Seriously, could you DIE? I could hardly sleep last night thinking about it. The Bridge Nationals start TODAY! Moon and her BFF are all set to go. They have their gear – the wooden cardholders are decorated and ready, and the uniform is set – comfortable clothes for sitting, a sweater in case it get’s chilly. We’re going to spend the morning doing drills, 1 heart, 2 hearts, 1 no-trump, 2 clubs, you know, the usual, then off to downtown Atlanta to rock this thing!

The only sad part of the whole endeavor is that I am not going to play. I mean, OF COURSE I’m going to play, just not on Thursday. I’ll be sitting on the sidelines watching and helping the kids figure out whether they should play from their hand or from the board. Because I’m a giver. And because I’m afraid that if I leave them in the middle of 5000 bridge players in downtown Atlanta they’ll start a riot.

“You’re a CHEATER!”

The girls get to play for free, eat for free, get free gifts and will end the evening with free cookies and a free illusionist show. I get to pay $10.00’s for parking, $17.00 bucks per session, buy my own lunch and cookies, and the only “gift” I’ll get is the gift of playing bridge against a bunch of grumpy, old people who want to beat me. SO WORTH IT!

Moon says she’s “terrified”, and by terrified, I’m sure she means SO HAPPY. I’ve told her that it’s her first tournament and she and her BFF shouldn’t expect to win. There’s no way they’re going to get points. I mean, they are 11, and newbies, and have been playing, like 3 weeks. They couldn’t possibly WIN, amiright Kittens? I’ve been playing for years and I rarely get points, so they won’t. At least they better not.

Perhaps she means “terrified” after all.


I’m not going to say I’m the best mom in the world, but I’ve got to be in the top three. For instance, this morning, Moon was in the bed with me since JD was out of town, and instead of getting her up, I pulled all of the curtains really tight and let her sleep in. I even put the fan on high and put it on her side of the bed. As if that wasn’t enough, while I was waiting for her to stir, I made BACON. After her Highness awoke, we read four chapters of her non-fiction/summer reading list book together, then I set up the paints so she could have a lovely morning creating art.

She called this, “A Day at the Lake”. I have to say it’s one of my favorites. Moon had so much fun she didn’t even look at her computer or tablet until almost three!

My day was not as pleasant. I called JD to tell him that the pool looked a little green around the gills and he told me to fix it. Uh, wasn’t that why I called YOU? Geez, men. Anyway, turns out all I had to do was turn the pool pump on. Except that the pool was low on water and I needed to fill it first. Which would have been great except that the spigot at the pool didn’t work so I had to turn on the MAIN spigot. Which was here:

Down the weedy knoll, through the small door underneath the house. What could be under there besides deer, coyote, rabbits, groundhogs, rats and snakes? I made as much noise as possible going in, so I was pretty confident I’d be safe. Then again, I get all my information from network television.

I decided to make it even more interesting by stripping down and doing my own version of Naked & Afraid.  It was especially entertaining when I came skipping up the hill and almost ran smack into a huge spider web.

Trust me, it’s huge.

After all that, I swept and skimmed the pool, cleaned the screened-in porch, made Moon dinner, read another two chapters about Jane Goodall, played the game of Life, and finished all my day duties.

Now I’m doing a little reality show I like to call:

Barefoot and Booze.

Random Stuff That Happened over the Weekend

Friday? I have no idea. Oh, yeah, I took Moon to get an eye exam and some new glasses and it was awesome because who needs to pay the mortgage anyway? Then we went shopping for a few things for school because what are they going to do, send us to the poor house? I had to get her TWO pairs of glasses because the ones she picked out were purple. PURPLE, with swirly things on the side. I felt like she needed an alternative.

Saturday morning started with a scary encounter with a door-to door salesman that turned out to be a sweet, Baylor student selling the equivalent of Encyclopedia’s, but I still made her sit on the porch and give her sales pitch cause killers don’t always look like killers. Also, she wanted $660.00 dollars for what Google provides for free.

AmmoGuy brought baby Allison over for a little bit and I used my time to explain how I was the cool one in the family and that she should just ignore Tania-the-Mad’s attempts to bond as they will only lead to disappointment and toe-pinches. Then I took pictures.

She’s kinda cute.

