The Too Legit Reasons I Fell Off The Face Of The Earth
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
A few months ago, I was in the Apple store, listening to my husband, the Mac geek talking to the hipster Mac guy who happened to have the biggest gauges in his earlobes I have ever seen. 
And I know this shows my total un-hipness, but every time I see someone with plugs, I think—As God is my witness, Hipster Person, you will regret those plugs one day. It might not be tomorrow or next year. It might not come until you're walking the beaches of Florida with your metal detector just riding out the hours until you can make the early bird seating at 4:00 p.m. for your boiled beets and cottage cheese, but there will come a day when you will say, "What in the name of all things remotely sensible was I thinking?" 
It's like the mullet. No one and I mean no one has ever said in the history of mullet hair, "Gee, I sure wish I'd kept that disproportionate, unflattering, redneck-screaming haircut." 
Even Bono, my rock-star boyfriend has said he regrets his mullet. 
And if anyone can rock a mullet, of course, it would be this man. Just look at his hotness.
Did you know that Iran banned the mullet a few years back? 
Iran, doing something right for once.  
But I digress, mullets and gauges and other bad fashion choices do that to me.
Anyway, the conversation between the two Mac-heads sounded something like this:
Husband: "I'm wondering if I connect the hammertime cable to the Gunter, Glieben, Glauten, Globen will I be able to hemaphrodisiac the wing-wang?"
Hipster Mac Guy: "Well, bro, I would advise using the boom shakalaka scurvy to dissect the buford-t-boneser."
Husband: "Oh yeah! (palm smack to his head) I should have thought of that. You have that in stock?"
Usually, when they're speaking their secret technology language, I have already wandered off to peruse the latest Kate Spade iphone cases.
But on this night, there was something far more interesting holding my attention.
A man had ventured into the store strolling this ridiculously high tech stroller complete with a steering wheel. A steering wheel!
When my girls were babies, we were ecstatic when they invented cup holders in the strollers. We were like, "Would you look at that? A holder for your cup! That's crazy talk, there!"
Fast forward 22 years later and stroller technology has come to this—a triple stroller as long as a bus and as fleet-footed as Michael J back in the day.
And, to top it all off, in that fancy stroller were three tiny little babies. Perfect, gorgeous little pink faces peeking out from their swaddled cocoons, all sound asleep making little kitten noises.
My sister has twins and I know how wearisome it was for her when they were small, the constant barrage of questions. But these babies were so perfect and tiny and that stroller was such an incredible machine and my hubs and the Mac dude were lost in their rim-rams and spleen-meningococcal cables and the man seemed friendly enough, so I asked about the babies.
He informed me they were eight weeks old and I said, "And you're ALONE in the mall with them? I think you might be the first father in the history of triplets to attempt such a feat."
He said, "Oh no, I'm not crazy."
He told me his domestic partner was at the other end of the mall shopping with their 18-MONTH- OLD.
I was all, "No! You are Lying, sir!"
He was not.
He went on to tell me the two boys would cry in unison, which they did as we were talking. One started up with his little mewing and the other instantly woke from a sound sleep and joined in. He said the girl, however, was an angel. And she was, in her pink cupcake dress, just slumbering away as her brothers yowled. He even had pink sunglasses, which he put on her sleeping angel face so we could both admire her. Dad said the whole lot of them really weren't any trouble, though. He said it was their 18-month-old sister who had become Satan overnight.
I was like, "Dude, my eldest girl stood on her newborn sister. Stood ON her eight pound sister when she was four days old."
"I just wanted to see what she would do." Was her answer for trying to cause internal bleeding in her new sibling.
And that was just one baby. I can't imagine what goes through a tiny brain when three new babies show up at an only child's doorstep.
He smiled and said, "We're just trying to remember to breathe every once and a while."
I kept those words with me as a little mantra because that is exactly what I've been doing for the last few insane, harried months, trying to remember to breathe between the harried.
Now, don't worry, Internet, except for two horrible things, most of it has been good. Busy good. Like having triplets and a toddler good. Because four babies is the best kind of good, no matter how many crappy diapers one has to change.
Anyway, here is a brief rundown of all the mish-mosh that has kept me away from my beloved Internet.
I was born on a rainy day in the town of Lockport, Illinois.
Har. Just kidding. I have no idea if it was raining. I don't know any of the details of my arrival. My mother has seven kids. It's a wonder she can even remember the date of my birth. I mean, I have trouble remembering my three girls' names on a daily basis. I can't even imagine trying to keep up the details on a whole tribe.
No. I won't take you back that far, because really who needs to know that I was into stuffed animals when I was young and on my fifth birthday, I got this gorgeous, fluffy white stuffed kitty that I named Fluffy because I was a precocious child filled with originality like that. Fluffy had a place of honor on my bed throughout my childhood until one night when I was 17. On that fateful evening, I had a little too much Busch beer at a party and I stumbled into my room and proceeded to throw up all over Fluffy. 
I still mourn that cat.
But I won't kill you with all my childhood tragedies.
I will, however, mention something that happened months ago. Just because it was super awesome.
And just because I kept meaning to tell you about it but I never did.
Last September, a group of the most wonderful people in my life joined me in Napa for some birthday festivities. And thanks to my husband and all of the incredible tours, tastes, and eats he set up, I had one of the most perfect weeks of my life. Thanks, honey!
My dear, darling friend Anne Feaster surprised me. She and I were widows to our husbands' occupations when our kids were small. Between us, we raised eight kids while our husbands spent most of their working days out of town. Her husband led our Tampa Bay Lightning to their first Stanley Cup as general manager. They now live in Calgary, far too far away from me, where Jay presides over the Calgary Flames. She and Jay flew in for my birthday. 
I was, in a word, verklempt. 
And boy did we all manage to shake up some fun over the next week.
We drank wine in vineyards 
We drank wine in the vineyard with our Wine Guide who is clearly detecting the shades of blackberry and vanilla spice by licking his upper lip. 
We drank wine on mountain tops. 
We drank wine in this thing—a Pinzgauer, a rugged army-like truck that took us to the top of the mountain on a winery tour. 
We drank wine in private tastings. 
We drank wine in Barrel Rooms. 

