Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Hangover



Several months ago, we were treated to a visit from our St. Louis peeps, Aunt Debbie and Uncle Kelly.  We visited them back in 2009 during our 'round the world in 40 days BIG TRIP', (Revisit them in Tending Bar and Motorcade ).

Anyhoo, we headed out for lunch at a Bubba's Catfish House here in Clermont.  YUMMMM-O.

Image result for bubba's catfish house clermont florida

All of us were hankering for some seafood.

Except, of course.....

The Tweenager formerly known as Captain Jake Sparrow.

Let's just call him JAKE for now.

He doesn't like seafood.  Actually, he DOES like seafood, he just THINKS he doesn't.  Does this mentality ring a bell?  Yeah, he's still the Captain.

So we talked him into ordering some popcorn shrimp and mac n cheese.  He liked the sound of popcorn shrimp because he eats several bags of popcorn EVERY SINGLE DAY.

We chit chat for awhile, munch on some conch fritters, Jake becomes the center of attention, because, well, he's like the sun in his own galaxy.  He doesn't do it on purpose.  It just IS.

Food arrives.  And it was just as YUMMMMO as expected.

Big Bad Dad and I are curious to see what Jake thinks of the popcorn shrimp.

He took one of the shrimp, and DOUSED it in cocktail sauce, then put it in his mouth.

I knew that "Somethin' Bad About Ta Happen", because I KNEW that he THOUGHT that he was dousing his shrimp in....KETCHUP.

Image result for cocktail sauce popcorn shrimp


He took one big bite, and his eyes popped out of his head, Muppet-style, he coughed, he gulped some water, his eyes were blinking, he swallowed, and he said:

"What the HECK kind of KETCHUP is THIS?"

I think it was Reilly who said, "Dude, it's not ketchup.  It's cocktail sauce."

Oh buoy.

And then the drama started.


"I'm not feeling so good."

"I think I'm drunk,"

"Dad, is this what it feels like when you drink a lot of beers?"



"I'm hammered."

"I think I have a hangover."

We all let this go on for several minutes, as the word 'cocktail' caused the hypochondria that was nothing but ketchup + horseradish in Jake's mouth.

Finally, Uncle Kelly had to end it.  I was kinda sad, cuz this was wayyyyyy too funny to end.

Uncle Kelly:  "Jake, do you know what the word 'cocktail' means?"

Drunk Jake:  "Beer."

Uncle Kelly:  "No.  It means a 'mixture' of things."

Drunk Jake:  "I don't think so.  I'm pretty sure it means I'm drunk and I have a hangover."


Tuesday, June 28, 2016



The world's a cray-cray place right now, isn't it?

As the (over-involved, yet not a "drone") parent of a Teen and Tween, WHOA!!!!

Jake is 11.
Reilly is 14.

At their level, which, even though they are extraordinarily intelligent and both are ALLEGEDLY 'geniuses' on paper, how does one explain "BREXIT" at their varying degrees of curiosity and attention spans?

How does one explain L?  or G?  or B?  or T or Q?  Honestly, I don't even understand T or Q.  Really, I don't.  I can't stop thinking about that scene in Kindergarten Cop where the 5 year old says "Boys have a penis, and girls have a vagina."

How do I tell my very strong, fiercely independent, dare I say 'ferocious' fourteen year old daughter that I cannot allow her to just go to the restroom alone while I shop at certain retail establishments?   How do I explain to her that I am more concerned for her safety NOW than I was five years ago? She is unusually 'worldly' for her age.  I'm sure some of you will judge me harshly for this, but she and I have been watching "Criminal Minds" together for YEARS.  We share many interests.  Including behavioral analysis.  And serial killers.  And how important it is for a beautiful, young girl who just so happens to fit the 'sex trafficking' profile to a TEE, to be able to arm, protect, and defend herself when she is alone, and what behaviors are necessary for her to learn to keep herself safe and ALIVE in this world where so many things just CANNOT be explained.

How do I explain that I CANNOT explain why, a young man, SLAUGHTERED 49 innocent who were just out doing some 'adult' partying, in THEIR BIRTHPLACE?  How do I explain that I CANNOT explain that it still HAS NOT yet to be determined if there is another threat?  If this monster was part of a vast global conspiracy?  If individuals were targeted because of what they believe in?

