Tag Archives: Boulder

Hey Poopface, It’s Your Birthday

22 Apr

It seems like the blog post writing went by the wayside around the same time the hubby went into remission and I promptly started menopause. I was thinking the other day about how, on a warm summer night, I’d pour a glass of vino and head out back with my laptop to craft up a humorous take on that day’s shenanigans. But then. It seemed like things weren’t quite as funny anymore. I think cancer (or teenagers?) took away my humor nerve. At least that’s what I’m going to run with. It certainly won’t be that whole tired “I’m too busy” refrain. Or that I’m just not funny any more. But, since I’m here again — wine in hand — I’ll have to let you decide. And you can keep your opinion to yourself. Thankyouverymuch.

And I really couldn’t resist taking this week by the balls and squeezing the ever-loving humor out of it. Here’s why:

On Monday, the landscapers (aka the YARD ELVES) came and magically whisked away winter. At some point, the hubby went outside to inspect (they are new) and then… 


(We live in BOULDER and rat poison is VERBOTEN and we will have to move after this is published…but the 2013 flood unleashed the masses from the rocks and crevices and we felt we had no choice. Yes. I do feel awful about any harm to nature. I just fucking hate rats — especially ones that live under MY DECK.) 

Which morphed into: 


Then it was Tuesday. The dog was acting okay with the exception of the stink eye she was giving the hubby. She was shooting him DAGGERS. And I am not exaggerating. She said, “Bitch! You got the LEASH like you were taking me for A WALK! And then… THAT SHIT?!?!” She was ready to knock him one.

Since the week had started out with trauma, I got it into my head that I was going to turn the hubby bday week around. So the minute he left with the girls for the dentist, I jumped into the car and raced to Party City. My plan was to transform the damned house into a birthday wonderland, including a custom song I had made for him (and also my brother, who was the original recipient when we was like 6 and 45s were still the go-to medium), and prosecco on ice. I was going to blow him away. But then.

Mother Nature decided to blow us ALL AWAY and blew in some freaking 100 MPH winds that toppled TREES and SEMIS just as I was heading to the… wait for it…BALLOON STORE.

I was determined though. Went through that store on a mission. Grabbed decorations, candles in the form of a FIVE and a TWO, then went up front and ordered the FIVE and TWO, three-foot high balloons. Then. “OHMYLORD. Wait! He’s fifty-ONE! I need a ONE not a TWO!” “Really?!?” “Really. I’m so sorry. Almost 25 years married and 32 together and I can’t remember how old he is.” Quickly swapped the TWO candle, smiled at the bewildered cashier, paid and opened the door to the parking lot.

I make it to the car. Open the hatch back. Whew. I made it. Then. Shithead WIND whooshes.. WHIPS and throwing the stick out of my bun hair, my Persol sunglasses off of my head and into the sky, hooking the arm on the balloon string. Thereby launching approximately $370 into the ether. I start flailing as my sunglasses flip skyward and eastward and westward and everywhere-ward as I jump and grab and try to catch them without sending said revised FIVE and ONE balloon shapes into the stratosphere. 

I did it. And if that parking lot video isn’t viral yet, keep an eye out. I was lost in the super store parking lot. “Lady with Volvo Goes Beserk with Balloons and Sunglasses in 1 Million MPH Wind.”

I also made it home, decorated the WHOLE FUCKING HOUSE (sweating and swearing) and was on the ready with a smile, prosecco popped, and custom birthday song cued. (Damn, I’m good.)

Then it’s Wednesday. Actual birthday of the hubby. And all I have to do is get a 600-piece mailing campaign print bid approved and off to print, an email campaign finalized, a con call made, an electronic newsletter template proof to a client, another newsletter written, another email campaign written, a red velvet cake made/baked/iced, a hubby birthday hike squeezed in, a shower, another con call or five to negotiate that print bid, and a dinner reservation reached by 5:30 (we’re old, we have kids and this restaurant ain’t easy to get into).

Voila. Did it. ALL. (Even made sure the hubby got to the vet with the dog for rat poison follow up bloodwork.)

Dinner is incredible, gin and tonics delish, view amazing – YES! Get thyself to Corrida. STAT.