And in more Barrel Rooms.
We drank wine from barrels. 
Many barrels.
We drank wine with the Barrel Cowboy.
We even rolled our own barrel. 
We drank wine, even if sometimes we laughed so hard, a little of it came spewing out of our nose. 
We drank wine and then stole the glasses. Just kidding! We are one of the original members of this Winery's wine club and for that, they are always very kind to us. They told us to keep our glasses. 
We drank wine in our pimp hats. 
And we drank wine in beautiful wine caves.
We drank wine with my birthday cake, a new one for each night of the week.
This is my favorite thing in the whole world to put in my mouth. Shutup you pervs. This is Campfire Pie from Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen.
We drank wine at Mr. Peter Mondavi's birthday party, sitting on the grass, listening to the sounds of a steel drum/jazz band.
We even drank wine with the legendary man of Napa, Mr. Peter Mondavi of Charles Krug. This was like meeting a rock star in my book. 
Fun was had by all. And on one of those nights of celebration, my friends Paul and Leah Warson joined us for dinner. More on that, in half a second.
Fast Forward to this April when my Tori girl was elected to be a Florida voting delegate at the International DECA conference. DECA is a high school organization for all the future Warren Buffett's of the world.
So, off we zoomed to Anaheim, California, the home of Disney Land! 
(The exclamation point is facetious.)
And since I live near the other Disney and since we have Florida residence passes and since I am certain the sweaty foreigners with no concept of personal space or polite queuing are just as obnoxious in California as they are at my Disney and since my girl was busy all day at her DECA conference, there wasn't a whole lot for us to do.
And so . . . knowing our girl was in the capable hands of her sponsor, we headed out, far, far from the franchise restaurants, theme parks and oppressive crowds to the beautiful town of Los Olivos.
The movie Sideways was filmed in this stunning corner of the world. But we didn't come here for the beauty of it's rolling hills, vineyards that dot the landscape and it's small town charm. Even though that was a definite plus.
We came here for Paul and Leah.
We were friends on the Internet before we met in real life for my birthday celebration in Napa. And on that fateful night in September, we drank wine and laughed and talked, ate, drank some more wine and it felt like we were the oldest of friends.
The Internet can do that sometimes instead of being the bad, scary place it's made out to be. 
Paul is the winemaker for Firestone Vineyards in Los Olivos where he has, in the few short years he's been there, turned out some impressive wines that have gotten some big scores from Wine Enthusiast. A+ scores.
Paul is the schizz of winemakers.
It was wonderful to see them again in their stunning neck of the woods. Paul gave us a tour of the winery and filled us in on the ghosts that walk the halls and his personal experiences with them. 
I think one of those ghosts was giving me a noogie to the back of the head with the looks of that hair.
Then later on, we joined the Warsons at their house. Their house. In the Vineyards. Let me repeat that. Their House That Sits In The Mother Freaking' Vineyards. 
Sighhhhhhhhhhh . . . 
We partied like rock stars or at least, we partied like people who like to sit around and drink wine and dissect it's subtle nuances until it was late. Very late.
Let me just say, at 1:00 AM the Winemaker was making bacon for all of us, because that just seemed like the thing to do and Leah and I were critiquing his bacon frying abilities while eating vanilla wafers. 
Because that just seemed like the thing to do.
Bacon, vanilla wafers and Paul's wine. A succulent pairing.
If you don't know how to party like a rock star, call us. We've got it down.
I want to officially apologize to Paul and Leah for the cat nap they had before their 5:00 am. alarm clock went off. Thank you for your generosity, opening your home to us like that. We sure had a great time. Rock on!
The next day we headed back to Anaheim and waited for Tori to finish her business. When she was done voting and judging, we took a drive over to Beverly Hills to check out the homes of the rich and famous.
With Google in hand, we looked for movie star's homes. 
This is Jennifer Aniston's fence. 
We couldn't take much more excitement, so we made our way to our next stop, Manhattan Beach. 
Manhattan Beach is a great little beach town, just ten minutes from the smog of L. A. 
It's full of beach bikes, skateboards, good food and dogs. My kind of place.
And after a bike ride on the beach, we made our way over to visit my friend Dave and eat at his restaurant, Manhattan Beach Post. 
He also has another brand new restaurant right next door called Fishing With Dynamite.
Dave is not only a lovely, humble man. He also has a Michelin star to his name which is like an Academy Award for food. And his food is not frou-frou or the kind of food that makes you think, Am I the only one who doesn't get it? What in the world IS this?

