A Slightly Kinder Version of Hell

I opened my email today and then quickly closed it again.  There were 238 new messages.  238!!  I’m in no shape to deal with that!  I’m barely able to brush my teeth.

It all started last week.  Wait, more accurately, it started 3 years ago but last week was an event of sorts.  It’s genealogy – convoluted, confusing genealogy.  My Great Grandmother started this whole thing when she watched Roots: The Miniseries, way back in the 1970’s.  She started digging and researching and put together an impressive lump of material without the aid of the internet.

My parents took up the cause and collected an even more impressive chunk of information, including photos.  They wandered all over the USA, wrote letters and badgered relatives until they now have branches on the family tree that go back to the 1600’s.  The pile is spectacularly imposing.

All of this information and keepsakes and heirlooms and photos……all of it…..will go to my older sister.  But where does that leave my kids?  What if they want to know the stories about their great, great, great, great, great Grandfather/Grandmother?  It would break my heart to lose all the information that’s been lovingly compiled over 50 years.

I decided that wasn’t going to happen.  About three years ago I started writing a short book about my parents and their parents.  I’ve spent the last 6 months scanning over 800 photos.  Some photos deserved better than my old Brother scanner that tops out at 1200dpi, so I bought another scanner that does 6400dpi.  I taught myself Photoshop and spent hundreds of hours touching up photos.

This brings me why I’m in no shape to deal with 238 245 (more have come in since I started this post) damned emails.

I drove 4 hours to my parents and spent Friday afternoon, all day Saturday and part of Sunday working on notes for their book and going though keepsakes in the family trunk and then drove the 4 hours back home.  I want this project finished so I can move on with my own projects, namely a book on how The Viking and I stormed Europe, offended Catholics, pissed off the Autobahn, shocked small villages and educated Florencians on how to curse.

But for now my brain is full.

It’s so full there isn’t room for anything else.  And I’m tired to the bone.  It’s probably because my brain is so busy trying to compartmentalize all that information that it has nothing left to actually operate my body.  That happens to computers all the time!  It’s so busy updating the Anti-Virus that it can’t play a single game of Solitaire.  That’s totally legit.

Except, apparently, it’s not legit when it’s anything other than a computers.  Because I came home and my car vomited all the binders, photos, keepsakes, tintypes and diaries all over the kitchen.  On Monday I looked at the mess and…..NOPE!  It just wasn’t in me to deal with it.  Yesterday was the same way.  Until The Viking decided that all this shit was messing up the clean kitchen he had personally arranged for me.




So, with aching back and foggy mind, I have picked up the harness of Mundania.  I’ve got no great ideas for a blog post – or supper for that matter.  I’ll come up with something I guess.  It’s supposed to thundershower this afternoon, fucking up any thoughts on barbequing.  I might be able to but as soon as I rely on it the heavens will open up and drown me, the barbeque and whatever the hell the main dish is.  Maybe something in the slow cooker?  It doesn’t give off much heat so shouldn’t turn the house into a slightly kinder version of Hell.

In the meantime, I will tackle the monster that is my Inbox.

Celebrity Meow

Hi, I’m Puma Thurman reporting for The Celebrity Meow and I’m here with the glamorous Izzie and her handsome brother Teddy. 


These two felines were CAT-apulted into stardom from appearances on the Mrs. Completely Blog.  My readers have been clamouring for news about the duo so we’ve managed to pin them down for an interview.

Thanks for joining us, Izzie & Teddy.

Izzie:  I almost didn’t come but Teddy insisted.

Teddy:  Well, I’m happy to be here.  The buffet in my dressing room was very good.  Especially the Caviar.  I love Caviar.

Haha!  I’m glad you liked it.  So, it’s been 5 months since Teddy was rescued and moved into the Completely Viking home.  Tell us…..was there tension at first?

Izzie:  Yes.  Lots and lots of tension.

