Happy Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day. To so many, these things might come to mind: The colors red and pink. Candy hearts, chocolate and flowers. For husbands and wives it may mean the acquisitions of babysitters… getaways or romantic dinners out, gifts of certificates for massage for her and golf packages for him.

I was having a conversation with a friend who expressed, like so many others do, they feel Valentine’s Day is “just another day”. This made my heart ache. For more reasons than I can express.  I know many people feel this way and I always wish I could personally change their mind about it somehow. If I could give them just one small, feeling of love on Valentine’s Day that made them realize how unique and amazing…how useful and special they truly are, I’d love that.  When this person said this to me I responded, “You say that because there won’t be heart-shaped whole wheat pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit and coffee on a tray at your bedside, in the morning for you…Or maybe there WILL be. What do I know?! ” I laughed to myself really, because I know so little about my friend’s relationship, for feeling like I know them like I do. It reminded me, I can be so presumptuous. I checked myself.  However, their response was, their mate “doesn’t cook”.  Oh boy…

My Valentine’s Day is certainly very different this year, but I still find love all around me and reasons to share love with those I care about. There WILL be heart-shaped pancakes and dippy eggs on Nathan’s plate before we head out to his girlfriend’s baton competition this morning!  Woot!!

I haven’t written in eons. I’ve been massively dim. The juices have definitely not been flowing. But this person… This one has me thinking. And i like it.

So to you I say, THANK YOU my friend and… Happy Valentine’s Day.  Whether you like it or not 😉  And this breakfast is for you (except we both know the P’cakes would be whole wheat haha)!  No offense to your girl.

On my FaceBook Rant: Chivalry, Respect, Manners… Are They DEAD?

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Before I get into this, I just want to begin by saying, “All’s well that ends well”. Because it did. I have a lot of respect for people who take accountability for their actions and strive to work on themselves. Kudos for that. 🙂
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Last week I had an experience that raised and important social issue. This one is big. To me at least. I feel it should be to all of us, but that’s just me on my soap box. So pardon my suds, because I’m about to make some.  It’s about to get bubbly up in here.

I was parked at the school to pick Nathan up from soccer practice. I don’t know why I parked in this particular spot, but I pulled my Explorer, front end in first, into a spot, right next to a high cement wall. As soon as I did, I thought to myself, “that’s not a smart spot to need to pull out of”. I was only parked there for a few minutes before time to pull out and drive around the lot and circle around to the curb where I usually wait for him after practice. I started to very slowly pull out, being extra cautious, just because of the nature of the spot, when I heard a “zoomy” car come racing into the parking lot. I immediately hit the brakes and decided to wait, while I watched a sporty silver car with a young man and girl zip around the lot. As I continued to back out and circle around – and ultimately end up behind them in line to pick up Nathan – I put my vehicle in park and sat in wait. I had my sunglasses on and was just listening to music. The young man in the car in front of me opened his car door, leaned out and hollered at me, “What the fuck are youlooking at?” I couldn’t believe my ears! I felt both assaulted and wounded. I responded, “I’m not looking at anything honey, I’m just waiting for my son to finish up soccer practice” and took off my sunglasses. I was genuinely shocked at his confrontational tone and language. He told me to “shut the fuck up”. At that point, I got angry, because after he cussed at me the first time and I responded to him with kindness, he cussed me a second time, so now I was angry and wasn’t going to take his abuse, so I said, “You can’t talk to me that way! What’s your name?!” At which he promptly told me to “Shut the fuck up” a second time and sped out of the parking lot after retrieving one of Nathan’s teammates (his younger brother).

I was left with my mouth hanging open, my heart racing, and my mind absolutely blown. There in a car directly across from me was the father of one of the other boys, and 2 or 3 other mothers waiting to pick up their sons. The father sat in his car the entire time and did nothing. One of the mothers approached me as the kid spun off and drove away. She said she thought I knew him, that we were just joking around, and wasn’t sure if we were serious or not. I assured here it was no joke and that I was VERYupset. Two other mothers said they could tell something was going on from their cars but didn’t know what or who was involved until after it was all said and done.

