Subourbon Mom


Quaran-Tuck It – Exercising
July 22, 2020, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Exercise, Middle Age | Tags: , , , , ,

Like a lot of people, I’ve gained some anxiety pounds during this pandemic, even though I have all the means I need to eat less/better and get more exercise. For the last week or so I’ve been staring at my flapping arm wings and the growing tire around my tummy while drinking wine and eating jalapeno poppers like it’s the end of the world (if you watch the news every night, that’s exactly what it feels like). 

ramen

I knew I had to do something when my sports bras started making it hard to breathe, causing me to question if I have the “‘rona”, until I remember it’s just that extra layer of fat squeezing into the modern-day corset causing the issue. For more on sports bras, read “Sports Bra Removal – The Struggle is Real.”

sports bra 2

Even my exercise shorts, designed to be stretchy and provide lots of leg room, were cutting into my stomach and making my muffin top flop over and nestle against my also-tighter workout shirt.  I basically feel like a moon pie that’s being held too tightly.

One of my Quaran-Tuck It List items is to start doing an exercise regimen in my pool. I’m lucky enough to have one, so I should get my butt in there and use it, right?  I downloaded a couple of YouTube pool exercise videos and started doing them yesterday.

That shit HURTED! (To quote Daughter #2)

I had forgotten how hard it is to run around a pool while swooshing your arms and pretending you’re doing certain dance moves under water. That night I was sore and tired, but that means it’s working, so I’m going to keep it up.

aaerobis

But here are a few tips for those of you who might want to try the same thing:

  1. Check your dignity at the door. You’re going to look ridiculous, even if it’s in your backyard. If you can, get a friend to do it with you – then you have blackmail on each other.
  2. Make sure your bathing suit fits snugly – that 3-year-old Target suit isn’t gonna cut it. I had on my old bikini bottoms, and they were so loose that they kept making a THWOCKA THWOCKA sound every time I jumped around as they scooped up water like a sail, smacking it against my back. It was so loud I couldn’t hear the instructions, and I had to keep stopping and pulling them up again.
  3. Make sure you’re standing in the right water depth – a couple of times I slipped on the ledge going to the deep end and went under. Again, check your dignity at the door.
  4. Don’t try to watch the videos on your cell phone at the edge of the pool. It’s really hard to flap your arms around effectively while squinting at the lady in the video, and also not get your phone wet. I suggest you watch the videos a couple of times and write down the exercises on a piece of paper that you can prop up somewhere – for those of you 40 or older, make it BIG. 
  5. Wear water shoes if you have them – nobody wants those weird red sores from the bottom of the pool on your toes – people will think you have COVID-toes.

Even if you don’t have this on your Quaran-Tuck It List, go ahead and make one.  It’ll help you focus…but be realistic.  “Have sex with Brad Pitt” is not realistic; however, “Dream about having sex with Brad Pitt” is certainly an achievable goal. 

What’s on your list? 

Here are the videos I was using (thank God at least one of those women isn’t a 20-year-old in great shape!):  



Quaran-Tuck It – Part 1
July 15, 2020, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Exercise, Misc. Humor, Posts | Tags: , , , , ,

We’ve all seen the memes about gaining weight while under quarantine, and how we should all be trying to better ourselves during this time.  So, after 4 months of working from home, I have come to the conclusion that the Quarantine-15 is a real thing, and that I’m pretty much as lazy as I thought I was. I was secretly assuming it was me just being too hard on myself.

I don’t have any excuses.

I have extra time because I’m not commuting, and I can drop in a load of laundry when I need to get away from my computer and stretch my legs.  I live out in the country, so not going to the gym should have been replaced by lots of activity outside, like running (which is solitary and free) or the 50 million online exercise apps available. I even am lucky enough to have a pool, which I’ve been in only to just stand in the shallow end, like a hippopotamus.

Instead of bettering myself, I have coped by consuming copious amounts of wine, opening the fridge and staring at its contents for minutes at a time before eating yet another vat of pimiento cheese, watching too much tv after dinner and reading smut novels with heaving breasts and raised lettering on the covers (some are so bad even a book addict like me has to put them down).

smut

I have not learned a new language, edited my novels, blogged nearly enough, or even tried more than one or two new recipes.

