Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Not Without My Roses.


The Daver: “WHAT are you DOING?”

Aunt Becky (calmly): “What does it look like I’m doing?”

The Daver: “It LOOKS like you’re gearing up to go outside in the middle of a fucking tornado with your rose pruners.”

Aunt Becky (bored): “Yuppers.”

The Daver: “There was a TORNADO SPOTTED, Becky! You should get into the basement or something!”

Aunt Becky: “The storm has driven off the wasps, Daver, I can finally prune the fucking roses in daylight! Without the EARWIGS ATTACKING ME!”


The Daver: “There may be a TORNADO! It’s pouring buckets AND there’s a thunderstorm going on!”

Aunt Becky: “Don’t be such a puss. The tornado won’t come here. We’re in the middle of civilization. Tornado Alley is MILES out west. You Wisconsin people, I SWEAR*.”

The Daver: “But!!!

Aunt Becky: “Besides, if I’m outside, I can hear the sirens of the town much more clearly than if I were inside. THEN, I can come in and alert you and we can make a break for the basement.”

The Daver: “Are you REALLY putting your roses before us?”

Aunt Becky: “Um. Dramatical much?”


Aunt Becky: “Perhaps you should go hide in the bathtub, then. I’ll let you know when it’s all over.”

The Daver: “Maybe I just will.”

Aunt Becky: “I’ll rescue you when it’s all over, okay?’

The Daver: “TELL IT TO YOUR ROSES, BECKY. Maybe they can keep you warm at night!”

Aunt Becky: *walks out into the sheeting rain whistling “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn.”*

*There’s a longstanding rivalry between Wisconsin and Illinois (not, oddly, any of the other states surrounding Illinois). Wisconsinites call we Illinoisans FIB–Fucking Illinois Bastards–and we Illinoisans, uh, don’t have any clever names for our neighbors to the north. But shit, they can’t fucking DRIVE.

Tripping Down Wisteria Lane (et. all)


It appears to me that people in the 1970’s had a proclivity towards bushes* and assorted foliage, if prefab neighborhood is any indication. Because EVERYONE I’ve talked to has said precisely the same thing. FUCK THE BUSHES. We’ve all had to yank out miles of ’em to give our houses that “no, a serial killer doesn’t live here” or “no, this house is NOT abandoned” look.

As I showed you before, my own house is no different.

That was before I started.

Eventually, I made it to the Serial Killer Section of my hardware store and bought some very frightening implements of mass destruction which I promptly buried in my very own leg. Because I am not to be trusted with anything with a blade. Even a butter knife.

After much work, I got rid of…

Those motherfucking evergreen bushes, man. THE ROOTS ARE LIKE 8 MILES LONG.

In fact, this is precisely how I feel when I think about evergreen bushes. Sadness, mixed with anger, mixed with resentment. Also, is it bizarre that the kid’s hat is too big for me? DO I HAVE A PINHEAD?

The rest of those bushes in the front are dead to me, too (not the lilac or the rhododendron). They just don’t know it.

Before, Shot 2:

And the AFTER shot part number B (which also, isn’t done)(consider this the INTERLUDE, not to be confused with the QUAALUDE):

The rest of THAT ugly evergreen ground cover is going to be dug up (hopefully this week) so that I may perhaps not ever have to see an evergreen in my house so long as I live Jesus Christ AMEN.

And lastly, before any of you die of boredom, here is the only thing that looks marginally better, which you’d only see if you followed my Tweet stream and clicked over to see what I called “as boring as cat pictures.”


Butt-ass ugly, right? Like you just barfed on your monitor and now want to bill me for your keyboard? Well SORRY, Pranksters, but I can’t afford new keyboards for all of you. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Anyway, I didn’t plant that butt-ugliness, I just looked at it and shook my head for years. Then I got sick of it, got angry and took my rage out on it.

This is what happened:

I grow roses, Pranksters, which is probably making those of you who didn’t know that scratch your head quizzically because it seems like a contradictory thing for me to do. But I do. Mostly rambling roses, but this is a miniature rose. It also WASN’T the sign I was referring to, but I thought it was lovely, no?


I’ll explain more about signs in another post because I was going to do it here, but I realized that it was going to be all LONG and shit and I know from my SEO tips that you cannot possibly read anything longer than 400 words.


I’m obsessing over Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black. If you don’t know that song, GET THEE TO AN iTUNES AND DOWNLOAD IT. Also, Amy, please get sober and make amazing music again.