Teddy:  For sure.  There was tension but I believe in making friends and treating each other with love.

That’s just wonderful.  It sounds like you won her over fairly quickly.

Izzie:  He didn’t.  I barely tolerate him at the best of times.

Teddy:  Haha!  Izzie likes to tease.  We’re best friends!

Oooookay.  So what is your biggest Pet Peeve?

Teddy:  An empty food bowl.  I went hungry a lot when I was on the streets and now I can’t stand a bowl that isn’t heaping full.

And how about you, Izzie?

Izzie:  Teddy.  Teddy is my biggest Pet Peeve.

I can see Teddy is right about your sense of humor, Izzie.  So tell me, what pet would you like to have?

 Teddy:  Good question!  Hmmm….well, I would like something that would play with me so maybe a Bearded Dragon.  I love the way they run!

Izzie:  A sheep’s skin.  It’s soft to lie on and I don’t have to play with it, share my food with it, or tolerate its smell in my litter box.

Haha!  That’s funny!  So what’s your most prized possession?

Teddy:  I’ve gotta be honest, Puma.  It’s my food bowl.  I don’t need much in this life but I need a good food bowl.

Izzie:  My intelligence, my freedom and my ability to contemplate the meaning of existence.  Albert Camus said: The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.  Every action I take is toward that end.

Um…..well that’s very….um.…very……deep.  Okay.   Here’s an easy one:  what is your favorite movie?

Teddy:  I like a good love story that involves food because I’m all about food and love.  I would have to say my favorite movie would be Chocolat with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche. Me-ee-Oww.

Izzie:  Kill Bill.  Both volumes.  That lady takes shit from No One.

Teddy:  Geez, Izzie.  Couldn’t you pick something nice like 50 First Dates or something?

You are such a sweet guy, Teddy!  What theme song would you say fits your life?

Teddy:  Peter Gunn Theme.  Hands down.

Izzie:  These Boots are Made for Walking.  It’s self-explanatory.

Okay.  Last question.  What Super Power would you like to possess?

Teddy:  It might not be a Super Power but I’ve always wanted Opposable Thumbs, Puma.  I could get those treats Mom hides in the cupboard.  I could get into the bedroom at night so I could sleep on the bed.  Yeah.  Opposable Thumbs.

Izzie:  I would want the power to increase or decrease my size at will.  No one would fuck with me if I was the size of a small elephant.  There would be no more of this picking me up and kissing me crap, I’ll tell you that!   I’d have claws like Wolverine.

Well, thank you so much for your time.  It’s been a real thrill to interview you both and I’m sure my Readers will love it.

Okay boys!  Let’s blow this popsicle stand!  There’s a warm bowl of cream with my name on it somewhere.

Teddy:  You know….it wouldn’t hurt you to be a little nicer.  Kill Bill?  Really?

Izzie:  Pfft!  I just have no tolerance for bullshit and Puma Thurman is full of it.

Teddy:  And I’m your biggest pet peeve?  I thought people who touch your tail was your biggest pet peeve.

Izzie:  That was before you ate the food I was saving for a bedtime snack.

Teddy:  OH, COME ON!!  That was 3 weeks ago!

Izzie:  Revenge is best served cold.  Haven’t you heard that before?

Teddy:  When we get home you are going to get the biggest licking ever!

Izzie:  Don’t threaten me!  I hate the lickings.

Teddy:  I know.  That’s why I put you in a headlock first.

Izzie:  Whatever.  Where’s Mom?  She owes me treats for doing this.

Is it dangerous?

It’s time for Friday Fictioneers.  Tell a story based on the picture below in 100 words or less.


“Just a peek for now, we can’t risk being seen.  Poor Jacques learned that the hard way.”

Pascal’s eyes grew round.  “Is it dangerous?”

“Not if you know what you’re doing.”  Louis boasted.  “Relax!  I’m the best!”

“Um……okay.”  Hesitantly, not totally convinced.

