The Love of Your Own Life

Ah, Valentine’s Day.

I do. I love me.

The day of love so many tend to loathe while others welcome the warm fuzzies with gigantic appetites that rival my admiration for wine.

The feel of Love Day for certain peeps.

As a kid, I carefully crafted a Valentine’s Day mailbox for school every year (you know, back when you could celebrate shit in school without the worry of the teeniest tiniest chance of offending someone). Students weren’t required to participate but I can’t remember when a kid didn’t. Everyone in class gave everyone a Valentine. If a kid didn’t have a Valentine’s Day box, my teacher always had an extra shoebox or two wrapped in red paper. No one was left out.

Will you be mine?

I was always lucky that I had a family who liked to celebrate everything, so no holiday was left out. Not even one that I often hear guys claim is “made up” for women to get gifts. (Well fellas, if you treated your gals “special” all the time, grand gesture days wouldn’t be needed, now would they? You could simply just get a well meaning card or write a note from the heart any day of the year but I digress). We’d wake up to little Valentines on our chairs at the kitchen table, maybe along with a box of chocolates. Always excited for the party to take place that day at school.

Fast forward to high school when the day of admiration became a sport of sorts.

If this high school Glamour Shot doesn’t make you want to be mine, I don’t know what fucking will.

The Honor Society sold carnations for a dollar and the members would drop the carnation off to your designated Valentine anonymously. Some peeps had armloads. Some had none. I just wanted a pink one.

Some girls got called to the office and paraded delivered – delivered in a vase and everything – flowers around school. It didn’t matter if it was from their dad, grandparents or boyfriend. I was one jealous bitch. Then, in an instant, that all changed.

Because I became that girl.

Oh hi. I got the flowers…and then some.

The Honor Society members delivered carnations during first period. I was in concert band every morning with my sweet silver Doc Severinsen trumpet at my side. Open flung the doors and our band instructor stopped our warm-up. A group of kids came in hauling carnations in large buckets for their soon-to-be owners. While I was hoping to get a flower or two, my eyes laid sight on the mother of all Valentine’s day hauls. A gigantic, white stuffed teddy bear with a red bow around its neck, holding a bag of Hershey’s Kisses. So enormous, you couldn’t see the person transporting it.

About as big as this dog I gifted Princess B a few years back.

I think I literally turned green with envy at whomever was going to be the recipient of this stuffed animal. I mean, I thought I would get a flower or two because my girlfriends and I always sent them back and forth. But this, this shit was different. This was the stuff that warm and fuzzy, cheesy as fuck Valentine’s memories were crafted.

Being in the brass of the band, I sat in the last row of the room. And I’ll be damned if that fucking bear didn’t inch its way closer and closer. I kept thinking…which girl had a boyfriend that sat near me. I couldn’t wait to see who was going to get the pristine bear.

As the hidden stuffed animal transporter walked behind me, I almost gave myself whiplash looking to my left. But to my unabashed chagrin, that motherfucker was lifted over my head and sat into my lap. Hershey’s fucking kisses and all. To this day, that is one of my best Valentine’s Days (which may seem a little sad since my day of love peaked in high school but I mean, it’s true).

And it didn’t come from a love interest. Or the non-existent boyfriend I had at the time. It came from a friend. From a best friend who (although didn’t take me to his senior prom and I will never, ever let him forget it) remains a bestie to this day.

Oh the bangs. On both of us.

The teddy bear came from Scooby.

We share a love of stuffed animals. Obvies.

Relationship game still on point today.

This gesture seemed like the grandest of all gestures in the universe at the time. All of these years later, it still does. My gay best friend gave me the best Valentine’s Day memory. Why? Because he didn’t have to do anything. But he loved me and wanted me to know. Isn’t that just a simple thing to do?

Grand gestures aren’t needed (but if any of you have a Louis Vuitton en route for delivery today, professing your love for me, I am not going to turn it down). A single flower is nice. A card will do. A simple text message. A smile, a hug, a thank you. Whether it’s love or like in today’s climate, bringing happiness to any and all of those around us isn’t really that hard. We just have to be kind to let one another know that we like – or even love – them.

