Weekend Getaways – men versus women

When I was telling my husband about our weekend getaway, I became aware at how differently such a weekend would be viewed by males versus females.

  • Planning – Men– grab whatever is clean in drawers, throw in a bag, get in car and go.  Women – consult datebook, arrange babysitter, ensure enough food is left at house, emails about who will bring what, pack the night before, depart for trip with printed mapquest directions and a GPS.
  • Packing – Men – throw things in one vehicle.  Women – coordinate who is bringing what. Pack the night before. Fold everything neatly into a suitcase. Load suitcases into two or three vehicles. If scrapbooking, plan to take 2 vehicles for 4 people due to the large quantity of items packed.
  • Meals – Men – take out or fast food?  Pick up beer and chips at gas station.  Women – prepare detailed menu, complete with snacks.  Use GPS to find grocery store. Retrieve coupons from glove box and make sure at least one person has the grocery discount store. Go methodically up and down aisles buying things like brie, crackers, fruit, wine and coffee.
  • Beds – Men – throw sleeping bag on mattress.  Ensure no male is sleeping in the same bed as another male.    Throw suitcase in corner.  Women – determine who will share a bed and a room.  Make all beds with fresh sheets and distribute towels and handtowels. Unpack clothes and hang them up neatly in closet. Store suitcases under bed.
  • TV – Men- find sports. Turn volume up loudly. Yell at each other and TV.  Women – find music station and play quietly in the background so as not to distract from meaningful conversation.  Discuss families, children and jobs.
  • EntertainmentMen – find sports bar or sports on TV. Go hunting or fishing or 4-wheeling.  Women – scrapbook, knit or crochet. Pick up brochures to determine agenda for the day.
  • Sight-seeingMen – find pretty blondes on TV — see, what a sight!  Women – find winery or antique shop that features locals. Map out route so as to see the local attractions. Plan to leave so as to accommodate everyone.
  • LeavingMen – put on shoes and leave.  Women – plan who will shower first. Take 1 hour each to shower and put on makeup.  Depart several hours later.
  • Snacks – Men – chips from bag. Beer from can. Good.  Women – heat brie in oven. Place on coffetable on nice plate. Distribute crackers onto a serving platter. Distribute plates and napkins.  Pour wine into matching wineglasses, complete with stem decorations so that everyone knows which glass belongs to which lady.
  • Unexpected Tire changeMen – brag about past experience with vehicles. Break tire and jack trying to remove from car.  Jack up without consulting manual and break off floorboard. Curse at vehicles driving by for not slowing down.  Hurt back trying to be macho and lift things alone. Go home and brag to buddies.  Women – consult manual. Realize jack and tire are bolted down and can not be removed without following written instructions. Break into groups so as to flag down vehicles and safely change tire.  Find experienced help quickly.
  • HomecomingMen to Wives – what did you do all weekend (as he surveys the spotless house).  Women to Men – what did you do all weekend (as she surveys the damage left for her to clean).

Damsels (not) in Distress

 As I wrote about in my last post, I was away on a Girls’ Weekend. We had much wine fun. 

On Friday we arrived at the mountain cabin after a trip to the grocery store.  We then drove down two gravel roads during which time we lost cell phone service and internet capability.  The view from the cabin was breathtaking. Friday night consisted of eating food, drinking wine and catching up.  Saturday consisted of a wine tour and tasting, a nice meal out, more wine at the cabin and some scrapbooking.  We then slept in on Sunday and drove home, by way of another winery where we did another tasting.  We also hit a chocolate factory one day and purchased some chocolate to go with our wine.  It was much fun.  No crying kids. No husbands. No phone. No internet. No email. 

Our only real adventure came when we left on Sunday.  We thought the car acted funny but blew it off as being a bit sluggish on the gravel road. When we pulled onto the paved road we realized that there was indeed something wrong.  A quick glance at the car revealed an extremely flat tire.  Polling revealed that only I had ever changed a tire (thank you Dad for finally teaching me something useful and insisting I know how to change a flat and thanks to my 1976 vehicle that left me with a flat tire thereby ensuring I actually had practiced those skills in the past).

