SLEEP AWAY CAMP…


…is not something I’ve thought of in a long time, mainly because the kids are grown now.

I’d like to think it was something I could still do, because God knows I could use a break from them, but alas, the time for this has come and gone!

They (the children) haven’t gotten out yet, but they have matured some. Well, matured may be giving them a little too much credit at this point. Let’s just say they’ve encountered several birthdays since the old camp days.

God I love ‘em, but boy, what I could do with their rooms if they were empty. Just sayin…

When they were little, I’d send them off with their cute little bags, their socks stuffed with snacks I knew wouldn’t be allowed. I’d help them sneak in soda so they could maintain their sugar level. I was bad! But I was smart enough never to give them cell phones. Last thing I wanted was for those little buggers to pester me.

But….my cell-phone-less children loved me for it!

I was the Goddess who provided them with a sufficient amount of junk/crap/bad food, thus in their minds, I was good.

I was the perfect mother!

I had IT!

I rocked their world and that’s all that mattered!

But I knew.

I was the devil in disguise is what I was!

But I didn’t give a flying fuck.  It got them out of the house and out of sight for a while. I could R.E.L.A.X!

I wouldn’t have to pick up their dirty clothes, or make their bed, or cook for them, or chauffeur them, or do their homework, or drive them to school, or the dentist, or the doctor, or the park, or to a play date, or entertain and babysit their friends, which was often the case.

never took the blame when a zit popped up on their face, nor when they’d spike a little belly fat.

Never, ever,  once, did I blame it on the sugar or my poor choices.

I always put it back on them.  Told them it was because they never kept their face clean. It was plain old dirt that caused those zits, and as for the belly fat, well, that was caused by their lack of exercise, lazy little sots that they were. It was the damned video games that would take the fall for any excess bulges they encountered. I’ll be damned if they think I’m going to take the blame for that.

No.Fucking.Way!

So back to me…

I hadn’t really thought about sending myself off to sleep away camp until recently. It would be just what the doctor ordered!

No kids, no husband, no dog, no house, no house cleaning, no phone, no need to be anywhere, (kids) no…Mom where’s the…can we go…can I have…can you get me…will you…why can’t I… (husband) where’s dinner…can we walk now…how about a blow job…did you iron my shirt… (dog) where’s my damned breakfast…why isn’t the front door open…can I have a treat…where’s my toy…I need to walk now I have to poop…

Just thinking about eliminating all of the above makes. my. nipples. hard!

At his point in my life it takes a bit of effort to make that happen…but the thought of sleep away camp somehow sounds sooooo intriguing right now because I’m a homebody, a housewife, a mate, a mother, a teacher, a mentor, a negotiator, a referee, a sex slave, an organizer, a multi-tasker, a confidant, and chief cook and bottle washer.

Many times, in the middle of the night, (and I mean the middle of the night when the moon is straight over the house and most normal people are still sleeping), I am sitting at my computer googling far off places, people and things that are exotic, erotic, and far from home (should I also say far from my comfort zone?).

My imagination takes a journey (as it often does). I can visualize myself, off in the distance, where the water and sand come to life on my computer screen.

I’m lying on a beach (or depending on your budget an unfamiliar well stuffed couch). You’ve got a tall cool drink in one hand and a delicious novel (insert cough) or at least something novel in the other. Oh my! You let your mind wander around someone else’s words (or…well never mind) and you’re transported to wherever the story/person/thing takes you…

Meals magically appears before you, served by some young stud/man/boy who no doubtedly doubles as an actor later on in his day. You can’t help notice the tight black pants, the crisp white shirt, the smell of freshly showered skin, the…

Ah Jees!

It ain’t ever going to happen but dream we shall.

You are served morning, noon, and night. (again this is where a good imagination comes in handy)

There is nothing to pick up, clean up, put up with, or put out to.

It’s just you and this delicious dream.

But wait!

What is that I hear off in the distance as the sun crests the east.

Oh crap!

I’ll be back.

I have to get coffee for the hubby.

10 Sexy Moves…


…that turn your guy on!

Now there’s a headline that’ll catch your eye when you’re menopausal! 

Of course, I had to read it just to see if there was anything that could make me less, you know, mom like and more the wild cougar I know that’s been screaming to be set free for the past decade.

Hell…I know I’ve been slipping, and so have a few other things, but that’s a story for a different story.

I perused the article top to bottom, because hell, I can use all the help I can get. Now don’t get me wrong here. I’ve tried plenty of tricks in my day and I’m sure I’ve still got a few up my sleeve………somewhere–Lurking. Up. By. My. Flabby. Upper. Arm.

A few years back I switched from old-fashioned granny panties to a thong thinking this was uber-sexy. Wrong! Hubby said to me one day, if I want to floss I’ll go into the bathroom and….you get my drift? Turns out he likes a little more coverage. Or, does it mean that there’s more to see than I think there is? Mmm………

I tried installing a stripper pole in the bedroom once but hubby said it was screwing up his direct view of the television. So, being the handy woman I am, I sawed it in two and installed it in my closet so I could hang more clothes, and I have to admit, my clothes actually do look a lot more sexy now. The pole thing really is the bomb!

Mmm……………

Okay, so RULE #1 Talks about makeup, or rather the lack of it.

“Oh, I love how she looks when she wakes up in the morning, fresh, clean, natural…..”

OH. KISS. MY. ASS!

How old are these people they’re talking to, twelve?

At my age, the first thing I usually have to do when I wake up is to pry my top lip off my teeth, because I’ve apparently snored all the moisture out of my body. Or better yet, if I’ve somehow managed to retain a little moisture and managed a drool or two, I have to scrape the 900 count egyptian cotton pillowcase off my cheek because, as far as I can tell, drool contains some kind of secret glue.

Worse case scenario, if I’ve had a few (or a hundred) hot flashes before the ‘rem’ cycle kicks in, which is what brings on the snoring, (no it has nothing to do with pre-bedtime tequila consumption), there’s a good chance that that bottom fitted sheet is going to leave the bed with me when I try to disengage from it because it’s gotten caught up in the crack of my ass like a menopausal wedgie.

The no make up thing?

I don’t think so!

I usually make it a point to sleep with my make-up on in order to prevent any accidental viewings of what I look like before the smoke and mirrors come out.

I remember a couple of years back, I woke up just as it was getting light, and I was feeling a little frisky. I rolled over towards the hubby and ran my hand across his back. This always get’s him going. A moment later he rolls over and slowly opens his eyes. I layed there quietly anticipating some soft sexy whimper to leave his lips telling me how much he wanted me. I think I even batted my eyelashes once or twice trying to build some steam. Instead, he raised himself up on one elbow and looked me directly in the eye with such concern it scared me a little.

He said, ‘What’s the matter, are you sick?”

That’s when I remembered  that I’d showered right before I went to bed and Washed. My. Fucking. Face!


Rule #1 got tossed immediately.

RULE #2 Talks about how men like a woman’s belly to be soft, not skinny and boney. How love handles were just that–love handles!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…..WE HAVE A WINNER HERE!!!!!!!

I won’t even pontificate about this rule because I happen to have a soft round belly like most women my age!

RULE #3 States that men like our quirky habits.

REALLY?

One of my quirky habits is that I like to renovate, remodel, and rearrange.

I can rip a room down to its studs single-handedly in a couple of hours. This might fall under the premise of insanity rather that just quirky so I’m on the fence about this one really being a quirk. However, it is something I do on a fairly regular basis. My family has learned over time that they should not leave me at home alone longer that two days at a stretch because, on at least one occasion many years ago, I had a very intimate date with my sledgehammer. They were all away and I was trying to get used to some new ‘lose twenty pounds in 24 hours diet pills’ I bought from a middle of the night infomercial. I don’t know what was in said pills but I was bouncing off the wall. Literally!  They came home to an empty kitchen. As in the kitchen was gone…down to the studs, and, I only had to get one tetanus shot.

I think it would be fair to say that hubby definitely does not like my quirks, nor does our bank account!

RULE#4 Says that our significant others like it when we wear our hair natural.

I spend plenty of time trying to tame my long brunette lockes. When left on their own, they form what I call a ‘white afro’, more commonly known as Rosanna Dana Banana (SNL) hair. It’s not curly, yet it’s not straight. It falls into the frizz category. Or what some might call the ‘Medusa Syndrome’. This is where, on my lazy days, my collection of baseball hats comes in handy. You tuck that shit up, or ponytail it under that cap, throw some eyeliner on and a splash of lip gloss, well now you’re talking. I look like any other celebrity trying to dodge the paparazzi. (Remember I live in Hollywood!)

RULE# 5 Goes on about our eyelashes.

How we women use our ‘batting’ ability to drive our men wild. Now, the one thing I am not an expert on is applying false eyelashes. No-siree! This I suck at. I remember one event I was attending where everyone had to look pretty glamorous. I decided that I’d don the falsies just to give my eyes a little zing, you know, that extra little thing so people would notice my gorgeous green eyes. Like all the other women, I pranced around, flaunting my secret little wisps of beauty. I posed for photos. I felt like everyone’s eyes were on me. Some people were actually staring at me, and I thought to myself, all the extra care I took getting ready had been worth it. You know, I looked special! Well the next morning, I couldn’t wait to look on Facebook as there would be a gazillion pictures posted from the event. Sure enough there was post after post, and oddly enough there were several very close up shots of ‘ME’, which was thrilling. at. first. I have pretty bad eyesight so I had to click and enlarge each photo. I felt my heart sink as picture after picture revealed that I had inadvertently attached the false eyelashes on backwards making me look quite cross-eyed. I didn’t even have the heart to read the comments because I knew what it was going to say. The lovely Jacqui Brown, doesn’t she look “SPECIAL”! I think that was the last time I ever wore false eyelashes. If I’m going to bat anything now there’d better be a freaking baseball involved.

