Slim Fit Secrets

It is with the vision of plum fairies dancing in my head that I long to have the female equivalent of my husbands metro-sexual slim fit jean body. It’s not that he’s purely gay. He balks at the notion of being metrosexual (and inquiring minds like my mother’s want to know–

“isn’t that an insult to every straight man that has fashion sense, can pick out colors and is polite?” Um, yes, but that’s not the point. The point is that here is Rog, who slides his body into the Calvin Kline off the rack chords and I am pouring my self into a pair of slimfit jeans, that, by the way, have no right being on my body, and the end result is more like our homemade potato sausage recipe.

“Do what all models do,” my friend Donita tells me, after choking on her tongue when I give her my potato sausage comment. “Use Xpel and drink lots of water,” she says.

MHP X-PEL
Don’t you hate the word Diuretic? Doesn’t that conjure up the visual of living on the toilet? Fortunately, that wasn’t the case…


At my request, she tells me that Xpel is used to eliminate the water weight typically associated with menstruation. “But men and women models use it all the time. You think they don’t gorge the other three weeks before a shoot? Of course they do. Then they go liquids and drop the weight the week prior.”

How little did me, the mere mortal know? I couldn’t find Xtel at the store, but some generic brand. Since I had an event on the weekend, I figured-what the heck, I’ll start it on Saturday. However, I am a weak-minded woman when it comes to Mexican food and a good flan. I was not perfect. Nay, I sinned daily. (and like the non-Catholic that I am, I had no issue doing so). By the time Sunday rolled around, I’d consumed a lot more water, not that much less food, and still dropped four pounds. My outfit was great.

Liberation and slavery


Liberation is an accidental deletion of ones blogs, email and anything associated with my google credentials. Slavery is realizing that losing eight years of emails and 500+ blogs didn’t free my mind from creating stuff that, in the moment, is relevant to me. It’s like my Porridge Pot (Or Magic Porridge pot as its known in the UK), it’s overflowing even though I’d had more than enough.

Thus, my mother said I “purposefully” deleted all. Not so, I told her. I was attempting to delete a blog that I created but don’t maintain. I hate loose-ends, and it was like running around with my fly unzipped, or worse, showing some butt-crack in low-riser pants. All bad.

What really happened is that a little box says “to delete accounts using these credentials.” I’m more than slightly mortified to say I never thought Google was stupid enough to replicate Independence Day, and use the credentials (my username and password) to blow up the master ship (in this case, all accounts linked to my username and password. As an aside, the joy of single-sign-on with Google is that with two words, I can access every ad account, blog, email etcetc I control. In hindsight, that’s giving a pound of coke to an addict. Also muy malo. Thus, when I hit the delete account, the virus passed to my Borg ship and KAboom! it all went away.

I had three days of peace before my illustrious She couldn’t take it anymore. She demanded my credentials and in less time it’s taken to write a single paragraph of this blog, she had reinstated all my accounts.

“You’re my hero!” I texted her.

“I know I am,” she texted back. “Get to it.”

I did. Once I finished my porridge.

Best spiderwebs

Nothing kills my spook-mojo like cheap, inelastic fiberwebs. I spent the extra .50 cents, thinking, in my marketing mind, that it would be better than the cheaper brand (see below), I sprung for BooBatts at Lowes, and have been cursing at myself, throughout my house, ever since. How this product ever passed inspection, consumer tests or the buying manager at Lowes, let alone any retail is beyond me. It tears. It rips. It does NOT stretch. It’s the anti-stretch. It’s like glorified cotton balls packaged together and marketed as “Super Stretch Web.” False advertising claim. If I was a lawsuit oriented gal, I’d join a calss action.

Product review grade: F+. It gets the + because it’s white.

On the other hand, The CelebrateIt Halloween spider web is awesome. No link because the store where I bought it–Michaels— web site is so lame it doesn’t list it as an item. It stretches and holds together, creating the amazing sheer look. I have stretched this stuff five feet, and that’s after cutting it up a bit. LOVE IT.