I instructed the driver to pull back onto the paved road so the vehicle was level.  I retrieved the instruction manual and she and I unloaded the car to access the spare tire. The other girl watched for traffic.  The last girl was quite sure we should not be changing the tire and went off to find a male neighbor.  I remembered enough to know that when jacking up a car you should make sure the jack contacts with steel or metal, and not plastic.  The instruction booklet showed a picture of just such a point.  We finally figured out how to unscrew the jack and tire from the compartment (car manufacturers definitely don’t want to let you access such things easily – THREE bolts fastened the suckers down).  We had the spare tire out and the car halfway jacked up when the friend returned with the male neighbor.

He told us we were doing a great job but he’d be glad to help us out, especially with the lug nuts since they are often very tight.  We let him take over.  Soon we were back on the road and 1/4 mile later pulled off for some gas.  Since this was a country (middle of nowhere) gas station, you had to pay inside.  When asked, the cashier mentioned a car repair shop just down the road.  A quick call later, and we learned the owner had stopped in to pay some bills and would be glad to plug the tire for us.  A short while later and $30 paid ($20 bill and we tipped the man $10 for helping us out) and we were on our way. Less than 1 hour lost from top to bottom.

We felt pretty proud of ourselves.  While we did accept help, I know that we probably could have managed on our own. And we wouldn’t have had to resort to this –

Girl’s Trip – hitting the road

Whew! Talk about stress. After the last post ended up on “Freshly Pressed,” I feel all this stress to make this next post perfectly wonderful.  How to cope with all that stress?

  R  O  A  D         T  R  I   P

I work half a day tomorrow and then am hitting the road with three friends.  One of my friends is fortunate enough to own a mountain house with her husband, which is luckily not rented for the weekend.  We have the 3 bedroom, 3 bath house all to ourselves.  This will be my third trip there.

This house is in the mountains, down a windy dirt road on the side of a mountain.  You can see forever.  The living room has a fabulous fireplace with a wall of windows.  There is a hot tub outside.  There is a land line phone – but no interent and no cell phone service. Lovely!

There will be lots of this


Wine – a tour of a winery and sampling and lots of tasting.

Scrapbooking – some of this

Sleep – lots of this

Chocolate – tons of this

Best of all – none of this –

See you on the flip side.

Enemies of the Clutz

Clutz – Someone who is extremely careless, stupid and a hazard to be around. Trips over shoes constantly, breaks anything he touches, should not be allowed around heavy machinery or anything that might put other’s lives in danger. (from urban dictionary)

I am a clutz. No doubt about it. From the time I was born I have been a clutz.  I could blame it on the fact that I grew to fast, I have big feet, I have depth-perception issues or on a whole host of issues. But the point is, if the floor is wet, I will fall.

A few years ago, I walked into a very nice resort with a beautiful slate floor. The problem is that it was raining.  I slipped and did the “running man” where you run forward, trying to catch yourself.  I caught myself, all right.  By running, face first, into a jagged rock wall.  I came to looking up at the resort manager asking me my name and if I knew where I was.  I said something about being there for a legal conference to which she responded, “You’re an attorney” and everyone around me (we were all there for the conference) said “Yes, we are all attorneys,” to which I swear she said, “Oh shit!”  One ambulance ride later I was in the ER where I found out that sadly, my nose was not broken.  I was hoping for some plastic surgery – never did like my nose. Unfortunately the doctor said it would go right back to the way it was in a few days when the swelling and black eyes faded.

