Monday, July 29, 2013

She a Gold Digger

Sometimes there is a misperception of what it's like to be a doctor's wife.  First of all, I'm not a trophy wife.  I don't have a maid (anymore) and I don't eat caviar (except when I'm on Kanye's expensive yacht....which I haven't been. Yet.)  No, if I wanted all those things I'd be married to a brain surgeon or a plastic surgeon.  Some kind of surgeon.  Not a pediatrician.  As a pediatrician's wife, what I get is the recurrent strep throat my husband brings home for me and the frequent questions of other mothers like.... "If my child has a stubbed toe and a fever of 99.1, should I keep them home from school?" Dude, I didn't go to medical school, but the answer on the street is "Hell, no, send that child to school!"  Which usually is the right answer.  At least in my house.

Sometimes when people meet me at a party and they know I pole dance and have adopted kids and I don't say much because I have social anxiety.  Well,  from time to time, people make judgements.  Like I'm the second wife my husband picked up at the strip club and I don't talk because I don't have anything to say.  And if I do say something, it's bound to be served up extremely dry with a straight face, which baffles humorless people. They just don't get me or my awkwardness. Which is a fantastic weeding out process at a party.  But, sometimes, the perception remains, that I'm a gold digger.

First of all, I don't even like gold.  I prefer the silver looking nickel plated jewelry that American Eagle serves up, but I'll only buy it on sale.  Or at a thrift store or garage sale.  Unless you want to get all snooty and call it a yard sale.  

Second of all, this is the only gold digging I do....   

... it's really dry here in Colorado and those pokey nuggets hurt like hell in there.

So don't judge me!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I'm Bi

I've harbored a secret my whole life.  I know when people look at me they make assumptions about who I am.  But they can't see the inner turmoil churning inside me.  I'm not who I appear to be.  Only my best friends know, but we don't talk about it. I always thought there was too much of a stigma to out myself publicly.   Until now.  You see, I'm bi.  Bi-national.  It's true.  I have dual citizenship in  America and Canada.

My parents defected from their igloo in Canada to live the American dream of becoming loud and obnoxious while overspending living the American dream in debt in the late-sixties.  Of course, that would never happen, since we lived right on the other side of the border near Niagara Falls, we had the best of both worlds.

Back in the 70's and 80's crossing the bridge back and forth between the countries didn't require a passport.  So we travelled there frequently.  We could hit the sales at Zellers on the way to grandma's house where we'd buy raisin pie. Unless that was Dominion. No, I didn't like it either.  And I was always perplexed why in Canada people don't refrigerate their butter.  Seriously, how disgusting is that?  But it does make for very easy spreading.  When I was in college we would cross the border because the drinking age in Canada was only 19.  Score.  But, then the bars closed at like midnight and the only thing still open was the cheesy wax museum on the strip that only the Japanese tourists went to.

I was embarrassed to have friends over to my house growing up, because my dad listened to Canadian news radio 24/7.  He still does.  And the only thing worse than American news radio is Canadian news radio where they spend most of their time talking about American politics. Although, back in the day, they chattered on and on, endlessly about Pierre Trudeau. To this day,  the mere mention of that name  lulls me to sleep.  And if you're American you're probably wondering who the hell I'm talking about.  He's neither a porn actor nor a Tony Robbins type motivational speaker.  And he's dead.

My mom dispensed with Canadian colloquialisms early.  She didn't say "eh?" and she thought she could fly under the radar and pass herself off as American. Until she uttered the word "sorry" which she always pronounced "sore-y" just like Michael J. Fox.  A dead giveaway that she was an impostor.  Plus, she was way too soft-spoken and polite to fit into American society.  It was so embarrassing.  She still pulled the car over for funeral processions to pass for god's sake.  I mean whoever's in the hearse has no rush to get where they're going, right?  This is America, we rush everywhere and we don't even pull over for fire trucks!  Common courtesy isn't all that common here.

