Subourbon Mom

My Liver’s A Slut

There are a lot of body organs that can be equated to types of people. My heart is the parent of teenagers – steadily working to keep things moving forward and occasionally feeling like it can’t keep up, and skipping a beat when exciting things are happening. My brain is definitely the five-year-old of the body family, with the ability to be shockingly accurate and annoyingly obtuse at the same.

LiverBut the most interesting body organ is my liver – she’s a slut – or at least she used to be. She would take in anything, but like a lot of older sluts, doing so now comes with a lot of consequences.

I think the history of alcoholic drinks my liver has filtered also reflects the relationships (and I use the word “relationships” loosely) I’ve had.

In the beginning, there were the sweet early-years boyfriends, who felt good at the time, compared to, well, nothing much else yet… but who left me in the end with monster headaches and an upset stomach. For my liver these years were marked by avid consumption of your staple redneck beers, occasionally spiked with an unusual combination of vodka and whatever else was available.

Tequila2Of course, everyone has a tequila story. Let’s just say I still can’t even think about it to this day without gagging…and that was just that one guy…(Daughters 1 & 2, be smarter and better than your mom…please!)

Like many people, my liver and heart were indiscriminate for a while, trying to find a basis for comparison. You have to know the bad before you can appreciate the good, right?

Eventually there was the first reciprocated love – and the introduction to wine. Sweet white wine was delightful and full of promise. Unfortunately, I still hadn’t tried a lot of other drinks or relationships, and needed to branch out to truly understand what my liver, er, heart thought was best. European beers with their fancy labels had always been a draw, but in the end they made me sick at heart and in the toilet.

And then my liver and I discovered rum – a drink traditionally from the islands, with a bite that will cut through too much sweet and not leave me with the dreaded wine headache/hangover. That lasted for years and years, and is still a favorite.

But as I’ve gotten older, my liver is thankfully starting to show her age, getting more and more picky about what spills inside, creating all kinds of side effects when I make a bad choice. Beer leaves me feeling tired and fat, wine gives me hot flashes, and vodka just eliminates any mental filters I have – none of these are desirable side effects in my body or in a relationship.

bourbon1I have now switched from rum to bourbon, and before anyone freaks out and thinks something is wrong between me and Hubby, we are fine. But after 27 years, relationships change. I no longer need the flash fire and overt sweetness of rum drinks. Instead, I prefer the steady burn of bourbon, warming me from the inside. It keeps the hot flashes away, and I rarely have a hangover. Same with Hubby – he’s my Blanton’s, my Basil Hayden, my Jefferson Ocean.

So there you have it, folks. Whether you are in the Boones Farm stage (or, God forbid, never got out of it), trying your first sweet, white wine or still throwing back those nasty shots of tequila, think about what it might be telling. My liver was a slut – but thankfully she held up long enough so that I can now ingest quality.



“Sin Beer” and Other Things I Learned While Rafting
June 19, 2013, 2:29 pm
Filed under: Parenting, Sports, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
The Family Rafting in Colorado

The Family Rafting in Colorado

Occasionally, no matter how much it pains me, I have to admit that Hubby was right about something; and sometimes, there are many parenting lessons that can be taught/learned in one single event—family trips are rife with both of these opportunities.

Last week during a family trip to Colorado, the girls and I agreed that white water rafting would be a great family adventure. Hubby was skeptical, but, the day before we had spent hours watching candy being made by hand in a factory and panning for gold at an abandoned mine.

Lesson #1: Children don’t need to have the mystique of where candy canes come from destroyed by bulky men in hairnets;


Lesson #2: Pointing out that panning for gold is a lot like washing dishes does not help your cause at home.

These excursions were fun, but we all realized that Colorado was an outdoor wonderland beckoning us east coast explorers.  So we picked up the white water rafting brochure and began discussing which trip we should take. There were two options: Beginners aged 5 and up, and a trip for Intermediates, or “Aggressive Beginners.” Since the last Beginner rafting trip Daughter #1 and Hubby took was like floating in a pool, Daughter #1 felt we were definitely ready for something more exciting.  Hubby was doubtful, and tried several times to persuade us that the Beginner level would be fine.