How do I explain, that I can no longer PROCLAIM, pretty much ANYTHING?




Soapbox Stealer?



I lose more arguments than I win.

I'm in Arguing Anonymous right now.  Working on my first chip.  Not there yet.

But I am apologizing like crazy.  To just about everyone.  Just last week, I apologized to someone for something I did a YEAR ago.  She laughed.  Not to be mean.  She laughed because she didn't even remember.  But I did.  And then SHE apologized for laughing.  And we're totally good.  And I've got a pretty long list of more long overdue apologies that I must attempt.

And heretofore comes my latest revelation.

In case I haven't been "Crystal Clear" a la Colonel Nathan Jessup, I've been as far right of a right winger as one could be.  No need to add any more than that.  Just understand that I have been.  That, jointly with my husband, we've raised our children with a certain conservative belief system that some of our families and friends have supported and encouraged, and yet some have raised many an eyebrow towards.

I'm no longer a far right wing conservative.

No one is more surprised than I am.

I'm 45 years old.

I don't think it's a middle aged crisis.

I am not on any mind-altering drugs.

I don't watch any news channels anymore.

I keep myself educated, as I absolutely love the art of learning.  About anything.  I just love to read. And I have an incredibly annoying habit of inundating my kiddos with "Fallon Fun Facts!".

So here's what I think I am now.



Leaning nowhere.

Desperately searching to find common ground.

Still conservative, but not a winged one.

I don't have a label.

I think I'm beginning to think that no one should have a label.

This is a bit problematic.

Because my husband is staunchly standing his ground that I am in direct opposition to his frame of mind, to a frame of mind I once shared, to a frame of mind that I directly or indirectly directed him towards from, as he is known to say, "Jump Street".

My world is a very confusing place right now.

But so is yours.

How do we explain this to our children?

I can't even explain it to myself.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dream Dream Dream



I think I've posted about my totally cray-cray dreams before.

I'd like to say they are a result of the mind-altering drugs I take.

But I've had crazy dreams all my life.  Like, CRAYYYZEEEEEE dreams.

Two days ago I dreamt about Blake Shelton being a polygamist who chopped off all the left arms of his many wives.  I was his third wife.  He let me keep both my arms to help me secure him more wives.


I know.

So, admittedly, I have more than just a secret crush on Blake Shelton.

I mean, like, HELLO?  How can anyone NOT have a crush on this dude?  Grown heterosexual MEN have ManCrushes or BroMances with this brilliantly talented, hysterically funny, giant, flannel shirt wearing, never clean shaven, self deprecating, Ford truck driving, hunk of a humble Oklahoman.   Heckfire, if his next album was named, "I'm Blake and I'm YUMMY", it would probably break the internet.

I have such a gi-normous crush on Blake Shelton, that I've convinced my whole family to love him as much as I do.  So much so, that even my HUSBAND loves him, and sends me links to youtube clips that I just "might" have missed.   Like this one:

Highly unlikely, but I so appreciate that my husband lets me have a pretend boyfriend since he's out of town so much.

So last night, I had yet another Cray Cray dream about Blake Shelton. Which makes no sense, because I didn't see or hear any Blake Shelton yesterday.   I wish there was a way to install a camera in my brain so I could just play it for everyone like a movie, rather than try to describe it.

I'll try, but it's Cray Cray, so if you can't keep track, don't worry, it's bizarre.  But no chopped off limbs, thank goodness.


I took my kids to school in the morning, and on my way home, I went to Walgreens, dressed in my usual "yoga panted, no makeup, clearly I'm a Mom" self.  And there was Blake.  In Walgreens.  MY Walgreens.  In CLERMONT.  Wait....what?   He was doing a surprise promotion of his new album.
Yeah, right, whatever.  I figured I was at Madame Tussaud's.  This couldn't have been real.  But it was.  And it was definitely a surprise, because there was NOBODY in the store.  Except employees.  And me.  And....CARRIE UNDERWOOD holding a baby girl.  Wait.....what?

