Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Life Is Too Short For Boring Summers

The older I get, the busier summers seem to get.  By June 21, my calendar is jammed with activities and obligations.  While this supplies me with a bevy of post ideas, it leaves me with little time to actually write these posts.

For example, here is what I have done with my summer so far:
  • I went to the zoo twice AND angered a host of ancient spirits.  Multi-tasking is essential if you are to have a good summer.
  • I DIDN'T take my kids to the beach. Apparently I also angered the ancient rain and sun gods.  I'm nothing if not consistent.
  • I took my kids to a free splash pad (i.e. park with a bunch of sprinklers), and due to the fact that I wore regular clothes instead of a swimsuit, I got soaked chasing Toddler around.  On the other hand, no one had to see me in a swimsuit, which is really a favor for every one involved. YOU'RE WELCOME.
  • I worked on some long overdue cleaning projects.  The top of our buffet is sort of a landing place for any sort of junk.  So I cleaned it off.  Then I loaded it up with more junk.  Then I cleaned it off again.  Now I have loaded it up with even more junk, so take a wild guess as to what I'll be doing tomorrow.
  • I weaned my Toddler off the pacifier.  And by weaned I mean NOT weaned.  One cry and I fold like a deck of cards.  At this rate she'll be taking that thing to college.
And here's what I have yet to do this summer:
  • Take my kids to the state fair, where they'll have their first encounter with toothless carnies and food-on-a-stick.  The memories will be treasured forever, I'M SURE. 
  • Continue using an excessive amount of CAPITAL LETTERS in my posts.  I'm like the opposite of e.e. cummings.
  • Take Preschooler to see her first movie, "Winnie-the-Pooh." Hopefully it won't provide her with a deep-seated fear of bears and Rasinets.
  • Go on a family vacation to northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.  It will be just like the Griswolds but with more poop.  Note to self: buy water-wings. And Pepto-Bismol. And more wine.  Lots more wine.
  • Teach Preschooler the difference between boys and girls.  She is VERY interested as of late, and she has no brothers.  This should be fun for every one involved.
So what are your summer vacation plans?  After all, I'm always looking for new ways to traumatize my children and myself. Life is too short to be bored.

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    UPDATE: Oh My God, NO WONDER I Can't Go To The Zoo!

    I can't go to the zooBad things happen

    The dear Betty Fokker posited what might be the obvious cause of my misfortunes: Was the zoo built on an ancient Indian burial ground?

    The answer? Yes. YES IT WAS.

    It turns out southern Wisconsin was a bit of an epicenter for Native American Effigy Mound culture. And the zoo - the zoo where...

    .... My car was parked in by a school bus for 7 hours in a series of events that culminated in the breaking of my toe....

    .... On a second occasion, I misplace my car for 36 hours due in part to the consumption of a questionable hot dog....

    THAT ZOO is part of a park that is built on no less than 8 effigy mounds.  A bird effigy, a linear mound and six conical mounds.  There were two other conical mounds and another bird mound, but they were destroyed.  OF COURSE THEY WERE.

    So, no more zoo for me.  Going back would be like asking for my car to become possessed with demons.  I already shelled out for four new tires the other month - I'm not paying for an exorcism too. 

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Remember That Time My Van Was Stolen At The Zoo, Except It Actually Wasn't? No? Me Either.

    I visited the zoo again.  I should know better; this never ends well for me.

    I was in good company at the zoo.  One of my dearest friends from college was meeting us there.  After college, Husband and I moved to another state, and then we moved to a different state, and then my friend moved to a different state, and we thought that was that.  Then somehow the planets aligned and we both moved back to the state - nay, CITY - where we first met. Now we are able to see each other EVERY DAY if we want, at least for another year or so after which Husband and I will depart to see the great big world once more.

    So, I met my friend and her two children at the zoo.  All went well.  We looked at animals.  I ate a questionable hot dog.  But when we said our good-byes and parted ways, something strange happened.  She went home and wrote a beautiful Facebook post waxing philosophical on the value of friendship.  I, on the other hand, started to feel all cold and shaky-like.  I was glad to retreat to my van.  I wanted to arrive home as soon as possible, and convince my children to nap at the same time, so I could lie down too.

    Now, this zoo has a ridiculous parking lot, so to avoid all that tomfoolery I parked on a side street a couple blocks away.