So here’s what I’ve decided to do.  I’m going to create a short Quaran- Tuck It List (like a bucket list) of things to do during the pandemic that might get me moving forward again.  Feel free to make your own, or if you need some accountability, share your list in the comments!

  1. Lock the refrigerator on a timer.
  2. Attempt to not drink any alcohol for one week.  (Don’t judge – there’s only so much I can inflict on the Fam all at once.)
  3. Sell stuff on my local FaceBook market page – yep, Hubby is probably going to have a heart attack when he reads this. Dude, RELAX….I’m not touching your t-shirt drawers.
  4. Let the cats live. I CANNOT clean up anymore animal body fluids. If one of them shits on my outdoor cushions one more time, I’m going to lose it.
  5. Actually do the stretches every doctor I’ve seen has said I should be doing.  The problem with thinking of yourself as 30 in your head is that your body likes to laugh and go, “let me remind you…”
  6. Edit and finish the fantasy novel I started 20 years ago. Not 50 Shades of Gray fantasy…magic and swords and stuff. If I had to write the 50 Shades of Gray novel it would have ended after her interview with him and all the red flags she could only miss if she’d been locked in a box for the first 20 years of her life.
  7. Write an alternative novel to 50 Shades.
  8.  Create an author website page.
  9. Publish a bunch of these blogs in a book so future generations can just hand it over to their therapists and say, “See? It’s genetic…”
  10. Start a workout program to do in my pool (see next week’s blog).

What’s your Quaran-Tuck It list?

Qlist



Hydro-automentia and Other Driving Syndromes
June 16, 2020, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Travel | Tags: , , , , , ,

hydroAs pandemic restrictions are loosened and people start to emerge like moles into daylight, I am reminded again how normally intelligent, capable people – people who are doctors and lawyers and engineers outside of their cars – often drive like they’re living the Mario Kart dream or on the antique car ride at King’s Dominion. And God forbid it should start raining – holy shit – it’s like some kind of collective amnesia or processing disorder takes over.

I call this hydro-automentia or, forgetting-how-to-drive-when-it-rains syndrome.

Let me give you an example.  It’s raining, but not too hard – summer rain that finally cools the road off enough so that your dog stops pulling to get onto the grass and stop frying his paws like four little eggs. If you’re driving in this type of rain, a traveler with hydroautomentia in front of you slows WAY down, switches on his hazards and proceeds as if the rain is made of acid and any splash-up will disintegrate his car.  These are often the same people who ride their brakes no matter what the weather.

driving-in-the-rain-is-a-fine-line-between-not-36869317

Then there are the people who suffer from auto-identitatem syndrome, or car identity syndrome. The symptoms can vary and may be exacerbated by disproportionate amounts of testosterone, narcissism and Karen-itis.  Here are a few symptoms:

  • Jersey slashing (If you’re from the south, it’s identity confusion over your place of origin; if you’re from the north, you think you’re just being efficient.)
  • Owning a car that resembles a current or past police vehicle model so that is scares the Bejeezus out of everyone you creep up behind
  • Having a personalized license plate that is either indecipherable or only means something to you, the car owner – either way, you’ve made me look at your car for way too long without getting it and now I’m annoyed
  • Having any kind of “_______ on Board” sign suction cupped to your window – I don’t care and it’s usually not true anyway. Plus, if you have a baby on board you’re providing free advertising to pedophiles.
  • Having any version of the family member stickers on your back window – unless it’s the one where the dinosaur/shark has eaten one of the family members (that’s just funny). Again, you’re advertising to pedophiles, but now they also know exactly which sex and approximate age is in the car and which sports fields to go to.

The last syndrome folks need to be aware of is mergus-icognita.  This syndrome manifests in two primary ways: not using the blinkers/turn signals at a stoplight, and not indicating if you are merging onto an off-ramp. I’ve written about this one before, so I’ll just say that I don’t need a mystery when I’m driving. Life provides me with enough unexplained stuff, like if money is the root of all evil, why do they ask for it in church?  The point is, I don’t need to play “Guess Which Way I’m Going” when I’m at a busy intersection or trying to get on a highway.