I was so upset, I jumped out of my car with no shoes on and stomped up the hill to where some of the boys were still practicing. Nathan had forgotten I needed to get him a few minutes early that day, so I had to go retrieve him myself. On my way, one of the other teammates was sitting on the hill waiting for his ride and I was able to get the name of the kid who got in the car with the raging guy in the silver car, so I could call the parents to talk to them about what had happened.

I was still so upset by the time I got home, I wasn’t sure if I should wait to calm down to call, or call while I still had the nerve and was upset enough to do it. I didn’t want to make things awkward for Nathan or for us and the other soccer moms and dads for the rest of the high school soccer season, but there was no way I could let this go without saying something. If that was Nathan talking to one of his teammates’ parents that way, I’d be mortified and he’d be one sorry kid! So, I called. Before I did, I told Nathan what had happened. He was upset about it and thought I should talk to the father because he’d be harder on the kid than the mom. Kevin advised me to talk to the mother – mom-to-mom. I ended up taking Kev’s advice. I knew she’d talk to her husband anyway. She was mortified and the end result is, the following day, I got a phone call from the guy, apologizing. He explained he has anger issues. He also explained that when he came around the corner that day and saw me pulling out, he thought I was going to hit his new car. I reminded him, how fast he was driving. So fast, he was “squealing wheels” in the parking lot with way too many kids around… I told him that I could understand how he could have thought I may not have seen him, but I certainly heard him coming and had already stopped backing out to let him go by. I thanked him very much for calling, told him it meant a lot to me that he did and that I realized it probably wasn’t an easy thing to do. It showed a level of maturity I wasn’t sure the guy had, but know now he’s working on. His parents are really nice people and clearly are trying hard with him. I learned a few days later that he’s a pretty hard-working guy, who is working to pay for that car on his own because he wanted a nicer car than the one his family could provide. He’s 19 – just trying to work out some kinks… I’m hoping he gets there.

What really bothered me about this scenario was the lack of support I got while this event took place – especially on the part of the man who watched it all go down. I’m aware people don’t like to get involved in other people’s business anymore for fear of retaliation, law suits, personal harm that may come to them, etc… but quite honestly, I think this airs on the impish side. I’m sorry. Go on and judge me, since I’m judging here – it’s OK. I just do. I’m a damn GIRL and I’ll step up and DO and SAY and take ACTION if I KNOW something isn’t right or someone’s in trouble. I’d rather get in trouble for standing up for something I know is right than let something wrong happen and have done nothing at all to try to stop it. I guess I have my limits, if I’m being honest. I wouldn’t get in the middle of gun fight, that’s for sure – or a hold up in a grocery store. But if I saw a domestic violence thing going down, I’d make a call. If I saw someone getting bullied or messed with, I’d assess the situation and see if it was safe for me to do something about it. If it wasn’t, I’d call the cops, or look for someone else to help.

What are you willing to stand up for? What are your limits?  Comment here and let me know!

A Report on Holey Goodness

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stacked colorful donuts image

I’ve always wanted to be a food blogger. For a few reasons. First, I love to write. Second, I love to try new places. Third, I love to eat! I love good food. My husband and I both do. Frankly, we’ve raised an adventurous eater in Nathan, too. His biological father is from a Middle Eastern culture, so he’s had a real variety of foods in his young 14 years. Kevin and I both like to experiment and try new food too, so Nathan has been raised to prefer things like sushi and lamb’s head stew rather than chicken tenders and hot dogs. Don’t get me wrong. He eats everything. In fact, he loves mac-n-cheese, but he’s just not afraid to try different things and that’s because his parents are adventurous eaters and because we’re not short order cooks. If we’re having Ahi for dinner, we’re having Ahi for dinner – not two Ahi tunas and a cheeseburger for the kid.

Anyway, this post is not about our family and our eating habits. It’s about food. It’s about fattening, round, gooey delicious food. DONUTS!

I personally have never been a donut fanatic. I love sweets and do love donuts, but over the years, I’ve been somewhat judgmental about donuts. They’re fattening. They’re full of sugar. For someone who has always loved food, been indifferent to exercise and struggled to keep the extra weight off after having a baby, donuts are the antichrist of foods. However, over the years, since living here in York, PA, I’ve snubbed the local donut joint and heralded Dunkin Donuts as the one and only donut for me.

