Friday, February 26, 2010


February, true to form, has been rearing its ugly head and showing us just how incredibly stinky it can be.  Let it be said, here and now:  FEBRUARY SUCKS!

I usually like to keep this blog full of rainbows and sunshine, puffy hearts and glitter, flowers and big smiley faces.  You get the idea.  I’m not a stranger to a good rant now and again but for the most part, I like to forget keeping it real and instead keep it hopeful in these pages.  But not today.  Sorry, peeps but I can’t let this one go by without screaming at the top of my lungs, shaking my fists and shooting something.  Now where’s my gun?  Somebody get my gun.

Daddy and I flew to Indiana for an unscheduled trip last weekend.  His best friend since grade school passed away after a long illness.   Maintaining a friendship for a lifetime is so rare these days.  It says a lot to me about both men that they’ve managed to remain a part of each other’s lives despite life and all its busy nonsense.  I have known this wonderful man and his family all my life.  He was the father of seven children.  His older children were my babysitters when our parents went out and I grew up with the younger kids.  They were there with us when my mother died and I was honored to be there with them in their time of grief.

Some might say that his passing was a blessing in light of his suffering.  And that may be so but February in all its SUCKINESS stepped in like only February can.  You see this family was still reeling from the tragic loss of his 17 year old grandson only 8 days before his death.  A grandson, a son, a brother, a friend to many, a Senior in high school, an athlete, by all accounts a great kid: Gone in the blink of an eye.

This family had a funeral for a family member 3 out of  4 Saturdays in February.  (An aunt had died the week prior.)  They always say that God never gives you more than you can handle.  This may be true but do we really have to be tested like this?  When I get to Heaven (and I know I’m going coz I’m so pure of heart and all), I’m going to have a lot of questions for the BIG GUY upstairs.  I just can’t wrap my head around this.

If you are new here, let me recap the crap that February has dumped on us in the past.

  • My mother died
  • My husband’s grandmother died 4 days later.
  • My husband had emergency surgery between the two funerals 1200 miles from home.
  • Upon our return home from the funerals, MHS wrecked his truck.  Thankfully, February cut us some slack and no one was injured.
And these were just the worst of it.  Every February since then has sucked.  And this year has been no exception.  (See above)

So here’s what I’m proposing:

Let’s change to an eleven month year and just move right from January to March.  Sure, there are those of you who have birthdays in February.  No worries, we’ll just move your birthday to that same day in March.  There are all sorts of bonuses to my plan.  We will no longer have to deal with leap year and all its confusion.  No more stress about a relationship status-appropriate gift for Valentine’s Day.   No worries about spending the big V Day alone. No more doghouse for forgetful husbands.  No more of those stupid, chalky hearts that say cutesy little sentiments.  (I might miss those)  We can eat chocolate in March.  Oh and let’s not forget that February tends to dump a lot of snow up North just about the time they are sick and tired of winter and its stinkiness.  The advantages are endless, I tell ya.

So peeps, are ya with me? Can we get this movement started?  Who do I call?  Should we start with the US?  North America?  I say, “GO BIG OR GO HOME!”  Let’s change the world.  We can do it.  YES.WE.CAN! 

Now just sign on this dotted line:


Sunday, February 14, 2010


My eyes barely fluttered open.  I was in that state of not quite awakiness where you are aware that it is morning but you’re not quite ready to face it.  Slowly the realization that today is Valentine’s Day settles into my brain.  I snuggle a little closer to the warm body lying beside me.  I open my eyes a little more and smile.  He smiles back and has that look.  It’s February 14th and he has only ONE thing on his mind:

Today’s the day they are blowing up a high-rise in West Palm Beach on the Intercoastal! 

He’s such a ROMANTIC! 

“Do you feel like going or do you just want to stay here and watch it on TV?”, he says with that look  that pleads, “Don’t deny me this excitement!”

So we got ready and bundled up (Florida style) for the big event.  My Harley Stud is very familiar with Palm Beach and knew just the spot that would put us directly across the water from the tower.  Armed with coffee in my favorite thermos, my camera, tissues (we both have a cold) and our phones, we made the what I’m told was four block walk but I could have sworn it was more like 10 blocks – It’s cold and I have the sniffles – to the perfect spot across the Intercoastal waterway from the blasting site. 
IMG00066-20100214-0859 It was a beautiful day for an explosion!
As we gather with the anxious crowd, I slip my camera out of my pocket only to discover that my battery is dead.  Grrrrrrr.  “No worries.” says MHS.  “We have our phones.”  It appears that nothing is going to spoil the “romance” of this very special Valentine date. 
IMG00067-20100214-0901 Don’t let the grumpy face fool you.  He was HAPPY to hold my thermos while I took his picture and he was REALLY HAPPY to be there for the implosion!