We head home with visions of icing and birthday toasts in our head. Open the front door. And WHOOSH. The smell of dog shit is so ripe and so vile that I nearly puke in the bushes. And said dog has her head hung so low in shame that her chin is scraping the floor and she will not make eye contact. 


The ‘Not I, said the cats’ came so fast and furious that the birthday boy was knee deep in shit before he even knew what hit him. And it’s not that we didn’t feel BAD. It was just a firm HELL NO. This is the boy’s job. Feminism be damned. (I mean, at least FOR NOW. And I still had ICING to make fershittinsakes.)

The evening came to a screeching halt as the bloody shitstorm was slowly eradicated from the living room rug and we all started to cry because there was BLOOD and SHIT everywhere. And the dog was going to die.

We half-heartedly lit the FIVE and ONE candles on the newly iced cake. Watched as the hubby made his wish and blew while the scented candles flickered around us to cast away the stench and we cast furtive glances at the dog. Who was dead man walking. 

I’m gonna throw in here that this is a family who is very familiar with their shit. It’s been a reluctant focus ever since COLON CANCER 2010. Shits are analyzed, discussed, mulled over, pondered, and shared. So when it is bloody and voluminous and everywhere, we take it seriously.

That night, we slept nary a bit. The pup was up like clockwork. Puking, pooping, whining, pacing. At least every couple of hours. She was miserable. We were worried. We are tired.

The vet is called back on Thursday morning. They tell us that the blood test came back normal. No evidence of rat poisoning. So we breathe a teeny-tiny sigh of relief (and try to figure out how to take a nap in the middle of another balls-to-the-wall work day.)

Thursday night, I go to book group. Discuss Pachinko. Come home to more shit and up all night to more shit.

Friday, I try to plan an impromptu hubby birthday happy hour. No dice. Spontaneity is dead. (Mostly. Two people out of 12 said yes.) We go to dinner with two people. Stop for wine at the the other two’s house. Get home to… yep…MORE SHIT. Teen Queen made it home before us and, heroically, cleaned it up — save the carpet (which is totally impractical WHITE SHAG from Ikea). Score 1 million thousand for TEEN QUEEN!

Friday night, shit show on repeat. I almost throw out a hip leaping out of bed when dog JUMPS up and runs out of our room. This shit is NOT for old people. 

Saturday, vet is called. AGAIN. Dog is barely moving. Turns her head from CHEESE (which she normally explodes from deep sleep IN THE BASEMENT, IN THE DARK for if she just hears the CHEESE DRAWER in the fridge open. Yes, we have a CHEESE DRAWER.). She isn’t eating. Not drinking. It’s pitiful. We KNOW she’s dying. Think we will wake up to dog dead at any moment. 

Vet prescribes meds. The good shit. Dog gets meds SHOVED DOWN HER DAMN THROAT since she won’t even look at HAM.

Approximately 1.25 hours later? Dog is up. And HUNGRY. AND LORD JESUS IT’S A FREAKING MIRACLE.

It’s snowing. There is mud everywhere on the hardwood floors. But DOG is alive. We nearly weep in relief and decide to watch Netflix all day, order in from DoorDash (Yay for Post fried chicken delivered to your door) and rent that stupid Vince Vaughn movie where he fathers 533 children through 693 sperm donations. You know, your typical, family-friendly, warm-fuzzy, feel-good flick.

So, dudes. I’m here to say that when it’s Sunday and it’s sunny. And your beloved dog is barking again and putting her head in your lap for scratches and the floor has been mopped and you’ve just slept a solid eight for the first time in four days…that’s cause for freaking celebration AND a blog post. Amirite?

TODAY’S THEME SONG: Kenny, Captain Zoom. My name is Zoom and I live on the Moon, but I came down to Earth just to sing you this tune, ‘cause KENNY, it’s your birthday TODAY!



The Matthews 2016 Download

11 Dec

Brought to you by that family who brings you their sad sack stories. Every. Single. Year. Until. Now.

2016 has been…dare I utter the word?…normal. Blissfully, unbelievably, normal. But that’s only if you factor in the smack-you-in-the-face-because-damn-you’re-old moment of taking your oldest to get her driving permit and then having to actually ride shotgun with said newly-minted driver and be nearly killed. Each. And. Every. Time. (Okay. Kidding. She’s SUPER responsible and careful, just like her mom.)