    I headed down the street to where the van WASN'T  parked.  Hmm... I thought.  Was it the street over?  I walked around the block.  No van.  Hmmm.... I thought.  Was it the block over?  Off I traversed, pushing Toddler in the stroller with Preschooler in tow.

    After walking all the way around four blocks, I did not find the van.  By this time Toddler was asleep in the stroller, Preschooler was exhausted and cranky from walking, and I was pretty sure I was going to die right there on the sidewalk outside a beautiful Tudor home.

    I called Husband and sobbed that I was not going to take one step further and he had leave work to come pick me up right then and there or so help me God I was going to have some sort of nervous breakdown and the owners of the beautiful Tudor home were going to have to scrape my remains from the sidewalk and deposit me at the local mental health institute, which at this point sounded like some sort of Nirvana.

    One hour later, Husband came to pick us up.  "Where was the car?" he inquired.  I had no explanation.  Either it was stolen or it had been towed.  The latter was more likely.  I had parked in a "two hour" zone, and while overstepping that time limit might not be a big deal elsewhere, the authorities in my town were pretty anal about ticketing and towing.  Home we went, where I could be sick in peace and privacy.

    The next morning, I called the police station and towing company, but no one had any record of towing my car.  Uh-oh.  Was it actually stolen?  It was a remote possibility, but I figured that since my car's empty fuel light was on, the thieves couldn't have gotten far.  Suckas!

    We decided to take one more cruise around the neighborhood just to make sure, before declaring the van stolen.  Off went zoo, where we found the van.  One block away from the zoo.  WHERE IT SHOULD'VE BEEN IN THE FIRST PLACE.


    Now I'm not allowed to go to the zoo by myself EVER AGAIN, which is probably for the best.  If I go, I will be eaten by a carnivorous giraffe, and then who will clean our bathrooms, WHO? No one, that's who. 

    It's for the best.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    You Can't Make Your Children Get Along. WHO KNEW?

    It is quarter-after-seven and I am exhausted. 

    My children usually get along so well.  It’s cute.  And weird.  But mostly cute.

    Preschooler would beg Toddler to play with her, and so long as “play with her” meant Toddler following Preschooler around while Preschooler issued orders, every one was happy.

    Toddler would instigate wrestling matches with her sister, who happily complied.

    The girls have been sharing a bedroom for the past six months, and both had grown so comfortable that one would not go to sleep unless the other was sleeping there too. 

    But today?  Today was full of:



    SHE’S TOUCHING ME!!!!   

    STOP IT!!!



    From both kids.  All. Day. Long.

    Every toy that one child played with, the other child immediately wanted.  Preschooler wanted nothing to do with Toddler, who felt entitled to impose herself on whatever Preschooler was trying to do.  Distractions didn’t work.  Turn-taking didn’t work.  Time-outs didn’t work.

    There was nothing I could do today that would make my children get along.  They just didn’t want to.

    And I know, this is normal.  This is normal.

    But so is my headache.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    You Don't Win Friends With Salad!

    One of the nice things about moving back to Madison is its farmers' market.  Touted as the "largest producer-only farmers' market in the country," it stretches around the Capitol Square like this:
    I SO have a future in cartography!

    And this is a picture of me at the farmers' market.

    Note the lack of cash, the invisible bag to carry produce home in, and, well, ME.

    As much as I'd like to go to the farmers' market every week, I only manage to get there once or twice a month.  You see, unless you arrive around 6:30 in the morning, the place is packed with people dickering over the number of strawberries in a pint, interrogating the egg vendors as to whether their chickens have access to a grassy yard and possibly some sort of spa, and well-meaning mothers pushing their kids around in the WORLD'S LARGEST STROLLER.

    All of these behaviors make my head explode, which is really messy but pays for my psychiatrist's kid's college fund.  So unless I can get my rear in gear in time to get to the farmers' market at the butt-crack of dawn, I don't go at all.  This makes me sad, as I love fresh, local produce.

    So, in an unprecedented move of advance-planning I decided to join a CSA (community supported agriculture.)  You sign up with a CSA in the spring and pay them a few hundred dollars straight up.  Then throughout the summer and early autumn (June through October in my neck of the woods), you head over to your host's pick-up site to retrieve your box full of already-paid-for vegetables. It's like it was made for people who are too lazy and inept at obtaining quality fresh produce, just like me!

