One More Time, Mom

My beloved Aunt Crazy Pants passed away after a valiant fight against terminal lung cancer (after never smoking a goddamn cigarette in her life). By the time cancer was found through an unrelated surgery, it had already spread everywhere but her brain and she was given six months to a year to live last summer. Well, being a feisty little bitch, she survived with cancer 370 days.

Beat cancer for five extra days. Suck it.

Family and friends gathered to give life stealing cancer the middle finger, celebrating ACP with her favorite cocktails of Gin Rickeys, Black Velvet and margaritas.

Gin Rickeys all around.

Sharing stories of peeing our pants over shit she would say or do (when she literally shit her pants – like during a shopping trip at Target with her mom once. I just got an eye roll (sorry Gma) and a belly laugh (you’re welcome ACP) from the sky), witnessing tears running down her leg from laughing so hard and generally remembering the spirit this woman, mother, daughter, sister, crazy fun aunt and loyal friend to countless people sprinkled throughout our lives.

To say there’s a hole in my soul doesn’t do it justice, as my aunt was like a mother to me and I take after her in many lovely ways.

What I do know is:

I will carry on her klutziness (I fell into her closet after getting out of her bed the day after the funeral).

We also ruin phones the same. She dropped hers in a toilet, I run my over with cars. It’s a special talent.

I carry her ability to get tongue tied at any given moment (I asked a male co-worker at a new job if “these are the size of rubbers you wanted” – I forgot the word band after rubber).

Did I seriously say that?!

I have the ease of her unabashed bluntness and no fear of confrontation (she deemed me the biggest bitch of the family before she passed. I know, so sweet).

Wanna hear it or not, we tell it like it is.

I will honor her by eating double what I normally do during trips to the Iowa State Fair.

Two for me.

Being a crazy aunt is something I’m already all over.

Or rather, they’re all over me.

I was born with her dramatic flair for life, so that torch was lit long ago within me.

Jazz hands for life.

While it’s important to remember that when someone may no longer be among us on earth, our relationship with them can still exist, it’s also important to remember the quality of life given during an especially grueling battle with cancer. ACP’s youngest son R. Nasty made sacrifices I can’t say many young adults his age – let alone any adult – would do to care for his dying mother. I mean before being diagnosed with cancer, she was already the most dramatic woman on the planet (like bitching about “having” to pack to go to Hawaii – or any other fabulous destination…yeah, poor thing), so you can imagine the sheer joy the magnification of her theatrics became.

Flair for fun dramatics.

R. Nasty moved in with his mom (all young men’s dream come true) being closest in proximity and able to make accommodations to do so, while his other brothers and extended family lived further away.

All other Bros and Hos live far away.

He answered every time she hollered with a patient, “yes Mother,” sauntered into her room after every bell ring (a sound that will surely haunt him for the rest of his days), removed an ice cube each time he accidentally put four instead of three into her water and endless other duties that come along with caring for a cancer patient.

The true meaning of ‘got your back’.

My point is, this dude is a fucking saint. Throughout all the treatment routines, doctor’s appointments, therapy, surgeries, etc, ACP’s absolute favorite time was watching The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with R. Nasty every weeknight. Even if she dozed off in the evening as she got more cancer riddled, she wanted to be woken up to watch Stephen Colbert with her son.

Wake me up before you go go!

In the evening on August 31, 2017 my feisty aunt was taken from home hospice to the hospital. That night, as the end was drawing near, the room full of family was clearing out and R. Nasty leaned in and said, “We’re going to watch Stephen Colbert one more time, Mom.” And that they did. She died at 3am on Friday, September 1st, 2017.

While we’ve partied in every way possible in honor of Aunt Crazy Pants’ love of life, I’d like to acknowledge the sacrifices her son made so selflessly. When asked about it he always says (and still does), “it’s my honor to take care of my mother.”

                 

I hope my cats step up to the plate like that for me when the time comes.

Yeah…I’m fucked.

Cheers to the craziest fun aunt I got to call mine. We all miss you something terrible.

Life already isn’t the same.

I love you.

CBXB

 

My Billion Dollar Pussy

Who knew you could buy a knight in shining armor?

He refuses to wear the armor.

