If you wanna feel better about your family, just read about ours...

Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, 1 grandson, 3 granddaughters, 3 dogs, and a whole lot of love.

Family Story Pic

Family Story Pic


Friday, March 31, 2017


Sometimes an activity gets planned and I think, Oh, this will be a blog, but then everything's going along so smoothly, and I think, well, this might not be entertaining after all. But then, outta nowhere, it happens. Something huge. Often tragic. And almost always involving Ron. At my expense.

Two weeks ago, we went zip lining at Mega Caverns in Louisville with a group of friends, and as it so happened, it was over the weekend that marked the anniversary of our first blind date 17 years ago. We call it Shon Day. (Our names. Shari + Ron. Combined. Please don't make me explain everything to you.)

Anyhoo, 4 fun couples zip lining through caves in Kentucky. How could this not get ridiculous, right? Don't get me wrong, we had a total blast, but nothing crazy-blog-worthy, although considering we're talking dangling from a wire hundreds of feet in the air with our lives literally in the hands of 2 teenaged employees responsible for clipping us safely to the lines and then stopping us from careening into the cave walls at each end, I should probably be more grateful. But the writer in me had hopes for some excitement to report. Granted, one of us got car sick on the way down, and some loser chick line-jumped her into the bathroom stall at a gas station, but it didn't escalate to a fight or anything, so you know it wasn't me. I don't choose many battles with strangers, but line jumping me to pee would definitely be one of them.

Later, BFF Lissa and I decided to sneak a selfie during the probably-really-important instructional lecture on how to put our harnesses on...and then we needed help putting our harnesses on. But still. I needed more.

Things did get stupid at the halfway point when we had to cross what was basically a swinging rope bridge with our partner. Ron forgot he's the one afraid of heights and started jumping around in the middle of the bridge to mess with me and ended up traumatizing us both in the process. Had that gone any more wrong, I wouldn't be around to write it anyway. And when one of our trusted teenaged guides pretended to slip off the edge of the platform, I stopped looking for blog material and snapped into survival mode.

The final ride consisted of side-by-side lines where we were required to climb onto a small wooden platform across from our partner and race them to the bottom. One guide stayed at the top to get us hooked up. The other guide waited at the bottom to catch one of us. The husbands. She caught the husbands. The wives were responsible for spotting and grabbing a single rope hanging at the end of our line while everyone gathered at the bottom who'd gone before you screams "CATCH THE ROPE!" as you fly by, just in case you're feeling rebellious and deciding that not catching the rope would be the ultimate finger to the man. And assuming you do actually catch the rope, then you have to hold on for dear life to avoid sliding back over the abyss until the guide is finished making sure your husband is totally safe. How 'bout we just put all the forks in the spoon slot while we're at it.

I'm not a feminist. I do not claim to be able to do all that men can do. So give them the damn rope to grab because I prefer the 90lb teenaged girl safely catching me at the bottom, thanks anyway.

We'd planned on doing their ropes course afterward, but when we stood looking at a Chuckie Cheese version of a ropes course and our group of 8 large adults were scheduled to go behind 2 birthday parties of 7 year olds, we gave our non-refundable wrist bands away and spared ourselves a shred of dignity. Obviously, disgracing ourselves on an amateur ropes course designed for children could've very well ended up being the blog, but not worth it.

So we left, nothing really to report, except a fun relatively smooth adventure with friends as we headed to the hotel...with our cake.

Despite Ron going to the added effort of trying to have the Walmart bakery write 'Happy Shon Day'...which after 4 failed attempts later, she still got it wrong, and it ended up saying, 'Happy Birthday Shon Day'...the cake really had nothing to do with our anniversary or even the adventure with friends. We just take a cake to every hotel. And then we split it down the middle and eat it with forks straight off the little cardboard saucer till it's gone, as seen in this picture from Hilton Head. We do it every time. It's like our thang. The only difference this time was that we'd share it with our friends...and cut it into individual pieces and eat it from plates like civilized human beings, because, you know, witnesses. And since I don't allow myself sweets at home, our hotel cake is a big deal. Like, huge. Don't screw with that.

