Weekend Winks – Spirits, Sparkles and Small Spaces

First full work weeks after holiday time off requires some celebrating for making it back into the regularity of well, regular life. What better way to do it than a little impromptu girl’s night out?

Girlfriends are the gift that keeps on giving.

Hi 2019. It’s me. Be nice.

While I am pretty sure I gained my body weight consuming every.single.alcoholic beverage I cold get my paws on, I’m back at hot yoga, trying to sweat out all of the impurities.

Nama-trying-to-get-fit.

Those not having to try hard in the slightest are those Iowa twins of mine who got to frolic in the snowfall over the weekend.

Snow Princess.

Snow Prince.

Although, I will say my B-I-L did have his work cut out for him, pulling two almost six-year-olds through the white fun.

Two ton ride.

While I haven’t made a new year’s resolution since fourth grade (I vowed to read 52 books and yes, I achieved that goal and then some because deep down, I’m a librarian rock star at heart), I did locate a possible dream vacation goal for 2019. Thing is, I wonder if all of my pussies can also cross the Canadian border…?

Who’s in?

I mean, don’t they look like they’re ready to be world travelers and not the laziest beings on the planet?

Three of my indoor four.

And for those of you keeping track, I still have this family of four I’m feeding outside. Anyone interested in rescuing? Anyone? Anyone? ANYONE?

My outdoor four.

Aside from my Meowfest goal, I’ve been besieged with social media tags on how I should exit this world. And I have to say, I’d really like this casket now because it matches my pink sparkly bass drum coffee table and I think it would make a good napping station.

I would actually sleep in this now. Morbid much?

What’s a day of rest without a little fun? First Mate and Rach called the first brunch of the season and who was I to say no?

Eeny Meeny Miny Mimosas!

From OJ to grape juice.

Finally, it’s time to take the Christmas decor down from the mini manse. Which meant I needed to climb up into Camo’s attic where he graciously allows me to store my warehouse’s worth of holiday bins. It’s the getting them down part that’s the most fun.

I may or may not still be stuck here.

Good news. I wiggled my way down and now all of my neighbors think I’m moving out, as I’ve decided to store my bins outside of the mini manse.

Nope. Not moving.

S.O.S.
@therosepepper

When the Alexa that I don’t own was no help in de-decoring, I decided to do the next best productive thing and immerse myself into bubbles.

It’s ain’t easy being me….as we’re all well aware.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

Off to a Spark!

First full week of 2019 is almost in the books and friends, I don’t know about you, but I was beyond ready to feel like lighting 2018 on fire and forgetting it took place. As well as 2017, 2016 and 2015.

Get in on the shenanigans on Instagram…..
My handle is @cowboysandcrossbones.

All of 2018 wasn’t awful in the slightest but I’m more than thrilled to shed the layer another year added. Like an exfoliation of sorts. Looking back, it seemed like last year was equivalent to a decade with all of the political chaos, senseless gun violence, devastating hurricanes and wild fires, the staggering realization of where America truly stands on rape culture and victim blaming, learning that the environment is most certainly going to say “fuck you” to humans in about 50 years, shutting down the government, forcing peeps to work without pay, who most likely already live paycheck to paycheck over some fucking dumbass wall (get it the fuck together politicians) – and that’s just the non-personal junk.

We made it!  Art by the ever kick ass Hannah Daisy of @makedaisychains.

Yet, there was some sort of seismic shift that took place toward the end of the year after I twirled fell and gave myself a severe concussion (what I mindlessly refer to as a coma…I mean, they both start with the letter c). Resting my brain and body was not only what the doctor ordered, it was what my mind and spirit also needed.  Almost three years after Rapegate, I was back in the celebratory saddle and not.a.fucking.thing. was going to stand in my way.

Holiday spirits were high and so very not dry.

Holla!day fun with the girls.

Christmas craziness with my Iowa twins.

Christmas cookies for Kris Kringle.

Christmas cocktails helped us jingle.

I have enough merriment to carry me and you through this entire new year.

Soon enough it was time to watch that famous ball drop, signifying whatever you want to call it. A fresh start, new chapter, another not going to follow any resolutions again, new year, new you bullshit. Aside from The Pussy Posse, a quiet night in with First Mate was the way to commence the out with the old, in with the new shenanigans.

First Mate with her fizz.

Nothing short of a klutz on my feet, I did my best to spoil our snacks before the evening even started. My leopard couch still smells like one big, raw shrimp – and the pussies love it.

Festive fail.

So we did what any gals would and filled up on champs instead (like we would have done anyhow).

Mind eraser.

The problem wasn’t with our selfie taking skills, of course. It was trying to get the fucking bottle of bubbly open (why can’t my cats get off their furry asses and help?!).

 

Once we popped the top, the champs flowed, my 2018 skin was shed and we did what all party animals do. We went to bed.

The first day of 2019 was also the very last game of my beloved Hawkeyes football season. My team was playing Mrs. America’s Mississippi State Bulldogs and Iowa was the underdog.

