My Gma the Great

I’ve never been one to take my family or time with them for granted, so it was real bummer when my Gma passed away five years ago. Not only was she one of my best buddies, I know I inherited her brutal honesty, ornery streak, lipstick and love of having my fingernails polished.

To celebrate what would have been her 97th birthday today, an ode to my Gma the great!

Gma

Always one to laugh at surprises…

Image

…you took to my photobombing like it was one of your most treasured prizes.

Photo Bomb!

You never let anyone forget…

PastedGraphic-1

…when it was time to celebrate you bigger than the national debt.

IMG_4861

I learned from the best…

Image 16

…how to celebrate my life full of zest.

IMG_2618

Now seriously Gma, you taught me to party harder than Mae West.

photo 1

A love of leopard you instilled….

IMG_4900

…which is now being passed down to the next generation, who’s thrilled.

IMG_1349

It’s so fun you two met at a skating rink…

IMG_4888

…even if after 44 years you still had to steal kisses quicker than an eye blink.

IMG_4873

Although I took after Gpa avoiding kisses, rather craving a hard drink…

photo 5

…you always insisted on showing your love, making sure everyone was in sync.

IMG_3760

Beauty sleep and a hairnet was apparently all that you needed…

IMG_4858

…but truly it was your hairdos that always succeeded.

IMG_4893

So it was with glasses and confidence that I superseded…

photo 3

…the grace and confidence that you always heeded.

IMG_4892

I wish I would have felt more impeded.

photo 1

The Iowa State Fair you never did love,

probably because you couldn’t wear foot gloves.

Image 12

It will never be the same, not bringing you a corn dog…

Image 42

…and discussing how I ate my way through the fair like a prize-winning hog.

Image 145

Circled blacked out dates always meant you had a companion…

IMG_4875

…you always loved attention bigger than the Grand Canyon.

IMG_4898

Attending every homemade Christmas pageant we made…

Image 55

…and most likely secretly prayed…

PastedGraphic-3

…that I would never end up a lonely old maid.

photo 1

The first to pass of five sisters, who lived out their misters,

Image 19

…you loved being pampered more than a fever blister.

IMG_5709

Your nails were painted the day before you passed…

IMG_4724

…and Jell-O shots without you will seem so miscast.

Image 1

Regardless of view near or afar, life will never be the same…

IMG_4547

…without you as my shining rock star.

Love and miss you Gma.

CBXB!

To the Fabulous Fathers Who Rock Our Worlds

Where in the fuck would we be without our dads, father figures, uncles, cousins, and all-around good dudes in our life?

Here is an ode to my dad, the dude who’s taught me quite a few important life lessons worth sharing …

#1) The art of playing dress-up.

One should never take themselves too seriously (doesn’t he make a beautifully awkward-looking woman?).

Teach the importance of playing dress up.

Kid and Pam. Duo of the Halloween circuit (click here to read about it).

#2) Giving good fashion tips and showing the importance of taking risks.

I may never have rocked neon pink jeans or turquoise sneakers if I hadn’t seen my dad risking it by wearing a pink feather boa.

Oh, pink feathers would look good on me!

It takes balls to boa.

#3) Instilling the importance of a family tradition during holidays.

Thus taking this lesson to heart, I’ve turned into a Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, anything-that-has-a-theme seasonal maniac.

Help you fall in love with holidays, so now you're a maniac when it comes to

Pumpkin carving passion 101.

#4) Schooling me on the art of loving your birthday so much, it’s your favorite day of the year.

My birthday is in late March (and if you must know, three months exactly after Christmas), therefore it’s my birthday month. And, although it’s June, I’m still accepting presents and celebratory cocktails. I really took this lesson to heart. Thanks, Dad.

Teach the imporance of a celebration

I’m all business when it comes to taking tips on the art of blowing candles out.

#5) Showing the almighty ability to shake it up and party down without spilling your cocktail on the dance floor.

