Subourbon Mom


Call Me Lagertha
March 19, 2021, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Country Living, Exercise, Middle Age | Tags: , , , , ,

After the possum-in-the-driveway incident, I realized I may need some skill with a gun to put animals out of their misery. Well, I’ve changed my mind. Sure, there are some valid reasons for getting a gun, especially when living in the country: coyotes, cops don’t hang around the end of my road for my convenience, and the creatures going bump in the night can be a little more menacing than the neighborhood tom cat calling for his ladies.

But there are a lot of reasons for me, personally, to not get one:

  1. I can’t see 10 feet in front of me without contacts or glasses (which are nowhere to be found when you actually need them), so night protection is out. All I’d be able to do is point my gun in the general direction of the problem.
  2. The kind of gun I would have to be able to shoot in order to actually wound anyone would be too heavy for me to use. (But OMG I love the image of myself charging out of the back door with a shotgun at my hip yelling “Come and get it, Mother F@#$%r!!)
  3. I don’t like loud noises, and using a silencer just screams “I’m going to end up in a Netflix movie.”
  4. Even with practice, I still can’t hit the side of a barn because it’s impossible for me to keep my eyes open and shoot. So, I pull to the side. Every time. Honestly, I don’t trust anyone who can keep there eyes open while shooting – they can probably do it while sneezing, too, and that’s just messed up. If you can do that, your body clearly isn’t functioning properly and you should start surfing WebMD to find out what the Hell’s wrong with you.
  5. Snakes (a.k.a. “danger noodles”) have tiny heads and move fast; therefore I will most likely still be bitten if I try to shoot them.
  6. Trying to shoot a dying possum in the driveway as an act of mercy would probably result in bullets ricocheting back into me, rendering me unconscious, next to the possum. I don’t want to die lying next to a possum. But if that happens, that shit better be in my obituary because that is FUNNY.

All of that said, I am now in the infancy of becoming the Lagertha of my neighborhood. For those of you who don’t enjoy bloody, Viking sagas on tv, Lagertha is a bad-ass, axe and sword wielding Viking Shield Maiden on the show Vikings. Oh, and did I mention she’s gorgeous? So yeah, I decided to channel my inner Lagertha these days.

Last month, when I turned 50, I asked Hubby for a different kind of gift, one I learned about from my friend Patrice. I asked for a set of throwing axes and a target, which he made, although not without some concern that his life expectancy might drop dramatically if I was having a bad day. On my birthday, when the world had iced over in one the many signs of the coming apocalypse, we threw axes at the target in the sleet for 2 hours.

Friends, I gotta tell you….it is life changing.

It is like being Lagertha (but in a semi-rural setting with the dogs barking madly behind the storm door because they’re too untrained to stay out of the way). There is something viscerally satisfying when you hear the THUNK of the axe sinking into the wooden target. When I picked up a powerful handgun once and fired off several rounds in a row, I could see how that firepower would have its appeal. But throwing an axe seems more connected, more intimate, more ancient. More violent. More…satisfying.

Yes, I know Millennials have been throwing axes at bars for a while now, and as usual, us old folks have probably already ruined it. But for a middle-aged woman, being able to forcefully throw something and connect with the target somehow makes you feel powerful, and more importantly, less invisible.

Will an axe beat a gun in a fight? Nope, probably not, but I’ll bet there aren’t many criminals who’ll expect to see a 2021, female version of The Shining coming at them.

Will throwing an axe make a difference in how others see me? Probably not, but more importantly, it changes how I see myself. So, if you come into our driveway and hear the steady THUNK, THUNK THUNK of an axe hitting wood, know that I probably had a bad day. You may want to loudly approach, holding a glass of bourbon at arm’s length. If you see me doing this with my hair braided and wearing some kind of animal skin, you probably should call the cops.



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



Dungeons, Dragons and D*!dos, Oh My!

If people judged me by the catalogs I receive, they would probably say I am a woman somewhere between the age of 12 and 75, I prefer being athletic outside (true), I occasionally have an interest in high-end hunting attire (nope), and I may have a fetish for dressing like I play Dungeons and Dragons (also no).