So we arrived at the hotel. Ron carried our luggage and I carried the cake. I stepped into the elevator uneventfully, because I'm 45 and this ain't my first rodeo. Ron stepped one foot across the threshold and WHAM. He got smashed by the elevator door and thrown up against the side. Okay. I was there. I saw the whole thing. Ron doesn't move fast, but that door was comin' in hot, and it's been my experience that elevator doors closed a little less violently than that, but apparently, Kentucky Drury Inn's think their elevator users have had it far too easy for far too long with, like, having time to get both feet inside. Time to start cracking the whip.

Later that evening, Ron ran up to our room to get the cake. Then he waited for the elevator to bring it back down. See where this is going yet? Now, having been just recently rammed by that very elevator, one would think that'd be fresh on his mind, and maybe, oh, I don't know, NOT balance the cake on one hand like a waiter or at the very least, pick up the pace when it came time to climb inside. But no. And WHAM went the door into his arm and SLAM went the cake onto the floor.

Man buys wife cake.
Man takes wife to hotel with cake.
Man destroys cake when he gets crushed by the hotel elevator. Twice.
*Cue music*...Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme...

The good  news: It didn't say 'Happy Birthday Shon Day' on it anymore. Funny how that minor
mishap pissed me off just 24 hours previously.
The bad news: It didn't say anything on it anymore, because the icing was thrown off the top of the cake and squished down the side.
In more bad news, and this will probably surprise you: I don't have a great track record with my emotions when it comes to food crisis and my responses should never be witnessed, much less videoed. (ie; the Mrs.Grass's Soup Incident of 2016...and now the Hotel Cake Catastrophe of 2017.)

After the meltdown lasting roughly 4 minutes, I pried off the lid and verge-of-tearsed the pile of icing across the cake in what ended up looking like a mix of frothy poop laced with blood. A few people actually accepted a piece, certainly not because it looked good, or even to be polite, but in an attempt to get Ron's head off the chopping block. Then we sat there looking at the mess on our plates until Andy broke the silence with a line from Clark Griswold in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation..."If this tastes half as good as it looks, we're all in for a real treat."

And a blog was born. See? As promised. Huge, tragic, involving Ron, and at my expense. Voila.
Everyone needs a group of hilarious friends to make memories with, who make you laugh till you cry, willing to share your nasty elevator floor cake, and witness your meltdowns but love you anyway. If you don't have some, get some.

It needs to be said that Ron redeemed himself this past weekend at a Drury Inn we stayed at in Ohio. His elevator entrances and exits were clean and well executed and the cake never touched the floor...of course he was forbidden to carry it, so there's that.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Roast Ghost

I've written about our dogs before. Not exactly warm fuzzy stories, but then again, 'warm and fuzzy' doesn't exactly describe anything about our family. You might remember the infamous dog fight/missing eye story featuring our dog, Summer, in Fright Night, and who could forget the notorious poison control/vomiting inducing trauma with all of our dogs in Dog Days. (Sadly, Tia was hit and killed by a semi in front of our house later that year.)

We've since added Bam Bam to the mix. His full name used to be Bam Bam Brown Bear, after the Alaskan Bush People, but Caymen changed it to Bamberly James because she doesn't share my borderline obsessive infatuation with the Alaskan Bush People. He's a mix of Chinese Crusted Powder Puff and Frat Boy Asshole, so I guess his new name suits him. A few months ago, we called him '30-Turds' for a week when he went completely insane one night and pooped a landmine of individual piles of dung all over our rec room. Bam's loads of fun.

But a story you may not remember from years ago was tacked onto the end of  Piece, Bye Peace, which referenced our dog Quincy and her nasty habit of sneaking pieces of dead animal carcasses into our house. I wouldn't bring it up again, except it's a detail that explains a part of what happened here on Monday. And trust me when I say, that's the only thing explainable about what happened here on Monday.