Yes, it’s actually less expensive and oh, so much better. Grade: A+. The plus is because the price point is $2.49.

Jilted Brides make my Halloween

The final product–but she has windblown hair
need to put a clip in that
The mask- 4 bucks at Goodwill. Looks like Michael Jackson
met up with the joker. Looks like a jilted bride to me

Nothing like writing an entire blog, just to have it lost upon saving. The upside is the mind-popping, blood-vessel bursting anger can now be focused in to an infinitely shorter blog (past readers know I feel of the 5-paragraph-limit ages ago. Maybe this will put me back into recovery. dare to dream).

Step 1- wrap the cotton with
clear tape. Attach the
mask to ensure it fits.

The backstory. I have halloween envy. It’s all my cousin Nancy’s fault. She’s a spooky-time goddess who happens to sew better than anyone I know, and that’s saying something (ok, maybe she is on par with my aunts, but I don’t think they’ve made a 9 foot witch). Hence, the envy.

Step 2-attach the $4.95 wig,
also courtesy of Goodwill

“Go to Fabricland–” Nance starts.

“Full stop,” I interrupt, reminding her Rog sews a hemline better than I do. Nance regroups.

“OK. Right. Go to Goodwill and pick up the witches costume, a wig, some PVC tubing and you’re on your way.”

Couldn’t help myself. It
looked like a size 6, so
I put it on, feeling sort of
gross, like an interloper
on someone’s day of
happiness gone awry

Later that day,  I show up, nary a witches costume in site, but a lovely, armpit stained bridal dress with a three foot rain for the bargain basement price of $19.95. I’m in love all over again, ready to don garters and pumps.

I go home, grab Rog’s disgusting mop, some tape, spraypaint, a few hangers and I’m ready to rock. Here goes the pics. (see, I almost made the 5 paragraphs. We should all thank the buggy-save feature on blogspot).

Step 3- attach the hangers
to the clear tape.
Step 4- attach the bra and undershirt
Step 4- I had to McGyver and use a safety pin,
no bubble gum.

This is right before the paint.
Step 5- use the primer

Step 6- add the reds and the grey

Save the lawsuit- use a an author release form


Out of the blue, I was contacted by a former sports star who is writing about about the travails of bad money management, for lack of a better phrase. The story is the same: elite athlete rises to fame, makes loads of dough (American slang for money, dear Russian readers, who come to this site in droves) for a period of time and then poof. It’s gone. The mysteries of why athletes go broke tend to be the same: blown on wine, women and song (well, exotic cars and way too many babies with different wives (the most famous being 9 babies by 9 woman. whoa. that’s a lot of action), but I digress).

It’s not just America. It’s everywhere. Athletic and entertainment money managers don’t do much good if they are ignored or fired or never hired in the first place. So after a career, the athlete inevitably bemoans that reality of poor money management and repossessed cars. The stats are harsh. 78 percent of NFL players go broke within a few TWO years of retirement, and 60 percent on NBA players w/in 6 yrs. But it’s not just athletes. Entertainers follow the same trent.

When I was told of the story, the athlete also indicated he’d lined up lots athletes so speak on the record, as well as coaches and those in the entourage. His own advisor recommended she have those going on record to sign an author release form, ensuring that she does not get sued by a broke athlete or money manager for a share of the profits of the book, should she be so lucky.

Thus, it was my pleasure to contact my own editor, who used this release form for many of her own projects. These are a little hard to come by (most internet searches produce nada), so if you are going to be writing a book, interviewing folks and don’t want to share a piece of the profits (even to Grandma Nila), then use this author release form. And I must give a plug to the filefactory. It’s fast and free. Two things I appreciate.

Saying goodbye: Our beloved P-dog

Tonight at 8:03 pm, we said goodbye to our beloved family member Penelope, aka P-dog, or, as my brother always called her, ‘nelps.’ It was so fast. I went from arguing with Roger at 3:30 about whether or not to take her in, to putting her down five hours later.