This is a busted ass version of a fairy tale (what other version would you expect from me?), where I’m not the queen. That role is of course, has been occupied by His Royal Highness Teddy Bear ever since I rescued his ass seven years ago. I’ve happily played the role of loyal servant (and I still do) however, the perils of life turned me into a version of Humpty Dumpty…. one that weebles, wobbles and falls the fuck down (typically face first).

Me speedy recovery remedy after a fall.

While I’m the damsel in distress, my feline has caused me more torment as he’s decided to test the waters of almost every single ailment known to catkind while I was trying to trudge through the forest of life, getting us into some semblance of a kingdom. Even though his dramatic ailments added to my worry, he pulled the fuck through every time. Just like a knight in shining armour.

Just scaring mom for shits and giggles.

I couldn’t love my cat Teddy Bear more than if I birthed him from my own loins (but let’s be real, I’d pay a surrogate because ew, pain) and I would take a bullet the size of Donald Trump’s ego to save his furry life. Although over the years, the amount of cold hard cash I’ve shelled out to keep the love of my life alive and kickin’ rivals the amount NASA spends to put an astronaut on the moon. But it’s worth every fucking penny.

Like the start of many fairy tales, ours was love at first meow. Never mind the fact that he had an upper respiratory infection and ringworm due to being crammed in a one-bedroom apartment of 30 other felines before he was rescued (save your fucking jokes about this being me one day for later, please and thanks). Being such a trashtacular high maintenance gal myself, it felt nothing other than natural that this soon-to-be drama king chose me as his human soulmate.

Forced Soulmates.

After His Majesty’s ringworm and respiratory infection subsided, we learned that he had a food allergy to chicken (through several visits to the vet) as he would develop what basically looked like kitty chicken pox. The little red dots would scab over and Tedstar got to wear a cone, which ever pet owner knows is the best time ever.

The most pissed off cone head on the planet.

All the feels about the cone, complete with puke.

So I received a prescription card to purchase $80 per bag cat food that’s a mixture of peas and duck. Maybe I should have known when I walked into the kitchen one day and saw this…

Bitch Peas

Forcing Ted to be my bestie took a solid two years, as he was skiddish, nervous and full of anxiety due to the lack of human contact while he was one of 29 others the first year of his life. But one miraculous day, my shy little pussy morphed into a full on stalker. I couldn’t sit (and still can’t) down for 15 seconds without him creeping onto my lap or darting like a figure skater through my legs while I tried to walk or wanting to partake in chores as he sat on my hip (mostly pouring Skinny Pirates and applying lipstick) but he does love to assist…

…with laundry…

…with dishwasher loading…

…and unloading…

…and letting me know when the shitter’s full.

He even started presenting me with lavish gifts only a pussy could deliver to his mother.

Prancing in one night with a cardinal in his mouth while I was relaxing in the bath.

He proudly corralled tampons like John Wayne did cowboys.

Once, he even tried to reenact scenes from my favorite crime show, Forensic Files, by creating an outline of his body in a bush, as he misjudged it being a solid surface.

Forensic feline body outline.

As life tends to twist and turn, shit hit the fan after our first three years together. I went through what might as well have been a divorce, losing a long-term relationship, my house, my job AND getting to move in with my parents all in the same week.

WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK.

Trying to get back up on my own paws, I moved four times in three years. During this tumultuous time in life, Ted remained steadfast by my side. Although he continued to be high maintenance as fuck, making his mother stress to the max about her sidekick literally kicking the bucket. Among his many ailments:

Kitty Celiac Disease which forces me to feed my cat rather than myself the week his food runs out.

Fancy fucking feast.

Bi-yearly upper respiratory infections that always allow us a road trip to the vet.

Kitty colds suck.

And often require overnight stays for fluids.

Skin sensitivity at the most random times of the year.

Also, requiring visits to the vet, along with medication.

In more than one place, at different times naturally.

Resting bitch face.

No cost for me.

Motion sickness that was a super fun thing to discover.

The utmost dignity for the unattractive regurgitating of food in his mother’s lap.

A case of curiosity as he went missing from the mini manse for 24 hours and I spent my last dime making color copies and plastering car windshields in my apartment complex.

Every. single. car. But worth the $300, as he was found.

Fleas…after being outside one time in his entire life. It was like he had a one night stand….with fucking fleas.