Louis grinned mischievously.  “You’re not in the country anymore, cousin.  This is the city – you can find anything you want!”

“Is there cheese?  I love cheese.”

“Only about 10 different kinds!”

“And toast?  Toast is wonderful.”  Pascal’s tummy rumbled.

“Let’s grab a nap now so we can eat all night!” Louis said, his whiskers dancing in anticipation. 

-100 words

Special thanks to Roger Bultot for the cool photo and to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers.

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Confessions of an Ex-Wife

The Viking and I spent most of Saturday silently arguing.  Well, not arguing the way most people would argue, but more like silent, body language arguing.  It’s our specialty.

Okay, fine!  It’s my specialty.  That’s how I argue.  I walk away from the actual argument (you might be tempted to think you’ve won but you would be mistaken) and then answer every subsequent question with one syllable responses that are so fucking polite it’s impossible not to notice I’m pissed off.

I sometimes think I should work on that but to be honest it’s just too big of a job.  I’d have to dig and pick at childhood stuff and then become more assertive and less Passive-Aggressive which means I would have to actively participate in arguments that would involve cursing and shouting and maybe even door slamming and nothing would be settled because everyone was so busy shouting they couldn’t hear what the other one was saying.  I’ve never done this so I’m just guessing at how it would all work.  

It was while I was silently, Passive-Aggressively arguing with The Viking on Saturday, that I started thinking about the things I did to my Ex-Husband, Stanley, while I was Passively-Aggressively arguing with him.  I have to admit I did quite a lot of things but he was just so easy to fuck with and I was evil enough to use it against him.

Food was the biggest issue with Stanley.  Don’t touch his food, don’t smell his food, don’t even look at his food.  If one of your digits/limbs got too close you could expect, at minimum, a good stabbing with his fork.  When children came along, we would all huddle down at one end of the table while he hunched over his plate at the other end, shovelling food into his mouth, never breaking eye contact with us.  He said it was because he spent too much time in Boarding Schools where he had to fight for every bite of food.  I thought it was because he was raised by wolves.  Whatever the cause, as the Cook/Scullery Maid, I had plenty of access to his food and when the Passive/Aggressive got a hold of me……well….I would fuck with his food.

He worked 12 hour shifts so I would pack 4 sandwiches, a Tupperware container of microwaveable dinner leftovers, an apple or two and half a dozen cookies.  Sometimes, I would take a big bite out of the lower right-hand corner of each sandwich, stack them up, perfectly aligned and wrap them.  I’d put the bite corner facing down in the lunch box so he wouldn’t suspect a thing until he wanted a sandwich at work.

He called from work.  “WHAT THE FUCK, LORI!!”

I put a note in the lunch box.  “I licked one of the cookies.”


I folded the piece of ham in half and chewed out the center, leaving just a ham ring before I put it in the sandwich.  All four sandwiches.


I made him 3 Bologna and Strawberry Jam sandwiches because I ran out of mustard after the first one.  Before you go ‘Ewwww…” try it.  It’s actually good.


I put a note in the bottom of his lunch box.  “One of these things is past its expiration date.  Guess which one.”


He once woke me up at 4 o’clock in the morning because he was going on a rafting trip with some friends and had promised to bring sandwiches.  He forgot to mention it the night before.  So I left the wrapping on the cheese slices in every one of the 12 sandwiches.*

When he got home…..“WHAT THE FUCK, LORI!!”

He called from work one time to ask me to mow the lawn so he could go to the bar with some of his work buddies.  The best advice my Mother ever gave me was to never do any chore for your husband because it will be yours for the rest of your life.  So I mowed the lawn in wild curves and circles with large patches of grass un-mowed.  From above it should have looked like a penis and balls.

When he stopped at home to change clothes….“WHAT THE FUCK, LORI!!”  I told him I thought it looked great.  He mowed it again before he went to the bar.