RULE #6 Glorifies the smooth leg. Well, whooped-de-do!

Do men actually understand what it takes to keep these legs of ours smooth? How much time we spend wielding a sharp tool against our delicate skin, or how many strips of hot wax we must endure for their silky pleasure?

Personally, this is one of those dastardly tasks I hate because my hair grows in so quickly. The good news for me is that I never wear shorts. Never. Ever! The bad news is I love, love, love linen pants, but linen happens to be one of those materials that can get caught up on things pretty easy. I recall one time walking around, thinking I looked spectacular, when by chance I happened to glance down towards my feet. Sure enough, I’d forgotten to shave that morning and my pant leg was stuck half-way up my shin on some unsightly stubble. Crap! 

RULE #7 Expands on how men like their women’s style.

I most certainly have my own style.

Actually, style might be pushing it.

I’m more like a uniform wearer. Black on top and bottom, black on top with jeans…that’s pretty much it. Only during the summer time does this vary. Then I’m apt to throw on the white linen pants (yes, the same ones that stick to my hairy legs) topped by a black tank top, and often times I cover that with a little vest type garment that allows me to not have to suck in my stomach all the time. As for my hair, it’s pretty much been the same style for thirty-some years. Long and straight, or long with a touch of Rosanna Danna Banana frizz. I usually get it trimmed once a year by a real professional, then I snip and clip it once a month between my yearly visit. This last trim was so that I could look like the menopausal version of Kim Kardashian. I knew this would turn on the hubby so long as his focus stayed above the waist. That bitch has got me so beat in the ass department. But hey, you can’t all!

RULE #8 Your Scent.

I’ve got this one covered now that I’ve stopped taking testosterone.

Who knew the side effects could make you smell like a trucker that’s been on the road too long.

After a few weeks of smelling like a skanky old man, I decided that my libido was going to have to find some other means of returning.

RULE #9 Asking For What You Want

After thirty two years of marriage I don’t ask any more. I blaze my own trail. I do what I want. I go when I want to go. I go where I want to go. I see who I want to see. Of course, since I’m a stay-at-home-mom, the only thing I ask for is enough money to do all the above.

RULE# 10 Your Job  

I can’t actually bust this one since I don’t have a ‘real’ job.

All I do every day, seven days a week is scrub floors, polish & dust, wash windows, wash clothes, iron, grocery shop, vacuum, garden, fix whatever needs to be fixed, cook all the meals, do dishes, referee family debates, placate everyone into happiness, apply medical attention to the accident prone, home school my son, drive and chaperone said son on dates, do the banking, pay the bills on time, renovate anything if I can get away with it,  throw in a blow-job here and there to keep the tension at it’s lowest possible level, and if there’s any time left–I write another book. 

This not working thing is really working for me! So there you have it. 10 rules their way, and ten mine. If you have any other rules you’d like to include, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will take them into consideration. 

Baby Fat…


…is something that all women have to deal with after that freaking blessed event of allowing a far too large object to slide out of the smallest portal on our body!

Let’s face it girls. We really don’t give much thought to our expanding girth when it’s falls under the guise of ‘baby fat’. As that little sucker grows inside of us we cling to that self-serving deception tactic of “I’ve got to feed the baby” or “I’m trying to protect the baby” with all this added cushion.

B-u-l-l-s-h-i-t!

Pregnancy brain makes us delusional is what I think.

What we’ve really done is stuffed our bloody faces until we look like we’re ready to explode because we think no one’s really watching our weight–they’re only watching the blessed progression of a developing baby.

So, flash forward a decade or two.

You realize your kids are nearly adults now and you’re still carrying around a pile of flab that’s been there since way back when.

Double CRAP!

With the recession like it is now, so many of us are left to our own devices to get in shape because gym memberships are still at a premium. The price of working out one-on-one with a personal trainer is also out of reach for most of us, so what do we do–we start looking around to find the cheapest possible way to get the most for our money.

Hubby and I usually walk every morning at our local park. If we go around the outside twice we can get in about two miles. Unfortunately, when it’s a little cooler outside, we take a shortcut so we can stay in the sun. Hello…short cuts will not get rid of said baby fat.

But the good part is, we find new inspiration during these little treks because every day we’d see different groups working out. You’ve got your boot camps, your one-on-ones, basketball games, joggers…there’s a plethora of people trying to get fit, or as I like to think of it–getting your J-ello to finally set.

One group I’ve notice over the past year is made up of several young mothers and their toddlers. They use the strollers for balance, use their kids as free weights, and all in all, they seem like their having a good time instead of just sweating their asses off alone. They’ve got that camaraderie going on, and from the look on their faces, they really don’t seem to mind the stretching, crunching, or jogging so long as they can do it together.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. You grab a bunch of your ‘baby-fat’ friends who are stuck at home with their young children and you work out together. It’s the perfect world–like minded women at the same place in their life.

So after pondering this idea I finally got brave enough to go ask them if it was an open group and how much did it cost to join.

“We don’t pay anything, we just work out together because it’s more fun to do it this way,”  says the girl who kind of looks like she’s leading the group.

“Oh,” I said.

I notice that they’re all kind of staring at me in that odd kind of way because it’s obvious I’m a lot older than all of them.

“Could I come?” I ask.

“Well…you’re..um…I think you’re a little old for our group,” she says looking me up and down with that smug superior look on her face.

I want to bitch-slap her but I refrain from doing so because this might be my ticket to shed a few pounds without spending a dime so I keep my cool.

“No…I don’t think I’m too old,” I say as I crush the urge to take this bitch down right then and there. “I’m not as old as I look you know.”

The whole pack of them exchange a look, you know the one. I can see them trying to formulate a reason to get me to go away.

“Do you have kids?” she asks because I’m pretty sure she can see the daggers flying out of my eyeballs right towards her heart.

“Yeah, I’ve got kids,” I reply waiting to see where she’s going to go next.

She looks around at the others in the group trying to surmise by the looks on their faces whether or not she should offer me a place in the group. They pull themselves into a little huddle and have a short conference. A moment later they separate and the spokesgirl takes another long look at me.

“Why don’t you come Wednesday…WITH your kid,” she says. “We’ll see if you can keep up with us.”

Oh no you didn’t girl!

I can’t believe she went there so fast!

Yep, she upped the ante by attacking my competitive side. She may very well have opened Pandora’s Box!

Oh well, maybe this was exactly what I needed to hear to motivate me to undo what time and gluttony had done to me.

“Okie-dokie, I’ll see you Wednesday then,” I say.

I can hear them giggling as I walk away.

CRAP!!

I may have bitten off more than I could chew!

So here’s one of the only perks of home schooling. My son is constantly available, and fortunately for me, he has the same warped humor that I do. I know he’ll be game for this, and besides, he loves to work out so it’s game on.

Tuesday rolls around and I go to my neighbor and ask if I can borrow her jogger stroller.

“What do you need a stroller for?” she asks.

I lie and tell her I’m going to be babysitting a friend’s kid on Wednesday.

“Oh, okay,” she says.

Wednesday morning, I get up early, wash my hair, do my makeup, dress in my best workout clothes. I’m not going to let these young she dogs see the real morning me under any circumstances!

I get my son up, feed him so he won’t get cranky, and we head off to the park.

When I pull into the parking lot I can see them off in the distance. There’s five or six of them and they’re already stretching, and sucking back the last drops of their coffee. Why the hell do they look so perky already? I slap my face a few times trying to get that ‘warmed up already’ redness in my cheeks.

I get the stroller out of the back of my car, set it on the ground and try to open it.

Crap!

I guess we should have done a run through at home.

I realize it has some kind of dam fangled lock on it somewhere but I just can’t find it. I look around in desperation, and like a mirage before my eyes, there appears another health nut, a mother, with her kid, in the same kind of stroller, and I know she’s not part of the mommy group I’m about to join. She sees my plight and comes to my aid.

She flicks a little toggle and the god damm buggy springs to life just like when you pull the toggle of the life jacket on an airplane. Oh yeah! That’ll be a story for another time!

I jump out of the way and she laughs at me.

“Sometimes these things have a  life of there own,” she offers.”They take some getting used to.”

“No shit!” I say thinking these things must be manufactured by Toyota.

The smile on her lips turns sour and she glares at me.

I slap my hand over my mouth.

My bad!

I look down at her beautiful little girl who is also staring at me now.

“I’m sorry…that just kind of slipped out,” I say trying to salvage my bad self.

She say’s nothing in return for my apology. She just turns away and heads off with an air of indignation.

My son looks at me and we both burst out laughing.

Okay, so now we’ve got the stroller ready for loading. I look at my son then look at the stroller and wonder how this is going to work.

At six-feet-five inches this is definitely going to be interesting.

Knowing that my son’s in pretty good shape I figure we should be all right. It might take a minute or two to finagle his gangly limbs into it—but come hell or high water—it was going to happen!

My pride and mid-life fat was on the line here.

After ten minutes of pushing, shoving, contorting, and cramming his gangly body parts this way and that, he was sufficiently trapped in the damn blasted contraption.

Was he a happy camper? No!

“I can’t breathe,” he said. “My balls hurt!”

