Happy Birthday, Mrs. Fix It!

Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha

Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha (Photo credit: Calgary Reviews)

The day started out unlike any other. My dear Reverend was not poking me in the shoulder to wake me up at 7am. In fact, the only reason I woke up at all at 8am was that someone made someone else cry. I lit up like a lightning bolt on the prairies and reminded myself of my previous evening’s promise to myself. I was going to say “yes” as much as possible, yell as little as possible and take a little Jamaica with me into the day. My “Hey Mon” attitude kicked in and I calmly tried to cram an hour and a half of before-school prep into a half-of-an-hour.

“Mom, we wanted to let you sleep in today, so we didn’t wake you.” Said someone I couldn’t quite make out. Blinking the sleep from my eyes I saw that they all looked at me with angelic faces. Aw…

“That is, until So and So started crying.” Accusing looks backed a guilty-looking child into a figurative corner.

“That’s ok guys…it’s a school day.” I said, giving them each a hug and a push toward the breakfast table. I was quite thankful for whoever made the kid cry. It was my alarm clock. I’m certain I would have remained in an almost-dead state of sleep if a Wake-the-Dead scream hadn’t pierced my ears.

I had plans to be somewhere else as well, this morning, so I kissed the idea of a hot shower good-bye and stuck on my usual bad-hair-day cap. I have one. It’s sparkly.

So far, the Reverend would have been so proud **snort** of me! He only tried to call me 2 times and the kids had not answered because they were being all awesome by letting me sleep.

My plans today were filled with a lot of people. Most had no idea that it was my birthday, but I didn’t care. I was so excited to have a day filled with friends that I was getting to know and friends that I know and love.

In between all the busyness, I took a moment to have a Salted Caramel Mocha. Did you know that it tastes way better with the plastic cap OFF? I did not know that!! The whipped cream gets all mixed with the coffee and the caramel and the salt…OH MY! Heaven. I sat in my car, soaking in the few moments of peace and looked into the clouds to lift my cup to the One who made it possible. I told my sweet Savior that I was so thankful for all he had given me and for this moment with this coffee with him. It sounds weird, but it was a beautiful birthday moment that I will probably remember even when my mind dims. The quiet bliss of the day with the sun shining on my face and having (astoundingly amazing) coffee with my Best Friend.

My plan for the “Hey Mon” attitude mostly went according to plan. I only raised my voice to call the kids in for supper…and maybe one other time.

A few hours, and a left-over supper later, I sat down with all my sweet little darlings and watched our favorite show. I snuggled, and tried to keep the thought of what I had to do before the day ended, out of my mind.

That’s right. The day isn’t over yet. This birthday still has some time left in it. I have procrastinated for 24 hours now and I better not test my luck. The garage door latch whatcha-ma-hoo-sit broke yesterday and it’s stuck open. Now, that is not permission for any nefarious town-dwelling folk to come on over and help yourself to all our cheap junk…though, if you don’t mind, would you come over and take it all out? Thanks!

No, I must go and climb a ladder in the cold and use a screwdriver (I’ve used one a few times for battery replacement and such) to get the thing shut. If I wait long enough I’ll be afraid of the dark and…Oh wait. It gets dark at 6pm these days. Rats! No excuses for me!

…I waited long enough that the Reverend called. Yeah, that’s right. He was checking in on me. He was making sure I hadn’t maimed myself trying to crawl up the ladder in the semi-darkness. Sweet thang! No, I am almost certain that he knew I hadn’t done it yet, so he offered to stay on speaker phone while I did the job. I am sure I purposefully made a few suspicious “Ahhh I’m falling! Ow! How do you work a screwdriver?” noises just to see if he was still awake. I’m still not sure. He knows me too well…sigh!

I did get the door shut though, so those suspicious characters won’t get in my freezer this time. I guess procrastination does pay off. And my suspicious husband was proven right…again. Sheesh!

All in all, this day was a very happy one.


The Tan Alternative

What happens when you are very enthusiastic about the long-awaited, long saved-for vacation of a lifetime? You share everything awesome about what happened during your dream vacation, celebrating your 20th, with all your loved ones who were stuck in the March of H8ll? They all have to act happy for you but the occasional outburst from someone who’s had enough of the hyper happy talk of sunshine and beaches runs out of the room crying, right on our happy parade. I get it. I do. Every single year I was the middle-aged mom of four looking at everyone else going on my dream vacations and I steamed in jealousy and filled with determination as I tortured myself with photos from other people’s vacations.

To make all of you, who are dealing with the winter storm of the season this week, feel so much better about it (ducking now for snowballs headed my way) I would like to talk about my legs. Whew, that kills the happy mood right off, doesn’t it? That is a beacon of hope for those who mire in the clay of despair that they didn’t get to go on a vacay. My legs have never inspired hope, I don’t think.

My legs got fried and I mean crispie fried. The night that I got the burn from direct equatorial sunlight meeting lily-white unprotected legs, we could have bbq’d on those babies. Whoa! Legs on fire! I took the ice bucket, that was there to keep the champagne cold (an anniversary gift from the staff), and dunked a big towel in the frigid water and brought it up to wring out the extra cold, arctic water…except it wasn’t arctic water, it was Jamaican water with ice. Same thing! I put those almost frozen cloths on my legs and the steam that arose from the contact? well you could almost hear it sizzle. I told my husband that I was so hot  (with a dramatic groan) and he only agreed with a smirk on his face.

Sandals Whitehouse, Jamaica

Sandals Whitehouse, Jamaica

Look closely and you can see the burn…I still had a good time.

I hate being cold and putting any sort of ice on my body so you know it was a good burn that reminded me that I had let myself walk around unprotected. How silly, after so many friends/family/Facebook strangers telling me to apply sunblock, apply again, rinse, repeat. Going from Canada and  completely covering our gleamingly white winter bodies, to uncovering them and letting the equatorial sun ball of death shine on our pasty selves, well, it was stupid. I only forgot it for one morning That was all it took. Now the payback is in the insane itch of the healing. I didn’t notice it so much when we were “there” but now with the dry prairie air sucking any moisture that was left in the air my skin is all about the itchy.

And I suppose you are all allowed to laugh at my holiday drama because this was the ONLY  non-favorite shenanigan  in our whole trip. The trip had fantastic written all over it.

And the itching is driving me wild.

Instead of the awesome tan to remind myself of a great time had, I have crazy itching to remind me. I scratch and say, “Wow what a great time we had” and “Pass me the lotion to MAKE IT STOP!”

PS. No one has actually run out of a room crying, unless you count my daughter, who did actually run out of the room crying. She was determined to pack herself in our suitcase and escape the snow. But we dropped her off at dance and left with her safely NOT in our duffle bags.