Tag: Volvo

Dear Deb, Debbie, and Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for stopping by to check on me. Currently, I am very busy taking a blogging break. And as new-agey-clichéd as this may sound, I am enjoying living in the present moment this summer (except for the tooth extraction/bone graft) (see below). I’ve been spending quality time with my family and friends, reading, going to movies, relaxing at the beach, swimming, and plan to get some more use from our Disneyland Passports. My youngest daughter, Laura, and I are working our way through the Everybody Loves Raymond series (we’re on Season 5), and after watching all five seasons of Weeds, Tom and I are now on Season 1 of Arrested Development. So this blogging break is of a yet-to-be determined length. It could last all summer. And fall. Or until Tuesday. I just don’t know.

Meanwhile, here’s a top-ten list of catch-up things to tide us over for the summer (and fall) (or until Tuesday) (I just don’t know):

1. Much to the relief of my family, I did not fall off of my shoes and land on my Spanx-encrusted arse at my oldest daughter Kristen’s wedding as expected. In fact, the wedding went off without a hitch, except that the bride and groom were hitched, of course.

2. My big toenail did have to be removed two weeks before the wedding (yes, Deb, pus was involved) (no, Debbie, no hot toe doctor was involved) (yes, the same toe that has been the bane of my existence since October 2008) (three times now the nail has been removed) (I’m keeping score) (I found a toe doctor within walking distance from my house) (to save on gas) (except that I can’t walk so well) (obviously). The morning of the wedding I painted the skin on my toe with New-Skin Liquid Bandage and then two coats of polish to match the other nine nails. It didn’t look too bad. True story.

3. The Mac Prep + Prime that the Mac God sold me before the wedding kept my face from melting off during the outdoor ceremony that took place in temperatures all up in the 90s, yo. I do not do product reviews or endorsements, and I’m not going to start with an unpaid one for Mac Prep + Prime. However, I am highly recommending and endorsing the activity of getting yourself a Mac God. Everybody should have one of his or her own.

4. I am not selfishly savoring snapshots (appalling attempt at alliteration, apologies), but have 3,768 photos from the totally awesome bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, wedding, and reception to sort through. I will post some photos someplace or other when some sort of sorting and uploading is accomplished. Meanwhile, we need a few photos of the dress (that Kristen designed) (true story) and whatnot to tide us over:

Pictured (click photo to enlarge):
Kristen & Adam; Kristen & Adam
Courtney; Laura
Tom, Laura, Cheri, Kristen & Courtney

5. Speaking of saving on gas (see number two above), my Volvo does not. But with fold-down third-row seating and room for five passengers, I get picked to drive for my youngest daughter’s class field trips (I actually like doing this) (what?) (I really do). It was also awesome for helping Courtney move in May, and it was great for taking a two-week road trip that included Kristen & Adam’s wedding preparation and festivities in June. I have had the car for two years now, and after several days on pain medication (see number six below) I finally named my car, Ikea, owing to its very large size and being Swedish.

6. Immediately upon my return home following the wedding, I had a tooth extraction and bone graft (to be followed by a dental implant in a few months) and the aforementioned pain medication. Apparently, so much pain medication was involved during my recovery period that when our family played Scattergories one evening, the letter rolled was “D,” and under the category of brand names Laura wrote “Darvocet.” True story.

7. I put off this extraction/bone graft procedure until after the wedding because I knew that I would need all of my energy to pull up my Spanx before the ceremony. And because I was a tad freaked out about the source of the “donor material,” a euphemism for BONE TAKEN FROM SOME UNKNOWN PERSON’S CORPSE, that would be grafted into my head. Think about it! If Albert DeSalvo were the donor, I might end up wanting to strangle someone at the wedding. As it turns out, I’ve been having random urges to marry a billionaire and become a TrimSpa spokesperson, so guess who it is that I’m thinking provided the “donor material” for my bone graft?

8. Possibly still under the influence of Darvocet (not an endorsement, obviously), I asked my wife if we could throw an African-themed Bon Voyage for Jamie (who was on her way to Swaziland) and Happy Birthday party for Courtney’s dog, Rafiki (aka “thebrindledog”). True Story. Kate read Go Dog Go to the children and the piñata was filled with doggy treats. Also True Stories.

