, not at the time) is that my boy wasn't phased by any part of the accident. He was just fascinated by the new scratches on our Chevy red car.

Can someone explain

Why am I so tired?

The gear was shifted to "Go"
The petal was pushed to the metal
Downtime exists, but has been fleeting

This has been my life for what feels like forever. In reality, it's only been a few weeks.

Saturday the petal was really pushed and the tired began to burn. My gear was not set to overdrive.

Soccer games, a wedding, a reception.

Drive, drive, drive. Dance, dance, dance.

Perhaps my overwhelming need to sleep is a result of being in constant motion. The world has caught up to me and now I need to rest.

That would make total sense if I wasn't writing this after having slept a full, luxurious 12 hours the night before.

This is the kind of tired where I can't think. I can't focus. The kind of tired where you think something must be wrong. How I'm typing this, the world may never know. All I have to say is thank goodness for spell check. The number of red lines under my words is overwhelming.

Similar to my need to sleep.

Instead I will spellcheck and continue on my way. Too much to do, and never enough time.

L'eau minerale

the red dress club
Like sand through the hourglass. Or in my case, sand through the bottle.

This week's RemembeRED prompt is sand.

When I think of sand, of course I think of the beach. The hot, dry sand that creeps into your shoes as you trek across, trying to find the perfect spot to sit. Or the wet, sloppy sand that envelopes your toes as you walk the edge of the ocean. But the best sand is the sand that I most likely won't ever touch again.

It was the summer before my senior year of high school. The time had come for me and my friends to take our trip with the rest of the French club. We landed in Paris, a city that created many stories, but none of which relate to sand. From Paris we traveled southward to Nice.

Our teacher believed that my group of three was mature enough to travel the city alone. I'm not sure I agreed, but I surely wasn't going to argue. We had heard that nude beaches were a popular thing in that part of the world. Having never been to one, we just had to go. This is not a decision that should be made without proper planning. Some things you can never un-see.

As the three of us were walking towards the beach, chatting away, we decided to stop in a deli to buy bottles of water. The day was cool and cloudy, but those bottles would provide storage for sand as a souvenir. Again, we should have planned ahead of time. Carbonated water, tall and blue, were all we could find. It was not a pleasant experience attempting to guzzle that down.

We climbed the boulders to reach the sand. Standing atop, we gazed out at the view. Gray sand stretched to the left and right as far as we could see. The steel colored water lapped at the shore. There were only a few scarcely dressed people roaming the beach on that crisp summer day. Modesty is key when dressing in France. Just not at the beach.

Once across the small mountain reed, we removed our shoes. Our toes were not met by the hot, dry sand. Nor were they met by wet, slimy sand. The shells jabbed our toes while the gritty sand tore at our heels. We emptied our bottles, soothing our feet as we wondered how such sand would fit in our narrow topped bottles.

It was not the sandy beach we had expected, but knowing we might never stand there again, we had to take some of it home. We cupped our hands and slowly began to fill our bottles with sand and pebbles. When our loads reached the top of the long necks, we screwed on the tops as tight as we could.

Mineral water from France

That bottle rests on my dresser, hiding between jewelry and music boxes. The sand has settled and the dust has gathered on the lid. I often look at that bottle and smile. The stories of my trip come flooding back. Perhaps someday I can return to top off that bottle.

Thank goodness it wasn't me

I won't lie, in this house we like to snack. I admit they're not always healthy snacks, but there is rarely a shortage of snacky type food. The one must have on my grocery list is Goldfish. Everyone loves them. At least they used to. I'm not sure I could ever eat one again. Ever.

A few weeks ago I wised up and started buying the big boxes of Goldfish. The big box that looks like a giant carton. As big as that box was, we would still blow through them. A few nights ago, ti was like any other night. The husband was upstairs working and he decided he needed a snack. I was trying to get the kids to clean up for bed, so he had to weave through the semi-organized chaos to get to the kitchen. He grabbed a bowl, poured some Goldfish it in, and started to head back upstairs. Halfway up the stairs, he turned around.

The Goldfish were dumped in the trash and the bowl thrown in the sink.

"I can't eat these. I just can't" he says.

In between yelling at the kids, I ask him why. "I just can't" was the only response I got. Stupid me, I kept pushing. Our girl just poured herself a bowl not 30 minutes earlier. I wanted to make sure she wasn't eating fuzzy fish or something crazy.

The husband finally fessed up. There was a spider mixed in with his fishies.

Now let me take a moment to ask if you have ever seen Arachnophobia? If you have, then you are well aware of what happens when the old couple sticks their hand in their bowl of popcorn. This movie is why spiders scare the shit out of me. If I happen to catch even a second of that movie? I won't sleep with a week!

Knowing this, it is beyond me why the husband had to tell me what he found. I love the fact that he sucks at lying, but he could have found a way to do it in this situation. The rat bastard!

And did he stop there? Of course not. As he is throwing the carton of fish in the trash he proceeds to tell me that there was not one, but two of those motherfuckers in there! What the hell?!

As he's apologizing for not lying about what he found, he's taking the garbage bag out to the cans. Once outside he realizes that it has been raining for a month. He didn't have shoes on. So guess who had to talk that creepy crawly bag to the curb? Moi! It was garbage night and I wasn't messing around. I didn't want those fuckers anywhere near my house!

Needless to say, we won't be eating Goldfish for quite some time. Especially me. I can't even imagine what the therapy bill would be if I made the discovery!

Just a craft

Two years ago I began to look for another hobby.

For years, I painted. Monet's Water Lilies brought a sense of peace. Mona Lisa's smile made me giggle. At the Sistine Chapel I wanted to jump for joy and touch the top. As much as I admire these artists, I do not have one ounce of their talent. Give me a wood birdhouse, I can make a bright and cheery. Give me a wooden shield with the outline of a dragon and I can make it fierce and ferocious.

But I grew tired of painting. My house was so full of nick-knacks and I had no more room. I journeyed to the craft store and walked their aisles. The gentle touch of the baby yarns, pale pinks and faded yellows. The rough feel of the wool yarn, earthen shades. I was drawn in. This is what I wanted to do.

My first night I was quick to wrap the yarn around my pinky finger and weave it through the remaining three. The cool of the steel hook as it rested between my fingers. I made loops and pulled the yarn through. I could make a chain like none you have ever seen, but nothing can be made from a chain. Books, web pages, YouTube videos - I scoured through them for weeks. Finally the light came on.

In the past two years, there are many nights where I can be found on the couch, wrapped in my robe, surrounded by yarn. Project after project, my fingers continued their dance. But nothing was for me. Turtles and pirates for the kids. A blanket for a cousin's baby.

They said I was crafty, but I never believed. I was just happy to see the smile on their face when they opened their gift. Months went on and I found nothing to make. My kids begged for stuffed animals, but I ignored their pleas. Just more nick-knacks in my mind.

Last year for Mother's Day, I was surprised by a friend. Phantom of the Opera tickets were purchased for just her and I. I had the dress and I had the shoes, but I needed something more. Web pages and books I scoured once more. I soon found a shawl that would pop on my dress. I bookmarked the page and purchased the yarn. The next few weeks were full on chain 2, yarn over, double crochet, and skip 2. I ate, slept, and breathed my directions. I finally finished my shawl. Another project in the books and something to wear.

Prompt -"Tell the story (without any trivialization or modesty) of something in your life that you are proud of."