“Oh shut up you big baby,” I said slamming the sunshade down over his head.

Then it hit me. This was so uber-perfect because he was acting like a two-year-old.

I win!

As I approach the group I am met with stares, glares, and more of those WTF looks they’d given me on my initial approach.

I still win.

They never mentioned anything about an age limit—their loss—my gain!

“You didn’t say anything about your son being…well…older,” Miss Perky Boobs says.

“You never asked,” I say smugly because I know she can’t think of one damn thing to come back with.

I could see a couple of these young girls checking out my son and it brang a smile to my lips. He’s pretty damn cute if I don’t say so myself. He’s tall for his age and I’m pretty sure there’s a few gutter thoughts breezing through one or two of these young mother’s minds. But you know what? I don’t mind so much as long as they let me work out with them…FOR FREE!

Oh the sacrifice’s we mother’s make to save a dime here and there.

“Well, let’s just start then,” Miss PB says.

Now here’s where having my son in the stroller pays off big time. We’re starting out with squats.  I can see that these young girls are really going to have to use their leg muscles in order not to tip over their strollers as they use them to keep their balance. I watch as they check the safety straps and harnesses that will keep their littuns’ safe and sound.

My son is an anchor for me. His hundred and seventy five pounds of lean muscle hunkering down in that stroller means that I can disperse the muscle usage equally between my double chinned arms and my less than toned legs.

“Just hang on dude,” I warn him because the straps on this stroller are unusable with his size.

He unfurls his thirty-six inch inseam limbs, adjusts his gonads, then pushes the sunshade away so he can watch me. I here the first hint of a giggle sneaking out of him because he knows this is my least favorite exercise and I really have to concentrate so I don’t start laughing.

Miss PB starts the drill.

“One…hold it………………..Two…………..breathe.”

During the second squat, I start to feel that old familiar gurgle that emanates from my five-decade-old gas pipes.

CRAP!

Remember: mid-life and squats are not the best combination for me, especially with the absence of GasX . That’s what got me into this situation in the first place.

I take a deep breath and squeeze the old sphincter muscle as tight as I can in hopes that I can avoid the possibility of my butt actually erupting.

OOPS!

There goes the first warning shot! I count my blessings immediately because there’s no obvious noise.

Smell…well that’s another thing. Thank God I was down wind.

Dipping for number three felt a little better. I guess the warning shot had relieved enough pressure to let me continue without fear.

WRONG!

When I finally get all the way down—my butt, which has acquired it’s own life cycle, has decided it’s time to party. Oh yeah…bells and whistles—drum roll please—it was time to blow the party horn. The best I could hope for is that it wouldn’t react like a piñata that might actually spill its guts.

“WOW, THIS FEELS FANTASTIC,” I scream at the top of my lungs hoping it will drown out the sound of the thunderous blasphemy that seems to be taking its time exiting the building.

Of course my outburst is greeted with more WTF stares. I fight fire with fire and stare back because I don’t really care because, if I had my druthers, I’d rather they think I was a crazy old bitch instead of a stinking rotten smelly one.

I’d been so worried about the noise I didn’t notice that the wind had changed direction.

My first hint that something was way wrong was when my son clutched, first his nose, then his throat before making that gagging face over and over. About five seconds later he keeled over and played dead.

One of the girls noticed him slumped over while he was playing possum and pointed towards him.

“Is he okay?” she said with real concern in her voice.

“Oh yes, he’ll be fine in a minute,” I assure her.

I kick the bottom of the stroller to get my point across, to tell him to quit it. If he blows this for me there’d be a steep price to pay later.

That’s when he throws in a full body twitch just to make sure he gets his point across—that being that I’d nearly killed him as last night’s broccoli regurgitated itself.  I guess there’s only so much a person can do to reign in our personal carbon footprint.

“He just needs a little fresh air,” I say and start squatting again.

“Noooooooo…!”

It comes out of his mouth like a little childish whisper.

“OMG! Don’t do it Mom!” he says seeing me as I prepared to do the fourth squat.

“Can you just shut up?” I say to him.  “You don’t see any of the other kids making a scene.

“Hello…What are they, six months old…a year?” he says in his own defense.

I look over at their sweet little faces. They look like little angels ‘NOW’ and all I can do is smile.  They have no idea what’s to come ten, fifteen years from now.

Miss PB calls off the squats, announcing that we’re now going to jog around the park twice.

Oh Lord!

I knew I should have quit smoking a long time ago.

My mind starts to reel as I anticipate the possibility of respiratory failure. I know if I keep a fairly slow pace I can probably do it, but it’s much, much harder than I’d anticipated. I am comforted by the fact that I can see the giant hospital directly across the street from the park. I’m sure that if anything happens, like me going face down, the six of them can surely drag my sorry ass across the grass and deposit me in the emergency room in a timely manner.

The six of them take off leaving me in a heap of dust. Bitches! I watch their perky little asses and am fascinated by the fact that they don’t flop up and down like mine. WTF?

Before I can even think about running we have to reconfigure my sons legs back into the stroller so we don’t get tripped up and end up on a gurney for other reasons.

Okay, so we’re off. It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be except for the fact that I can’t remember the last time I ran anywhere while trying to push a car in front of me.

My son decides he’ll help out by unfurling his legs and straddling the stroller trying to run along with me. Each time his foot hits the ground however, the stroller zigs in the opposite direction and we end up looking like we’re drunk.

“Put your damn feet up,” I yell. “You’re gonna kill us both.”

“I can’t, you have to stop first.”

“No way Jose,” I say looking over my shoulder. The girls are about to lap me.

He somehow pulls his legs up so we can keep moving. I try desperately to keep ahead of them, but it’s no use. One by one they zoom past.

CRAP!

I hate failure!

Try as I might I cannot keep up. Plan B starts to formulate in my befuddled, not enough morning coffee brain. I can see the group is about to round the last corner of the track, the home stretch, and realize that if I don’t act now I’ll have to go down in defeat.

I tell my son to get out and we cut across the center of the track. If I time this right, not only will this put us ahead of them, we’ll also have enough time to squish him back into the stroller and build up a little sweat.

When the girls finally ‘catch up’ with us they look confused.

“I know…I know, you didn’t even see me pass you huh?” I say pretending to be breathless. “Evelyn Wood’s Speed Running…took that course last year.”

This seems to impress them or at least this is what I tell myself.

Really, all I want to do is sit down, slug back some water, have a smoke, and rest for a few minutes.

No such luck. Apparently this workout group works like a ‘real’ boot camp. No rest for the weary.

This is really fucked up! How come I didn’t notice the ferocity of their regime during my walks? Guess that boils down to the old adage of ‘you only see what you want to see!’  But then again, this is probably why Miss PB’s boobs are still perky, and why all their butts are so firm. Guess I’ve been out of the loop a little too long.

Miss PB barks out that we are about to use the children as free weights so we should unleash them from their stroller seat.

I gasp, my son sighs!

We are instructed to lie on our backs, pull our legs up to a fetal position and then place our child up onto the lower part of our legs so we can do callisthenic leg lifts.

As I lie there on my back looking up towards the sky and the smirk on my son’s face, it hits me that I should have brought a towel because now my back will be scratchy all day as the dead grass penetrates my t-shirt.

“Wipe that stupid smile off your face son, this is serious business,” I say.

“Oh I know, I can’t wait to see how this works out,” he says getting down on his knees.

He maneuvers his chest onto my lower legs. About two seconds later as his dead weight hits home, I feel all the air in my lungs disappear.

OMG!

Where oh where had my lower body strength gone?

I’m the handy man/woman of the house! I’ve framed in walls, built fences, framed out and built concrete stairs, hung drywall, plastered walls, moved two tons of pebbles, sand and rocks, planted trees out of their twenty four inch boxes, changed tires on cars, reworked plumbing, and gave birth twice vaginally.

How was it that this had not strengthened my legs. Why was this hundred and seventy-five pound punk suffocating me?

I looked to my left then my right, and each one of these girls was breezing through the routine.  Well no shit! They were balancing maybe fifteen or twenty pounds at the most.

Miss PB is glaring at me by this time. I’m sure she’s formulating the words she’s going to say to me after all is said and done that will make me go away and let them get on with their business of getting fit.

My son is looking down at me with that ‘what are you going to do now’ look and all I can do is smile.

“You know, you could help me out here you little Peckerhead! Put your hands on the ground and take some of the pressure off,” I say to him.

“But Mom…that would be cheating wouldn’t it?”

He says this not knowing that these words were, in reality, a death wish on his part.

“Sweetheart, if you don’t help me out here your gonads might just meet up with an unsightly accident,” I say smiling through gritted teeth.

“Oh,” he says as the smile evaporates from his lips.

He realizes that he’s in a compromised position. He lowers his hands to the ground in self-defense.

Okie Dokie then! In this position I can actually lift him. We manage to get about ten leg lifts done. Just as I really start to get the rhythm down Miss PB says we’re done.

She stands up and sets her oh so sweet daughter down in the middle of the circle with the other toddlers. She looks over at me, smiles her movie star smile, and I start to wonder whether or not my family can sue her for unnecessary cruelty in the event that I actually drop dead from exertion.

OMG! I know she can see the sweat pouring off me like Niagara Falls, and that my face must be red as an apple at this point, but she doesn’t say a word—nor do I.  It’s just another moment where I want to bitch slap her for pushing me to, or rather, beyond my limit.

I am older and wiser and she is not going to win!