9. I have tickets to see Adam Lambert’s Glam Nation Tour concert. Duh. I am so excited and expect to be having my usual multiple Lambergasms! Duh. I am going with my youngest daughter, my husband, and my wife. Duh. I will be wearing my biker boots and leather bracelet with the metal spikes. Duh. Laura, Kate and I have already planned to put purple streaks in our hair. Duh. But I really need help deciding which of my four (yes, I have four) (what?) Adam Lambert T-shirts to wear:

a., b., c., or d.?
(Sorry I don’t have photos of my chest in the last two shirts, Stu.)

10. Finally, I have another decision that I need help with. Not nearly as important as what shirt to wear to the Adam Lambert concert, but still. In fact, I am ashamed to admit this publicly (whereas I don’t mind telling you that I wore painted toe skin and Spanx to my daughter’s wedding), but I am going to need a new washer and dryer, you know, for doing the L-word. Hello, my name is Cheri, and I have done laundry. There. They say that admitting it is the first step in getting rid of the problem. Meanwhile, do you have or plan to buy a particular washer/dryer that you like/dislike? Tell me. Please.

So. That’s it. Except that during my new-agey-clichéd living-in-the-present-moment blogging break that may or may not last all summer or fall or until Tuesday, I plan to continue some random drive-by visiting of OPBs (Other People’s Blogs). Until then . . . please help me with numbers 9 and 10 above. Thank you.

Love, Cheri


P.S. I’m off the Darvocet now. True Story. Heh.

Animal, Vegetable, Debacle

NaBloPoMo Day Twenty:
Animal, Vegetale, Debacle
(or How Barbara Kingsolver Kicked My Ass)

Over the summer I read Barbara Kingsolver’s book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Kingsolver brings to the pages her skills as an accomplished novelist, creating a rather charming tale of her family’s one-year project: to eat only locally grown, sustainably farmed, seasonal, and organic foods. Most of what the family eats is grown on their own farm in rural Virginia, and what they do not raise themselves, they buy only from local farmers. They become “locavores” primarily to reduce their carbon footprint, to answer the growing nutritional crisis in our country, and to support their local economy. In so doing they discover rich flavors, valuable nutrients, true friendships, family ties, and wholesome fun.

As the author provides a seasonal accounting of her family’s project, it is flavored with engaging stories of turkey mating, her nine-year-old daughter’s efforts at her egg business, and descriptions of home-made bread, cheese, sausage, and other assorted delectables that one can practically taste. In addition to baking the family’s daily bread, Kingsolver’s husband, Steven L. Hopp, adds to the book sidebars chock full of facts, figures, and statistics, revealing how agribusiness puts money mostly in the pockets of the shipping industry, robs our food of its nutritional value, and increases our dependence on fossil fuels. Hopp writes, “Food transport has become a bizarre and profitable economic equation that’s no longer really about feeding anyone: in our own nation we export 1.1 million tons of potatoes, while we also import 1.4 million tons.” The author’s eldest daughter, Camille, adds some delightful essays as she observes the effect her family’s project has on her young conscience, and she shares some excellent recipes.

With thoughts of socially and environmentally conscious living lodged in my brain, coupled with my advancing age and accompanying thoughts that I ought to start focusing on what’s important in life before I die, I started thinking about lifestyle changes. I have grown weary of late with the fast-paced, traffic-jammed, dog-eat-dog, competitive, conspicuous-consumption, way of life in which I am immersed and nobody around me seems to question, at least not much. So when my friend Gary posted some pictures of the farm that his parents have talked about selling, the wheels of my imagination began to turn.

I posted about wanting to buy that farm. Go take a look. It’s a quick read, and pictures of the farm are included.

So, if you read my “People, I Just Want to Buy the Farm” post linked above, you will know that my sweet and well-intended thoughts of living a simple life made everyone start mocking me. Seriously. I was mocked. How was I supposed to know what a tractor really does? And now that I know that it does many things, including pulling a tiller, can someone please tell me what a tiller does? And aside from my big straw hat bumping up against the sunroof and my butt crack not being visible, come someone tell me why my Volvo XC90 won’t pull a tiller just as well as any tractor? Whatever a tiller is.