The implosion was scheduled for 9am.  It didn’t happen at 9am.  About that time, MHS asked me if I had video on my phone.  I confirmed that I did but I’d never used it and was afraid that I would miss the whole thing while I tried to find it.  So there I stood holding my phone up in the air waiting for the big moment.  It is surprising to me how heavy a 4.58 oz phone gets when you’re holding it in the air for over five minutes.  I really need to get back to the gym.    

Finally the moment arrived.  First we saw little puffs of smoke come out of the sides of the building.  Then we saw it start to tumble down even before we heard it.  It was so cool! 
IMG00068-20100214-0910 See the little puffs of smoke to the left of the building?

I’ve had a little fun at MHS’s expense here mocking his lack of romance but the truth is:  I loved it.  Truth be known, there’s a bit of a 12 year old boy living inside of me.  I love blowing things up.  I love to watch things blow up.   I love to shoot things.   And occasionally my humor tends to lean toward adolescent boyishness. 
IMG00069-20100214-0910 And……………………….it’s gone!

After it was all over, I turned to MHS and said, “I got the before and after but I missed the whole tumbling down part.  Did you get it?”  He said, “I got it on video.”  

What the……..!  This is a man who asks me to send text messages for him.  I’ve taught him everything he knows about how to use his phone.  And apparently I’ve done a great job because while I stood there like a fool with my arm up in the air worried that I would miss the big moment, he went right to his video app on his blackberry and recorded the whole thing.

Well, almost the whole thing.  It didn’t really happen as fast as it appears in the video.  So the best we can’t figure is that he hit the pause by mistake at some point in the process.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone! 
MHS and I hope that your HEART DAY goes off with a big BANG!

Smart Mouth Broad

Monday, February 8, 2010


Dear Big Fat Jerk……..or quite possibly Little Skinny Jerk…….or even Big Skinny Jerk……now that I think about it you could be a Little Fat Jerk or maybe just Dear Average Unknown Jerk:

Even though it was my first time to volunteer at the Soup Kitchen in probably 10 years, I will not let the fact that you sprayed some unknown substance all over my helpless little car and hocked up a disgusting wad of …..yeah…..THAT all over my drivers side door stop me from returning to serve others next month although next time I will drive MHS’s old truck and may or may not be packing heat.
Please know that I hold no ill will against you.  In fact I prayed that someone would spit in your face for you.  You may have been one of the people I cheerfully served with a hot meal.  Maybe not.  Either way, I’ll be there next month with a smile and two helping hands.  Let’s try to play nice.

Smart Mouth Broad

Friday, February 5, 2010


Lucy Ethel

Every year when February is finally over, I swear that the next time it rolls around that I will crawl into bed, cover my head and stay there until March 1st.  But I don’t.  As the rest of the year rolls on, the memory of February’s pain and general stinkiness wanes and when it does arrive the next year………I am taken by surprise and caught in its clutches again.  It just kinda sneaks up on me.  February is a very sneaky month.

Tomorrow marks the sixth anniversary of the day my mother, Lucy, died.  It doesn’t seem possible.  She is still, and I guess always will be, a very real presence in my life.  As much as I loved her, I never imagined that I could miss her this much.  It’s the little things that find me in a puddle.  And it’s the little things that make me smile and remember with warm, wet tears streaming down my face that my family was blessed with an extraordinary gift from God.  She taught us well, kept us in check, and straightened us out when we found ourselves on a crooked path.

Thanks, Lucy!  You were the BEST!

To help me wipe away the moisture leaking from my eyes as I write this, I thought I would bring you another Lucy story.  My previous Lucy stories showed you her wit but Lucy was smart too.  Clever, clever, clever.  Allow me to demonstrate:

The following story was told to me by my mother’s dear friend on the day of Lucy’s memorial service in Indiana. 