Today is now Toy With Me day and I’m tackling cheating. It’s a tough, personal subject for me to talk about and I’d love to hear your thoughts, if you’d like to share.

*If my viewage of 70’s porn is any indication, there is a direct correlation between bush planting and rockin’ the full bush down below, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

If Living My Life On The Internet Wasn’t Bad Enough, This HAS To Be On My Permanent Record


Last year, when Mimi was still one of those babies who STAYED where you motherfucking PUT THEM, I went outside of my house for a second. And when I was standing there, looking at my bright yellow house, I noticed something that I hadn’t previously seen with my bleary post-partum eyes.

Knock out a couple of windows and board them up and you suddenly have a house that looks like a creepy recluse lives there. I mean, I sort of WAS a recluse, thanks to a baby who screamed every time she got near the car, but that wasn’t the point.

The point WAS, Pranksters, the fucking bushes. I had to do SOMETHING about those bushes.


Those are a lot of motherhumping bushes. (also, not all are going)

But not then. OH NO, not then.

The Daver, bless his tiny heart, doesn’t like change. Nor does he like anything that requires manual labor (on his part) and I wasn’t exactly doing well mentally thanks to some wicked PTSD, so I decided that Bush-Wacking was going to have to wait until 2010.

He told me that I needed some elaborate plan as to what I needed to DO with the area where I was going to remove approximately 3,082 bushes, but really, I am kind of a less-is-more person anyway and the house is so fucking over-landscaped as it is, I was going to haul them out and see what happened.

I can see how ominous that sounds given my history of just “doing things” (see exhibit: Aunt Becky’s Cake Wreck), but I swear to you, Pranksters, I am actually an avid botanist. I mean, I grow ORCHIDS, and those things are notoriously hard to keep alive.

Anyway, it’s now the Spring of 2010 and Bush-Gate has officially arrived which means that I’m running around the house yelling, “I NEED TO GO BUSHWACKING, Y’ALL,” and Dave rolls his eyes at me a lot, because this is pretty much the way our relationship works. If you’re wondering how I got married, really, I don’t know either.

But I still don’t have elaborate blueprints created to show at precisely what trajectory I will put the new plants I haven’t chosen to go into the holes I haven’t yet created because do I look like I listen to The Daver? (answer: CLEARLY NOT)

Mostly because I am aware that his technique of making me do something painfully annoying is mostly just a stall tactic on his part so that I throw in the towel on my original project. Which, hi, not going to happen because I’m one busted out window and lamp made out of hooker boobs short of a Serial Killer Recluse looking house. The Daver, he doesn’t notice such things.

But, in order to perform such tasks, I was stuck surveying my sad stash of Bush-Gate materials in my garage. Nothing was quite up to par.

So much to the dismay of my search engine (who, of course, judges me based upon the shit that I search for, because OBVIOUSLY), I searched for “how to remove bushes.” Turns out? MOST OF THOSE SITES WERE NOT SAFE FOR WORK, PRANKSTERS.

Left to my own pea-brained devices, I decided that the best way to complete this project was to get a pickax. Obviously. Mostly so I could go BUY a pickax and then carry it around like Paul motherfucking Bunyan.

So I loaded my family into the car to go to what the three-year old calls the “hammer store” because he was convinced that I was stupid enough to buy him a hammer. While I was stupid enough to buy MYSELF a pickax, I didn’t think he needed to act out “If I Had A Hammer” on his sister’s head.

The pickaxes, it turns out, are in a special part of the hardware store that I like to call “Serial Killer Row.” They’re right next to the regular hardcore axes and while I carefully perused them, I can almost swear that I was being recorded. Probably because the hardware store people are very smart. Most people buying pickaxes are probably not doing anything but putting them into eye sockets and stuff.

Me, for as much swagger as I have, I am busting up roots and probably a finger or two because anyone who allows me near sharp pointy things has probably just increased my life insurance policy. But I’m guessing that I’m probably on some secret database now, maybe cross-indexed with RIDICULOUSLY BAD BLOGGER and POSSIBLE VICODIN ABUSER.

Which is why I made sure to have The Daver bring in the hardcore insecticide, pickax, gigantic loppers, and saw from the back of the mini-van before I took the kids to school. I didn’t need Ben piping up and telling his teacher that I’d threatened to cut off his fingers one by one if he didn’t stop slamming the door.

Even if I HAD promised him a shiny hook in return.

A New Dateline Special: When Roses Attack


Now, before a zillion of you click away disgustedly, this won’t be another boring ass garden post, well, okay, it won’t be TOO MUCH of a boring ass garden post. Because sometimes, Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch, I can’t help myself.

