Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fashion Advice

Ladies, tomorrow is National Wear Red Day. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, and February 1 is the date the American Heart Association has set as the day to schedule your check up. So, go ahead and wear your red finery, and be good to yourself...a lot of people depend on it!

And Then There Were Two

With yesterday's departure of John Edwards, it's down to Clinton and Obama. Things are going to get very interesting. Note to self: must watch debate tonight. In other news, Judi Nathan--er--Rudy Giuliani also called it quits. Even the Republicans are starting to interest this ol' gal. If any of you out there are in a Super Tuesday state, make sure you vote next week!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oh yeah?

More bad news out there for us old folks. I don't believe it, though, because I can honestly say that I am almost at the end of this age group, and I am actually very content. So there. And I'm practicing being all Martha-like (see next post for explanation and instructions on how to have a long, happy marriage), so I'm smiling away my worries--if I have any.

A Celebration

We had another birthday celebration here in cocktail corner yesterday. This time around it was our friend Martha's day. She is about the best sport I have ever met. I am not kidding when I say that either. It was Martha who hosted the 'after my birthday brunch gathering.' We all descended on her late in the day because, well, we needed more 'celebration.' And she did it with her ever-present smile. I sometimes think she's gritting her teeth when she smiles.

Martha and her husband Sal have been married for over 30 years, and my friend Cheri and I believe that is all due to the fact that Martha is such a good sport. We have decided that their secret to happiness is that Martha doesn't sass him. Now, Sal will try his best to disagree with this theory. But it really doesn't hold any water for me. I have seen her in action. Never, ever sassing. Ever. I'm not kidding. Even when the situation really warrants a good verbal assault, Martha will sit and smile. She inspires me to be less sassful; is that a word? I think the world would be a lot more peaceful if there were more Marthas out there. Isn't that right, Sal?

Happy Birthday Week, Martha! You're the best!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday Afternoon Giggle

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Eminence the Very Viscountess Lauren the Inexorable of Pigotts Sty

I don't have any idea what this means, but I just know in my soul that it is correct.

With thanks to Lynne!

It's a Good Thing He's So Cute

A few weeks ago, Jules launched a junk drawer contest and I gleefully submitted a picture of my junk area. I was sure I had everyone else beat, even going so far as to tell a few folks not to bother submitting a photo.

I had absolutely no idea that the actual winning photo was lurking elsewhere in this house. Yes, these are real photos taken of my baby boy's room. This is the child who refused to go to school through the fourth grade without a button-down shirt and creased khakis. Where did that baby go?

In other news, that 10-ton spy satellite is still heading our way. Just call me chicken little.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I Wear My Sunglasses at Night

There was once a time when I was slightly embarrassed to admit that my ob/gyn was probably my primary care physician. What with all that gestating and all.

My oh my how the times they are a changin'. I'm off to my new primary care physician, Dr. N. the dermatologist. Just a little procedure. A little tweaking. A little pick-me-up. And this time, I'm not even embarrassed about it. Really.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Wise Horoscope

Today's Aquarius Horoscope for Jan 27, 2008
Short trips in your neighborhood may be rendered nearly impossible today by factors above and beyond your control, such as traffic, construction, or both, dear Aquarius. If you have errands to run, put them off. (What's this...permission to procrastinate? From the stars no less?) Or if you can, walk or ride a bicycle to run them. (And aggravate my rosacea? You have to be kidding me.) If you must go in the car, however, make sure you have your favorite music with you so you can do something while waiting in traffic. Otherwise you'll go crazy with boredom. (I don't think so. I cannot get any crazier. Right?)
Excellent. Today is done, and here I sit in my pj's.
And in other news:
WASHINGTON (Jan. 26) - A large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and could hit the Earth in late February or early March, government officials said Saturday.
Huh? And we just sit around worrying about the stock market???

Saturday, January 26, 2008


This has got to be my favorite t-shirt ever. I spent a good thirty minutes on the treadmill watching this shirt and its owner go through her routine. I mean, has there ever been such irony? If cheeses weren't such a good friend of mine, I wouldn't have to go to the gym so much and be reminded of how much I love cheese. And so on...
And, yes, I do get the other irony in this shirt.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Puppy Poll

Has anyone out there seen the new Pedigree pet food commercial with the shelter dog named Echo? In case you haven't: Echo is in his cage in the shelter, and a family walks by and pauses in front of him; Echo greets them with a wagging tail and a big smile; they walk away; Echo cranes his little head to watch them leave. The kicker of the whole dadgum thing: he is still smiling. Gah. I do believe that my hormones have truly taken over.