It’s time to set the record straight (enter Maple Donuts).Maple Donuts Counter pic

The other day, I came up with the idea of comparing two or three of my favorite donuts. A blueberry cake, a chocolate cake, and a Boston Crème donut. One each, from both Dunkin Donuts and Maple Donuts. This idea came to me after woofing down about a dozen donut holes, a friend of mine at work, brought in last Wednesday. They were Maple Donut holes and they were scrumptious! As an aside: Why donut shops call the little round balls punched out from the center of a donut, the “holes” I’ll never understand. These are the balls left over after creating the donut that DOES have the hole. No comprende.  Shouldn’t these be called donut balls? I can hear my teenage boy chuckling now – so, never mind.

Anyway, I came home from work with this great idea for a taste test to see which donut was better. We agreed to go to Dunkin Donuts and Maple Donuts to get 2 each of our favorite donuts from each place and compare them. It didn’t go exactly as planned but I can say I’ve reached a definite conclusion.

Kevin, Nathan and I drove to Maple Donuts, which is just 10 minutes from the house (Danger! Danger!). We bellied up to the counter – the same counter I joked with Nathan about a few months ago: “I don’t get this donut bar concept. What do people do at 8 a.m. in the morning? Belly up to the donut bar and get their feed on? Aren’t we all fat enough?”

After visiting the Maple Donuts, located on West Market Street, in York, PA, I can say that I finally get it. This place is far more than a place for people to pack on the pounds. It’s a real down-to-earth, donut diner that specializes in amazing donuts, coffee and homemade sandwiches and soups – 24 hours a day.

We bellied up and ordered two donuts each. I ordered the S ‘mores donut and a Chocolate donut with Peanut Butter Frosting, Kevin got a Chocolate Frosted, Chocolate donut and a Frosted French donut, Nathan got a Boston Crème and a regular glazed donut.

Nathan and Kevin at counter(Kevin and Nathan, post consumption)

The idea was to eat them just to enjoy them because we’d never been to Maple Donuts before, and then take home a Blueberry donut, a Chocolate Cake Donut with glaze and a Boston Crème donut to compare with the same donuts that we would later buy at Dunkin Donuts. What happened was that we just decided that Maple Donuts was so superior to Dunkin, that we wouldn’t even bother with the trip to Dunkin. End of story. It wasn’t just the freshly, hand-made and decorated donuts that made the difference for us, it was the personality of the Maple Donuts store altogether.

Over 100 years of age sign

Overall, the attendants there, that morning, served us enthusiastically, making us feel welcome and like part of the Maple Donuts regulars, even though this was our first visit there.

Shaylyn, one of the counter attendants informed us about maple donuts’ name. She asked us if we knew where the name Maple Donuts came from. I responded that I guessed it came from their “star donut”, the maple glazed donut. She told me that was a typical answer, but that the name actually was given because the first Maple Donuts was opened, on Maple Street, in York, PA. I told her that we were here to sample and compare the donuts here with Dunkin Donuts’. She made sure to tell us that their donuts were all hand dipped and decorated 24 hours a day.

Carrie Beck, the regional manager took this picture for us, of their donut gems on production belt:

GemsIn talking with her, I mentioned the comments I’d made to Nathan in the past about “bellying up to the donut bar” and she told me that it really is a communal place – “Like a neighborhood bar but instead of alcohol we serve coffee and donuts!” I believe her. The parking lot is always full.

Two other attendants, Missy and Marie, gave us a little more information about their 24-hour menu. They serve BLTs, egg sandwiches, tuna, ham and chicken sandwiches, and soups, along with their freshly made donuts and their own Maple Donuts coffee blends.

The factory just behind the donut shop on Market Street, in York, pumps out mass quantities of “holey” deliciousness and there is another factory location in Eerie, PA as well. The donuts are sold in gas stations, convenient stores, grocery stores and other places all over PA.

Cupcake joints were springing up all over the place in a trendy “how do ya do” sort of way in the last few years, in an effort to introduce a new dessert concept and start a new craze – but you know what? Donuts have been around for ages and there are some places that just NEED to be discovered. Maple Donuts is one of them.

If you haven’t tried them yet, stop in. You will not be disappointed.