When my parents first retired, they bought a place in Florida and would spend the winters in the land of the sunshine and their summers in Indiana.  The best of both worlds, right?  Turns out…..not so much.  You see, when you neglect a property for six months of the year, it takes the next six months  to get it back up to par.  Retirement was hard work and they realized they were “doing it wrong”.   And so they decided to take the leap.  They would sell the house in Indiana and make their permanent residence in the sunshine state.
This created a whole new problem.  Even with two households, storage was a problem for my packrat mother.  My father put his foot down and insisted that she downsize their “stuff”.  Everyone accumulates stuff over the years but my mother was a master in this field.  The woman had STUFF.
Knowing that the task at hand was larger than herself, she gathered her friends together to help her.  As she sorted things, she would tell this one to “put this in that pile.”  She would tell another friend “to put this in that pile.”  And so it went.  She threw out a lot. She gave away a lot.  But slowly her friends realized that she was still keeping way more than what my father was allowing.  “Lucy, he’s never going to let you take all this stuff to Florida.”  She told them, “Never mind about that, just box up that pile over there.” 

And so it continued.  For days, my mother and her friends would sort through her belongings.  Each time someone would gently remind her that she was supposed to be downsizing, she would wave them away saying, “Don’t worry about that.  Just box up that pile over there for me.” 

When the very last box was sealed, she piled the ones that would go to Florida in one corner and then she looked at her friend, who I will call Hellen……because that is her name, and said, “Hellen, you take the rest of the boxes to your house and put them in your barn.  I have a plan.”

Now when you’re from Indiana and you move to Florida, people will come.  “People will come, Ray.  People will most certainly come.”  (Movie, anyone???)  And people did come.  Among the friends and family members who came to visit every year was Hellen and her family. 


Each time my mother heard that Hellen and her family were coming to Florida, she would instruct Hellen which box to collect from her barn and bring to Florida.  One by one, visit by visit, my mother had every single one of those boxes delivered to her and Daddy never knew a thing.  That is until the day of the memorial service when Hellen shared the story with us.  I love this story.  I love it for so many reasons.  I love how it shows just how truly clever Lucy was.  I love the covertness of it all.  And I really love Hellen for giving it to us when we needed it the most.  It gave a smile and a warm memory to comfort me when I’m feeling blue like I am today.

Thanks, Hellen. 

I love you, Mom.  I miss you more everyday.

Dear readers, if you are still here, thank you for sharing this memory with me as I work through my feelings and therapize myself.  And I do feel better now, thank you very much.

If you would like to read more Lucy stories, just type Lucy in that little search widget in the top left corner of this page.  I’m too lazy to link them all.

Patrick has a new update on the Hope for Haiti blog.  Click here to read.

Smart Mouth Broad

Tuesday, February 2, 2010



For the last couple of weeks I’ve been on a mission to beg request donations of medical supplies from local physicians and medical facilities to be sent to Haiti via Hope for Haiti.  We have a family friend who is the program director of this organization and he is there living the disaster.  If you haven’t read my earlier post, you can do so by clicking here
The Palm Beach County medical community has been very generous and I was overwhelmed with the response.  My little car had every square inch filled with med supplies one day (with the exception of the driver’s seat) and I’m happy to say that those supplies are already in use in Haiti. 
The contributions already received are much appreciated by the people of Haiti and a huge relief to the workers.  It must be frustrating beyond belief to know what is needed to treat a patient and not be able to proceed because of the lack of equipment and supplies.  After the first few shipments went to Haiti, it became clear what was still much needed and not yet obtained.  These are somewhat specialized items and I’ve not had any success locally. So once again, I’m reaching out into the blogosphere because you never know when you might have a reader who works for one of these companies or has a contact who might be able to help.  So Bloggyville……….take a look at my shopping list below of much needed items and see if you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who might be able to donate or discount these items for a good cause. 

Medical Supplies
Skin Graft Needs
Dermatome (x2)
Multiple blades for dermatome
Skin graft mesher (x2)
Skin graft carriers
Skin staple guns
Other needs:
Stockinette for casting, Bandage scissors
We're also looking for a low-cost way to acquire a portable digital x-ray machine. Also, prostheses will become a HUGE need in the future as amputees seek rehabilitative care.

The above list was copied and pasted directly from Patrick’s email.  If anyone reading this works for, with or owns a company who might be willing to donate supplies and/or discount them for a well-known cause, please contact me by email as soon as possible at
smartmouthbroad at gmail dot com.  Any help or referral will be much appreciated. 

Together, we CAN make a difference!

Smart Mouth Broad