    So for a couple of weeks now, I've gotten a large box full of fresh vegetables.  And thanks to the unusually cold spring, these boxes have been full of lettuce.  And lettuce.  And more lettuce.  There are a few radishes and white turnips thrown in for good measure.  And then more lettuce.

    I like lettuce.  Everybody in my family will eat salad, even my kids.   But as of date, I am the proud owner of two LARGE bags of lettuce.  They are so large THAT I AM FORCED TO USE ALL CAPS TO DESCRIBE THEIR MAGNITUDE.  I also have a good-sized head of bibb lettuce, a humongous head of romaine lettuce, and two smaller bags of spinach.

    The spinach, I can work with.  Spinach can be a side dish.

    This is still healthy, right?

    You can sneak spinach into a lasagna or a casserole


    But I'm having a hard time dealing with all this lettuce.  Lettuce can turn into a salad.

    Hello, there!

    Or a salad.

    Hello, again!

    Or a salad.

    Have we met?

    Even though there are lots of different kinds of salads, in the end they are still salads and I am suffering from salad ennui. We have had salad at every dinner and most of my lunches, and we've only plowed through half of the lettuce.

    So dear internets, please tell me: What do you do with 500 pounds of lettuce? More importantly, would you like some lettuce?  After all:

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Superwoman Is Not Available. Please Hold For The Next Representative, Or Leave A Message After The Beep.

    A while back Preschooler received a little care package in the mail from a friend.  The package included a “letter,” a few stickers, and a tootsie roll.

    “Crap!” I thought.  “Now WE have to send something! “ I scanned the room to see what was available.  All I saw was a handful of fortune cookies left over from last night’s Chinese food, and some free address labels from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

    I had Preschooler write a letter and draw a picture for her friend.  Then I ate the fortune cookies and paid the utility bill.

    I try so hard to do it all.  I’d like my house to be company-ready all the time.  I’d like to plan arts & crafts activities for my kids and arrange spectacular and enriching play-dates and outings.  I want to prepare balanced, healthy, home-made lunches and dinners.  I want to write for my blog, and read other blogs.  I want to work on other writing projects, and plow through the ever-growing pile of books to read.

    I am capable of doing all these things. 

    But I am not capable of doing all these things all of the time.

    If my house is clean, it means I spent the day cleaning instead of playing with my kids.

    If my kids are filthy by the end of the day, it means I spent the day outdoors with them, and my house is probably a wreck.

    The days I don’t blog are the days I’m actually getting REAL LIFE things done.

    And if I make a home-made meal, I miss out on after-dinner family time cleaning up my kitchen.

    I know there are solutions to this.  But it took me a full year of stay-at-home parenting to realize how much pre-planning it takes just to be “normal.” 

    Take one day a week, and make it your “going out” day.  Plan ahead for something to do with the kids that day.

    You can make a home-made dinner in the crock-pot, or put together a casserole ahead of time so all you have to do at the end of the day is heat it up.

    If you could just get your house CLEAN, you can keep it that way by just taking a half-hour each day to tidy up.

    You can always wash the dishes after the kids are in bed.

    Plan for time during the day or evening where Husband can keep the kids out of my hair for half-an-hour so I have time to read, or write, or do something else just for myself.

    I take this advice some of the time.  And I'm with it, some of the time.

    The rest of the time, I lose my minivan at the zoo, and don't find it for 36 hours.  More on that later.

    *     *     *

    Click here for a chance to win a slot in The Bloggess sidebar for a month sponsored by freefringes.com

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    This Post Is An Exercise In Self-Indulgence. It Is Also About Pudding-Pops.

    I write.  I've filled a myriad of one-subject notebooks, journaling about being depressed, being manic, being lonely, being afraid.  I've taken some of this frenzied journaling out of the dark and imposed it on a mostly bored public.  

    But I can't write when I'm angry.  Not publicly. Not privately. Not at all.  

    Actually, I can write but all that comes out is, "OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS I CAN'T EVEN GAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!11111!!!!!"  

    Seriously, my brain stutters.  

    The thing is, the thing that I still struggle with after too many years of therapy is that I don't allow myself to feel angry.  What I allow myself to feel is:

    I'm angry!