No. Dave's food is delicious. Heavenly delicious. Addictive Delicious. Supercalafragalistic freaking delicious.
He makes the kind of food that makes you say, days after you've been to his place, "I can't stop thinking about those bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits. I need them right now."
Yes, he makes bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits. With maple butter.
Bacon Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits that are so extraordinary they have their own Facebook page. 
And we scarfed down two orders of them. 
For the rest of our time in California, all we could talk about was Dave's incredible way with food, especially, for me, his pork belly.
I am a pork belly girl.
That does not sound right in any way shape or form.
But what I'm trying to say, if pork belly is on the menu, it is going to end up in ma' belly.
And I'm extremely critical about pork belly.
This was Dave's rendition of pork belly—Confit pork belly on a bed of grilled asparagus with chicharron (I don't know what that is), béarnaise sauce topped with a perfectly fried egg.
I was in pork belly heaven. In fact, I was in food heaven. We all were. Between the dishes we ordered and all the wonderful things Dave kept sending out for us, I might have just died a little and visited Food Heaven before Tori called me back to earth with her, "Hey Mom, you've got egg all over the side of your mouth."
I kept piling it in, even though I was a little worried my intestines were going to explode. It was all so delicious that I couldn't stop myself, I had to keep having more and more and more. It was like I was a hoarder. An intestinal hoarder. His food was that good.
If you're ever in L.A. or anywhere near Manhattan Beach, you need to listen up. Fast for a week, or at least 8 hours, if you're like me and the first sign of hunger pains makes you so grouchy you want to tear someone's throat out with your bared teeth. So, do what you can, in terms of fasting and then ride your beach bike down to Dave LeFevre's restaurant (s). Tell him Joann Cleveland Mannix sent you. Say your prayers first, because you will die and go to foodie heaven.
Thank you, Dave, for the lovely meal and for your fine company. I'll be back. And this time the sisters are coming with me.
After our little jaunt in Anaheim we flew home and the next weekend, this happened:

