Perfume…for Public Pooping??

Having arrived on Hilton Head Island a day early, we check into our condo tomorrow–which means there are five of us stuck in a large hotel room tonight. With ONE bathroom.

Me (As my Dad went into the bathroom): I was just going to shower. He is probably going to take a dump!!

Jannie (Whips a cute little bottle out of her purse): I’ve got this POO POURRI…

Dad (Coming out of the bathroom. Still a few steps behind the conversation): Huh?

Me: Where did you find it?

Jannie: At this boutique near my hair salon. They have really unique things, but this was the only thing I could afford…

A product meant to be sprayed into the toilet bowl to block odor, it is made of a variety of oils that coat the surface of the water. As the log breaks the surface and slides under the oil barrier, the stench is stifled.

Tag Line: Spritz the bowl before you go and no one else will ever know!

Yes. For real.

Me: How much was it?

Jannie: $10 for this tiny bottle…

Dad: For $10, I’d rather have it stink!

By now we are all snickering…

Katie: That would be awesome. I could go in public then…

Dad: I guess it depends on what kind of dump it is…some of them are worse than others.

Jannie: My cousin wants some for her birthday.

Dad: Is that in the budget? Like, I’ve been eating peanut butter on stale bread for lunch for months!!

Jannie: I bought it before the budget…

Now we are full out laughing…to the point where we cannot breathe.

Of course, we had to get on the Internet and find the POO POURRI website:

They sell a multitude of Before-You-Go Bathroom Sprays, including: No. 2, Heavy Doody, Crap Shooter, Call of Doody and much more. Tagline for Heavy Doody, The Right Tool For a Big Load…

This could be the Perfect gift. A little quirky. And yet, so practical.

And it has probably made a few people very, very wealthy! Obviously, their website is chocolate brown…

The Parents Secret Weapon…

Hilton Head a couple of years ago

The other day was a flurry of activity and errands to prepare for the vacation that I can’t afford to take. When I tried to explain this to my father, he used the Parents Secret Weapon in dealing with their grownup children, “Well…I might NOT be here next year!!!”

No rebuttal from me. We are going.

My Dad and his lovely wife have a time-share in Hilton Head, South Carolina and they invited us to go along. There are other family members who are staying in a nearby condo—My Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and his wonderful wife. To prepare, the kids and I headed out to the store.

At Chick-fil-A, our big dinner out…

Darling Daughter: I just don’t see how thongs are comfortable. Everybody always says they are.

Me:Just wait…at my age, you want to cover up with britches—not use astring to section things off, or accentuate whats back there.

Darling Daughter: They wear them with dresses, so there is no underwear line.

Me: (Speechless as that seems a horribly bad idea)

Son (Ears perking up): Really? Why not just use a shoestring?

Me: (Still stunned speechless at the thought of stairs, a breeze…)

As it happened, there was a Car Show out in the parking lot. As we left dinner, I asked the kids if they wanted to walk over and look at them:

Darling Daughter: We could just drive by.

Son (Under his breath so that only his sister could hear): Better make sure she uses focus and doesn’t crash into one of the cars…

Both Kids: Snickering as they get in the car.

Me: Better not drive down the row. I might clip one of the Perfectly Pretty cars, while looking at another.

The kids had a Sister Brother bonding moment. And a good laugh.

Walking into Target with a stream of shoppers…

Me (Asking for it): Does anybody need anything?

Darling Daughter (Loud): Yeah…a THONG, Vagisil, Preparation H…

Me: (Again, speechless…people got whiplash, turning their heads to stare at me with The Eye. The one that accuses the mom of being a lousy parent…)

Both Kids: Snickering, then flat out laughing.

At the shoe section…

Me: What size are these flip-flops?

Darling Daughter (Deadpan): Ugly!!

Nearby shoppers…again giving me the lousy parent look.

Honestly, my week began on a low note. So going out with the kids was a needed diversion. And my kids just love to go shopping with me, so that they can come up with new ways to make an a%# out of me in public. As if I haven’t already got a handle on that one.

My Dad on a past Hilton Head vacation...he was having deep thoughts, or maybe resting his eyes?

I go along with it and take what they dish out—who am I to complain that my kids get along and like each other? Even if they bond over toying with me.  These little adventures are what connect us as a family. At least that’s what my parents taught me…

So many adults don’t share their lives with their parents for one reason or another. I am lucky that I can.

My Dad’s take on my current woes…

Dearest Dad: Looking at my stormy past I have no right to judge anybody, so I will pass on any judgments. In my old age, I am trying to practice two things and keep repeating them to myself—slow to anger and keep your (my) mouth shut!!