Since my blog on the subject a few days ago, she stopped barking when I came home, her loud, booming hellos strong enough to be heard from the street, quite a distance off. Rog noticed it first; I thought she was asleep. It was only after we left the vets that Rog apologized.

“I’m so sorry,” he said, through agonized bursts of tears. “I knew the truth and I couldn’t face it.”

At 5 pm, I’d been dealing with four and a half hours of my youngest daughter being sick on the toilet. Between crying, agonized fits of pain and the subsequent horrid aftermath, I was ready (and willing) to take Penelope to the vet. Rog fought with me, then insisted. When he called, around 5 pm, he said the vet confirmed I’d been right for the last few weeks. Something was indeed wrong– her spleen was swollen, and that wasn’t good news. She’d come in on her day off to take a look, and would do the x-rays in the morning, along with the exploratory surgery.

When he returned, I left. I’d been crying, and wanted to be alone. Crying is best done by oneself. After two hours of driving aimlessly, I got the impression to call Jane.

“Jane, if you are going to do surgery, and it’s bad…I guess what I’m saying is…do we need to come over to say our goodbyes.”

A hesitation. “Sarah, it’s not looking good.”

In all the years I’ve been going to Dr. Jane (the vet) for one dog, two cats and a myriad of stray animals, she’s never used those words. It was always “we can do X or Y.” Then she gave me the news.

Enlarged liver. Tumors in both lungs. Enlarged kidney- actually, it had stopped functioning entirely. Her spleen was non-functioning. Her stomach, instead of being empty, was completely full of blood. In short, opening her up would do no good. On top of all that, the blood work came back and showed that the bad cells had taken over the good cells (don’t ask me to recall the medical jargon). In a matter of days, or hours even, one or more of her organs were going to stop functioning.

I tried to keep focused on the road. Rog had made me promise to drive careful, not get distracted or injure myself.

“Can we come tonight?”

“That would be best,” she said, telling me she’d wait for us at the back door.

That last picture set with Penelope: family photos
a month ago in prep for our christmas card.
She was already dying, but we didn’t know.

By 7:30, my two daughters, already in their pajamas, were giving Penelope loves from the large, blanket-covered kennel. She was slightly sedated, her eyes trying to come alive, her tail wagging- but just. She could barely lift up her head, but did so as I approached her to cradle her muscular jowels in my hands, rubbing either side of her jaws in the way she so enjoyed. The girls stroked her. When it was Rog’s turn, he took her head in both hands and murmured to her, words of appreciation for keeping his family safe, for the trips, the runs, for chasing the frogs by the pond. She was our first kid, he told her, before we had the girls. He asked that if there was a God, that he would take care of her.

He carefully, lovingly placed her head back on the blanket as she looked up at the four of us. I couldn’t help it. I went back one more time and kissed her forehead. Her tail wagged three times then stopped. Her head was on her paws, her eyes dark and tired. Rog left first, out the door and to the car. I could hear his sobs on the way out. I carried the girls.

Tomorrow morning, she’ll be sedated, then injected with a serum that will stop her vital functions. We’ve spent the last few hours recalling memories, laughing and crying. Rog being Rog, he already went online to the shelters, seeking out a new dog. He found a three month old with similar facial features and a darker coat.

“The house already seems empty,” he said. “She would want us to be protected and love another animal.” I did little more than nod my head, my throat still too choked to talk, my head hurting from hours of crying.

Fun Fall Find- Purse hangers

A special place in my heart exists for Janaye, known around my household as Nay-nay, a nickname bequeathed upon her by my daughter, who had the benefit of Nay-nay being around the house from before Porsche was in embryo. Now, Nay-nay is married and she is home for a few months, living with her family as she and her husband prepare to embark on the journey that is med school.

It is from a visit this evening that this blog was born. As a repayment for Janaye helping me out this evening so I could attend a board meeting, I took her in to my closet and started foraging. For some, clothing is sustenance, and Janaye, a fellow clothes horse like myself, was ravenous.

As I’m pulling out jacket after jacket (I think my shoulders have grown), she takes a look around.

“I’ve always loved your closet,” the twenty-two year-old says, “but what you really need is something for your purses.” My purses? Other than shelf space? I ask.