Miss-miss hits the DMV

So near death driving events aside, we found ourselves in our very own version of the upside-down in the slow, but sure lane. Dear friends with clean scans (talkin’ ’bout YOU La-La and Mar!), hubby with a still clean colon…we became those people who just go see friends play in their bands and launch their art exhibits. You know the ones. Dr. Everything-be-all-rights? (Oh right, THAT one hit one of us particularly hard this year…RIP Prince.)


Bliss c/o Belize

Our favorite 2016 moment was when we happened upon our one true love, Belize. Checking a big something off of our bucket list, we arrived in March for spring break with no expectations and came away changed people. We fell in love with the turquoise, tranquil waters, the daily fresh coconut provided by our new, dear friend, Eric, and left a bit of our souls there when we left. Many tears were shed and we have vowed to go back as quickly as possible.

For the first half of 2016, we did all of the boring, mundane things we had been meaning to do, in fact. Finally got the 4-years-in-the-making landscaping done. Replaced the Vitamix. You know. The good stuff.

And we hummed right along with a tag-along trip with the hubby to Cali and San Fran as soon as school closed its doors for summer.


Some famous bridge (and bikers)

Took in as many foodie stops in the city as we could fit in for a few days. Drank copious amounts of wine with Cheryl by her pool. Got in some QT with the Cali fam. All adding to that good stuff list.

It wasn’t until ALL THE WAY INTO THE END OF JUNE that the first hit of the year came. (I feel like I’m jinxing us with a walk-under-the-ladder-holding-a-black-cat-while-breaking-a-mirror-and-NOT-knocking-on-wood just by saying that.) But it’s true. And surreal.

And even though everything is fine now, having your baby diagnosed with epilepsy is a big sideways hit no matter how you slice it. So there was that.

We survived and made it to the appointments and figured out how to still get to


Sharpthews hit Yellowstone
(Photo cred: Rhys Sharpton)

Yellowstone the next week with new meds and just-in-case emergency procedures to follow. And had a fantastic time in that breath-taking place with our dear friends. (Who were generous enough to pick a spot to meet us…er…halfway from Kalispell…with the joke squarely on US with our 11-hour drive to their 6.)

We’ve had school plays, concerts, field trips, volleyball tournaments, dance classes, softball games, camping trips, lots and lots of house guests, hikes,


Bean at bat

cocktails, picnics, dinner parties, laughs, cries, and all of that good stuff too. And even with all of the uncertainty the IT world has wrought lately with all of the mergers and acquisitions that directly impact BOTH of our jobs…It’s truly been one of the first solidly great years we’ve had in a while. So we will TAKE IT. In fact, when we take into account all that the last few years have sent our way? I’d say we are counting our blessings in a BIG way as we close out 2016.

The Techno-Color Yawn Express

11 Jan

I woke up today feeling a bit reflective. It’s DAY 9 of this stinkin’ cleanse and I am prouder of myself than I can remember being. This is the longest I’ve stuck with anything remotely like this. Ever. I always have great intentions. But I usually toss those suckers out with the compost by day 4 or 5. And. I’m. Done. With. That.

But this shit has been HARD. Minutes after I posted last, I ran to the bathroom and began a two-hour vomit fest. And since that would be maybe the 6th time I’ve puked EVER, it was not a small deal. The hubby was calling out from the other room, “What are you DOING?” I could hear the bafflement in his voice through my yaks. And I had no answer. Just yelled, “Stay away!” Because really, Even after 21+7 years. Who needs to see that.

It was over pretty fast. Luckily. And I am still stymied. It definitely could have been a fast moving bug. But I’m still thinking that I am the Chernobyl of body toxins. (With a Vesuvius outcome.)

I was fine by the evening. Ate dinner. No mishaps. And even met a client for lunch the next day. Done.

Eating out was my first big challenge. But. Modmarket + Low Key Client = Easy. My favorite part of the lunch was when she said, “Do you watch Mad Men? I just started watching it and thought, ‘That’s what Cassy does.’” I laughed out loud and gestured to our salads and herbal teas. “Yep. That’s exactly it!”