*ahem* Fantasy Football posts *ahem*

Besides, most of you read me in a reader (when the reader is working properly *angrily shakes fists at the sky*) and that ‘mark all as read’ button is just so damn handy.

After I got a house, I got a dog. Well, no, let me rephrase that. I got a dog that is actually a ficus in dog’s clothing. Sure, he may LOOK like a corgi/beagle mix/stuffed sausage, and his breath may smell EXACTLY like a vagina, but I assure you, o! wise, Internets, he is a house plant.

May I present to you Exhibit A (I’d add more shots here, but the only things that change are location and the length of already insanely-long page load time. Which I do not know what to do about):

Cash, As A Ficus

Before you alert the authorities, Internet, let me assure you that this is not a dead, taxidermied dog that I’ve inexpertly displayed on my couch. No, this is how Cash lives, 98% of the time: he naps on the couch, suns his belly, licks his pooper, and then rounds it out with a snack and another nap.

So to all of you Dog Trolls who drop in to critique my Crappy Dog Skillz, let me assure you, Cash pretty much has a life that I want.

No intruder is going to be terribly deterred by the rancid vagina smell coming from his mouth or the awesome way he can totally nap while laying ALMOST entirely on his back, so yeah, I had to come up with another strategy.

The cats, although fiercely annoying as they yodel and scream hello to anyone and everyone and occasionally just for the hell of it–often scaring people into thinking that I have small children trapped on various floors of my house–which yeah. They might end up tripping someone in a desperate plea for attention as a potential Bad Guy (or Girl, let’s not be Sexist Here)

Then we got Auggie, The Most Feared Dog in all of The World, and by “most feared” I mean, he’s effing adorable and if you saw him you’d be all “squeeeee! Lemmie take him home!” and I’d be all “BE MY GUEST!”

And as you were leaving with him, I’d say all ominously, “You do know he eats poo, right?” and then you’d take a scalding water bath with a brillo pad and refuse to take my calls. But he’s cute and he weighs 16 pounds, and his only real defense tactic is that you don’t want his tongue on your person because it has recently eaten poo straight out of the butthole of another dog.

That’s right, he likes his poo ON TAP.

But, awww!


And The Daver, God Bless him, isn’t here very often, and let’s not forget the curious incident of The Thing In The Garage In The Night-Time, shall we? Dave weighs all of 45 pounds soaking wet (knock off the Jack Sprat jokes, people, I’m losing the mother-fucking weight) and, well, he’s as intimidating as a wee baby sheep. Actually, I take that back, a baby sheep is probably scarier.

So I did what any average suburban housewife with waaay too much time and science background and radon would do!


Naturally, The Devil was in the mother-effing details and I planted them in the BACK of my house instead of the FRONT of my house, but, you know, those wily burglars can come from any given angle, right?


You can see that my ATTACK ROSE has already eaten a soccer ball, a hose, and is working it’s way both towards a kiddie pool AND a Smoky Joe. It’s THAT full of Desire To Maim And Destroy.

(if you look closely, next to it is another rose, the Attack Rose of DANGER! is pink–naturally–which is thumbing it’s nose at the autumn weather and blooming like crazy. That rose, it has spunk)

Why sure, it has been pumped full of radiation:


But really, it’s not actually (read: sadly) been genetically altered. It’s a climbing, “rambling” rose. Which, for someone like me, whose favorite song was once The Dead’s “Ramblin’ Rose” makes me very happy.

It is also a HELL of a lot cheaper than a personal home security system. I guess this means that we can return Auggie, eh?


How was your weekend?

Wait, Doesn’t Everybody Name Their House Plants After Their Television Husbands?


First, I am sunning myself with an old, navel-grazing post of mine over here today:

Three Day Weekend

Because why aim high, when you can aim low?

(that is not a trick question)


Second, don’t forget to vote for your favorite entry in Aunt Becky Travel’s The World, Making Mischief.


Be sure to submit your rockin’ questions to Go Ask Aunt Becky because, obviously.


And lastly, the dorkiest post, well, ever.

Like any addict, I’m not really sure when it started, although I seem to remember it first after Amelia was born. Besides sticks of butter and cupcakes, one of the few things that would comfort me were cut flowers. Every week, as I dutifully churned out batch after ever-loving batch of white cupcakes, I’d go to the store and buy myself flowers.

A vase of fresh flowers cheered me up in a way that only Vicodin normally could.