    Crap! I can't be angry!

    I have nothing to be angry about.  EVER.

    Because people who are angry are not happy.

    And I can't let people know I'm not happy.

    I might hurt their feelings.

    They might think less of me.

    Because I'm not happy.

    And I'm supposed to be happy.  ALWAYS.

    And now my therapist is a millionaire.

    So I'll never be able to send my kids to college.

    You're on your own, kids!

    And don't get me wrong, I know.  I know it's unrealistic to expect myself to be happy all the time.  That it's ok to feel angry, every one feels angry sometimes.  No one expects me to be happy all the time, just as I don't expect others to be happy all the time.  That in expecting myself to always be happy, I set the bar for myself so impossibly high that Superwoman would never reach it.

    But all of that logic doesn't stop me from hurling myself back down that shame-spiral time and time again.

    FYI: I'm not particularly angry about anything. I just wanted to explore my hang-ups about being angry while I'm in a relatively stable state of mind.  And you get to read it!  Lucky you?

    Ok, fine, I'll get angry about something.  Growing up I ate Jello Pudding-Pops all summer long, and then they stopped making them.  Now they make them again, but they're not the same.  If the same thing happens to Nacho Cheese Doritos and Clue (board game AND movie) I'm going back and getting a new childhood.


    Monday, June 13, 2011

    My Kids Are Reverse Vampires

    I’m not a morning person.

    It didn’t use to be this way.  As a child I regularly bounded up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed hours before the rest of my family.  There was something very delicious when you’re eight about having the house all to yourself in the quiet dawn of the morning for an hour or two.

    Generally I’d use this time to eat several bowls of Cookie Crisp and play video games.  PRIORITIES PEOPLE.

    It wasn’t always fun and games.  It also meant that I was the first child awake at every sleepover, garnering myself some quality time with the host’s mother over what was probably a very awkward cup of tea.

    By the time I was a teenager, I settled into my current sleep habits. I am neither a morning person, nor a night person.

    It takes me two hours to get with it in the morning.  Not get ready; if need be I can shower, dress, and leave the house in 15 minutes, albeit with wet hair. 

    But it’s no use trying to talk to me, or expect me to talk to you, or expect me to do anything other than look in your direction and maybe grunt for one or two hours after I wake up.  More if there is no coffee to be found.  My brain just does not register any outside stimulus until about 8:00 am.

    But, karma has delivered my comeuppance in the form of two small girls who are very much morning people.

    For quite a few months one or both of them would regularly awaken around 6:00 in the morning, ready for some quality cheerios-and-television time.

    And as spring waxes with earlier and earlier dawns, my children wake up earlier and earlier.

    No problem, I thought.  Blackout curtains!  If it stays dark in their room longer, they’ll sleep longer.  Up went the blackout curtains.

    The next morning my kids were up at 5:30.  The blackout curtains didn’t work.  My kids are reverse-vampires.

    On the plus side, they probably won’t be able to see their reflection in the mirror or cross a running stream.  This will come in handy in 15 years, when I won’t have to fight any teenagers for the bathroom in the morning.

    On the other hand, they’ll probably sparkle ala the vampires in Twilight, giving credence to their aforementioned stripper names.

    I’m doomed.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    Introducing Sapphire VelvetCheeks

    My parents named me after the Rolling Stone's "Angie," but they never meant to call me anything other than "Angela." Being the rebel that I am, I wouldn't  meekly stand by and let my parents decide what to name me.


    "Angela" was a popular name in the late 70's and early 80's.  Heck, I was one of three Angela's in my class at school, and in my dance troupe there was as many as four other Angela's at any given time.

    So, when taking roll at the first day of Kindergarten, the teacher came to my name and sad, "Angela? Hmmmm...... do you like to be called "Angela" or "Angie?"

    You mean I get a choice?  Well!


    I never really explained how this came about to my parents, who for twenty years wondered why the hell every one was calling their daughter, "Angie."

    In naming my own children, I took pains to try to name them something unique enough that they wouldn't have to go through the, "Which Angela are you?  Angela M., Angela B., or Angela T.?" rigamarole I went through.

    So far, I've been successful.  But if either of my girls truly want, they can change their names when they get older.* I probably won't announce this to them though, lest I become the proud mother of "Cherry SweetLips" and "Destiny SparkleJugs" or some other name inspired by the ladies at the local gentleman's club.

