Subourbon Mom


On Turning 50 – It’s Halftime
February 11, 2021, 6:36 pm
Filed under: Posts | Tags: , ,

This week I turn 50 and like a lot of people do, I’m looking back going Girl, you played a sloppy first half.  Sure, there were a few touchdowns (marrying Hubby, having Daughters 1 & 2, making lifetime friendships), a lot of first downs (meaningful jobs, having my first story published) and even some ejections/rejections.  But that’s the game, isn’t it?

Just as Patrick Mahomes can’t dwell on the ridiculous number of penalties called during the Superbowl, and The Weekend can’t erase from everyone’s minds the jockstrap halftime show, you can’t dwell on the penalties you accumulate during your lifetime. 

I’m pretty sure most of mine were Personal Fouls, like ugly breakups, hurt feelings, and walking away from things I shouldn’t have. There was also some Encroachment, usually on the girls’ side of the line, but sometimes being up in somebody’s business is just a sign that you care. No regrets there. I don’t think anyone would accuse me of Holding (omg please don’t hug me….), unless it’s to say I sometimes hold a grudge.

But whatever the penalties, like any good team you have to learn from them.  So, here’s to hoping our second halves are filled with new plays, fewer penalties, more scores and downs, and lots and lots of cheering fans.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my halftime show won’t have a jockstrap or wardrobe malfunction, unless it’s because I’ve outgrown another pair of jeans. It will involve high-end bourbon, a fireplace, and hopefully the Fam and friends in whatever way we can be together. That’s the best beginning of a second half I could have.

Well, I gotta run to the fridge…the whistle just blew and it’s time to go back in and play!



Cleaning Up the End Zone

Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow, life guru to…no one, really…is touting the energizing and cleansing effects of something called the “Vaginal Steam.”

Yeah, you read that right.

It seems there is a new spa option that allows women to sit on a throne-like chair, and let steam infused with an herb called mugwort…cleanse the End Zone.Unknown-2

I’m not a medical expert, and the research I did (which consisted of talking to some friends) raised a few questions in my mind.

First of all, according to WebMD, one of the many uses of mugwort is as an energy tonic, which I suppose is why Gwyneth thought it might be “energizing.” Among many other things, Mugwort is also used for “worm infestations” and to “stimulate gastric juices and bile.” For worm infestations and gastric juice production, I refer you to a professional—especially if they’re in your End Zone.

WebMd also says Mugwort “might stimulate the uterus.” Um…to do what? Unless I’m pregnant and days past my kid’s due date, I don’t want my uterus doing much of anything, thank you very much. When you’re in your 40’s the less End Zone upheaval the better.

As far as I know, most people steam their bodies for three reasons: to relieve a sinus infection, to ease sore muscles, or to try and reduce the signs of age, sun and smoke damage.

If your End Zone is having unusual drainage, steaming it at a spa is not going to help. Chances are, you’ve had a few too many touchdowns in your End Zone and you need to see a professional, who hopefully has a quick antibiotic-related fix.

If your End Zone has muscles so sore that they need some time in a sauna, you need to re-think the level of play you’re allowing on the field. And by the way, the End Zone is already kind of its own personal sauna, don’t you think?

If your End Zone has sun or smoke damage…I don’t even know what to tell you. Maybe steam cleaning will be your thing after all.

I have no idea what the signs of End Zone aging might be, other than the grass changing colors, images-1but I’m pretty sure that unless you’re okay with altering your End Zone using Botox, lifts and chemical peels, you might not want to steam down there either. If you really are concerned with the visual appeal, you can always repaint the lines, and get a new team logo.   Unknown-1

So thanks, Gwyneth, for making me aware of something I now can’t ever forget exists.



Inventions I’ll Never Patent, But Someone Will

As promised last week, here are a few inventions I would like to patent but never will, because I am lazy, can’t do math or chemistry, and don’t want librarians or activists to hunt me down. Football coaches, I’ve seen your physiques–good luck catching me.

1.  Condoms with the words “What Would Jesus Do?” printed on them. It’s the perfect compromise, people—pro-choice, and yet discouraging at the same time. For the non-Christians among us, substitute whatever deity you believe in. For atheists and religions that don’t worry so much about sex as much as Christians do, change it to “Do you like changing diapers?”  If you are more worried about disease than pregnancy, or if you work for the CDC, change it to, “Do you have your $50 co-pay ready?”

