Turkey Table

Oh the good times I had at the kids’ table on holidays. Us cousins would sit around a tiny table that our Gpa Morris constructed for Mama CBXB’s pre-school kids (she ran Kiddie Kollege from our basement) and we would have our construction papered pilgrim hats proudly atop our noggins.

Pilgrim Fun

Yeah, we know. Killer hats.

Topics often covered during the meal at our no-one-yet-in-the-double-digits table included knuckle sandwiches (usually whether or not I wanted one to which my response was, “No thank you I’ve already had one”), Sister CBXB announcing for the umpteenth year in a row she was thankful for her “Gaggy” (in non-toddler speak, that means dad although she couldn’t enunciate the “d” sound which made her declaration all the more nauseating for those of us who understood) and who was going to get a Jell-O knox block (this was obviously long before we started adding vodka to this delicatessen) for dessert first.

A few decades later, here’s what the same cousins look like at a “table”.

Knuckle sandwiches traded in for Patrón.

Now that we all live in different cities, states and the majority have procreated, the tables at turkey time look different but that doesn’t mean they still aren’t full of some fucking fun.

Maybe your table leans on the traditional side with overflowing dishes prepped by master family chefs (that would not be me, mind you).

Come and get it.

Maybe your table is a mixed bag of friends who all have human offspring but yours truly.

Maybe your table is surrounded by folks who don’t have spawn.

Fur moms.

Maybe your table is for two with your great aunt who has more energy at 90 years young than you’ve ever had in your life.

Head locked lovin’.

Maybe your table is surrounded by folks who show the fuck up when it matters most.

Sisters sandwich.

Maybe your table is reserved for remembering those who don’t physically sit with us any longer.

Margs and memories.

Maybe your table is full of extended family from far away, new friends and not one of you knows how to carve a fucking turkey.

Who has the knife?

Maybe your table is reserved for jazz handing, crown wearing queens.

Yes. We are all queens.

Maybe your table is filled to the rim with vino and friends.

Fuck food. Fill us up.

Maybe your once full table is empty as you relish a second helping of pumpkin pie.

Still desserting.

So Aunt Juju virtually joins you because we’re 500 miles apart.

Maybe your table is a toilet because you just need a holiday alone.

Never not classy.

Now new occupants reign the kids’ table, complete with their own artwork.

Turkey masterpiece.

The pilgrim hats of yesteryear have sure come a long fucking way.

The next generation at the turkey table.

Thanksgiving is a holiday for appreciation and I’m thankful for my fellow pilgrims who’ve weathered every type of table with me.

Love ya, mean it.

Cheers to enjoying your seat at the table, wherever and whatever it may be.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Gobble on.

CBXB

CBXB!

The Birthday Bitch is BACK

Getting ready to start another 365 fresh days, I’m BAAAAAACK. I’d lost (now found!) the “celebrate everyday” mantra that I was so used to pre-Rapegate. Three years without any of my usual March references…”it’s my birthday month” or “did you know my birthday is exactly three months after Christmas,” (I mean, maybe we can say I’m god’s gift, OK?) to “we’re gonna do what I wanna do because it’s my birthday MONTH.”

YOU WILL CELEBRATE AND YOU WILL FUCKING LOVE IT.

Since I was a kid, my life revolved around Christmas, my birthday and then, the Iowa State Fair. Much to my cousin B’s dismay (I can only assume), I was born right smack dab in the middle of his birthday, therefore he was forced lucky to share his special occasion with me at every March family gathering. (He’s the super happy kid to your left in the pic below).

It’s all about meeeeeeeee. Sorry, not sorry B.

Instead of forcing myself to get it together and sorta celebrate like I have the last few years, I readily have my sparkly party stilettos on and am ready to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the fuck out of my day of birth. Like, for the remaining days of March. And also, because my birthday is on Monday, it’s really only fair to make it a birthday week.

I’m gonna huff, puff and blow those motherfucking candles out. Even if I light my own.

(side note, I’m gonna need someone to make a gluten-free yellow cake with chocolate frosting with one billion multi-colored sprinkles on it, thanks).

Huff. Puff. and Blow.

Huff.

Puff.

Blow.

I’m gonna act like my mom and document the fuck out of every.single.second of my special day. Like she did with my sweet pink and purple pony cake, accompanied by my lovely oversized spectacles and semi-mullet hair do.