    Keep them out of prison and off the pole, that's my motto.

    *For the record, I don't hate my name and wouldn't change it.  Well, I did change it when I got married.  But being the crazy feminist I am, I seriously considered NOT changing it.  So I kept my first name, changed my middle name to my maiden name, and took my husband's last name for my own.  It's more confusing that way.**

    **For those who know me in real life, please refrain from using my middle and last name in the comments.  Instead, you may refer to me by my stripper name: Sapphire VelvetCheeks.  I suggest you do the same.

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    This Is What Happens When You Take Your Seven-Year-Old To A Debbie Gibson Concert

    The earliest music I recall being enamored with, that my parents were NOT  partial to, was, well, *cough*Debbie Gibson*cough.*

    Come on, what's not to like?!

    In fact, I was so smitten with Debbie Gibson, that one summer, when given a choice between going to a Debbie Gibson concert or going to a Six Flags theme park, my sister and I both enthusiastically squealed, “DEBBIE GIBSON!!!!!111!!!!!”

    Hell, Debbie Gibson was the only reason I subscribed to Tiger Beat magazine.  Do they even make that anymore?  If both Coreys were still alive, they probably would.  You have to keep current on things like that.

    Despite what should’ve been the good influence of my best-friend’s-brother’s infatuation with glam-metal bands, my taste in music degenerated quickly.  For the next five years or so I was smitten with ... golden oldies.

    Come on, what’s not to like?

    So smitten that, at age twelve when normal youths play spin-the-bottle at birthday parties, I hosted a 50’s theme birthday party complete with poodle skirts. I was the HEIGHT of sophistication.

    Even with the advent of Nirvana and grunge music, I clung to my obsession with Elvis, an obsession that also led to the discovery peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches which by and large are still my favorite kind of sandwich.  The only thing that saved me from becoming a music pariah was my accidental discovery of Pearl Jam while fiddling with the radio dial.

    From there on I extended my music repertoire to include something OTHER than doo-wop and show-tunes.  Mainly Jewel, who I discovered around age 15 because OMG SHE SAYS BITCH IN ONE OF HER SONGS!!!!!111!!!!  What can I say, I was a real innocent.

    Things grew from there.  I won’t bore you with the ins-and-outs of my favorite music these days suffice it to say that I now enjoy a wide variety of music. Even though I spent nearly a whole year addicted to anything Andrew Lloyd Weber.  Dodged a bullet with that one.

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Every Child Should Have Early Exposure To Jefferson Starship

    It’s been my experience that every one thinks they have good taste in music.  This probably isn’t true, just as it isn’t true that every one looks good wearing capris, or that there’s no such thing as bad sex.

    Still, I recently became the proud owner of Flogging Molly’s newest album, Speed of Darkness.  It’s been playing at my house non-stop, while Preschooler accompanies with an off-key rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” spliced with refrains from the “A-B-C” song. Hey, they really have the same melody, which probably makes my child some sort of musical genius.

    Anyhow, this got me thinking about whether or not Preschooler is really aware of the music I’m playing, which then got me thinking about the first non-nursery rhyme music I became aware of.  Which is....wait for it....

    Yes, Starship’s 1985 rendition of “Sara” and their later hit “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” are the earliest “real” songs I recall enjoying, and this coming from the child who once spent an entire trip to the shoe store singing the “My Little Pony” theme song.

    Oh yes there was a theme song, back around 1985 or so when kid’s tv shows 
    were created solely as advertising ploys.

    Now, my parents were pretty liberal about playing music they enjoyed around the house, so I can only attribute my infatuation with Starship to them playing the record at home.  After all, my first record (yes, record) was Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet. Plus, I was named after the Rolling Stone’s “Angie,” and my sister’s name was inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon,” which goes to show that my parents were either kind of cool OR kind of hippies.  Probably the former. Probably.

    My parents often had friends over and they’d play card games and board games, while my sister and I and their children choreographed interpretive dance routines based on whatever songs were playing on the record player. And the song that was played the most was....wait for it.... Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”

    AKA Everybody Must Get Stoned

    A seven-year-old that creates a dance routine to this song, complete with sequined costumes and feather headbands, should be off to a bright start.