Then there's me.  Completely tarnished by my upbringing.  I was forced to listen to hours upon hours of  Royal Canadian Air Farce on the radio while eating raisin pie people!  You can't even imagine my pain. And the  constant questioning of where I truly belong.    I don't feel American.  But yet, I don't feel Canadian either.  Even though I'm way, way too polite for my own good.  And I think it can all be summed up this way.  If I'm buying coffee do I choose the American Dunkin' Donuts or the Canadian Tim Horton's?  I'm so conflicted.   Who am I?  Oh the humanity!

My name is Marie.  And I'm bi.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Barbie Syndrome

I don't care what anyone says, no female has immunity to Barbie Syndrome. Even if you've never played with a barbie.  You still covet her long, completely hairless tanned plastic legs,  the way her hair is always perfectly ready for that instagram photo or facebook tag and you know you'd do anything not to have your period and live forever in a 22 year old's body who wouldn't even be able to stand in real life on those tiny little geisha feet of hers.

I knew my two daughters were susceptible.  My youngest daughter had already been teased by her brothers about her baby fat.  Though it's standard sibling squabble material, it's the type that can initiate an eating disorder.  We've talked to all of them about how detrimental this behavior is, hoping that there isn't lasting damage, but knowing that this kind of teasing sticks and follows you around your whole life.  Changing how you think and reducing your self worth to a distorted view of what you see in the mirror.

A few weeks ago, my oldest daughter went to a party with a group of other 12 year old girls.  Everyone seemed to have a good time playing the typical party games that girls do at this age.  Until a week later when I met one of the other moms of another girl at the party.  And she told me one of the other girls at the party was berated for being fat.  I'd known the bully for a few years and even had her over at my house a few times.  I was in shock.  She was always polite with a sweet southern charm.

I found out that night that's what she does in front of parents.  And that she's different behind closed doors, she's ugly on the inside.  When I talked to my daughter about it, she confirmed it was all true.  My daughter had just come to realize that this "friend" wasn't the person she thought she was. But she hadn't shared any of this with me. Unfortunately, since she's starting middle school next month, this is just the beginning of a lifetime of dealing with other girls who want to tear you down in an attempt to feel better about themselves.

Then, we saw that Carl's Junior commercial on tv, she saw Jenny McCarthy very sexily eating a salad and declared, "She looks like a barbie!", with disdain.  Thank god.  She doesn't have full blown Barbie Syndrome.  At least not yet.

A few days later, I went on a date with my husband.  When going out, I put some effort into trying to look good.  So I winged my black eyeliner, put on my orange beaded dangling earrings I love, let my hair down, wore a sexy halter top to show off my shoulders and some heels with my dark wash jeans that temporarily make me 5'10".  It was a lovely evening with balmy breezes on the patio eating great food and listening to live local music, when a family arrived with their daughter.  Who stared at me and then pulled out her camera and started taking pictures of me.  About 25 of them. At first, I pretended not to notice because I didn't know what else to do.

When our eyes met, she told me I was very pretty.  And even though I was gracious, or tried to be gracious, my heart sank.  Because she was African American.  And I've traveled enough to know that sometimes the concept of "pretty" is pretty synonymous with being Caucasian.  Like it often is in Sub-Saharan Africa.  And in Hawaii, where I first heard the term "double eyelid" or that many Asian women  want plastic surgery to have more of a Caucasian looking eye. Or that anyone would long for my pale skin, because all I wanted was olive skin.   I felt guilty and horrible, like I was perpetuating a lie.  Barbie Syndrome.

Finally, I got my opportunity.  A photo opportunity with that little girl, Jatavia.  To tell her and show her how beautiful she is.  Don't seek beauty outside yourself, let the beauty within you out.

And having a little barbie maiming session once in a while can be therapeutic and help ward off 
Barbie Syndrome...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

So Campy

Campy: adj. being so extreme that it has an amusing and perversely sophisticated appeal.
(As defined by Urban Dictionary)

There's no way around it, packing up to go camping is a huge, gigantic, colossal pain in the ass.  Once you get all the tents, sleeping bags,  clothes for all seasons, bug spray, sunscreen, fishing poles and canoe.  Then your husband will decide to bring some bikes.  Whaaaaaaattttt? And that's not even the most crucial part.  Everyone knows that the most crucial and painful  part of camping is.... food.  

