An Alarm Certificate, Testosterone and Apologies

Happy Weekend! If we were having coffee I would have to explain that I nearly destroyed 2 generations of one family this week. Without even trying. It’s just that easy for me.

It’s time to renew our company insurances, you see, which is stressful, to say the least. Luckily, we have an Insurance Broker Super Hero – Teri-Lynn. This year she pulled off a miracle and managed to get all our insurances under one provider which saves us a huge chunk of change! I only needed to contact our Alarm Company to get an Alarm Certificate and if I could get it quickly Teri-Lynn could submit it with all the other paperwork.

Three phone calls, one to a real person and two to answering machines, in 24 hours accomplished exactly nothing. So, I tried a different point of contact, hoping for better luck. I sent an email to the Alarm Company’s Contact Us page.

Dear Customer Support,

 My Account # is **-**** and my name is Lori *****.  My phone number is ***-***-****.

 I need an Alarm Certificate for Insurance purposes and I’ve made 3 attempts to get this certificate in the past 24 hours with zero success.  I’ve spoken with a real person once who assured me she would send one yesterday, and then I’ve left 1 message for Neem(?) and then another message in a generic mailbox.

 With that in mind, there are 3 things you should probably know about me.

 1.  I am 3 years 5 months and 23 days into menopause.

2.  My husband is a Viking.

3.  My Insurance Broker makes people cry.  Including me.

 These things may not mean much to you at the present but my lack of success in obtaining an Alarm Certificate is about to set off a chain of events that may impact you.

 First, my Insurance Broker is going to lose her shit because she has tomorrow off and how hard can it possibly be to get an Alarm Certificate?  Second, The Viking is going to hear my Insurance Broker lose her shit and he’s going to grab his Axe and Shield and start hollering curses and gesturing in my general direction (it’s actually as scary as it sounds).  That, in turn, will increase my stress which sets off Hot Flashes from Hell, extremely itchy skin and copious amounts of tears.  And then I’ll frantically call you over and over again, leaving louder and louder messages.

 I understand that you are probably a busy person and I’m sorry that I have to be so forthright, but an Alarm Certificate shouldn’t be this difficult to get.  I know you have my email address because a) the lady from yesterday read it back to me, b) I receive emails from you all the time that I never read and delete quickly and c) this note is being sent to you from my email.

 So, I’m appealing to the sweet, efficient person in you to please help me avoid all this drama and send me an Alarm Certificate.  Especially since I accidentally broke the arm strap on the back of The Viking’s Shield and haven’t had a chance to fix it yet.




15 minutes later I received this email:


I will have the cert sent to you today.

Please start reading my emails you might just find them entertaining

Sean (from the Contact Us Page of the Alarm Company)

Uh!  Oh!

 7 minutes later, I received this email:

Hi Lori,

Please find the attached certificate below.

 Thanks  Reem (the woman I left messages for at the Alarm Company)



But the thrill of success wore off eventually and I started thinking about poor Sean. In my campaign to get that damned Certificate I completely relegated Sean to a Meaningless Person of No Consequence. If I had thought about it for a brief second I might have considered that the regular emails I get and delete weren’t sent by a computer at all but by an actual human being. Maybe Sean really likes his job, it fulfills him, makes him feel needed and respected and then I come along and totally destroy him!

Or maybe he has a wife and children he’s grooming to take over the business of sending monthly updates and offers to customers? I might have wiped out the dreams and aspirations of two entire generations of one family!

I really suck!

Well, I can’t leave poor Sean and all the Little Seans to wallow in defeat. I will make this right!

Dear Sean,

 Apparently, in my laser-focused quest to acquire my Alarm Certificate, collateral damage occurred. I feel terrible about that. I’ve heard of Collateral Damage happening, usually in times of war, but never thought that I would be the cause of it during peace time.

 I’ve given this considerable thought since I received your email and I think I may have found the reason for my thoughtlessness.