So, in addition to the symptoms of COVID-19, the flu, allergies, anxiety and depression that we are supposed to be mindful of right now, please monitor yourself for the symptoms described above. If you do have them, try home remedies first, like removing the offending signage or practicing using your turn signals in your driveway before venturing out and infecting the rest of us.

Oh, and don’t forget the #1 Rule:

Be Kind.

 

 



First Responders – Shit Got Real
May 13, 2020, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Beware – this one is not for the squeamish
or the judgemental….

First-Responder-web-pic

Amid all the thank-yous and celebrations for our First Responders as the pandemic rages around the country, it’s important to remember that these extra acts of bravery and self-sacrifice are in addition to the normal stupid and often really gross stuff they have to deal with.

A friend of mine who is a firefighter submitted this to me and said I could use it.  (Hopefully, he or I will start another blog about the things they have to deal with – the funny, the gross and Darwinian selection in action.) So here goes – (reminder: this is not for the squeamish!):

I got sent to Station 4 for the medic unit.  A very nice medic named Christy (names have been changed, yadyadayada…) was my partner. We checked out all the equipment;  unfortunately, we never discussed a plan for The Secreting Poop Monster.

The Secreting Poop Monster was found passed out on the floor of a bus shelter.  Christy and I pull up, and “Stacie,” the officer at the scene, met us. 

“That guys smells like shit. That’s why I’m over here. Good luck,” she said. 

Christy and I go over and assess the Poop Monster. He is drunk and hypothermic, and has been laying on the wet floor of the bus shelter all night.  Poop is everywhere on the floor.  It is all over him – as plentiful as trash on Sunday morning after the Virginia Garlic Festival.  

At Christy’s suggestion, I paved the cot with two layers of blue absorbent napkins. Then I paved that layer with two more layers of bed sheets.  Together, Christy and I picked up the Poop Monster and laid him on the cot. He soaked through all the layers instantly. 

Christy yelled “Cover him up!”

I had the presence of mind to bring two more sheets and a blanket.  I instantly threw all three layers down over top of the patient, and Christy worked feverishly to tuck in both sides and his feet. Honestly – it was like trying to wrap a soaked car-washing sponge in a dry towel, and expecting the towel to absorb all the water from the sponge. Within seconds, brown stains began appearing on the TOPSIDE of the outside blanket that was covering him. 

Christy and I had both dressed in full Star Trek, Season Three science fiction outfits. We put the Poop Monster in the back of the medic unit and Christy yelled, “JUST GO! Priority One – Lights and sirens!”

Four minutes later we were unloading the Poop Monster at the hospital. That medic unit likely has a bent frame from me slamming over speed bumps at 50 mph.  We wheeled him into his room – and then, he topped 29.5 years of disgusting calls, including The Bug Lady of Station 5 who had a gangrenous, open toe, a bleeding sore on her chest, a prolapsed uterus and lice, which required me to take a shower in paint thinner.  

Christy and I had positioned the cot containing the Poop Monster along side the regular ER hospital bed. The plan was for the two of us to position ourselves on opposing sides of the cot, reach down into the lower abyss, grab hold of the leading edge of the bottom-most sheet on the cot, pick up and slide the Poop Monster over to the hospital bed.  

All was good. I had my side, and Christy had hers. We had agreed she was the point person and would give the orders. I was looking her straight in the eye across the cot, waiting for the “shift” command.  Suddenly, she gets this puzzled look on her face.  She pulled out her gloved hand, looked at her index finger in utter disbelief. 

In the most perfectly unruffled, even-tempered voice that I have ever heard, she said, “A maggot has just crawled from this man’s ass, and it is now wagging its little tail on my index finer.  Oh my God – what should I do?”

Sure enough, I looked across the cot and poor Christy was staring, fixated, at a white maggot.

“Drown it,” I said.  I grabbed her by the arm, dragging her over to the sink and washed her gloved hand with hot water.”