At some point, my cheap-ass nature won out and I realized that for the same $20 a week, I could buy a real! live! plant! that I could keep for longer than 5 days. Midwestern winters are notoriously brutal, and seeing even the slightest sign of plant life is welcome.

(my front yard is so over-landscaped that I genuinely cannot find anywhere to stick tulip bulbs)

In that manner, my first orchid was bought.

Because he is a good, kind man, The Daver didn’t point out, as he sat among the cats, dogs, bunny and kids, that I needed something else to take care of like I needed a hole in my head.

Nor does he gently mock me like he could when he comes home from work to find another couple of plants sitting in the sink or sunning themselves merrily on the printer. Although that may be a product of his inability to notice anything other than unopened cans of cheese-whiz or his Linux box.

He shares my love of plant life in the same way I share his love for gadgets, which is to say, not at all. Of all the things I could get into, especially with the streak of alcoholism that runs a mile wide running rampant in my genetic code, this is probably the most healthy.

Unlike the alcoholic gene, though, I do seem to have inherited some of my father’s *ahem* OCD tendencies. Because if one orchid is good, ten is better, right? RIGHT?!?

(shockingly, I am the same way about plants as I am about soap. Did you see that movie with Jack Nicholson, “As Good As It Gets?” When he opens his medicine cabinet and it’s stocked with like 25 of the same bars of soap I nodded appreciatively while everyone else laughed. Someone had to explain the joke which, I should add, I still don’t find funny.) (probably because it is NOT funny)

Slowly but surely, I’ve added to my collection, quickly outgrowing the small Southern facing window by my computer. I’ve begun researching the different diseases, had to treat a few, and started collecting different types. While I am afraid of vaginas, and orchids look remarkably like vaginas, I seem to be fascinated by studying them. The orchids, not the vaginas, you pervies. Freud would, no doubt, have a field day with that.

(Freud can also kiss my lily white butt)

As the orchids in various stages of life slowly creep outwards, spilling off the table and onto other surfaces, I’m starting to feel like I’m doomed to be a crazy cat hoarder, except without the cats. I guess when I die alone in my apartment, the orchids, unlike the cats, won’t eat my face. Thank God, I suppose, for small favors.

My youngest son seems to have inherited my love of flowers which makes me completely appreciate how a parent could push a colorblind kid to paint just like mom did, because man, does that feel cool to be like, “ALEX likes flowers TOO!” Hearing him shriek indignantly, “Come ON Mom, socks and shoes ON” when he hears me mention “greenhouse,” because he’s that jazzed to go see flowers gives me a huge sense of pride.

So at the greenhouse, after we examined the koi fish, which were deemed “cooool” I asked the greenhouse guy about some special moss that I was specifically looking for, and he claimed ignorance of such a thing. While he showed me what might have been reasonable substitutes for some, I declined his offer, preferring to drive my fat white butt (with cranky toddler in tow) across town.

He laughed, saying something like, “yeah, this probably wouldn’t work for someone who names their orchids,” like those-crazy-assholes. I sputtered out a “heh-heh” and ran away as quickly as possible before he realized that I was thisclose to naming my plants after my television ex-husbands.

On our anniversary, after scoring a prescription for both Topamax and Vicodin for my My Grains, I’d requested a quick stop to pick up a new orchid. (shut UP) But, not being totally in season, there were no orchids to be had (there were, however mini-roses! SCORE!). Really, buoyed by the ever-hopefulness–followed by the inevitable letdown–that a new prescription brings, I was okay with this.

But, The Daver, he suggested that take a trip to a nearby orchid greenhouse. That’s right, 4 acres of swinging orchid awesomeness.

(shut UP)

And as I roamed the aisles, sweaty and smelly, happily picking up new species to try my hand at growing destroy what is left of my window space, while contemplating how to make it to an event that I will affectionately call Orchid Stock*(certain to be filled with little old ladies), I realized that the greenhouse guy wasn’t that off base.

It’s time to find some new television husbands to divorce.


*I am not kidding**

**Want to go with me?***

***No, seriously, please? I’m pretty sure I’d get launched from the car like a particularly chubby missile if I tried to trick my family into going with me.

I Guess That The Best That I Can Hope Is That It’s One Of The Fingers I Use Least.


I’m not entirely certain, since during the closing I said maybe one word to these people (that word, was “hello.” But I sadly did not follow it up with a “is it meeee you’re looking foooor?”) but I think that the people we bought our house from sort-of half-flipped houses. At the very least, they finished the basement and put in a whirlpool.