Saturday afternoon, I took Moon and her BFF to bridge lessons. I sat at a table with the teacher and two other kids, while Moon and J played with another pair of girls. All was going well until I heard J yell, “You’re cheating. That’s cheating. You’re a CHEATER!” That was followed by kids claiming that it “wasn’t a tournament”, and Moon saying, “We’re supposed to PLAY like it’s a tournament!” I think that you can see I’ve done a fine job teaching them the basics.

The teacher decided to give them all a break, and when they came back, she explained that we’d switch up the tables so they could separate. “NO!” said 4 voices in unison. Girls. What are you going do?

Sunday, my friend Kat came over for dinner and while we sat on the couch and talked, my favorite show came on – Naked and Afraid! Kat doesn’t have television and was aghast at the show.

Which is why she only watched one and half episodes and had me text her the rest of the details.

So, what did YOU do?


Yes. School is starting in two weeks. I can’t believe it’s possible. I woke up at 4 o’clock this morning freaking out, and immediately starting praying that this year would be a good one. Middle school is a new opportunity for Moon. I spelled it out for her last week.

Me: Middle school is a fresh start. You’ll have all new teachers who don’t know anything about you. You can choose to either do the bare minimum, just enough to get by and make average grades. OR you can decide that you’re going to work hard, really push yourself and show your teachers that you’re willing to work hard and make good grades. Which way do you think you want to go this year?

Moon, in all seriousness: I’m not sure yet. I’m thinking about it.

Lovely.  At least she’s honest.

Well, I’ve done all I can do. I went to the school website and found out what she was supposed to be doing over the summer. I had the tutor come and continue helping with her math so we wouldn’t forget what she learned last year. I took her to the library and got books for her to read as per her middle school instructions. I taught her BRIDGE which everyone knows helps kids raise their test scores. I’ve bought her supplies, including a stylish locker kit that was OPTIONAL. In a nut shell, I have totally rocked the summer as a caring, prepared middle-school mom.

Now, all I have left to do is master the waterfall braid, buy her some rocking new clothes, take her for an eye exam and some new glasses, and Google everything tween to make sure she’s Middle-COOL.

But I’m pretty sure she is. What part of “taught her bridge” didn’t you understand?


Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a delete button on the back of our heads that we could push and erase the last 5 minutes of life? I guess it’s just me, but that’s what happens when you accidentally hit a link and find yourself seeing photos that NO ONE wants to see. Ever. I had a totally legitimate reason to Google hot, military men, and I did NOT need those visuals stuck in my head for eternity. Ewww. DELETE.

It was for a book, not that anyone cares.

While I’m deleting that particular item, I’d also go ahead and get rid of the rat frolicking on the lawn image.  I was barreling up the drive and had to stop for a rat, a rat with a tail twice its body length. Later, JD called us in to the bedroom to look out the window. He saw a baby fawn, beautiful with little spots on its back. He get’s Bambi, and I get Ben. DELETE.

The delete button could also be used for when you see GOOD stuff that you wish you’d missed. Like the photos of a friend on Facebook who even though she is your age, somehow manages to look 10 years younger and 30 pounds lighter. As far as I could tell, what with her standing on the deck of her fancy boat and all. DELETE.

Aww, NOW this is living. No gross photos, no rodents, no comparative Facebook stalking.

If I could just figure out a way to delete 1983 – 1996, I’d REALLY be happy.

Yard Sale Vigalante

How’s this sound? I’ll drive around over the weekend, check out yard sales, and if they stink, I’ll don a mask, rip out their signs and kick over their tables of cracked pottery and half-full nail polish bottles? No? Then I’m at LEAST starting a new website called www.youryardsalesucks.com. It has a nice ring to it.

So guess what I did this weekend? School will be starting soon and I don’t want to wait until the last minute to get Moon’s clothes, so I went to a few garage sales. I rolled out of bed on Friday, wearing my sleep shirt and no makeup, and headed out the door. My mom had asked me to go to an estate sale for her which was a total waste of time because $12.00 for a kid’s vintage dress, really? Do I LOOK like a Vanderbilt? Next I hit a “fishing crap nobody wants” sale followed by a “card table with nothing on it” enterprise. I only went to one good sale – it had teen clothes AND was being held to raise funds for a mission trip to Israel. The only down side was that it was being put on by people I knew and they saw me without makeup, in my SLEEPING shirt. At least I had on a bra, cause there are days when it’s just too much trouble, amiright?