Alive and Writing

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Writer graphic for freelance business card

It’s been a bit since I last wrote.  I’ve been writing.  Just not here.  Things are evolving slowly with new writing opportunities and I’m still searching for that one golden opportunity.  Ideally, I’d love to be writing a fun article for a popular magazine on a regular basis or blogging on-line somewhere.  I mean, I have this blog, but does anybody really pay any attention to this?  No one’s blowing up my Facebook page saying, “Meg!  Where have you been?  Why haven’t you blogged lately?  I miss you!”

As a writer, I don’t seek fame and a luxurious lifestyle (if that even exists for a Freelance Writer).  I seek validation.  I also seek income.  I want to get paid to do something I love, other than massage and I want people to know me for the kind of writing I like to do.  Maybe I haven’t yet figured that out myself, but I know I need to be writing.

Right now, I’m hanging by a thread, waiting to hear back from a government contractor who prospected me for writing Department of Commerce Success Stories.  It’s not über creative work, but it’s actually pretty interesting and it pays really well.  So well, I’d be able to help us get a handful of bills paid off and boy that would feel freaking awesome!

Today I called off from work (massage).  I woke up with a killer migraine (thanks pending, Severe Thunderstorm!).  I’m medicated and the migraine is in what I call a “dormant” state.  It’s there.  I can feel it, but I know if I do too much, I’ll be sick as a dog.  So I’m HOME – in my comfy air-conditioned house, not physically taxing my body and doing a lot of thinking and wishing and more thinking… about how I can find more writing opportunities and get exposed.   In a non-pervy kinda way.  😉

At age 45:

I’ve graduated from college (finally)

Nay, Me and Kev on Grad Day

                                                                I’ve lost 30 pounds

Color Run Hershey 2014

                                                                                                                     I’ve finished my son’s quilt

Nathan standing with finished quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I’m focusing on a shift in career.  I will always love people and helping them to achieve a pain-free, relaxed, more mobile life.  I know I’ll always love massage therapy, but it’s not how I want to solely make my living anymore and I want to shift my focus to developing as a writer.

I’m getting older.  I said that by the time I was 50, I’d want to be doing much less bodywork and more writing.  I’ll be 46 this November.

The wheels are in motion.

Aim Before You Squirt…

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Scardy Cat Mom Enlists Spider Killer Son

Published on Sep 10, 2012

While attempting to stretch out for a few this late afternoon, I spotted a spider in the crevice between the ceiling and wall in my bedroom. My son was playing a game in the sitting area and came to my rescue. I flipping HATE spiders!!!!!! They scare the bahjeezies out of me!!!

Why?

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question mark face for blog 05202014

Been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted.  Shame on me!

There’s a reason…

I’ve honestly struggled a bit with my last post.  I’ve struggle because I want to be me.  I want to write what naturally comes to mind and what feels like what I need to express, at the time I need to express it.  When I write about things that are personal, I sometimes get “admonished” by those close to me for not protecting my family’s privacy.  Sometimes, I just embarrass them.  In fact, I’m sure the admonishment, stems from their own discomfort, and not any real concern for my reputation.  I mean, let’s be honest, shall we?  The fact of the matter is, I have three people to answer to and one deity.  The people are:  My husband, my son and myself.  My husband supports me in every way.  He knows my true self and my heart’s desires and because he loves me the way he does, he wants me to find my happiness in any way I can (so long as it’s legal).  I could say the same about my son.  Some may argue, “he’s just a teenage boy” and I should be protecting him by not putting all my personal stuff and intimate things “out there”.  Fact is, I seriously don’t put all my intimate things out there.   Trust me.  You’d all be blushing.  Or writing to ask for tips and advice.  Have I mentioned I reference my life as a “burger and a beer story”?  There’s lots I haven’t shared.  Yet.

Anyway, the kid is mature beyond his years and if there’s one thing I do well as a parent, it’s to teach my son that his mother is human.  He knows I’m not just his mother, but a woman with desires, dreams and goals.  He also knows I make mistakes and just because I’m his mom, doesn’t mean I can’t screw up.  He’s seen me cry.  He’s heard me cuss.  He’s heard me apologize and explain my own answers to the why’s in my life.  We talk openly about anything he is interested in.  I don’t shelter him in anyway.  I feel I’m preparing him well.  And hopefully, as an offshoot of that, he’s learning to respect women as the intelligent, creative, sensitive, nurturing-yet-ass-kicking, multi-taskers that we are!  We are, in fact, each others’ biggest fans.   And, let me just say:  THAT ROCKS!

