It is my home, my neighborhood, and my history. It is what I am and where I came from. Embarrassing? Yes Boring? Never

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Will Love Her Forever

Did you ever have a friend that is better at it than you? I mean, a better friend to you than you are to them? I have many. But one in particular has been my friend since the beginning of time. She has seen me through the darkest of times and never wavered once in her love for me. She held my hand when I gave birth to my son and stood up for me every time I married. She is stronger that steel and solid as a diamond. She has always been the person I called when my heart was broke, I was broke, or when I thought I would complete brake. I have never once felt I was worthy. In fact, I have often felt embarrassed that I could not express how much I valued or loved her back. Her friendship and devotion are debts I can never repay, not by any stretch. I am not an easy person to go through life with; I am constantly in a state of chaos and torment, a roller coaster and a fun house all in one. I can be a drain on a person emotionally, I know it. I have left many good people in my wake of disaster and watched them swim desperately for shore, any shore. There are few constants in my life – in fact she may be the only one now.

And here it is her birthday. I cannot think of what to get her. There is not one material thing that is special nor grand enough. I do not know what to do for her. Even the cake a day for one month would never be enough. How can I ever begin to repay by a simple token? She has everything I would ever be able to give – my heart and my soul. She knows me better than anyone and her faith endures.

She may never know how much I love and respect her, because I cannot show it enough nor big enough.

I love you Laura, forever.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Was Just Trying to Ruin the Day

Not 10 minutes after I posted my last post. Someone knocked at my door, the dogs flip the f out and start barking like we are being attacked. I get to the door, screaming "shut up" at the top of my lungs (okay, I really need to be on one of those dog behavior shows, because they are not right) and it is my neighbor looking for Fat Cat. Fat Cat leaps from a dead sleep, and starts screaming "shut the f^%&^% up" at the dogs, and runs to the door. The neighbor has come to take a look at Angel's car, because the window wipers are not working right and of course we are like 20 minutes out of the warranty. Fat Cat pulls a shirt on, yells at me to put coffee on (note, I do not drink it, i make it horrible, and i get instantly irritated when I am told to make it as if it is somehow a bash against my gender) he then realizes one of his hearing aids has gone missing and starts flipping blankets around and screaming at me that one of my mf-ing dogs has eaten his hearing aid and he is out $6000.00 because my MF-ing dogs ate his hearing aid. So I put down the arsenic I was about to put into his coffee and go running in the other room, and see him standing in the middle of it waving blankets and pillows around wildly. All I can think is that if the hearing aid was in them, it has now been flipped into my Christmas tree or into the mound of wrapping paper and boxes that are still piled up in the corner and will never be found. And his antics have the dogs barking more, and he is still cussing and screaming and flaying about. I ask him what he has checked and he claims he has checked it all, and of course, it is not to be found because the dogs ate it. (seems he must have a fear of this actually happening, because they are always to blame when one cannot be found) I start going through the blankets (slowly, and carefully, hoping that the fibers are like Velcro and have held the little thing) while he grabs the trash can by his chair (i put it there so he will not have to get up and throw the wrappers of his endless ice cream treats away, well not exactly, I put it there so maybe he will hit it instead of just piling them up on the floor where the dogs will actually drag them around the house.) He is completely disgusted and is positive the MFers have eaten it and he was talking about having their stomach cut open and removing it, if the stomach acids have not eaten it. I take the trash can from him and fish through the paper plates, the wrappers, the cigarette butts, and the ashes - where low and behold I find it, covered in ashes. Yuk. I handed it to him, and he said "is my coffee ready yet?"
I had this image of him filleted and put through a coffee press but he bolted from the door before I could get the knife sharpened. He ran out and with friend started to work on the wipers, running in for coffee and the phone every so often. Shouting orders and directions on what he needs from the auto parts store. The flurry of his actions and the chaos, not helping me function well. He bolted back in telling me something else that I had to do for him, and I winced
Then he announces 'why are you being like this? I can not deal with this, I barely can talk to you. Are you trying to ruin our day together?'

I just walked away.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Impending Doom

I worked until 2 on Xmas eve and it went wonderfully smooth, went to my mother in laws for Xmas Eve and it was great. Xmas was a good time by all, no disappointment among the kids, everyone who could be here was here. Fat Cat was extremely happy and there was no war with his brother or me. I had great gifts and manage to NOT spin out of control over any tiny detail. My son with me to the candlelight service at church and all felt right in the world.

This is not a good sign. It was too perfect. Obviously I'm going to pay for this with some sort of huge trauma in the next year. Something bad has to equal out this peaceful picture post card Christmas.