This dip was fun before a trip to the vet.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease that took three weeks to uncover through exploratory surgery, endless testing and finally the right medications.

The gift that keeps on giving.

Congestive heart failure brought on by the steroid medications he was put on for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Which also took weeks of fun in the kitty ICU to uncover.

He’s been living with congestive heart failure for over a year now, which requires five medications daily, that I shove down his throat in a ball of cheese.

My own version of Walter White’s lab.

We single-handedly keep our veterinary’s lights on, where Ted is a motherfucking celebrity. He is their fave patient (most likely because we pay their mortgage bills).

Ted with his loyal and loving vet tech, Danielle.

Why go this far for my baby? Why the fuck wouldn’t I?

In the last two years, I’ve lost a career I’d spent years building, I lost the type of immediate family I thought would never be shaken, I lost friends who chose sides, I lost emotional, mental and financial stability I thought I’d created for myself. And then, I was raped. So this cat (and I want to punch people in the throat who say “it’s just a cat”), is – and has been my knight in shining armor.

Sometimes a smothering knight in shining armor.

He greets me at the door daily. He eats, shits, commands all of the attention, helps me put my make-up on every morning, sunbathes on his terrace daily, sleeps on my chest, demands the food in his martini glass be filled to the brim so as not to strain his neck, enjoys an occassional glass of wine (kidding…kind of…I mean he is my cat).

This little love has put up with his big hearted mother and accepted the siblings introduced – who KNOW the pecking order of the mini manse. It’s like the seas part and Ted’s fucking Moses when any of my other four fur balls are on my lap and the Bear decides he’d like to sit there instead.

My pussy posse.

Adding to the brood just made the love grown. And animal rescuing always begs the question…who rescued whom?

Currently his home on my chest remains the same when I’m flat on my back. Although now, due to his congestive heart failure,  he’s like a sprinkler system, as every time he exhales through his nose, my face gets a hydrating snot mist (I should probably bottle this up and sell it). It’s even more adorable when I’m yawning and he occasionally sneezes into my mouth. It’s like a snot shot.

#relationship goals

We’ve kept one another going during the shit show of our lives over the past several years. I seriously look this pussy in the face (and you know you’re not supposed to do that because cats can see into your soul but let’s be real, mine’s still dark and twisty so there’s no harm done) and instruct him to hang on as long as possible.

You go, I go.

Thing is, without the constant companionship and unconditional love of the bitchiest feline on the planet, I may have ceased my emotional fight. Sound crazy? I don’t give a fuck. This pussy and I have been through the good, the bad, the ugly and the worst.

Shoulders to lean on.

From all of my family and all of my friends, Teddy’s lead my army in putting this busted ass version of Humpty Dumpty back together again. And while I may be trying to pay off pussy debt well into my golden years, he’s worth every goddamn penny.

He sure as shit knows it, too.

Our goodbyes in the morning on my way out the mini manse to work go something like this, “I love you Baby Bear. Don’t go dying on me.”

I’m going no where…you’ve purchased me an additional 46 lives.

Phew.

I think I’ve earned a bumper sticker that reads “My fur kid costs just as much as your human spawn.” Because there’s no one else in life I would rather have in the driver’s seat with me.

All aboard for the shit show.

Cheers!

CBXB

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!

 

Perspective

My Thursday afternoons consist of sorting through bad shit that happens to good people. Which for me, means that I try to prep myself for the emotions that will inevitably bubble to the surface before, during, after and what feels like every single second of every day until I get to see my therapist Miss Sheila again the following Thursday.

Thursdays got me like…

I was already an emotional wreck because lately my pendulum of feelings swing from the highest of high (hello again inner badass!) to the lowest of low (where in the fuck is my self-esteem?) in about .0005 seconds. No notice. So I packed my squatty bodied mascot in my Louis for some comforting support this week.

Therapy session saver.

Although I had Precious the chug by my side, yesterday proved no different as I contemplated the subject matter of my session on the drive back to my mini manse, tears starting to slowly turn into an ugly cry, as I hid behind sunglasses on a rainy day.

The face that can typically turn feelings around.

Crawling into the bed with my well-worn hanky is my go-to Thursday “happy hour” of sorts after my sessions.

Wallowing with a wet hanky.