And that, gentle readers, is the kind of thing First Responders have to deal with during regular times – in addition to the pandemic crises they are being called on to handle as well.  The Poop Monster may have been an extreme case, but remember: First Responders take care of people from all walks of life, in all living conditions and with all kinds of ailments, mental and physical. They frequently put themselves in harm’s way so others can survive.  So the next time you get one of those solicitations from your local First Responders for donations, be generous and be kind.  Write that check and remember to give way on the road when you see them coming. Someday it could be you or your loved one.

Or, they could just be covered in shit.

Either way – be generous.

Be kind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Crossing the Shaky Bridge to Middle Age

Women of a certain age joke about menopause all the time.

“If I had a dollar for every time I get distracted, I wish I had some ice cream.”

“I don’t have hot flashes, I have short, tropical vacations.”

“Menopause – it’s a thin line between love and homicide.”

This happens…that stops happening … and thank God THAT doesn’t happen anymore (you can Google the symptoms – it’s not secret knowledge, despite what our mothers’ generation thought).  I always thought that knowing those things made me have a pretty good handle on it, mentally.  My kids are grown and I’m definitely ready to kiss the whole period/PMS thing goodbye.

So, when mine stopped happening, I diligently started counting down the months until the magical 12-month mark with no period – then it would become official.  I’d be in a new stage of life that didn’t involve trips to the store because I ran out of tampons and packing extra underwear to take to work and on vacations (just in case).  I was looking forward to emotional stability, sleeping through the night and becoming the wise old matriarch I am destined to be.  I was even getting used to this new, fatty swim ring permanently hanging over the top of my pants, no matter how many sit-ups I did.

And then, at 11 months and 3 weeks – I got it again.

Are you freaking kidding me?

I was at the finish line, looking official Middle Age in the face and she laughed, said “Bitch, please,” and drew another 365-day line in the sand.

A couple of nights later (and one emergency trip to CVS for supplies), I dreamed I was pregnant (I’m not).  And in that dream, I was very upset.  I cried and wept, feeling angry and betrayed and trapped. I remember wailing “I don’t want to be 70 when my kid graduates college!”

50b

It took me a few days to process what was  happening with that dream. I finally realized that even though my body decided to have a last laugh or last gasp, whichever way you want to look at it, in my mind I had already moved on.  I’ve raised my two wonderful daughters and experienced  the joys and agony of watching them go through the ages and stages. I am ready to start a new phase of life.

That’s something the OBGYN, memes, Facebook and even your friends probably don’t talk about – the mental and emotional adjustment of menopause. I’m sure most women feel it is liberating, devastating, or some combination of the two, but we just don’t talk about that part of it.

Memes are way funnier, let’s be honest.

But eventually you either embrace or resent this new phase of life, this new you. You come to terms with it, or if you don’t, society will most likely not be very kind to you. There will be a lot of pursed lips and head shaking when you show up in your Daisy Dukes, 4-inch wedges and bikini top at age 60, no matter how in shape you think you are.

On the surface I was annoyed, but deep down getting my period again shook the fragile estrogen bridge (made of HRT pills and a secret stash of Midol) I was clinging to, as I tried to cross the chasm between youth and middle-age.

Bridge1When I look behind, I see a thinner version of me chasing my children, arranging play dates, juggling work and parenting and a busy social life, and generally burning the candle at both ends without a thought. I see Hubby working hard and picking up the slack, leaping into the chaos when he got the opportunity, and juggling the same crazy things.  It’s a busy, almost frantic life back there, and I get tired just watching them. When I look forward, I can see the other side, at least what we’re told is there: great, worry-free sex, wisdom, acceptance of certain physical flaws and changes that actually celebrate the life of a woman.  I see Hubby and I standing together watching our girls make their own way in the world, their own families, their own memories.  I see us figuring out this new existence together and connecting in a new way.  I see us being the team we were in the beginning.

And I realize that I’m looking forward to getting over this bridge, despite the bottles of Aleve, the moments of missing what used to be, and the memory losses that are already starting to peek around the corner at me.

So, another 365-day countdown begins. Now, if only I could remember where I put my calendar….

 

 




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