“Haven’t you seen those hanging clips?” I have no idea what she’s talking about and I say so. “It’s soo cool,” she gushes, managing to still sound intelligent. She then describes metal contraptions that resemble a shower curtain, but are meant for purses.

“You just clip them on, and then you can scroll through your purses. You have to get one!”

The adjustable rhinestone hangers

 to look at and from the description, more durable. Of course, the price at $58 and change will set you back, but after all the coinage that’s been dropped on the purses, who cares? The person who shares your closet will be ever-so grateful that you are finally getting your purses off the ground, off the shelf and hung up all nice and neat, exactly where they should be. The first thing I do is a search on purse hangers. The cheapies come up, no style. Twenty bucks will hold a forty pound purse, which isn’t bad. Still, it’s ugly. Why have an ugly item hold a beautiful purse? Next up is a musical-themed handbag holder, but this isn’t a clip. It hangs over a shelf, which is a good alternative if you don’t have the room in your closet. I’m not down with the style, but it’s half the price. On the third search result, I hit the jackpot. Rhinestone detailed purse hangers, cool

You know the other reason I like this product? These babies are portable. They are designed to open, clip on and off and take with you (apparently to avoid the nasty germs from other hangers. Talk about marketing). And at SEARS of all places. Who knew?

The tackier, yet more versatile

Last but not least, the honorable mention goes to the other portable hanger in the shape of a heart. I personally think its a bit tacky-girly, but no one will ever accuse you of mixing up your purse with theirs. Can you imagine whipping this out when you come over to my house…”No, Sarah, I don’t need to use your coat rack for my purse. I’ve got my own,” and you whip out this dandy little contraption and put in on a table, dresser, or bookshelf.

When that happens, I for one, will all stand amazed.

Dying for love – the human-to-animal connection

As I was pondering whether or not to spring for a new iphone 5 (Rog already said no. I have two more years on my existing plan, but one can dare to dream), cousin Nance’s voice rang in my ears.

“I know it’s been a hard three weeks when you don’t blog for nearly a month.”

She had to call you see, to find out. That’s the downside of blogging. Once relatives and friends realize the forum is the outlet for all things crazy in my life, phone calls become obsolete. Worse, when those very people start blogging themselves about their own lives, the actual act of communication is unecessary.

But that’s not what’s on my mind. I’m thinking about my dog and cancer and the notion of “cancer transference.” Ever heard of that? It’s the notion that the animal takes (absorbs) the illness for the owner. The vets in my life swear by this phenomena. “It’s not an American philosophy,” says one very well traveled vet, who is called all over the world to speak at events on mainstream topics. “But we see it all the time.”

An owner gets a tumor. The dog develops a tumor, and while the dogs tumor grows, the owners tumor diminishes and then leaves. The dogs has grown, and dies. This actually happened to a close friend of mine. She’s a native American woman, and has seen it her whole life.

“They are there in spirit for us,” she says, invoking the world view through the eyes of one who sees all living creatures as connected, intertwined spirits. Trees grow to provide shelter (our homes), warmth (wood), nurishment (the ground) and protection (from wind). Animals are created to give us food, transportation (horses/camels etc are still used around the world). Her rhetorical question to me is: if an animal is loved and loves in return, would they not give their very life for us, so that we may live, just as we give our kidney and sometimes, our lives protecting another?

Not to make this about me (but that does tend to happen in a personal blog), my dog has gotten cancer over the years as I have. Then, when mine left, (about 9 years ago), my dog started developing these fast-growing mass-cells. Each one gnarly, red spots that spread so deep and wide that they must be excised as soon as possible. She’s had 5. I’ve had none. Periodically, the tissue on either side of my armpits hurt, and then…she gets a mass cell.

Now, today, my dog is not doing well. In the last two weeks, her stomach has expanded. She’s lost her appetite. She’s listless. Her zeal for life is gone. Her eyes convey an emptyness that breaks my heart. For the first time in six years, she urinated on the carpet downstairs. It was dark yellow, evidence of her disinterest in even getting up from the couch to drink water.