Typically, I watch endless videos of my two yayhonks from Iowa, who turn my mood around with their silly antics in a matter of minutes.

How could they not?

In between twin videos, scrolling through my social media, I saw Whitney Lover’s post about an impending trip from her husband’s 93-year-old grandfather that stopped me in my self-absorbed tracks.

Whitney Lover with a CBXB sidekick.

Her post read:

“I’m so excited to have my husband’s grandfather coming to visit Iowa over this next week. He is a Holocaust survivor and will be speaking at several events around eastern Iowa to share his story and to help strive for a better tomorrow for all. He is truly an amazing and loving man who has never lost faith in humanity.”

Love for Gpa all around.

To read the entire article from The Gazette, please click here. It’s an incredible story of survival under the most unfathomable circumstances, loss, hope, perseverance and empowerment. That this gem of a human has seen horrors beyond imagine, the fact that he still has his faith in humans and believes in the good of people is awe-inspiring. He said, “I’m planning to be around for much longer, with my mission to prevent genocide and to do what I can to counteract anti-Semitism, which all good people of the world realize is a crime against humanity.”

If you’re in the eastern Iowa area this upcoming week, here’s where you can see this gentleman in person:

Please join me in cheersing this fellow who, by sharing his story, his time and his energy with others is helping educate, empower and touch lives in far reaching places.

Cheers to Gpa!

Thanks for the perspective Grandpa E.

CBXB

CBXB!

When Bad Shit Happens to Good People

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed this typically bright, shiny, sparkly and pussy filled blog has been dark for almost four weeks. And, there’s been quite a big reason for my need to crawl in a hole the size of the Grand Canyon and wallow like a beached whale on my leopard couch with my favorite fur ball Ted for the past 30 days.

Pretty much sums up my last 730 hours.

Pretty much sums up my last 730 hours.

One month ago today, I spent a sunny afternoon in an ER being examined for a violation that no one should ever experience. There’s an open investigation, so no specific details to share but it has been a life altering event that will forever change me whether I like it or not. The immediate aftermath bubbled up feelings of shame, embarrassment, disgust, disbelief and just now, I think the shock is starting to wear off.

The thing is, in the weeks, days, hours and minutes when I felt this ordeal sinking my personal ship to the depths of the Bermuda Triangle, I’ve had a paramount support system through family, friends, fur balls and fellow blogging buddies via visits, phone calls, texts, emails and old fashioned letters.

When bad shit happens to good people, folks know how to rally.

Who love me?

Who loves me?

I’m beyond lucky to have peeps that have my back – the kind of humans who give you hope when life is heavy.

The kind of dad who has to leave work early to take his grown kid to the ER and hear the things no father should have to hear on what should have been a typical Friday.

My constant hero, Dada CBXB, remained a rock solid foundation.

My constant hero, Dada CBXB, remaining a rock solid foundation.

The kind of sister who flies down from Iowa within 24 hours, leaving her three year old twins (in the fabulous care of their father) to hold my hand and help my heart.

Through thick and thin.

Through thick and thin.

The kind of mom who comes in for a week and does almost everything except wipe my ass because I don’t know how to function (except for petting Teddy, of course – that comes naturally).

A mom's love.

A mom’s love.

The kind of friends who can make any traumatic situation feel just a bit lighter.

Laughs

Laugh factory.

The kind of friends who stay up late on school nights to comfort you.

I heart you guys.

I heart you guys.

The kind of friend who reminds you that you are, in fact, a fabulous person – but you still need to wash your hair.

Telling it like it is.

Telling it like it is.

The kind of friend who secures your mini manse surroundings.

Safety first.

Safety first.

The kind of friends who rearrange their family lives to spend time with you.

Moms rule!

Moms rule!

The kind of friends who can make you smile within seconds just because they know you’re sad.

Giggles galore.

Giggles galore.

The kind of friend who comes to slumber party because it’s too hard to be alone.

Twins

Sleeping bag bound.

The kind of friend who flies to your rescue without even being asked.

BFF for reals.

BFF for reals.

The kind of friend who packs your favorite, unattainable-in-Nashville dip in his luggage to comfort feed you.

My favorite combo.

My favorite combo.

Like, seriously.

Like, seriously.

The kind of niece and nephew who can instantly console you with their hugs, even if they’re states away.