As for the rest of my family, most of my immediate family knows what I aspire to be and dream of doing.  I have a dear, sweet Aunt who is unconditionally loving, who simply expressed, my last post (On Sex and Cremation) “made her blush”.  I love her so much for her honesty and her support that followed.  She affirmed for me that I am a good writer and that she was proud of me.

I need more of that to fuel my fire.  I need more of that in order to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer.  I want to be a writer that makes people a little uncomfortable sometimes.  To me, discomfort stretches us to answer why?  Why am I uncomfortable?  It’s when we ask ourselves those introspective questions, that we find answers that change us or at least force us to think in a way we don’t always.  I like the notion that we’re always changing…morphing into (hopefully) better, more evolved versions of ourselves.

The older I get the wearier I get of conforming and doing things to please others when my soul is hungry to express who I am and be the person God and Universe intended me to BE.

I hope this post inspires you, even in some small way.  I hope it inspires you to challenge yourself and examine the why that emerges when something makes you feel even the slightest bit uncomfy.

Be in the moment and figure out why.  Then, ask yourself if that is really the lens through which you want to view the world.

I double dog dare you.

On Sex and Cremation

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So.  I read The Bloggess post today and died laughing because honestly, as much as I love my husband and as much as I value a healthy sex life, I have to admit, I’ve spoken very similar words in my own head on occasion: “Well then I guess we’re both gonna have to pee in the bed because I’m stopping in about 10 minutes. Some of us have shit to do Kevin“. (A quote from Jenny Lawson’s, The Bloggess post 5/6/14).  I find this hilarious probably because my husband’s name is Kevin.

For reference: http://thebloggess.com/2014/05/this-is-why-im-almost-never-asked-to-write-for-the-news/#comments

So freaking funny (and true!) about the soaked sheets thing. I mean, “once upon a time”, in the not too distant past, and maybe even sometimes, still… occasionally (ahem), soaked sheets are hot. And you know...my husband and I have tried some pretty freaky stuff, so maybe there were some other body fluids involved. But it’s also extremely possible we were just so inebriated, that it really was an accident…

Anyhooo, I’m totally digressing. Point is: “Oh you want sex??? Sure.  I’ll pencil you in”.

I’m 45 now. Busier than ever before and my one-and-only kid is now 13. I’m not chasing diapers anymore but somehow I’m busier! The sexual dynamo I was certain I’d be til they toss me in the kiln, so-to-speak, has packed her bags and set sail for a destination unknown. Perhaps it’s the crazy over 40 hormones. Maybe it’s my work schedule what with massage and writing, soccer games and training transport throughout the week, the countless errands and house crap that needs to get done. It’s all just exhausting. Who has the energy for a zesty romp after a day like that? Not I, said the fly, with a pie in his eye. (I couldn’t resist that. I use to say that when I was a kid. I loved rhyming).

Anyway- who doesn’t LOVE a good orgasm?

These days, I’m likely to knock out one or two all by myself. Less time. No contorting. No laying there feeling guilty because you’re about to fall asleep. And…NO SOAKED SHEETS.  First of all, “Eww” (unless it’s a reckless night of weekend abandonment). And secondly, guess who has to launder that shit?! You guessed it.

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“Toss me in the kiln” : That’s cremation speak versus “put me in the ground”, for those who prefer to be embalmed in gnarly smelling fluid, laid in a box at which people can gawk, then buried like a doggy bone. I guess I’d rather be “burned and returned” (to the Earth and maybe a small part of me in a keepsake box for my son to display on his mantle.  The part that reminds him to stop peeing on the toilet lid). I’m sure some people think cremation is equally as “eeewwwy”. To each his own.

Team crispy!

Migraines Shmigraines

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Losing a whole day to a painful headache that also makes you sick to your stomach sucks.

For those of you who suffer migraines of any form or in any capacity, I offer you this new gem. It’s receiving a bunch of media press and it appears to be “headed” to the U.S.