I need to gather myself here and pull my t-shirt up so I can swab away some of the fluids that have leaked out of me. Not a good move on my part because now they all see the body sucker I’ve been sporting under my clothes to reveal only my curvy side.

OOPS!

I can see them staring at me.  Yep! There were twelve eyes bearing down on my girdled midriff.

“I have a bad back. I need the pressure to hold my spine in place,” I say returning my t-shirt to where it should have never left.

Crap!

This is going to hell in a basket!

Miss PB rolls her eyes back in her head. I imitate her so she’s aware that I am not going to let her throw me. She announces that she’ll stay with the children while we go free jog.

WHAT? Free jog? She can’t be serious! That last stint nearly killed me even at the piddly-assed pace I tried to maintain. If I had to move faster than that, which I assumed she would want us to, I might never see my family again.

My son plopped down amid the toddlers and waved me off.

“Go on Mom, don’t worry about me,” he said right before he burst out laughing.

I put one foot in front of the other and made my way back to the track. Without the distraction of the added weight (my son and the stroller) I figured I could ace this portion of the workout for at least for one lap—maybe even two.

Unfortunately, my boobs, otherwise known as thing one and thing two, had other plans. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about doubling up on the sports bra, I just know that I hadn’t. Big mistake!

I was now being bitch-slapped by my own flesh.

My breasts had turned into out of control Slinky’s—undulated up, down, side-to-side—stretching in ways that could—in no way—be considered flattering.  I slowed down in order to stop this hideous circus act. I hadn’t even reached the second turn on the track when two of the young mothers lapped me.

Son of a bitch!

I did the only thing I could. I stopped.

I made my way back to the center of the track.

With my shoulders slumped in defeat I headed directly to Miss PB.

“You win! I’m done.”

“But we’re just getting started,” she says flashing her chicklet-white smile.

I’m so tired I can’t even be witty. I glare at my son who is currently sucking his thumb mimicking the other toddlers. I have just enough wherewithal to pull my shoulders back and stand as proud as I can.

“Let’s go son,” I say.

“Where we going Mom?”

“To lick my wounds!”

As we finish packing everything back into the car I catch sight of a group of seniors doing Thai Chi under the shade of several giant eucalyptus trees next to the parking lot.

“Ah-so young grasshopper,” I say smiling at my son. “There is a God after all—I’ll be right back.”

…is something that all women have to deal with after that freaking blessed event of allowing a far too large object to slide out of the smallest portal on our body!

Let’s face it girls. We really don’t give much thought to our expanding girth when it’s falls under the guise of ‘baby fat’. As that little sucker grows inside of us we cling to that self-serving deception tactic of “I’ve got to feed the baby” or “I’m trying to protect the baby” with all this added cushion.

B-u-l-l-s-h-i-t!

Pregnancy brain makes us delusional is what I think.

What we’ve really done is stuffed our bloody faces until we look like we’re ready to explode because we think no one’s really watching our weight–they’re only watching the blessed progression of a developing baby.

So, flash forward a decade or two.

You realize your kids are nearly adults now and you’re still carrying around a pile of flab that’s been there since way back when.

Double CRAP!

With the recession like it is now, so many of us are left to our own devices to get in shape because gym memberships are still at a premium. The price of working out one-on-one with a personal trainer is also out of reach for most of us, so what do we do–we start looking around to find the cheapest possible way to get the most for our money.

Hubby and I usually walk every morning at our local park. If we go around the outside twice we can get in about two miles. Unfortunately, when it’s a little cooler outside, we take a shortcut so we can stay in the sun. Hello…short cuts will not get rid of said baby fat.

But the good part is, we find new inspiration during these little treks because every day we’d see different groups working out. You’ve got your boot camps, your one-on-ones, basketball games, joggers…there’s a plethora of people trying to get fit, or as I like to think of it–getting your J-ello to finally set.

One group I’ve notice over the past year is made up of several young mothers and their toddlers. They use the strollers for balance, use their kids as free weights, and all in all, they seem like their having a good time instead of just sweating their asses off alone. They’ve got that camaraderie going on, and from the look on their faces, they really don’t seem to mind the stretching, crunching, or jogging so long as they can do it together.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. You grab a bunch of your ‘baby-fat’ friends who are stuck at home with their young children and you work out together. It’s the perfect world–like minded women at the same place in their life.

So after pondering this idea I finally got brave enough to go ask them if it was an open group and how much did it cost to join.

“We don’t pay anything, we just work out together because it’s more fun to do it this way,”  says the girl who kind of looks like she’s leading the group.

“Oh,” I said.

I notice that they’re all kind of staring at me in that odd kind of way because it’s obvious I’m a lot older than all of them.

“Could I come?” I ask.

“Well…you’re..um…I think you’re a little old for our group,” she says looking me up and down with that smug superior look on her face.

I want to bitch-slap her but I refrain from doing so because this might be my ticket to shed a few pounds without spending a dime so I keep my cool.

“No…I don’t think I’m too old,” I say as I crush the urge to take this bitch down right then and there. “I’m not as old as I look you know.”

The whole pack of them exchange a look, you know the one. I can see them trying to formulate a reason to get me to go away.

“Do you have kids?” she asks because I’m pretty sure she can see the daggers flying out of my eyeballs right towards her heart.

“Yeah, I’ve got kids,” I reply waiting to see where she’s going to go next.

She looks around at the others in the group trying to surmise by the looks on their faces whether or not she should offer me a place in the group. They pull themselves into a little huddle and have a short conference. A moment later they separate and the spokesgirl takes another long look at me.

“Why don’t you come Wednesday…WITH your kid,” she says. “We’ll see if you can keep up with us.”

Oh no you didn’t girl!

I can’t believe she went there so fast!

Yep, she upped the ante by attacking my competitive side. She may very well have opened Pandora’s Box!

Oh well, maybe this was exactly what I needed to hear to motivate me to undo what time and gluttony had done to me.

“Okie-dokie, I’ll see you Wednesday then,” I say.

I can hear them giggling as I walk away.

CRAP!!

I may have bitten off more than I could chew!

So here’s one of the only perks of home schooling. My son is constantly available, and fortunately for me, he has the same warped humor that I do. I know he’ll be game for this, and besides, he loves to work out so it’s game on.

Tuesday rolls around and I go to my neighbor and ask if I can borrow her jogger stroller.

“What do you need a stroller for?” she asks.

I lie and tell her I’m going to be babysitting a friend’s kid on Wednesday.

“Oh, okay,” she says.

Wednesday morning, I get up early, wash my hair, do my makeup, dress in my best workout clothes. I’m not going to let these young she dogs see the real morning me under any circumstances!

I get my son up, feed him so he won’t get cranky, and we head off to the park.

When I pull into the parking lot I can see them off in the distance. There’s five or six of them and they’re already stretching, and sucking back the last drops of their coffee. Why the hell do they look so perky already? I slap my face a few times trying to get that ‘warmed up already’ redness in my cheeks.

I get the stroller out of the back of my car, set it on the ground and try to open it.

Crap!

I guess we should have done a run through at home.

I realize it has some kind of dam fangled lock on it somewhere but I just can’t find it. I look around in desperation, and like a mirage before my eyes, there appears another health nut, a mother, with her kid, in the same kind of stroller, and I know she’s not part of the mommy group I’m about to join. She sees my plight and comes to my aid.

She flicks a little toggle and the god damm buggy springs to life just like when you pull the toggle of the life jacket on an airplane. Oh yeah! That’ll be a story for another time!

I jump out of the way and she laughs at me.

“Sometimes these things have a  life of there own,” she offers.”They take some getting used to.”

“No shit!” I say thinking these things must be manufactured by Toyota.

The smile on her lips turns sour and she glares at me.

I slap my hand over my mouth.

My bad!

I look down at her beautiful little girl who is also staring at me now.

“I’m sorry…that just kind of slipped out,” I say trying to salvage my bad self.

She say’s nothing in return for my apology. She just turns away and heads off with an air of indignation.

My son looks at me and we both burst out laughing.

Okay, so now we’ve got the stroller ready for loading. I look at my son then look at the stroller and wonder how this is going to work.

At six-feet-five inches this is definitely going to be interesting.

Knowing that my son’s in pretty good shape I figure we should be all right. It might take a minute or two to finagle his gangly limbs into it—but come hell or high water—it was going to happen!

My pride and mid-life fat was on the line here.

After ten minutes of pushing, shoving, contorting, and cramming his gangly body parts this way and that, he was sufficiently trapped in the damn blasted contraption.

Was he a happy camper? No!

“I can’t breathe,” he said. “My balls hurt!”

“Oh shut up you big baby,” I said slamming the sunshade down over his head.

Then it hit me. This was so uber-perfect because he was acting like a two-year-old.

I win!

As I approach the group I am met with stares, glares, and more of those WTF looks they’d given me on my initial approach.

I still win.

They never mentioned anything about an age limit—their loss—my gain!

“You didn’t say anything about your son being…well…older,” Miss Perky Boobs says.

“You never asked,” I say smugly because I know she can’t think of one damn thing to come back with.

I could see a couple of these young girls checking out my son and it brang a smile to my lips. He’s pretty damn cute if I don’t say so myself. He’s tall for his age and I’m pretty sure there’s a few gutter thoughts breezing through one or two of these young mother’s minds. But you know what? I don’t mind so much as long as they let me work out with them…FOR FREE!

Oh the sacrifice’s we mother’s make to save a dime here and there.

“Well, let’s just start then,” Miss PB says.