You may not know this but as men age their testosterone levels drop and their estrogen levels rise, which explains why old guys pull their pants up so high – they are looking for their feminine waistline. And just as age affects men, it also affects women (which sucks because I am one). As a woman ages, she produces less estrogen and begins producing more testosterone which is why old women buy so many tweezers – it’s for plucking chin hair.  I know this for certain because I felt a fucking whisker on my chin while I was in the middle of writing my plea for an Alarm Certificate.  And once a woman feels a whisker on her face her entire focus shifts to the immediate removal of the offending whisker. 

 Being 3 years, 5 months and 24 days into menopause, my testosterone levels must be higher than I realized.  I did one of those tests on Facebook to see if your thinking is more feminine or more masculine and I scored 90% Man and only 10% Woman.  I asked The Viking if I’ve been more man-ly lately but without the expletives I’m not sure what his grunted reply indicated.

So, in absence of better scientific data I’ve decided to err on the side of caution and apologize for my thoughtless words.

 Please accept my profound apologies. In future, when I receive an email from Alarm Company, I will read it thoroughly. I’m sure I will enjoy them immensely. I would also like to send you some Maple Brown Sugar Cookies as further proof of my regret. I would offer Chocolate Chip cookies but, to be honest, Maple Brown Sugar Cookies are my favorite and I would just make a double batch, send you half, and then drown my sorrow in the other half.



I think that should do it. I accepted full responsibility, right? UPS delivers cookies don’t they?

So, how was your week? Did you almost destroy anyone by accident?

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for Hosting The Weekend Coffee Share.

Scared Shitless

I’m kind of tired today but come on in anyway. Coffee is exactly what I need right now. And a cinnamon bun.

So, how’s life treating you? Well, I hope.

Me? I’m fine and would be wonderful if I hadn’t scared the shit out of myself last night.

I was lying in bed with my eye mask on to mute the bedroom light I had kindly left on so The Viking could see what he was doing when he came to bed. As usual I was wandering around in my personal Happy Place. I love it there. It’s a big cave with a hot pool surrounded by crystals that bathe the cave in dancing light. There’s a huge fireplace that magically never burns down to bare embers and a large bed covered in the softest furs created by witchcraft and not by the slaughter of innocent animals.

I built this place to help quiet my mind. I thought this was meditating, but I recently learned that I am meditating all wrong! From what I understand, I’m supposed to imagine rolling a boulder up a hill or imagine my soul is floating above my body or try to empty my mind and think of nothing. None of these things make me particularly sleepy and probably would just piss me off, especially the last one because my mind hates empty spaces so every random thought rushes in and creates beehives of chaos making it impossible to sleep.

So whatever! I don’t care if I’m not meditating within the strict International Meditating Guidelines. Who wrote the dumb rules anyway? Besides, the Meditation Dictators will only know I’m doing it wrong if I tell them and I don’t see any need to consult at the moment.

I also have a forest home where no bugs live, a secluded and deserted beach, and a glass hut on top of a mountain. If building these Happy Places aren’t technically considered ‘meditating’ well who cares? Right?

Okay, where was I? Oh yes, I scared the shit out of myself last night. So while I was lying in my furs, all warm and comfortable and pain-free, this hideous bellow interrupted my peace. It didn’t last long but it was deafening. I shook it off and hastened back to my luxurious nest. But then just moments later there was another horrific grinding sound, like rocks slamming against other rocks! WTF?! And a few minutes later another blaring trumpet followed shortly by a sound like someone sucking the bottom of their milkshake through a straw, only very, very loudly.

I was officially annoyed and irritated now!

Suddenly a thunderous, rolling growl erupted and my entire body jerked awake. Adrenalin gushed through my brain as I ricocheted upright.

“WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT NOISE?!!!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. Whoever is making these noises had better knock it off, tout suite! I suspected it was Mim because she was physically closer to my room than The Viking, who was out in the office. Even though she’s a spawn of my loins I was fully prepared to beat her bloody if she didn’t stop with the noise.