Our Tori. The girl who was three yesterday, running down the aisle of Toys R Us with a giant football piñata in her arms, yelling, "I GOT IT MAMA. I GOT IT!"(Inexplicably, she had bypassed all the princesses and pink piñatas for a birthday football piñata.)
That same little girl, somehow, when I looked away for a half a second, turned into this beautiful creature in a white lace prom dress, on her way to the last dance of her high school years. 
I don't know how it all whooshed by us so fast.
The very next weekend, the hubs and I were off again for the weekend. This time, to the Player's Tournament which is a golf thing and Tiger Cheatwhore Woods won it, which was a shame. Tiger should not be allowed to win anything ever again, except a slimebag contest.
To be honest, I do not care a thing about golf. There is nothing about it I find appealing. Watching it or playing it. Unless, Josh Duhamel is there and he's writing on my body. Unfortunately, I did not see Josh or any other celebrity.
But . . . we were guests of a company and that company had chewy chocolate chip cookies, lots of other food, a whole section of cakes and a mixologist in their tent! A mixologist who specializes in making fancy drinks. He made my drink with a mortar and pestle! I'm not sure what it was, but it was pink and it tasted like berry which made the golf tournament much more enjoyable. 
We arrived home from that weekend and two days later, the horrible hit.
My sweet doggie Delilah, out of the blue, had a seizure. A big, limb-flailing, teeth chattering, horrifying seizure. I rushed her to the vet afterwards and after a thorough exam and detailed blood work, her seizure appeared to be idiopathic, meaning there was no known cause.
She seemed fine until a few weeks later when she broke out in a wicked rash, accompanied by some sores on her back. Back to the doc we went for a skin scrape to find out my poor girl had allergic dermatitis. We were prescribed creams and sprays and soothing oatmeal shampoo.
I hoped and prayed the two were related, that maybe she'd gotten into something and that's what had caused the seizure and the rashes.
Her rash cleared up and soon enough, she was back to the same, sweet Delilah who knows only one emotion—love. She loves everyone and everything with a deep-doggie passion. Slobbery, doggie kisses all around no matter who you are.
Everything was good.
Until a few days ago. When my sweet, sweet girl had her second seizure. My hopes were smashed with this second one. Our doctor had already spoken to me about possible outcomes. Her first seizure might have been her last. Or it could be the start of a lifetime of seizures. They might be few and far between. Or they might become more frequent. And if that did happen, there were meds. He was truthful and told me the meds were hard on their organs. The meds tended to shorten their life spans. And the meds could alter their personality, causing them to be lethargic and lose their doggie spirit.
It's why the second seizure, so close to the first, broke my heart. 
This is where she sits when I take a bath, unwilling to ever leave my side for a second.