I also believe deep in my soul that we need a new rescue dog. I got a grip on myself after last year's commercials with the shelter dogs. Especially this one. However, a funny thing happened in the blog-o-sphere right after the holidays. It started with The Pioneer Woman, arrrgh. And then, Dooce did me completely in with Coco. I can't stop looking at these puppies. I need to have them.

It's also the thought of all those homeless dogs like Echo that plagues me. I just can't seem to let those animals leave my mind for long at all. Our family adopted baby Dora after she and her littermates were abandoned along with their mother. We had had to put our beloved Bichon Boomer to sleep the year before, and the kids and I spent hours looking at the dogs for adoption online. Then we found Dora.

The kids and I went to 'view' the puppies one sparkling summer morning. Dear husband Squazz, on his way to golf, said one last time that we didn't need a new puppy just yet. Yeah, okay. We visited Dora and three of her sisters in their foster home nearby. Thirty minutes later, we were at a pet supply store buying everything in site. New puppy in hand. Sorry Squazz.
Guess who loves, loves, loves his baby more than anything now? Guess who talks baby talk all day long? Well, truth be told, we all do. Just look at her.

Doesn't Dora need a sibling? Let's hear it....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Say Cheese

Sometimes during the Mental Pause era, a girl has to get her driver's license renewed. Since mine just expired, I decided to go take care of that little chore today. In order to prepare, I went to the gym, showered, fluffed, tweezed, buffed and trotted over to the local AAA. I was feeling so spiffy, I even put on my snappy cowboy boots.

Well, let's just say the end result wasn't exactly how I had earlier envisioned things as I primped away. In a full sweat mind you. I am shocked and humbled because my new license picture features my regular face--with jowls. There. I said it, and now I need to go lie down.

Riveting Conversation

I made the mistake of calling my children from bridge last night.

Me: Hi Augie, how was SAT class?
Augie: Good.
Me: Are you okay, you sound upset?
Augie: No, I'm fine, I hafta go.
Me: Is Bird nearby?
Bird: Hello?
Me: Hi Bird, how was SAT class?
Bird: Good, I have to go study. Bye
Me: Wait, wait--did you learn anything?
Bird: Of course, why would I even go? Hmph.
Me: ...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Anticipatory Anxiety

I have sixteen-year-old twins...a girl and a boy. Obviously they are a major part of my life, but I am facing the reality that they will be leaving for school in the not-too-distant future. I'm the mother, mind you, that when they took their "practice ride" on the kindergarten bus, I blubbered the whole ten minutes. It was a spectacle. Forget the first day of actual kindergarten. I still cannot bring myself to discuss what I did that day.

And there's that horrible month when my daughter Birdy went to camp one summer--I don't know what year it was because I've blocked it out. It got to the point where people would avoid asking me if I'd heard from her because all I could do was cry.

We had "College Night" at Birdy's school last night for parents and daughters. I'm sure she was terrified that I'd ask some hideously embarassing question. I could feel her twitching away next to me; in the nice front row seats I had selected. I don't know why she has this anxiety. I would never do anything embarassing. Ever.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Enough Already

Is it my hormones, or is anybody else sick of listening to Hillary and Barack squabble? Good grief.
They'd give an aspirin a headache.

Happy Birthday Ad Nauseum

Well, I made it. Barely. I think I am ready to call an end to the whole Birthday Week thing. It used to be cute--at least I thought it was--but now I'm just not so sure. I have been spoiled rotten the last week. I am blessed with a family and friends who made sure I was sufficiently
fed and "watered."
I now think I may have gout.

To recap: after much practicing, my "surprise" brunch was on Sunday. It was so, so much fun that my cheeks still hurt from smiling. Annie has a picture of us that was thankfully taken rather early in the day. I finally looked at all the pictures we took, and have decided that I will be discreet at publishing them. My kids read this.