*cue porno music*

They weren’t here long, 2-4 years, depending upon if you ask The Daver or Yours Truly, but the people who lived here before them were. And they loved this house, much like we do.

Carefully, they landscaped the front of the house, filling it with lilacs, 2 rhododendrons, 4 evergreens, an amur maple, some bridal bushes and a handful of unidentified bushes. I’m sure that their visions were absolutely lovely and well thought out.

Unfortunately, the people who bought the house from them (the people who we bought the house from) were much like The Daver: the sort of people who should not own houses. Rather, they should own something where someone else is responsible for landscaping. Like a townhouse or an apartment or something.

Because we inherited a nightmare of epic proportions: in lieu of real flowers, we had plastic flowers both planted and strung through the trellis of our privacy screen.

In February.

In the Midwest.

With 2 feet of snow on the ground, we still had unidentifiable gaily colored stalks peeking up, oblivious to their inappropriateness.

Spring came and I noticed that I had a rose bush that was so overgrown that it literally towered over us. And no, for those rose aficionados out there, it was neither climbing or rambling (also, if you heart roses, will you be my BFF?). The bridal bushes hadn’t touched in years and easily reached into my neighbors lawn where they could have easily poked someone’s eyeball out.

The snowball bushes, carefully planted around the air conditioner unit to reduce the unsightliness of it had overgrown it so thoroughly that I couldn’t imagine the efficiency of the unit without shuddering.

And the front of my house, once rife with small, neatly trimmed bushes, now makes my house appear as though a recluse lives here. A CREEPY recluse. (I am not a recluse. I just opt to not go out with all of my children if I have a choice)(wouldn’t you?)

In a stunning fit of brilliance, unmatched since the day I decided to get my name on a belt (wait, no, that was AWESOME) I decided this year to prune the ever-loving shit out of my lilacs and my rhododendron. Smart move.

Because my bushes (heh) are now growing like hell and not helping the There Must Be A Murder Living There overall vibe of my house. This is apparently what happens when one takes a blade to plants: it makes them want to grow MORE.

Also not helping is my Ash tree, which, my pleas to the city to cut it back some have been sorely unanswered. Stupid Emerald Ash Boner Borer Boner

So, I’ve got a Master Plan.

It (freakishly) involves a chainsaw and the removal of at least 6, more like 8, bushes. OH, and a fucking mess of ground cover. Basically, it’ll be one of those things where Dave will sit in the house at the window, phone in hand, dial 9 and 1 and wait for the screams before he dials the next 1. There’s no doubt that this will end up with some missing digits but hopefully not limbs.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is a Bad, Bad Idea, but thankfully, it will have to wait until spring.

Because even though I know that I need to remove this stuff, I have absolutely no idea what to replace it all with. Thankfully, I have many months to painstakingly research whatever it is that I decide upon. It’s mostly shade (thank YOU Ash tree for casting such a shadow on my house) and I don’t know a lot about shade-a-philic plants.

Saw Blade

The likely instrument of my demise. An unused saw blade, waiting, just waiting for me to get stupid enough to think that this a bright idea RIGHT NOW.

… who wants to come watch*? I should sell tickets to this event: Watch Aunt Becky Mangle Herself, extra if you want to film videos of it to put on YouTube later.

*By watch, of course, I mean that you’ll have to do most of the work while I sit in a lounge chair directing you while I sip a nice cold mojito. What’s not to love?

(also, I would like to beg you to go over to that box thingy on my sidebar and vote for me if you would, please o! please? I’m pretty sure I’m being spanked by a coupon blog now and that makes me feel sad inside. SAD, Internet.)

Your Roses Really Smell Like Poo-Poo


As someone who very recently professed that she not only wants to make babies with likes hardware stores and wants desperately to join a roller derby, but also plans to learn how to properly box (the sport, Uncle Pervies, the SPORT), you may find the following statement to be at odds with who you think that I may be.

I’m heavily into gardening. (and not just bush-wacking. Which, dudes, have you SEEN that razor commercial where the unruly bushes turn into perfectly landscaped pseudo-crotches? There’s the classic triangle, the landing strip, and uh, I forgot the third one, but I don’t think it’s a Brazilian but maybe it should be. It’s almost obscene, yo.)


I know, I know, it’s about the least hardcore thing to profess a love for, but I figured since it’s Saturday and the only people bored enough to peruse my blog are a number of spam bots looking for “mommy punish my ass for i have been bad girl” (my search terms would likely turn your hair grey. They make me want to shower in a bucket of bleach), most of my readers will never see this statement. And if this turns the creepy spam bots away from me, well, the world will be a brighter place for us all.