This Huffington Post article covers the invention of a migraine headband. Check it out here (thanks Huff!): http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5069939

I have to wonder what my neurologist will make of this sci-fi gadgety-looking thing. He poo poo’d acupuncture for migraines the last time I was there! He knows I’m a massage therapist. While I respect and appreciate his own personal beliefs and practices, I will always seek alternative, non-pharmaceutical intervention for pain if I can. Until now (maybe), I’ve been taking a drug called Treximet, prescribed by my anti-Eastern modality neurologist (http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-150380-Treximet+Oral.aspx?drugid=150380&drugname=Treximet+Oral). The only side effects I’ve ever suffered with this drug are occasional soreness of my actual skin. Like to touch. And, I talk loopy on it. That’s all the time. I should clarify that. I talk loopy regularly, even when I’m not taking my migraine med. It gets worse when I’m medicated. 😛

Anyhooo- just throwing a bit of new news on migraines out there for anybody actually paying even a bit of attention to anything I ramble on about.

Let me hear from you if you know anything more about this product! I’m super curious about it myself.

Road Straight Trippin’

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So we’re traveling to Massachusetts this weekend to visit some family and to get some help with finishing Nathan’s quilt I’ve been working on for 4 years, from one of Kevin’s aunts. Don’t judge. I started it while I was finishing my Bachelor’s and working. If I’d been diagnosed with the dain bramage prior to the undertaking, I’d have waited til after graduation to start it and would probably just be finishing it up now. Only 4 months later, instead of 4 years later.

Everwhat (that’s a Kevinism. He says it like this: EVer WHhhat)…we’ve been on the road in some pretty shitty traffic for about 9 hours now. The trip typically takes 6 to 6 1/2 hours. Freakin’ NY traffic. EVERY time. You should have heard the gems streaming from Kevin’s mouth while driving. And in the backseat, we have the 13-year-old, busting farts, reciting one-liners from Anchorman. He’s obsessed with the word “lanolin”.  He keeps saying it over and over again. He chuckles after each “lanolin”. http://youtu.be/6assm-ecPgc

Nuts…

At some point I checked my phone for phone messages and found a voice mail from the Junior High School, informing us of Nathans truancy today. This is the slap-happy and inappropriate kind of conversation that ensues in our car, between the 3 of us when the ride has gotten too long, bladders are full and the NY smog has rotted our brains:

Meg: (Turning to show Nathan the voice mail)  Ooooohhh.. Nathan you are truant today. You’re sick again. You’ve relapsed (referencing the excuse we used for taking him out of school last week during their shorter-than-ever “Spring Break” and our trip to Wildwood, NJ).

Nathan: You should tell them I have gonorrhea HEP A, B, C, MERSA, syphilis… (he’s learning so much in school this year). Also, this may be a reference to a Beavis and Butt-Head video we watched while away last weekend).  Here are snippets of the video in two parts (total of about 7 minutes).

Kevin and Meg: (Recalling Beavis and Butt-Head video.  Laughing).

Kevin: PARVO…

Nathan: What’s PARVO?

Kevin: I knew a woman who had PARVO. (Smiling).

Meg: Oh my God Kevin that’s not funny. Why are you smiling?

Kevin: It’s a dog disease.

Meg: I thought it had to do with eggs or chickens.

Kevin: No. Dogs.

Nathan: So did the lady and the dog get it on and that’s how she got it?

Meg: 😳

Kevin: Um. NO.

Meg: I saw a dog and a cat getting it on once though.

Nathan: Oh my God, you did? Was it a big dog?

Meg: No it was a pug.

Nathan: (Laughing hard) Was the cat accepting it?

Meg: (Also laughing hard). No! You know how dogs are just kind of humpy? He was kind of just doing that to the cat. The cat was kind of just tolerating it. There was no penetration. No intercourse.

Kevin: It was outercourse.

Nathan: (Dying in backseat).

Nathan: What color cat was it?

Meg: 😳

Kevin: Owwwwooo (Beavis and Butt-Head video reference again…)

Nathan: Lanolin.

My life with these two… I freakin’ love it. We are constantly entertaining ourselves, even when we don’t realize it.

Breaking Tradition – An Easter Away From Home

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