This might be the most important lesson learned from my father. I’ve fallen down stairs, tripped in grass, and jumped into a pool without losing a drop of liquor from my glass. TALENT taught well.

Dancing maching

Drip dry dancing machines. Liquor intact!

#6) Establishing the idea that no matter what, your family will be there to pick you up in times of need.

Like the time I accidentally got shit faced at my sister’s bachelorette party and couldn’t walk to the car because my feet hurt.

My feet hurt, I need a lift.

My heels are killing me! I need a lift.

Stiff as a board but sure as shit not light as a feather...especially after cocktailing.

A family effort trying to throw my dad’s back out.

Are we there yet? I think I just threw my dad's back out.

The dude who’s carried me through life like a champ.

Whether your dad is still cruising the streets or has departed to the big party in the sky, I’m raising my glass to each and everyone this Sunday.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads that have rocked our worlds.

We love you.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Whatever Week You’re On Winks

Oh the things being stationed from home 24/7 will make you do…like take in a kitten who just had her own litter. Therefore, making me not a grandma but a GLAMma.

Oops I did it again. And again. And again. And again. And again.

I have an outside brood of seven pussies that I’ve been feeding the last two years. I was able to trap and release (TNR) each one last spring. TNR is when you catch a cat in a trap, take it to the vet for a spay or neuter and then release it where you found it. I’m making this sound easy but it takes a goddamn act of the stars being aligned even if Mercury is in Retrograde to accomplish this because feral cats are basically wild animals.

I missed a female last spring and she had kittens. And now, I am a Glamma and have four sweet, teeny, tiny Glammies inside the Mini Manse quarantined in their own Rona hell to my bedroom. They are now known as The Glam Squad and I almost lost an arm and two eyes trying to get them into the Mini Manse but that’s a story for another day.

Girlie Girl feeding Maverick and Ruth.

The Glammies are almost fully weaned off of Mama. I’m on a waiting list at Value Vet and Nashville’s Pet Community Center (that has 600 felines afuckinghead of me) for spaying and neutering. These little nuggets won’t be going back outside, either. They’ve entered the Mini Manse and are now accustomed to a boxed wine luxury lifestyle with Glamma. It’s been a shit ton of work but definitely, a welcomed distraction from whatever this thing is we now call the world. All of the babies will be up for adoption. Don’t you think you need a new friend?

Girlie Girl, Fauci and Nelly enjoying their breakfast buffet.

All of this pussy momming has given me even more reason to dive right into my Crazy Cat Lady status that I have not one ounce of shame over.

Light Friday night reading compliments of M.Star.

So how do Prissy and The Pussy Posse feel about acquiring temporary residents?

WHAT. THE. FUUUUUUUUUUUCK?

Because The Pussy Posse, Prissy, and yours truly all sleep in my Princess and the Pea bed, I’ve had to do some distracting to avoid immediate punishment from the permanent feline residents in the Mini Manse. The weather has been quite fabulous, so I am able to leave the Pussy Patio wing of the Mini, Teddy’s Terrace open for their recreational habits of napping all day every day and night.

Fabio has no complaints.

Thundercunt would like to speak to the manager.

While I’ve been trying to keep my cat hoarding situation under control, Sister CBXB has been entertaining her duo with her fabulous versions of summer camp.

So far they’ve been to France, Japan, and space.

Day camps can be exhausting, so they get a little happy hour every day.

Summering so hard.

Princess B also got a visit from the tooth fairy twice last week.

I could run a summer camp on how to find shit in the garbage can. Remember when I found my dumpster wedding dress (that is still in my possession, I mean, just in case, you never know)? Well, when I was leaving the Mini Manse on Saturday, what to my wondering eyes did appear but a gigantic framed fancy photo of some golfer. And you know who loves her some golf?

First Mate.

One woman’s trash is First Mate’s treasure.

I snapped a pic of it and sent it to her as a joke. Turns out she really wanted it and I unshamefully backed my ass up and it’s now anchored at her beige palace.