The next big challenge was girls’ night. This is a group that I’ve been super tight with since our twenties. Pre-kids. And we still manage to gather a few times a year and whoop it up. These girls all have well-seasoned livers and we put them through their paces on these fine evenings. Wine bottles usually outnumber the group by a few. I was nervous. But I missed the last one because I was in Italy. So.

I planned for it well. Offered to be the DD. Decided that this would be my beef night (I’m allowed beef once a week, but only the grass-fed, organic super clean stuff). Planned out an herbal/hibiscus tea “cocktail.” Then packed my salad dressing, homemade chimichurri for my beef, some veggies and hummus for avoiding the inevitable cheese plate — and off I went.

There were a lot of questions. A lot of ribbing. And the night went fine. I probably ate more than I have been. But being the only sober one in the group was hilarious. My biggest realization was that the conversations rarely track. Luckily they had me to get them back on point. 🙂

I didn’t get home until 1am. The best part? Waking up the next day and feeling totally GREAT. Score.

Then came the b-day party. This one was going to be interesting too. But mostly for the girls. I prepped then and said, “Remember, this is all up to you guys. Do whatever feels right to you. But if you want to try to stick to this, I’ll support you too.” They decided to stick to it, so we opted to grab Chipotle as a consolation prize. Plenty of safe detox options there.

It was Mels Bells girl’s bday. At a trampoline place. So the exercise was ready and waiting. But when lunchtime came, the whoopie pies were a particularly hard thing to skip for bean. She came to me in tears, so torn about wanting one, but wanting to stick to the cleanse. I felt terrible for her. I told her that this was all up to her and that if she wanted it, she should have it. (But only a small bit. I was flashing back to my day o’ vomit.) She cried a bit more, dried her eyes on my sweater, and then opted for a small piece. Tragedy narrowly averted. That kid is so hard on herself…

Last night, I hugged her and told her how very proud I was of her for sticking to this like she has — what with being only eight and all. She teared up and got the biggest grin on her face. That. Made. My. Week.

So. Weekend 1. Challenging, But did it. The first eight days? Let’s just say I’m super happy to be upright, out of the powder room, with no headache and off to spend a few hours of girl time with the Teen Queen.

Sayonara week one. You can suck it.IMG_6044

TODAY’S THEME SONG (this one’s for Lady Lou, TRPL TRBL, HK, E, and Chad): Red Hot Chilis. Suck My Kiss. Do me like a banshee. Low brow is how. Swimming in the sound of bow wow wow.

The Five Finger Salute

7 Jan

The thing about a detox is your body has to detox. But leave it to us to be bitchslapped by those infernal toxins. Never even had the exit strategy in mind. But exit it has. The usual way (of course) and I actually won’t go into detail on that for once. And then there have been the headaches (which we don’t think are even from caffeine absence because we don’t drink that much coffee — just a latte a day or less) and the body aches. Even today, on day five, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck and knocked in the head with a sledgehammer. Yea. Fun stuff.

Remember: This is happening to people who have eaten slow, farm fresh, organic, grass-fed, free range, and pesticide/chemical/additive/preservative/processed free (more or less) for almost 15 years. (Feel free to add in any other foodie buzz words I forgot.)

Miss-miss (from henceforth to be called The Teen Queen) said, “I thought this was supposed to make us feel better.” Patience, grasshopper.

And then bean, who has been playing the butt flute with gusto since this started (oh, hello fiber) says, “Ahhhh. So much better.” That kid never would have made it as a debutante.

So distracted we’ve been by the side effects and general malaise, that we haven’t missed the eliminated foods much. It wasn’t until yesterday that I had the thought of blue cheese. And it coated my every thought for four solid hours. I could’ve eaten my own hand if it had blue cheese on it.

The saving grace of this experience is it isn’t detox via starvation. I’m not one to go ‘round hungry.  So when dinner time came and the hubby cooked up this deliciousness (see photo) with a fresh salad and oven sweet potato fries, I was a happy camper once again.

Turkey burgers with scallions, mushrooms, fresh ginger, parsley, and lime sauteed in coconut oil.

Turkey burgers with scallions, mushrooms, fresh ginger, parsley, and lime sauteed in coconut oil.

We also realized that once we started up the exercise piece, we definitely felt better. Sweatin’ out the oldies works. Hell, I might even put on a sweatband if it will stop my head from pounding. (Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I must be one TOXIC SOB.)