I folded all his socks inside out.  I stuck my finger in his mashed potatoes.  I short sheeted the bed when he was working night shifts.   “WHAT THE FUCK, LORI!!”

He sat on the toilet so long that his legs fell asleep.  He waddled down the hallway, heading for the family room.  I watched him for a moment and then put my index finger on his shoulder and pushed him, ever so gently, so he had to take a step.  He yelled “QUIT IT!”  I did it again.  He yelled again.  I did it again.  You have to make the best of the time you have before the blood rushes back into his legs.


I’m not proud of any of it.  Wait.  Who am I kidding?  I’m totally proud!  And it’s difficult to stop doing a behavior that gives me so much joy.  And before you have too much sympathy for Stanley you should know that he once came home in the middle of the night and banged on the front door.  When I got the door opened he was wearing a full face Gorilla mask and jumped at me.  There was a little bit of pee.

He also sat on top of our refrigerator for 45 minutes just so he could scare me.  I wonder if karma ever caught up to him?

I don’t have the time or energy for those kinds of things anymore.  At worse I make food that I know The Viking doesn’t like.  He also works at home so there would be no “cooling off period” before he could confront my deeds.  And there is the fact that I already do enough stuff to make him holler without engineering more.

As for trying to address my Passive-Aggressive tendencies:  that’s probably not something I’m going to get around to fixing.  Besides, what would I do with all my VooDoo dolls?


*I’ve noticed that leaving the plastic on the cheese slice has become a ‘thing’ now.  But I did it first – 30 years ago.  However, I never thought to write “Sorry.  Not Sorry.” on it with a Sharpie.

An Alien Broke the Car – Friday Fictioneers


She looked at the clock – he’s right on time.

He was standing beside the car, hands on hips, a fleck of foam at the corner of his mouth.  “What the hell happened?!”


“THE CAR!  THE MIRROR!!”  Steve jabbed violently toward the side mirror.

She had considered pleading ignorance but the broken, dangling mirror was hard to miss, or going on the offensive, blaming him, but for that to work she should be the one hollering and pointing.

She settled for, “Oh, that?  Well, it all started when I went for groceries and an alien spacecraft landed in the……”



Huge thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers and for this week’s photo prompt.
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What Do You Mean It’s Not Your Birthday?

Hey!  How are you?  It’s been a couple of weeks since we last had coffee.  I couldn’t get my shit together last week which is nothing new to those who know me.  I start one thing, get interrupted with something more important, get side tracked and then forget where I was with the first thing.  My mind isn’t an orderly, organized mind.  It’s a mass of jumping beans dancing to a Mariachi Band.

On Friday, I planned a Happy Birthday phone call to my Father.  He’s a busy man, always gadding about, bullshitting with friends:  coffee at A&W, crib at the Senior’s Center, lunch with friends, bowling, curling and other sundry events.  My call was timed for 1:30pm which should be after lunch but before naptime.  I missed that deadline (surprise!) because….well….shit happens around here; it was almost 2:00 when I called, but at least I hadn’t forgotten altogether.

Dad:  Hello?

Me:  Hey Dad!  Happy Birthday!

Dad:  What?

Me (louder):  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Dad:  Well, thanks, Lor.  Even if it is 4 days early.

Me:  What?

Dad (louder):  IT’S NOT MY BIRTHDAY!

It’s sad when a parent starts going downhill.  They’ve always been the strong, wise person you can depend on no matter what happens.  I guess age has finally caught up with the old guy.

Me:  Of course it’s your Birthday, Dad.

Dad:  It is not!

Me:  Dad!  It’s the 5th of May!  Your birthday!

Wait.  5th of May?  That’s not right.  Who’s birthday is on a 5th?

Gawd Dammit!!!  My older sister is born on March 5th!  Dad is on May 9thFuuuuuuuuuck!!

I started to laugh.  What else can I do, right?

