Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hey Readers!

I now have a facebook page for Kat Lady and the Tramp! Come like it and when I reach 100 there will be a giveaway! So come by and click! Just click here to go straight to the page!

Love and Laughter,
-Kat Lady

Monday, July 25, 2011

This is why I am excited. (insert underwhelmed applause)

Ok, so it's not like it's a Caddy or a Jaguar, but for years now I have wanted a Jeep. Rugged, solid, it's a vehicle for people like Das Bear and I.  And on August 26, we will take possession of a 1989 2 door 4x4 Jeep Cherokee Sport. I know, those of you who aren't Jeepies are like, "What the heck? This is supposed to be something"

What you don't understand is our history with cars. I want something that can survive a collision. And here's why.

My first car was a 90 Geo Metro. Red. I drove that thing like burning zombies were chasing me. Sure, it shook like a leaf when I hit anything over 70, (and I did) but she held together and got me places. Mom kept it at home when I went to college, and 2 weeks later the tranny dropped out while she was driving. I might have actually mourned for that

I didn't have another car until I got married. We were strictly walkers for the first couple years of marriage, then my parents gave us an 88 Olds Ciera that we named Agnes. She wasn't pretty, and was suited more for blue hairs than newlyweds, but she ran and was easy to fix. Until she met a parked tow truck while she was going 45. Das Bear was lucky to survive, and Agnes sadly had to go to the parking lot in the sky.

Following Agnes, we had my fathers Chevy Half-ton for about a month during the worst ice storm this county had seen in years. We named him Angus in honor of the dearly departed Agnes.  Then my mom surprised us with the hooptiest, most terrifyingly nerdy car I have ever owned. Maggie was a red (again) Mercury station wagon. She looked ok from the outside, but not long after buying her Das Bear was driving and the brakes failed. He swerved to avoid a van full of children (really, I mean how cliche, right?) and ended up running into a HOUSE! Maggie sort of survived, we did some major reconstruction, but her running days were in her past. Another one for the heavenly parking lot.

We decided to buy from a dealership, as the last car was a bit-shall we say-deficient. We went north 20 miles to a town in another county and met Bebe at a used car dealership. She was a 1998 Ford Contour. She had a few quirks too, but ultimately met her fate at a stop light when someone ran a red light. Again, I mourned her, as I was attached.

We were still paying off the loan, so my parents decided that they would loan us their 1996 Ford Taurus. She held up well until about a month ago. Suddenly she stopped at a major intersection and refused to start again. I had to run 6 miles in the dark in flip flops to deliver the stuff Das Bear needed to get her home. Yeah, if you know me, you know that this was a miracle on par with the resurrection of Jesus. She made it home and promptly decided that Mike's work is as far as she cares to go and back. So we've been walking a lot again. Her head gasket is fried.

Then Biker Babe threw out a solution. (not knowing my thing for Jeeps) She said that she and her husband had a Jeep that ran well and they would sell it to us for a reasonable price. Today we test drove and set up the nitty gritty.  She gets her new tag on August 19, and we make our first payment the 26th. Then we can start our Jeep adventures.

So without further ado, here she is.
As a red Cherokee, we're tossing about Pocahontas for her name.
I promise we're not trying to be racist with the name, it just fits.

To Jeepies and Cobwebs on the Driving Record (Me, at least...)

Love and Laughter,
-Kat Lady

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Egg Salad! Or How to speak Spousanese.

The other night as Das Bear and I were hanging out with Biker Babe, there came a point in the conversation where I needed to communicate my needs to him without actually coming out and saying them. Using a made up communication system involving hand gestures and meaningful looks I managed to explain my issue without a single spoken word. Suddenly, he began excitedly gesturing back. I understood everything. "Exactly!" I said, and Biker Babe looked at me like I'd gone loony. "What do you mean?," Biker Babe queried?

Das Bear looked at her and in a few sentences conveyed the entire gesture conversation, word for word, gesture for gesture, look for look.  I realized suddenly that somewhere, somehow, we had managed to create our own silent language, and frequently communicated in it.  I bet it looks strange when we do it in public without thinking. Just imagine me in the ice cream aisle rapidly gesturing and making funny faces down the aisle toward Das Bear. Then imagine him nodding, walking to the chip aisle, selecting the exact brand and item I specified and returning. Creepy, right?