Yesterday was by far my hardest day so far. There was this internal dialogue I had with myself that went something like this:

Just eat a damn steak with blue cheese. What’s the big deal? It’s protein too! And who cares if you have some red wine? It has ANTIOXIDANTS in it! And what are you planning to do after this whole debacle, huh? Are you really going to feast on the bulk bins forever, sister? Let’s be realistic. The minute this shit is over, you are going for a loaded baked potato with a side of L’Explorateur and an Asher Green Bullet (or whatever the hubby has on tap).

And so my thoughts derailed to:

I’m never giving up dairy. That’s bullshit. So why not just eat some yogurt or a little blue cheese on your salad to make this a real party?

The good news is, my thoughts ended with this:

You’ll NEVER EVER change your wicked ways if you don’t do this for the whole THIRTY DAYS, you wretched wench. So stop sobbing and pull it together!

Sweating out the oldies. (Piggly Wiggly Hat. Check.)

Sweating out the oldies.

And so the night ended with a cup of detox tea and a new board on Pinterest. Chock full of bulk bin and produce aisle recipes that I can actually get my taste buds whipped up about. The hubby does make a mean ass turkey burger too.

TODAY’S THEME SONG: Strut on a line, it’s discord and rhyme. I’m on the hunt, I’m after you. Mouth is alive with juices like wine. Hungry Like the Wolf. Duran Duran.


Kicking off 2015 by Eating Nothing. Nothing at ALL.

3 Jan

Today begins my first day of being more Boulder than I’ve ever been in my 20 years of living in this fine city. Today, I start a detox/cleanse/fit program/eat seaweed and love it for THIRTY DAYS. It is also the official start of my becoming a walking, talking cliche like millions of others across the globe who pick this month to get fit.

Let me tell you. Coming from a family who loves food and finds mocking the growing GF contingent endlessly entertaining (I’ll have the quatro DAIRY on my GLUTEN please, thank you) — this was not an easy decision.

I told my mom about it and she said, “You always have to do those programs. I just don’t eat.” Which is true. That woman can live on box wine and box wine alone. Yea. No.

Our plan is a bit more complicated and has transpired from multiple years of prodding (me), poking (me), and researching (also me). The prodee/pokee/research recipient being the hubby.

The idea started in those idyllic post-cancer treatment days when I was blazing a Google research trail. I uncovered endless info sets on how various foods cause inflammation and consulted a number of nutritionist friends who corroborated my findings. Inflammation is the hospitable host to cancer cells it seems. I also uncovered the whole acid vs. alkaline piece which was underscored by a friend of a friend who was up against the ultimate foe: brain cancer. And he later succumbed.

So I kept at the hubby for a while there. Trying in vain to convince him to just try going dairy free/coffee free/alcohol free/gluten free/red meat free. Just to see.

He wasn’t having it. And I subsequently gave up (though revisited the concept quite a few times over the last few years to deaf ears.) He was celebrating LIFE and I decided that was the path I’d take as well. Much to the dismay of his doctor (and I’m sure others), we just went for it. He was most definitely NOT going to jump off the cancer train straight into some strict dietary and exercise regimen and I had to agree. He’d been through hell.

And we were more than pissed. We’d been 100% organic and ran, hiked, biked – you name it. Had been proselytizing against Micky-D’s and their ilk for years. And it landed him straight in the cancer canoe on the river chemo. So fuck that.

We didn’t chose fast food. Still can’t go down that hard. But we have been celebrating for over three years with fantastic meals, plenty of cocktails and pairing that up with very little exercise. Add in some death in the family/job loss/house flooded stress and here we are.

I spent a lot of 2012 and 2013 traveling for work and lived pretty high on the hog. Fantastic steak dinners at some of the top steakhouses in the country. Flowing red wine. Lobster mac and cheese on the coast. Italian in Little Italy in NYC. Authentic BBQ in Kansas City.

My partner in crime during this debauchery and I had been talking. A lot. So when he and his wife decided to do a fit challenge last summer, I was intrigued. No way in hell was I going to DO IT. But my interest was piqued.

I couldn’t fathom going without my morning latte or evening vino. Much less the weekly cheeseburger. Or brie. Cheese is my most favorite food group. Even surpassing dessert. Give me a cheese plate with some house cured salumi and I am one happy girl.