If force dancing with your head taller than you female cousin at your uncle’s wedding isn’t a grand gesture of love, what is?

More importantly, regardless of whether we are madly in love with our kids…

I mean…

COME ON.

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our romantic partner…

Thank you boyfriends of yesteryears.

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our friends…

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our careers, jobs, co-workers….

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with extended family…

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our fur babies (which you all know I’m bat shit about)…

Regardless of what it is in your life that you love, be madly in love with your own authentic self first.

Yep. This about sums it up for me.

If you don’t love – let alone like – yourself as your own #1, no one will love the you who is meant to be loved.

Bitch, I’m a Queen. A Queen Bitch Supreme. And I know it.

Be your own damn Valentine.

Make some snacks.

Toast to yourself.

Appropriately colored libations required.

I’m taking myself out with First Mate tonight – same as we did last year – to not only toast to our love of one another but also to how bad ass we both are in our own right.

Now treat yourself to your version of a stuffed teddy bear this Valentine’s Day. You deserve it.

Be the love of your own damn life.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

 

Weekend Winks – Super Twins, Super Friends, Super Bowl

Anyone else feel the wrath of the Polar Vortex last week? Living in Nashville, it was just a touch chillier than usual. But my where my Iowa twins reside it was a balmy -51…and that was the actual temperature, not the wind chill. Busting out of the house on Friday night made for two happy kids (and two happier parents).

Cheering on their cousin at a basketball game.

With blue tongues.

While the twins were cheering being out of the house during the Polar Vortex, I was watching the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball team school a fifth ranked Michigan. An unranked Hawk team won with a score of 74-59. God I love a rush to the court.

ON IOWA.

I’ve been meaning to give the Mini Manse a facelift since I’ve been letting everything pile up in the three years since Rapegate. Now that I’m back to giving fucks about everything, it was time to roll up my sparkly sleeves and get to work. I decided to start with The Pussy Posse wing, which I am also converting into an office Carrie Bradshaw style (you know, since I will have a martini by my side while I’m writing).

Disaster area.

As you can see, I had my work cut out for me. Basically, it looked like I was removing into the Mini Manse instead of reorganizing. My Posse couldn’t have been more excited for the overhaul.

So helpful.

In other animal news, my side hustle is pet sitting and I finally have a logo. With Hawkeye colors and a crown, could it be more fitting?

Pet Sitter Extraordinaire.

Mama CBXB provided an organizing break on Saturday morning with a much needed mimosa.

Respite from reorganizing.

While brunching, I was reminded of a long, lost pet peeve I hadn’t seen in many moons. Does it bother anyone else when parties of two sit on the same side? It makes my skin crawl for some reason.

Why can’t I just let people eat in peace?

After carb loading, it was back to finishing the cat room and it turned out swimmingly (if you like all things cat and also don’t mind memorials to my lost fur ball loves, fittingly stored in cocktail shakers and a disco ball for Ted).

 

Yes. I know you think I’m crazy. No, I don’t give a fuck.

After the finishing touches on the organizing, it was time to relax.

Some of my fave gal pals from the ‘hood came over to bitch, moan, celebrate, laugh and lean on each other.

Nothing better than gal pals.

Galentine’s Day prep.

Sunday marked a sad sports day for me. The official end of football season. However, I am much more of a college football fan than an NFL lady but still, I have to wait until August for my beloved sport to start again.

See ya later Tailgater.

While I loathe the fucking Patriots (don’t forget Bill Belichick released my dad from the Baltimore Colts back in the day – oh, and that video camera in opposing teams’ locker rooms still seems a lot like fucking cheating to me). However, between both teams combined playing in the Super Bowl, my Iowa Hawkeyes had the most players of any other college representing.

The Patriots have four former Hawkeyes total on their team. Adrian Clayborn and James Ferentz are on the roster, while Cole Croston and Riley McCarron are on the practice squad. The Rams sport two former Hawks, starting guard Austin Blythe and Henry Krieger-Coble on the practice squad. Not a bad turnout from one college program, huh?

Dada CBXB and I decided to forgo our usual tailgating snacks for a Chili’s enchilada platter and it did not disappoint in the slightest.

