Oct 27, 2011

My Mom Was Like a Mother to Me

Posted by Tonia at Thursday, October 27, 2011 2 comments
By Tonia
"When your mother asks, 'Do you want a piece of advice?' it is a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway." – Erma Bombeck

Estrofests is a blog written by my two daughters and me. But there is another generation of Estrovite women – my mother. Let me tell you about her.

My mother was always cleaning. I used to try to tell her that vacuuming weakened the carpet fibers but she didn’t believe me. She not only cleaned at her house, she cleaned at my house. (They say housework can't kill you, but I don’t like to take any chances.) Sometimes she would put something away while I was still using it. If I tried to take the rag/mop/vacuum out of her hand, she would just start organizing something in my cupboards. It was embarrassing when people came over and thought she was my cleaning lady.

Crossword puzzles were like crack cocaine for my mother. I guess it’s what she used to get all that cleaning done. God help you if you got between her and the morning paper’s crossword. Then there would really be cross words!
My mother also loved to talk. Sometimes, if I was on the phone with her, I could lay down the receiver and take the dogs for a walk and she would still be talking when I got back. If she ran out of real things to talk about she would tell me about a TV show she had watched. I can tell you all about Dancing with the Stars and I’ve never even watched the show.
For Christmas and birthdays she would make things with our names on them – hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts. Someone needed to tell her that my sister and I were in our 50s now and didn’t need our clothing labeled any more. None of us (kids or grandkids) wanted to wear those things. We would rather wear dirty clothes or go naked than wear them. On the rare occasion when we HAD to wear one and then washed it, the letters would fall off and we ended up with something like this:

Tonia = Ton 
Anna = na
Rachel = ache
As you might guess, she was also addicted to the glue gun. Waaaaay too much DIY TV. Frankly, I think we need stricter glue gun laws. You know, like background checks and 5-day waiting periods on purchases. Some people, like my mother, just can’t control themselves. We suggested Glue Guns Anonymous to her but you know how addicts are. Denial.
My mother really did drive me crazy much of the time. But two years ago this week she passed away. She took care of me at the beginning of my life and I had the privilege of taking care of her at the end of hers. I had the bigger diapers to change but I also have the bigger shoes to fill.
I miss her every day. Her playful spirit, her generosity, her support for all of my endeavors, her tolerant amusement of my shenanigans, her passion and sacrifices for her family ….. and, yes, I even miss those damn sweatshirts with my name on them.
Love you, Mom. Always will.

Doris Anne Ryan Caselman 1928-2009

Oct 25, 2011

Colonoscopies: Lookin’ in the Backdoor

Posted by Tonia at Tuesday, October 25, 2011 0 comments
By Tonia

“Just when you figure you must be totally empty, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.” – Dave Barry

Recently I took one of my girlfriends to have a colonoscopy – which, in my world, means you get to be the butt of one of my blogs. It was her second ass-meddling. Not sure why one would return for this kind of procedure but she did. I was the designated driver - new role for me.

A colonoscopy is one of the fabulous perks of aging – you know, like mammograms, mole checks, bone scans, hearing tests, stress tests… ☺ I’m thinking that, since my girlfriends and I are spending more and more time at doctors’ offices these days, there should be a bar at the receptionist’s desk. That way we could order martinis with our procedures. Oh! And charge it to my card – my insurance card.

My friend was mostly worried about spurtage during the procedure. I don’t know why. It sounded like her super-turbo laxative not only cleaned out her colon, it REMOVED her colon. I reassured her that anyone who made a living with a hiney camera going through  intestines the wrong way had to be used to a little shit. She didn’t seem comforted.

The nurse called her name and had her sign a bunch of forms acknowledging that whatever bad thing might happen was not the hospital's fault. Then they took her away. I grabbed some reading material and discovered that a colonoscopy includes filling your colon up with air before shoving the butt-cam in your backdoor. That gives “blowing smoke up your ass” a whole new meaning for me.

When my friend came out she kept bragging about the drugs. I think she just used them as an excuse to make a pass at her gastroenterologist.

I personally haven’t had a colonoscopy yet but my friend is on my ass about it. She thinks they’ll find my head in there somewhere. When (if) I go, I’m going to draw a bullseye around the target. I don’t want the doctor mistaking one of my cellulite dimples for the entry spot.