It’s the last catalog topic that I find the most fun.  The Pyramid Collection catalog,  which I receive because I somehow got on a list, is a clothing catalog for wanna-be wiccans, female Renaissance Faire attendees, and those on the fantasy side of Goth (not the EMO, skeletal, dyed black hair and white-face makeup Goths). It bills itself as “Myth, Magick, Fantasy & Romance.”   All true, if your idea of romance is to meet fellow wiccans wearing flowing blouses with  lacy sleeves (think Seinfeld’s “Puffy Shirt”),

puffy

you want to meet prince charming after a joust at your local Medieval Times,

Ren Dress

or your idea of fantasy is to meet a fellow enthusiast at ComiCon while waiting to do a meet-and-greet with the cast of Outlander or Game of Thrones.

Dress 1

But the most interesting thing about this catalog is that right in the middle, where the staples are and where it falls open is a double-page spread of a variety of sex toys for women.  So, in addition to buying the many fantasy-related accoutrements, you can also purchase some toys to help you relieve the loneliness that apparently is assumed will follow the initial purchase. It’s genius, really – cater to women’s fantasies, then cater to them not panning out – all in one catalog.

Perhaps other catalogs should follow suit, in their own way:  Athleta and LuLu Lemon could also put a spread in their catalogs that include the inevitable cheese boards, pizzas and wine that somehow seem to follow those departed New Year’s resolutions.

W CatalogMen’s catalogs could offer sleek suits and upscale weekend wear, but also include a spread with wings, onion rings and a selection of porn (not that I condone porn in any way) when the suits don’t hide the douchey-ness beneath, and they once again are seated with their buddies on a Friday night at BW3s instead of out on a date.

I just can’t believe this marketing trend hasn’t caught on before – addressing the “Who I Want to Be” part of the customer, as well as the “Ok, This is Who I Am” portion, all in one place.

Land’s End is gonna have to step up their game.

 

 

 



Stop Over-Achieving – Just Do Your Best

Do Your BestThe New Year is often touted as a time for reflection on the past, making plans for a better tomorrow, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah…

F*#* that.

My reflections on the past come at two or three o’clock in the morning after being awakened by especially searing hot flashes. And, since my hot flashes appear as often as Trump recklessly tweets on foreign policy, I think I’ve reflected a lot over the last 365 days. When I wake up like that, the world seems like a dark place and everything I ever said was wrong…I What was I thinking? That was the worst parenting decision I’ve ever made…Please God, let that email not have been Reply All…My hair does not look like Farrah Fawcett, I don’t care what they said at work…

My plans for the New Year are what they should always have been – just do your best. Note to self: be happy being a 70-percenter.  C’s get degrees, and average lives deserve high-fives.  Quit freaking out that your list isn’t done, you over-achiever – at least you have a list. In fact, at least you have a pen and paper and you were allowed to learn how to read and write.

Some days, doing your best may mean cranking out that detailed, raise-inspiring report for work, driving your child to a specialist appointment and hearing bad news but giving them a reassuring smile, or helping a friend who’s parent has passed away by organizing the wake.  Other days, doing your best may be as simple as remembering to undo the seat best BEFORE you try and get out of the car (yes, I forgot).

Doing your best is relative. One of the things the Orange Theory Fitness program has taught me (besides that I HATE riding the bike and most lunges are worse for me than burpees) is that everyone’s “best” is relative.  You probably don’t know that the man next to you on the rower had heart surgery a year ago, and he’s struggling to make his heart stronger so he can play with his grandkids; or that the woman two spots down who can’t plank for more than 10 seconds has shoulders that dislocate habitually and she’s willing them to stay in place so she doesn’t have surgery again; or that the girl on the treadmill who’s walking flat when everyone else is running on a hill is just trying to get through one class without using her inhaler (that’s usually me).

Just do your best, even if that means wearing slippers on your feet to work because you forgot to change your shoes (yep, did that too).  You got there, didn’t you?  You clearly were not meant to be there, so you’re already over-achieving, right? Way to go!

But for the record, your best better include using your freaking turn signals when you’re driving.  Seriously – the 30% that’s not my best will make an appearance if you make me guess what you’re going to do at a stoplight, or why you’re randomly slowing down for no apparent reason.

So…just do your best.

new-years2.jpg




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