Christmas Memories Worth Repeating

Christmases of yesteryear brought endless glee because I was surrounded by so much family.

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Opening packages would have been 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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Until I got to hang stockings by the chimney with double the care.

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All dressed up with somewhere to go,

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And I always tried to be THE star of a great big family show.

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Christmas pageants with one were so annoying,

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But with two, the show got 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 and spirits of Christmases past alive and kickin’ while embracing new traditions with the best kind of family additions.

No matter if you love your given family, choose to embrace love of friends like family or enjoy solitude, I hope you’re filled with happy holiday gratitude. The time we have is so fleeting, cheers to being kind, coexisting and making memories worth repeating.

Happy Everything!

CBXB

CBXB!

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!

Weekend Winks – Cheers to Seven Years!

It’s my seven year blogoversary!

Celebration Queens.

When I started Cowboys and Crossbones at the urging of my sister one wine filled night seven years ago, I didn’t quite know what kind of content I was going to create. Maybe ways to look fashionable on a budget? Or a nail painting blog? A lazy in the kitchen, you can do it too recipe blog? As I played with different ideas and posts, the more I shared about my life in general as a single Nashville, crazy cat lady, Iowa Hawkeyes, Skinny Pirate and wine loving gal, a lifestyle blog surfaced.

The photo above was taken on the same day I started CBXB and just appeared on my Facebook memories. Back when I thought the worst thing that could happen to me was my then boyfriend running over my cell phone on our way to eat Italian one Friday night. Oh, how life would school me.

Wait a second…you’re telling me life isn’t all sunshine and fuckin’ rainbows?

Naturally, with life milestones coming and going, I’ve been thinking about what has taken place since I started this blog. I loved so hard on Ted, moved three times, found a career I adored in the music production business, adopted New Cat, broke up with relationships not healthy for me, gained a niece and nephew (!), loved on Precious, lost my Gma, got promoted to an executive in a career I adored, lost New Cat unexpectedly, was sexually harassed at the career I adored, forced out of the career I adored, guzzled countless family tradition Hawkeye touchdown shots, hosted celebratory for anything parties, endured Rapegate (and the shit show that still ensues), adopted three pussies in one day (and love the shit out of them), lost Ted, gained a happy work environment, lost Aunt Crazy Pants, fell into depression, grew boobs as an adult woman due to weight gain associated with Rapegate, lost Precious, twirled my way down to a concussion, have discovered who my ride or die life peeps are and remain in therapy with my super hero Sheila to this day.

I’m still standing.

The amount of band aids I’ve required over the last seven years rivals the amount of silicone in a Kardashian body.

Finding joy again has been a long overdue relief. And while I’m focusing on me, being happy and moving forward, those steps that take you back can feel like falls that rival the depth of the Grand Canyon. My stress level has been off the charts and to cope, I’ve been looking into getting a dog. A constant companion that can travel with me (I’m still a pussy galore gal but none of my current posse loves an errand filled day in a car). While I’d just been thinking about it, First Mate knew a friend of a friend of a friend who was a foster and here’s what happened this weekend.

It was just one of those things that was meant to be and it was further solidified when her foster mom sent this photo to me…

Waiting on her forever home.

My response…

I’m ready for her.

The Pussy Posse and I are pleased to introduce you to the newly named Prissy. She’s a four-year-old Pomeranian that was being fostered by Russell Rescue TN.

We really hate each other.

Obviously.

While celebrating her arrival it was discovered she has a taste for boxed wine, just like her mother.

Booze Hound.

The Pussy Posse gained a new member but are still a tad on the leery side regarding Prissy.

The Big Three questioning their mama’s sanity while watching Prissy frolick about the Mini Manse as if she owns it.

I let the animal queendom work itself out as I headed to soak in some summer rays.

And ended the weekend as I always do…

Stressless soak.

Please send your good juju and patience to me as I attempt to run a zoo.

Cheers to another seven years!

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.

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.

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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!

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


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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…

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…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

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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!

Summer Swirldown

How in the fuck is it the middle of September already? I mean, south of the Mason-Dixon Line we’re hitting 90 degrees today,
so it still feels like July. However, I am ready for all things Hallothanksgivingmas to commence and you can bet your ass I’m beyond thrilled college football is in full swing.