When the first seizure happened, I googled and everything I read filled me with dread and horror, so I stopped googling and hoped for the best. With the second, I turned back to the Internet, but this time to Facebook to see if any of my friends had experience with dog seizures.
They had and for the most part everyone had tales to tell about their dogs and their ability to live a full doggy life even with seizures. And then a wonderful Facebook friend told me about her dog seizures and her discovery that some dogs are allergic to gluten which is the filler that is in most dog foods. She started feeding her dog a grain and gluten-free dog food and the seizures stopped. Same thing for her brother's dog.
I instantly googled dog food and seizures and found a lot of overwhelming information on the awful byproducts that are in many commercial dog foods and the health hazards they pose to dogs with allergies.
And my dog food was on the top of the list of foods with unhealthy and dangerous ingredients. 
I won't say what that food is, but I will say it is one of the top producers of dog foods.
So, off I went to our local pet store for the best grain and gluten-free dog food I could find.
My dogs are now eating better than me and I will most likely go broke feeding three giant dogs this champagne-and-caviar-dreams dog food, but if it stops the seizures and keeps my girls healthy, I will sell my plasma if that's what it takes to keep them in the good stuff.
Just call me the crazy dog lady.
So, in between seizures and skin problems, the husband I were off again.
This time, on a Carnival Cruise.
I know, right?
My husband brought along plastic bags and a plunger and if you don't know why, I am not going to explain it to you, this post is long and gross enough. Google Poop Cruise-Carnival and you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know.
I have never been on a cruise and quite honestly, I didn't think I'd like it, but some very dear clients of my husband's wanted us to join them and so there we were—
Love, exciting and new, climb aboard, we're expecting you.
Not only, thank the Heavens above, did we not have to use the plastic bags,
We had a great time.
We did some of this
The wind was blowing my billowy dress. I am not pregnant nor do I have a strange, elongated tumor running down my torso. 

And more of this
We went to the disco lounge where I danced with a man in a light-up cowboy hat which I promptly stole for dancing. And I also snagged this bit of swank for my disco ball cup collection.
Which I am starting a disco cup collection righhhht . . . now. 
And then we rented out a private oasis and it looked this. 
And with our private oasis came our own bartender, a chef and our own butler. BUTLER, ya'll!

Our oasis also came with this:
And it had its own slide going into the water, which I let every child on the beach who wanted to, slide down that thing.
I'm going to get a t-shirt made: I Survived A Carnival Cruise And I Liked It.
We came back, sun-kissed and mojito-bloated and that's when more of the horrible happened.
My Julia's duck got attacked by a possum.
Like I've said before, we live in the woods. And along with our personal menagerie of animals, we have a menagerie of wildlife that hangs out in our woods. Unfortunately, vile, ugly possums are part of that wildlife. And one of those horrid creatures got a hold of one of the ducks and left a couple of bloody gouges in the duck's side before my dogs chased him off.
Now, as I've also said before, my husband is a skilled marksman. 
But he won't shoot animals. I like this about him except when it comes to nasty, duck-assaulting possums. So I got out the pellet gun, since I had no problem blasting that little f***er.
I kept watch from the window, the day after the duck assault, my pellet gun in hand. At one point, my hubs called from work wanting to know if I wanted to go out to dinner that night.
"I can't." I said, as I peered out the window, pellet gun slung over my shoulder, "I've got to murder a possum tonight."
Words I never thought I'd say. But then again, I never thought I'd say, "Don't eat your sister's poop."
And then I had three babies.
Never say never, my friends.
I didn't get the possum, but Annie Oakley here is still on the lookout.
Five days after we returned from the cruise we did a little pre-celebrating of Tori's graduation with a party complete with a gigantic water slide. 
Fun was had by all:
We partied like rock stars next to the slide:

Down the slide:
By the pool:

In the pool. 
Little bit of wonderful trivia, the beauty in the far left corner of the jacuzzi in the red and white suit is Hailey Rose, the little girl I wrote several posts about, a few years ago, the baby who was born far too early weighing one lb, ten oz, who spent 89 days in NICU. There she is, splashing about, healthy as can be, without a single health issue from those precarious days. Yay Hailey!