Now here’s where having my son in the stroller pays off big time. We’re starting out with squats.  I can see that these young girls are really going to have to use their leg muscles in order not to tip over their strollers as they use them to keep their balance. I watch as they check the safety straps and harnesses that will keep their littuns’ safe and sound.

My son is an anchor for me. His hundred and seventy five pounds of lean muscle hunkering down in that stroller means that I can disperse the muscle usage equally between my double chinned arms and my less than toned legs.

“Just hang on dude,” I warn him because the straps on this stroller are unusable with his size.

He unfurls his thirty-six inch inseam limbs, adjusts his gonads, then pushes the sunshade away so he can watch me. I here the first hint of a giggle sneaking out of him because he knows this is my least favorite exercise and I really have to concentrate so I don’t start laughing.

Miss PB starts the drill.

“One…hold it………………..Two…………..breathe.”

During the second squat, I start to feel that old familiar gurgle that emanates from my five-decade-old gas pipes.

CRAP!

Remember: mid-life and squats are not the best combination for me, especially with the absence of GasX . That’s what got me into this situation in the first place.

I take a deep breath and squeeze the old sphincter muscle as tight as I can in hopes that I can avoid the possibility of my butt actually erupting.

OOPS!

There goes the first warning shot! I count my blessings immediately because there’s no obvious noise.

Smell…well that’s another thing. Thank God I was down wind.

Dipping for number three felt a little better. I guess the warning shot had relieved enough pressure to let me continue without fear.

WRONG!

When I finally get all the way down—my butt, which has acquired it’s own life cycle, has decided it’s time to party. Oh yeah…bells and whistles—drum roll please—it was time to blow the party horn. The best I could hope for is that it wouldn’t react like a piñata that might actually spill its guts.

“WOW, THIS FEELS FANTASTIC,” I scream at the top of my lungs hoping it will drown out the sound of the thunderous blasphemy that seems to be taking its time exiting the building.

Of course my outburst is greeted with more WTF stares. I fight fire with fire and stare back because I don’t really care because, if I had my druthers, I’d rather they think I was a crazy old bitch instead of a stinking rotten smelly one.

I’d been so worried about the noise I didn’t notice that the wind had changed direction.

My first hint that something was way wrong was when my son clutched, first his nose, then his throat before making that gagging face over and over. About five seconds later he keeled over and played dead.

One of the girls noticed him slumped over while he was playing possum and pointed towards him.

“Is he okay?” she said with real concern in her voice.

“Oh yes, he’ll be fine in a minute,” I assure her.

I kick the bottom of the stroller to get my point across, to tell him to quit it. If he blows this for me there’d be a steep price to pay later.

That’s when he throws in a full body twitch just to make sure he gets his point across—that being that I’d nearly killed him as last night’s broccoli regurgitated itself.  I guess there’s only so much a person can do to reign in our personal carbon footprint.

“He just needs a little fresh air,” I say and start squatting again.

“Noooooooo…!”

It comes out of his mouth like a little childish whisper.

“OMG! Don’t do it Mom!” he says seeing me as I prepared to do the fourth squat.

“Can you just shut up?” I say to him.  “You don’t see any of the other kids making a scene.

“Hello…What are they, six months old…a year?” he says in his own defense.

I look over at their sweet little faces. They look like little angels ‘NOW’ and all I can do is smile.  They have no idea what’s to come ten, fifteen years from now.

Miss PB calls off the squats, announcing that we’re now going to jog around the park twice.

Oh Lord!

I knew I should have quit smoking a long time ago.

My mind starts to reel as I anticipate the possibility of respiratory failure. I know if I keep a fairly slow pace I can probably do it, but it’s much, much harder than I’d anticipated. I am comforted by the fact that I can see the giant hospital directly across the street from the park. I’m sure that if anything happens, like me going face down, the six of them can surely drag my sorry ass across the grass and deposit me in the emergency room in a timely manner.

The six of them take off leaving me in a heap of dust. Bitches! I watch their perky little asses and am fascinated by the fact that they don’t flop up and down like mine. WTF?

Before I can even think about running we have to reconfigure my sons legs back into the stroller so we don’t get tripped up and end up on a gurney for other reasons.

Okay, so we’re off. It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be except for the fact that I can’t remember the last time I ran anywhere while trying to push a car in front of me.

My son decides he’ll help out by unfurling his legs and straddling the stroller trying to run along with me. Each time his foot hits the ground however, the stroller zigs in the opposite direction and we end up looking like we’re drunk.

“Put your damn feet up,” I yell. “You’re gonna kill us both.”

“I can’t, you have to stop first.”

“No way Jose,” I say looking over my shoulder. The girls are about to lap me.

He somehow pulls his legs up so we can keep moving. I try desperately to keep ahead of them, but it’s no use. One by one they zoom past.

CRAP!

I hate failure!

Try as I might I cannot keep up. Plan B starts to formulate in my befuddled, not enough morning coffee brain. I can see the group is about to round the last corner of the track, the home stretch, and realize that if I don’t act now I’ll have to go down in defeat.

I tell my son to get out and we cut across the center of the track. If I time this right, not only will this put us ahead of them, we’ll also have enough time to squish him back into the stroller and build up a little sweat.

When the girls finally ‘catch up’ with us they look confused.

“I know…I know, you didn’t even see me pass you huh?” I say pretending to be breathless. “Evelyn Wood’s Speed Running…took that course last year.”

This seems to impress them or at least this is what I tell myself.

Really, all I want to do is sit down, slug back some water, have a smoke, and rest for a few minutes.

No such luck. Apparently this workout group works like a ‘real’ boot camp. No rest for the weary.

This is really fucked up! How come I didn’t notice the ferocity of their regime during my walks? Guess that boils down to the old adage of ‘you only see what you want to see!’  But then again, this is probably why Miss PB’s boobs are still perky, and why all their butts are so firm. Guess I’ve been out of the loop a little too long.

Miss PB barks out that we are about to use the children as free weights so we should unleash them from their stroller seat.

I gasp, my son sighs!

We are instructed to lie on our backs, pull our legs up to a fetal position and then place our child up onto the lower part of our legs so we can do callisthenic leg lifts.

As I lie there on my back looking up towards the sky and the smirk on my son’s face, it hits me that I should have brought a towel because now my back will be scratchy all day as the dead grass penetrates my t-shirt.

“Wipe that stupid smile off your face son, this is serious business,” I say.

“Oh I know, I can’t wait to see how this works out,” he says getting down on his knees.

He maneuvers his chest onto my lower legs. About two seconds later as his dead weight hits home, I feel all the air in my lungs disappear.

OMG!

Where oh where had my lower body strength gone?

I’m the handy man/woman of the house! I’ve framed in walls, built fences, framed out and built concrete stairs, hung drywall, plastered walls, moved two tons of pebbles, sand and rocks, planted trees out of their twenty four inch boxes, changed tires on cars, reworked plumbing, and gave birth twice vaginally.

How was it that this had not strengthened my legs. Why was this hundred and seventy-five pound punk suffocating me?

I looked to my left then my right, and each one of these girls was breezing through the routine.  Well no shit! They were balancing maybe fifteen or twenty pounds at the most.

Miss PB is glaring at me by this time. I’m sure she’s formulating the words she’s going to say to me after all is said and done that will make me go away and let them get on with their business of getting fit.

My son is looking down at me with that ‘what are you going to do now’ look and all I can do is smile.

“You know, you could help me out here you little Peckerhead! Put your hands on the ground and take some of the pressure off,” I say to him.

“But Mom…that would be cheating wouldn’t it?”

He says this not knowing that these words were, in reality, a death wish on his part.

“Sweetheart, if you don’t help me out here your gonads might just meet up with an unsightly accident,” I say smiling through gritted teeth.

“Oh,” he says as the smile evaporates from his lips.

He realizes that he’s in a compromised position. He lowers his hands to the ground in self-defense.

Okie Dokie then! In this position I can actually lift him. We manage to get about ten leg lifts done. Just as I really start to get the rhythm down Miss PB says we’re done.

She stands up and sets her oh so sweet daughter down in the middle of the circle with the other toddlers. She looks over at me, smiles her movie star smile, and I start to wonder whether or not my family can sue her for unnecessary cruelty in the event that I actually drop dead from exertion.

OMG! I know she can see the sweat pouring off me like Niagara Falls, and that my face must be red as an apple at this point, but she doesn’t say a word—nor do I.  It’s just another moment where I want to bitch slap her for pushing me to, or rather, beyond my limit.

I am older and wiser and she is not going to win!

I need to gather myself here and pull my t-shirt up so I can swab away some of the fluids that have leaked out of me. Not a good move on my part because now they all see the body sucker I’ve been sporting under my clothes to reveal only my curvy side.

OOPS!

I can see them staring at me.  Yep! There were twelve eyes bearing down on my girdled midriff.

“I have a bad back. I need the pressure to hold my spine in place,” I say returning my t-shirt to where it should have never left.

Crap!

This is going to hell in a basket!

Miss PB rolls her eyes back in her head. I imitate her so she’s aware that I am not going to let her throw me. She announces that she’ll stay with the children while we go free jog.

WHAT? Free jog? She can’t be serious! That last stint nearly killed me even at the piddly-assed pace I tried to maintain. If I had to move faster than that, which I assumed she would want us to, I might never see my family again.

My son plopped down amid the toddlers and waved me off.

“Go on Mom, don’t worry about me,” he said right before he burst out laughing.

