Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Recipe for Disaster: The Day Without AC

When you’re a 40-something woman, residing in the South can be dangerous when hormones conspire to make internal furnaces push the limits on how hot a person can feel before she spontaneously combusts.
Add a desk job that requires a 30-minute commute to and from work.

Combine with a summer heat wave consisting of temperatures consistently cresting above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
An image of the internal
workings of my body.

Photo courtesy of
my imagination.
Sprinkle in relative humidity above 85 percent with nary a cloud in the sky.

Now, imagine for a moment that this recipe for disaster is compounded by the air conditioning in one’s office building being out of service.

This is not a cutesy description of a hypothetical situation. Rather, it was my life one recent day. And, to add a cliché insult to injury, it all went down on a Monday.

To cool off, I headed to the gym during my lunch break. You’d think I’d choose to sit in a cool restaurant or meander through the freezer section of the grocery store. But I decided to hit the gym for two reasons. Firstly, I figured it would be really cold there, as they keep the temperature way down and run lots of fans. Secondly, I’m usually really warm when I leave the gym, so I thought maybe by comparison, upon entering the office after my workout, it’d feel a little cooler inside.

What I failed to consider was my post-workout beverage. I pulled my personal-size milk out the fridge and choked it down. While it was cold, it wasn’t the most refreshing beverage to sip in our sauna-like environment.

In my over-heated delirium, I considered suggesting to top management that staff be permitted to wear bathing suits on days the AC unit was in need of repair. We could have a sauna party to boost morale and pull folks out of their sweaty lethargy. Fortunately, I never got around to making the suggestion, as I spent much of the afternoon burping up milk and trying to keep busy enough to avoid passing out on my desk.

An angel of mercy did swoop down to aid us in our time of need. It took the form of a soda delivery man. Apparently, as he was filling the soft drink machine, he pulled out an unusually high number of nearly expired drinks. Cold drinks. Drinks that had to be given away to overheated office workers. When word reached us through the company Intranet, we flocked around the angel of mercy and graciously accepted the cold beverages.

Of course, I wasn’t interested in floating a sugary soft drink on top of partially digested milk in my delicate digestive system. I was relieved to use the bottle as a cold compress to cool my neck and hands. It was relief enough to get this middle-age woman through the rest of the day.
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Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, writer and content manager is the author of Thurston T. Turtle books.
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Thank You Letter to My Son
You Have to Tell a Person When Her Boob is Labeled "L"

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thank You Letter to My Son

One fraction of a second can drastically change the course of a life, as well as the lives of everyone that person knows and loves—forever. And that is why I will be eternally grateful for the decisions my 20-year-old son made before and after a recent, potentially life-changing fraction of a second. This is a thank you letter to my son.

My Dearest Firstborn,

As the oldest child in our family, the road hasn’t always been easy. As much research as we did about parenting, and as much as we genuinely longed to be the best parents ever, you were our first. Therefore, it was with you we learned how to be parents. A lot of trial and error occurred as we did the best new, inexperienced parents can do. I realize it wasn’t always easy for you. But I thank you for being resilient and learning so much about being a good person despite our shortcomings.

When you told me you planned to go to the beach for a week with your friends, I shared with you my reservations. But you knew you were a man who was paying his own way and could make his own decisions. I knew you were new to the adult world and would be prone to making mistakes. But I also knew it was your decision to make—and your mistakes, if any, from which to learn. Thank you for being patient with me.

When you told me you had to drive separately because you had to return a few days early, I became frustrated. We argued about which car you would take, because yours was not safe. You wanted to take the van, but it was in need of minor, but important repairs. You reminded me I said you could use the van, if needed. I reminded you about your plan to ride with your friends. We fussed back and forth. Then, I called you and said you’d have to take the white car, because it was the safest and I wasn’t about to take any chances. You could have held a grudge after the argument and taken your own car. But you didn’t. Thank you for seeing through the frustration, putting aside the emotions and taking the safe car.

Before traveling back, you texted me that you were about to leave so I’d know you were on the road. Thank you for being thoughtful and considerate.