Anyway, since buying a farm in upstate New York was not on the immediate horizon, my husband’s common and economic sense being a major impediment to many of my best ideas, I decided that our family could experience local farming at someone else’s local farm. Julian, California is famous for its apple pie, and every fall, folks can come and pick apples at one of the many orchards in the community. Tom and I loaded Laura and her friend, Lauren, into the Volvo one Sunday morning in October, and off we headed to pick apples at an organic orchard that I found on Google. So began our debacle.

Laura and Lauren
enjoying a simple life.

Note the livestock in the background,
thus fulfilling the “animal” portion
of our Animal, Vegetable, Debacle experience.
If you give a juggler a pancake,
or apples, or anything that
fits in his hands in numbers of three . . .
(Good thing the Lord gave me just two breasts.)
See? I could totally be a farmer
in my Volvo XC90. Boo-ya.
See how nice is the view of the farm
from the driver’s seat of a Volvo?
Do you think these kids were in it for
the apple picking or the apple pie?
So . . . how was this a debacle? The ride to Julian took nearly two hours, but due to a traffic accident and a detour route home, it was nearly a four-hour return trip. Hence, my foray into produce picking was a shambles in view of the primary purpose of Kingsolver’s mission in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle being to address global warming by not relying on fossil fuel to transport food. And her argument that by supporting local economies, our food costs are cheaper in the end? Uh, not so much around me these parts.
$25 Bag of Apples picked in Julian, California

Time spent in Volvo: 6 hours.
Time spent picking apples: 45 minutes.

Cost of fuel: $95.00
Cost of one bag of self-pick apples: $25.00

Bottom line: Debacle

Readers, do you have any debacles experiences trying to reduce your carbon footprint to share?

People, I Just Want to Buy the Farm

At the gym:

Cheri: I want to buy a farm.

Alyssa: That was random.

Cheri: Not really. I’ve been feeling the need to live around tall trees. Not those little trees you find all around here in new tract housing developments, but actual trees. With shade. And I need a pond, so Laura can have ducks. I found the perfect farm. It has trees and a duck pond. And I want to buy it.

Alyssa: Where is this farm?

Cheri: It’s in upstate New York, and it is only covered in snow part of the year. It comes with a pond, a tractor, 33 acres of meadow with hay, even though I don’t know why I need hay, I just know I want it, a barn, 60 acres of woods, and an A-frame house.

Alyssa: Upstate New York? With an A-frame house? That’s the Amityville Horror house. That house will have eyes.

Cheri: Nah-uh. I can already tell that house has good karma. And it has a driveway that’s like a kilometer long, which will only be covered in snow part of the year. I need a long driveway like that. Oh, and guess what? The barn has a new studio over it, so we’ll have a place for people to stay. Will you come visit us?

Alyssa: No way. Not in Amityville with 60 acres of woods. I’m not going there. Black people are always the first to die in horror movies.


In the Bay Area last weekend, having a birthday visit with Kristen and Adam:

Kristen: Mom, are you still dreaming about owning a farm?

Cheri: Yes. And I want a tractor. You know what? I actually don’t know what a tractor does. I just know I want one.

Adam: You were born in LA.

Cheri: Okay, but really, what does a tractor do?

Adam: Pulls stuff, like a tiller, hauls hay, etc.

Cheri: Why can’t I just do that stuff in my Volvo?

Kristen: Listening to your Mamma Mia soundtrack, wearing Chanel sunglasses and UGG boots, and holding your Starbucks coffee mug.

Adam: The airbags would interfere with your big straw hat.

Tom: Tilling in the Volvo would decrease your chances of getting hit by lightning.

Kristen: If you’re hauling hay in the Volvo, your butt crack won’t show.

Laura: Can I use your laptop to watch YouTube?

Cheri [typing]: Not right now. I’m writing down what everyone is saying.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It’s not too late to enter the Birthday Pot Giveway!