Um…I’m still eating on this today when I was starting a diet on Monday…

Filler up for a snoozefest of a defensive game.

While I was rooting for the Rams, I will always be happy to see former Hawkeyes achieving great feats.

One of my all time fave Hawks and my all time fave coach, celebrating.

It was even cooler that Coach Ferentz’s son also will be receiving a Super bowl ring.

Iowa girl through and through.

Lastly, I learned news yesterday of a spunky, feisty, young, bad ass mother of two who has been given a diagnosis none of us want. She’s got an army around her but I ask you to send your magic, juju, positivity and whatever else you can muster her way.

FUCK CANCER.

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – The Pussy Posse, A Penis Pot and Profile Pics

January is proving to be the most challenging time of the year for me. While I’m thrilled for a new year, something negative creeps into my bones whether I like it or not. My stutter is back. My bouncy leg comes out of nowhere. A sense of profound grief follows me around like Peanuts’ Pig-Pen’s dust cloud. It’s almost my Rapegativersary and my body realizes this. BUT all that being said, I have peeps who know how to keep me on the up and up, and so instead of treading water, I’m on a floatie.

My besite stopped by the Mini Manse Friday and we guzzled sipped wine (surprise!) and watched the Melissa McCarthy movie “Life of the Party.” Beyond hysterical.

Thank gawd for First Mate.

Saturday, two of my four pussies had vet appointments for annual check-ups. When I was scheduling, they asked which two and I said, “whichever two I can wrangle into carriers.” You know, Ted always just got swaddled in a blanket and sat on my lap during car rides so this carrier thing is new to me. And my pussies are not stupid (well, except for Ruby Sue – aka Thundercunt – who was the first victim in a cage).

Who wants a shot?

Fabio was a wee bit too big for the skull and crossbones carrier.

But not for the pink one. It was a full on wrestling match trying to shove his muscled ass into the cage but somehow after about a 10 minute struggle, I got the fucking door latched.

Beyond thrilled.

Ruby Sue on the other hand, was in some serious shock at the thought of getting on the scale. Or being at the vet. Or the car ride. Or all three.

Dime sized eyes.

While we waited for the vet, I almost laughed the building down when I saw this comparison on social media.

Better belly laugh yet came when Slappy responded…

I don’t care which way you lean, it’s fucking funny. Upon wondering what kind of comedy show my pussies were putting on in the waiting room, we got a clean bill of health for both Fabs and Thundie. Although Fabio gained 2.5 lbs last year, so he’s officially “big-boned”. Just more for this mama to love on.

While my pussies were braving the vet, my Iowa twins were eating ice cream in sub degree temperatures. Because they’re bad ass like that. Pretty unprecedented weather is coming through the state with temps supposing to feel like -41 later this week. Makes me love the Nashville 50 degree winter days all the more.

Cuteness overload.

First Mate had a girls gathering on Saturday evening and while I almost didn’t go, I was so glad I did.

What it’s like taking a selfie with me.

First Mate and Rach had to team up to pour my glass of wine.

My eye happened to catch what I thought was a tea pot on FM’s counter and thought aloud, “why the fuck do you have a penis pot on your kitchen counter?” Turns out, it’s actually a nettie pot used for sinuses and allergies and we got a full-on infomercial on how to use said pot.

Penis Pot Love

Best kind of therapy for me (friends, not the penis pot).

Perfect remedy for me.

First Mate tucked Rach and I into her couch and she had to wake us up from our peaceful passouts slumber the following afternoon.

What happened? Where am I? Who am I?

What I saw when I woke up.

Good thing is, we hydrated with water all night AND ate pizza (Rach had no memory of) so after a little coffee, we were good to go after a 16 hour girl’s night in marathon.

Hangover Schmangover.

There’s this “game” on Facebook where you can have your next five year’s predicted through photos. This is what a normal one looks like…

It takes your profile pic and then gives you standard photos for the next five years of your life.

Here’s mine…

The actual fuck? I’m not sure why I was surprised although my profile pic is of the twins.

Side note: if someone could put a pillow under my chin in 2023, I would greatly appreciate not getting a stiff neck from sleeping on the toilet face first. Thanks.