Last game of the season!

Dada CBXB and I were hoping to score a touchdown, hopeful our Hawks wouldn’t get blown out. Not only did they score multiple times, enabling our family tradition touchdown shots, they also WON THE GAME!  Final score was 27-22. The first day of 2019 was not a horrible one in the slightest.

W-I-N!

Cheers to a first week of freshness and hoping the spark stays alive in all of us this year.

Happy! Happy!

CBXB

CBXB!

Season’s Reasons

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

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Opening packages would be such a bore,

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If I wasn’t encircled by cousins galore.

Christmas chaos.

A lonely gal Christmas sock affair,

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

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All dressed up with nowhere to go,

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

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Christmas pageants with one can be so annoying,

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But with two, the show is much more enjoying.

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Lonely lonely would Christmas celebrating be,

Without the decades of fun with family.

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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!

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!

Weekend Winks – Losses, Lounging and Little Things

We all know life isn’t fucking fair. There are constant small reminders of the good, fabulous, bad and ugly.

Current life status via photo.

But then there are the gigantic catastrophes that just take your breath away. Last week, with extreme suddenness, a friend, former colleague, father of three, stand up, bad ass, nicest kinda guy you know passed away. While twists and turns are inevitable, I can never fathom why bad shit happens to good people. But it does. Big Al, you will be missed beyond measure. We love you.

Support your peeps at all times, friends.

As we also all know, life moves on just as quickly as it changes. I’ve started a side hustle, pet sitting, dog walking and basically loving on all fur balls. I was beyond thankful to have a fucking cute client (I’d like to kidnap) at the mini manse for some playful diversion. He seems to take after my beloved Teddy Bear, by killing tampons and presenting them to me as presents.

Tampon terror.

The Pussy Posse is less than thrilled with some visitors but on the plus side, they can climb away from the mini manse menace.

Shedding on the clean, black laundry, avoiding tampon time. And yes, I see the typo – it’s slowly driving me crazy.

I also welcomed family into town and as I do with all visitors, being that I reside in the Bible Belt, I took him right to church.

Just kidding.

I showed him the alley door from the world-famous Ryman Auditorium (the old Grand Old Opry) where the performers used to leave the stage and head straight to the bars without being bothered by fans. Funny how I know that…

Back alley church.

We also headed to Bailey’s bar downtown Nashville to watch my Hawkeyes football with the Nashville Iowa Club.

Glitter for game day.

Touchdown tradition shots ensued – even though Dada CBXB wasn’t present, with some technology we were able to cheers together. But, it just wasn’t enough. My Hawks lost to a last second field goal scored by the Purdue Boilermakers.

Family Tradition FaceTime Fail.

So, we went to eat our emotions at Outback, a restaurant not found in small town Iowa.

We’re sorry, not sorry Sherri!

With a busy Saturday under our belts, we hung around the mini manse and enjoyed the fall weather Sunday.

Venturing out for some brunch at a new spot that I fell in love with (due to their availability of gluten free bread – what? what?!), Wild Eggs. The buffalo chicken omelette didn’t suck either.

Food coma fabulousness.

A final wine(d) down on the weekend includes bubbles and vino via lavender candlelight, as always.

Sudsy self-care Sunday.

Sometimes, it really is the little things that keep the wheels turning.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

I’ll Get You My Pretty

What better way to commence my favorite week of October than by upping my mani ante with a little blood splatter masterpiece?

Poison?

Not your ordinary apple.

I got a tad ambitious in my manicure adventures but with a glass (or four) of wine, I found my inner confidence beaming through.

To achieve this look, you’ll need a clear, nude or white polish, a toothpick and your choice of a red hue.

Terrifying trio

Terrifying trio.

After applying Seche Vite base coat, I started with two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White Out.

First

Hopefully you’re better at staying in bounds than me. Wine makes my lines blur.

To create the blood drips, I dipped a toothpick into a bottle of Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in Rapid Red and started with a single drop in the middle of a fingernail (be careful how much polish is on the end of your toothpick or you’ll have a large glob instead of a small drop – I’m speaking from experience).  Once you’ve dripped in your desired nail locale, use the toothpick to drag the red to the tip of your nail.

Dip baby dip

Dip baby dip.

After I had my drips appropriately placed, I added little dots of red for a splattered effect. Then, I did one thin swipe of red along the top of my fingernail (still with the toothpick) to tie everything together.

Dripped with blood...

Dripping digits.

Wait about 15 minutes before applying a top coat (I’m in love with Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat), as the red globs need more time to dry and will smear if you don’t wait long enough (again, speaking from impatient experience).

While my talons have gotten a few raised eyebrows already today, it’s the best way I can convey my excitement for a beloved holiday. A lady at the grocery asked me why I painted my nails with red stripes (because I fucking wanted to, lady) this morning.

Poison?

I offered her an apple from my cart.

*Insert evil, cackling witch laugh here.*

CBXB

CBXB!