I am almost afraid to leave the house.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cookie Fest 2008

And today we made:

Nut Horns


Creme wafers

lemon squares

Ricotta Cheese Cookies

And the new one, Reese cup tarts

Tonight I will make the chocolate mice, and then tomorrow bag and tag. Almost done

Cookie Nazi

She has me slaving. But she has done a lot this year already. One day of baking and this is the list so far:
peanut butter fudge
Kisses (a peanut butter cookie with a chocolate Kiss on top!)
Chocolate chip (with milk and dark chocolate, walnuts and pecans)
Chocolate covered peanuts
Chocolate covered Toffiee
Chocolate Crisp (rice crispies in chocolate)
Brownie Balls (if you are good, maybe I will give you his easy recipe that is marvelous)
Brownie Ball Snow Men
Pecan Tarts
Iced Cut outs
Russian Tea Cakes
Baklava (this is all me, no one likes to make this)

And I am on my way for day two!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Not That Kind of Massage

So Fat Cat and I are making another Xmas Gift hunt, and I told him to go to the Spa


The Spa, you know

No and not only do I not know where it is - I am not sure what IT is! Paying people to touch you, I thought, was illegal. What are we getting there?

A gift for your mother.

This is just wrong.

Friday, December 12, 2008

And Just When I Thought It was Safe

My Christmas Crap is in the Garage and I am going out and bringing stuff in one box at a time. Now my garage was recently used to paint a car, so it has strong paint smell when I open the door. Last night I started to notice that it has also has a slight haze in it. Tonight as I brought more boxes, I noticed it again, and I start wondering if maybe I am inhaling something I shouldn’t be. Fat Cat always wears a mask when painting. When I go back into the house I wanted to tell him about it but he was on the phone with his brother, and I figured I could get one more box if I just hold my breath in the garage. So back out I go and take a nice breath of my 24 degree air and step back into the garage. There was the light fog again. I grab a heavy box, adjust my glasses…….And realize the thick air wipes off my glasses! I am a giant bumbling idiot.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Huge pissing match between Fat Cat and Tank over getting the Christmas stuff down out out of the attic. Granted, we are talking about one million boxes full of glass ware and treasures, but nonetheless it has to come down. Now I know I could drag my fat butt up there and do it myself, but just like the other jobs, once I do it the job will become mine. If I can inpart one bit of wisdom that was handed to me as a young woman, it is that there are some jobs that you just have to let them do in their own good time, because they will willingly let you do it, no matter how much you complain. If you do not want to do it without complaint then do not start. I do not mow the yard, I do not take out the trash (sometimes if I get up and no one has done it, I have to but only because i pay for the service whether the trash was there or not), I do not climb into the attic and get stuff down.

But it is finally down and I am slowly unpacking all my Christmas Crap as it is lovingly called. We are rolling now!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Saturday night a wonderful surprise --- a party for ME! They did great! Fat Cat and one of my friends got me a good one (of course, Fat Cat got too excited and we ended up there an hour early, so surprise to all the guests as I arrived there before them!) But it was fun! Felt odd because usually I am doing all the work and getting everything together, so it was a little awkward, but great, just great! Angel was amazing, the weekend was mainly her and I. I adore her, I realize just how lucky am I to have a daughter so wonderful. She is going to be married and will be on her own soon, our future may never have a whole weekend like this again. And these friends of mine. Lately I have forgotten how lucky I am. My faith in all of them has been renewed and I am all in love with them again. I am all sappy with Christmas spirit and joy. Then I received a card in the mail, with photos of my parents and siblings from a time before I was born. I look at the pictures and remember how my birthdays were. My son looked at them and saw me in my mother's face. And I realized that this year, I have been Scrooged. The past the present and the future were all touched this weekend, and I am a better person because of it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008




Already have received some great notes. I cannot believe you remembered, my sunshine state cousin!!

(Note - I have an extremely bad attitude. Fat Cat has an ear infection and has taken to his chair in agony. He has meds and probably is really in pain but I have no comfort for him. I get today and Mother's day, THAT IS IT!!! ALL YEAR - TWO DAYS. He is stealing my thunder! My birthday is going to suck because he is going to suck all the life out of it. Whining crying baby!!! - I know - it is wrong, I should be giving him some sympathy and concern, but I cannot help myself. His illness has me pissed off. God, I am a bitch. Now he is ruining my birthday by making me hate my own reactions. I am going to blame it on PMS not my own selfishness. Stupid bastard getting sick on my birthday!! HOW DARE HE!!!!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


“This is not my sub!”

Chewing, chewing, chewing

“You are eating MY sub!”

“No I’m Not!”

“You have guacamole all over your face!”

“Yuck I hate guacamole”

“You just ate ½ of my sandwich, and it was covered in it”

“I thought it tasted funny.”

“But yet you keep eating it?”

“I thought it was my sandwich.”

"It was GREEN"

"Well, i though there was lettuce."

“You got a CHEESE STEAK - I got a chicken bacon and Guacamole!”

“I would not order it again, it was not really good.”

(sorry this was not about the Mayor, I am still working on that one!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Where Are My Keys?????