My current life philosophy. pc:#mytherapistsays

So while we all try to roll with punches that hit us, it’s always fabulous to have support of any kind. Thank you for yours.

Cheers!

CBXB

 

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!

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,

Image 6

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.

IMG_2934

Christmas pageants with one can be so annoying,

Image 2

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…

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 meΒ  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).Β  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!

Weekend Winks – Saucy Scaredy Cat and Civic Duty

There’s a fucking saying, “do one thing every day that scares you”… and I’ve always thought it was pretty silly.

Go on a bungee jump? Try chugging a gallon of milk? Jogging instead of walking?

Well folks, I abided by the often used “scare you” quote and ran with it over the weekend (because my friend M. Star made forced coerced asked me too nicely).

Toilet paper on my sparkly pink wedge scares me.

What also scares the fuck out of me is how fast my Iowa twins are sprouting.

Road trip!

Prince B and Princess B were fortunate enough to score tickets to Kids Bop through their parents, thus were escorted to Minneapolis for the big show. This being their first pop rock concert, they needed to fit the part.

Princes B channeled Auntie CBXB in the non-permament pink haired department.

All spray, no stay.

Pop star ready.

What concert goer is complete without signs to hold up while fawning and screaming over the Kid Bop performers?

Already concert going pros.

You know what else is scary? Voodoo got married and I want her wedding ring so badly that I may chop off her finger.

Scary

Voodoo is now a +2.

Cheers to your married years!

Class Acts – First Mate, Voodoo, Bird Lady, Boob and yours truly.

Behind the scenes assy.

It’s also so scary to not watch Hawkeye football games with Dada CBXB because, it’s what we do. Well, what Dada CBXB and I do. Sister CBXB lives roughly 25 miles from the stadium and still, we get texts on game day like…

Because Voodoo’s marital celebration of bliss was in the middle of the Iowa vs. Indiana game, I arrived armed and ready for our Family Tradition shots. This week, we made an exception to do a winning (in lieu of an every touchdown) shot together, which may have been a blessing in disguise because the Hawks won 42-17.

W-I-N shot. With help from Boob and First Mate.

Until next week.

While I was basking in Voodoo’s marital bliss and a Hawkeyes win, the twins were reveling in the first snowfall on Sunday.

The first taste of snow.

Second taste of snow.

While the twins were busy avoiding yellow snow, I was mustering up energy on Sunday morning, trying to remember why in the hell I told one of my besties, M.Star that I would go to my first ever spin class AND then go canvassing. Plus, it was a dreary, rainy day.

Any pussy care to join? Fuck off, we’re good.

M.Star picked me up in her carriage and off to spin class we went. I was mostly worried about having to ice down my crotch afterward.

Will I ever be able to walk again?

A few things happened during class:

  • I could not stop staring at myself in the dimly lit room’s mirrors because my cleavage is off the chains due to Rapegate weight gain.
  • My foot came out of my shoe that is locked into the bike when I tried to increase the resistance on the bike. Body was obviously saying DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE.
  • I came in second to last in overall standings after 45 minutes. Bright side? I beat somebody!

Best part is, this was a mimosa ride.

No mimosa left behind.

M.Star then had asked me to go canvassing with her. I thought she meant to the local gay bar, Canvass and was all “hells yeah!” but what she really meant was “let’s go knock on stranger’s doors and tell them they should go vote.”

Plied with alcohol, anything is possible!

We stopped at the local office for a quick run down of what to and what not to say (i.e. I was forbidden to say “Marsha Blackburn is a cunt.” But I was allowed to say, “you should go vote – here’s where you can even vote early.”) It was deemed that M.Star would be our spokesperson and I would be her sidekick along with our mascot, Mabel.

Would you open your door for us?

I dug deep. Into a bottle of wine. And it worked. Civic duty here I am.

A very convincing duo, indeed. Now go get your ass to the polls. NOW.

Back at the mini manse, I was mobbed by the very non-scary Pussy Posse, easing my weekend fears away.

I think I’m gonna take a breather from doing something ever day that scares me. Unless I’m plied with alcohol. Then, I’m pretty fucking fearless.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!