In honor of my girlfriend's colonoscopy, here is our Filthy Dirty Martini recipe. Thanks to Gourmet Delights for turning us on to 1888 – created by pressing Spanish olives in order to get the true flavor of olives and not just salt water. Be sure to check out their other yummy goodies.

Filthy Dirty Martini
3 oz. vodka
1 oz 1888
Splash of dry vermouth

Garnish with LOTS of green olives

Oct 22, 2011

Camping Virgin

Posted by Tonia at Saturday, October 22, 2011 0 comments
By Rachel

“Camping is nature's way of promoting the motel business.” - Dave Barry

Our family recently went camping with some of my girlfriends’ and their families. We had four moms, two dads (2 dads backed out - begged their employers to work overtime) and 10 rambunctious kids. Since we had never been camping, we borrowed a tent from another friend - which seemed smaller than our sleeping bags. But what do I know? She explained that her larger tent’s poles were broken as light sabers during her kids’ last Star Wars battle. On the bright side, a smaller tent should be easier to put up!

Now I should tell you that my husband has spent very little time outdoors; he couldn’t even figure out our kids’ play tents at home. But when we got to the camp site he suddenly insisted on setting up the tent – guess it was the manly thing to do. Well, he finally got it upright….but backwards. The front door faced some kind of thorny bush on steroids. The kids cried every time they had to go in or out of the tent. I looked like I had been making out with a porcupine. My husband simply said that is how he feels when I don’t shave my legs. Note to self: next trip leave husband at home and rent a camper.

I guess we all looked pretty incompetent because the Park Rangers kept coming around to check on us. They must have thought we wouldn’t survive for a whole weekend away from home. However, I noticed that after a few hours the visits stopped. Maybe it had something to do with every time they came around we asked to borrow something and the kids (all 10 of them) begged for more candy. That will teach them not to carry candy in their little trucks.

As we were heading to bed a copperhead snake appeared. My husband freaked out and wanted to find the Park Ranger. I’m surprised he didn’t try to call 911. Finally got the snake out of the campsite and headed to our tent to sleep. We were so cramped I think I would have had more room if I had slept in the cooler. Woke up and thought my neck was broken. I’m hoping that someday I will be able to hold my head straight again.  

I’m thinking that my next camping trip should be with girlfriends. And, when we go, we’ll take along this fabulous snack – Campers’ Caramel Popcorn. It's delicious!

Campfire Caramel Popcorn
½ cup butter
½ cup corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ½ quarts popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Warm the popcorn in the oven and then place it in two large shallow baking pans. Pour the brown sugar mixture over the popcorn, stirring to coat. Bake in the oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break into pieces and serve!

Oct 14, 2011

Foot in Mouth Disease

Posted by Tonia at Friday, October 14, 2011 1 comments
by Tonia

"Don't put your foot in your mouth, because then you can't talk...and you can't walk." - Milton Heide
Putting your foot in your mouth is not to be confused with shooting yourself in the foot – although, if particularly skilled, I think you could probably do both. I have done both.
Recently I walked into my hair salon without an appointment and asked if I could get a hair cut and a blow job. Embarrassing, but at least I didn’t scream out the wrong lover’s name during an orgasm. The receptionist ignored me and my hair dresser threatened to hold my head under water at the wash basin. 
Another time during graduate school, I needed an author’s permission to use a questionnaire, but found out that he had passed away. In frustration, I whipped off an email to my professors stating that I was going to have to hold a séance to get permission from the GD dead author. One of my committee members responded – she gave permission. It was her deceased husband who was the author of the questionnaire. I wanted to drop dead.
The next story didn’t happen to me – but to a friend of mine in high school. She had applied to several colleges but was desperate to get into Cornell. She thought about Cornell her every waking moment. She finally got an interview on campus, and was nervously lining out things to say. She planned on asking, “How many of your students go on to get a master's degree?" Instead she said, "How many of your students masturbate?" Needless to say, she did not get in.
If putting your foot in your mouth could earn air miles, I think it might look something like this:
Putting foot in mouth                         1,000 miles
Swallowing pride                               5,000 miles
Opening a can of worms                 10,000 miles
Picking up the pieces                         2 free trips 
I know I can’t possibly be the only one gnawing on my toes. One of the great things about girlfriends is that you can share these stories without judgment – just an acknowledged “been there, done that” laugh. Tell us your foot-in-mouth stories.
And, at your next girlfriends’ get together, ask your friends to write down some of their verbal faux pas on index cards. Make sure that they include their names. Read these out loud without the names and see who can guess which girlfriend belongs to each big mouth blunder. Create a Foot-in-Mouth Award for the biggest blunder.
And, if you’re feeling particularly creative, make some of these chocolate and peanut butter feet candies. Simply buy the mold, melt the candy (I like the microwaveable kind), pour into the mold. Stick it in the freezer for a couple of minutes and then pop them out! 