If you haven’t done so already, click on over and leave a Happy Birthday comment here because I am now a 48-year-old comment ‘ho that’s how to get your name in the hat to win in my Birthday Pottery and Cool Stuff Giveaway. The deadline to comment and enter is 12AM PST on Saturday, October 11.

Have You Ever Broken Up With Someone On Your Blog?

Dear katydidnot:

Remember how I fell in love with your ponytail and you fell in love with my pool? Remember how we talked about staging a coup and ousting my current spouse so we could totally take over the house? Remember how we emailed each other about getting married and living happily ever after with the kids, the ponytail, and the pool?

I am sorry to inform you that recent events have compelled me to issue an advisory. It turns out that it may not be in our best interests after all for us to plan a merger of our best interests.

Remember how I opined that opposites attract? And how I suggested that we would balance each other? We’d be all yin and yang. We’d be all sunrise and sunset. We’d be all proton and neutron. We’d be all Rhoda Morgenstern and Mary Richards. Remember? And there was proof. Remember?

You’re HP. I’m Mac.

You’re spontaneous. I plan for every contingency.

You drop cupcakes. A cupcake in my hands would be shoved down my throat too fast for that.

You lose your keys. I know where to find every scrap of paper upon which I ever jotted a number.

You bash up your car. I have a perfect driving . . . what?

You know how I just boasted posted about my perfect driving record? Well. Karma? She’s a bitch.

Love, Blog This Mom!

P.S. I also left my car keys sitting on Tom’s car yesterday. This morning, after Tom left for the gym? I found my keys a half a mile away in the middle of a Very Busy Road. There were no survivors.

Karma? Turns out she’s a bitch with a sense of humor.

P.P.S. And that metal pole by the pump at that busy gas station on Saturday? The little effer totally jumped out and bashed itself into my car. Without warning. Oh yes it did.

She Didn’t Start the Fire

After reading this post on Sam’s blog, that she says she wrote after this post on my blog got her thinking, I got to thinking about the time that I set my friend Roxanne’s kitchen on fire. But really it should have been this post on Jamie’s blog that got me thinking because I set Roxanne’s kitchen on fire when I was helping her move.

I came over to her house one morning to help Roxanne pack her china and crystal, which she really should never have trusted me with in the first place because I am not an experienced packer by any stretch of the imagination. I have no idea what possessed me to tell Roxanne that I could help her pack anything, much less her most valuable housewares, except that I really just wanted to be helpful, and, come now, how hard could packing crystal and china be anyway? And it wouldn’t have been hard at all if I had not picked the stovetop to lay down the newspapers in which I was wrapping Roxanne’s crystal. I may have passed the California bar examination on my very first try, but laying several sheets of newspaper across a stovetop is an act that could only be perpetrated by a dumbass. Hello, my name is Cheri, and having admitted to my condition, I believe I am now entitled to call myself a recovering dumbass.

Somehow or other I inadvertently bumped the knob and turned on the stove. The burner then set the newspaper on fire, the very newspaper that I’d just finished wrapping around the crystal vase that Roxanne had just finished telling me was her favorite. My first plan was to drop the blazing thing on the tile floor and stomp on the newspaper, but, of course, that would have broken the vase. So I went with plan two. Start giggling. After I began to giggle, plan number three was put into action. I said a curse word. Plan number four was up next, no doubt provoked by the giggling that had rapidly become hysterical laughter. I suddenly had to pee real bad, the kind of pee that happens to a kid who’s just found the perfect place to conceal herself during Hide-and-Seek. Roxanne started laughing too, making my urge to pee grow worse. Plan five, which I might add turned out to be the most effective overall for the problem at hand, was that I carried the vase-shaped torch over to the sink. I set the flaming, paper-wrapped package down in the basin and turned on the water. Just then the smoke alarms in the kitchen went off because, um, yeah, there was still newspaper burning on the stove. I moved that burning pile of paper over to the sink too. Roxanne and I opened windows and turned on her ceiling fans. Then we cleaned up the sooty, ashy mess. I asked Roxanne to promise not to tell anyone, but, of course, I really didn’t mind if she did because it meant that anyone who heard the story would never ask me to help her move.

So, Jamie, are you really all packed or do you need any help?

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