Sunday, January 27, 2013


So the other day, I got a request to offer up to the local paper my Valentine's Day wish. It's a little feature that will include women around town. I'm guessing I'll need to be clever to make the cut, and I was looking for advice from my co-pilot.

"I'm thinking about saying I want your father's metabolism and your long legs," I said, voicing a sincere and devout wish that I've had for a while.

I've considered selling my soul to realize those wishes. The only thing holding me back is Satan apparently isn't worried about whether he'll collect me in the end. That and I still have residual Pentecostal fear if I did actually make the official offer, Satan would take me up on it and then I'd be screwed. Not that I believe in that kind of thing anymore. Much.

Anyway, I pose the draft wish to my daughter. She said, "What's a metabo-- metaba, what's that word mean?"

I explained. She got it right away because she's trying hard to accept why I don't eat her cupcakes in the quantities I'd like. "How about you want his metabolism and my sassy mouth?" she countered.

"YOUR sassy mouth? Where do you think you get yours?" I asked.

She rolled her eyes. "I've never heard you say anything bad about anyone ever," she said.

I almost wrecked the car. And then I congratulated myself for my excellent mothering skills.

"Well I do try to behave around you and be a good influence," I said, confessing, "Sometimes when you're not around, I slip up."

She thought about it while we waited for the light to change.

"Well, there was that one time in the car, remember when that guy pulled in front of you?"

"Uh. Yeah."

"And then there was that time when Alex was with us and you said, can I say it?"


"And that time in the yard when..."

In my defense, I did say I try.....

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I'm becoming Joe Kernan

Cupcakes notwithstanding, it's been another busy weekend here at Chez Reed.


Alison stopped by my bathroom the other morning as I was getting ready for work.

"Hey Mom, you know how you dye your hair so no one knows how old you are?" she asked, earnestly.

I paused in my mascara application. 'Yeah? " I asked cautiously.

"Well. You might want to forget about that," she said. "See your eybrows there? One of 'em is kinda gray."

(I love Joe Kernan. I even love his eyebrows. That doesn't mean I WANT them... :))


Last year at the Christ the King Trivia night, my friend Chris Austin took my place on a team we've had a few years. I can't remember why I couldn't go, but the Vielees, the Haases and the Christoffs were happy to see him because they won they whole shebang that year and we have the trophy to proove it.

This year, they agreed (I'm sure reluctantly) to let me back in. I did bring some fairly awesome food, but sadly, we needed Chris and his encyclopedic brain.

Out of a potential 100 points, we scored 90. Not bad, and had spelling counted, I'm sure we would have won. Sadly, the winners had 94 points. I think we came inn 5th.

It was way fun. I'll try to get photos. It was a movie themed event and our team was "Leave the gun, take the cannoli." The Vielees had suggested the men slick their hair back like mafiosos.

Ten minutes before we were to arrive, Jeff comes in wearing pleather pants, a white teeshirt and his best John Travolta/Pulp Fiction hair. I scramble from the bed and replace my blue jeans and sweater with my best (albeit quick) Jersey girl impression.

It was a fun night. But yeah. Austin would have put us over the top. Anyone out there know Ducky's full name from Pretty in Pink. (And no, John Cryer doesn't count...)

Ali had her first volleyball competition Saturday. It was a round robin kind of thing. Real games start next week, I think. One of her teammates, Danielle, was on her basketball team, and Danielle's mother made the mistake of telling Coach Reed that Danielle wasn't planning to play basketball again. The sport was apparently too hard on her knees, she'd said. Volleyball, in which the girls all wear knee pads, was going to be a bit nicer to her body, Danielle reasoned.

At the end of the tournament, the Captain called Danielle over and advised her that she could wear pads for basketball, too.

Empire building

As you know, Alison has been on a cupcake tear the past few weeks. In a valient effort to save myself from gorging, I convinced her to take most of them to volleyball practice, and I took some to my friends at work.

In the Marketing Department, the reviews were awesome and when I told them Alison had made the treats, Barrett Young asked how old she is.

"You should get her a Pinterest account," he said, licking his fingers. "An 11-year-old cupcake maker? She could be famous!"

I demurred on Alison's behalf because up to now, she's been very private, hates to be the center of attention and had deplored my use of her in the TeamReedBlog more than once.

But on the way home from school Friday, she was reminiscing about her volleyball team's response to their treats, and her friend Amanda's reaction to the cupcakes Ali had squirreled away for her.

"I think I want to make money this summer by having a cupcake stand along the Monon Trail," she said.

I suggested she take my friend, Kelsey Taylor, up on her suggestion to make a cupcake care package for her college-aged daughter. I said I'd post on Facebook that she was taking orders if she wanted.