Saturday, I stopped at several more crappy sales where I really wanted to ask, WHY? If everything in your sale will fit in the back seat of my truck, how bout you just donate it to Goodwill? I was in the process of buying the YourYardsaleSucks url, when I FINALLY hit a good one. Good quality clothing at affordable prices? Check. Variety of books no more than a dollar? Check. Lots of good household items that don’t look like they came out of the re-gifting closet? Check! I bought presents for everyone.

Like this pop-up Narnia book I’m sending to a little girl in India.

Sunday, I went BACK to the estate sale for my mom. Everything they had left was offered at half price and I was able to convince them to reduce some of the things even further, which didn’t take a lot of convincing since they had EVERYTHING left because their sale sucked!

I still managed to spend $62.50 but that’s because I’m a pro.

Serious Fun

So every day this week, Moon has gone to art camp until 12:30. Then she comes home and the real FUN begins. That’s right – we’re having BRIDGE CAMP. I intended to sign Moon and her BFF up for a camp downtown, but believe it or not, there wasn’t enough people interested. Must be a lot of people out of town this week.

Monday was the first day and both girls really gave it their full attention. Since then, they’ve spent the week learning about counting their points, bidding their suits, bidding strong hands, bidding weak hands, no trump, Stayman, Jacoby Transfers and signals, both attitude and suit preference. They. Are. Awesome. Well, as awesome as they can be with me as their teacher. They may not win at the Junior Nationals next month, but hopefully they’ve learned enough from me to not fall out of their chair or hit themselves in the head with the bidding box.

But I hope they win, cause the girls – they are competitive.

Jemi giving me the “I’m going to set you” stare.

Moon giving me the “We just set you” laugh.

To be fair, I had a handicap.

Why So Serious?

I might have peaked with Moon’s room. It’s easier when you don’t have to find a place for the junk and can just toss it in the trash. I moved on to the spare bedroom which is where I put everything I need that doesn’t have a real place of its own. Like Moon’s schoolwork from 5th grade. And 4th. And 3rd. Also coupons from the last 11 months. It’s slow going.

I’m trying to get work/cleaning done while Moon is at art camp. It’s only a half day, but she seems to be enjoying it.

Making handles.

Why are you watching me?

Dude, seriously?

Moon’s work! I can’t wait to see the finished product. On the way home from class, I looked in the backseat and caught her smiling. As soon as she saw me watching, she replaced the smile with the typical, sullen teen look, but it was there. A smile! Summer is officially success.

And I’m going to have a bunch of new Moon things to put around the house. The spare bedroom is looking a little bare.

Seriously Serious

Being serious is not as fun as I thought it would be. My back hurts, I have no idea what’s going on with Angelina Jolie, and I haven’t played bridge online all DAY.

But this happened:

Two bags of trash and some old bins removed from Moon’s room.

I can see the FLOOR.

Moon’s new bedding!

JD took her to camp this morning so I decided it would be a good time to clean her room. And by “clean”, I mean throw away a bunch of crap. Ironically, one of the things I threw away was a book on how to declutter. It SAID that if you were debating on whether or not to keep something, think, “If a dog ate it, would I replace it?”If the answer is no, out it goes.

JD is trembling in fear.

Tomorrow, I get serious about MY bedroom.

Bridge Immersion Therapy

I wouldn’t have believed it possible, but I finally overdosed on bridge. I guess that’s what I get for sitting at a table for 60 hours with people that want to beat me. And those were just my partners! 60 hours of back pain, processed sugar, and thinking. It was very difficult – especially that last part. But obviously totally worth it cause I left the club with a little over THREE points! Also, lungs of smoke. Okay, that wasn’t from the club, but from a little pre-bridge tradition I like to call “Beers with Carolyn”.

We like to go across the street to a little dive where they serve beer, wings and heavy metal. Nothing says, “Two cool chicks” like two women sitting at a booth with cards practicing bidding.

Anyway, it’s over. And while I could tell you all about it, no one cares except my 3 friends who were there and already know what happened. I. Am. Beat. And I look it.

*Photo illustration, not actually the author.

Now I’m in recovery mode. I’ve got to get my house back in order, catch up on work, and figure out how to stop smelling smoke. Which I am REALLY hoping is from the night at the bar, and not from what Web MD calls a “stroke”. Although if you’d seen me double our opponents into a contract so that we were minus 980 points, you’d know why either is possible.

Tomorrow: I get SERIOUS about my life.