In the past I'd always gone quick, convenient and traditional on our camp food.  I'd bring hot dogs, baked beans in a can (don't forget the can opener), muffins for breakfast and disposable plates.  But this time would be different.  We were gonna get so, so campy....

Let's face it, the meal preparation out in the woods battling the mosquitoes and your own stench is no picnic anyway.  Wait, unless it actually is.  Anyway, we had 4 strong healthy kids who could do the post picnic dishes with our new environmentally friendly plastic plates and dish soap that was super concentrated and also super natural and biodegradable guaranteed not to harm the plentiful chipmunks who were stealing and squirreling away our food.  Cute my ass.  Cunning they were!  (In yoda speak.)

Really tomatoey taco meat
The first night I made taco meat.  I took the frozen brick of beef and popped it straight into the cooler for even more chilling action.  I made the seasoning ahead of time and popped that in the pantry items.  Then added a can of black beans, corn and the yellow tomatoes that would have gone bad in my fridge had I left them home.  The kids could either use chips to scoop this up or put it on lettuce and make a taco salad.  Oh, and I brought cheese and avocados to embellish.  

Kids vote:  Thumbs up!


 1 T chili powder
    1/4 t garlic powder
     1/4 t onion powder
                        1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
       1/4 t dried oregano
1/2 t paprika
              1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 t sea salt
      1 t black pepper

Bacon.....need I say more?
We even brought bacon for breakfast.  And the whole campground knew it.  Even the carnivorous chipmunks.

Campground's vote: Oh crap, why didn't we pack bacon?

Teriyaki packets cooked over an open flame
I brought the chicken frozen.  Cooked the brown rice at home.  Schlepped an entire pineapple and 3 peppers and a bottle of teriyaki sauce.  Then I layered them in heavy duty foil.

Ok, so maybe it tasted better than it looked in the bowl.
Kid's vote:  Thumbs up!  
Our accidental tradition.
 Many years ago when we were camping we were left with bananas tortillas and peanut butter.  And it became a thing.  And then we added some nutella to it.  It's our lunch staple and it's what we packed when we climbed Mt. Ouray.  Camping isn't camping without a banana tortilla.  Whole wheat of course.

Kid's Vote:  Thumbs way up!

Shrimp and Spinach Quinoa Penne
Ok, so 3 out of my 4 kids don't like shrimp. Unless it's shrimp cocktail with extra horseradish, which seems weird, right?  Anyway, I had it in the freezer frozen, so I packed it for extra ice action.  Plus, Craig and I really like shrimp in a garlic sauce.  And it goes great with a box of red Zinfandel.  So there.

Kid's Vote:  Thumbs up if you pick the shrimp out and add tons of parm cheese!  (Which allowed me extra shrimp to share with my shrimp loving friends.)
Sky's fresh caught fish
Sky caught a fish in the lake and perused the camp ground mooching just the right seasonings.  And ate the entire thing.  So obviously, it was delicious.

Sky's vote:  Thumb's up!

Breakfast untortilla

The last morning I cooked up eggs and hashbrowns, used salsa leftover from happy hour and added the remaining avocado.  The chipmunks stole the blueberries out on the table.

Chipmunk's vote:  Thumbs up!

And I know you're wondering about the kids and those dishes.  Of course they didn't!  I packed it, cooked it and Craig helped me wash the dishes.

Parent's vote:  Thumbs down!  Way down!

Plus, I'm not sure if using all that propane to heat the water with our supposedly non-toxic camp suds was really better for the environment or not.  Not to mention all the gas used to get us and all our food to the campsite....

Monday, July 15, 2013


We were ALMOST ready for 4 days of camping.

ALMOST everything fit in or on our car.

River was ALMOST invisible in his Russian camo camping wear.

Lisa and Lori's cameras were so huge they were ALMOST phallic.

We ALMOST blighted the campground with our hammock city.

Our friends camper ALMOST blew up on the way there.

We ALMOST couldn't have a campfire (then the fire ban was lifted).

So I cooked some ALMOST gourmetish food over an open flame.

I ALMOST fell asleep before...

the lake wars began and the boys ALMOST won, 
but the girls claimed victory.