IMG_1975

Puke Pourri:
Spritz our smelly stuff about,
And the puke smell’s gone
By the time you check out!

2.  A spray that makes library books stop smelling like vomit. Daughter #2 always asks me, “When we can go to Barnes & Noble?,” (we are not electronic readers) and I always reply that the library books are free, so we should go there instead. “Not thanks,” is her reply. When I asked her why she never wanted to go to the library, Daughter #2 said, “They always smell like throw-up.” So of course, I went to the library and amused myself (and others I’m sure) by smelling lots of books in the children and teen sections. You know what? She was right. They do smell like vomit. So, in the same spirit as the incredibly wonderful Poo-Pourri spray (sold at Hallmark–thanks Debra!) that eliminates poo odors in the bathroom, I would invent “Puke-Pourri” spray, conveniently sold at all libraries. It could even be a fundraiser for our national libraries!

3.  A remote, phone-specific disconnection timer app that would disconnect certain phones in my house from the WiFi for certain periods of time during the day, like 7:00-8:00am, and during scheduled homework times.  This would make getting out the door in the mornings with teenagers easier, and the process of getting homework done much faster.   This app would be controlled by specific phones (mine), so the teenagers could not turn it off. I Googled it–so far all I saw was a list of sites complaining about phones disconnecting all by themselves…

4.  The hormone alert wristband.  If only humans were as straight-forward as cats when they want to have sex.  When a cat is in heat, she will meow incessantly, sending out her mating call for all the tomcats in the area to hear (It’s only finny if it’s not your cat).  If only men and women could send out signals like that in a bar, or, even better, after a decade or three of marriage.  The hormone alert wristband can be made for both men and women. The woman’s band would determine estrogen and progesterone fluctuations, alerting her partner that her emotions might be running high, or that her estrogen levels are low, so trying any hanky-panky is most likely futile (unless you want to keep pestering for some pity sex, in which case I say good luck to you–keep trying and you might draw back a bloody stump). The men’s wristband would detect testosterone levels, alerting his companion to the fact that he is more likely to be aggressive; and it would detect vasopressin levels which, according to a Men’s Health article (http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/understanding_sex_and_the_brain/printer.ph), are involved in regulating sexual persistence, assertiveness, dominance, and territorial marking.  High vasopressin levels could alert his partner to the increased likelihood that the man will want sex, or might be inclined to wander. Either way, if a woman’s estrogen levels are low at the same time, put the basketball game on–he won’t bother you or anyone else.

Photo courtesy of ajc.com

Photo courtesy of ajc.com

6.    An NFL coach that teaches players how to tackle. 



Corn Hole–It Can Save The World

I have a new talent.  It’s not very often once you hit your forties, you discover something new about yourself that doesn’t have to do with migrating hair or the fact that the doctors on Gray’s Anatomy all look like they’re children.

This summer, I discovered I’m pretty good at corn hole.IMG_6485

The revelation occurred during a wedding reception. Daughter #2 and I tossed our way into a corn hole victory, wearing summer dresses and aiming for a board painted with twining, pastel flowers. What a welcome departure from the typical wedding small talk over bacon-wrapped scallops and monogrammed mints!

A couple of weeks later, Hubby and his work buddies set up a corn hole game in the glass lobby of their office. After hours, we played several games, with the added risk of shattering three stories of glass on a mis-throw. As we played, I realized that corn hole is like dancing: one beer will loosen up the arms, but two or three beers produce uncoordinated, jerky motions that cause folks to shake their heads and back away.

I didn’t realize corn hole had become a part of my psyche until a couple of weekends ago, when we went to the Montpelier Steeple Chase races in Central Virginia.

Tailgates sported silver candelabra and flower arrangements that belonged in an issue of Southern Living. Colorful hats, feathers and scarves competed with the jockey’s silks against a backdrop of falling leaves. Southern men staggered around in khakis and button down shirts, clutching red solo cups filled with bourbon or gin while their dates grabbed an arm and led them over to the track to watch the races.  Vendors touted overpriced boots, and hats, and artwork to grace libraries and sitting rooms.

One vendor was selling chairs and pillows covered with hand-painted watercolor animals and insects.  I was about to move on to the tent with Kettle Korn and gyros, when I noticed a small pile of square beanbags that were also painted in the same style for $20 – $40 each.  For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why anyone would pay such a ridiculous amount of money for corn-hole bags. It wasn’t until I picked one up, felt its weight and caught a whiff of lavender that I realized they couldn’t possibly be corn hole bags. They were sachet bags–the kind that women sometimes put in their underwear drawer. (Does anyone even still use those?)  The fact that I even knew this was due to my proper southern upbringing; but like tomato aspic or chicken gizzards, just because I know what a sachet is doesn’t mean I partake.