Mim called from the spare room, “I don’t hear anything.”

Then it could only be The Viking but I didn’t want to come right out and accuse him in case the noise was coming from outside the house. “I AM GOING TO SLOWLY ROTISSERIE THE PERSON MAKING THAT NOISE!!”

The Viking arrived in the bedroom. “What’s the matter?”


“I didn’t hear anything.”

“Well someone is making noise and it had better stop because if I have to get out of bed to physically execute the culprit I am going to get cranky!!” All this yelling was totally ruining my Happy Place.

“What kind of noise was it?”

“It was like a grinding….something…..I don’t know! It was just loud!”

Except there was a sneaking suspicion in the back of my mind that I did know what all that noise was. Because I was fully awake and logic was happening now.

“Maybe you were dreaming?” he said reasonably, kindly, sweetly.

I settled back on the mattress and pulled the eye mask into place. “Yes, that’s probably what it was. I was just dreaming.” I rolled over and pulled the covers up to my chin. “Sorry.”

He closed the bedroom door quietly, humming a soft lullaby, while I returned to my cave with the fur bed, the hot pool, the shimmering crystals and the fireplace.

Because I don’t snore.

This Food Smells Like Shit!

Welcome to Coffee. Leave your shoes on – there’s litter everywhere. I swear to Gawd the little beasts have a fertilizer spreader loaded with litter and they spend the whole night distributing it. Here, let me move a cat so you can sit down.


Sigh. Having a Clowder of Cats is not as fun as you might think. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I know Mim is excited that between us we have a good sized Clowder, but living with four cats has its challenges.

For instance, food……

Dexter: Eww! This food smells like shit!

Teddy: What? I LOVE this food! It’s better than anything I found on the streets.

Dexter: It’s shit. I can’t eat that.

Teddy: But this is organic with no chemicals and fillers.

Dexter: So it’s organic shit with no chemicals and fillers.

Lucy: If Dexter doesn’t eat it, then I won’t eat it.

Teddy: Fine by me! I’ll eat it.

Lucy: Okay. I’ll eat it. It’s not that bad, Dex. And I am hungry.

Dexter: Not one piece of that will pass my lips.

And then there’s the challenge of Poopers……

Dexter: Hi. I need to poo

Izzie: Hi. That’s irrelevant to me.

Dexter: There’s a pooper behind you that, I believe, I’m supposed to use when I visit.

Izzie: That pooper? That’s my pooper.

Dexter: May I use your pooper?

Izzie: No.

Dexter: So where am I supposed to poo?

Izzie: That, too, is irrelevant to me.

Dexter: I’ll just wait until you leave and then I’ll poo in your pooper.

Izzie: I have nothing else to do for the rest of the day.


Dexter: Thank Gawd! Another pooper!

Izzie: That’s my pooper.

Dexter: No. That other pooper is your pooper. This pooper is for Lucy and me because you won’t let us poo in your pooper.

Izzie: Nope. It’s mine too.

Dexter: You can’t have both poopers!

Izzie: Why not? There’s no rule saying that I can only have one pooper.

Teddy: Is anyone going to eat this last bit of food?

Lucy: I really, really need to poo. Please, can I use this pooper?

Izzie: No.

Lucy: But I really have to poo!

Izzie: Irrelevant to me.

10 minutes later…….

Izzie: Oh, you are in trouble now! A poo on the carpet! You’re a dead cat walking. Haha!

Then it was the Cat Castle……

Lucy: Wow! That’s a fancy-shmancy palace.

Izzie: It’s mine.

Lucy: Lucky you! I think the very top platform is perfect for me.

Izzie: No it isn’t.

Lucy: Sure it is. I’ll just try it out.

Izzie: Didn’t you hear me? I said…..slap…’s….slap…..mine…..slap.