Last night I thought the meeting started at 6:30.  Only after I had settled Bugaboo in the tub did I realize it started at 6:00 meaning that we were currently already 5 minutes late.  Toddlers don’t like being disrupted when they are in the middle of their favorite activity (bathing) and so he proceeded to throw a fit. You may recall that I have previously been taken out by Bugaboo throwing his plate of food on the floor.  Yes, that was me – the one who slipped on corn and dislocated my knee.  So this time, you’d think I’d be more careful. Nope – ran in the bathroom and WHOOSH!  Flat on my back on the pink tiled floor.  Today my behind provides a remarkable imprint of that tile pattern.  Luckily I escaped this time with minor bruising and a twisted ankle.  I’m not telling anyone though. I can just see the medical records……………Clutz strikes again.

So just call me Clumsy

If you are also Clumsy, let me offer this advice.  Enemies of the Clutzy include –

  • High heeled shoes, wedges or flip-flops – you should avoid these type shoes at all costs.  Clutzes can’t just break a heel like normal people. No, your heel gets caught in the escalator while the rest of you continues moving. Your flipflop melts a bit and adheres to the hot tar of the pavement while you continue to walk. Wedges are just disastrous and not designed for those who lack balance.  Trust me.
  • Stairs, escalators and moving walkways – need I even explain why? 
  • Wet surfaces – just avoid them at all costs.  I am currently working on obtaining a statement from my doctor which excuses me from mopping, bathing, washing my children or dogs, and doing laundry.  I do not do well around wet surfaces.  Perhaps it is because I like swimming so much that my behind desires to be in direct touch with the wet floor?  All I know is that clutzes need to turn and walk away (slowly and carefully) when they see the wet floor sign.
  • Round Objects – balls, beads or other round objects on the floor will inevitably end up underneath your feet.  ‘Nough said
  • Toddlers and pets – yes they will rush at your ankles and knees and yes, they will take you out.
  • Rushing – just when you think you have mastered the art of walking without falling, along comes a deadline.  Rushing is just a way of insuring disaster will come.

The best product for a clutz

Aflac – seriously.

Their accident policy is a blessing.  I collect on it every year (I shouldn’t brag about that probably).  It started when I fell down the stairs at my apartment 10 years ago, just 6 months after getting the policy.  Submitted the doctor’s bill for the diagnosed “Bruised buttocks – use hemoroid-like pillow for sitting” and collected $$.  Then there were the 2 car accidents (only 1 of which was my fault), followed by the run-in (literally) with the rock wall, described above.  Another fall down the stairs (this time they were not carpeted) and then the slip on corn incident.  Too bad my Aflac coverage ended with my last job.  Then again, I’m not sure they wouldn’t try to disqualify me based on my pre-existing condition as a diagnosed Clutz!

(are you a clutz? tell me your best story in the comment section)







Potty Training Humor

Yesterday was Day 1 of Operation-No-More-Diapers for Bugaboo. Now, I’ve potty trained a girl.  I should be somewhat familiar with this process.  I figure I’ve got this figured out. Slam dunk.  Not!  I forgot that Munchkin pretty much potty trained herself with her bladder of steel (only child I know who can drink 16 oz of juice, go to bed, get up and stay awake a few hours before hitting the potty – never had a UTI child).

So we figure it is time to potty train Bugaboo who is showing interest in big boy underwear and pottying.

We talk to daycare and are all on the same page.  I buy the big boy underwear. It has the cute Thomas characters on it (do you know the character underwear is $9 a pack versus $4 for plain blue ones, but I digress)  We talk everything up and we are all set.  Right? ………..Wrong.

There are decisions to make. Decisions that I am not equipped (literally) to answer.

Will he sit or stand while learning?  What sort of potty training device should I buy? A stool? A seat?  How about a urinal?  I didn’t even know they made urinals!

What about in public?  Do I teach him to wipe the seat and sit? Cover it in paper and sit? Do I lift him up and help him hover? Does he stand and do I lift him if he can’t reach?  How about we just stay home FOREVER!

What about targets? Do you know that there are people who actually buy targets instead of using cheerios, fruit loops or whatever else they have in the cabinet.  Seriously? People pay money to buy something for their child to literally piss on.  Hmmmmmm (missed $$ opportunity for me there)









So I sat down with my husband figuring he would know the answers to my questions.  Not so much. Turns out that having male anatomy does not automatically vest you with information about how to teach your child to use it.  My husband was most amused with my questions.