Nor, I hope, will they see the longest run-on-sentence in history (see above).

I don’t grow, of course, vegetables, herbs or anything else that might serve much of a purpose. Partially because no one (besides ickle Aunt Becky) in Casa de la Sausage would dare TOUCH a vegetable, and partially because the rabbits eat the shit out of those fuckers. Also, I tend to use pretty heavy fertilizer on my roses, and I can’t grow stuff that you eat in that flower bed.

My post-miscarriage therapy for #2 was three rose bushes, all of which were sorely neglected when my last crotch parasite came on board last year, but ended up faring just fine. In fact, one of my roses deserves a prize or something for being just absurdly awesome. Also, it’s radioactive, which adds, I’m sure, to it’s awesome factor. Because radioactivity = RAD.

It’s a lucky break, I suppose, for The Daver that I enjoy getting down and dirty in the garden, as he has about as much interest in going outside as he does to get a hot coffee enema. He’s pasty, Internet, which is a kind, kind way of saying that he sort of combusts when in direct sunlight, and, as a geek, he’s pretty much allergic to anything that does not operate Linux.

I’ve been sort of on hiatus from the garden lately because the garden in August in the Midwest = wasps and wasps + Aunt Becky = anaphylaxis. I do have an epi-pen, well, I have two, but I’m under strict orders to call 911 after I administer the first dose. Apparently, many people need two doses. And you know what? I don’t really have the time, energy, or babysitters enough to manage an ambulance ride to the ER these days.

And the recovery? HA. I only wish I had the chance to think about laying around on a couch while my children sweetly served me grapes, while fanning me with large ficus branches. Because yeah, if I ACTUALLY laid down on the couch? Alex would try peeling out my eyeballs while Amelia teethed on my nose. Ben, though, I’m sure would be happy to feed me grapes in exchange for some Wii time because bribery is TOTALLY the way to go.

So, banished from my garden–I will be braving it tonight, Internet, which I am sure is very, very thrilling news, and you will be biting your nails on the edge of your seat just waiting for me to return to tell you of the weeding I did–I turned to the one thing I could safely do indoors: grow orchids.

(shut UP)

Try as I might, there’s just no cool way to talk about how fucking wicked orchids are. Because nothing about the phrase ‘I repotted my orchid’ gives me anything other than Epic Dork Points. It’s almost as Full of The Dork as ‘I HAVE A GLANDULAR PROBLEM.’

Now if you’ll excuse me kindly, Internet, I’m off to do dorky things like….reprogram my Linux box* or um, play World of Warcraft* or uh….[insert dorky thing to do here*].

Please tell me that I’m not the only one with a dorky hobby. Please tell me that the lot of you aren’t sitting somewhere Worldly or Continental drinking fantastically chic drinks with very yuppie garnishes and being all cool and fanciful and shit while I muck around in the, well, MUCK, I guess you could really call it.


*I totally don’t do any of these things because I am NOT a dork. No matter what my orchids say. Or my roses. Or even my peonies, those wily bastards.

It’s Electrified!


Now to those of you who are worried that I might be merely posting boring pictures of my garden, let me assure you that this is exactly what I am doing. But (always a butt with me), just like a shitty after school special, there is a moral. Although, not in a Jerry Springer Let’s Have A Moment way.

Also, can you vote for me? Please? Pretty please with a nutsack on top? It will help my fragile ego churn out less boringest posts. Vote here and here and here. I’ll make out with you.

The first link is to a brand new award that someone cooler than me nominated this blog for.

2009 BlogLuxe Awards

And I want to hump them for it. Thank you.

First, let me show you my rose bush:


Okay, so this is my climbing rose bush. I planted it last year in the midst of my miscarriages as I find gardening to be nearly as cathartic as beating people senseless with my fists of fury. Because gardening means less jail time!

Felonies or not, this rose bush is insanely awesome and healthy looking. It’s far bigger and better than it should be.


But wait…what’s that pipe say? I can…hardly…make…it out.



My rose is fracking radioactive!

So that’s the way it is in my family.

Survival of the Fattest


The Daver works one of those jobs where he’s ALWAYS working. I don’t mean that in the flip sort of oh-my-God-I-have-to-work-until-6-PM-AGAIN kind of way; I mean it in the very real you-better-never-get-attached-to-the-idea-of-a-spouse way. It took quite an adjustment for me, who had been used to the idea that a job came with occasional overtime, but overall, after you clocked out, you were done.