That's the day I have both grandbabies. That being said, on Mondays, there's a baby gate blocking the top of our stairs. I honestly thought the worst thing that happened this past Monday was Summer and Bam Bam suddenly losing their freakin' minds and digging up the carpet on the bottom stair. Because, seriously, what else could they do in one day?

Don't ever ask that. Because late that afternoon, I found Quincy, sitting on the top step, just on the other side of the baby gate, holding a giant piece of dark brown something in her mouth. Oh lawd, not today. Nobody else was home, my grandson was playing downstairs and I'd just laid our granddaughter down for her nap, yet none of that stopped me from screaming, because I know a scream-worthy situation when I see one.

I jumped the gate, opened the door to the garage, and began yelling, "Get out! Get out! Get out!" So she dropped her treasure on the top step and ran out the door. So then I started yelling, "Pick it up!! Pick it up!! Pick it up!!" which is obviously a command we need to work on because she stood in the garage with a look that said, I don't know what you want from me. But Summer knew, because she bolted to the top of the stairs and grabbed it, which caused Quincy to run back inside to defend her goods.

*Insert dog fight and more screaming*
Sassy really knows how to entertain babies.

The whatever it was began shredding apart before my eyes until I finally got them off of it and back outside. Accepting the fact that my overactive gag reflex was about to get a thorough workout, I slowly moved toward the mess on the stairs, and then the smell hit me...beef? I bent down to see a perfectly seasoned freshly cooked roast ripped into large chunks all over our stairs and my mouth started watering. (Hey, better than gagging.)

The obvious question. Where in the crap did Quincy get a roast?
It boiled down to 2 choices, because we only have 2 neighbors. One next door and one across the street. Nobody's gonna throw away a whole roast, and seeing as Quincy knows how to nudge a screen door open, she'd obviously just stolen somebody's dinner.

So I packed all the roast pieces in a Walmart bag and hid it in the outside trash can under all the dirty diapers, as you do. Then I waited guiltily inside for the angry text, call, and or knock on the door that was surely gonna come. I mean, meat was stolen. I wouldn't let that slide.

When Tuesday morning rolled around and I hadn't heard from anyone, I assumed somebody must not have had their heart set on roast and moved on with their lives. Then Tuesday afternoon, a knock on the door.

I opened it to find a man standing beside a large white van with the dogs barking at his feet.

He said, "Are these your dogs?"

I said, "Yes."

Please don't say roast. Please don't say roast...

He said, "I almost hit them with my van."
I said, "Why?"

Please don't say roast. Please don't say roast...

He said, "Because they were in the road."

Huge sigh, thank you, Lord.

As I was talking to him, the neighbor came hurrying from her house across the road.
She said, "Is this about your dogs?"

I said, "Yes."

Here it comes. Roast, roast, roast, roast...

She said, "They've been crossing the street and going way back in the fields over there."

Sigh of relief, I can't live like this.

I thanked them for watching out for our dogs while carefully avoiding blurting out the word roast, and closed the door having just dodged 2 bullets.

Then I went to Zumba and found out that bullets travel in 3's.

As I was getting out of my van, my next door neighbor was arriving for class and approached me in the parking lot and began catching me up on what's been going on with her, when she suddenly said, "Oh my gosh, and THEN on Monday, I cooked a big dinner and we never even got to eat it."

You know that special effect they do in movies where the person listening, like, blacks out inside their head, and the person talking starts to sound all muffled in the background. Turns out, that's really a thing.

When I finally came to, I asked, "What'd you cook...roast?" because that seemed like a more casual follow-up question than, did my dog steal your dinner.

She paused and said, "Grilled chicken."

How have I not had a heart attack yet?

So the mystery of the roast lives on.

Of course I'm not happy that our dog stole someone's dinner, but I'm relieved it wasn't any of our neighbor's...and let's be honest, if she's gonna drag a dead animal into the house, it's a refreshing change to have it already prepped and cooked.