Apparently they are married.  And Blake is absolutely CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs over this baby girl.
Who is named SHELBY.  He is singing songs to her and rocking her, and she just looks at his face and reaches a hand to touch his beard.  And my heart is about to explode and I am about to bawl my eyes out over how much this man loves his little girl.  I can't even move, I've been Jedi-mind-melded or something.

Eventually, they leave, said they have another engagement.  Ok, whatevs.  But as he walks out the door, he's holding this perfectly pink dressed little baby girl, and I JUMP on his back LIKE A MONKEY, and scream, "I LOVE YOUUUUU BLAAAAAAAKE!"  Kind of like I do on his Twitter account with eleventy million other men and women every day.

So I go about my day.  After I tweeted and texted and Facebooked eleventy thousand people "OMGEEEE, I hugged Blake Shelton today!!!!!"  At the grocery store, I bump into this kind, older woman, who seems to be unaware of her surroundings.  I ask her if I can assist her in any way.  She smiles, and in an Oklahoma drawl, sweetly tells me that she needs a ride home because the person who was going to pick her up got held up.  I told her that I would happily take her home, if she trusted me to do so.  She was very kind, and smiled, and said, yes, she trusted anyone who would ask an elderly woman if she needed help.  I told her I had to go pickup my kids from school, would she mind if we did that first and I would take her where she needed to go on our way home?  She kindly smiled and said "Oh yes, I just love children!"

So we pick up my kids.  Who are very confused about who is this strange old woman in our car. They get in, with all their "stuff", but don't close the doors.  Suddenly, about 12 of my daughter's friends pile in as well.  Wait....what???  Only one of them is on my approved "pick up list".  None of the carline teachers seem to care.  Maybe cuz it's Friday.  Who knows.  They are all fantastic kids and I love them all.

So, amidst all the teenage drama and chatter and chaos, I said, "Hey Dudes!  Guess who I met today?"  And my daughter's BFF said, "Duh, Blake Shelton."  Wait.....what???  How do you know that?  She said, "Why do you think all of us are in your car?  All of our Moms who saw your posts on Facebook called the school and said you were picking us up so we can meet him too."  Huh?

My daughter said, "I'm pretty sure she's making this up, but whatevs,  We can just have a party at my house."  Ummmm, yeah, okay.  I guess.  Since I've been entrusted with all these kids, I'm assuming that's okay.  But....I don't know where Mr. Shelton is, as he left the Walgreens this morning, after I mauled him like a bear.

The kind, wide grinned old woman pipes up, "I know where he is.  He's back at Walgreens."


"I know this, because I'm his MOM."

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!  The entire herd of teenaged cattle in my SUV are wide mouthed and SILENT.  I hit the pedal to the metal to get to Walgreen's faster than a speeding bullet.

Sure enough, there's my super not so secret crush, at the same table, signing autographs, his blue eyes twinkling, with a smile wider than Oklahoma.  As we try to maneuver through the many people waiting in line, teenagers still wide mouthed and silent, Blake sees his Mama, and  jumps up from the table and tears run down his eyes, and he just bear hugs her and keeps saying, "Mama!  I love my Mama!"  And she is just oozing with pride over the attention.  And me and the herd o' teenagers just stand there in a trance-like awed silence.  We eventually join the line of people waiting for autographs.  I see Blake's Mama point to me and smile.  And he gets this quizzical look on his face. He starts walking towards my herd.  I'm about to have another heart attack.  My daughter and her BFF start to literally shake.  He embraces me like he does everyone he meets, and says, "I thought you were a crazed fan when you jumped on me this morning, but my wife Carrie said she thought you were genuine.  And now that my Mama told me how kind you were to her, not even knowing that she was Blake Shelton's Mama, well now I know it too.  Love you, SIS."  And he walks back to the table.