We also have a set of code words we use when we need to communicate something quickly and ungestured. I'll share a smattering of them with you, but not all of them, or our secret language wouldn't be a secret anymore.

Egg Salad- Let's bounce. Asap.

George- Wow, that dude/lady/kid/animal is dumb.

Boober- (actually this is short for Boo Bear- my nickname for him.) I use this when I want something...said with a slightly southern drawl.

Yes? Yes. No? (really?) No. K- Our short hand negotiations.

Douchecanoe (Thanks Bloggess!)- This is pointless.

Squee!!!!- Please Oh PLEASE can I have it? It's so FLUFFFFYY! (yep, that's a direct movie reference.)

Meoooowwww- Yes, I actually meow like a cat sometimes. It's my signal that I need some attention.

(Chewbacca sound)- HE wants some attention. I know, weird. But it's really cute, I swear!

Anyway, that's a sampling of our weirdo communication/language. What strange ways do you communicate with your significant other/friends?

To making noises and waving your hands.

Love and Laughter,
-Kat Lady

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Shirley Story-the origin of my disease...

So it's been a while since I shared a Shirley Story. I've surpassed 4000 pageviews and now you shall be rewarded. Today I'm gonna open up on my mother and I's weird relationship. We're both messed up in very similar and different ways.

I've got to give her credit, because she did an excellent job training me to live bipolar. The earliest memory I have of this phenomenon is when I was 7 years old and starting my first year of 4H. (13 years total) The night before the county fair I was woken up at 2 am to start baking. My poor little 7 year old body couldn't stay awake, so my mother actually tied me to the one cleared chair next to the 3 foot square of cleared dining room table and forced me to stay awake and mix up the ingredients. I must have mixed up close to 3 dozen more cookies than necessary because they were not perfect enough. This was ridiculous, because my mother had to literally shove crap out of the way to even get to the oven.

I was raised on a double standard. Do what I tell you, but do it better than I expect...don't do what I do. Every night I went to bed in a room stuffed with random things that didn't fit anywhere else. And then my brother started woodworking. His final 4H project was this GINORMOUS oak desk, and it was meant to go in his room. He needed pictures of it in there for his 4H book, so Mom began "the great cleanup of 1996." And for all of four months (a record) there was a desk sized clean area in his room. I was jealous.  He had a space to DO something in. Mom never did that for me. I don't think she could mentally handle the thought of me wanting space. I cried for her to help me clean my room, and we tried. Every time I would pick something up, she would start crying about how that couldn't be thrown away, it was special. The thing is, when Mom starts to contemplate something that is complicated or over emotional, she falls apart. I once caught her crying because she lost her glasses somewhere in the massively over crowded and dirty living room. I found them by the bathroom sink.  Sometimes I wonder if maybe she has some weird mental tick that helps her completely ignore the giant issues right in front of her and makes her nag about the little things. Maybe she just can't handle facing adversity.

It's funny really, we all walk on eggshells around her, and we all resent her in some way or the other. Maybe she's better off not knowing our real feelings, and just knowing we love her anyway.

There was this one time when she was (as always) over-committed to a billion things, and hadn't taken the time to check the date.  Turns out my birthday had passed 3 or 4 days before, and she had forgotten it. (Dad told me this story...) She immediately dropped everything, ran out, got a cake, invited all the neighbors and made them promise to fake that it was June 2, not June 6. I was only 3, but she knew that someday I would hear the story and be disappointed. I'm not...I think it's funny, you know, the thought of 20 adults pretending it's actually my birthday, and glancing uncomfortably at each other wondering if she's always this scattered. (We had that birthday at the park.)

I only remember one time that anyone actually came to my house to celebrate anything. I'm pretty sure I was 10ish, and mom had hired a housekeeper to help her get the house under control (lasted 2 weeks) because she wanted to have a party for me there. I was completely surprised to see people in my house that didn't live there. To this day I still struggle with strangers in my house, even though I have nothing to hide. I never had anyone over to spend the night, but went to many friends houses instead. The older I got, the less I was at home.  I think it was less complicated for my mom to have me away, so she could concentrate on herself. (I know that sounds harsh, but it's true.)