Speaking of kids, they made it home last night from a little trip to Turks and Caicos. It was eleven degrees here at home when I finally pryed my eyes open yesterday. Meanwhile, they were swimming. Anyway, as I was saying, they went on a little junket with their father and stepmother, but were happy to come home to be with dear ol' mom for her big day! Plus they had to get back to school.

We had a great dinner prepared by my husband Squazz. We call each other Squazz, although I'm not sure why. Some more "water," and a cake he produced that I honestly believe could feed everyone on our street. So if you are around these next few days, come on by and have some. I don't think I can eat another bite. Of anything. At least until our bridge game tomorrow.

Is it hot in here?

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Icing on the Cake

I just heard on the news that today is called Blue Monday. Some expert somewhere has decided that out of 365 choices, this is the most depressing day of the year. It also happens to be my birthday. I don't think I am depressed. Fat and old, yes, but not depressed. Yet.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


My "surprise" face!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More Lifting With Lucia

After a grueling workout at the gym, sometimes Lucia and I like to meet up again and relax with a healthy lunch.

We do a few more bicep curls, too.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mental Pausing

Yesterday, Dr. Christiane Northrup was on Oprah, and if you ladies of a certain age don't have her book, The Wisdom of Menopause, you should get it. I love this woman. She gives me hope. According to her, a low glycemic diet is pretty much the cure for everything that ails me. I tried that way of eating for a while. It is no fun. You can't live in Cocktail Corner and stick to it for too long.

But the thing about Dr. Northrup is that she makes me believe that I can manage myself. So I believe I'll give her advice another shot. Yessiree, it's low glycemic foods, vitamin D, chi gong and some acupuncture for me, and I'll be all fixed up. At least for a while. But I think I'll wait until after my surprise party. I don't want my friends to have to celebrate without me. I'm just nice that way.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Party Planners

Last night I had the rare treat of being home alone. But I wasn't alone for long because the ladies of Cocktail Corner had some work to do. We had to plan my surprise birthday brunch. So we cracked open the frosty chardonnay and got to work. Annie was very industrious, calling and emailing all the guests to get them lined up for my big celebration. We like to have a big midday celebration for all the ladies in and around Cocktail Corner when they have a birthday.

Because we are always looking for any reason to have a little party. Isn't that right Jules?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fun at the Gym With Lucia

I don't keep it a secret that I'd like to be able to just take a little pill and be able to build, or even maintain, some muscle and bone mass these days. Since that isn't available, I get to visit my friends at the gym on a fairly regular basis.

Here's a taste of what I have to endure:

John, Andrew and Anthony are all great trainers at my gym. They always seem to have a lot of fun with their clients. Giggling through all their routines, smiling and chatting with everyone around them. I am always so envious. Forever looking longingly across the floor at all the happy people. Why am I so jealous, you ask? Well, it's all because I get to spend my time with Lucia.

Just look at her. Have you ever seen such a menacing person in your life? She makes me do things I don't like to do. Lunges, squats, crunches, and all kinds of other weird things with weights and bars. And I am always such a good sport. Never moaning, complaining or making faces. Nope, I silently and obediently do everything she comes up with. Everything. You'd think I'd look like Gisele Bundchen. But I don't. Although I do take some solace in the fact that Gisele has probably not entered into the mental pausal years yet.

Anyway, when I am not sweating away with all the torture--I mean exercise--that Lucia has created for me, I like to keep my eye on the clock. Just because you never know how fast that hour is going to go. And then I get to start my cardio time. It doesn't look like it's going to get any easier either. But if anyone hears of a new magic pill without any embarassing side effects, please pass the information along.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What's on Your Television?

Yesterday, Suzanne in the Slanted Little House, gave a photographic tour of her (temporary) kitchen in a little ditty about days gone by. It really struck a chord with me because Suzanne's kitchen was last updated circa 1960; I am a child of the sixties. I remember the formica tables, linoleum floors and dust -- er-- glass collections.

As she was concluding her trip down memory lane, she mentioned Petticoat Junction. I loved Petticoat Junction. Especially the beginning when they were swimming in the water tower, and they grabbed their clothes. Oh, I wanted to be there. And I really wanted Aunt Kate to make me some fried chicken and iced tea. Not to mention the fact that Oliver and Lisa Douglas lived just down the road...