Oct 6, 2011


Posted by Tonia at Thursday, October 06, 2011 0 comments
By Tonia
"Without fame, this haircut could be mistaken for mental illness." - Russell Brand

I’m having a midlife hair crisis. I’ve always worn my hair long but now that it’s thinning (damn aging), I’m thinking maybe shorter. The only problem with shorter is that I won’t be able to do those nude pictures and have my ‘girls’ covered <insert eye roll>. I want a hairstyle where people can’t tell if I’m having a bad hair day or not.

Like most women, my hair has gone through several developmental stages. A perm so tight it resembled a brillo pad; a bouffant so high it challenged Marge Simpson; bangs so thick they could shield me from a bullet; layers so “feathered” birds eyed me suspiciously. I’m currently trying to avoid the helmet look….and the mushroom cloud.

I actually remember my mother trying to protect her hairdo by wrapping it in toilet paper before she went to bed. That must have made for hot nights between she and my dad. Probably a miracle I was ever born.

And have you ever woken up, looked in the mirror and decided that your hair had to be cut TODAY? And, because you couldn’t get a salon appointment, you took the scissors to it yourself? Yep, afterwards I looked in the mirror and thought, “Mental patients and condemned prisoners have better haircuts than this”....and made an appointment at the salon.

Every woman has her bad haircut story. Please tell us about yours. We want to be able to laugh at with you.
And, for your next girlfriends’ get-together, we suggest you ask everyone to bring photos of themselves with various hairdos over the years and tell stories of bad hair days. Then, for those of you who are my age, you’ll enjoy watching this old video of HAIR – THE MUSICAL on YouTube - CLICK HERE.

Finally, try these shots in gummy shot glasses sold at Vat19 – CLICK HERE to order. You won’t care WHAT your hair looks like after a few of these!

Gummy Hair Shots

1part apple schnapps
1part cranberry juice
1part peach schnapps

Oct 2, 2011

The Screaming Snake Whisperer

Posted by Tonia at Sunday, October 02, 2011 0 comments
By Rachel

You know how everything is supposedly bigger in Texas? Well, big drought in Texas right now. Our swimming pool has become the new Safe Place for nature's at-risk vermin - think Quik Trip for creatures running away from home! We've rescued turtles, aquatic frogs and snakes......

As I was cleaning our pool a few weeks ago I saw a small snake in the water. As I began fishing it out, our dog completely lost her mind, flipped out, lost her balance and fell into the pool. Most dogs know how to swim. Not ours. Ours is so fat she simply sinks. So I had to jump in to rescue her. Big pool party! Me, the d^#n overweight dog, and the snake.

After I got the dog and myself out of the pool I rescued the snake and put him in my daughter's small aquarium so we could keep him for a day and then let him go (too bad we couldn't do this with some of our existing pets). As I was trying to get the snake out of the aquarium to play, the f*^#er kept trying to strike at me! The kids and I tried to play with it for a few minutes and then I finally gave up. Guess he was in a pissy mood.

When my husband got home I showed him our new temporary pet. He began grabbing his chest and breaking out into a cold sweat... He started yelling and talking so fast I thought he was having a psychotic break. He told me that I'd caught a baby water moccasin (which is extremely venomous) and grabbed the aquarium out of my hands. He then spent the next hour on the internet printing out pictures of venomous snakes that live in our area and posting them all over the house. He now quizzes me on what markings belong to venomous snakes and refers to me as the "snake whisperer!" Next venomous snake I catch is going on his side of the bed.

The next time you and your friends get together to gripe about the "snakes in your life", make this fabulous drink! It's one of my favorites...

Chocolate Snake Bite
Mix all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake well and serve in a chilled glass. Make more as needed!

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