Then, hyper aware that I've been fronting her for the cost of the made-from-scratch, somewhat gourmet cupcakes, we started talking about how price them.

"Ooh, Mom. A business seems kind of hard," she said.

She fretted about whether she would be plagarizing her cupcake book authors if she profited off their recipes. (6th grade social studies apparently is talking up plagarism.) She worried about taxes, packaging and delivery.

I suggested that she needn't get too carried away because as good and pretty as her cupcakes are, she probably would be doing a dozen here and a dozen there and she might not have an actual cupcake empire right away.

"Well, I don't think it'll be an empire until I'm 12," she said.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

At Book Club Friday, our host, Michelle, remarks that she has a chilled bottle of champagne and she doesn't even like champagne. Kate, Niki and I look at each other. We like champagne. We like champagne a lot.

She brings it out. It's Moet. She has no idea how it came to live in her fridge. She has no interest in it at all.

"Wanna pop it?" someone, I'm sure it wasn't me, asks.

Niki and I tell her that it's really good champagne. Is she sure she doesn't like it? No only does she not care, she doesn't even care AFTER she knows how good good it is. I'm salivating and Niki looks like she's been in a desert for six years.

Kate, though, Kate says, "Oh, Michelle. It's really good champagne. You should save it."

What?!!! Shut up Kate. Let's open it up. I swear Kate must have tried to talk Michelle into keeping her bubbly at least a dozen times. Thank God we ditched the lawyers from Book Club years ago and didn't have to draft up a contract first. But armed with full verbal admonition and warning, Michelle agrees to share the wine. We all have a glass and have a few really fun toasts with it.

It is yummy. Michelle's reaction, and I quote, "Meh."

Turns out, it was Michelle's boyfriend's wine. But he didn't much care for it either.

I love Book Club.

Ali and I road-tripped to Jasonville for our delayed family Christmas. Jeff had to work and then had basketball and football plans, so we were planning a sleepover. Reminded of the trip, Ali whipped up a batch of peppermint cupcakes while I went to the gym and we were off.

On the way down, Alison regaled me with school gossip and tried to get truck drivers to honk for her. She later interrogated her Uncle Jim as to whether he honks when kids give him the classic request by putting their fist in the air and pulling on an imaginary chain.

He claims he usually does and was appropriately aghast at her contention she once was flipped off by a cranky trucker.

Before we get to Donna's, though, I'm enjoying the twists and turns that is Indiana 59 when I come up to make the turn to Donna's house. And there is a big-ass billboard with the face of a high school classmate of mine. I almost drove off the road. It's startling to see an old friend's face come at you out of nowhere.

"That is one big-ass billboard," I say, not thinking about my co-pilot. She is both horrified and elated that I've cursed in front of her. "Nice one, Mom. Great role model."

Later, Diane is telling a story about how the Supreme Court ruled that flipping off a state trooper who ogles your girlfriend isn't grounds for arrest for disorderly conduct.

I check to be sure that Alison isn't in the room.

Diane claims a local police officer has taken similar actions when the local townfolk flip him off. Armed with Constitutional protection, we set about plotting a protest somethime this summer. It will be Jasonville's Occupy Movement, a flip-in, if you will. I predict the effort will peter out long before the weather breaks but we'll see.

I can't remember why we did this -- there was no alcohol in sight -- but Annie brought over some of her old prom dresses and Rebecca and I tried them on. I can't get one zipped and the other is really snug but I got it on. Aleasha loans me a tiara, but my parade wave is denounced as lame. And yes, my 15-year-old niece looked way hotter in her dress, which did zip up.

After that, Donna plots to separate my best euchre partner, Rebecca, from me by having us pick numbers for a tournament. We are separated. My new partner and I, Johnny, do make it to the finals but in a last-minute cheat attack, we lose to Donna and Rachael.

We stopped in to pick up Debbie for breakfast this morning and went inside to look at her way-cool remodeling job. On the way out, I went to pick up my keys, only to find them gone.

Donna and Jim were waiting in the rain outside as I retraced my steps and Debbie looked around for them. As my panic increased, I sent Ali out to look in the car, knowing they weren't there. I'd tossed her slippers into the trunk and could have sworn I put my keys on her new breakfast counter.

But the only keys there belonged there. There's no way into the trunk of my car but with the key fob, which is on my keys. If it's in the trunk, I'm going to have to call the Captain or a locksmith. Guess who was first on my list.

The keys are no where to be found. Jim gets out of his truck to see if his keys will work. He drives a Ford product. I was unsurprised when this trick didn't work, but Debbie decides she'll try HER keys.