Then we kicked the kids out of the boats for a flotilla happy hour
where Craig ALMOST dropped his wine in the lake.

Lisa and Kris ALMOST got two minutes alone.

Before they were joined by the ALMOST pantsless Birgit, Lori and Kirsten.

When we were ALMOST attacked by a double fisting beer
walrus.  Unless that was Judy and Ken.

I was so afraid, I ALMOST drained the wine box by myself. 

Hiking Mt. Ouray ALMOST sounded like a good idea.

Craig ALMOST had a spiritual epiphany peeing off of it.

We ALMOST summitted the ALMOST fourteener.  
(Some of us did. Including 4 dogs.)

We were ALMOST packed up before the torrential downpour hit.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Tale of Two Boobies

Although I consistently make fun of my lack o' boobage, the truth is I'm quite happy with my small pubescent starter set.  They're less Barbie and far more Skipper, Barbie's flat chested younger sister.  By the way, does anyone else remember the Skipper doll with the boobs that grew when you twisted her arm? Anyhow,  back to the matter at hand, this is about me and how happy I am that I can play golf with a swing uninterrupted by the twins.  Not that I play golf.  But, I could if I wanted to.  I'm glad that I don't need to wear two jog bras at the same time to run comfortably.  Not that I run either.  Anyway, I knew I had to write about my boobs when I had two incidents with them in just the last two weeks. 

 (You may notice there is a theme of two in this post....)

The first occurred on a Friday night at happy hour at our pool.  I wore a t-shirt I bought from a thrift store last year.  "Keep it Real:  Silicone Free",  it says.  I had some misgivings about it, but much too late after the chain of event started.  So as the sun went down and it started to cool down, I changed out of my bathing suit and back into that fateful t-shirt.
Me looking like a dork right after I scored this t-shirt 

When I rejoined my group of friends, two women commented that they loved my shirt.  So, I explained how I got it at a thrift store and bought because I don't have boobs that anyone would ever accuse me of being fake.  Which is precisely what I find so freakin' hilarious about wearing it.

However, right next to those women, embroiled in her own conversation, was another dear friend of mine who has breast implants.  This was that whole "oh crap" misgiving feeling I had earlier when I changed into the only clothes I brought with me to the pool.  Her family has a long history of breast cancer and in a preemptive, pre-Angelina Jolie mastectomy, she had them removed.  I felt like a total heel.  Worse than a heel, the gooey gum stuck to that heel stretching from the shoe to the sidewalk, getting ever thinner.

Maybe she didn't notice my shirt. That's what I told myself. Later, my husband disagreed and told me he thought I should address it with her directly.  But that was the next morning, after the fact. After a lot of contemplation, I decided not to.  I thought bringing it up out of the blue and making it a "thing" might be even worse.  So I decided to not mention anything unless it came up again in casual conversation or unless I wrote a blog post about it.  Whichever came first.  Of course I never actually planned on writing a blog post about this.

Until...yesterday.  When there was another issue involving my boobs.

Again, I was at the pool.  My friend Lori and I were looking at pictures of my friend Lynn's European vacation on her i-pad when Ember came to get me to show me her latest and greatest trick in the pool. So, I followed her down to the edge of the shallow end to watch.  It was there that the plastic clasp on my bathing suit top snapped in half and I stood standing in front of everyone completely topless.   Did I say completely? Totally completely topless!  Including some teenage boys who are friends with my kids.  And the two male lifeguards on guard duty.  And every freakin' other person who was at the pool that day.  You know how when something tragic occurs, like a car accident, and time is suddenly pliable and you have no concept of it anymore.  So, I don't know how long I was standing there proving to the entire pool that.... yes, indeed my boobs really are real.  Really!  Just in case anyone wondered.  Which they didn't.

Broken clasp far left

Of course this is my penance for insensitively wearing that t-shirt the week before.  And also why I now can't make direct eye contact with  some of my sons' friends.


Monday, July 8, 2013


Over the three years of blogging, I've been given several blogging awards. And I privately, quietly declined them. For reasons I don't want to burden you with. But, it's not as though I wasn't appreciative of the thoughtful people who gave them to me. So I always felt douchey declining them and I was conflicted and burdened with guilt, as I often am about things I think may hurt someones feelings.