My most gorgeous birthday photo ever.

Hello Gorgeous.

Documenting attire like the time she allowed (like anyone could ever allow me to do anything) me to celebrate my birthday with sweet wispy bangs and a crocheted vest that looked like one of my Grandma Vogel’s doilies she so effortlessly made.

Crochet nightmare

Always so fashion forward.

Celebrate

More my speed these days.

I’m going to open every text, social media well wish, card and gift like it’s the one and only thing I’ve ever received in my life.

Always act surprised.

Holy shit! I love it! No, truly I do.

I will not be holding up fingers to commemorate the age of which I am turning because I ran out of fingers after the age of 10. (side note: how hilarious is it that I have a shirt on that says First Mate, First Mate?).

Insist

I’m this many today.

I may, however, enlist the peeps around me to count other birthday fun.

When you’re out of fingers on both hands, just count drinks.

When one of you does show up at the mini manse door with my gluten-free cake in hand, I am going to need a shit ton of frosting on it. And having a crown crafted of construction paper wouldn’t hurt either.

Scoobs.

Paper Princess.

Then I may need assistance with eating the delivered cake if my hands are full with cocktails.

Keepin' it classy. As usual.

Are your hands clean?

I’m already practicing my ‘birthday adorable’ look that I mastered oh so few years ago for photo capturing.

Mug for the camera.

Oh who me? Why yes it is my birthday. I’ll just hold this pose for the rest of the day.

It’s a tradition I am still working on.

Adorableness FAIL.

Work in progress.

I’m going to dance, jump and twirl (but not down) to my heart’s content, acting as if I have one ounce of rhythm somewhere in my body.

PARTY!

Mosh pits before mosh pits were cool.

Dance

I may try a high kick, which for me is possibly as high as my hip…if I’m lucky.

Head banging also accepted.

This seems to be the appropriate dance moves when we run out of fingers in which to count cocktails.

I’m probably going to invest in some sort of kazoo or party favor to carry around next week so when anyone asks how my day is going, I’ll just blow it in their face. Like a classy lady.

Blow it out.

I’m fabulous. It’s my birthday week.

I’m gonna surround myself with my fabulous friends forcing in celebratory fashion.

The more, the merrier.

Oh the variety of bangs…

Did I mention it was all about me?

Along with gluten-free cake, diamonds, Louis Vuittons, rescue cats, anything sparkly, Iowa Hawkeye football season tickets, anything skull, stilettos, bubble bath, a new deep jet bath tub for said bubble bath, I will also be accepting birthday shots, wine and Skinny Pirates.

Why thank you

Birthdays taste so good.

I may or may not have consumed all liquids at this table.

Birthday Skinny Pirate in the house!

They just “get” me at Dalts.

This year, I’ll be drinking to the wise words my Gma always told me as I bitched about growing another year older, “having another birthday sure beats the alternative.” Jesus, it sure fucking does. I’ll drink to that!

Truth.

Now, who wants to celebrate with me?

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

My Side Kicks at SIX!

My favorite day of all time will always be January 17, 2013. The two most important humans to me graced this planet with their presence. While I was the last of my immediate family to find out about the twins (I’m totally over it, as you can tell), I won’t ever forget the moment on a Thursday late afternoon when Sister CBXB called and told me to pull over and stop driving.

I was going to be an aunt. Two times over.

It’s a good fucking thing that I was in my car because the decibel my already extremely not quiet voice reached piercing heights (my whisper is your regular “inside” voice). The sound most definitely would have caused anyone around me immediate deafness. I can’t believe my vehicle windows didn’t shatter.

I was so fucking happy, thrilled, excited, for myself (oh, and Sister CBXB and Bro-in-Law of course) discovering that I would forever get to spoil a little boy and a little girl. I loved them before ever laying eyes on them.

Then I laid eyes on them.

My heart basically exploded and in the very best way possible, I knew that life was never, ever going to be the same. They immediately became my number ones (my sister is my number two because she got married and had the kids, taking all pressure off of me – yay – and now I can adopt all of the cats in the world – double YAY).

Honoring the liveliest duo I know, here’s…

Cheers to SIX Years

It seemed like yesterday you arrived!

How can you be turning anything past five?

