Lucky Charm

Cinderella once sang “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

I’m talking about the hair metal 80s band, not the princess of course.

I think we all can relate to the sentiment in one way or another. However, when it comes to peeps in my life that I love, you’re either in or out. One quality that I gratefully possess is I am never regretful of time spent with folks that I hold in my heart, nor do I take time with them for granted. That’s why for me, when you love the fuck out of someone and they no longer roam the earth, it can be a heart yanking time when their milestones still appear annually.

Aunt Crazy Pants celebrated her first birthday above on February 23, and in honor of this occasion, Mama CBXB came to Nashville and we par-tayed the only we way our family ever does. Trashtacularly.

On ACP’s actual day of birth, we took her to get her cocktail of choice, gin rickeys, at my fave local watering hole, Dalts.

A hungover day later, we went to get permanent tributes of the lady whose favorite color was green, loved shamrocks and owned one of the most unique signatures ever, which is what we were going to have tattooed on our wrists. I gussied up in my green heels I fashioned at the celebration of ACP’s life, perfected my mani to match and we were ready to go.

Naked and afraid.

While mother/daughter bonding over tattoos may seem odd to you, it’s sort of a family tradition in my clan (which should shock no one hence Jell-O shots with Gma at Christmas and Iowa Hawkeye moonshine touchdown shots are also custom family practices, well shared on this blog).

In summers of yesteryear, our families would spend Fourth of Julys at the Lake of the Ozarks. Which entailed not only in boating and booze but often tattoos and belly button piercings. Yes, yes, you read that right. I even think we made each new girlfriend of our dude cousins get belly button rings on their first Fourth with us. (A dream come true family that acts like a fraternity right here folks).

I was with ACP when she got her first ink from none other than the not even close to being world famous Tattoo Ted in the Ozarks.

We may have had one or eight drinks with sun poisoning but what did it matter?

With our history of classiness, we brought ACP along with us in spirit as Mama CBXB and I rolled into the Rebel Yell Tattoo and Social Club that came highly recommended.

When we traipsed through the doors, I’m fairly certain all four folks in the shop on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon were well aware that this wasn’t a past time in which we often partook. Especially when I wondered aloud with Justin, our extremely patient artist, how a tattoo on my wrist would look when I do jazz hands. Because I use them a lot. Like, we seriously had a five-minute conversation about it, he put a stencil on my wrist with ACP’s name facing me and let me look in a mirror before I decided how I wanted the fucking three-inch artwork done.

I mean you guys. Obvies we use them.

All.the.time.

Maybe our novice was a dead giveaway when I asked my mom 400 times in the seven minutes it took Justin to tattoo her wrist if she was going to cry when it was over (she did – Tearfest 2018).

My defense mechanism against physical pain is apparently laughing because it’s all I did the entire time my four-minute ink was being perfected. Justin kept stopping to ask if I was OK and all I could do was giggle in the most unquiet way possible.

All in all, mission accomplished.

Shortest time frame yet most annoying tattoo subject ever to grace Rebel Yell.

Getting any type of tattoo makes one a bad ass motherfucker, right?

I mean, look at my recovery plastic.

So what did these bad ass mother fuckers do? Celebrated with cocktails of course!

And it just so happened that two of ACP’s grandgirls came through Nashville that night, so we all cheersed our hearts out to the lady we love and miss.

Bittersweet without sharing the experience with ACP, there’s something ultra comforting to know she’s right here on my wrist. There have been some dark days for me recently, and I’ve found myself flipping my wrist over, admiring her signature, reminiscing on conversations, knowledge, 1,573,982,400 laughs and love we shared over her lifetime.

What I come to think of most is right after Rapegate, ACP was one of the first phone calls I received as the news made its way through my family. Her first words were, “you’re already one helluva strong lady – but you’ll be the strongest woman you know now.” The same words rang true when we found out she had terminal cancer six months later – and I repeated her words of wisdom back to her.

While cancer can go fuck itself, I’m comforted by the fact that I knew what I had with ACP before she was gone. Which is why her absence is ever present, more so now that I’m a bad ass mother fucker with a fancy signature on my wrist.

Know what you’ve got before it’s gone.

Now who wants to go get tattoo sleeves with me?

It could be the experience of your lifetime.

CBXB

Griswold Family Style Fourth of July

Driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks…

Party Chick

…is a party girl from Tennessee.

Party Girl

As cousins gather every Fourth…

Cousins

…to be with family

The Griswolds

From Jell-O shots…

Jell-O

…with whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

Constant fights over the mic…

Mic Fight

to sing karaoke.

Karoake King

Trivial Pursuit winners, always reign supreme!