To say I’m worried is stupid. I’m grieved that somehow I could be different, could express my emotions in such a way that didn’t cause me to internalize it all, ball up my own cells and poof, create a mass cell that my dog is taking from me. (To admit the truth, my swami homeopath told my sister years ago that my dogs was going to die for me. That sucked). My native american friend Susan (not her Indian name. I have to check if I can share that with the world), tells me it is natures way, and this is her role in life. As nice as that sounds, its like I’m giving her a death sentence and can’t stop it. We are walking the plank together, but I can to remain on deck while she hurls herself off.

This week, I have to bite the bullet and take her in the above referenced vet. We’ve got to know. Until then, I’m trying to push and pull out my anxiety and my bad energy, replacing it with good. Yet I suspect its futile. Her labored groaning is what lulls me to sleep, sadly comforted by the fact she’s loving me to the end, and that love will most likely kill her.

Uncertainty and marital strife

Its Saturday, time I suppose for a light-hearted post on why Kanye and Kim shouldn’t get married (better yet, why reporters think this is news), or perhaps the uplifting tidbit I read on the bank president who rewarded the 13 yr old girl who found, and returned, $4,000 dollars to a recent immigrant who’d lost it in the parking lot.

Instead, I’m stuck on the stress caused by uncertainty and what this does to my marriage. It didn’t occur to me until my right hand seized up like an engine suddenly choking from a gallon of sugar poured in the gas tank (former sister in law to brother) that I realized the hits uncertainty take on a marriage. Here’s my personal list.

Anticipation of change.
Since we learned that a certain event might happen (I can’t reveal this, one of the few things I’m legally obligated not to share), we have been dealing with a lot of uncertainty. I’m not a shrink, but uncertainty that life will change, a move may happen, along with a change of schools, social structure and church and babysitters and shopping, can cause a bit of stress in a relationship.

New purchases
At the same time, the same event that can produce change can also provide the opportunity to have fun. Purchasing a recreational vehicle, a new car or other non essential items that to this point have been the stuff of dreams, not reality.  Can this uncertainty really cause marital strife? Yes. It has caused more fights between me and Rog than the schools our children will attend.

Helping others

Our big “fatty-daddy” as Porsche calls him, will soon
go back in to his underground lair

As I was  emotionally vomiting black ink all over the page, it became evident that Rog and I had/have, a lot of pent up excitement over the prospect of helping others on a bigger scale that what we are able to do today. Providing for those in need, be it financial or doing good deeds or service, is great in theory, then one must execute. Rog and I started a row over how we’d find the time (e.g. what we were willing to give up) consider the recipients (what made one person/group more worthy than another, our criteria being completely subjective) etc. Here again, this intention results/resulted in all sorts of stressful conversations. By the end of another circular argument, the goods feelings have all but evaporated in the tactical mechanics of doing said deed. Bummer.

Emotional removal
Perhaps the biggest collateral damage of uncertainty is that Rog goes in to his world, and even when he’s with me, I can be talking and he’s looking right through me. Don’t get me wrong; the man has the mind of an elephant, and can tell me word for word what I’ve just said. But he’s completely devoid of emotion and the connection is gone. With every passing week, the seeping cancer rooted in uncertainty has infected him and our relationship.

By the time I couldn’t write, my palm locked up like a vice-grip, I knew the madness had to end. Put the lid on uncertainty. I’m going to pretend said event is not going to happen. We are going to live life. Forget the potential purchases, the possible move. Enjoy the space of my house, the surroundings, the frogs in the pond today, because in the coming weeks, they will go into hibernation and next year, we may not be around to see them. I was reminded of Rev. Leroy Allison’s quote: “We spend too much time living in the “what if” and need to learn to live in the “what is.”

When Rog came home from his early morning meeting today, I gave him a hug, and suggested we just enjoy being. He was caught off guard (I suspect by both hug and comment) but got it. We have it pretty good. Time to enjoy it. And that’s one thing that is for certain.


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