Your birthdays…

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Were fun in overdrive.

Princess B, you have a flair for sparkles like me.

My sweet knight in shining armour you are, Prince B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting a pic with the two of you has never been easy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve never not enjoyed giving my face graffiti.

There’s so much I’ve loved watching you do.

Yet so much more is in store for you two!

You’ve got me in your corner whenever you need.

Anyone hurts you,

they deal with me.

The loves of my life, it’s simple but true.

Most of all, I love you just for being you.

Your crazy aunt sends jazz hands, kisses and hugs.

As all of us are celebrating with you – six years of big love!

Love Always,
Aunt Juju

 

Season’s Reasons

How different would Christmas be if I wasn’t surrounded by family?

IMG_2941

Opening packages would be such a bore,

IMG_2940

If I wasn’t encircled by cousins galore.

Christmas chaos.

A lonely gal Christmas sock affair,

Image 6

Instead of hanging stockings by the chimney with double the care.

IMG_2938

All dressed up with nowhere to go,

IMG_2932

Instead of trying to be one of the stars of the show.

IMG_2934

Christmas pageants with one can be so annoying,

Image 2

But with two, the show is much more enjoying.

IMG_2943

Lonely lonely would Christmas celebrating be,

Without the decades of fun with family.

IMG_2933

From past to present with futures near,

Hold those who are dear with your heart full of cheer because you never know when they may not be here…

Image 8

Cheers to keeping the memories, traditions and spirits of Christmases past, acknowledging the applause by those who are no longer with us but happy we’re keeping their remembrances alive and kickin’.

Happy Everything!

CBXB

CBXB!

Reason for My Season

As a kid there wasn’t anything worse than the last hour of Christmas because I would sit and think that I had to wait another 364 days for the fucking fun to come around again.

Just your typical family Christmas chaos.

Santa would not only eat the milk and cookies, he even tracked in ashes from the fireplace when he came down our chimney. The man in red also responded to the letters we’d leave him and when we asked for him to give us a kiss while we slept (totally not creepy asking an essential robber breaking into your house through the chimney to also age inappropriately kiss but whatever), we’d wake up to jingle bells by our beds for proof.

Kiss the Girls

There was also never short a short supply of cousins to share in our Christmas spirit.

IMG_2934

These family gatherings and traditions have waned over the years, as everyone but me  grew up, flew the coop and started procreating their own spawn and time gets prioritized differently. I do miss our large family get togethers but with everyone peppered across the states, it’s difficult.

IMG_2933

However, that has never deterred the Christmas in my heart all year-long type of person you want to punch in the face.

Christmas cheer overdrive…always.

My mini manse never not looked like I was singlehandedly going to host Mr. and Mrs. Claus for the season (naturally I was always hoping that would happen and I could adopt a reindeer and an elf – and yes, I’m being fucking serious).

Serious outside decor.

Not until, that is, Rapegate occurred. It is insane that something that happens in an instant can alter your world so hard that you don’t even recognize yourself. Getting out of the bed was feat enough, how the fuck was I ever gonna be able to muster the energy to pretend I felt joy about celebrating anything when my world was now nothing but gray?

The past two Christmases I’ve twinned with Alice Cooper.

However, with therapy and through my evolving recovery, my holiday merriment is back. It doesn’t feel like a mask I have to put on, making sure those around me don’t feel burdened by me or worry about my state of mind. And oh boy, is it ever the fuck back on in full force.

The past three years, dealing with PTSD, chronic fatigue, severe stress and depression, life continued on which it always fucking does and should. That doesn’t make shitty situations any easier, and some that I’ve loved deeply, have passed on to party in the sky since I last celebrated Christmas in 2015. And, they were all a part of my Christmases, be it from childhood, adulthood or being my fur baby forced into Christmas costumes for a photo every year.

Those that I have lost all loved celebrating the season (whether forced by moi or not).  And this tinybuddha.com quote really resonated with me when I read it.

I celebrate for Ted.

I celebrate for Aunt Crazy Pants and Gma.

I celebrate for my sweet Precious.

I celebrate for Big Al.

Celebrating for those who have passed before is melancholic at times. But I also have 400 million other reasons to celebrate – including you reading this post currently.

So, I’m throwing my sequined antlers on and running the goddamn hap-hap-hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby danced with Danny fucking Kaye.