Suddenly, my daughter and the herd think I am the coolest Mom in the universe of cool Moms.  They are texting and Instagramming and snapping pics and taking videos and sharing them with the world. I cannot speak.  My son tells me, "I love you, Mama." and hugs me big.  I can't even move.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see that STEVE MARTIN (!) has entered Walgreens.  Of course, none of the herd knows who he is.  He walks directly towards me, and says, "Hello.  My name is Steve.  I was wondering if you would accompany to BLAKE'S PARTY AT HIS HOUSE IN WINDERMERE later tonight?"  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?  I can't speak.  My son and daughter in unison scream, "YES, SHE WILL!"  I said, "Um, I'm married."  Steve just smiled.  My kids scream, "DAD WILL BE TOTALLY FINE WITH THIS MOM!"

Steve goes and stands next to Blake.  Me and the Herd O'Teens finally reach the front of the line.  I let all the kids go first.  Blake gets all of them to engage and open up and soon they are all blushing and laughing and everyone of them buys every item he is selling.  He smiles and says, "On the house kids.  You have a good Mama.  Can't put a price on that."  Wow.

When I get to the table, Blake says, "Will you join my friend Steve and my Mama at our party tonight?"  I start to stammer, I um, I um, I don't think I can, since I'm married.  Blake pulls out a business card, and writes something on the back.  He says, "I'm trusting you with my Mama, and I'm trusting you with this number.  Please ask your husband to call me.  I'd like for your whole family to join with mine.  Steve Martin loves your blog.  He wanted to meet you.  And your kids."

Somehow I get the Herd and Blake's Mama back into the car,  I take Mama home, shocked that she lives within walking distance of my house.  Arriving at my house, the Herd jumps out of the car and heads for the pool.  I sit on my couch in stunned silence.  A few minutes later, my husband enters the door and says, "What are you doing?  Shouldn't you be getting ready?  We got us a party to go to!  I don't think Blake Shelton wants to see you in yoga pants for the third time today."

And then I woke up.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Return of Team Fallon


I'm baaaaaaaaack.

It's been awhile, as the song says.

Lots has happened.

No surprise there, If you know anything about Team Fallon, and of course, since none of us four would know a secret if it walked up and shook our hands, thIen you old fans already know allllllll that's happened.  But if there are any newbies out there, I'll get y'all caught up.

MOST importantly -


It wasn't easy.  We didn't do it alone.  It could have been a lot worse.  But all that matters is, we are now at the two year post-remission checkup, and Billy's numbers have NEVER been better.  There is no sign of the Hairy Cells anywhere in his body.  And the Oncologist doesn't seem to think that will change at anytime in the "near" future.  Leukemia is weird.  Like, they say you're in remission, but, that you'll always have leukemia.  I used to be smarter, but even then I would have had a tough time grasping it.  So I just hold on to the percentages. I'm kind of a statistic geek.  Like, there's a 92% chance that the Hairy Cells will NOT return in the next 10 years.  Those are awesome odds.  Because if a baseball player hit the ball 92% of the time?  Well, that means he'd be batting .920.  And that's darn near impossible.  So I'm thrilled with the 92%.  We all are.  Cancer changed Billy, in many ways. I think it changes him daily.  Some good, some not so good.  But all that matters is that he's still here. And we can ONLY be grateful for that.

One more thing before I tie up this mini-update:

We're not pirates anymore.

Ok, you can stop crying now,

We've all grown into different phases of new nicknames.

The Captain will ALWAYS be a Captain, of something.  And he'll always be The Spawn, Buckshot, and Janice.  Lately, his father and I will refer to him when texting each other as:  YOUR BOY.  As in, "you ain't gonna believe what YOUR BOY did today.'

Reilly the Red is currently red as a lobster, but she's also known as Thundercalves, Run Reilly Run, Faster Fallon Faster, Foulin' Fallon, Ralph, personal favorite....The Alien Teenager Formerly Known As My Daughter.

Oh yeah.  We are in the throes of adolescence.  Many, many, many, stories to come in that department.

Two Swords?  Doesn't do much swordfighting lately.   Maybe because one of his children is taller, faster, and ALMOST stronger.  ALMOST.  So he pretty much declared himself BBD, or, Big Bad Dad.  Cuz, he's all three, really. Me and the kids call him Grumpy McGrumperson.   His buddies call him The Waffler.  You'll soon learn why.

Me?  I'm pretty much just plain Red.  When I'm not being "MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!"

Life as Team be continued.