Before leaving Myrtle Beach, you checked the air in the tires and filled them as needed, even though you had to stand in the pouring rain to do it. Thank you for being responsible and cautious.

When you got into the car, you secured your seat belt. Thank you for always wearing your seat belt. 

While driving home, you were paying attention to the road. You were not using your cell phone, eating or otherwise distracted. Thank you for taking the task of driving seriously. 

When you saw the deer in the road, you slowed down. When it didn’t move away, but rather turned toward your car, you already knew where you were going to pull off to the side when the inevitable happened. Thank you for paying attention and thinking ahead.

Upon impact, you didn’t overreact. You kept your cool and slowly pulled to the side of the road, even though you couldn’t see because of the dust from the airbags. Thank you for keeping your wits about you.

When you realized you had wrecked your mother’s 2010 Toyota Corolla and now had to wake her up, explain what happened and face the consequences, you put aside the knowledge of your mother’s ability to overreact and made the call anyway. Thank you for calling me when you needed help.

Thank you for becoming a responsible, level-headed, smart adult and for proving we weren’t such bad parents after all. 

Thank you for being a great role model for your younger brothers, your friends and everyone who knows you.  

Thank you for making all the right decisions so that the fraction of a second you experienced on your ride home from the beach didn’t have to change our lives forever. 

With unconditional love, sincere admiration and heartfelt gratitude,

The front of the car absorbed much of the impact.
Guess the deer went for the driver's side headlight.
 The deer ultimately lost its battle against the Corolla.  

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

You Have to Tell a Person When Her Boob is Labeled "L"

Quite happy with some new clothes that complement my current post-overindulgent winter body shape well, I giddily pulled tags and stickers from shirts, pants and skirts. I wore my new threads with pride, beaming like a peacock searching for a mate.

Having worn a particular fitted knit top purchased a few weeks earlier several times already, I pulled it off my laundry drying rack to wear with one of my new outfits. It matched a pair of new capris and tank top perfectly. I pranced around all day at work, a grocery store and the mall feeling great about my look.

Don't let an L sticker
happen to you—stick with
your best girlfriends.
Later that evening, as I was pulling my hair up into a ponytail to cool off—I was experiencing an internal five-alarm inferno, so getting my hair off my neck was essential—my wrist brushed up against something on my shirt. My bracelet had grazed my left breast and hit something. I looked in the mirror, expecting to see a pulled thread. What I found was a clear sticker with one bold, large letter. It was the letter L.

Not one person I encountered the entire day had the decency to mention to me my breast was sporting a size. Considering I’d worn the shirt several times before, there had to have been tens of people—hundreds even—who witnessed my boob sticker and chose not to let me in on the snafu.

I understand how embarrassing it can be to walk up to someone and say, “Hey, you might want to remove that Large-size notification from your left breast.” However, consider where that leaves the sticker-wearer. Seriously, a “large” sticker on ones left breast has connotations extending beyond shirt size. There is the appearance of noting general breast size, pointing out which breast is bigger or emphasizing what size shirt is required to cover the boobs in question. And good gracious, what if the sticker had been on my left posterior cheek rather than my boob?

At least with a price tag, I could have played off the fact that I might want to return the garment. But a size sticker, well, that’s just a string of embarrassing moments. Had I run into one of my close girlfriends on the days in question, I would have been made aware of the sticker situation. They’ve never let me leave their presence with spinach between my teeth, smeared lipstick or an unflattering unbuttoned or unzipped area. But sadly, I did not see my girls on those particular days.

Lessons learned include I need spend more time in the presence of my posse. And, maybe I should spend a little less time shopping for new clothes—at least until I’m back down to an M-size sticker.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, daughter & writer is the author of Thurston T. Turtle children's books. 
Email: mickibare (at) gmail.com
Connect with Micki on Google+
Like Thurston T. Turtle on Facebook
Follow Micki on Twitter: @TurtleAuthor
View Micki's pics on Instagram @mickibare

Friday, June 8, 2012

Building Our Story: Thurston T. Turtle and the Legend of the Lemonade

I am thrilled to share this new book review and giveaway from one of the top Mommy Bloggers in the country!