So, last week when I got another award. And knew I couldn't accept it, but instead of quietly dismissing it. I decided to decline it but answer the questions embedded in the award and link back to the award giver. This is what I came up with after a couple days of contemplating whether or not this would be more or less douchey. By the way you can vote in the comments section.

"Yes", it's more douchey to decline the award and answer the questions and link back.

Or "No", it's more douchey to decline the award and not answer the questions or link back.

Here are the questions Cookie asked me:

1. What is your favorite body part, and why?

That's always been my shoulders. They're strong but really feminine at the same time. I can carry kids on them. Tons of heavy Whole Foods shopping bags. Or push start a car. And while I hate wearing shorts, I love wearing tank tops (I have an extensive collection) to show them off.  Usually paired with Levis and some cheap flip flops or Dr. Scholls. If you'd asked my husband, he would completely disagree and say my ass. But you didn't ask him.

2. What is your favorite quote, and why?

I am part of all that I have met- Tennyson

Because I truly feel transformed by travel. And I carry all the places I've been around with me in my head and heart and no one can take that away from me.

3. What sounds do you love?

This is tough because there are SO many! I loved the sound of the rain on the tin roof at the farm we stayed at in Costa Rica. When Clyde lies down and gives a long comfortable happy sigh. The warped wooden farm screen door we have that thwacks when is slams shut. My kids when I overhear them talking to my friends and they sound so grown up and mature. Laughing full on belly laughs. Meandering mountain streams.  The familiar voices of my family and friends. Thunder. I love thunder.  Good shoes walking on cobblestone streets. I'm sure I've missed so many more...

And a queef now and again makes me laugh my ass off.

4. If you could spend a day with one person of your choosing, who would it be and why?

Unequivocally my mom. She passed away before I became a mom. I'd like her to know I got my due. And ask her a million and one questions starting with how she survived raising six kids, especially the youngest, me.

5. If you could stay a particular age forever, what would that age be?

I would have to say the age I am right now, 43. I've never been more confident or more physically fit. Although I can't see a damn thing.  I have a feeling 44 might even be better and I'm not even an optimist.

6. What is your favorite movie?

I'm not a movie buff. In fact, I can rarely stay awake to see the end of a movie ever. I usually have to get it recapped for me the next morning. Although, I love a really a good comedy like Dodgeball or Bridesmaids. Oh, if you haven't seen Fun with Dick and Jane, it's hil-a-rious!  I hate horror movies but I hate chick flicks even more. I will never watch The Notebook or Twighlight. Or the Twighlight Notebook Under the Bridges of Madison County.  I don't give a crap who's in it.

7. If you had an hour of free time, what would you fill it with?

With or without my kids? Fantasy or non-fantasy? In my fantasy life it would be riding elephants in Bali or Thailand with my family. In reality, it would be pole dancing, cooking, writing, walking the dogs, hanging with my friends and reading a good book all while my kids whine in the background. Basically exactly what I do now but without the cleaning. Which I don't do now. So never mind.

8. Chocolate or vanilla?

Definitely vanilla.  Real vanilla though, not immitation vanilla. Unless it's dark chocolate with sea salt. Or dark chocolate with chili.  Or better yet, chips and salsa. If that's a choice. I'm much more into savory flavors than sweet ones.

9. Your favorite song?

That's a no brainer....Rock the Casbah. I love thought provoking music and I abhor country and rap. I'm really heavy into The Heavy right now.  And I love the Arctic Monkeys.  Oh, I can't forget CAKE!  I want to start a CAKE tribute band called Muffin Top.

10. If you could visit anywhere, where would it be?

Everywhere! But, Thailand tops the long list right now. I would eat Thai food everyday if I could with sriracha sauce. And I'm dying to see the Buddhist temples there and ride an elephant. I may have mentioned that before. Don't tell PETA.