The tests of life were full throttle over the sweltering months of heat and while I tried to remain armored and ready to fight, I found myself more than exhausted.

*most of the time*

Much of the summer was spent lounging on my leopard couch with The Pussy Posse, admiring my seasonal celebration tree adorned with flamingos and sunglasses.

Yep. That’s Cousin Eddie’s camper beneath the tree.

 

 

 

The first punch of summer was coming home to the mini manse one Monday after work, finding my sweet Precious had passed on to the Rainbow Bridge. She was the last link to my “old” (aka pre-Rapegate life) and losing her really took one of the last pieces of my sparkly black heart.

Ted and Presh reunited over the rainbow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course loss is a way of life, and with the horrible, comes the fabulous. One of my fave peeps, 5 Degrees, flew me to Phoenix to par-tay over the Fourth of July.

I have the best friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I packed my leopard print suitcase (which still isn’t unpacked all the way – 5D, does that make your OCD skin crawl?!) and took my American Bad Ass south, not being able to wait to get the fuck out of Dodge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to not only cut loose with 5D and my beloved gal pal, Dumpy, I also was able to finally sleep. Instead of a puke and rally like performed in college days, I napped and rallied. In the middle of the party, I went to my bedroom, slept a few hours, work up and started all over.

A gent, a lady and an ass clown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After gracing Phoenix with my presence, Rasta and I celebrated Nashville Pride by having duct tape slapped over our loud mouths. Kidding. It was for the NoH8 campaign.

I know many of you would like me to wear this tape daily.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best lazy days are spent at the pool and I put hard time in over the summer.

Pool days for days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girls just wanna have sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that I’m moving along in PTSD recovery, I can actually concentrate and read again without forgetting what I just read when I turn the page. I’ve immersed myself in books thanks to Sister CBXB, sending me all the good reads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I wasn’t at the pool reading, I was in the bubbles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of reading, my Iowa twins started kindergarten. Fucking kindergarten!

Two tall weeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not excited about it at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After twirling myself down to the concrete and gaining a concussion, I hobbled around like a 92-year-old with a broken hip (when I really just had- have- a broken toe).

The Steven Tyler of cane decorators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While rest proved to be just what the body ordered, it was the time of year where I could either choose to celebrate life or grieve in sadness as the first anniversaries of the lost loves came. The magnitude of losing my best friend just hasn’t gone away. The time has helped to ease the heaviness in my heart but there really isn’t anything that helps with the void of our daily routine. And how he was always there when I came home from Rapegate therapy every Thursday as I cried in my closet – he never left my side. Holy fuck was I lucky to be his mama. I can’t wait to see him again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first anniversary of the passing of Aunt Crazy Pants was a cruel reminder that I have yet to realize that she’s actually gone. I didn’t see her every day or talk to her every day but I sure as fuck still think to pick up the phone and call to bitch about a bad day or ask how to what the fuck shallots are for some ludicrous recipe because I’m no genius in the kitchen. While tears were shed, Mama CBXB, First Mate, Bird Lady and myself cheersed to ACP at the Cheesecake Factory with her fave cocktail, a Gin Rickey.

Celebrating ACP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, we shopped for shoes and sipped champagne at Tory Burch.

Cheers to the life lived.

 

 

One of the end-of-summer highlights…I, most likely along with every other customer, received a VIP card to my beloved Dalts. Which, in my opinion, I should have received 100 years ago.

About fucking time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best part of the swirl down of summer? It’s the start of college football season, bitches. And Coach Kirk Ferentz of my Iowa Hawkeyes is not only celebrating his 20th year as Iowa’s head coach, he’s also the longest tenured coach in college football and just nabbed the all-time wins as an Iowa coach, surpassing Hayden Fry.

 

 

You know what football season means…it’s time for weekly tailgates with Dada CBXB!

Family tradition touchdown shot time!

 

 

 

 

Feeling a little stuck in the middle of muck this summer, the rest, family, friends and fur balls have kept me plugging along.

Stuck in the middle…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I’m ready to tackle (pun intended) the rest of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!