Building Our Story: Thurston T. Turtle and the Legend of the Lemonade  Last year I was so excited to introduce you to a great children’s author named Micki Bare and was honored to review her first book, Thurston T. Turtle Moves to Hubbleville which happens to be all about a TURTLE!! Micki brought Thurston to life and showed us a special world of animal characters with the most cleaver names. Well here we are again, Micki is on a publishing roll (how amazing for her!!) and has yet a second children’s book all about Thurston T. Turtle. I am happy to introduce all of my readers to book number 2... *Thurston T.Turtle and the Legend of the Lemonade!
Read MORE and/or Register to WIN

Once again, Mr. Frogson and Mr. Bunnyton
can be found on their favorite bench in Hubbleville!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In Absence of Hubby, a New Relationship Emerged

Now that I’ve got a few Navigating Hectivity posts under my belt and we know each other a little better, I am more confident about getting personal. Yes, the silk boxer piece walked that line, but it had to do with external issues. I’m ready to open up on a more internal, emotional level.

It all started when I was running errands on my lunch hour. I was in a store I should have waited to visit until Saturday, when Hubby could accompany me. Since I was already in the store, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to mosey on by the brightly lit department with the interactive displays. That’s where it all happened.

He was cute, smart and very hard to resist. When my gaze drifted toward him—we’ll call him “Mack”—I couldn’t look away. Surely my cheeks brightly blushed shades of crimson. I should have turned and walked out. Instead, I felt my feet move me closer and closer, until his glow reflected in the lenses of my glasses—I was giving my eyes a rest from my contacts on that particular day. It was an unfortunate turn of events, as it was a rainy day and I absolutely hate it when rain drops and fog impede my ability to see clearly. Mack didn’t seem to notice the droplet in the lower left corner of my right lens.

Yes, my fingers reached out to touch him during that very first meeting. But please don’t judge. It is through the tips of my fingers that I am truly able to get to know someone new. At least, someone like him. Within minutes, I was holding him in my arms. Hubby would have been devastated had he seen the shameless display. I did my best to restrain my emotions. I knew I needed to let go and walk away. Getting involved would cost too much. Then, without warning, I was made an offer I could not refuse.

In the beginning, the novelty of the new relationship was thrilling. I couldn’t wait to see him. I bought a new pocketbook specifically with Mack in mind. I planned my day around accommodating time with him. But then, as we began to get to know each other, I become easily frustrated with aspects of him I just didn’t understand. He took a lot of getting used to. There was quite a learning curve, so to speak. But rather than get disenchanted, I was drawn to spend more and more time with him--especially considering all I’d invested.

Hubby had started spending lots more time with an old friend of mine—we’ll call her “Dellie.” Since I had no time for her—my attention was being consumed by Mack—Hubby pretty much adopted Dellie, spending every spare moment getting to know her. As he did, he became acutely aware of her shortcomings. However, he was patient with her. He appreciated what she had to offer.

It took a while, but my comfort level with Mack grew. Currently, we’re together several hours a day. Once I got to know him better, I began to appreciate all of his abilities and the many unique talents he had to offer the relationship. I can honestly say we have grown more deeply connected since the day I first set eyes on him on that cold, rainy January day.

Of course, as with any relationship, I still have those pangs of guilt, wondering if getting involved with Mack was really worth it. Maybe I won’t feel as guilty once the last payment is made. Buying a new laptop is an extraordinarily emotional experience. And when you change from a mainstream system you’ve used all your life to an expensive, different system, you have your moments of frustration and doubt. But if it is meant to be, things work out.
"Mack" on the day we met.

Things have settled into a new normal around our home. Hubby curls up in bed with my old friend on his lap—he always inherits all my old hardware. I curl up next to Hubby with Mack on my lap. We check in with our social networks, get in a bit of writing and pay a bill or two before powering down our friends and snuggling close together, content that we have everything we need in all of life’s relationships.

Editorial note: Hubby, knowing me well, most likely initially assumed this story was about a new remote control rather than my laptop. He has always been jealous of the time I spend in bed snuggling with our universal clicker.