Oh, but wait. Those aren't HER keys in her hand. They're MINE! She had them the whole time....

We'd planned a slow way home, but weather predictions of freezing rain had us heading out of town right after breakfast. We get home ahead of the storm but the rain is really causing some problems and at one point, we stopped the car so Alison could take a shot of a section of the highway that was inches from being flooded over.

Our front yard is puddling up and I'm crossing my fingers it doesn't sneak into the basement.

We get home early enough to see Jeff before he's off to his football party. He takes my car, so when I take Ali to volleyball practice, it's in the Subaru, an automobile I've declared dead about 12 times but Jeff keeps ignoring the DNR I've placed on it.

I get her to school and go in to be sure the team is there and all is well. I dash back out in the cold, cold rain only to find I can't get the damn thing started. I turn the key but the key won't turn.

I turn the wheel. Key won't turn. I check the gear to be sure it's in park. Key won't turn. I turn the wheel the other way. Key won't turn.

I get out of the car (in the cold, cold rain) lock it, unlock it and get back in. Key won't turn. I make sure all the lights and bells and whistles are off. Key won't turn. I put my foot on the brake and try it. Key won't turn. I wiggle the wheel again. Key won't turn. I put my foot on the gas and try it. The damn key still. Will. Not. Turn.

I put the key in the opposite way. Still no dice. I fume. I curse. I sit there and try the whole thing again. I feel my extremeties start to freeze.

I call Jeff, not for a rescue but just to see if this has ever happened to him. His little friends, helpful as always, ask me if I'm using the right key. Is my foot on the brake? Is it in park? Am I using the correct key?

Jeff says he'll pack up before the game is over, predicting I'll call him back to alert him that I've fixed the problem before he's halfway to the rescue site.

I sit back. I check email. I check Facebook. My phone is nearly dead but I can't charge it because I CAN'T TURN ON THE DANG CAR!!! I get a blanket from the back. I try everything again. Key won't turn.

I sit there and fume. Jeff's supposed to be 10 minutes away. Desperate to stave off frostbite, I pluck the owner's manual from the glove box. It tells me to do all the things I've already done.

Oh, but then it says don't just try to turn the wheel ONE way, Wiggle it back and forth BOTH ways and THEN try to turn the key.

My cheer of elation fades. I have to call Jeff now. He's halfway to get me. Missed the end of the game.

Fortunately for me, he's a happy captain and only makes a bit of fun. It's happened to him a time or two. Yes, he knows I think the Subaru should be retired. He's still happy to see me after sleeping in a cold and lonely bed.

Then I tell him about Debbie and the missing keys.

Sometimes I think he loves me only because I give him such good material to work with. Although, if I can shed 10 pounds and fit into that black prom dress, I could give him another reason to keep me around....

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's too early for the handcuffs

Among the sentences I thought I'd never hear Captain Reed utter to his daughter is this one: "Honey come here and let me take a look at your handcuffs."

A. I don't think she wants to be a cop. B. I'm sure I don't want her to be a stripper and C. She hasn't yet read (I think) 50 Shades of Grey.

So you can imagine my suprise when I heard him convey that message to her the other day.

He had spent the evening with Ali and Jenna while I was at Bunco. They both had new earrings, courtesy of Alison's Claire's gift card from Auntie Jen. But on the way home, Jenna had lost part of one hers.

As we prepared to go to battle Claire's for a refund the next morning, Jeff found the missing starburst and was fixing Jenna's broken earring. He'd called out to Alison, preparing to take preventative measures on her new earrings.

Happily, I'd seen them and knew they had tiny handcuffs at the ends of them. So she doesn't really have handcuffs. Yet.

I'm a little melancholy as I finish this entry. It's the last day of Alison's Christmas break and the 2013 work year shifts into high gear tomorrow. I think I'm ready for it. I have some ideas, some plans and great hopes for incredible PR mastery.

But it's been nice having more time with Alison. She's getting more and more interested in her own private time. She still skips on her way down the hall our across the drive. She still hugs and snuggles. But she's growing up, and it's killing me.

Plus I read my Book Club book today -- "My Name is Mary Sutter." It's a great book but it reminds that no matter how hard I've worked to acheive my little corner of comfort in the world, previous generations ( and millions of people in this and other countries) have had/are currently having horrific struggles.

I'm so fortunate it's unnerving.

I wonder what I'd do if faced with true hardship. I'd like to think I'd be brave and do the right thing, no matter the cost. No sure that I would, though.

I hope with all my being that Alison never has to face any of the stuff I've faced down. On the other hand, I want her to be a good, solid person with a good work ethic and real compassion.

Can you be all that without experiencing some hard times yourself?

Answers, please.