Smiles for miles.

Smiles for miles.

Princess B hug.

Princess B’s open arms.

Prince B's open arms.

Prince B’s huge hug.

The kind of fur balls who know just when to maul you.

The kind of fur ball who never leaves your side for a second – no matter what you’re doing.

Bubbles with my fave chug.

Bubbles with my fave chug.

The kind of fur ball who further reminds you why he’s your best friend and constant life companion, giving you just what you need, when you need it.

Not for a second.

The best medicine.

The kind of people in your life who worry when you appear to be growing dreads.

Sexy and I know it.

Sexy and I know it.

The kind of people who demand you shower to remove said growing dreads.

Pretty products.

Pretty products to take out the stink.

The kind of people who check in daily, wondering where the in fuck your make-up, your sparkle and your happy has gone.

Help wanted.

Help wanted.

The kind of people who will do just about anything to help you start feeling a little bit like yourself again.

There's hope yet.

Hope floats with half assed jazz hands.

Thank you to all of those people.  If you’re reading this, you’re one of them. And I love you.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

Weekend Winks – a Win, a Wedding and Wee Wee Training

Even brides love jazz hands.

Even brides love jazz hands.

After a long work week accompanied by dreary weather, snuggles on a stormy Friday night helped soothe our weary spirits.

three amigos

The chug, the pussy and the broad.

As much as Precious the chug and Ted the pussy try to refrain from showing their insane love for one another, I kept catching the feline bathing the dog.  Their faces say it all…

Make out.

Caught.

While my fur balls were rolling around the mini manse, my Iowa twins were rollicking around on their new play set.

Steps

Princess B making her fashionable grand entrance on the deck.

No fun.

Prince B unable to contain his excitement for all things fun.

NO FUN.

Think they like their new digs much?

Saturday started with very normal routines at the mini manse. Gearing up for college game day to watch my Iowa Hawkeyes take on the #19 ranked Wisconsin Badgers required some help from bloody marys as I was a tad bleary eyed for the 11am kick off.

Morning kick-off mania.

Morning moonshine and marys makes my world go round.

While Dada CBXB and I were prepping for football, the twins found themselves trying to create a new routine for their mornings….

Saturday morning routine.

Potty training time!

The wee wee updates proved to be more exciting than the Iowa game BUT our fellas were the first to score a touchdown and you know that meant moonshine!

#1

The one and only shot.

After last week’s Hawkeye 62 – 16 win (and nine – yes I said nine shots of Popcorn Sutton) I think the universe was giving our livers a much needed cleanse.  There was only one touchdown the entire game and regardless of how ugly it can get in a half, the Hawks pulled out the win with a score of 10-6.

So, naturally we did a victory shot to celebrate our team’s 5-0 record (and also to not starve our livers).

5 and 0 baby!

5 and 0 baby!

Busy living it up with shots, the twins found themselves still trying to score in their own way even after the football game.

Still at it....only changed media.

Shitters are not yet full.

The partying continued into Saturday evening as two fabulous friends got hitched.

Groom's dream come true.

The groom’s dream come true.

Lady and the Tramp.

The Lady and the blonde Tramp.

CBXB ran into an old fan!

CBXB ran into an old fan!

Sunday called for some errand running with my favorite co-pilot who has become quite famous as she accompanies me to get oil changes, pick up prescriptions and make deposits at the bank.

Sunday errands.

Who could forget this face?

Sunday snuggles found Clark and Cousin Eddie who are spending one more week with Dada CBXB while Teddy is almost back to his old self.

Clark and Cousin Eddie still stnugglin

The twins not hating the spoiling at Gpas.

Lovin’ found its way into the mini manse, as Ted openly gave Presh a Sunday evening lick down.

Fur ball kisses

Finally not giving a fuck who sees this display of affection.

Adulation was in the air this weekend as the twins found themselves spreading their own love to one another.

Kisisn'

Precious moments.

Here’s hoping you find yourself with some of your own lovin’ this week.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

Goodbye to 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 a few weeks ago. Not only was she one of my best buddies, I know I inherited her brutal honesty, ornery streak and love of having my fingernails polished.

An ode to my Gma, HJ who recently passed away…

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 hair ‘dos 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.

I love you Gma.

Megan

CBXB!