In honor of that fine television-viewing era gone by, here are some shows that I think the networks should bring back during the writers' strike. We could all use a little dose of these classics:
  • Big Valley
  • Mod Squad
  • Dragnet
  • Peyton Place
  • Laugh-In
  • Mission Impossible
  • Get Smart
  • Twilight Zone
  • The Sonny and Cher Hour

This would be a nice start. Suggestions?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Random Junk

My friend Jules is having a little contest. Something along the lines of...what's in your junk drawer? I don't think anyone needs to enter except me. I am an obvious choice to win.

I don't have a junk drawer. I emptied those long ago. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you (drumroll please):

my junk area.

It takes up a whole corner of our master bedroom (approx. 12 sq. ft.), and it's enough to make any momma proud.

I'll See You in the Funnies

I've always thought that the comics pages in the newspaper got a bum rap. I mean, if you think about it, there can be some absolute truths snuggled in those little boxes. Take For Better or For Worse. I have followed the lives of the Patterson family for a long time, and, well, I'm beginning to relate a little too much to them. Take today's strip for instance. Elly, girlfriend, I feel your pain. And if my husband ever pulled a "John" on me, he'd live to regret it. Seriously.

On a lighter note, we were supposed to have a foot of snow last night. I spent a good portion of the day yesterday in a dreamy preparation for a snow day. We got a dusting. I'm still taking a snow day though, and I think I'll start by cancelling my appointment at the gym.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ladies at Lunch

Yesterday, a couple of the ladies of Cocktail Corner and I moseyed out for a bite and a sip. Not necessarily in that order. The three of us, all novice bloggers, were all atwitter with our bursts of creativity. We may even have something brewing for your added pleasure. More on this later.

We had a delicious lunch. Nice, crisp chardonnay, french fries, soup, smoked salmon, sandwiches, chardonnay, another order of french fries. You get the picture. Jules' six-year-old Connor (also in attendance, and feasting on a shirley temple with an ice cream entree) suggested matter-of-factly that we should write a blog about chardonnay. We raise smart kids here in Cocktail Corner.

Annie is all about her New Year's Weight Watchers membership. She asked for extra creme fraiche with her salmon. I'm just saying. She is so inspirational that I actually went online Thursday morning to sign up at Weight Watcher's, too. By noon, I had already gone back and cancelled my membership. Way too much work, and I don't like creme fraiche if that's what you have to eat.

We won't go into my intake, because I can't remember it all. But, to make amends, I am off for a brisk walk. And I have to get a pork shoulder going. We're supposed to have some snow tonight, and we need to get our strength up in case we need to shovel.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Today's Aquarius Horoscope for Jan 11, 2008
You are a born romantic by nature, dear Aquarius, but today you're likely to think more in terms of physical passion than idealized romance. You're likely to be especially concerned with your appearance, and might want to go for a salon treatment or to buy some new clothes. The colors blue and lavender might seem especially appealing right now - but don't forget to add some red for passion! Phone up your romantic interest and have fun tonight!
This is going to one busy day. I'd better get to the gym. Now.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Scale is Satan

Okay, well maybe I need to be real with myself, but I am tired of being heavy. This is the first time in my life that weight has ever been an issue for me. I now weigh 5 pounds more than I did the day after I had twins. That is an ugly reality.

Even uglier is the fact that after 4 days of being really good, and losing two whole pounds, is that we had our bridge game/get together last night. Apparently, I am incapable of playing bridge without consuming vats of potato chips, dip, pretzels and wine. All this, mind you, before DINNER and RUM CAKE. Thank you very much.

Some bridge snacks. Notice how small the bowl of carrots is...

Some bridge wine. Notice how empty. Not for long...

The good news is that I came in second place and won five dollars. We are playing again in two weeks. God help me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


It seems like I can spontaneously burst into a full sweat at the drop of a hat. Here are just a few of the activities that can bring on this phenomenon:
  • Brushing my teeth
  • Getting dressed
  • Reading emails

Things that make me need another shower:

  • Folding laundry
  • Walking to the mailbox
  • Giving the cat her medicine

This was just yesterday. You'd think I would lose up to five pounds a day with all this. But I don't.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Random Maintenance Thoughts

I was recently thinking about making some changes in my Will. (Don't worry dear family, all is well, and I still love you all just the same. I just think I should plan for any possible scenario.)