I put one foot in front of the other and made my way back to the track. Without the distraction of the added weight (my son and the stroller) I figured I could ace this portion of the workout for at least for one lap—maybe even two.

Unfortunately, my boobs, otherwise known as thing one and thing two, had other plans. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about doubling up on the sports bra, I just know that I hadn’t. Big mistake!

I was now being bitch-slapped by my own flesh.

My breasts had turned into out of control Slinky’s—undulated up, down, side-to-side—stretching in ways that could—in no way—be considered flattering.  I slowed down in order to stop this hideous circus act. I hadn’t even reached the second turn on the track when two of the young mothers lapped me.

Son of a bitch!

I did the only thing I could. I stopped.

I made my way back to the center of the track.

With my shoulders slumped in defeat I headed directly to Miss PB.

“You win! I’m done.”

“But we’re just getting started,” she says flashing her chicklet-white smile.

I’m so tired I can’t even be witty. I glare at my son who is currently sucking his thumb mimicking the other toddlers. I have just enough wherewithal to pull my shoulders back and stand as proud as I can.

“Let’s go son,” I say.

“Where we going Mom?”

“To lick my wounds!”

As we finish packing everything back into the car I catch sight of a group of seniors doing Thai Chi under the shade of several giant eucalyptus trees next to the parking lot.

“Ah-so, not so fast young grasshopper,” I say smiling at my son. “There is a God after all—I’ll be right back.”

Suppleness is…


…a major concern for women of every age. Many of us who’ve passed the hormone marker, as in we have none any more, are constantly searching for the perfect combination of serum’s that will lift, soften, and moisturize our skin.

We’re constantly in pursuit of these miracle fluids or creams that can reduce those wretched wrinkles we lovingly refer to as smile lines that form around our eyes. We want something that will rid us of those hideous brown spots that seem to manifest themselves out of nowhere. We want something that will reduce the swelling and dark circles that appear underneath our eyes while we’re sleeping. You know the ones I’m talking about–the ones that make it seem as though you’ve recently been involved in some sort of brawl. We want something that will eliminate those spidery veins that leave parts of our body looking like road maps. We want, we want, we want!

It’s an endless quest. It’s expensive and time-consuming trying to track down these products that promise the fountain of youth but we do it anyway.

No big deal right?  Vanity know’s no boundaries I guess.

But here’s my new dilemma.

Because I’m a major insomniac I watch television in the middle of the night when my writer’s mind experiences what is known as writer’s block. You can pretty much be guaranteed that most of what’s on during these early morning hours are infomercials.

What’s amazing and particularly cool about that is that it makes me realize I’m not alone, I’m not the only woman who rises at these ungodly hours because most of these adverts pertain to women’s problem.

I’ve witnessed women losing 20 pounds of belly fat in ten days, women growing a full head of hair back in less than a month, women losing weight by popping a pill a day without having to change their diet, women getting a face lift in under ten minutes, and eewwww, women getting their butt-hole bleached for some God awful reason. The list goes on and on.

The exercise infomercials that really irk me are those freaking cardio routine ones. You know the ones. You can’t keep up, you trip over your own feet, and you have to take a five-minute break between every rep because your lungs no longer have the capacity to suck air in at that kind of speed.

What’s really a pisser is that usually there’s not one single female in the video who needs to lose one single stinking pound. Most of these bitches…I mean girls… are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. They already have protruding rib cages, and that perfect little line that runs down their perfectly concave belly defining their tight little abs. Their hair remains perfectly in place. Their makeup does not run. Their perfect teeth glow like neon chicklets as their highly glossed pink surgically altered gargantuan lips part in smile. Their breasts, which are usually bursting out the top of their little skin-tight half-shirts, remain pert and immovable, and not one single ass cheek bounces around.

Never ever do they show some fat-ass woman wearing baggy ass clothes, sweating her fat ass off while gasping for air as they try to keep up the pace. What the hell is up with that?

Where is the reality here?

Okay, so I have to admit that once in a while I’ll bite the bullet and work out with them to make the time pass quicker. I’ll grab my resistance ropes or my little weights and follow along. I’ll work hard enough to get to the burn they talk about and I’ll continue until the fail point but then I stop because my heart is sending out that message ‘you stop or I’ll stop’.  At that point all I want to do is bitch slap the smile off their faces.

Oh yeah, I’ve been sucked in many times. I’ve picked up the phone within that golden ‘ten minute time limit’ to get the deal on their program or pill or cookie or whatever. I now own more exercise equipment than most gyms, most of which can be found hidden away in my 15 year old man-childs room. He loves that I like these infomercials.

Yes, I am constantly being barraged in the middle of the night with a plethora of images and information on how I should be taking care of my body.

With so many things to already worry about in order to have a somewhat reasonable appearance,  the last thing I ever thought I’d have to worry about is VD.

Yes, you heard me right–vaginal dryness.

At my age I’m apparently supposed to be worried about this. From what I understand now, almost forty percent of women my age suffer from this affliction.

‘That’s just fucking great’ I’m thinking to myself as I watch this stupid commercial that’s somehow slipped under the FCC’s critical eye . Like I don’t have other things to worry about, now I have to worry about that little sucker too!

What a bitch!

So there I am at three in the morning wondering whether my vagina is worn out after fifty some years of workin’ it.

Has it gone the way of my face?

OMG!  Say it isn’t so!

The thought of wrinkles and whatnot down there sends a shiver right through me. Should I go get this stuff and moisturize just in case, or should I just let sleeping dogs lie?

If you think about it a vagina get’s put through its paces over the years.

A good night of sex is like sending your ‘gina’ to the gym. Sometimes the work out’s slow and steady and sometimes it’s fat- burning cardio speed. Either way I’ve always considered this a good thing.

Aside from the good exercise as stated above our poor old vagina’s have to endure years of menstruation, which is both a blessing and a curse. Then, when we decide to have babies, we pray that it’ll play along when it’s time to give birth because it’s got to stretch itself far beyond what it signed of for as that little pink bundle slides out into the world. That’s a work out like no other and all we can do afterwards is pray that it’ll use common sense and somehow return to its normal size.

Seeing this commercial brought to mind a question my daughter asked me several years ago.

“Have you ever queef’d during sex?” she asked.

That was the first time I’d ever heard that word.

“Of course I have”, I replied without blinking an eye.

My assumption was that it was when some  sort of epiphany that happened during sex.

She laughed her ass of then went back to her room at which point I hightailed it into my office to look it up in the dictionary.

“Queef: (verb)…a vaginal fart during coitus.

No wonder she laughed. I’d definitely experienced that once or twice but I’d never given it a name.

All this time I’d thought it was just my vagina trying to catch its breath. My bad!

I digress.

Maybe those ‘queef’s’ were a sign of some sort. Maybe that’s the signal that you’re headed towards a vagina that will soon be reminicent of the Sahara Desert. One that is awaiting the presentation of an oasis in the form of vaginal moisturizer.

Based on its location it’s not easily accessible to your own eyes. The thought of asking the hubby about what he see’s down there is completely out of the question. This is in line with ‘if you don’t draw attention to a problem people won’t notice it’.

I think this is a gimme here!

I guess all I have to do now is decide which way to go here. Will I work under the premise that  ‘knowledge is power’ or ‘ignorance is bliss’ on this issue.

Part III–Waiting is…


…not my thing.  It never has been. I want what I want when I want it and that’s that!

Tick tock, tick tock.

For three days I paced back and forth watching for the mailman. I felt a little like a stalker.

Day four arrives and I see him approaching my mailbox with a small package. Finally!

I run to the end of the driveway and stick my arm through the iron gate so he can bi-pass the box and put it directly in my hands. I’m sure I must look like one of those movie orphans begging for ‘more please’, but I don’t care what he thinks as he watches my arm wave around like it’s possessed, like I’m some kind of complete idiot. Whatever is in that box is going to change my life so leaving a good impression on him is absolutely the last thing on my mind. He hands me the mail then hightails it back to his truck.

As  I walk back towards the front door of my house I feel like I’m walking on cloud nine. It’s like I’m holding in my hands  the secret to life, the serum of youth, the magic that will turn me from Mamma bear back into the cougar I once was.

My imagination during these magical moments of possibilities is running amok because I think I can actually feel my skin tightening with each step. Even better I feel a tingle in my groin. Whehaw!

So that gets me to thinking that if just looking at the box is doing this, the actual taking of these precious little drops was going to be over the top.

I set the box down on the counter in my kitchen and get a knife from the drawer. With the precision of a sushi chef preparing a piece of fine tuna I sliced the tape open, cracked the top of the box open, and there they were–two little brown bottles filled with, well, I don’t exactly know what’s inside them but I didn’t care. The blonde bombshell doctor said this was going to solve a lot of the problems I was experiencing.

I took the bottles to my bathroom upstairs and shut the door. I wanted privacy because this felt like a right-of-passage to me. I was about to experience something that would turn back the hands of time, at least that’s what I was hoping for.

I opened the estrogen first and watched as the whitish serum uploaded into the little squirter thing. I stuck my tongue up and out and raised the dropper towards my open mouth. I stepped closer to the mirror so I could see better and not miss the target.

One drop, two drops…

I swished them around in my mouth for about thirty seconds like directed then swallowed.  Then, like an idiot, I stood there staring at myself as though I was actually going to witness something miraculous. I leaned in closer to inspect the small nasty jowls that had changed my once lovely oval face into a some kind of boxy cartoon character shape but nothing was happening. My dimples did not suddenly reappear as expected, my wrinkles remain untouched, and my neck…well, that little mother-fucker of amassed freckled flesh sat in the same puddle as before.