A special thanks to Cookie who attempted to give me this award!  Don't forget to check out Cookie Cooks here.  She blogs about food.  What could be better? 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sounds of Summer

The rocking chair slowly rolling forward and back on our creaky wooden porch

Screen door nosed open by Clyde and swinging back with a clap

A crack of thunder and Bonnie scampers back to the safety of Jade's bed

Whirling ceiling fans with a chorus of crickets

Not to be outdone by the chirps of the much too early morning birds

Flip flopping thwacking ferrying a cooler crowded with sloshing ice

Towel slapping and unencumbered giggles

Umbrellas snapping open pulled taut and smooth

Squeezing almost empty sunscreen tubes farting

Accompanied by burping tupperware

Popsicle slurping and sizzling steaks

Me endlessly reminding "Close the top of the cooler"

Water balloon bursts and sloshes of instant puddles

The welcoming burst and savory mist opening a can of beer 

Shrieks of oohs and aahhs, the lyrics accompanying booming late-night fireworks

And of course the sweet sound of the wind whipping through the outfit grandma crocheted our lawn flamingo, Flojo,  for July.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Wearing Many Hats

I've had raging acne since the age of 11.  I'd tried everything to get it under control.  Well, almost.  Until I was in my late 30's with more disposable income, and finally tried an elixir of birth control pills and Retin-A.  Which finally after more than 20 years, of not having a zit free face, did the trick.  The thing about retinoids is they make you sensitive to the sun.  So, I load up on sun screen layers thick, sit in the shade whenever possible and I wear hats. I have one for every occasion.

Me with no make up and no flattering instagram filter,
making me look a bit Octomom-ish
Check out my huge furrowed brow.  I would cover it up with bangs, if I hadn't tried that in the 80's and 90's and can confirm I look completely stupid with thin, straggly, curly bangs.  And you're crazy if you think I'm getting botox to erase the lines I hate. Cause I hate botox more.

I always thought I looked horrible in hats...

She's a man, baby!
This is the first hat I ever fell in love with.  I found it in the men's section of Marshalls.  It said Obey, so I did and bought it immediately.

Looking Suzanne Sommers, where's my thigh master?
This is the second hat I fell in love with because of its maximum forehead coverage.  Although I always feel very 70's nostalgic in it.  Like eating a frozen tv dinner, petting my pet rock and wearing my earth shoes while watching Three's Company on roller skates.

Sammy Davis meets Sammy Hagar
This is my third favorite.  Also a fantastic brow minimizer.  I feel all card shark in it like I should take up cigar smoking.  And drinking whiskey in Las Vegas.  But, old classy 50's Vegas.  Unless it's more Blossom.

Bad Mojo....she's bad.  Really bad.
I didn't know I had an enormous head until I needed to buy a LARGE helmet for roller derby.  And that painted on voodoo doll?  I think it only hexed me and not anyone else on the track.

Do rag on a stick
Then there's the do rag I wore underneath my hexing helmet like underwear to prevent itching and chaffing.  It didn't make my tiny frame look any more intimidating.  Nor did the tutu and fishnets.

My dream hair, no blowdryer required
This was me going to the roller derby prom a month after I shaved my head for St. Baldrick's Day.  I'm wearing my dream hair wig.  Please note the thick straight hair and great bangage.  Also, note it's itchy as hell or I would wear that thing every day.

The English Patience
Ah, the turban.  Requiring lots of patience to wrap it and only minimal brow coverage, that's why I'm wearing huge bug glasses, to minimize the gap.

Grease monkey in Levi's 
My favorite camping hat used to cover my greasy unwashed hair while providing shade for my greasy unwashed face.  Let's not even get into how funky my pits are.

She wore a raspberry beret...
This was me on Halloween in Morocco where there aren't costume shops.  So I went as the chick from the Prince song Raspberry Beret, which I thought was hilarious.  But,  I had to explain my costume to every person I encountered.  So, it stopped being funny quick.  Then I just said I was Sgt. Pepper.

The hat my neighbor Carol crocheted.  I think I look like a natural blond in it.  But, I should never sing opera.  Or anything else for that matter.

New Edition (and I don't mean the band)
This is my newest sunhat.  You had me at orange.  With a smirk.

So, if you see me out in about, I'm probably looking goofy, wearing one of my many hats.  Unless you're unlucky enough to be blinded by the reflection off of my huge shiny forehead.


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