I spend a lot of time now trying to analyze why I am the way I am, and there is really no other reason but the way I was raised. I'm glad though, it made me tough and smart. I know Shirley has a serious mental illness, and so do I. She'll probably never get help or take it seriously, but I do. I think I was put where I was so that I could share my story and help others who are in mentally unhealthy situations.  Just call me Dr. Kat

There is a purpose for everything, and there is a reason my mother exists. She is crazy, self centered, hypochondriac and a bit slow, but if she loves you she loves you with all her heart. I am pretty sure my life would be dead boring if she wasn't in it. So in some weird way, she's a blessing to me...if that makes sense.

To complicated mothers and fixing yourself,

Love and Laughter,
-Kat Lady

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Growl. Hiss. Grumble. WHINNNNNE. It HURTS!

Yeah, so as usual the kiddos are doing great...they took a nap at 7 pm and slept til 9, then went to bed at 11. I think we are doing a great job at wearing them out during the day. I can't even begin to think about party planning for the weekend until tomorrow. (I know, talk about LAST MINUTE!)

My body has picked a new and creative way to revolt. As of last Sunday I have been noticing my knee swelling and being unwilling to bend and/or support me. I now limp like Quasimodo. I refuse to accept defeat and go to the doctor- mainly because I can't afford it- and I'm sticking to the RICE method. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate) as best as I can. It's not easy when you are the primary caretaker for two really active kiddos for 10 days. On a side note, Bug is really a doll. Everyone who has met him said that he is the most polite and gracious kid they have seen in a long time. I agree. They should clone him. He's that awesome.

The Fairy is great too, but man can she get annoying. She's at that age when everything is "WHY?" My patience isn't where it needs to be right now because of my knee pain, and I'll admit, I have actually sent her out to play a few times to spare my sanity.  She is an awesome kiddo too, and a bundle of energy. Bug really helps keep her in line though.

I've spent a bit of time recently playing with my photoshop and editing my step-niece's wedding pics. It was fun to get back into doing what I love to do. I also got to make a few birthday cards and even took the time to doodle a bit. Anything to keep my mind off of the pain.

I'm already getting a little sad about the kiddos leaving Sunday. They really have kept me occupied and given me a lot of joy this last week or so. I don't know when I get to see them again. It may be next month, or it may be next year. Therefore I'm trying to ignore my pain for the most part and focus on the kiddos. I want them to have such a good time that they remember it when they are my age.  I still remember visiting my Aunt C when I was 12 and how they went above and beyond to make my time there fun.

The cats have been complete spazballs this week too. They just don't understand how to relate to the midgets. Icarus is the worst. He'll rub up on them, purr, and allow exactly one pat on the head, hiss, bat at them, and run away. It's actually pretty comical. It's like he forgot for a second that he doesn't like them. Moonie is very hot and cold. By that I mean he is fond of Bug, but terrified of the Fairy. He's also punishing us for disrupting his routine. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get tired of washing cat pee out of the dirty clothes.  Hazel is absolutely in love with the midgets and would rather be with them than us. I'm expecting a depression from her when the kiddos leave. On a side note, we may have number four in our household soon. Bela (formerly thought to be Bella) is the stray cat that has adopted our porch. (I swear I only fed him twice...) The plan is to get him neutered and introduce him to the cat herd. He's already familiar with all of them via their sniffing and rubbing at the screen door. Hazel loves to hold hands through the hole in the screen. He's a sweet cream colored cat and I'm sure he'd fit in well.

Tomorrow Das Bear is off, so it's clean up day at the Den.  I'm grateful to have 4 extra hands to make the job faster. Oh, and Hurricane Shirley says hi to y'all...she has no idea I share her exploits via this blog, but she knows I'm a writer. Don't worry, there are MANY more stories of her to come.

I guess that's all for tonight.

To ACLs and Spazball Cats,

Love and Laughter,
-Kat Lady

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sparkler Burns, Ringing Ears, and other memorable moments.

We had a blast. For the 2nd year I joined my friend and her family for the 4th of July. This year, however, I had a couple extras to keep an eye on. Bug decided he wanted to help the Master Sergeant shoot off the big stuff, and boy did he get a surprise. Bug is 12, and naturally has decided this makes him invincible. Or at least that's how he felt until last night...

All was okey dokey until they got to the last few mortars. Suddenly...BOOOOOOOOOMMM and the mortar exploded right near the ground.  Luckily, the Master Sergeant is a big guy and immediately grabbed Bug and shielded him. All Bug got was a scratch and burn on his arm and a lot of ringing in his ears.  He has now decided that he no longer likes fireworks. I think he'll get over it before next year.