WTF?

Where was the magic?

My mind of course reeled out of control at the though that the other hormone, testosterone, was going to yield the same effect. But I persevered and uncapped it anyway.

One drop was all I was supposed to take but two fell into my mouth so fast it took me by surprise.

“Oops!”

My mind once again started racing forward.

Maybe I should have pre-lingeried in case I had a sudden urge to mount my husband.

I looked at my watch and again I waited.

There was one brief moment when I thought I felt my nipples tingle but upon further inspection it turned out to be nothing more than a few errant crumbs from my earlier breakfast toast rubbing relentlessly between the material of my housecoat and my skin every time I moved.

The anticipation of my clitoris turning into a heat-seeking vessel made my body flush–for about one second and then nothing, nothing, and nothing!

I bowed my head down and started to pray that I could simply will this shit to kick in…but still nothing!

That’s when I saw the tiny note at the bottom of the box. I picked it up and read it. A tear came to my eye.

It would take a few weeks for this stuff to kick in as well.

Crap!

The first week passed slowly. Still nothing. No youth, no horny…nada.

The second week brought a slight change. I was actually sleeping a little better than I had been so that was at least a little something.

I guess my husband had also been anticipating my horny as well because he was constantly walking around with a boner ‘just in case’ it kicked in. That would also explain the pained look I was seeing on his face whenever we were in the same room, and yes it would also explain the new bottle of personal lubricant I discovered by the bedside. Poor bugger!

Somewhere during the middle of that second week though I noticed something peculiar.

I was blow drying my hair early one morning but I had to keep stopping so I could figure out where the hell this foul odor was suddenly coming from. It was an assault as deadly as someone smacking me in the nose with a baseball bat. WTF?

Yep…every time I raised my arms if filled the room. I kept turning around to see if hubby had sneaked in but, to my dismay, I was the only one in the room.

I have not worn deodorant since I was in my teens because I never had to. I was blessed with sweet smelling sweat glands I guess. But this!!!! Whew!!!!! This was not good.

The blonde bombshell had forewarned me this could happen and so it was.

I thought to myself, okay, wearing deodorant isn’t that bad. I could do that no problem. It was no big deal. It occured to me that I should look for the other foretold side affects as well so I set the blow dryer down and stepped closer to the mirror.

Holy crap! Those two little plucker hairs I’d finally made peace with beneath my chin had multiplied tenfold. That prompted me to open my housecoat and check out my one or two little nipple hairs.

OMG!

There was enough hair there now to actually do a little comb-over. Again I felt my body flush and started tearing through the drawer looking for my husbands shaver. No matter what else I’d let slide as far as my body was concerned, this was not going to be one of them.

At that point I could hear hubby coming down the hall towards the bathroom and I started to panic. I slid the shaver across my nipple and dislodged the little toupee in record time. I dropped the razor into the sink and threw a towel over it as the door opened. In he walked with his morning boner and he sees me standing there with my housecoat open, my breasts exposed, and his eyebrows shoot up in question. I know what he’s thinking and it pains me as I frown and shake my head in a no motion.

His shoulders slump, as does his penis, and he heads towards the toilet.

Flash forward to month two.

Testosterone is not my friend.

Body odor, hair shooting out of places it shouldn’t were just not my cup of tea. The fact that I never got that ‘fuck-me-now-or-die’ feeling, and the fact that I was shaving more than my husband put a kabosh on the whole thing. All in all, our sex life after thirty-two years is still pretty damn great so why mess with it if it ain’t really broken.

The estrogen on the other hand has made life more doable and more enjoyable. I guess what it boils down to is you’ve got to pick your poison wisely. You have to learn to settle on being happy for even the smallest of wonders.

Part II-Hormones can…


…make or break you in so many ways it’s hard not to laugh when the going gets tough, although I’ve recently discovered that at my age this kind of laughter can also significantly increase your chances of accidentally pissing down your own leg at the most inopportune time.

When hormones are raging, as in you actually still have some, it’s likely the time when we’re ready to hatch those little parasites…er…I mean those sweet little angels we call our children.

Oh yes, I remember those glory days when my skin was taut and flawless, and full of elasticity. My hair was shiny, the aging spots had yet to surface, and I could usually bounce back from whatever came my way as far as my body went.

Now that I’ve surpassed that time I only use the term elasticity when shopping for pants, as in “do these come with an elastic waistband?” or “how much give does this spandex shit really have?”

I no longer try not to acknowledge that bounce in my step because I know that ‘that bounce’ is usually just my softer, rounder fat ass trying to stay contained in my hip low-cut jeans.

After seeing my gynecologist and trying out the estrogen gel I knew things would eventually  be okay. Even though they hadn’t kicked in yet I was by no means ready to throw in the towel.

Some say I’ve got the patience of a saint. These of course, are the same people who never see me behind closed doors. Let’s face it, if I had reality camera’s rolling in our house 24/7 one of us, probably me, would likely be carted away to some nice freshly painted white walled facility by some kind of uber polite uniformed professional.

After chewing on this hormone thing I decided to investigate my options. I’d heard so much about bio-identical hormones I started asking all my girl friends if they’d ever tried it, and as it turns out, nearly all of them went bio-identical. I jumped on board and starting making some calls.

Turns out that there are not too many people who specialize in it, and those who do are booked so far in advance it takes months of waiting till you can go see them. But again, this is where my patience pays off. I book an appointment for, WTF, two months down the road.

My GYN is not big on these homeopathic solutions, she thinks they’re a bunch of hoey-baloey because pharmaceutical hormones are an exact science in her mind, but that did not deter me. I was not going to let her rain on my parade. Of course now all I had to do was convince her to send my blood test results to this new gal so I wouldn’t have to revisit that hideous blood drawing experience any time soon. Two arm wrestles later–I won!

I’m glad I jumped on this right away because as it turns out, my body was not absorbing the gel like it should have. All the death glares I was shooting out like ray vision in a sci-fi movie brought on by my estrogen depletion should have been the first hint that something was amiss. I now, single-handedly, had the ability to empty a room in less than three seconds just by making my presence known.

Tick tock, tick tock!

Anticipating this consultation was nearly enough to kill me as I counted the weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds until I could walk into this appointment demanding to be fixed.

Being ever the resourceful woman I am however, I came up with the perfect solution to throw whatever was or was not happening in my body off-balance.

I discovered that the Agave plant has medicinal qualities.

That’s right–Tequila.

Halle*fucking*luiah!

That last day before my appointment seemed to crawl along like a snail trying to maneuver up a greased hill. I paced, I sat, I read, I surfed the net till my fingertips were raw. I kept looking at the clock hoping it would hit my bewitching hour and I could crawl into bed so I could stop all this waiting nonsense.

6:05

6:17

6:17 & 1/2

This was not going well so I turned my attention back to that Agave .

By eight o’clock that night me and that little worm at the bottom of the bottle were having a perfectly normal conversation.

“Swim you little bastard,” I’d chant.

“No, no señora, I am dead. I no can swim no more,” he’d reply.

“Bastard,” I’d say leaning in closer to the bottle trying to decide whether he was telling the truth or not.

I guess I should’ve read the warning label on the back of the bottle.

“This product can produce hallucinatory side effects.”

…as in one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, FLOOR!

Oops!

Finally, morning rolls around. It’s ‘THE DAY’! My head is pounding and I have this weird recollection of speaking to the dead.

Regardless of my self-induced hangover, I shower, dress, jump in the car and head out to my appointment.

“Good morning,” I say. “I’m Jacqui, I’m here to see the doctor.”

“Just have a seat, she’ll be with you shortly,” she says.

“Is she running on time?” I query.

“Um…she’s actually not here yet,” she replies.

“What?” I say.

“You’re forty-five minutes early,” she says pointing to the clock.

I look at her clock and then at my watch.

Crap! Then it dawns on me that’s why I got such a good parking spot.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

I read through every magazine in the office as my ADD kicks in.

Finally the door next to the receptionist opens and I hear them call my name.

I step through the doors expecting to feel some sort of magical transformation. I don’t know why homeopathy makes me feel this way, it just does. I follow her down the hall to a teeny-weeny room. She tells me to sit down. Tells me the doctor will be right in. Tells me to relax.

Tick-tock, tick-tock!

I survey the room and wonder where the etherial music is. Where are the healing crystals I expected to see? Where is that magical aura I was expecting? Where the fuck was the doctor?

Ten minutes later in walks this blonde bombshell. The white coat tells me she must be the doctor but I’m still awed by the fact that she looks like a movie star. I try to sit up straighter but remnants of my self-induced hangover keep me slumped over like a dog out of treats.

“Good Morning,” she says with enough perk in her voice to command global peace.

“Grrrrrrrr….” is the only response that leaves my lips. I’m wondering why she’s so happy and why she’s talking so loud but of course I realize it’s only because I’m hungover.

She leafs through the paperwork I’ve filled out, then scans my blood test results.

“Oh…” she says taking a step or two back.

“Can you fix me,” I ask.

“Absolutely,” she says.

A slew of questions later she explains how she’s going to treat me.

“We’re going to give you estrogen,” she says then writes something in my file. “How’s your sex life,”

“My sex life?” I ask.

“Yeah, how’s your sex life?” she says again.

“What sex life?” I respond.

“You know…the one where you have sex,” she says.