Winners!

From new tattoos…

Tattoo

…to pool dunks…

Dunk

…with drunken dancers around a hunk.

Hunk

Our favorite toy is the aqua bar…

Aqua Bar

…that prevents us from floating too far.

Floater

 I’m proud to be from my family!

Family

Where at least I can be me.

Beerpoo

And they never, ever let me forget

Just how handy my booty can be.

Handy

Cousins blowing their muscles up…

Blow Hards

…next to me

Muscles

so I won’t cry and feel left out.

Cry Baby

There ain’t no doubt I love my clan –

Clan

Thank God for my family!

Fam

Here’s hoping your version of the Griswolds has a safe and booze filled 4th.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Red, Wine and Booze

Driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks

Party Chick

Is a party girl from Tennessee

Party Girl

As cousins gather every Fourth

Cousins

To be with family

The Griswolds

From Jell-O shots

Jell-O

With whipped cream

Whipped Cream

Constant fights over the mic

Mic Fight

To sing karaoke

Karoake King

Trivial Pursuit winners, always reign supreme

Winners!

From new tattoos

Tattoo

To pool dunks

Dunk

With drunken dancers around a hunk

Hunk

Our favorite toy is the aqua bar

Aqua Bar

That prevents us from floating too far…

Floater

 I’m proud to be from my family

Family

Where at least I can be me

Beerpoo

And they never, ever let me forget

Just how handy my booty can be

Handy

Cousins blowing their muscles up

Blow Hards

Next to me

Muscles

So I won’t cry and feel left out

Cry Baby

There ain’t no doubt I love my clan

Clan

Thank God for my family!

Fam

CBXB

CBXB!

Star Spangled Shenanigans

Driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks

Party Chick

Is a party girl from Tennessee

Party Girl

As cousins gather every Fourth

Cousins

To be with family

The Griswolds

From Jell-O shots

Jell-O

With whipped cream

Whipped Cream

Constant fights over the mic

Mic Fight

To sing karaoke

Karoake King

Trivial Pursuit winners, always reign supreme

Winners!

From new tattoos

Tattoo

To pool dunks

Dunk

With drunken dancers around a hunk

Hunk

Our favorite toy is the aqua bar

Aqua Bar

That prevents us from floating too far…

Floater

And I’m proud to be from my family

Family

Where at least I can be me

Beerpoo

And they never, ever let me forget

Just how handy my booty can be

Handy

Cousins blowing their muscles up

Blow Hards

Next to me

Muscles

So I won’t cry and feel left out

Cry Baby

There ain’t no doubt I love my clan

Clan

Thank God for my family!

Fam

CBXB

CBXB!

The Importance of an Aqua Bar

Oh how I love a cocktail cooler (with cup holders!) that floats. It especially comes in handy after eight a few too many incapacitates my swimming/floating/thinking capabilities.

Floating FAIL.

Floating FAIL demonstrated by yours truly.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved being on the water. I was born with boat driving skills (even if I only ever ‘guided’ a boat around a seven foot circle at amusement parks) and took practicing with extreme seriousness.

Cruisin'

Future Captain – in more ways than one.

Still cruisin'

Still putting my Captain abilities to use today.

Proving to be a skillful guider of boats, I also learned how to kick the shit out of some water as a kid.

You'd think my kicking abilityes would spill over...

Mesmerized by my own abilities in the rainbow suit.

You’d think my retention of how to stay afloat wouldn’t be so difficult for a water lover. But it turns out that my love of Skinny Pirates has killed a few of my brain cells. As my fam tried to take a Christmas card picture while in the Lake of the Ozarks one year crowded around our aqua bar (we know, we know, we are beyond classy taking a photo of our lake shenanigans to share with every single loved one on the planet), I inadvertently tried to drown myself.

Fam

Merry Christmas.

Posing for more than two seconds turned out to be a feat I couldn’t master. While I suddenly thought it was a good idea to find the bottom of the murky water with my head, my sister decided to save my drink rather than me (she’s a hero in my book), my mom couldn’t stop belly laughing and my dad just acted down right confused while hoarding the floating device containing our ice and booze.

Help.

My overly concerned family tries desperately to rescue me.

Luckily for me I was able to save my own ass, got my act together and learned how to cling to the beloved aqua bar for dear life from that moment on when day drinking in the lake.

Hanging on with bar, noodle and aqua saddle.

Buoyant by way of inflatable bar, aqua noodle, saddle and my mother’s ample chest.

I’ve also learned that I can strategically wrap myself around a noddle while giving my fave bar some face time.