In related news I have managed to well and truly screw up my right knee. Not sure how, but it doesn't really hold weight at this point and is swelled up like crazy. Needless to say, I decided to torture my swollen, burnt and miserable body and go for a midnight swim at my friend's pool. Ok, so I may bring my burns and sprains upon myself, but why stop living when you are already in pain...what's a bit more, right?

Later last evening we brought out the sparklers. All of the older kids managed to burn the crap out of their fingers. Being that they were already hot, tired, and DONE, this brought on the biggest, most annoying whiny fit I have ever seen! When we got home, Das Bear was home from work and helped wrangle the kiddos into their beds.

Looks like tonight will be another long one, as we'll have Sparkle along with the Fairy and Bug. Das Bear works 11-7, and then it's another day. Wish me luck.

To Flash Burns and Cranky Kids,

Love and Laughter,
-Kat Lady

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Lady Lobster and the ever so steamy day.

Things that are red- tomatoes, cherries, Rudolph's nose, ME. Wowzer did I acquire a humdinger of a sunburn today! I can't say I didn't enjoy acquiring the sunburn, as I got it swimming at my hometown pool today (for FREE!) and spent some fun time with Owl and the kiddos.

Speaking of the kiddos, they are doing great and we haven't had any major issues, just some funny misunderstandings.  One happened when the Fairy saw some smallish orange squares wrapped up like presents. What are these, Auntie? (They were maxi pads...) I told her they were expensive and shouldn't be played with.  Another happened when we tried to explain the term "gay" to the Fairy. Apparently (awesomely) the 6 year old has no concept of any difference in love from gay or straights.

We had some fun at Walmart, when we stopped to get groceries after swimming. We walked in and the first thing we saw was free face painting via Kelloggs. There were a TON of samples in the store, and it was almost an outing in itself. (I now have 200 flavor-ice freezing in the fridge freezer.) I was amazed at how well the kiddos handled the over-stimulation of the colors, sounds, and shiny stuff all around. They didn't have any problems understanding that they weren't to beg for things, and didn't cause any issues in the store so I got them each a treat.

I'll tell you, though, I'm burnt to a crisp, and from the sounds of it I will be until they go home next weekend. I wouldn't have it any other way, these kids are the bomb.

To Sunburns and Surprise Outings,

Love and Laughter,
-Kat Lady

Nacho Mama- the Adventure Begins- Day 1

Well, it's happened. I exercised, by my own full consent, and I didn't die. Much.  (The things we do for kiddos we love.) Today the four (KL, DB, Bug and the Fairy) walked down to play in the water at the splash park. We also got to listen to the (at times AWFUL) talent show that was taking place a 100 yards away.  Trust me, if I disliked hearing certain pop songs on the radio before, now I may just hurl when I hear the first chords.

But these kids...the Niece and Nephew...are actually pretty spectacular. (Lets see how I feel in 10 days...) They don't beg for things, they help out, and they even respect others. I don't know how they learned it on their home ranch of 18000 (yes, thousand) acres, but they are pretty down to earth and humble kids.  I couldn't believe it when Bug (the boy) took the time to move his sister after she fell asleep so that she would get more A/C.

The Fairy is a complete firecracker. She's a ball of energy that sometimes manages to crash land for 40 winks or so.  She walked 3 and a half miles with us today and did not complain once, even when she got a blister! That's pretty amazing for a 6 year old. Bug is 12 (as of a couple days ago) and has been a mature little man for a while now.

I did learn today, however, that these kids are blessedly naive about sex.  When confronted with my friend's (the Stripper) 5 inch patent leather stripper heels, The Fairy said only this: "those are fancy! Does she wear them to church? I bet everybody's not nice to stare." It took all I had not to tell her that those shoes were meant to make people (men) stare. Thank God I didn't tell her those were the Stripper's work shoes!

So yeah, the kiddos and I are figuring out this whole summer visit thing. Tomorrow we go to my hometown for their celebration, then Sunday it's off to hang out with friends at Mike's hotel. Looking forward to the week, just gotta keep em busy til the 10th. Cross your fingers peeps!

To learning mommy skills and explaining strippers to 6 year olds.

Love and Laughter,
-Kat Lady