I’m baaaaaaaaaaack.

Blitzen – for all kinds of reasons.

Starting with the celebration tree I’ve had up all year, it’s now adorned with all things Christmasy.

The mini manse….has been in transition from ultra gaudy to ultra ultra ultra gaudy. I have no less than 16 bins brimming with Christmas cheer that I haven’t touched since 2015. So it’s basically been like a supermarket sweep only with tinsel and all things sparkly.

Work in progress.

This is the first year that The Pussy Posse has witnessed the madness of the holiday season with me.

Exact replica of my four pussies reactions to all decor.

So if you’re wondering what I’ll be up to the rest of December between holiday parties and merriment, I’ll be decorating until the new year.

Very busy with my tinsel pillow.

Please feel free to stop by and receive a festive as fuck guided tour. It will only cost you a bottle of Captain, box of wine or bag of cat food. Seems reasonable, right?

Go get your festive on. NOW.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

The Birthday Legend

Oh dads.

If you are lucky enough to have one or have had one in your life, then you win. A familiar fixture on this blog and in my life, my dad celebrates his day of birth (along with his twin!) today. Aunt Crazy Pants once doled out advice that I didn’t think much of at the time when I was younger. She said (during some stupid crazy boy drama, no doubt) “No man will ever love you the way your dad loves you.”

This didn’t really dawn on me until I was an “adult” (a term I use for myself extremely loosely these days) and a dude I was living with said to me, “I can’t treat you like your dad treats you.”

BOY BYE.

I guess I never had to think about it because of the jackpot I scored when my dad chose to be mine. A knight in shining (well, in his case probably rusty) armour. A frugal on the allowance guy whose driving abilities were always affected by how loudly the radio was playing in unknown territory (TURN DOWN Q.102 GIRLS WE’RE IN DES MOINES!). A dad who commuted four hours daily to work but rarely missed an extra curricular activity. A dude who could scare boyfriends shitless with his size but is actually a giant, goofy Teddy Bear.

A father who not only duct taped my glasses together in the third grade (hence the short-lived nickname “Ducky” by the oh-so-sweet fellow 4th graders) but also uses the same magic to keep my bumper adhered to your car as an “adult”.

A dad who tells you to “tough it up” when you’re sitting in the superintendent’s office, holding a bloody chin after being hit in the face with a baseball bat during P.E. but remains strong and silent decades later when he’s driving you to the hospital after being raped.

So yeah, Aunt Crazy Pants and her advice rings true – best of luck to a dude ever living up to The Man, The Myth, My Legend.

Celebrating the Big Fella today, please join me as I share some of the valuable…

LESSONS FROM MY LEGEND


Image 90

You should always have your family’s back…

bl

       … even if they often attack.

Throw your hands up in the air…

wave

…and wave them like I just don’t care.

Even if you’re a dork inside…

...without my shades.

                                              

…it’s no matter if you’re cool on the outside.

The art of muscle blowing is unique.

blow

                       Passed down to generations…

and

                                              … and generations …

still

…to upkeep.

Pink isn’t just for girls…

flex

…guys often put the color on for a whirl.

Sequins should be in my everyday attire…

love

     … as you gave me the first bedazzled top I ever acquired.

It’s OK to stand out in a crowd…

Dada C-Note

…just be sure to do it loud and proud.

Giving is better than receiving…

Image 91

…except when you let your three year old open your gift to be appeasing. 

The importance of slathering on sunscreen daily…

very

   …just be sure to not get too crazy.

The significance of jazz hands…

was

…often help when making demands.

It’s not a road trip…

check

…unless you have rot gut vodka and your finger to mix.

Reminding me there’s more than one fish in the sea…

fish

           …especially whenever a boy has been mean to me.

Being the life of the party…

never

                                          …is like leading one big…

…fun army.

The duo that shoots shots together…

Wild Turkey

Image 11

Stays together.

…stays together.

It’s important to share…

at the

…even while pigging out at the Iowa State Fair.

It’s OK to relax…

after

…after a day has been crap.

You’ve carried me through physical hard times…

broken foot

         

broken ankle

…even if sometimes it was from too much self-inflicted wine.

Tipping my Skinny Pirates when my nails are drying…

treat

                         

…because you know there’s a silver lining.