We didn’t listen.

So, we paid $60 bucks each to cling to a rubber tub in raging, 40-degree waters.

Lesson #3: When a brochure says wet suits and helmets are mandatory, it would be wise to consider the reasons for this, and that the brochure was made by 20-year-old college students who think they are invincible.

Suited up, we fell in with the other mostly middle-aged businessmen, looking like a bright yellow SWAT team on the way to a bumblebee convention.  Before the guides would let us put the raft into the water, there were cursory explanations about where to put your feet, and that each guide was required to pay “Sin Beer” for the multitude of rafting sins occurring during the trips, like guests falling overboard, missing stopping points, and losing oars. Volunteers for the front were solicited. Hubby bravely took one for the team and hopped in, having been informed that the front people have the greatest chance of falling out. I opted for the back, thinking the girls would be hemmed in by the others, and that I was closest to the guide, who could pull me in if I fell out.

Lesson #4:  Unlike the mini-van, the back seat is NOT the safest place to be in a raft.

Within minutes we realized we were WAY out of our depth. Spinning round and round, we plummeted into holes of water and bounced out again, only to begin the cycle over.  After bouncing out of my footholds twice, I finally lost my grip completely and tipped over backward into the swirling water, banging my hip on a rock.

Lesson #5: Panic can supersede parenting.

I would like to say I would have made Bear Grylls proud and hauled myself back in, but in reality, I panicked and grabbed Daughter #2, who is 90 pounds wet.  With the guide yelling at her to pull me in, she yelled back and tried not to be pulled in by her own mother. Somehow, the guide managed to steer the boat and haul me back in at the same time. I was clearly never going to be the hero I thought I was.  Cost:  1 12-pack of beer.

For the next half-hour, we struggled to keep the raft upright as we surfed, spun and tumbled in the Class 3 and 4 rapids. We lost another of our team in a Class 4+ rapid, plummeting into a hole that folded the raft in half. The young woman in front of Daughter #1 tumbled ass over elbow for a full minute in the frothing water (another 12-pack) and lost her paddle (another 6-pack), until hubby was finally able to pull her back in. She landed on top of him, in shock, and the only soul left rowing on that side was Daughter #1. I will never forget the look of panic on her face, which remained glued there until her feet touched dry land. We missed a mandatory eddy and had to continue on (another 6-pack).

Lesson #6: Remember to praise the bravery and outspoken nature of the children you have raised.

Daughter #2 made sure the guide knew she was in trouble when she couldn’t pull me in, and Daughter #1 never gave up, rowing for all she was worth, even when she was scared to death.

The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful (we even sang “Under the Boardwalk” while we paddled), until the final five minutes. Under dire warnings that if we missed the next eddy we would involuntarily go down the Advanced Rapids, we paddled for all we were worth toward the waiting rafts. We hauled heaved and shoved at the water, until we hit one last hole. In went Hubby (another 12-pack). Thankfully, he was close enough to shore that he could make his way to the other rafts and get hauled in.

Lesson #7: Sometimes it’s okay to let Hubby say “I told you so” as much as he wants after a day like that. He earned it!


As we waited to get on the bus, we stood in the sun and tried to warm ourselves by placing shaking hands on rocks and shedding our life jackets. Our legs trembled with fatigue from the waist down, and after several minutes, our eyeballs returned to normal size.  We paid our guide well in tip money and “Sin Beer” money (we figured we owed him for at least 2 cases of beer).

Lesson #8:  Show your children it is right to reward excellent service.


Without brave and “invincible” guides, we would never have made it—they earn their tips every time they step into that raft with a bunch of “Aggressive Beginners” like us.

Will we ever do it again?  Only Hubby and Daughter #2 say they will. She maintains it was fun, and has blown up a picture of her sister’s terrified face and now keeps it on her phone. Was it a priceless experience? Absolutely!

The Family Rafting in Colorado

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