Like, what about my becoming incapacitated during this crucial "middle" phase? I mean, I have never had so many 'interesting' things going on with my body since puberty. And I sometimes think that era may have been easier in some ways.

Crucial items I will put into my "Mental Pause Clause" section of my Will, should my attorney allow it:
  • Eye Cream must be applied daily, or my skin will fall off.
  • Same goes with Vitamin C serum and moisturizer.
  • Exfoliate once a week, or I will become unrecognizable.
  • Extra strength deoderant. 'Nough said.
  • Tweezer time as needed. Usually twice a day. Maybe more.
Only designated friends are allowed to perform these feats, and I'm sure I will be adding codicils as the months wear on.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Dear Internets, I have just returned from a morning with my dermatologist. We have become good friends over the last few years because of my aging issues. I have many of these apparently.

Today, I had two new spots removed for biopsy. One on my face, and one on my leg. Last year at this time, I had a pre-cancerous growth removed from my leg. I now have a divot and scar the size of a large grape on my left leg. Pretty.

If you are anywhere on the life track near me, do you remember those glory days of baby oil and iodine? Remember those Spring Breaks where we all glistened and smelled sweetly of coconuts? I do. And how good we looked in our white sundresses with those tans? I do. Unfortunately, I have had a hard time losing the "tan = pretty" mentality; even in my forties. And now I get to visit my good friend Dr. N on a regular basis.

Wear your sunscreen! Tie all family members down and slather it on them, too. It is one of the easiest, healthy things you can do for yourself. Really. Our moms were right. Gah.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Can someone please tell me how on earth it is possible to have a pimple surrounded by a new crop of wrinkles? Aging gracefully is going to be one tall order. I can just feel it.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

It's Not Going to be Easy

I am having a very hard time limiting my caloric intake this year, and we're only 5 days into the sucker. In my defense, if the first thing you see when you sit down at your computer is this, how the hell are egg whites going to compete?

Go ahead, try not to salivate over that! I triple dog dare you. Maybe if I jog to the store to get some more cream of tartar it will be a net/net. Thoughts?

UPDATE: The new garage door motors are installed; the installers survived the ordeal, and I am in love with those new very quiet. It is a sad state of affairs that what gets me going these days is garage door motors, but so be it.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Way Too Much Time on My Hands

Someone please stop me. I am mothering the men working on my garage doors this morning. When we scheduled the appointment yesterday, I fretted aloud with the dispatcher whether or not it would be too cold for them to work today. Okay Lauren, reality check; they have chosen this line of work. They live in the northeast. Cold happens.

Well, here they are, and surer than sugar, I've already been out there twice asking them if they need any coffee or mittens.

I really do have issues. Last year, my good friend Ann informed me in no uncertain terms that the second half of her life was going to be a heckofalot different from the first half. We have these chats often because we live in an area known to many as Cocktail Corner, and we tend to have cocktails here in our neighborhood. And since I intend to keep things real here at Mental Pause Central, we often have a lot of cocktails. More on this at a later date.

In the meantime, someone please stop me. I think I need to find more to do today and for the second half of my life; those guys in my driveway are starting to look scared. I'm serious.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Oy Y'all

One thing you should know about me is that I started out life as a Southern Girl. My momma was one of those who would rather have you display your perfect party manners than feed you. And she was a nice one. After I left her watchful eyes and moved to New York, I let go of some of the protocol; just ask my husband how genteel I can be.

Even still, I have now lived in the New England 'burbs for 25 years, and you'd think I'd be accustomed to the people who just don't give a crap about anyone else. But I can't get over it. I can't get over the four men today who let the doors of the pharmacy, the bookstore and the grocery store SLAM in my face; AND MY HANDS WERE FULL. Yes, I know I'm shouting, but didn't their mommas teach them anything? Where's the love people?

Phew, is it hot in here?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Gives One Paws to Think

Our family cat Noelle is one year older than I am (using cat-years mathematics). We are taking her to the vet today because she has suddenly developed a horrifying case of urinary incontinence.

Oh dear Lord, what lies ahead for me?

Must. Not. Sneeze.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

In a Flop Sweat...

...trying to button my fat jeans. Does the effort count as cardio?

Happy New Year.