Me (thinking in my head): That might have been good to know before today…


The Gang...lounging in our chairs as the sun begins to set on the ocean.

Dearest Dad: And when there is no recourse to change the situation, we have two choices #1 Dwell in the past and be miserable or #2 Move to the future and the challenges that lay ahead. #2 is much more attractive, eh?  (That’s my Dad’s humor in the lesson) We need to go to Hilton Head and have fun—and forget the past.

And so we are going to Hilton Head. And we may be eating three square meals of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Because that is what I can afford.

Who cares? I will be eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich tossed in a beach chair, book in hand, with a toe dipped in the ocean. But more important, the people I love most in this world will be flanking me in their beach chairs…

And that is all that matters today.

TWO 16-year-old girls + ONE Honda Civic = ROAD TRIP

A supervised road trip, that is.

My seat partner. A large, furry, golden retriever dog, who panted...and drooled on me the entire trip.

It has been a while since my last post…

Mostly because I am recovering from spending 12 total hours in the backseat of a Honda Civic. Six hours down to Virginia about a week ago. And six hours back home this past weekend…

The driver? My Godchild who isn’t really. She decided I could be her Godmother. Which is fine, because I love her like a daughter. It’s complicated…she is my daughters close friend and I used to date her father.

Riding shotgun? My daughter armed with directions, the Atlas and a portable GPS–or navigation device.

In the backseat? Me.

Hail Mary, full of grace. The lord is with thee…

The girls are both 16. Each has a (rather new) valid Ohio driver’s license. And they badly wanted to drive from Ohio to Leesburg, Virginia to spend a week visiting Aunt Kate and Uncle Joe. Leesburg is just outside the beltway, near Washington D.C.

The girls approached me. Then they approached Mackenzie’s Dad. (AKA my former flame…) We parents talked it over. We agreed that the girls should go and believed they could handle a ‘road trip.’ The solution? A trial run…sort of like a test.

Which is how the menopausal woman (Me) wound up in the backseat, where the air conditioning doesn’t reach. I perspired profusely all the way down to Virginia and all the way back.

The girls tried really hard. They ran the air conditioning. They put on sweatshirts. But my poor ‘Godchild’ had to dial the air conditioning down, when her fingers got numb. The girls couldn’t be ‘human popsicles’ in the name of my comfort.

Gracie...lounging on my lap. All the way down to Virginia.

While we’re on the subject of my comfort, did I mention that both Gracie and Rocky traveled with us? Naturally, they rode in the backseat with me. Like a fur coat, but with loose hair flying about.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…

Not for our safety. Was more praying that I wouldn’t lose my mind back there.

Which might have been a lost cause. My being in the backseat in the first place might have been a sign that my mind was already gone.

The girls did just fine with driving, tolls, handling money, knowing when to get gas, using cruise control–I truly did pass them the reins. They developed little systems for where to put the toll tickets, reading the GPS and other little odds and ends. They figured out these systems on the fly, and executed them as they went along.

My Godchild drove like a champ, even on the narrow Pennsylvania Turnpike with the semi’s and through the inevitable summer road construction—even in dense traffic on the trip back home.  My daughter proved a proficient navigator, “Get in the right line when you can, in two miles we need to veer to the right…that type of thing” It was an impressive display of teamwork.

They were rock solid. Competent. Responsible. Mature. Showed excellent judgment. Never made a wrong turn. (And thank goodness for it, because I couldn’t have tolerated extra time in my traveling sauna–spitting dog hair out of my mouth.)

If they had gone the wrong way, I would have let them—and they would have had to get themselves back on course. No point doing this, if I wasn’t going all the way with it.

I was hot, sweaty and (mostly) silent. Seen but not heard. Honestly, I couldn’t have shouted if I wanted to. I had sinus congestion going on and with it, a touch of laryngitis.

“That is going to be very nice,” commented my loving daughter. Not sure she realized that nobody else volunteered to be the guinea pig in this ‘field trip’ of  learning.

The high points….

The view from our lounge chairs at the (often empty) pool...

Aunt Kate’s cooking…she is truly a culinary genius. Not overstating this. Grilled pork chops, steak, homemade chicken salad, strawberry shortcake, 7-layer cookie bars and much more.

Sliced tomatoes and mozzarella to go along with our juicy steaks...

The low points…

Are words needed? Or does the visual of "huff and puff's" BIG head do the trick?

I love my children, but I enjoy great peace and tranquility when they go away for a day or two. Likely because it is a rare occurrence. Our successful trip might just leave me with some free time now and again…

The best thing to come of this road trip? The girls proved they can be trusted to take another one. Without me…