Coach's most favorite thing is shopping and spending my son's money on stuff - any stuff. We were supposed to use her big SUV for Black Friday, but she could not find the keys. There was over reacting of course, screaming at my Soldier, waking up Tank, and possibly the dead with the sobbing. She could not find her keys, she could not find them anywhere. We spent an hour at 4:30 in the morning trying to find them. She would not just let me drive because she has this fear that if they are truly lost, she is going to have to spend $$$ to get them remade (there is only one set, WTF?). She calls Angel who is out with Sashquatch pleasantly shopping, to scream at her for help (I was apparently not very helpful, because I figured they were here somewhere, just under some of the clutter, but I am not in a panic so I suck) And my mother in law, who also lives for the mall, is calling the house (the phone is now waking up anyone still sleeping, except for FAT CAT who has his hearing aids out) every five minutes wanting to know what we are doing and giving us suggestions on where to look. (I know some where in there she is really saying, 'if the house was not such a mess, you could find them' but I try not to hear it) She is one step away from throwing herself onto the floor and giving up on life entirely because she is going to miss all the sales. I begin moving the cars all around in the drive way so I can get my car out and just go shopping, because I do not want to miss the sales I want. And it is freaking cold, and I am getting steamed over this whole idea and my day is on the verge of ruin, and it is not even six a.m. Coach is now destroying my house, by taking all their stuff and dumping it everywhere and the dogs are going crazy with me going in and out and Coach crying. (Fat Cat is still sleeping) When her cell begins ringing, and it is Angel who is now screaming because she has the keys, in her purse, mistaken for her own, and there is a huge sigh of relief, and all is now right in the world. My mother in law is on her way down to pick us up - because she has a four door and we need to be able to bail out of the car quickly now, because the sun is starting to come up and all the really good deals will be gone with the darkness. Black Friday was a huge success, with the economy fully boosted with all my purchases. I did not ask what my country can do for me, I am only interested in helping my country and its retailers.

Next post - Evening with the Mayor

Monday, December 1, 2008


OK, I know what you all are thinking - 'what the hell, where is the crazy tales of the antics of the Barrell? Was it all calm and uneventful?' Well , of course not, and here are some of the escapades -

1. Pretty good shape Turkey Day morning, with Angel's help and a hand from Coach, 21 were on schedule for dinner, when my mother in law calls and announces two more for dinner ( her husband son and grandson ), no problem, a little shifting and we set two more places. I was just so relieved they were not bringing their dog, i could care less how many humans they bring. (note- every year my mother in law brings her own Turkey and stuffing, every year mine gets ate first, and she has her husband take theirs to their house right after dinner- this year, Fat Cat insisted I take 1/2 of hers and cut it up early -they seem to have a quiet battle over this annually)

2. Soldier walks past the stove and asks, Where are the mashed potatoes?, ahh, they would still be in the refrigerator, 15 pounds peeled and cubed earlier, but not put on the stove. Almost a fiasco, saved by Soldier. (Yes, I had a mild freak out, but not a complete melt down, dinner only delayed slightly)

3. My Brother in Law brings cooked chilled shrimp for the appetizer. They were slightly frozen still and of course this gives Fat Cat reason to complain about how inept his brother is. Soldier jumps on the band wagon and proclaims we will have to have shrimp for dessert. Fortunately this did not continue like the infamous ham incident at Easter.

4. My mother in law tells Fat Cat 'she never thought she would see the day he would be so fat.' He bit his tongue but this put him on edge with her. Then she told us that she wanted her son to buy her a new fridge for Christmas, 'not the broke son with 6 kids.' Fat Cat began looking for alcohol.

5. Number One came late, as he had to go to his wife's family for dinner first, he then regaled us with a tale of how he fell down his stairs and can no longer open his jaw, and has a lot of back pain. Translation - 'I am not working again'. We tried not to discuss the translation.

6. One of the Crack babies undressed a Barbie and was touching it inappropriately, Angel managed to get it away from him. This particular crack baby has some serious issues, and we are really starting to fear him.

7. The Sheik was with Butterfly, I think my ham may have offended him. Then I - out of some compulsive habit - hugged him when they went to leave - which I think may have freaked him out a little. Then Soldier - who is trying hard not to have a complete melt down over his sister dating the Sheik - told me the guy is missing a finger tip. As he told me 'in country, we arrest guys with missing partial digits, it ain't good.'

8. My mother in law invites Coach to go shopping with us on our annual black Friday shopping experience. What was she thinking, Coach is not one to take shopping! My mother in law was on a roll I tell you! She also saw that Zowie had brought pumpkin rolls, so she put hers in the fridge and announced not to eat hers she was taking it home.

9. We played Shanghai until late at night, laughing and joking. I won. (This I am lucky with, anything else, not so much)

10. After three hours of sleep, I get up at 4:30 and get ready for the really big day

(tomorrow's post will include, 'where are my keys?', an evening with the mayor, and the engagement.)