    Despite all this high culture, my own taste in music had to go through some growing pains of it’s own.....

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    What Is It With Me And Cats?

    I dreamed about a cat last night, which either means I should adopt a stray, or that someone is trying to kill me.  Probably the former.  Probably.

    Adopting a stray anything has been on my mind for a couple of years.  But I have 2 kids 3 and under and my hands (and patience) are FULL.  Plus, Husband and I totally plan on using the notion of getting a pet to blackmail our kids.  You want a dog?  Well.... first you’ll have to demonstrate how responsible you are!  When you’ve learned to do your own laundry AND make a cheesecake, then we’ll talk.

    Still, there’s no harm in shopping around.  So every now and then I’ll go online and mentally adopt 50 cats.

    One day in law school, I hopped onto Petfinder.com to explore the feasibility of adopting a horse.  I normally sat in the front row of the class, because I’m unable to focus on anything when I sit in back what with all those distracting backs-of-heads.  Since the seats were auditorium-style, this meant that the people in the row behind me could see my laptop screen, and the people behind them could see their laptop screens, etc. 

    A friend of mine who religiously sat in the back of the classroom, like a NORMAL student, said that by the end of that class, nearly everyone was on Petfinder. 

    I’m a leader like that.

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Doogie Meowser: Cat M.D.

    Over the long Memorial Day weekend, I threw an awesome cookout.  Any party that starts with beer and ends with scotch is a good party.  There was booze, food, and the crowning finish: a cat on a rope.

    Wait, what?

    Around six or seven in the evening, the next-door neighbors put a cat outside.  It was the world’s fattest cat, and in hopes of fighting the inevitable descent into cat diabetes, they tied the cat to a stake in the front yard.  Periodically, they’d move the stake to another place in the yard.  It was the logical thing to do.

    I’d never seen that cat before.  It certainly wasn’t the cat that crashed my house a few days after we moved in.  I was unpacking some boxes in the basement, when I felt something scurry past my leg.  Thinking it was some kind of rodent, I shrieked and ran upstairs, only to find a large orange tabby cat reclining on my sofa.  The cat had a collar, but no tags, so I just put it outside thinking it would go home.  Instead it spent the next six hours meowing on my porch.

    My brother-in-law suggested keeping the cat and naming it “Doogie Meowser.”  Unfortunately, the cat left before I could get it to respond to its new name.

    Still, if I ever got a cat, I’m totally taking my brother-in-law up on that Doogie Meowser suggestion.  With a name like that, the cat would be OBLIGATED to become the world’s first and youngest cat doctor, and I’ll be able to retire early and mooch off my cat’s millions.  That is, until the cat throws me in the old-folks home.  But that won’t happen for years.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    This Is Why I’m Not Allowed To Write Articles For Cosmo

    In honor of the fact that summer is a mere twenty days away, I'm offering up my top ten tips on staying safe and sane over the next 12 weeks.
    1. If you are as pasty-white as I am, go ahead and use that extra-powerful SPF5 sunscreen.  Red is a good color on you.
    2. Everyone looks good in a thong.  Even your grandparents. ESPECIALLY your grandparents.
    3. When you go to the beach, don’t worry about the rain.  Just bring an extra-big beach umbrella.  If the rain turns into a lightning storm, go ahead and plant that giant umbrella under a tree.  You’ll be sure to stay dry.
    4. Bottle rockets are always a good idea.
    5. Alcohol + bottle rockets is a BETTER idea.
    6. Wear flip-flops to work.  The sound of your shoes flapping on the floor as you travel to the mail room will only demonstrate how proactive you are.
    7. Home-made potato salad tastes extra-delicious if you leave it in the sun for a few hours. Your guests will thank you.
    8. Hold your next family reunion at a nude beach.  First case scenario, no one shows up out of sheer embarrassment.  Second case scenario, people drink a ton of beer in hopes of erasing the memory of this event, or at least going blind.  Either way, you win.
    9. There’s no shame in wearing socks with sandals.
    10. Crap!  You mean I have to think of one more thing?  I can’t work under all this pressure.  You’ll take your nine pieces of advice, and you’ll like them.
    This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s writing prompt: Top 10 Summer Don’ts.

     I’m all outta ideas.

    Yes, I know I actually wrote a list of summer Do’s.  I’m a rebel that way.