Me – do you hold it?

DH – What?

Me – do you hold it? or does it aim itself? Do you wipe or shake?

DH – Are you serious?

Me – yes, come on. You really don’t want to know what pops up when you google this kind of thing.  Just tell me.  Okay fine – easy question. Should we have him sit or stand?

DH – I don’t care.

Me – but aren’t you concerned he might get confused if we teach him to sit when doing #2 and standing while doing #1?

DH – I don’t know.  I don’t remember being potty trained.

So last night was night one.  I picked him up in daycare where he proudly announced he “pee peed on the potty” and had no accidents. Yippee!  We rushed home and I encouraged him to go on the potty. He sat. He went.  I patted myself on the back.   Then I walked out of the bathroom to see the puppy had peed on the floor.  I cleaned it up, set clock to remind myself to take Bugaboo back to bathroom, started dinner and Bugaboo announced he peed.  All over the kitchen floor. Okay no biggie.  Cleaned him up. Fed everyone. Put dog out. Took Bugaboo to potty where he did nothing.  Let dog in. Dog pees everywhere. Clean it up and Bugaboo says “I pee pee too” – on the floor.  Put Bugaboo in bath.  Turn around and puppy has peed. AGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

End result.  Bugaboo – 50% success on potty.  Puppy – 50% success outside.   Mommy – 50% chance of successfully going crazy. 

Maybe this isn’t such a bad idea……………

When do Little Boys Become Useful Hunters?

  My husband has great dreams of our little boy becoming a great hunter. I hate to tell DH, but I think his efforts thus far have failed. 

This morning went like this –

Me – Ick spider…..hmm I think it is dead.

Bugaboo –  Spider?  I see.  It dead.  Get it mommy.

Me – why don’t you get it?

Bugaboo – I get it? Okay —– leans over………hmmm not dead

Me – it’s dead.  Here I’ll get the fly swatter and you can scoop it up with it.  

 (hands him swatter)

Bugaboo – it NOT DEAD. 

 spider moves.  I shriek  (biggest fear is scooping up a supposedly dead critter and having it be alive and jump on me)

Me – (shrieking) KILL IT

(Bugaboo whacks it many times)

Me – whew.  Good hits.  You killed it now.  Scoop it up

Bugaboo –  no way. You scoop it up Mommy

Me – no way. You’re the boy. You scoop it up

Bugaboo – no way. You the mommy. You the boss. You scoop it up

(I  scoop it up.  holding it away from body I dump it in the trash with Bugaboo hanging on me.)

So he might be a good killer of spiders but he’s lacking on the disposal score.  When do little boys grow up to be useful bug killers to their mommy. That’s supposed to be one of the benefits of having a boy, isn’t it? Someone to kill the critters.

I don’t know honey – what do YOU think they are?

Thanks to the “Rants from Mommyland” blog, I was somewhat more prepared than I might otherwise have been.

While camping, we walked down to the beach. When we turned around, we saw a bluff of sorts. It had been decorated by prior inhabitants.  My daughter thought it was the coolest thing ever and wanted to know what the pictures were —– as Husband and I tried hard not to laugh.

Luckily I had read Rants from Mommyland and knew how to deflect.  I said, “I don’t know honey, what do you think they are?”  She knew the answer of course –

According to my 7 1/2 year old, here’s a mushroom








and another mushroom










Here’s a praying mantis









Husband and I did quite well holding in our laughter. Even enough that I was able to take some pictures because, as I explained to DH, “I just have to email these to Rants from Mommyland and put them on my blog.” 

Until………………..Munchkin decided to add her own cave art. DH and I proceeded to prepare the fishing poles and start fishing. We turned around to see Munchkin had added hearts, flowers and “I love you” to the dirt wall.  I’m ashamed to say we totally lost it. I’m even more ashamed to say that we neglected to take pictures.

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