The non-swimmers: (Hailey's mom is the girl in the black.) Yay Julia!

And the corn-holers:

On the boat:
Off the boat:

In the tree. My Olivia with one of her college buds. 

Talking to the Ladies, (My husband's 90-something year old uncle who always attracts an audience of females.)

Everyone joined in the fun. It was a fabulous day. 
And then four days later, this happened:
And once again, I was overcome that we were here. That my job raising this little joyous bubble of a girl was headed to a close. It is the most heart-wrenching part of this Mom thing, how the days go by and you don't notice because life gets busy with soccer and school dances, football piñatas and losing first teeth, first days of school and slumber parties, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and in the midst of it all, learning to walk, learning to talk, learning to ride a bike, learning to read, learning to drive, learning to get ready to fly away.
Fly away my beautiful, wonderful girl. You are my joyous love forever and always.
Deep breath.
So, anyway, the weekend after her graduation was filled to the brim with parties. I felt like Paris Hilton or whoever the It girl is these days. We went from party to party to party and somewhere in the middle of all those parties, we headed over to our niece, Lauren's graduation where we were privileged to hear her give the commencement speech as the valedictorian. 
That's right, bitches, Valedictorian.
And it doesn't matter that I misspelled valedictorian and spell check caught it. The only thing that counts is we have a freakin' valedictorian in our family, y'all.
Lauren's speech rocked the house with references to Winnie the Pooh, Drake and Captain Jack Sparrow. Well done, Lauren. We are so proud of you. Now go rock the world.
The day after graduation weekend, Tori and I headed up to her college for a two day parent/student orientation which was overwhelming and a little boring, (this ain't my first send your kid to college rodeo) and quite cold. I think they kept the rooms at frozen tundra level.
And then . . . 
Two days after orientation, with barely time to get our suitcases unpacked, we packed up and took a family vacation to— 
Where we proceeded to have the time of our lives for two amazing weeks. 
Stories to come.
We came home, exhausted, happy, still on another continent's time zone, only to pack up our Tori and move her into her dorm. 
Two days after returning from Ireland.
Poor girl. With our frenzied schedule over the last few months, we hadn't properly shopped for her going away.
When we moved her sister to college, we needed my Honda Pilot and my husband's truck to fit everything.
Tori had a comforter and a pillow.
We had no choice but to buy the rest of her things once we got to her college town.
Of course, by the time we got there, a slight drizzle had whipped into a monsoon.
And so we shopped the day away, scurrying from store to store in the pouring rain. 
But somehow, we got it all done.
And then . . . we left her there. At her new home.
Away from me. Away from me.
I cried the whole long ride home.
A big two days later, just time enough to once again, get the laundry done and just long enough to start getting used to our normal time zone, my husband and I packed up again and . . .
Flew to Scotland.
Yes. Yes we did.
It was a trip that came up after we had already planned our Ireland trip. It was a trip from one of the companies my husband does business with and since we really didn't want to pass up a free vacay.
Off we went.
Where we partied like rock stars.
Some of us, while in a kilt. 
Stories to come.
But while we there the other half of the horrible happened. My Julia's duck, who seemed to be getting better, passed away.
Julia was heartbroken but not as heartbroken as the other duck, her life-long companion. He seems lost without his friend. They did everything together, never leaving each other's side. These days he waddles up to our sliding glass doors and quacks this sad little quack, looking in, as if to say, "Where is my friend? Can you bring her back?"
Because ducklings hatch in spring, our local duck guy has no ducks right now.
But while we were in Scotland, too many miles away to properly comfort my grief-stricken daughter, I gave the okay on a new pet until the ducklings are back in stock. 
Francis the turtle has now joined the menagerie.
And we have officially become animal hoarders. Animal hoarders and Intestinal Hoarders.
So, to sum it all up, I know I often give excuses for my paltry internet presence and they're all usually super lame excuses like I was too busy perusing TMZ or the like. But this time I am legit.
Too legit to ever quit.
And if you thought I had stories before?
You ain't heard nothin' yet.  (Yes, I am related to a valedictorian.)
Stay tuned, my friends. 
Today's Definite Download: Phillip Phillip's, "Home." I stopped watching American Idol a few seasons ago, but I sure wish I'd watched Phillip's season. I never grow tired of this song. 
And because I have never been so glad to be home in my life. 
I'll see you soon. 


Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Holy cow, I am exhausted! Apparently my invitation to your birthday bash got lost in the mail. I forgive you.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Wow, I am exhausted! Apparently my invitation to your birthday bash got lost in the mail. I forgive you.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Ermagherd, woman, do you ever SLEEP? (Welcome back! Looks like you've had your happy-happy on big time - no wonder you haven't had time to blog. Sorry about your pets... not sorry about anything else. Quite jealous but very happy for you!)

Anonymous said...

I don't even know where to begin?! Love the wine pics. The captions are priceless. But seriously, a Carnival Cruise? You have some guts!!!!

I am so sorry about your duck and dog. I am hoping the gluten free food does the trick.

And... my girls are not going to college. I am going to spend their funds so then they can live with me forever. I don't even want to think about how you feel. Too sad.

Can't wait for more stories.

Unknown said...

I am so glad you're back. I missed your sparkle and your hilarity.

Do you want to hear my dog horror story? She had been at the trainers for two months and finally we got her back, on the 4th of july. She didn't seem well, but we left her in her kennel and went to shoot off fireworks. THEN WHEN WE CAME HOME OUR HOUSE SMELLED like DEATH and LOOKED LIKE A CRIME SCENE. She had shot blood, not poop, BLOOD all over the place. on the walls, etc. It smelled like rotting flesh. I thought she was dying.
She just had a parasite that had given her an intestinal infection. So there was a happy ending. However, I'm still battling the smell. It's in a room with hardwood and I've tried everything
And I am SO going to hang out with you one day. You're my kinda lady.

Unknown said...

I am so glad you're back. I missed your sparkle and your hilarity.

Do you want to hear my dog horror story? She had been at the trainers for two months and finally we got her back, on the 4th of july. She didn't seem well, but we left her in her kennel and went to shoot off fireworks. THEN WHEN WE CAME HOME OUR HOUSE SMELLED like DEATH and LOOKED LIKE A CRIME SCENE. She had shot blood, not poop, BLOOD all over the place. on the walls, etc. It smelled like rotting flesh. I thought she was dying.
She just had a parasite that had given her an intestinal infection. So there was a happy ending. However, I'm still battling the smell. It's in a room with hardwood and I've tried everything
And I am SO going to hang out with you one day. You're my kinda lady.

TesoriTrovati said...

WHEW! I am wiped out hearing all of your exploits. I, too, have been a bit hit or miss with the blog because I am busy living a life. Your words of your daughter growing up much to fast is starting to hit home with me. My son will be a sophmore in h.s. this fall and just got attached to a first girlfriend. More stories are sure to follow. Other than that I have spent 2+ months solid (no lie) sitting on a bleacher in a ballpark someplace in central Wisconsin. But I wouldn't change it for the world. So nice to read your voice again, Miss Joann! I envy you all the fun that you have, especially that involve trips and wine and good friends. I have often longed for all three of those. Enjoy the day. Erin

LisaPie said...

Holy Smoke! You must have some good industrial-strength luggage for all that traveling.

I am so sorry about Delilah and her health issues. I am firmly convinced that my 16 year old Husky IS a 16 year old Husky because she has eaten nothing but home-made food all her life. The source of dog food ingredients is not for the faint of heart.

And I am so sorry about the poor duck not making it through her injuries. So sad.