Lucy: You’re not very nice.

Izzie: That’s irrelevant to me.

Lucy: Oh, come on! It’s more than big enough for all of us.

Izzie: Yes, it is.

Lucy: So? Can I have a nap on it?

Izzie: No.

Teddy: Yeah. She won’t let me on it either. I feel your pain. It’s so close, yet so far away. I left a little food if that helps.

The worst challenge by far……

Izzie: Did you just let my Mom pet you?

Dexter: Yes. And it was lovely. She’s a great petter.

Izzie: She’s mine.

Dexter: That’s irrelevant to me.

Izzie: Really? Is….slap….this….slap….irrelevant….slap….to….slap….you?

Dexter: Hey!

Izzie: Never let my Mom pet you! Ever! Slap, slap, kick!

Teddy: Mom gave me a brush last night and it was amazing.

Izzie: WHAT?! She brushed you?

Teddy: Yup! By the way…are you going to eat those leftovers?

Izzie: Don’t ever let me catch you getting a brush again!

Teddy: She’s my Mom too.

Izzie: No she isn’t. You’re just something she dragged home.

Lucy: She scratched my chin last night.

Izzie: WHAT THE HELL?! You too?! Gawd!!

The challenges are not confined to the cats. We suddenly have hairy dust bunnies the size of Grizzly Bears. There’s hair everywhere! I went to buy groceries the other day…..

Nice Lady: I love your coat! Is it cashmere?

Me: No. It’s cat hair.

Nice Lady: Oh! Ew!

But, the thing is, it all turned out fantastic-ally. After the blizzards of slapping tapered off, and the chases morphed from terrifying to fun, and they worked out the poopers, they ended up liking each other.

Even better? Teddy and Izzie have become friends. Mim and I were totally excited when Teddy started licking Izzie’s face. Of course she was repulsed at first but then she must have decided it was not un-pleasant. She even gave him an experimental lick while Mim & I did a quiet happy dance.

Thanks for coming for coffee. I needed some human contact. Here’s a lint roller. No, take it with you – cat hair will turn up for days and you’ll probably need it.


Thanks, as always, to Part-Time Monster.

A Clowder of Cats and a Birthday Cake

I have a Clowder of Cats this week.

According to the Oxford English Dictionaries, the standard collective noun used to refer to a group of domestic cats is a ‘clowder,’ as in ‘a clowder of house cats.’ – from

I have Teddy and Izzie, but then I have Mim’s cats, Dexter and Lucy. So, it’s like…..


once in a while this……


and this…..


Lucy is particularly good at this….


and a bit of this…..


and sometimes……


They’ve hammered out a Peace Treaty now.  The negotiations were a touch hair-raising from time to time but they got there in the end.  Except for Lucy.  She doesn’t want anything to do with the Treaty because the rest of the delegates wouldn’t give her sole custody of the spare room.  Border hostilities are tense from time to time but I’m hoping she will eventually agree to the terms.

Moving on……

It was The Viking’s Birthday on Saturday. We invited friends over for a nice meal and a few drinks.

I ordered a Birthday Cake for him from the Bakery. It’s difficult to decide what a 58 year old guy would like to see on his Birthday Cake.  Mim and I discussed it and this is what we came up with….






Because who doesn’t want a very weird picture of the person who ordered the cake on the actual cake.  Right?

Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought of the consequences of such a great cake. The Viking was extremely reluctant to cut it.  It took me a few minutes to catch on and then it was…..”OH!  You don’t want to cut up my face?”

Well shit!  I never even thought about that!  It seemed like such a great idea!  

So, he compromised.




And now we’re down to this…..





It gets creepier and creepier all the time, doesn’t it?  I can actually see the fear in my eyes!  It’s like Quentin Tarantino planned the whole thing.  Queue the music to Pyscho.





I’m going to have to get a neighbor to come over and scrape that damned picture off.  This is right up there on my list of Complete Misses.