I also knew that we are fairly healthy too. We are scratch cooks, eat very little processed food, zero fast food, and nothing with hormones, antibiotics or pesticides. But still.

I watched as my friend and his wife transformed themselves to the point that I barely recognized him in a recent picture he posted. Not sure if that was when the light bulb was relit or not. But it was a wake up call.

I decided that after the season of eating, drinking and being merry, it was going to be my turn. With or without the hubby.

I called my friend’s wife and told her I was in. She set me up with some supplies from the company she is a rep for (Arbonne) and the box arrived on Christmas Eve. I hid it in my office post-haste and didn’t even want to think about the implications of what was in that box.

At this point, the hubby was starting to be intrigued too. Then the girls had some questions. So it was decided. We were all four going dairy, sugar, gluten, soy, alcohol and coffee free for THIRTY DAYS.

My plan is to re-educate myself on slow and healthy food. Following the Michael Pollan religion of “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Get myself up and moving and away from my desk in spite of the stress of being self-employed and the sole bread winner (for the moment).

So yesterday was our planning day. I sat down with the program guides and menu plans and started working through the week.

The dinners were a breeze. I do a weekly menu plan for dinners already. But when I started trying to figure out lunches and breakfast, I stumbled. It was complicated to figure out what to feed all four of us for three meals a day and snacks and in a way that will translate to work and school schedules and lack of prep ability at those locations.

Trying to navigate the nuances of what is allowed and what isn’t and aligning that with smoothies, lunches and snacks almost made me quit.

It seriously took me until almost noon to wrap my head around it all. Then, factor in that the hubby currently does the bulk of the meal prep — and he needed to be up to speed on it all — well. My head exploded.

The fact that I was sitting there, researching brands of almond milk (Califia FTW!) and trying to determine the glycemic index of an orange on January 2, 2015. Well. Looks like this is going to be a brand new shiny year.

So yesterday we took ourselves to Whole Foods as per usual. And we left with two extra bags and even got a compliment from the cashier, “Lucky girls. Eating so healthy.” (I heart Anna. She’s watched the girls grow up on our weekly treks to that foodie mecca over the years.)

You can buy most of the grains, veggies, fruits, non-dairy milks, etc. at Trader Joe’s or Costco too BTW. But we bought three meals for seven days for four people and it came to $10 per person per day. At Whole Foods. And that included organic, free-range chicken and turkey plus wild caught salmon. (I love when I get to step up on my go organic pedestal and bask in the limelight.) I know I live in the very expensive kingdom of Boulder, but I would love to see what some of your weekly food bills are (including eating out). I think $10 a person per day is pretty damned good. Especially when it’s 100% organic.

And here is said menu for week one (my masterpiece) in case you think we are eating only nuts and berries:




Farro salad with winter fruit & pistachios

Falafel Salad

2 Days: Butternut squash soup with green apple

Chicken & Rice Soup

Quinoa Fried Rice


Whole Roasted Chicken with Steamed Broccoli & Baked Sweet Potato

Turkey Chili & Salad

Burrito Bowl, Homemade Salsa & Brown Rice Chips

Veggie Loaded Spaghetti & Roasted Green Beans

Grilled Chicken, Veggies & Onions with Brown Rice

Turkey Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa & Brown Rice


Celery with Almond Butter and Raisins

Hummus with Veggies


And now, today is the day. We did our weigh-ins and measurements and I threw up in my mouth. Then vowed to ignore the numbers and focus on the feelings of better health. Got support texts from True Blue and Mels Bells and another from the friend who created this monster. (Thanks Hemp.)

I have no freaking idea if this cozy first morning curled up with my detox tea and almond butter protein smoothie will turn into my worst nightmare. I may be coiled around a grilled cheese in a venomous, fangs-bared stance in two days flat. Or. I could just drink the damned tea.

And, that, dear readers is my Serial-esque cliffhanger ending. For now…

TODAY’S THEME SONG: When I grow up, I wanna work at Alfalfa’s where the cheese is dairy free. A birkenstocks, spandex, necktie, patchouli grocery store. I’d have a job, picking through the produce — no pesticides for me! I’d be a working moderate income socially conscience Boulder hippie. Alfalfa’s. Leftover Salmon.

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