You who else needs to back their asses up? Every single motherfucker in this photo from Kid Rock’s bar in downtown Nashville taken this weekend. What do you want to bet every single person in this photo has bitched and moaned about businesses reopening and how masks are an infringement on their personal fucking freedom?

Thanks for helping Nashville inch back to Phase 1.

EVERYONE I know wants to get out and about and have some sense of pre-Rona normalcy. But when a very large handful of peeps take the conveyed Tennessee message “proceed with common sense,” in establishments that completely ignore city set guidelines (6 feet apart, wear a mask), it’s inevitable to not feel like these folks aren’t being wise. Nashville is in a four-phase reopening plan. Currently, we are on Phase 2, with many businesses waiting for Phase 3 to reopen. Selfish folks, like Kid Rock’s establishment, accompanied by many other downtown Nashville bars are completely ruining it for other businesses waiting for their economic means to starting flowing again. Get your shit together you selfish fucks and maybe, just practice compassion for others.

In London over the weekend, great compassion was shown for a counter-protester to the Black Lives Matter march. Patrick Hutchinson saw a white counter-protester on the ground, about to be trampled. Hutchinson picked the man up, and with help from friends, got him out of the large crowd and to safety. Remarkable compassion and integrity.

Selflessness at its finest.

I think some people have become frustrated with what may seem like a lull after two weeks of full-on worldwide protesting (so yeah, the entire universe thinks black lives matter). It’s important to remember that Black Lives Matter is a movement, not a moment. It will take time, education, resources, protests, reform, and….compassion.

Speaking of viruses, my vehicle has been nothing but bad juju and decided to finally piss out on me two weeks ago. It’s just been sitting in the parking lot (silver lining of remote working compliments of Rona) at the Mini Manse until yesterday. And when I started to drive it to CarMax, seeing if I could muster any kind of moola out of them for it, the old rust bucket came up with the soundtrack to 2020.

The brakes completely went out about 15 seconds in the car. I was able to emergency brake it the entire way to the dealer. When the mechanic took it out for a test spin, before giving me my appraisal, I warned him that if he valued his life, he may want to stay in the parking lot.

The rust bucket in better days, when I wished it was a Range Rover.

Turns out, the make and model of my car holds value. WHAT? WHAT? Exsqueeze me? 

GOOD NEWS?

How awful is it that I’m accustomed to the very worst scenario always panning out? I’m not a pessimist but I am just always prepared for the defeat of a situation these days. Instead, I got so much for my rust bucket, I was able to get a better vehicle in my price range that I love.

Car salesman Harry and I are now best friends.

My new beaut is being transferred from Maryland and is the exact same make, model and color as my old one. Just newer and minus the rust, the duct tape, the myriad of dashboard lights on 24/7, and no power steering fluid leak. HOW LUCKY AM I?!

For those of us who didn’t have my luck yesterday, (which applies to every other area of my non-vehicular life) might I suggest some sage to last us the next six months as we patiently await 2021?

Let me know when you want me to come sage your place. I have a new ride, you know.

Stay safe.

CBXB
CBXB!

 

 

 

 

Buy Me a Drink

All of Us, Together

WHAT. THE. FUCK. 2020?

How hard can a year be? We’re not halfway through this one and wow. Just a gigantic motherfucking wow…for all of us.

I mean, peeps all over the world are having to be reminded to wash their hands, (that we were taught to do as wee lads, so a major fail on the adults in this world) as well as a reminder in the harshest way to treat others the way you want to be treated (as we were also taught as kids, shame the fuck on us).

Wash your hands. Live by the Golden Rule.

Some of you didn’t watch this as a kid and it shows.

Collectively, the world is mourning what was life before fucking Rona. There is going to be a before Rona and after Rona. Whether you want it to or not, your life will never be the same. That’s a grieving process and it’s really fucking difficult to grieve something that is still alive. No matter your thoughts on the pandemic – whether you are practicing wise caution, freaked the fuck out or carrying on as nothing is going on around you.