Having been introduced to the addictive world of corn hole, I’ve decided it should not be limited to NASCAR, football and weddings. I think the DMV should have them, as should the Post Office, women’s bathroom lines at concerts, and on the back of road construction trucks, ready to be dropped at a moment’s notice when traffic comes to a standstill on I-95.  What better way to kill time and make a group of strangers come together in a spirit of camaraderie?

So grab a couple of boards, prop them up, and raid your kid’s toy box. You never know when you might need to make some friends, or just pass the time while life goes on around you.  For those of you still too proud to admit you like corn hole, just tell people you’re throwing sachet bags around.

 



National Bourbon Month
September 30, 2013, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Food/Drink | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I don’t know how it escaped me, but I recently learned that September is National Bourbon Month, celebrating bourbon as America’s “Native Spirit.” How ironic–because of genetics, America’s true natives can’t hold their liquor.  In 2007, Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky sponsored the bill that was, not surprisingly, unanimously approved.

So, to honor this most sacred of months, I decided to celebrate in my own ways:

Whereas Congress declared bourbon as `America’s Native Spirit’ in 1964, making it the only spirit distinctive to the United States; To honor the Native Spirit, I decided to have a drink or two while sitting on the lawn with a couple of other moms at an Imagine Dragons concert, supervising our teenage daughters as they navigated the creepy world of older boys and men playing “guess how old they are.” It was how I imagine a Native American story-telling evening might have been spent (because I watched Dances with Wolves way too many times) if they had massive speakers, electric guitars and huge screens so the neighboring tribes could complain about the noise for miles around. We didn’t smoke pipes, but we did sit with our fellow elders, solve most of the world’s problems, and clap and dance along with the music. However, unlike our Native Sons, my European genetics let me hold my liquor all too well, until I got sleepy. I believe I snored most of the way down I-95.

Whereas the history of bourbon-making is interwoven with the history of the United States, from the first settlers of Kentucky in the 1700s, who began the bourbon-making process; To honor our bourbon-brewing forefathers who left the east coast for the freedom to brew tax-free in the mountains, I recently sampled some bourbon that was dis-“stilled” far, far away from any liquor store.  I like corn, and I like water, the two most important ingredients in bourbon.  Unfortunately, what I drank tasted like these were the ONLY ingredients—with maybe a cup or two of rubbing alcohol thrown in.  But it was tax-free!

Whereas bourbon has been used as a form of currency; This one was easy—I had a bottle of Woodford Reserve with a Kentucky Derby label on it made into a lamp for my mom for Christmas—so much better than a gift card!

I have also used bourbon drinks to trade for food and other drinks at tailgates. It is not unheard of for my voice to carry over the din of the football crowd rasping, “I’ve got an extra cup here if you’ll share your chips and salsa.”  Bourbon can also be used as currency to punish fellow tailgaters who insist that women in their 40’s somehow lose their ability to do shots. For the record, we don’t lose our ability–we lose our stupidity. However, sometimes one must step up to the plate and prove, once again, that taking a bourbon shot in the Redskins parking lot is not just a man’s prerogative. With the bet announced, bourbon has occasionally cost a doubter some cash, or at least a few homemade cookies.

I’m also stockpiling bourbon and other bottles of alcohol (at least that’s what I tell people when they get a glimpse of my liquor cabinet) for the demise of the modern world. If the American dollar ever fails, I will be a survivor.  My wounds will also be clean.  

Whereas generations have continued the heritage and tradition of the bourbon-making process, unchanged from the process used by their ancestors centuries before;” The processes may not have changed all that much, but our drinking habits have. I’ve been known to drink out of a mason jar (now I have fancy ones with a hole through the lid for a straw), but I prefer Bourbon Slushies and the one I like to call, “Give Me My Figgin’ Bourbon” (see https://subourbonmom.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/mint-juleps-and-other-signs-of-spring/ for the recipe).  Now that I’m in my 40’s, and antacids are a regular part of my diet, I have learned to be kinder to my body. I sip instead of slam, and regularly doctor my drinks up to fool my brain into thinking its just another form of dessert.

So enjoy National Bourbon month, and let me know how you plan to celebrate our Native Spirit!

 




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