Dad:  The bastards moved my Birthday, hey?  Maybe I should call you on March 29th next year.

Me:  Hahahaha!  You can if you like.

He shouldn’t have been surprised.  I find calendars challenging and it’s not a new thing.  Birthdays, holidays, special days, week days, weekends……it clutters up my chaos.  And there’s no rhythm to most of them.  Easter can fall anywhere from the end of March to the middle of April.  How am I supposed to work with that?

And Birthdays!  Gawd!  Everyone has to have one!  Can’t we just schedule the 15th of every month to celebrate Birthdays?  Bakeries wouldn’t have to be baking damned cakes every day…..they could just make a whole shitload on the 14th.  The staff at Swiss Chalet could just hire a few local singers to stand in a corner annoying everyone all at the same time.  No need to embarrass the staff and force them to hold Sparklers which may or may not light their hair on fire.  They could have a 6:00pm song and an 8:00pm song.  Done!

Mother’s Day & Father’s Day – why can’t these days be celebrated on the same day?  All the women can go to a Brunch Buffet and all the Fathers can gather at a Sports Bar for beer and chicken wings.  Or vice versa – this isn’t a stereotype exercise.  Mothers in the morning, Fathers in the afternoon.  Done!

We also have Remembrance Day, Labour Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Canada Day (4th of July for my American friends), Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day, Family Day, Naked Gardening Day and Thanksgiving and that’s just the main days I have to keep track of.  Who planned this mess?  Can’t we just designate the 1st weekend in every month a Special Whatever Day and give everyone the Friday and the Monday off work?

And let’s make a law about commercialization.  I walk into the grocery store on the 16th of February to find an explosion of Easter shit.  I think “HOLY SHIT!!  Is it Easter already?  Cripes!  I don’t have a plan!  I don’t have a turkey or ham!”  My blood pressure skyrockets and I feel faint.

Last year they were hanging Hallowe’en costumes beside Santa suits.  That’s just wrong on so many levels it’s hard to pick just one beef.  They’re killing me with conflicting messages.

As for Dad’s Birthday…..well….he might be irritated but he’ll get over it.  If it makes him feel better to do unto me what I have done unto him, it’s all good.  I totally deserve it for being such a useless User of Calendars.  And if he forgets to call on my birthday I probably won’t even notice because I’ll be in a panic about Easter.

So how has your last couple of weeks been?  Anything new and exciting?  Spill!


As always, a special thanks to Part-Time Monster for Weekend Coffee Share and Nerd in the Brain for hosting.  You rock.

Steve & Cheryl – Lost Again!

It’s been a blah week for me.  I can’t seem to get enough sleep.  Usually my pain meds knock me right out – I wouldn’t hear a bomb go off – but lately I’m waking up 2 or three times every night.  And it’s hard to be creative when I’m a zombie.

Actually, if I were a real Zombie, I could probably make a fortune in movie deals.  That’s the only kind of movie they make anymore, isn’t it?  TV series are even worse.

So, I’m glad I have Friday Fictioneers & Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to help with the creative juices.  And Sandra Cook’s photo made it easy for me. Two years ago, The Viking and I spent 7 wonderful weeks driving through Europe.  I kept a journal of our adventures which I will write out into a full Travel Book soon-ish but, in the meantime, I poached a typical moment for Friday Fictioneers.

Steve & Cheryl – Lost Again!

“For Gawdsakes, Cheryl!!  That’s our hotel!  We’re right back where we started!”

Cheryl looked from the hotel to the map.  Once, twice, three times.  “I don’t understand.  The Cathedral should be here!”

“Are you holding the map upside down?”

“No, Steve, I’m not!  It’s all these twisty streets and palazzos every second block!  And why won’t they put proper street signs up?!  How am I supposed to know where we are without street signs?!  Aaaagh!!”  She hit the map with the back of her hand and it ripped in half.

“Okay.  Calm down.  Let’s get a coffee and start again.”

Word count:  100

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