Most importantly, not all heroes wear capes…

Not all

…just dads who pick us up no matter our proverbial scrapes. 

So let us all raise our glasses today…

cheers!

…and cheers your birthday away!

Those are just a few of my lessons from…

happy

 The Man. The Myth. The Legend.

Happy Birthday Dada!

Join the twins in a sing-a-long to Coo Coo…

(of course we do not have normal monikers such as Grandpa in my classy family)

We love you.

CBXB

CBXB!

Fight For Your Right

Who doesn’t love the Beastie Boys song “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”?

OK, maybe you don’t love the song but you at least know of it – or have at least heard it at some point in your life.

Sister CBXB and I never asked for party permission.

Luckily for me, as a woman in 2018, I don’t have to fight for my right to party, nor do I have to fight for the right to vote. But, I still have to fight for so many other fucking issues, it’s insane. Reproductive rights, economic rights, educational equality, fighting to end gender based violence….I could go on (and I’m a white, straight woman – the list is longer when you are neither of the aforementioned).

However, I was raised among fierce fucking females. Whether they knew it or not, their actions and verbal lessons through their own histories somehow sank into my brain between my blonde ears. Gma worked at a factory while raising four kids and cooking (from scratch) for farm hands and her family daily.

Gma the great.

She also taught me to party.

My other grandma had five kids in three and a half years because she had two sets of twins (grandpa probably never got to touch her again). Another grandma raised four kids, cooked daily for family and farm hands, volunteered at church and taught piano (as she pronounced pie-ano). Kick ass women if you ask me.

Mama CBXB ran her own preschool out of our basement and went back to finish college when I was in the third grade.

She also taught me how to party.

Aunt Crazy Pants moved from a tiny Iowa town of 600 to Chicago and supported her husband through optometry school as a dental assistant, starting at the age of 19, then raised four boys.

She also taught me to party.

My great grandma Lulu (Gma’s mama), who passed away at 103, was born when women weren’t allowed to vote (and was also alive when two Presidents were assassinated (McKinley and Kennedy), the Wright brothers flew their first plane, when the original Ford Model T car was produced in 1908, and when Amelia Earhart disappeared in the air  – just to give you an idea of her historic longevity).

While a badass, she only drove a car once and crashed it, ruining a cherry pie. That was the end of her driving career.

Once women were granted voting rights in 1920, she participated in every single election until her death. Fact is, GG Lulu thought it was important to vote every chance she was given because there had been a time in her life when her voice didn’t matter.

So often, I think people feel that their vote doesn’t matter or count. That their voice is lost in a sea of political abyss. It’s easy to forget there was a time when not everyone in the United States could vote and use their voices. But it does matter. Your vote counts. Your voice is heard.

Don’t you hate it when someone is bitching and moaning about politics, the President or a policy? And then you find out they didn’t even vote in the election pertaining to what they’re griping about?

If you don’t vote in this election cycle, I don’t want hear one.single.piece.of.political.opinionated.shit.coming.out.of.your.mouth.

I voted early (mostly because I couldn’t fucking wait to voice my opinions – albeit silently via a ballot) and informed myself beforehand on what issues were most important to me as a voter.

Therefore, I can express opinions on the outcome of today’s midterm elections.

Civic duty done.

Oprah Winfrey was in Georgia campaigning for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) late last week and had these choice words for folks on the fence about voting. “For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn’t have the right to vote and you are choosing not to vote wherever you are in this state, in this country, you are dishonoring your family,” Winfrey said.

Respecting the fuck out of GG Lulu while also performing my civic duty.

In my perfect world, Jack Sparrow would be elected to the Tennessee Senate or as Governor and there would be Skinny Pirate parties every day.

Skinny Pirates

Talk about a political party.

Whether or not you choose to vote is your right (and be glad it’s a choice that you get to make). But if you don’t show up at the ballot booth today and cast a vote, don’t come crying when you disagree with policies of the victorious. If you need any ideas on where to stand when casting your vote…

And if that’s too much of a stretch for you, please keep this in mind…

Truth.

Always.

So in a recap, vote or shut the fuck up.

I even made The Pussy Posse vote.

Now get out there and make your voice heard.

Let’s paaaaaaaaaartay!

CBXB

CBXB!