Lay 'n' go

Trying to exert the least amount of energy while soaking up the most amount of sun. *please note my sister’s ability to back float while keeping her beer safe*

Either way, I thank my lucky stars for this trashtacular invention.

Now go get your own aqua bar. It could save your life.

CBXB

CBXB!

The Wapatoolie

You know the old saying ,”the family that Wapatoolies together, stays together?”

Oh you’re not familiar? Allow me to explain…

Our first Wapatoolie.

My dad and me sharing our first Wapatoolie. How sweet.

Every summer, my family tends to meet up at the Lake of the Ozarks and act like misfits from the Griswold family.

Heathens at their finest.

Heathens at their finest.

It was at the Ozarks where yet another one of our classy family traditions (which also include Jell-O and moonshine shots) was born.  Allow me to introduce you to…

The Wapatoolie

Yum

Looking just as refreshing as lake water, I know.

According to family legend (which was told by my dad, who is known for streeeeeeeeetching out a story or two), the Wapatoolie was first introduced to him and his twin (yes, there is a replica of my father….a story for another day) while at a college party with the Wisconsin football team.

Blow Hard 1 and Blow Hard 2

Blow Hard 1 and Blow Hard 2 sharing the same farmer’s tan.

As the story goes, a party was unfolding where the two twins above were innocent bystanders.  With zero prodding, my dad boasted that he bravely took a shot of a Wapatoolie (ingredients consist of whatever the hell is in your bar at the time). Hand to Jesus, I swear I could see his chest puffing up with each oooh and ahhh he received from the Band of Griswold Misfits.

The story ended with a quote only a college football legend (again, a story for another day) could utter….”The Badgers started it but it took a Hawkeye to refine it.”

No shit.

Recipe for tastiness.

Definitely not from a college kid’s bar but a recipe for tastiness nonetheless.

Before the last syllable of the tall tale could be sputtered, us cousins were extremely busy at work mixing a Wapatoolie for the bullshitter storyteller.

Mix masters.

Mix Masters.

Down the hatch.

Tequila, bourbon, whiskey, white and spiced rum, margarita mix, vodka and gin topped with a dash of creamy Bailey’s…

Mmmmm

Feels so good when it hits the lips.

The following evening, my cousins (all of whom are male on this side of the family, which probably just explained everything you needed to know) decided if their stud of an uncle could stomach a Wapatoolie, they could too.

The Village of Idiots and their leader.

The Village of Idiots and their leader.

The rest of us gleefully skipped to the bar to concoct the next round of poison potion.

Back to the mixing board.

Back to the mixing board.

Tough Guys...

Tough guys in the beginning…

Not so tough

….not so tough the first round…

or second round...first you don't succeed? Try, try again. Shoot, shoot again.

…or round two the following year…

And just like that, from one year to the next, the timeless, trashy tradition of the Wapatoolie was born.

Now, we extend the pleasure of this shot to anyone who dares to hang with our family…

Just get engaged to one of my male cousins?  A Wapatoolie for you!

First time to party with us at the Lake of the Ozarks?  A Wapatoolie for you!

Want to date my sister?  A Wapatoolie for you!

Think you can hang with us during football season?  A Wapatoolie for you!

Oh and for those of you who don’t drink liquor of any kind, we can mix a non-alcoholic version for you. Don’t worry.

Think you can hang with me and my dad?

So you wanna hang with us? You sure?

C'mon over to my bar and let me mix you a little something...

C’mon over to my bar and let me mix you a little something…

Yum

Your personal rite of passage into CBXB’s clan.

And if you’re too chicken shit, we understand and will be happy to cocktail with you anyway.

Until then...

Equal opportunity drinkers.

Just remember, the family that Wapatoolies together, stays together.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

God Bless the USA

Driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks

Party Chick

Is a party girl from Tennessee

Party Girl

As cousins gather every Fourth

Cousins

To be with family

The Griswolds

From Jell-O shots

Jell-O

With whipped cream

Whipped Cream

Constant fights over the mic

Mic Fight

To sing karaoke

Karoake King

Trivial Pursuit winners, always reign supreme

Winners!

From new tattoos

Tattoo

To pool dunks

Dunk

With drunken dancers around a hunk

Hunk

Our favorite toy is the aqua bar

Aqua Bar

That prevents us from floating too far…

Floater

And I’m proud to be from my family

Family

Where at least I can be me

Beerpoo

And they never, ever let me forget

Just how handy my booty can be

Handy

Cousins blowing their muscles up

Blow Hards

Next to me

Muscles

So I won’t cry and feel left out

Cry Baby

There ain’t no doubt I love my clan

Clan

Thank God for my family!

Fam

CBXB

CBXB!