Not so for The Daver’s job. At any moment in time, and I do mean ANY moment, work can send an email and he will have to drop whatever he’s doing and go fight some nerdy fire. Most often this occurs when I am having a meltdown or the kids are driving me insane (perhaps the two are related?) or at the MOST inconvenient time possible. I had to physically pry Dave’s Blackberry from his hand while our babies were born.

I used to be infuriated by this. How DARE they take him from me when I am having A Moment? How could they POSSIBLY know when the worst possible time to require the eyes of ONLY Dave was? Anger gave way to a quiet resignation several years ago and I now merely roll my eyes when work takes up one of my weekend days–the only time I am able to get shit done–and move the hell on with my life.

But the prospect of losing the hour of help each day that I have another human being who is capable of taking care of one of the children left me cold and in dire need of a meaty hug. I often can only get through the day knowing that by 7 or 8, I will have another set of hands to take over for me, should I have to do something as inconsiderate as taking a poo.

I know, how DARE I have to move my bowels?

In a stunning fit of brilliance, Daver asked my sister-in-law to come stay with us while he was away. This meant that now, rather than having to wait until late evening or weekends to Get Stuff Done, it’s now possible for me to go and plant the hydrangea that I couldn’t resist purchasing even though I had no real spot to put it.

(hello run on sentence! How I’ve missed you!)

It’s entirely safe to say that I have gotten more done in the past few days than I have in months. Years, maybe. I’d tell you what I’ve done, but you might die of boredom, so I will merely leave you with this cautionary tale.

The people whom we’d bought our house from three and a half years ago weren’t what I would call House People. They finished my basement and replaced all the doors, but didn’t see fit to trim the 3 lilacs in front or try and tame the Rose Bush of Doom in my back yard. This was made worse by the people whom they had bought the house from who were House People. Specifically, they were Landscaping People.

Bought, I’m sure when the bushes and trees were tiny, every single inch of the front of my house is neatly landscaped with variations of trees and bushes. Aside from a couple of the squat evergreen type-y bushes, I like it all.

Problem is that landscaping like that requires upkeep greater than simply watching as it overtakes the yard. So I inherited quite a mess when I moved in. The rose bush I eventually tamed could likely have been in the Guinness Book of World Records for Least Beautiful Rose On The Planet.

The whole house had taken on a look of being owned by some creepy recluse who was happy to have all of the windows covered by overgrown shrubbery.

Lest the people who drive past think that I am that creepy recluse (shut up), I’ve made a weekly effort to trim that fucker the fuck down. And I’m not sure that you’d notice, but the 12 or 13 bags of lawn refuse would say differently.

On Saturday before Dave left, he gave me the afternoon off so that I could take care of some business in the yard. Including taming this bush-tree thing that was beginning to resemble a koosh ball on speed.

But because I am short, it’s no easy feat. It requires that I essentially get the whole tree into a bear hug and pull down branches to trim several feet of length off so that it stops scraping against the house. As I was in the middle of doing this, I realized that with every lop of my choppers, I was being coated in a fine dust of…something. After I’d done most of it, I realized that the dust-stuff was causing my chest to erupt in a delicious constellation of hives.

And because I am not only stupid but a masochist too, I finished the damn job before I went inside to survey the damage. I lubed up my burning, itchy skin with some topical cream or another (thankfully, I was NOT allergic to that, although this would have made the story funnier) and tried to think non-itchy thoughts.

About 20 minutes later, we had to go across the street to a birthday party for Alex’s friend Zach. Praying that 20 minutes was enough time for me to look less diseased, I prepared for the best and eventually, thanks to the anti-itch cream, forgot about my delicate oozing chest situation.

It wasn’t until we showed up at the party and I began to receive decidedly cold looks as parents shooed their children away from mine did I realize that perhaps something was wrong with me. After I had Daver check for bats in my belfry (none present, sir), I was stumped. Then, sheepishly, Dave pointed out gently that maybe my weeping, red, crusty chest might have something to do with the looks I was getting.

He was right and we left immediately. To prove that I never learn my lesson, upon surveying that I had missed a patch on the bush of crusty, itchy doom, I grabbed my loppers and hugged that bush right up, further intensifying both my sheer stupidity and my histamines.

I’d say something like “you live, you learn” but obviously I do not.


What can you not ever manage to learn, Internet?

What A Good Year For The Peonies?