Maybe you know someone who died from COVID. Maybe you contracted COVID and will have lasting aftermath in your body forever. Maybe you lost your livelihood, your business, your house, some relationships, missed prom, rescheduled your wedding, virtually graduated from school, or/and lost your goddamn mind.

This pandemic is real whether you know someone who has been touched by it or not.

RIP Lindsey. 11/23/87 – 3/23/20

Whatever the case may be, When All This Is Over (WATIO) there will be a new normal. Folks may be wearing masks in public forever.

Protection from a pandemic. But make it fashion.

Restaurants and businesses may not be at full capacity for a while. The hard part of this process is the unknown. And lack of leadership in this country. But know that whatever and however you feel Rona is being handled in America, you’re processing some sort of grief about it.

Hello yes, this is Karen. I would like to speak with a manager about the new fucking normal. Thanks.

While America was still thick in the adjustment of Rona, a Black man by the name of George Floyd was murdered on Memorial Day by a Minneapolis police officer.

This injustice at the hands of authority sent should have set your stomach on fire. And yet, Black men being killed by law enforcement is not new and we Americans know that. Fuck, the entire world knows it.

America started that week with New York City resident Amy Cooper, a White woman, calling the cops after a bird watching Christian Cooper (not related) asked her to put her dog on a leash. In Central Park, where leashes on dogs are required (and we all know how I fucking feel about dogs not on leashes). Her exact words to Christian Cooper, who was videoing the episode for his own protection, no doubt:

“I’m taking a picture and calling the cops,” Amy Cooper is heard saying in the video. “I’m going to tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.”

HE ASKED HER TO LEASH HER FUCKING DOG IN A PARK WHERE IT’S REQUIRED.

What a fucking ass clown.

How many times have White people called the cops on Black people for mundane, ordinary things? It is fucking outrageous.

America started the week with Amy Cooper. America ended that week with police officer Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd over a $20 bill, coming freshly off murders of Ahmad Arbery while jogging in broad daylight to Breonna Taylor being shot eight times in her own home.

I believe that when George Floyd called out for his mama in his dying breaths, it was instinctual because his mother had died a few years prior. He wanted her comfort. I think all of us who have a mama want her when we’re sick, scared, vulnerable, dying.

While I haven’t carried a child in my own belly, I have maternal instincts. I know that I love with my entire being, unconditionally. We are all aware that I love my fur babies as if I had birthed them myself and I would honestly, die for them.

But there are also two little kids that my world revolve around and I couldn’t live without either one of them in my life. I would burn the entire world to ashes if anything resembling a George Floyd situation happened to them and lay my life down to protect them from growing up in fear of their lives for daily tasks. I assume you would do the same for your children no matter what the color of their skin.

Can you, as a White person reading this, imagine telling your five-year-old that when they see a police officer they should immediately put their hands up? No. Because as White children, we are told to go to a police officer for help or if we see something bad happening for our protection.

Three years from learning to put their hands up if a police officer approaches them.

When does this little boy become a threat to society in America?

Too cute?

When is it not safe for him to jog on his own?

Still too cute?

What if he has his ball cap on the wrong way?

What about now?

What about her?

Will she always be safe in her own home?

Racism is real, obviously alive, rampant, and raging in America – even if you are not a racist. My eyes were forced open to my own ignorance of it being ever-present since 2017. When my sister called to tell me that White frat boys in khaki shorts and golf shirts were marching with the KKK in Charlottesville, VA, I first thought the images my brain was trying to absorb must be scenes from another country.

White privilege is real. And if you’re a White person in America, you are privileged simply by the color of your skin. It doesn’t mean you grew up with a silver spoon in your mouth or didn’t work your ass off to get where you are today or have unspeakable shit happen to you. It just means that you had a leg up. History has just shown us that the system is a hell of a lot more flawed in favor of White privilege when it comes to police officers, law enforcement in general, and the judicial system.