A word of advice about the turtle: one of my clients has a turtle that she got when she was a small child. she is now a grown woman with 2 children of her own. Those things can live forever! Kind of like parrots. But longer.

So glad to see you writing again!

Unknown said...

I'm buzzed from all the wine, exhausted and have jet lag from all your travel! You have been a busy lady!

Gigi said...

Holy cow woman! And I was just sitting here thinking I'm SO ready to go home and I've only been gone three days!

Sorry to hear about your animals. Sending hugs on the sending the second to college - as my sister-in-law informed me; sending the second isn't any easier than sending the first.

Leah said...

I am loving everything about this! I have my piggy right on my living room mantle and I think of you guys every time I look at it...that was a great night...bacon and all...and the ghost hunt....

Tracie Nall said...

I love these super long, newsy posts where I get to catch up on your life.

Miss you when you aren't around here...but very happy that you have had so much fun traveling and watching those kids grow.

karen said...

Wow. That's a lot of stuff. I still miss my kids being here, and cry a little after every visit home, as they're driving/flying away. But little chicks grow wings, and fly they should. It means you did your job well. Our five are scattered in five different states from the west to the east coast, and it keeps us busy (and wallets light) going around visiting them.

Lori said...

Wow. Wine country, Ireland, Scotland, and a cruise?? Could I have your life for one freakin minute?? Except for the seizing dog that is. I hope she stays better because it's very sad when your doggie is sick. I've missed your funny posts - you tell a story so well. Congrats to the valedictorian too!

Rebecca Grace said...

Uff da -- where to even begin?! Your Loose-Tooth-to-College tales give me the heebie-jeebies. I feel freaked out that my oldest baby will be a 7th grader this year, and it's small consolation that he still acts like a 4th grader most of the time.

I hope the food switch helps your dog. I know what you mean about the dogs eating better than the people, though. Our rotties eat that Fromm stuff and they DEFINITELY eat better than my kids, because my kids will only eat what you put in front of them if it's chicken nuggets or pizza. Or ice cream -- they will always eat ice cream.

And I cannot believe your hubby refused to take out that nasty possum! That he makes YOU try to shoot it! You should be sure to "accidentally" shoot holes in stuff on the patio, to put the fear into him, and then I'll bet he comes around.

Be well, crazy lady, and party on!

Baby Sister said...

Oh good grief. Reading this made ME tired!! Still, lots of fun to be had. I'm jealous that you went to Ireland AND Scotland. So jealous. Sorry about your duck. And your dog. I hope you stop having such awful pet luck soon.

Anonymous said...

I think you are the new IT girl. I love that PP song too. That didn't sound right.

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

Whew! Well you know my heart jumped after seeing you at Bella (which you had recommended to me several summers ago...LOOOOVE that place!). I can't wait to see your Ireland posts... I can imagine there was some action around the Cliffs of Moher, which I was tempted to rappel down on my last trip! What a great summer you are having Joann, looking forward forward to the rest of the adventures!

julie gardner said...

Okay so I read this post almost a MONTH ago (a month? really? sheesh!) but I was on my phone at the time and can't comment from it (seriously. I'm archaic) so now all this time later I'll hit the highlights:

A. Your entire family is adorable

B. I want to hot tub with you some day and not in a creepy way maybe sipping Bella wine and telling stories about Bono

C. I adore Bella winery and would have jumped up and down when I saw your pictures and found out you're an original member but I was on my phone in the orthodontists office and they frown on that behavior.

Miss you. Hope all is going well.
REALLY well.

Cecilia said...

This is gorgeous!

The Queen said...

I laughed so hard at the first part of this post, I could hardly enjoy the pictures in the rest of it.

You are one crazy blogger. Loved it. and I thought I was the only one that used the term
Party like Rock Stars

First time I used it at work after I moved here, people just looked at me like I'd lost it.

Loved reading this.

baju bola said...

I hope you stop having such awful pet luck soon.

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