Some of you, especially those of you who have been reading my blog for any length of time will know that my childhood wasn’t quite…normal. I don’t mean this in a woe-is-me-my-life-sucked sort of way, because with the aid of a lot of smashed glassware and torn up flower beds, I’m pretty zen with the whole thing. My birth coincided with my mother’s mental health decline so I spent a lot of my young life in the role of caregiver and caretaker.

The most unexpected side effect of all of this chaos that Young Aunt Becky was my astonishment that some Things That Remain The Same. There was a movie out a couple years ago (and by couple I mean a lot longer than that) with Julia Roberts who is a serial jilter, leaving a couple different dudes at the alter.

It comes to pass that you find out she’s been morphing herself to be whatever that man wants her to be over a plate of eggs. First, she likes them over-easy, with the next guy, they’re poached, and finally scrambled. When confronted at the end, I think, she claims she doesn’t like eggs at all.

I watched that movie–really stupid if I can remember correctly–and sat there, mouth agape! It was my mother! On the big screen! Only she wasn’t changing to fit herself neatly into a jigsaw puzzle for someone else, she was doing it because that’s what she did.

One year, yellow was her favorite color. Then green. Then cobalt blue. My brother–who is 10 years my senior–remembers her favorite ice cream being butter pecan. For me, it was Jamocha Almond Fudge. She loved french fries, now she claims that she never liked them at all, despite vivid memories that I have of her filching them off my plate as a child.

Thanks to a cocktail of ECT and alcohol, her memory is shot, so she doesn’t remember key things like this.

Now, of course people change over time, and their preferences alter accordingly, but not this dramatically. Since I can recall, my favorite color has been pink, I’ve always had an illicit love-affair with diet Coke, I’ve always hated writing in blue ink, and, if given the choice, I prefer driving stick shift.

Will these always be the way of things? I don’t fucking know. I’ll be 29 in two months and these are things about me that have always just been the way of things.

Occasionally, things will pop up, things I never knew I liked. This blog, for example, would have been something I’d not have thought I’d like to do. I never was a writer (save for a butt-load of research papers), I never kept a journal, and if you’d have told me a couple years ago that I would have written a book AND gotten an agent or two, I would have expected that I had spree murdered a bunch of people and then written about it from my cell.

It was that far off my radar.

(I’ll tell you more about this in another post. o! the cruel suspense!)

Another oddity is gardening. My mother, as my brother and I both remember her (joint memories are a rarity), was a gardener. She’s no longer interested in it, but I grew up playing in the dirt and hoping that my Rich Other Family would swoop in and save me. We’d move to a castle and I’d make the servants garden for me.

My paternal grandfather was an avid horticulturist as well, so we’d spend most of the summers with him up at the Botanic Garden or in his green house. Some of my earliest memories are of the industrial sized fans that the greenhouses, which I was always transfixed by.

Now, I had a scanner (hint, hint hint, The Daver), I’d scan some pictures of me and insert them here to make my point, but you know, I’m sorely lacking in the scanner department…

Anyway, some of the best memories I have of childhood are playing in the greenhouse, the smell of fresh dirt and fertilizer in the moisture heavy air just makes my knees go weak. It’s the closest I can get to feeling safe and at home. There are tentative future plans for the installation of a greenhouse here for me, and I’m giddy just imagining it.

(why yes, I *am* an old woman!)

Last year, after my dueling miscarriages, I engaged in some post-miscarriage therapy in the form of digging out and bagging up approximately 6.2 million tons of moldy mulch from my side yard. I was preparing it for the addition of some peony bushes. Then, in a brilliant move no one could have predicted I not only got pregnant but then I fell down the stairs and hurt my ever-loving foot.

The side yard project was shelved and the weeds grew amuck (The Daver will always make sure I have top network speeds and fancy computers, but yard work is SO Not His Thing).

The peonies had to wait.

I went to the greenhouse (o! be still my heart!) this weekend, dragging The Daver away from the computer and picked up a couple of peony bushes. And a small hydrangea bush. I won’t bore you with pictures because I didn’t take them, and if I had, I’d just point out that my house has ugly yellow siding and that said siding needs a power-washing.

(I also engaged in some killing of buckthorns and snowball bushes this weekend, which, although incredibly satisfying, isn’t going to look as cool as my peonies. Because, obviously)

This year, I’m gonna reap just what I sow.

(that sounds more ominous than I intended)


What’s something you didn’t know you liked that you now adore? Or something you couldn’t have predicted being good at?

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