Because I am White I can do the following without fear of being killed:

This is especially true if you are a White man in America.

The Constitution was written by White men, for White men with no consideration of any other race or sex in 1789. It doesn’t mean it hasn’t been amended and adapted over time of course but that’s where our country as we know it began. It aided America’s history of systemic racism.

Police brutality is real even though you and I both know outstanding police officers. Stand up citizens serving their communities. I have the utmost and mad respect for people who choose to be a cop. But that still doesn’t mean there aren’t bad ones that make horrible choices and as we are finding out, have had disciplinary problems, yet still allowed to work and end up killing innocent people ( Breonna Taylor officer Brett Hankison was and still currently accused in an ongoing civil lawsuit in federal court regarding harassment and George Floyd’s murderer had 17 misconduct complaints and still at work). What kind of system allows behavioral misconduct where you can still carry a gun and work the streets? I have three write-ups and I’m out at an office desk job.

I have heard a lot of my friends say “I just don’t pay attention to it,” regarding the Black Lives Matter movement in America and that is unacceptable. Because it is White people who have the most to learn and comprehend. Education is where we can start. Uncomfortable conversations will be required to move forward. And that’s all OK. This doesn’t mean you are a racist.

It’s imperative that we listen. We learn. We absorb. We educate ourselves and others. Because when it boils down to it, this is a very black and white matter. You are racist or you are not.

White Americans can and must do better. Show the fuck up for one another. To live by the simplest of all – the Golden Rule. How and why is that so fucking hard?

See something, say something.

This isn’t the kind of country in which any kid should grow up.

@repvaldemings

We can do better. We must do better. We owe it to our future generations to be better.

It’s going to take all of us, together.

Black Lives Matter.

CBXB
CBXB!

 

 

 

 

Buy Me a Drink

 

 

Weekend What Day Is It Does It Matter Winks

Well, I for one, started this Ronacation off on the right foot. I wasn’t gonna let a worldwide pandemic keep me from fabulousness.

Safer at home day one.

I am fortunate to have the ability to work remotely and got my home desk all prepped and set.

Home office in the pussy room.

My desk is located in The Pussy Posse wing of the Mini Manse so, naturally, I have to display all things feline as to not wound the fragile feelings that cats pretend they own.

For those of you wondering, of course, I have pussies crawling all over me every damn day and I do not hate it. Not one bit.

But as the days rolled into weeks rolled into a month and then got all kinds of blurry as to what day of the week it actually was started taking a toll on my sparkly look. I morphed fairly quickly into a greasy-haired, messy bun, I-took-a-bath-so-I don’t-need-to-wash-my-hair-for-three-weeks, whatever-I’m-wearing-must be comfy-lady.

I’ve woken up like this precisely 32 days in a row now.

I’ve even taken things down 1,876,899 notches when taking Zoom calls, forgetting there’s a fucking video camera attached to the computer call. Blonde is hard.

I think many of us hold literal press conferences when we can say…

I mean, showering is not hard, right? But it’s so easy to skip washing my hair if I take a bath and because it’s long, I choose to wear the grease trap in a whale tail (a halved ponytail) or messy bun. If I get to feeling really fancy, I will shower AND wash AND then put deep conditioner in my hair, resulting in a wet bun for another five days (I am always cautious when taking my hair down from said wet bun, as I am not sure if it will have molded or if a kitten is hiding in there).

But the most impressive feat comes about every 14 days when I actually wash AND condition AND dry my locks.

There she is!

My Iowa twins are home from school the rest of this semester with planning for fall classes to resume. Like almost every other person I have seen on social media, the kids have started tie dying. Actually, I think this a prerequisite for Rona quarantine.

Am I the only one not doing this art?