“Oh, that sex life…mmmmm….!” I say needing to think this through for a minute. “It’s, you know…”

“How’s your libido, your sex drive, do you want to have sex?” she asks.

“Are you asking me if I want to have sex with you,” I respond a little shocked by her brevity.

“No, not with me, with your husband,” she says.

“Oh,” I say feeling a little rush of embarrassment course through my body. I’m surprised she didn’t add ‘you idiot’ to the end of her sentence.

“Libido’s not too good,” I tell her. “Can you fix that too?”

“Of course I can,” she says writing a note in my file. “You need testosterone.”

She begins to explain how this chemical works in the female body and I’m thinking, hell yes, I’m totally game for this.

“There’s a few side affects,” she says.

“Side affects,” I say. “Like what.”

“Well…you might grow a few stray hairs here and there,” she says.

“Stray hairs?” I say.

“Yeah like on your face,” she says. “Sometimes other places.”

My hand impulsively shoots up to my face. My fingers start rubbing that spot under my chin where I am constantly plucking out a couple of very coarse, very dark hairs.

“How many stray hairs? I ask.

“Maybe just a few, maybe a lot,” she says.

I have this sudden urge to pull open my shirt so I can see my boob, the one that loves to cohabit with a tiny group of strays. I try to picture my nipple wearing a toupee and this disturbs me.

“Are we talking shaving or plucking hair amounts?” I query.

“There’s a possibility of both,” she says.

“Oh,” I say.

As she starts reading my file again, I reach into my purse and find my glasses so I can see her better. This is when I notice several incredibly long hairs dancing around under her chin. I lean in to get a better look and see several more wisps on her cheeks. I realize by the looks of things, she’s a natural blonde.

“Do you take testosterone?” I ask.

“Yes I do,” she says still purusing my file. “My husband said he didn’t care if I started looking like Wolfman Jack, just so long as I wanted to have sex.”

“Ohhhh…!” I say.

As though she can feel my eyes burning into her skin she turns and looks at me.

“Why do you ask?” she says.

“Umm…no reason, just wondering,” I answer trying to divert my attention away from the imaginary neon arrow I see pointing to these outgrowths on her face.

“Will it make me…you know…horny?” I ask.

“It should if the dosage is right.” she says. “A lot of clients say that it works for them, but…”

“But what?” I ask.

“They say that they want to do everyone but their husband,” she says smiling.

Interesting!

“I’ll prescribe both,” she says. “You should get them in three or four days. They come from a lab in Phoenix.”

Crap! More waiting for me. Oh well, everything in its time I think.

…to be continued!

Weight has…


 

…always been an issue for me. For the better part of my youth I was what you’d call a big girl. You know that girl. The one whose face you’d compliment because you couldn’t see all the way around the rotundness to compliment anything else.  

I never thought of myself as ‘gigantic’ because I was smaller than most of my friends. Now they were hefers! So yeah, weight has always been a big issue in my life.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not grossly overweight in the physical sense but my brain always tells me different. I think that makes me like most women who’ve had these little [or big]  battles with their body identity.

I suffer from what many middle-agers suffer from…that dastardly, annoying, freaking spare tire-ish bulge that seems to gather around our waist while we’re not paying attention. What comes to mind when I happen to catch a glimpse of this stockpile of flesh is elephant ankles where the skin just seems to lay in layers. Part of this problem of course is due to menopause, at least that’s what I tell myself. Okay, I may bitch about menopause but it does have some perks. We can lay blame to a lot of things that happen to our body during these non-blood-letting years. Thank God for small favors!

Something I find kind of interesting is how belly fat has become big business. Their main target is women, especially the ones who’ve earned their baby badges. Every day you see those asinine ads for pills/patches/smoothies that will reduce your protrusions with little or no effort. You know the ones. Pop a pill starting Monday and drop a few clothing sizes by Friday. Helloooooooo…

Is anyone out there really buying this crap? Are we that stupid? I mean really!

Okay…so I’ve sent for a few of these products. Admittedly, I am an I-D-I-O-T!!! I got sucked in by a few of those smooth talking salespeople who made it sound so easy, so believable, soooooo promising. I followed the plan, popped a pill, put my feet up and waited. And then I waited some more, and a little more after that. Was my ass or gut shrinking? NO! Not even one eensy-teensy inch.

You might as well just find a drug dealer who can supply you with speed, or better yet, just switch to espresso. All it did was make me talk faster and run around like a chicken that just got its head cut off. Another side affect is the shaking. You know that nervous twittering you get when your blood sugar is to low. Maybe this is how you actually lose the weight–you shake it off.

I’m not exactly sure what the ingredients are, I’ve never been into reading labels, but they drove my ADD into hyper-drive. This pissed my husband off, because on occasion [I’ve always been the ‘handyman’ of the house] I’ve been known to strip a room down to its studs in under four hours rather that just splash a new coat of paint on the walls to get the same effect. Oh yeah, those $30 miracle pills cost us about $20,000 to rebuild our kitchen.

So, working on the premise of ‘been there, done that’, I came to the conclusion that any extra pounds I’ve acquired, well, they’re just going to have to come off the good old-fashioned way. Starvation and exercise. Fuck me!

I knew I had to make a plan and so plan I did. Me and the Hubby [whose idea of exercise is moving the fork from the plate to his mouth] started walking every morning. This is not only good for the body (fat), it’s also a great way to clear your head. We’d  try to get in at least a mile and a half each day. We’d been doing this faithfully for about a year but then I fucked that up when I discovered a shortcut. Duh!

Another brilliant realization I came to because I’m such a clean freak was that I could use normal household appliances as part of my cardiovascular workout. I have this horrible bad habit of loading my laundry machine in an uneven way. It used to piss me off listening to it bounce around trying to escape from it’s built in space, but then, the more I thought about it the more I realized that maybe it was trying to tell me something. Maybe it had been trying to get my attention all along.

I stood there one morning watching as it gyrated and it occurred to me that there was a good possibility it could help in my endeavor to slim down.

At first, I just leaned against it, kind of testing the waters you know. Oh boy, that was an eye opener. All of a sudden I could feel my loose flesh slop back and forth, kind of like those waves you see in a pool after someone does a cannonball.

I found this quite depressing because I realized there were things moving that I didn’t expect to move. You know, things like my recently acquired double chin. Oh yeah, I know it’s there, I’ve seen pictures. Hell that’s why I always hold my chin up so high now. Do you know how many reflective surfaces you come across in a day? Crap, they’re everywhere! The other double chins, the ones that hang loosely on the underside of my upper arms were also having a hay-day. My butt…hell…that sucker was having its own party too. 

So much for Plan A.

I knew that I’d have to figure out a way so that I didn’t actually feel this stuff, my fat, moving around as though it was possessed by the devil himself.

After pondering on this for a day or so Plan B unfolded in a moment of brilliance.

Because I’m very conscious of my flaws I have several undergarments that forcefully mold these devilish curves back to where they’re supposed to be. It was simple. I’d don one of these one-piecer’s  under my housecoat, [I’m usually doing the laundry in the middle of the night because I suffer from insomnia–again–thank you menopause] throw on a pair of running shoes, and off to the laundry room I’d head. Thank God my family is slobbish when it comes to their clothes because there’s never a lack of laundry that needs to be tended to. I’d be able to do this every day.

Taking this experiment one step farther I decided it was time to jump on board. I hoisted myself up on top of the ‘now-on-purpose-overloaded machine and pushed the button. Whee Hah! It was like riding one of those electric bulls at a country and western bar. I would not recommend drinking coffee while doing this unless you put it in one of those travel mugs. Oh well, more laundry for me.

Now, this is quite a tricky process because there’s a good possibility that the machine will buck you off like a pissed bronco bull, so you’ve got to figure out how to brace yourself. The door frame was a good start. I’d put one foot up there and then I had to move the big cabinet that holds all my tools a little closer so there’d be a place for the other foot. It’s not exactly a pretty site but it seems to do the job. I figure I can get in about two hours of this before the sun comes up so there’s no chance of getting busted in my ridiculous looking pose wearing things no one should see publicly. There is also another perk while using this method. Not only does the machine gyrate it also vibrates if you get my drift. Yes I go about this chore happily now. My children think I’m nuts because I’m always gathering up their clothes now–dirty or not. I’m not going to tell them any different. 

The other thing I invested in are those rubbery ropes, the ones you do calisthenics with. They’ve got little hand grips on either end so they’re fairly easy to use. Using these started out with a bang, and then my decision to stop using them also came with a bang. If you’re going to use them outside to work your back, you have to sling it over something to add pressure. Well, let me tell you if you choose a tree branch, it better be a big ass tree branch. I made the mistake of using a lower thinner branch, which did not pan out. It only took two pulls before the twiggy little bugger broke free and crashed into the bridge of my nose. It was at this point I realized these particular workout tools also make good gardening tie-backs.

All in all, I’m getting it together this year. My New Year resolutions have unfolded. I’ve vowed to walk slower. This way things I don’t want to move don’t, or at least they don’t move enough to attract attention. I’ve vowed to look in the mirror once in the morning while I’m getting ready and avoid anything that might reflect my image during the rest of the day. I’ve vowed never to give my fat and fatter clothes away again. I’ve vowed to tell myself I’m not fat–I’m just not thin. You know bullshit things. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do, right?

So there you have it in a nutshell. I’m starting this year off with a fresh start. I’m going to get in shape or at least shape what I got. 

Well, I’ve got to run. The timer just went off. I think my brownies are done! Bon Apetite!