If there’s anything my family knows how to do, it’s snack making. And Princess B is on it. She made her first batch of Rotel last Sunday and it was so tempting to get into my car (that wouldn’t make it down the block right now) and drive the nine hours to taste it.

Chef-boyarprincessdee

While Sister CBXB is teaching her kids how to cook, I’m letting mine snack when, where and on whatever they want to get them to shut the fuck up.

Rocky gettin cheezy.

I can’t stuff anything into my mouth without the prying puppy dog eyes from Prissy. I’ve conquered making a hot dog not fit into a hamburger bun. Rona probs.

A dog wanting a dog.

It’s a motherfucking shame that it’s taken a global pandemic to get family and friends to virtually gather. It’s not hard and why weren’t we doing this long before Rona?!

Virtual happy hours with friends near and far have helped me with my missing of in real life human connection.

A day in the life of quarantined CBXB looks a bit like the drawing I so accurately rendered below.

The Pussy Posse has a love/hate relationship with me right now.

While Tennessee is under a safer-at-home mandate until tomorrow, Nashville is under one until further notice. Mayor Cooper isn’t going to open the city until there are 14 days of COVID cases on the decline. Everyone has such mixed feelings but I think we can all agree it’s a fucking shame that kids are missing out on life milestones. In my apartment complex, it was shared that one of our resident’s daughters was turning 18, missing prom and her high school graduation. So her mom asked residents to decorate their balconies and come out of our places that evening for a surprise parade.

I still don’t know her name. But what a fucking fabulous feeling, helping spread a little joy with a community of neighbors whose names I mostly don’t know either.

All in this shitshow Rona prom/birthday/high school graduation parade together.

Speaking of prom, actor John Krasinski hosted a virtual prom last weekend for those missing out. On Instagram he wrote, “That’s right class of 2020, I’m DJing your prom with some friends this Friday night 8EST/5PST!!”

Best idea ever.

Due to it being a virtual prom, anyone could attend and Sister CBXB did it up right.

Prom Prince, Prom Princess, Prom chaperone.

Princess B got to wear one of her dance recital outfits, as it’s been canceled. Obvies looked adorbs. Prince B opted to go with a business on top, comfy on the bottom ensemble. Also, obvies adorbs.

All dressed up with somewhere to go!

Thankfully the weather in Music City has been pleasant (I mean after the tornado and whatnot). These two outside babies had their own kittens two weeks ago.

Rolo and Girlie Girl post-delivery of kittens.

These two petite sisters were born last April. I didn’t get them into the clinic in time for spaying before the tornado and then Rona hit. They got pregnant in the meantime and had kids. My little babies had babies. Eek. I have yet to see the kittens but I can hear them under the stairs. The Nashville Humane Society is going to take the kittens that I haven’t homed once they’ve weaned and socialized. As for the mamas, Rolo has found herself a home with my girl Rocky Ryan! We’re gonna meet up for the pussy exchange when it’s safe.

Going to be an Iowa Hawkeye!

Girlie Girl is still looking for a furrever abode. She’s sweet, petite, a purrer and I’ve finally gotten to pick her up for cuddles. Also, she and Prissy touch noses every morning, so she’s cool with dogs, too.

A pose for your consideration.

Social distance drinking is one of the events that can be done with nice weather! Last weekend, First Mate and I were able to enjoy separate boxes of our beloved Bota Box Rosé together but apart.

Two girls, two boxes, two dogs, safe distance.

When I put the above photo on Instagram, I was trying not to piss my pants pleasantly surprised when the actual Bota Box company “liked” my photo. It’s not like I rushed to any conclusions or anything.

While I know we are all dealing with this pandemic on different levels, it’s comforting to know that we’re in this together, apart. I can’t begin to express my gratitude for all of the essential employees and those working in the medical field.

And if you are safer-at-homing it but must go out, be sure you have the appropriate attire for Rona. I mean, this may be a tad extra but you get the point.

Not letting Rona steal my fabulousness.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!

Buy Me a Drink